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You are being redirected to ABC Office. Why? has joined their sister company ABC Office to provide our customers with a greater product selection, while offering the same great prices and service you have come to love and expect!If you have questions or concerns during this transition please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788, or email us at

Archive for April, 2011

What Size Vacuum Sealer Bag Should You Use?

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Chamber Vacuum Food SealersIf you’re vacuum sealing meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables and other products, you’re probably going to want to use the right size bag. If the bag is too small, you’re out of luck, and if it’s too big, your loosing money by purchasing oversize bags. Thanks to our friends over at Minipack, they have provided us with a guide that should help you determine the perfect size vacuum sealer bags.

You’re going to need a few tools to help determine the right size vacuum sealer bag. First off, you’ll need the product you’re packing in front of you. Second, you will need a measuring tape or ruler. Third, you will need either a calculator or a sheet of paper to write on.

This guide will help you determine the right size bags for standard-size materials and for round materials (chubs). This guide is in millimeters and in inches.

Vacuum Sealer Bag Sizes

Vacuum Bag Measurement Guide

Hopefully this helps you track down the right size vacuum sealer bags. At ABC office we offer vacuum sealer bags for external clamp vacuum sealers and for chamber vacuum sealers. You can find our external clamp vacuum sealer bags here and our chamber vacuum sealer bags here. You can find our vacuum sealers here.

Good luck and happy vacuum sealing! Feel free to call one of our vacuum sealing experts at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Dahle 20422 Level 4 Office Paper Shredder Review

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Dahle 20422 Level 4 Cross Cut Office Paper ShredderThe modern-day office is filled with paper, confidential information and sensitive records. To prevent identity theft, records should be shredded prior to disposal. It makes good sense and can really save your business’s bacon. No business wants a data breach. One great way to combat identity theft and fraud is to use a paper shredder. One great model for small office use is the Dahle 20422 office paper shredder. This is my review.

Dahle, a leading manufacturer of paper cutters, is also well known for their line of paper shredders. They currently manufacture several dozen different models, making Dahle one of the leading manufacturers of high-end office paper shredders. Their shredders are known for being reliable and are especially popular with the US government.

The Dahle 20422 is a Level 4 cross cut paper shredder. Shredder security levels range from Level 1 to Level 6. The higher the security level, the more secure the cut becomes. Once a sheet of paper is fed through the 9 ½” wide opening, it ends up in 1/12″ x 7/16″ size particles. This is an excellent security cut and is perfect for shredding most sensitive information.

This particular shredder is ideal for small office use by 2-3 different people. Ultimately the Dahle 20422 is best suited for shredding on average 100 to 400 sheets of paper per day. This is more than adequate for most small business applications. It can be used to shred tax information, client proposals, patient records and much more.

When I’m looking around for an office shredder, I not only want a good design and cut, but I also want a paper shredder that is relatively quiet as not to cause too much of a distraction. I consider anything in the 60-decibel range to be decent. The Dahle 20422 sounds in at 56 decibels, which is excellent.

The control panel on the 20422 is very straightforward. It consists of a switch that can be toggled from off, to on and to reverse. When in the “on” position, this shredder will automatically detect paper and turn on and off accordingly. In the event of a paper jam, the reverse motor can be activated to back everything out and clear the jam.

This paper shredder features a cabinet door that allows access to shredded material. An included 10-gallon shred box holds all the shredded paper, which can be removed and emptied when full. To help keep things cleaner, an optional Dahle shredder bag may be used.

The shredder blades on the Dahle 20422 are solid, made from hardened steel. They are designed to not only shred paper, but also to accept paper clips, staples and credit cards.

The build quality on the Dahle 20422 is exceptional. It is designed for continuous use throughout the day. There is no need to worry about the motor overheating or waiting for it to cool down.

I would personally recommend this shred to any co-worker or friend that needs a solid paper shredder for medium-volume use in a small business environment. It has a great track record with our customers and has an excellent reputation.

You can find the Dahle 20422 office paper shredder here and our entire line of Dahle paper shredders here. You can find our entire line of paper shredders here.

Should You Use an External or Chamber Vacuum Sealer?

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Vacuum Food Sealing MachinesVacuum sealers are excellent machines for packaging, selling and preserving food. They can also be used to package retail merchandise, clothing, auto parts and much more. There are two primary types of vacuum food sealers. The first type is known as an external sealer (sometimes called a clamp or pouch vacuum sealers) and the other is known as a chamber vacuum sealer. So which style should you use?

External and chamber vacuum sealers both get the job done, albeit in slightly different ways. This is a brief breakdown on how the different systems work:

External Pouch / Clamp Vacuum Food SealerExternal “Clamp / Pouch” Vacuum Sealers – These types of vacuum sealers tout the title “external” because the entire vacuum sealing process is conducted outside the machine. Products are placed in a bag, which is then placed into the external sealer. The sealer is then clamped down onto the bag, after which it begins to remove the air. Once air has been removed, the bag is sealed.

Chamber Vacuum Food SealerChamber Vacuum Sealers – These types of sealers can be used with most food and most retail merchandise. Once a product has been placed in a bag, the entire bag is placed in the chamber, ensuring the opening of the bag is placed on the sealing bar. The hood of the sealer is brought down, after which air is removed from the chamber. Once air has been removed, the bag is sealed and atmosphere is brought back to normal.

Now that you have a general understanding as to the different technologies used, why would you want to use one over the other?

External “Clamp / Pouch” Vacuum Sealers – External sealers are generally used for light to medium-volume packaging purposes and are generally less expensive than chamber sealers. These types of vacuum sealer are generally used for home and medium-volume grocery-store use, although the MiniPack Cyclone line of external sealers are used for commercial packaging. These sealers are typically slower than chamber sealers.

Chamber Vacuum Food SealerChamber Vacuum Sealers – Chamber vacuum sealers are generally used for medium to high-volume packaging, although they can be used for light volume if needed. Chamber sealers are very easy to use and are typically faster than external sealers. They can be used to package fruits, vegetables, meats, liquids, powders and non-edible retail products.

Chamber sealers are typically more efficient than external sealers, with the ability to remove 99.9% of the air from a bag. Chamber sealers often offer the option of being used with inert gas / air kits as well (not an option with external sealers). Inert gas kits are great for packaging delicate food like potato chips.

So basically it all boils down to application. External sealers are great for home use and for light to medium use where chamber sealers are great for commercial higher-volume use.

You can find our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

Minipack MVS 26X Vacuum Food Sealer Review

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Minipack MVS 26X Vacuum Food SealerIf you’re a restaurant, a grocery store or a food packaging plant, you probably have the need of a high-quality vacuum food sealer. While external sealers are nice for many packaging purposes, chamber sealers mean business. One high-quality chamber sealer you should consider using is the Minipack MVS 26X vacuum food sealer (found here). This is my review.

Chamber vacuum sealers, unlike external sealers, conduct the entire packaging process in a controlled chamber environment. Air is not only removed from the bag, but from the entire chamber. This process allows 99.9% of the air to be removed. It is a very efficient process that is ideal for commercial packaging.

The MVS 26X vacuum sealer is an affordable “first step” into chamber vacuum sealing. A few months ago the least expensive system we offered was the MVS 31 X. We have just added several new machines to our lineup and the MVS 26X is one of those machines. The sealable chamber area is 11″ x 16″ x 4″. Be aware that the lid of the MVS 26X is domed, allowing for a few more inches than the specified 4″ height.

Everything about the MVS 26X shows its quality. The stainless steel construction is designed to be used for packaging foods and liquids and the basin of the chamber is seamless.  The seamless basin is easy to clean and is extremely sanitary, eliminating areas for bacteria to get trapped and grow.  There are no sharp edges on this machine and the gauge of the steel is exceptionally thick.

The MVS 26X uses an extremely durable pump, which only takes a few seconds to achieve maximum vacuum pressure. The aluminum sealing bar produces an extremely tight seal that will not degrade or weaken with time. The Italian build and construction on this machine is exceptionally high.

Unlike many comparable chamber sealers that feature complicated analog controls, dials and gauges, the MVS 26X is completely digital. Calibration is completely automated. The control panel is extremely easy to navigate, allowing you to store up to 10 custom jobs.

The control panel allows you to quickly adjust the sealing time, the amount of air to be removed from the chamber and how quickly to return the atmosphere back to normal. A digital display lets you know exactly what’s going on during the entire process. An optional inert gas injection kit is perfect for packaging more delicate food and products.

Using this sealer is easy. Simply place your product in a bag, place the bag in the sealer, pull the hood down and let the machine do the rest. The Minipack MVS 26X is perfect for packaging food, liquids, powders, parts and other retail merchandise.

As previously mentioned, the build quality is excellent. Our Minipack vacuum food sealers are extremely popular right now and have a great track record. The MVS 26X should easily hold up to daily use and will easily last you for years.

You can find the Minipack MVS 26X vacuum food sealer here and our entire selection of vacuum food sealers here.

Replacement Paper Folding Machine Rollers & Maintenance

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Folding Machine Silicon RollersAs is the case with just about any paper folding machine, they use a series of silicon rollers to pull and feed paper throughout the paper folding process. These rollers, with time, will begin to wear out and fail. Symptoms of failing silicon rollers include paper jams, misaligned folds and misfeeds. In this article I will cover how to replace folding machine parts and how to prevent premature wear.

To begin with, at ABC Office we have a fully staffed Service Department that can replace rollers, provide parts and assist in repair operations over the phone. You can reach our Service Department by filling out this form.

So why is it that these rollers wear out? As is the case with any piece of machinery that utilizes moving components, parts eventually wear out. While this may be the case, I have personally seen several instances of premature wear, which could easily have been prevented. There are two primary reasons I have seen for premature wear.

– The first issue is cleaning and maintenance. As folding machines handle paper, the rollers begin to accumulate dust, ink and paper particles. This causes paper to slip on the rollers and jam. Eventually these dirty rollers need to be cleaned.

The proper way to clean a roller is to use some sort of silicon roller cleaner or rejuvenator. This helps to revitalize, clean and moisten these rollers. Some people try using a household cleaner or rubbing alcohol, which causes the rollers to dry out and crack.

Paper Jams – The second issue that causes premature wear is improper clearing of a jam. If your paper folding machine jams, you should immediately turn it off. Failure to turn it off can cause the rollers to spin on the paper, causing damage, and it can cause premature wear on the motor.

Many modern folding machines will automatically turn off in the event of a jam. One of the worst things you can do to clear out a jam is to use scissors, a knife or a screwdriver to clear a jam. This will cause nicks, scratches and tears in the silicon rollers.

So there you have it! I hope you are able to put these tips to good use. In the event that your machine is irreparably damaged, or you simply need to upgrade, you can find our entire line of paper folding machines here.

ABC110 Coin Counter & Sorter Video Demo

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

ABC110 Coin Counter & SorterCounting coins by hand, as you might imagine, can take a lot of time. If you’re like me, it will probably take a couple of attempts as well. Speed and error issues makes manual coin counting extremely inefficient. Coin counting machines, like the ABC110 coin counter & sorter, makes counting quick and accurate. I have personally used the ABC110 on several of occasions and have to say that I’m impressed.

I remember as a child getting a coin sorter for Christmas. Yes, I actually asked for one. It wasn’t an electric coin sorter, but rather a gravity coin sorter. You put the coin at the top of the sorter and watched it make its way down, bouncing back and forth until it ultimately dropped into the correct bin. While fun, this isn’t an efficient way to sort or count coins. Unfortunately, many of the coin counters and sorters you find at local department stores operate in a similar way and are simply not meant for commercial use.

The ABC110 means business. The hopper along can hold up to 1,600 dimes. If you have a drawer, a bag or a jar of coins, just dump them into the top and turn the machine on. It will begin to quickly and efficiently count and sort coins. The ABC110 is packed with features, and all for an affordable low price.

You can view a video demo of the ABC110 coin counter and sorter here:

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This coin counter is a great example of a cost effective machine that will save you both time and money. You can find the ABC110 coin counter & sorter here and our entire selection of coin counters here.

Is an Excess Film Winder Necessary for Shrink Wrap Machines?

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Shrink Wrap Machine Excess Film WinderI spoke with a customer about a week ago regarding the Minipack Galileo and the optional excess film winder. His question was, “Is the excess film winder something I really need or is just money wasted?” I have personally used shrink wrap machines with and without film winders and this is the answer I gave him.

To begin with, let me explain exactly what an excess film winder is. A film winder is a round drum-like spool that is typically located on the bottom of a shrink wrap machine. The drum is much like a cable spool that you would see electrical wire, coaxial cable or cat5e wire wrapped around. The main purpose of this spool is to contain excess film that is cut off during the shrink wrapping process.

To put it simple, a film winder helps contain the mess left behind during  the shrink wrap process. Is it necessary? No. Is it nice? Yes. Whether or not you use one depends a lot on how much material you are shrink wrapping. In my own shrink wrapping experience, I have found the winder to be more of a convenience than a necessity, however, packaging volume is the real determining factor.

If you will be packaging fewer than 50 items a day, a winder really isn’t necessary and is definitely more of a convenience. If you will be packaging hundreds to thousands of items a day, you may want to seriously consider using an excess film winder as excess shrink film will really begin to make a lot of clutter.

Many of our L-bar shrink wrap machines allow the option to use a film winder. You can find our entire selection of L-bar shrink wrap machines here. If you don’t see a film winder on the machine you need, call us at 1-800-658-8788 and well see if one is available.

Akiles VersaMac Modular Binding Punch Video Demo

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Akiles VersaMac Modular Book Binding PunchThe Akiles VersaMac book binding punch is arguably one of the best electric binding punches available today. It feature a wide array of interchangeable dies, a durable build construction and is perfect for high-volume and commercial book binding. Punching can be done by manually pushing a button or by using the included foot pedal.

One of my personal favorite features of the VersaMac is the vertical punch. Unlike a horizontal punch, the vertical punch uses gravity to naturally keep sheet edges aligned, allowing for a professional punch every time. This is especially nice for high-volume book binding.

The interchangeable dies are extremely easy to slide in and out. Available dies include comb, wire, coil, velo and much more in a wide variety of pitches and hole patterns.

I could go on and on about the metal build construction and the hardened punching dies, but this video will probably do a better job explaining all this visually. Enjoy!

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I hope you enjoyed that video presentation. You can find the Akiles VersaMac modular binding punch here and our entire selection of book binding machines here.

Formax FD 402E2 Envelope Jogger Review

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Formax FD 402E2 Envelope JoggerIf your work in a mailroom, you are probably well aware of the mess and problems unorganized and jumbled envelopes can cause. While you can grab envelopes and try to bounce them on a table to align them up, this can be time consuming and frustrating. One great way to organize and align envelopes is to use a machine like the Formax FD 402E2 envelope jogger (found here). This is my review.

There are currently two major manufacturers of paper joggers. One is Lassco-Wizer and the other is Formax. I consider both to be reputable brands and great products. Formax currently makes about 4 different models.

When it comes to paper joggers, the Formax FD 402E2 is very unique. This is because it isn’t really a traditional paper jogger, but rather is designed to jog envelopes and letters. This would primarily be in a mailroom environment. It is also capable of jogging checks, statement stubs and much more

The FD 402E2 features 2 jogging slots, capable of holding up to 1,750 sheets of 20# paper up to 4″ W x 9.5″ L in size. This isn’t bad, and considering how fast this jogger works, it shouldn’t take you long to have everything jogged and in order.

So why would you need an envelope jogger? In mailroom environments, letters can arrive in boxes, bags, carts and other containers. These letters and envelopes are usually a mess, however, they will eventually need to be opened.

As you might imagine, most mailrooms use high-speed letter openers. Before the envelopes can be fed into the letter opener, the need to be jogged. This helps to prevent jams and ensures quick and seamless letter opening. This same jogger can be used to jog and organize envelopes after they have been run through a letter opener as well.

The Formax FD 402E2 uses a very powerful motor, vibration at 4,000 vibrations per minute. This is fast, which in turn results in very fast jogging results. The vibration speed is completely adjustable. You can expect a stack of envelopes to be fully jogged in less than 10 seconds. The electromagnetic design of the FD 402E2 allows the motor to run continuously throughout the day without suffering any ill effects.

Overall I have to say that the FD 402E2 is a solid envelope jogger and is definitely a must-have product for busy mailrooms. As is the case with most Formax products, the build quality is exactly where it should be.

You can find the Formax FD 402E2 envelope jogger here and our entire selection of paper joggers here.

What is a Cardboard Perforator?

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Martin Yale / Intimus PackMate Cardboard ShredderHave you ever heard the term cardboard perforator used before? I hadn’t either until I was writing up some descriptions for a couple of HSM ProfiPack cardboard shredders. HSM refers to their cardboard shredders as cardboard perforators. It makes sense, especially when you look at the cardboard shredding process.

If you’re not familiar with cardboard shredders, they are used to cut down cardboard boxes into either strips or into “waffle-cut” pieces for a variety of reasons. Waffle-cut cardboard does have more of a perforated than a shredded appearance to it. Most of our customers who own cardboard shredders use shredded cardboard as box filler or as cushioned packaging for mailing and shipping packages.

Shredded cardboard is remarkably effective at absorbing high shock impacts. Products packaged with shredded cardboard often turn out better than other packages using peanuts or air pockets. This is due in part to the sponge-like properties of shredded cardboard and the fact that shredded cardboard doesn’t move much during shipping.

Cardboard shredders are primarily purchased for the following reasons:

  • Free Packaging
  • Cardboard Recycling
  • Freeing Up Space

As previously mentioned, we offer three different cardboard shredders (perforators):

  1. Martin Yale PackMate Cardboard Shredder
  2. HSM ProfiPack 400 Cardboard Perforator
  3. HSM ProfiPack 425 Cardboard Shredder

All three of these models are solid machines. One unique feature that I personally like about the Martin Yale PackMate is that it can be used to not only shred cardboard, but newsprints and computer printouts. While shredding computer printouts is a great way to recycle paper as packaging, it is by no means confidential, so be sure your computer printouts do not contain any sensitive information.

I personally think that every warehouse should have a cardboard shredder. They are effective machines, easy to use and really help free up space in the warehouse.

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