Archive for April, 2011

What Can Your Binding Machine Punch?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Book Binding MachinesYou’re looking for a binding machine and need something that can punch a wide variety of material, so which machine should you get? Most machines claim that they can cut a specified amount of sheets, but where do you go from there? Here are a few answers that should help answer the question, “Exactly what can I punch with my binding machine?”

To begin with, all binding machines can punch paper. I know that sounds a little silly, but let’s get that one out of the way. I have found that most manual binding machines punch between 10-15 sheets of paper and electric punch machines around 15-25 sheets of paper. Remember, these specifications are based on 20# thick paper, which is essentially what you use in your copy machine.

I personally recommend scaling back your punching capacity by as much as 15-20%. This is because most manufacturers state the absolute maximum amount of sheets you can punch before your machine breaks. Scaling back the punching capacity will probably have minimal impact on your binding volume, but will really help prolong the life of your machine.

Most book binding machines can punch other material than simply 20# copy paper. This may include card stock, laminated paper, plastic poly covers, clear covers and more. There is just one catch. You need to adjust your machine’s punching capacity to accommodate the different thicknesses of material you are punching.

So how do you determine the maximum number of sheets you can punch when not punching standard 20# paper? It all boils down to trial and error. Try punching one or two items at a time and go up from there. If your machine begins to struggle or if you are exhorting a lot of force on the handle (or the motor is straining), you are probably punching too much material.

So there you go! Your book binding machine can handle a lot more than just paper. I have used comb, wire, coil and VeloBind machines to punch poly covers, card stock, clear covers ad much more.

You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here. Do you still have questions? Feel free to call one of our binding machine specialists by calling 1-800-658-8788.

MBM Destroyit 2270 Cross Cut Paper Shredder Review

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

MBM Destroyit 2270 Cross Cut Paper ShredderIf I were to be asked which paper shredder I would personally like to have next to my desk for daily office shredding, I would have to say that one of my personal choices would be the MBM Destroyit 2270 cross cut paper shredder (found here). This shredder comes from a long line of quality shredders, is made in Germany and is relatively compact. This is my review.

While paper shredders may not be the most exciting topic in your list of daily conversations, I have literally worked with them for over 10 years. Over those 10 years, I have come to appreciate paper shredders for their engineering and technological sophistication. There are a lot of paper shredders available today, and while they all do the same thing, the differences between different models are almost as stark as night and day.

The MBM Destroyit 2270 is technologically innovative, due in part to the German roots of this shredder. From the ground up, this shredder has been built to handle most jobs thrown at it. While it is a deskside shredder, designed for use by one person, it can be used continuously without a hiccup.

Rather than trying to accommodate a paper shredder blade for other uses, Destroyit has incorporated two separate feed openings in conjunction with two separate cutting heads. One opening is used for paper, measuring in at 8 ¾” wide, and the other is designed to shred CDs, DVDs and credit cards. This ads a huge degree of versatility to the shredder. The hardened steel blades on the paper shredder opening are tough enough to handle paper clips and staples.

One huge concern with any paper shredder is safety. You’ve probably heard the horror stories of babies getting their fingers caught in shredders or dogs getting their tongues cut off. Put those fears to rest. The Destroyit 2270 utilizes several safety features. This includes a transparent safety shield in the feed opening that only allows paper to be fed through. The shredder also turns off when the cabinet door is open.

The actual use of this shredder is fairly easy. You’ll notice on the picture of this shredder that there is only one switch. You can turn the shredder on, off or throw the motor into reverse. When on, the 2270 uses a photocell to detect paper, which in turn activates the motor. It is very easy to operate.

The build quality on the MBM Destroyit 2270 is excellent. Just try lifting the shredder head off of the cabinet. It is tough to do, in large part thanks to the heavy-duty materials used in the Destroyit 2270’s construction. The entire shredder, including the bin, weighs in at 32 pounds.

Design plays a huge roll in my purchasing decisions. I know this shouldn’t always be the case, but you want your shredder to look nice. The Destroyit 2270 is a great looking machine. The clear window on the waste bin looks classy and lets you know how full the shredder is.

Overall, if the budget allows, I would highly recommend the Destroyit 2270 for your deskside office use. This is a solid, reliable and relatively quiet shredder. I give it a solid 5 out of 5 stars. Remember, however, that it is really only designed for individual use.

You can find the MBM Destroyit 2270 cross cut paper shredder here and our entire selection of paper shredders here. Destroyit also offers this shredder in a strip cut design found here.

How to Shrink Wrap a Gift Basket

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Shrink Wrapped Gift BasketMother’s day is right around the corner and gift baskets are a popular item during that time of the year. If you are a business that makes gift baskets, our you’re simply a hobbyist, you may want to consider shrink wrapping your own gift baskets. The process is very easy and the end results look just as professional as anything out there. I’ll explain.

To begin with, shrink wrap looks great, it protects the enclosed product and keeps items safe while being transported. While cellophane is popular for gift baskets, shrink wrap looks far more professional (in my opinion). To begin shrink wrapping gift baskets, you’re going to need a few items:

I-Bar Shrink Wrap Machines for Gift BasketsEquipment Needed

  • I-bar shrink wrap machine
  • Centerfold PVC or polyolefin film
  • Heat shrink gun

I recommend using an I-bar shrink wrap machine, sometimes called a straight bar shrink wrap machine. This is because it can be used to quickly cut down your own shrink wrap bags, making it possible to tailor a bag to fit just about any unique size basket. Some people use “wand style” shrink wrap bars, but I think an I-bar system is more precise.

You will then need shrink wrap film. I highly recommend using centerfold film. This type of film is already folded over once and rolled into a single roll. This makes it easy to quickly create shrink pockets for packaging purposes. This can be PVC or polyolefin film. I recommend using 60-75 gauge film, although thicker film should be fine.

Last, you are going to need a heat gun (not a hair drier). The heat gun is used to shrink the film around the basket.

There are two ways to package a gift basket using shrink film. One way is to wrap the film around the basket using a machine and the second way is to cut the bag first and then place it over the basket, sometimes called the “handle” packaging method. This is considered to be the best method of packaging baskets with handles.

If your basket does not have a handle, you can still use the “handle” packaging method, but you may have better luck simply placing your basket in the film (on the machine), sealing the film and heat shrinking it. I will be covering the handle method of packaging.

Shrink Wrap FilmHere area few steps for packaging gift baskets.

  1. Determine the length you will need for your basket. I recommend using a measuring tape. Also be sure that the film roll you are using is wide enough for your basket. I recommend measuring the height of the basket and cutting the film about 6-12″ longer. The film is cut by using the I-bar sealer. Remember, a little excess film isn’t a big deal as it will shrink with heat.
  2. Take your cut bag and slide it over the basket. Pull the film down over the basket until the centerfold seam of the film sits on the handle of the basket.
  3. Take the excess film and tuck it under the basket.
  4. Take your heat gun, tilt your basket at a 90 degree angle and start shrink wrapping the bunched film under the basket. This will cause the open “bunched” end of the film to stick together. Tilt the basket the other way and apply the same amount of heat to the basket.
  5. Now take your heat gun and shrink the rest of the film around the basket. Don’t keep the gun in any one place for too long as this could cause a hole to melt open.
  6. Once the heat gun has shrunk the film, you can repeat the process on another basket.

Having done this myself, I can tell you that packaging a gift basket will only take about 2-3 minutes (once you have the hang of the process). The end results look great and very professional, which should in turn increase sales.

We offer a great selection of I-bar shrink wrap machines here. This includes brands from Traco and AIE. The Deluxe Traco system and the AIE system include the I-bar sealer, a roll of film and a heat gun. This is everything you need to get started. You can find our entire selection of centerfold PVC and polyolefin shrink film here.

Do you still have questions about packaging your gift basket? Give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. Our shrink wrap experts all have experience packaging a wide variety of products and should be able to quickly and professionally answer your questions.

Tabletop Brochure, Business Card & Magazine Display Options

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Tabletop Revolving Display, Magazine & Literature RacksPresenting literature on a desk or table is sometimes one of the best ways to get your material out to customers, clients and others. This is especially the case in a lobby, reception desk or table where people frequently pass by. You can use tabletop displays to present literature such as business cards, pamphlets, brochures and magazines. So what are some of the best tabletop literature display options? I’ll go over a few customer favorites.

To begin with, you should make your literature easy to view. I recommend using a display holder or rack with a clear plastic front. This will protect literature while making it easy to view and access. If you have a lot of literature, you may want to consider a display with a carousel / revolving option.

Here are the three most common tabletop display solutions our customers use to display their literature:

  1. Tabletop Carousel / Revolving Displays – Revolving displays look nice and allow you to hold a lot of material in a relatively small amount of space. Some of our carousel tabletop literature holders are made from PETG plastic, which is extremely durable and safe. Others are made from wood and metal. Racks range from pamphlet holders to magazine holders.
  2. Tabletop Business Card Holders – Business card holders look professional, are easy for customers to access and look far better than simply sitting a stack of cards on a desk. If you have a reception desk in a lobby, you can use a tabletop business card holder with multiple pockets for a variety of different people. We offer one model of desktop business card holder that has 12 different pockets!
  3. Tabletop Literature Racks – Tabletop brochure, pamphlet and magazine holders look great, take up little desk space and come in metal wire, plastic and wood designs. Some models, designed for larger tables, can hold a combination of brochures and magazines.

Our plastic display racks are made from durable PETG plastic, which is shatterproof and safe. Our metal racks are made from heavy-gauge wire, designed to stand the test of time and our wood display racks are available in a variety of different wood stain finishes.

These three categories cover all the most popular options for displaying literature from a desk or table. With literally dozens of different models available, we are sure to have something you will like. You can find our entire selection of display racks and literature holders here.

What Is a Security Level 6 Paper Shredder?

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Security Level 6 Shredded PaperWhen it comes to shredding paper, you may have noticed that paper shredders are often categorized by a security level. One of the most coveted shredder levels is the security level 6. So what exactly is a security level 6 shredder and why would you ever need one? I will explain that and much more in this article.

Shredder security levels are used to categorize the shred particle size of a shredder. The shredder level scale goes from 1 to 6, with level 6 being the most secure. A security level six is any shredder that cuts paper within a 1 x 4-5 mm size. This size is extremely small, some comparing it to dust.

Level 6 paper shredders are sometimes called high security paper shredders, top-secret shredders and confidential shredders. This is because level 6 shredders are used to shred the most sensitive documents, hence the reason they are so popular with the government and military. Documents cut down to a level 6 size cannot be re-assembled.

NSA / CSS Approved Level 6 Paper ShreddersMost level 6 shredders are DOD approved and fall within NSA / CSS specifications.

Typically, as the security level increases, the sheet capacity of the shredder decreases. This is because higher security level shredders require more cuts, which in turn requires more pressure and cutting force to cut a sheet of paper.

So do you need to use a level 6 paper shredder? For most business, home and office use, the answer is no. Most businesses will be fine with a shredder security level 3 shredder, whose cutting range falls within a 1.9 mm strip cut or a 3.9 x 30-50 mm cross cut. Few non-government sponsored entities have the ability to re-assemble a level 3 cut document.

A level 3 shredder blends security, affordability and maximum sheet capacity into a well-rounded paper shredder. This type of paper shredder can safety be used to shred client and customer information, receipts, bills and other personal documentation.

You can find our entire selection of level 6 paper shredders here and our entire selection of paper shredders here.

Would you like to know more about paper shredder security levels? You can read more about them by reading our useful paper shredder guide found here.

MBM Destroyit 2360 SMC (Super Micro Cut) Paper Shredder Review

Friday, April 8th, 2011

MBM Destroyit 2360 SMC (Super Micro Cut) High Security Paper ShredderDo you need a compact and affordable Level 6 paper shredder for office or business use? Most Level 6 shredders are large and a bit of an investment. One affordable option is the Destroyit 2360 SMC Level 6 paper shredder (found here), designed for top secret and high security shredding. This is my review.

Level 6 shredders provide the highest level of confidential shredding available. Particles have to fall within a 1mm x 4-5mm range, which is extremely tiny. These types of shredders are extremely popular with government entities, the military and for many businesses. Destroyit is known for making some of the best high security shredders available.

The MBM Destroyit 2360 SMC (Super Micro Cut) is not only a Level 6 paper shredder, but is also DOD approved, adhering to the most strict NSA / CSS specifications. Break out a ruler and try to grasp this size. The Destroyit 2360 SMC cuts a sheet of paper into 0.8 x 5 mm particles. That is literally thousands of pieces of paper. This is why the 2360 SMC is perfect for high security shredding.

Now that you have an idea on why you may want to use the 2360 SMC, let me go into the build quality. This shredder is German engineered and built. I say this because this shredder is night and day difference from the competition when it comes to durability and quality. The cutting shafts used in this shredder are made from hardened steel and carry with them a one-year warranty. The gears are made from high-quality material and are fully enclosed in a dust-free environment, prolonging the life of the shredder.

The 9 ½” wide throat on this shredder can handle 5-7 sheets of paper at a time. You may say to yourself, “Only 5-7 sheets? That doesn’t seem like much.” You need to remember the complexity of the cutting shaft used in this shredder. A lot of force and engineering complexity is required to cut a sheet of paper into 0.8 x 5 mm particles.

The smaller the cut, the fewer the amounts of sheets the shredder can handle. For the price, and the security level, 5-7 sheets isn’t bad. Be aware that this shredder is fast. Once you feed it 5-7 sheets, you will be ready to feed another stack in just seconds. This shredder uses a photo cell to detect paper and will automatically start shredding as soon as paper is detected.

The control panel on the 2360 SMC is very user friendly. Destroyit has managed to integrate pretty much all the controls into one button that they call the “Easy Switch.” This large round switch lets you turn the shredder on and reverse the motor. It also includes lights, color codes and backlight symbols to let you know what is going on at all times.

An office shredder should have the ability to be used throughout the day, right? The Destroyit 2360 SMC utilizes a thermally protected motor that allows it to be used continuously throughout the day, without the need to “cool down.” The single-phase motor is also insulated in a way that it is very quiet while in use.

In conclusion, I have to say that if you have the need for light to medium-volume high-security shredding, you won’t be disappointed with the MBM Destroyit 2360 SMC. This shredder looks great, is easy to use and gets the job done right.

You can find the Destroyit 2360 SMC Level 6 paper shredder here and our entire selection of high security paper shredders here.

Can a Corner Rounder Cut Laminated Paper?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Corner Rounders & CuttersWe have a lot of customers that call wanting to know if they can use a corner rounder on laminated paper. One such example is a customer who was laminating appraisal cards for valuable gems and jewelry. He wanted to cut the corners off to make the laminated cards look more professional, not to mention he felt the laminated corners were a little dangerous. This is the answer I gave him.

To begin with, our Lassco and Akiles corner rounders can easily handle stacks of paper, card stock and chipboard without a problem. The dies on these corner rounders have been designed from the ground up to handle most thicknesses of paper. Can they handle laminated documents? Yes, but with a small catch.

While these machines can round the corners on laminated documents, it can potentially cause the blade to dull at a slightly faster rate. I emphasize “slightly” in that sentence. You don’t need to worry about the blade dulling after rounding a few stacks of laminated documents. They actually handle laminated paper quiet well.

I have personally used the Lassco CR-20 corner rounder to round the corners on business cards I personally made in house using a business card cutter. The rounder cut the corners off the cards in seconds, literally hundreds of them at once. The end results looked great.

You can find our wide selection of corner rounders here. If you have any questions about cutting the corners from laminated paper, please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788

Akiles iWire 21 Wire Binding Machine Review

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Akiles iWire 21 Wire  Binding MachineAre you shopping around for a reliable wire binding machine that includes a punch, wire closer and easy-to-use features at an affordable low price? There are a lot of wire binding machines floating around out there and one model that seems to be attracting a lot of attention is the Akiles iWire 21 wire binding machine (found here). So is this machine worth the price? This is my review.

Akiles is probably about as well known in the binding industry as Toyota is known in the car industry. Akiles makes dozens of different models of binding machines, including coil, wire and comb binding variations. Over the pas 10 years, Akiles has established a stalwartly reputation, making some of our customers’ favorite machines.

The iWire 21 is one of Akiles’ budget wire binding machines. This doesn’t mean it is “cheap” by any means, but it is targeted towards a low to mid-volume binding range. This particular machine comes in a 2:1 pitch (iWire 21) and a 3:1 pitch (iWire 31) design. The pitch you buy will depend on your preferred hole pattern.

The Akiles iWire21 is a no-nonsense wire binding machine. From the moment you open the box, you are pretty much ready to use it. This machine includes a manual punch, a wire closer and a simple set of binding instructions. There are only about 3 steps required to bind with this machine.

My personal favorite feature is the compact nature of the machine and how portable it is. The paper support on the iWire21 folds down to become a dust cover when the machine is not in use. It only weighs in at 20 pounds, so it is easy to move from desk to desk or room to room.

The manual punch on the iWire 21 is very easy to use. The handle is ergonomic, making it easy to 15 sheets of paper at a time. This wire binding machine has a vertical punch, versus the horizontal punches found in most binding machines. I personally like the vertical punch as it makes it much easier to keep the sheets and holes lined up correctly.

As previously mentioned, this machine is very easy to use. It includes operating instructions on the inside of the dust cover and even has a wire diameter guide.

While I don’t have any long-term data on reliability, because it is so new, I can tell you that upon first inspection the build quality seems exceptional. Akiles has a great track record on their other machines and I can’t see why this machine would be an exception.

I highly recommend this wire binder for your light to medium-volume binding. It should do a great job for binding reports, presentations and booklets.

You can find the Akiles iWire 21 wire binding machine here and our entire selection of wire binding machines here.

MBM Destroyit 4005 Paper Shredder Review

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

MBM Destroyit 4005 Departmental Paper ShredderDo you need a departmental paper shredder capable of handling some of the toughest jobs? Do you need something that is centralized that can be used by multiple people in an office environment throughout the day? If so, you probably need a shredder like the MBM Destroyit 4005 paper shredder (found here). This is my review.

Let me provide you with a little background on Destroyit paper shredders. To begin with, Destroyit shredders aren’t typically found in your local department store. This is because Destroyit paper shredders are considered high-end pieces of machinery, opposite to the cheaper plastic shredders you’ll find in local stores. Destroyit shredders are German engineered and German made.

The Destroyit 4005 is a tough shredder, designed from the ground up for departmental use. It comes in three different versions, one strip cut and two cross cut variations. The version you use will depend on the shredding capacity your office needs and the security requirements of your business.

The strip cut version is a Level 2 shredder and the cross cut shredders are Levels 3 and 4. The higher the level, the smaller the particle cut. As the security level goes up, you are able to shred more sensitive material, but usually at a decreased capacity. You’ll notice that the Level 2 version shreds 50-52 sheets at a time and the Level 4 shreds 18-20 at a time.

All three of these shredders feature thermally protected motors that allows them to be used throughout the day without the need to cool down. All three of these shredders also feature the ability to handle paper clips, staples, CDs and DVDs. The wide 16″ opening handles most sheets of paper.

Destroyit 4005 Paper Shredder Video

Not only does the Destroyit 4005 have a high shredding capacity, but it is also very fast, taking just seconds to shred paper. As soon as you feed paper into it you are ready to feed it more. As mentioned earlier, this shredder is designed from the ground up to be a departmental workhorse.

One thing I personally like about the Destroyit 4005 is the control panel. Destroyit calls it the “Easy Switch.” It is essentially a button that uses color codes and backlit symbols to help navigate you. It also lets you know the status of the shredder at all times.

A series of load indicator lights let you know how much stress is being put on the motor at all times, which makes it easier for you to determine how much paper you can feed it without manually counting the sheets prior to shredding. In the unlikely event of a jam, this shredder will reverse out the paper and cut off the power. This prevents damage to the motor.

The Destroyit 4005 features a 40-gallon shred bin, a high-quality wooden cabinet and is extremely easy to empty. After one hour of inactivity, the 4005 goes into ESM (Energy Saving Mode), which is designed to save on electricity.

Simply put, this is a great shredder to use in an office by multiple people. The build quality is excellent, the chain driven dust-proof gear box housing is solid and this should easily keep up with just about everything you throw at it. I highly recommend this shredder.

Be aware that the Destroyit 4005 does require a dedicated 20-amp line for power.

You can find the MBM Destroyit 4005 paper shredder here and our entire line of paper shredders here.

Manufacturer Spotlight: Formax

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Formax Office ProductsEvery so often I like to throw the spotlight on a manufacturer that has proven to be reliable and produce great office products. As an online office equipment dealer, we at ABC Office truly appreciate what it is like to work with a reliable manufacturer. This not only helps us, but also helps our customers. Today I would like to introduce you to Formax, one of our most reliable manufacturers.

Formax, a division of Bescorp Inc, is a leading manufacturer of office products. They are well known for their pressure sealers, folder inserters, paper shredders, folding machines and much more. One remarkable thing about Formax is that many of their products are manufactured in the USA. Their line of products are considered to be reliable and have a great track record with our customers.

Formax was originally founded in 1987 and has been in business for over 24 years. They originally specialized in direct sales and service of paper processing equipment around the New England Area.

Formax is currently based out of Dover, New Hampshire and have a manufacturing facility plant in Turlock, California. The actual “Formax” name was established in 1993 right around the time they began to offer industrial bursters, decollators and mergers.

In 1996, thanks to a great reputation and an established network of dealers, Formax introduced one of their most popular brands, AutoSeal. AutoSeal pressure sealers utilize Formaxes patented technology that dramatically simplified pressure-sealing operations. Models today include desktop machines all the way up to industrial pressure sealing machines.

In 2002 Formax began manufacturing high-end paper folding machines and in 2003 Formax acquired a main vendor in FTI (Formax Technologies Incorporated), formerly known as the FHE Division of Tab Products in Turlock, CA.

At ABC Office we offer a huge selection of products from Formax. These products include:

We enjoy working with Formax, love selling their products and expect to have many more years of success selling Formax office machines to customers around the world. You can find our entire line of Formax products here.

Because we are an authorized Formax dealer, we are also able to provide servicing, repairs and provide parts for all Formax products. To request repairs and service on your Formax machine, you can contact our Service Department by filling out this form.

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