Archive for June, 2011

Akiles WireMac 2:1 / 3:1 Wire Binding Machine Reviewed

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Akiles WireMac 2:1 / 3:1 Wire Binding MachineCreating your own product is fun and fulfilling. One hobby that I enjoy, and many businesses perform on a daily basis, is bookbinding. It’s fun to produce something that is tangible and looks professional. One of the best-looking binding formats is wire binding. It’s clean, looks great and is ideal for the most important presentations and reports. One machine I personally recommend using is the Akiles WireMac wire binding machine (found here). I have used this machine myself and this is my review.

To start with, I have to say that Akiles is one of the best binding machine manufacturers around. They manufacture comb, wire and coil binding machines and they almost always turn out to be high quality products. The reason I bring this up is because if the WireMac doesn’t fit your bill, you should still consider an Akiles Machine.

The WireMac wire binding machine is designed for low to medium-volume book binding. That isn’t to say that it is a low-volume machine, but it features a manual punch. That means the WireMac’s biggest limiting factor to speed is the operator. The machine itself could stand up to higher-volume binding, but the operator would probably get tired.

You can get the Akiles WireMac in two different designs. One design comes with a 2:1 pitch hole pattern and the other comes with a 3:1 pitch hole pattern. The pitch you use depends entirely on your preference. I can say, however, that the 2:1 pitch has been more popular, due in part to the fact that a 2:1 pitch hole pattern can bind more paper.

Using the WireMac is extremely easy. Simply take a stack of paper (up to 20 sheets of 20 lb paper) and punch it. Keep punching paper until you have the designed amount punched. You then insert a wire binding element into the punched holes and close the wire shut using the built-in wire closer. Sounds easy, right? It really is an easy machine to use.

Don’t let this machine’s simplicity fool you. It is also packed with features. One of my favorite features is the selectable punching pins (aka disengageable dies). This allows you to shut of any of the 40 dies (3:1 pitch) or 27 dies (2:1 pitch). This eliminates half-punched holes and makes it possible to bind books of varying sizes. This machine has a 14″ punching length. Because it is open ended, you can technically punch paper even longer than 14″.

I also really like the adjustable margin depth and diameter selector. Both of these features make it extremely easy to bind books of varying thicknesses.

The WireMac has been around for years and we have sold untold amounts of these machines to customers. Akiles has a great track record with our customers and the WireMac has proven to be extremely reliable, lasing for years without any issues.

Having handled this machine myself, I can tell you that it is solid. The all-metal construction really helps improve the book binding experience. I highly recommend this machine for those interested in binding books, reports and presentations.

You can find the Akiles WireMac wire binding machine here and our entire selection of Akiles book binding machines here. You can find ABC Office’s entire selection of binding machines here.

Which GBC VeloBind Machine is Right for You?

Monday, June 13th, 2011

GBC VeloBind Book Binding MachinesVeloBind, made by GBC, is one of the most popular book binding formats used today. It is right up their with coil, comb and wire binding. There are currently 3 main VeloBind machines people use today. These are the System One, System Two and System Three Pro. I will explain the differences between the three and why you may want to consider one over another.

First off, modern-day VeloBind machines use a hot-knife process for binding books, presentations and reports. All three of the GBC VeloBind models I listed use 11-prong binding strips. Once holes have been punched in paper, a top strip is inserted through the holes and a back strip is placed on the back of the book. The machine then cuts off the excess prongs and seals the front strip to the back using heat. The process is extremely solid.

Most people like VeloBind because it is sturdy, tamper proof and ideal for binding large volumes of paper. I have seen lawyer firms, construction companies, universities and many others use VeloBind to bind just about anything you can imagine. These machines are generally considered to be reliable and usually hold up for years.

Here are the biggest differences between the VeloBind System One, System Two and System Three.

GBC VeloBind System One – This machine is designed to bind up to 1″ of paper. It features a manual punch with an electric “hot knife” system that finishes the job. This particular system is ideal for low to medium-volume book binding. If you need to bind more than 1 book every 3-5 minutes, you may want to consider upgrading to a faster machine like the VeloBind System Two.

GBC VeloBind System Two – The System Two is a VeloBind system capable of binding books, reports and other material up to 2″ thick. This particular machine features an electric punch, which is nice for higher-volume binding and for use by people that don’t like the idea of manually punching paper. This system doesn’t have to bind huge books. It can also be used to bind thinner material (only 2 pages) and can use the System One’s 1″ strips. Backwards compatibility is always nice.

GBC VeloBind System Three Pro – The System Three Pro is the monster of the VeloBind line. This bad boy can bind up to 3″ of paper at a time! I am not aware of any other “element” style book binding machine with this large a capacity. It is also backwards compatible and can use 1 x 11 and 2 x 11 strips from the System One and System Two. Basically you can bind as few pages as 2 or hundreds, it all depends on the project. This machine is great for medium to high-volume binding. It even includes a debinding feature.

Regardless of the machine you need, you should consider ABC Office for your purchase. We offer some of the best prices available online, stock our own products (faster shipping) and have a Service Department that can help you keep your VeloBind machine up and running for years.

You can find our entire selection of GBC VeloBind machines here and our VeloBind supplies here. Good luck and happy binding!

Lassco CR-50P Electric Corner Cutter Review

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Lassco CR-50B Corner CutterDo you work in the printing, greeting card or business card business? Do you handle card stock, report covers and other paper material? You may want to consider giving your printed material a leg up by cutting off those sharp corners and adding rounded corners. One great way to do this, on a high-volume basis, is by using the Lassco CR-50P electric corner cutter (found here). This is my review.

Lassco is our most popular manufacturer of corner rounders. Their CR-20 and standard CR-50 models are two of our best sellers. Lassco also makes a great selection of floor model corner rounders. Theses corner cutting machines are reliable, backed by great support and provide the option of interchangeable dies.

Corner rounders are often referred to as corner cutters, corner slitters and cornerounders. While some models of corner rounders are designed to cut just one or two sheets of paper, most are capable of handling hundreds of sheets of paper. The Lassco CR-50P is a great example. It can handle up to a ½” stack of paper in a single pass.

The Lassco CR-50P is very similar to its cousin, the CR-50, except the CR-50P features an electric motor. This electric motor is activated by pressing a foot pedal. I personally like the foot pedal operation as it allows you to manually handle and adjust the paper with two hands while cutting. The motor used is powered by 115 volts / 60 Hz.

Speed shouldn’t be too much of an issue. With a ½” cutting capacity, and the ability to make 30 strokes a minute, the weakest link in the speed of corner rounding will more than likely be the operator. It can pretty much keep up with you without any problems.

The CR-50P is a floor model. That means it doesn’t need to be placed on a desk or counter. It includes it’s own built-in stand that keeps the cutting surface at working level. The surface of the workbench is 17″ x 17″, making the CR-50P ideal for cutting small and large sheets of paper.

One thing I really like about the Lassco CR-50P is the socket design of the cutting dies. This machine makes it very easy to change from a 1/8″ die to a ½” die in just seconds. Simply pull the die you don’t need out of the socket and insert the new die. This corner cutter comes with one standard die of your choice, however, about 11 different dies are available. That makes this machine extremely versatile, and because the dies can be replaced, you’ll never be stuck with a dull corner rounder.

The build quality of this corner rounder is as good as you will find in the corner cutting industry. The metal and wood of this machine may remind you of something from a 50s army surplus store, but it is built to last. It weighs 112 pounds shipped and 90 pounds unpackaged. You won’t have any problem using this corner rounder on a daily basis for commercial and industrial applications. It’s that tough.

You can find the Lassco CR-50P electric corner cutter here and our entire selection of corner rounding machines here.

Formax FD 6100 Folder Inserter / Envelope Stuffer Video Demo

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Formax FD 6100 Envelope and Paper InserterFolding, inserting, licking and sealing. It’s the four-step mailing process many of you are very familiar with. The only problem with manually folding and inserting mail is that it is very time consuming and can require a lot of people. Automated machines, like the Formax FD 6100 folder inserter, are fast and quickly make up the cost of paying someone to do the job in no time. I had a chance to use this machine a few weeks ago and we shot a video demo.

At first glance, from personal experience, the FD 6100 is a little intimidating. It has several feed trays, an envelope tray, an insert tray and a digital control panel. It probably only took me about 5 minutes to familiarize myself with the machine. Once I had everything figured out, I was surprised just how easy the Formax FD 6100 was to use.

I ended up creating a letter fold using a #10 business envelope. I placed two separate stacks of paper in the machine (for multi-sheet folding & inserting) and put the envelopes in the back. Once I told the machine what I wanted it to do, it took just seconds to complete the process.

Sometimes seeing a machine in use is easier that trying to describe it. We ended up shooting a video demonstration of my experience which I am including in this post.

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I hope that video clearly depicts just how nice this machine is. I personally recommend it to any small business that has light to medium-volume folding and inserting needs. You can find the Formax FD 6100 automatic folder inserter here and our entire selection of folding and inserting machines here.

Shrink Wrap vs. Stretch Wrap

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Shrink Wrap MachinesI can’t even begin to tell you how many people have asked me, “Should I use shrink wrap or stretch wrap to package this product?” Many people interchange stretch wrap and shrink wrap not realizing that they are two completely different products. I will help clear up the differences. By then end of this article you will be a stretch wrap and shrink wrap expert!

To begin with, both stretch wrap and shrink wrap are used for packaging purposes. For that reason, I believe a lot of people get confused. Here is my brief explanation of each of these packaging technologies.

Stretch Wrap – Stretch wrap is a type of clear plastic film that has the appearance and consistence of saran wrap. This film is typically designed to bundle multiple items together or provide stability to a package of items. As the film is wrapped around a product, some tension is required to provide stability. Stretch wrap film tends to “cling” together as it is wrapped over itself. Many stretch wrap machines are designed to apply stretch wrap to large pallets of products for stability and shipping purposes. No heat is applied during the stretch wrap process.

Shrink Wrap – Shrink wrap is also a type of clear plastic film, however, it does not have stretchy or clingy “saran wrap” properties. Shrink wrap is typically designed to package an individual product, although it can be used to package multiple items together. Unlike stretch wrap, which is wrapped around a product multiple times, shrink wrap is actually cut around a product using a heat sealer or shrink wrap bar. The shrink film then shrinks (hence the name) around the product as heat is applied. The end result is a professionally packaged product. Shrink wrap provides a tamper proof and protective barrier.

I hope that helped. Let me also demonstrate the differences between stretch wrap and shrink wrap with a few video demonstrations.

This is a video demo of a stretch wrap (pallet wrap) machine:

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This is a video demo of a shrink wrap machine:

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At ABC Office we offer a great selection of packaging products designed to preserve, protect and package. You can find our entire selection of pallet stretch wrappers here and our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here.

Please feel free to contact one of our packaging specialists at 1-800-658-8788 with any stretch wrap or shrink wrap questions.

Are Bill Counters 100% Accurate?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Bill Counting MachinesIf you handle currency on a daily basis, in excess of a few dozen bills, you may need an automatic bill counter. If you’re like most retail businesses, you probably handle well over a few dozen tangible bills per day. Banks, retailers and other businesses often have to count these bills at the end of the day. Manually counting money is not only slow, but also notoriously inaccurate. So are automated bill counters more accurate?

Bill counters use a special photocell to count bills. Paddles and rollers inside the bill counter pull bills into the machine. As the bills pass these photocells, the sensor lets the machine know electronically that a bill has been counted. The entire process takes microseconds, with many bill counters capable of counting thousands of bills per minute.

I have personally used over a dozen different brands, makes and models of bill counters. One thing they all seem to have in common is accuracy. I purposely run bills through currency counters repeatedly over and over to verify the accuracy. I have yet to experience an issue with a currency counter reporting a different number the 2nd or 3rd time running the stack through the machine.

So in answer to the question, “Are Bill Counters 100% Accurate?” I have to answer “yes” with a few stipulations. First off, the bills need to be either new or used bills that are completely in tact. The good news is that most modern bill counters have error detection.

Most modern bill counters will let you know if multiple bills have accidentally been pulled through, if a bill is torn in half or if the bill being counted isn’t the right size. This detection cuts down on pretty much every error out there. Many bill counters now even include counterfeit detection capabilities.

When I answer “yes” to bill counters being 100% accurate, I am also assuming that the bill counter is in 100% working condition. I have to admit though that I have never had a customer call back complaining that their bill counter isn’t accurate. If bill counters weren’t accurate, nobody would use them. It’s that simple.

You can find our entire selection of automated bill counters here, our entire selection of coin counters here and our entire selection of counterfeit bill detectors here.

What Size Paper Shredder Width Do You Need?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Paper Shredder Widths & SizesWith hundreds of different models of paper shredders available, which size width should you use? The width of a paper shredder will ultimately determine what you will be able to shred. So which shredders widths are best for your home, business or organization? I will briefly go over the various widths and their best applications.

To begin with, paper shredders are typically organized into home, small office, departmental, industrial and high security categories. As a general rule, the higher the volume use, the wider the shredding width. Not everyone needs a 20″ wide shredder width.

Here are the most common widths used today:

5" Width Paper Shredders5″ Wide Paper Shredders – These paper shredders are typically designed for home use and are just wide enough to shred an envelope or a few sheets of paper folded in half. These shredders are typically compact and can often be used on a desk or table. Many of these shredders can also be used to shred floppy disks, credit cards and CDs.
Example: HSM shredstar MultiShred Paper Shredder

9" Width Paper Shredder9″ to 10″ Wide Paper Shredders – These shredder widths are probably the most common found in deskside shredders and small office paper shredders. A 9″ to 10″ width is just enough room to handle most letter-size and legal-size documents. They can also be used to shred smaller material such as receipts and envelopes.
Example: Intelli-Shred IS120 Micro Cut Paper Shredder

16" Width Paper Shredders16″ to 18″ Wide Paper Shredders – This width is commonly found in departmental and large office paper shredders. The 16″ width can accommodate letter size paper as well as larger 11″ x 17″, 12″ x 18″ and larger computer forms. The larger 16″ width also allows the operator to shred multiple letter size documents at once without worrying about the paper going in “crooked” and causing a jam. The extra width also helps with speed.
Example: Destroyit 4002 Heavy Duty Paper Shredder

20" Width Paper Shredders20″ and Wider Shredders – Widths this large are typically reserved for industrial and commercial shredders that are designed to shred just about anything. These wide widths are designed to handle books, paper, magazines, posters, crumpled paper and much more.
Example: Intimus S16.50 Paper Shredder

So there you have it! The most common and popular shredder widths available and their uses. Knowing the purposes of shredder widths should help you choose the right shredder. You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here.

Why YOU Should Use a Paper Jogger

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Paper JoggersIf you work in an office environment, work in a church or teach at a school, you probably deal with paper on a regular basis. This may involve stapling, paper folding, book binding, paper cutting and much more. One annoying thing about paper is that it gets jumbled quickly, whether from moving around, coming off the copy machine or printer. One tool that WILL make your life easier is a paper jogger.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many time I have had to manually bounce and jog paper on a table prior to inserting it into a folding machine or binding machine. If you don’t get the process done right, you end up with jammed machines or poorly bound documents (misaligned holes). Paper joggers take this paper and square it up for you in just seconds.

Paper joggers are very simple in concept. They typically have some sort of motor inside that vibrates at thousands of vibrations a minute. This motor causes a tray to move around quickly, casing the vibrations (along with gravity) to square up paper.

Here in the office we use the Premier Jog-Fast (Model 400) paper jogger on a regular basis. It literally takes seconds for me to jog an entire ream of paper.

I have also used paper joggers for helping dry ink after printing in a digital duplicator. Some paper joggers utilize air in some format during the jogging process to quicken the drying process even more. Paper joggers are also good for removing static electricity from printed or copied paper.

So which paper joggers do our customers like to use?

  • Martin Yale Jog-Fast (Model 400) Paper Jogger
  • Lassco LJ-2 Paper Jogger
  • These two models are very popular with our customers because the are designed for use with 8 ½” x 11″ paper and the are both affordable. I can vouch, from personal experience, that Martin Yale (Premier), Lassco and Formax all make some of the best paper joggers available on the market.

    We also offer multi-bin paper joggers for jogging multiple reams of paper at a time. We also sell paper joggers for large paper, flat bed paper joggers and open paper joggers. You can find our entire selection of paper joggers here.

    In conclusion, I have to say that I can’t imagine handling paper on a daily basis without using a paper jogger. If you haven’t considered using one, at least stop by our site and see what we have to offer. Feel free to speak with one of our paper handling specialists by calling 1-800-658-8788.

    Need to Count 2,500 Pennies? Consider a Coin Counter!

    Monday, June 6th, 2011

    Coin CountersIt has now gone viral, but last week I read an article about Jason West in Vernal, UT, who decided to pay a disputed medical bill with 2,500 pennies ($25). Apparently he felt he had already paid the bill and they felt he hadn’t. We have all been in similar situations. Where it went from there is pretty funny.

    After becoming frustrated with the clinic, he decided to go ahead and pay the bill. According to the article, he asked if they accepted cash. The billing clerk answered in the affirmative. He broke out his cash, which ended up being 2,500 pennies.

    While it sounds like he was simply making a statement, apparently it made a mess and West was fined $140 for the incident. Interesting.

    I enjoyed the Police Captain’s response saying that Jason West “dumped 2,500 pennies onto the counter and demanded that they count it. … The pennies were strewn about the counter and the floor.”

    I even more enjoyed Jason West’s account regarding the story. He said, “I didn’t at any time yell. … I didn’t go on a rant. I wasn’t irate.” Regarding the coins falling on the floor, West said, “That’s just the nature of pennies. They’re round.”

    You can read the entire incident here.

    Why do I bring up this story, especially considering I work for an office equipment business? Coin counters of course! We sell coin counters that can easily handle 2,500 pennies in just minutes. Our cheapest coin counter (the ABC110 coin counter), rings in at $151 (or 15,100 pennies) and can count coins at a speed of 270 coins per minute. That means the poor clerk could have quickly counted those coins in 9 minutes.

    Coins, in mass, are bulky, heavy and unwieldy. Retail businesses, however, have to deal with coins on a daily basis. Save time, eliminate human errors and use a coin counter. We offer several affordable models of coin counters found here.

    What is a Hopper Fed Paper Shredder?

    Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

    Hopper Feed Paper ShreddersDo you use, own or want a paper shredder but don’t want to hassle with jogging paper together to try and fit it all through a tiny slot on the top of a shredder? If this scenario sounds familiar to you, you may need what’s known as a hopper fed  paper shredder. These shredders are versatile and often ideal for office environments.

    Hopper fed paper shredders are commonly used for office and departmental use as they are designed to be used by multiple people throughout they day. These types of paper shredders essentially feature a top loading feed hopper that sits above the paper shredders blades. They are typically designed for high-volume / continuous use.

    The top loading feed hopper allows you to empty jumbled, disorganized and crumpled paper into the shredder. Some of these shredders allow you to dump an entire stack of paper, while other feed hopper shredders have a separate slot for stacks of paper. The hopper is often assisted by paddles that help pull paper into the shredder blades.

    Shredders with feed hoppers are typically ideal for high-volume paper shredding and are known for their convenience. Because the hopper can take crumpled and jumbled paper, there is no need to tray and straighten or align paper prior to being fed into the shredder.

    At ABC Office we offer a few different hopper-style shredders. Here are the four most popular models we offer:

    1. HSM 412.2 Office Hopper Fed Shredder
    2. Destroyit 4605 High-Volume Top Loading Feed Hopper Shredder
    3. Dahle 20452 and 20453 Strip and Cross Cut Hopper Shredders
    4. Intimus 852CC Industrial Top Loading Hopper Style Paper Shredder

    Hopper fed shredders often accept entire magazines, newspaper and other paper. Some, like the Intimus 852CC industrial shredder, have hoppers that can even accept CDs, DVDs, credit cards, 3.5″ disks, passports, ID cards, Microfiche, audio cassettes and more.

    This is a demo of the Destroyit 4605 high-volume hopper fed shredder.

    I hope this helps you understand exactly what a top loading hopper fed paper shredder is. These shredders are convenient, great for high-volume shredding and are typically extremely fast. You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here.

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