Archive for the ‘Paper Folders’ Category

Martin Yale 1611 AutoFolder Folding Machine Review

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Martin Yale 1611 Ease-Of-Use AutoFolder Paper Folding MachineAre you looking for a well-built manual paper folding machine that can hold up to some of the toughest folding jobs? There are a lot of options out there. One affordable option you may want to consider is the Martin Yale 1611 AutoFolder paper folding machine (found here). This is my review.

Martin Yale recently redesigned the popular Model 1601 paper folding machine. The old 1601 is now the Martin Yale 1611. While this new folding machine is essentially the “next generation” 1601, Martin Yale has really gone out of their way to make some significant improvements.

One thing I like, although not functionally important, is the new design of the 1611. The black color and the well-rounded design looks great. It fits in well with most business environments. While looks aren’t everything (especially with office equipment), it is still nice to have an aesthetically pleasing piece of office machinery.

Looks aside, the Martin Yale 1611 is also packed with a wide range of features. To start with, the 1611 has a nice 150 sheet (20# paper) feed table capacity. While this isn’t enough to hold an entire ream of paper, it is still leaps and bounds better than manually inserting paper. The 1611 folds 150 sheets in just minutes. It is a fast machine. It is also relatively quiet for the size.

As far as build quality is concerned, the 1611 AutoFolder gets high marks. Even the folding plates are more robust than they used to be. If you remove the folding plates, you will notice that they are thick and extremely durable, versus many other manual setup folding machines. While you still have to manually set up the fold plates, it takes just seconds to a few minutes (depending on the operator’s experience).

The Model 1611 can handle a nice range of paper sizes. It will fold paper ranging from 3 ½” x 5″ up to 8 ½” x 14″. Unlike many manual setup folding machines, the Martin Yale 1611 can create most folds with the larger legal-size 8 ½” x 14″ size. This includes letter folds, Z folds, single folds and more.

Unlike folding machines of 10+ years ago, you do not need to fan the paper prior to placing it in the machine. This is a huge plus in my book. Fanning paper, at least for me, often led to paper jams. The “drop-in” system the Model 1611 is very efficient and dramatically cuts down on paper jams.

One very unique feature of the 1611 AutoFolder is the bypass tray for multi-sheet folding. You can manually insert a stack of up to 5 sheets of paper into the feed bypass for quick multi-sheet folding. The process is very simple.

For low to medium-volume paper folding, the Martin Yale 1611 AutoFolder is a great choice. It is affordable, features a great build quality and can be used on just about any table or desk in the office.

You can find the Martin Yale 1611 AutoFolder paper folding machine here and our entire selection of Martin Yale paper folders here. You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

What Is A Folding Machine Conveyor & Output Stacker?

Friday, March 4th, 2011

You may have noticed, while looking around for paper folding machines, that some feature a powered exit conveyor and output stacker. So what is an exit conveyor / output stacker and why would you need one? Having used many folding machines, I have come up with a list of reasons why you may (or may not) need these features.

Powered conveyors are part of a folding machine’s exit tray system. It is essentially the last place folded paper ends up during the folding process. The exit conveyor usually consists of two 1-2″ wide bands that move away from the folding machine. These two powered conveyor bands are designed to move paper in an orderly and organized manner.

Along with the conveyor bands, most powered exit conveyors also utilize a couple of output stacker wheels that help settle paper as it leaves the machine. These stacker wheels are usually manually adjusted, however, some high-end folding machines use automated stacker wheels that automatically adjust, depending on the size of the paper being folded.

Folding Machine Output Stackers & Exit Tray Conveyors

Some paper folding machines use telescoping exit conveyors. This allows you to adjust the conveyor to accommodate different quantities of paper. If you are folding a stack of 500 sheets of paper, you will want the conveyor fully extended.

Paper folding machines that don’t utilize a conveyor / stacking system usually have some sort of a catch tray. This catch tray is designed to simply hold paper as it shoots out of the folding machine. This method still works well, but doesn’t keep paper neat and organized.

Powered exit conveyors and stackers not only keep paper neat and organized, but also keep it in the order in which it was pulled into the folding machine. If you need to keep paper in alphabetical or numerical order, a conveyor system is an absolute necessity.

Folding machines that simply have a catch tray do not keep paper organized. If your folding machine only has a catch tray, you will probably have to jog the paper after you remove it.

Having used folding machines with and without conveyors & stackers, I have to say that I am a big fan of the output conveyor / stacker system. Folding machines with conveyors & stackers, however, are usually more of an up front investment. Most entry-level folding machines have a catch tray. You usually don’t see exit tray conveyor systems until you move into medium to high-volume folding machines.

You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here. Do you still have questions about folding machine conveyors and output stackers? Feel free to speak with one of our paper folder experts at 1-800-658-8788. Please feel free to also post your questions here as a comment.

Formax FD 38X Automatic Paper Folder Review

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Formax FD 38X Automatic Paper Folding MachineDo you need a tough, robust paper folding machine that can handle hundreds to thousands of folds a day? If so, you don’t want to settle for a basic paper folding machine. You are probably going to want something automated. One great machine you should consider using is the Formax FD 38X automatic paper folding machine (found here). I have personally used this folding machine and this is my review.

Formax is best known for their line of envelope stuffing machines, but they also make a great selection of bursters, shredders, paper folding machines and more. I can tell you from experience that Formax have a great track record and a great reputation with our customers.

The Formax FD 38X encompasses the very meaning of automatic paper folding machine. This machine, from the control interface to the electric folding plates, is completely automatic. The only manual effort involved is selecting a fold from the control panel, placing paper in the machine and removing the folded paper. That’s it!

The FD 38X is a robust machine, capable of accepting paper sizes up to 12″ x 18″ large. The feed tray can hold up to 500 sheets of paper. Once the machine has started folding paper, you can leave it and let it do the rest. It will automatically stop once the paper has been folded.

The Formax FD 38X handles all the most common folds (18 pre-programmed) and even has room in the memory to store up to 35 custom folds. Common folds include the C fold, Z fold and single fold. It can even handle the cross fold (aka French fold), which causes most other folding machines to jam.

Formax FD 38X Folding Machine Video Demo

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As mentioned earlier, the folding plates are powered. When a fold is selected from the LCD menu, the folding plates adjust themselves. This is fast and provides for extremely accurate folds.

The FD 38X control panel is very easy to navigate. The right side of the FD 38X includes a test button, a green “go” button and a red “stop” button.

The exit tray on the Formax FD 38X is completely powered. This means as paper exits the machine, it is quickly carried to the end of the tray in an organized manner. The tray is completely telescoping, allowing it to hold up to 500 sheets of paper. Exit conveyors are extremely nice for keeping folded material in alphanumerical order.

One of the more unique features of the FD 38X is the multi sheet tray. If you look at the top of the FD 38X, you will notice a vertical slot coming out of the machine. You can manually insert up to 4 sheets of stapled or unstapled paper in that slot. The machine will then fold all 2-4 sheets of paper at once.

The build quality on the FD 38X is excellent. It is made out of solid metal components. It weighs in at 74 pounds, which gives you an idea just how robust this machine is.

Overall I have to say that I am very impressed with this paper folding machine. Having used it myself, I have to rate it a solid 5 out of 5 stars. It is fast, reliable and relatively quiet for a folding machine.

You can find the Formax FD 38X automatic paper folding machine here and our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

Customer Question: Custom Folds On Paper Folding Machines

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

MBM 93M Paper Folding MachineI had a customer chat with me today via our live chat and they had an interesting question. They needed to know if they could create custom folds on the MBM 93M paper folding machine. While I had to ask a few questions to figure out what they needed to do, I ended up answering the question to their satisfaction.

The customer’s exact question was, “We’re looking at the MBM 93M paper folder and am wondering if it will do varying C folds.” At first I though they needed to create a C fold on different sizes of paper, such as legal size paper. The MBM 93M, after all, can handle paper up to 8 ½” x 14″ in size.

The customer went on to explain, “We have an 8.5″ x 11″ page we want to offset so the top fold is slightly shorter. Can the 93M do this? It’s a mailing and we need to apply a sticker to keep it closed.” I finally understood what they wanted to do. They simply needed to offset the C fold so it was slightly longer on one of the folds.

I explained to the customer that this was a possibility. All they needed to do was play around with the fold plates until they got the letter-size “C” fold they needed.  As is the case with most manual folding machines that utilize folding plates, custom folds are extremely easy to accomplish.

You can easily create custom and offset C folds, Z folds and single folds with the MBM 93M. The custom then thanked me for the information and ended the chat.

Please feel free to post any questions you may have about paper folding machines in the “comments” section of this post. I am more than happy to help you out.

You can find the popular MBM 93M paper folding machine here and our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

What Is A Paper Folding Machine Multi-Sheet Feeder?

Friday, February 25th, 2011

If you are shopping around for a paper folding machine, you may have come across some models that claim to have a multi-sheet feeder or a multi-sheet bypass slot. If you’re not familiar with folding machines, this may sound a little confusing.

Can paper folding machines fold multiple sheets of paper at a time? The answer to this question is a little complicated. I’ll try to explain.

I would say 99% of paper folding machines are unable to fold multiple sheets of paper. Most machines simply pull off a sheet of paper from the top or the bottom of a stack of paper. This sheet is then folded and expelled from the other side of the machine. Some manufacturers have gotten around this by adding a multi-sheet feeder.

Formax FD 38X Folding Machine With Multi-Sheet Feeder

A multi-sheet feeder is a slot or feed tray located somewhere on the top middle section of the machine. This feeder allows the operator to manually feed 3-4 sheets (depending on the machine) for folding. Depending on the machine, these sheets can be stapled or non-stapled.

This is a pretty nice feature, however, it is not completely automated. You are still required to manually insert the 3-4 sheets every time. The machine cannot pull 3-4 sheets in automatically from a stack of paper.

If you aware of these limitations, a multi-sheet feeder can still be a huge benefit. Manufactures like Formax and Martin Yale often add multi-sheet folders to their machines. Many Formax machines offer multi-sheet feeders as an optional attachment.

You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

Paper Folding Machine Glossary

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Friction-Feed Paper Folding MachineAre you shopping around for a paper-folding machine and are finding that a lot of the terms used to describe the machines are sounding like a foreign language? No worries. I have come up with a list of common paper folder terms and their definitions. Hopefully this helps you out on your quest to find a machine.

Paper Folding Machine Glossary

  • Air Feed – Air feed paper folding machines use an air compressor to pull paper into the machine for folding. This is ideal for use with glossy paper and coated paper as friction (non-air) machines tend to slip on this type of paper.
  • Automatic – Some higher-end machines feature automated functionality. This usually involves powered folding plates and the ability of a machine to adjust itself to accommodate the fold you need to create.
  • Batch Folding – Some machines allow the operator to determine a set number of folds. If you set the batch folding to 10, the machine will fold 10 sheets and stop (until you tell it to start back up).
  • Bottom Feed – A bottom feed paper folder pulls paper from the bottom of the feed tray.
  • Catch Tray – A catch tray is where folded paper is dispersed as it exits the machine.
  • Conveyor – Higher-end folding machines have a powered conveyor that helps to keep paper organized as it comes out of the machine.
  • Fanning – Some folding machines require that paper be fanned prior to placement in the machine. While most machines don’t require this, it was common in machines 10+ years ago.
  • Folding Plates – Folding plates are used to determine where a fold will occur in the paper during the folding process. Most folding machines use 2 folding plates.
  • Friction-Feed – A friction-feed paper-folding machine uses rubber or silicon wheels to pull paper into the machine for folding. This system is great with card stock and standard paper, but can slip on glossy paper (resulting in jams).
  • Guides – Most folding machines have guides in the feed tray that need to be adjusted to accommodate the paper size being folded. It is ideal to try and center the guides with the friction rollers that pull paper into the machine.
  • Manual – A manual folding machine requires the operator to manually adjust the folding plates.
  • Pneumatic – Pneumatic folding machines use air, rather than friction wheels, to pull paper into the machine for folding. These machines are ideal for use with glossy and coated paper.
  • Rollers – Paper-folding machines use a series of rollers to move and fold paper. These rollers require occasional cleaning.
  • Skew – Skew is used to define the alignment of paper. Many higher-end folding machines have a skew wheel that allows the operator to adjust the alignment of a fold.
  • Suction Feed – Suction feed is another term used to describe air feed or pneumatic feed. Suction feed folding machines use air to pull paper into a machine rather than friction wheels. This is ideal for glossy and coated paper.
  • Test Button – Many folding machines have a test button that allows 1-2 sheets to be folded. This is nice for making fine-tuned adjustments and ensuring that the folding plates are properly set.
  • Top Feed – A top feed paper-folding machine pulls paper from the top of the feed tray.
  • Weight – Most folding machines have minimum and maximum capabilities when it comes to the paper being folded. The thickness of the paper is typically refereed to as the paperweight.

Hopefully this glossary has helped you familiarize yourself with paper folding machine terminology. If you still have questions about folding machine lingo, feel free to speak with one of our folding machine specialists at 1-800-658-8788.

You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

Formax FD 6100 Folder Inserter / Envelope Stuffing Machine Review

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Formax FD 6100 Envelope Stuffing Machine / Folder InserterAre you tired of folding letters by hand and stuffing them into envelopes manually? What you probably need is an envelope-stuffing machine, sometimes called a folder inserter. These machines automatically fold paper, insert it into an envelope and seal it shut. One great model you may want to consider using is the Formax FD 6100 paper folder inserter & envelope stuffer. This is my review.

Formax is one of the best-known manufacturers of paper folding and inserting machines. These machines are commonly used by businesses to mail out invoices, bills, bank statements and more. Formax manufacturers machines designed to fold and insert anywhere from 1 to 4+ sheets at a time.

The Formax FD 6100 is a multi-sheet envelope-stuffing machine. This means that it is designed to pull paper from one or two feeding trays at a time. This means you can easily set two separate stacks in each of the feed trays for multi-sheet folding and inserting. It even has an insert / BRE (business reply envelope) feed tray. Each feeder has a 100 sheet capacity.

If paper is properly collated prior to placement in the machine, it can be used to fold and insert up to 5 sheets of stapled or non-stapled paper at a time (20# paper). This, however, is done by manually feeding the paper. This is pretty impressive. The FD 6100 gets the job done fast and accurate. It operates at a speed of 23 pieces per minute.

The Formax FD 6100 has one slot on the back of the machine where envelopes are placed. Another couple of feed trays hold the paper that will be inserted. Setting up the machine is extremely easy. Be sure the water reservoir is filled (located in the machine) and that the fold you want has been established. It can create a letter and a double parallel fold. Once the fold is set up, the machine can begin folding and inserting mail.

It is pretty remarkable to see this machine it action. It is pretty much 100% automated once it has been set up. It will keep folding and inserting mail until it is done (or you set it up to only fold and insert a specific amount of letters.

Maintenance on the FD 6100 is extremely easy. It has a clamshell design. This means if you need to access the inside of the machine, simply press a button and the top half of the machine folds open.

The FD 6100 is designed to be used on a desk, table or countertop. The feed tray extends off of the edge of a table. This folding and inserting machine has a 3,000 piece monthly duty cycle.

For low to medium-volume envelope stuffing, the Formax FD 6100 does a great job. I have used this machine myself and have to say that it is a pretty impressive piece of engineering technology. Because it is made by Formax, it should easily last for years. Just image all the time you’ll save using this machine!

We have this machine on our showroom floor right now. We are more than happy to provide you with a live video demonstration of it over the Internet. Simply call us at 1-800-658-8788 or fill out this form to set up an appointment.

You can find the Formax FD 6100 paper folder inserter & envelope stuffer here and our entire selection of automatic envelope stuffing machines here.

Choose The Right Folding, Stuffing & Inserting Machine

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Automatic Envelope Folding, Inserting & Stuffing MachinesDo you need to speed up your paper folding & envelope stuffing operations? You may want to consider upgrading to a paper folder inserter. These handy machines take a sheet of paper, fold it, insert it into an envelope and seal it shut. With so many machines out there, which one should you get? Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself.

How many sheets of paper do you need to insert into the envelope? The machine you get will almost depend entirely on how many sheets of paper you need to insert into an envelope. The most basic machines fold and insert a single sheet of paper.

More complex machines can fold and insert two, three and even more sheets at a time. Some machines can even include inserts or business reply envelopes. The more sheets you need to fold and insert, the more of an investment you will have to make in a machine.

How many envelopes do you need inserted per day? You will want to determine how many envelopes you need to send out on daily basis. Take into consideration how many envelopes you will need to send out later on down the road. An envelope stuffing machine is a significant investment and will last you for years. You want to be sure you get the right machine.

Most paper folding and inserting machines are rated for a monthly duty cycle. The monthly duty cycle is the amount of sheets a machine can safely fold and insert in a month without causing premature wear.

What is your budget? This may seem like a silly question, but your budget will play a huge part in determining the envelope-stuffing machine you purchase. If you need help finding a machine to fit your budget and needs, call us at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with an expert.

What are all the available options? If you only need to fold and insert one single sheet of paper, you have three different options available to you.

  1. Automatic Envelope Stuffing Machine – These machines do it all from start to finish. The fold, insert and seal the envelope shut.
  2. Pressure Folder Sealers – These machines fold and seal shut special pressure sensitive paper. This paper is typically perforated and does not require an envelope. You may have received a rebate, check or other form that was folded on a pressure sealing machine.
  3. Paper Folding Machine – If your monthly duty cycle isn’t huge, and you don’t need to stuff several sheets into an envelope, you may be able to use a paper folding machine to save you time. While you will still have to stuff the folded paper into an envelope, a paper folding machine will still cut your time down in half.

How much space is available? Be sure you take into account the measurements of the machine you will be purchasing. Make sure you have a desk or table that can not only accommodate the size of the machine, but the weight as well.

Which brand is the best? I have a tough time saying any one brand is the best. I can say that I have a lot of experience with Formax brand paper folding and inserting machines and they seem to be pretty solid. Formax customer service is excellent and their machines have a great rack record with our customers.

These some of the most common questions asked by our customers. Hopefully they have helped you get a better idea as to which machine you may need. You can find our entire selection of automatic envelope folding, inserting and stuffing machines here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to any questions you may have.

What To Look For In A Paper Folding Machine

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Paper Folding Machines from ABC OfficeHave you decided that you’ve had enough of paper cuts, crooked folds and mind numbing hours of folding paper by hand? If so, you may need to upgrade to a paper folding machine. Paper folders are wonderful machine. They save money, create professional folds and get folding jobs done quickly.

So what should you look for when shopping for a paper folding machine? The machine you get will depend on a lot of factors. What kind of fold do you need to create? How much paper will you fold per day? These questions and more will help influence your decision.

I have spoken with literally hundreds of different customers that were shopping for a paper folding machine and I have a pretty good idea as to the questions you should ask yourself prior to making a purchase. Here are a few questions and tips that may help you out.

  • What kind of fold do you need to create? Determine exactly what style of fold you need to create, including other folds you may need down the road. Different folding machines are capable of creating different styles of folds. Most paper folders will specify on the product page the types of folds they can create.
  • What type of paper are you folding? Are you folding standard paper, coated paper or glossy paper? Be aware that friction-feed paper folders, which constitute 80% of the machines out there, cannot fold glossy paper. The slick surface causes paper jams. If you need to fold slick paper, you will need an air feed (pneumatic) paper folder.
  • How large is the paper you will be folding? Paper folding machines typically have a minimum and maximum paper size they can handle. Be sure the machine you get can handle your paper size.
  • How thick is the paper you are folding? One of the biggest limiting factors with paper folding machines is the thickness of the paper. While most can handle standard 20# copy paper, not all can handle card stock. Be sure the machine you get can handle the paper thickness you are folding.
  • How many sheets do you need to fold in a day? The amount of paper you are folding will determine the machine you need. While the paper folding speed is a good determining factor in how much paper a machine can fold, ultimately you will want to determine the machine’s monthly duty cycle. Typically the more a machine costs, the more paper it will fold. This isn’t always the case, but it is a good rule of thumb.
  • Do you expect your folding volume to increase? Don’t shortchange yourself. There’s nothing worse than getting a machine that is woefully unequipped to handle the volume you need to fold.
  • Do you need any special features? Some paper folding machines come with features such as batch folding. Other machines have the ability to store custom folds or display total paper counted. Be sure to check out the “features” of the machine prior to making a purchase. Also, some paper folding machines are completely automatic, where others require some manual setup.
  • Where will you be using your paper folder? Be sure you have ample space for your folding machine. Check the weight and the dimensions of the machine prior to making a purchase. This way you won’t be surprised when you get a 100 pound machine that doesn’t fit anywhere.
  • Be aware that paper folding machines make noise. If you will be making long runs on a paper folder, you may want to consider using it in a different room from employees.

Hopefully these questions have helped you in your quest for a paper folding machine. You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here. If you still have questions or would like some assistance placing an order, feel free to call one of our paper folding experts at 1-800-658-8788.

Martin Yale 1711 AutoFolder Folding Machine Review

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Martin Yale 1711 Electronic Ease-of-Use AutoFolder Paper Folding MachineAre you in the market for an affordable automatic paper folding machine? There are several models out there, many of which may break the bank. One affordable alternative you should take a good look at is the Martin Yale 1711 Electronic Ease-of-Use AutoFolder (found here). This is my review.

For the past few years Martin Yale has been re-designing many of their paper folding machines. Their latest upgrades are the 1611 and 1711 paper folding machines. The 1611 replaces the 1601 and the 1711 replaces the 1701. These newly revamped folding machines now have a similar look to the Martin Yale 2051 SmartFold.

The 1711 has a smooth black housing that really makes this machine stand out. I personally like the look of the 1711 a lot more than the older 1701. Much of the functionality between the 1701 and the 1711 remain the same.

The Martin Yale 1711 is a fully automatic paper folding machine. That means that there is little manual effort required to get this machine set up. This machine comes pre-programmed with 6 of the most common folds used today. This includes the letter fold, half fold, Z fold, double parallel fold, right angle fold and the baronial fold.

Simply select the fold you want to create and the 1711 will automatically adjust itself. After a few seconds the folding plates are set and the machine is ready to start folding paper. This is extremely convenient. Custom modifications can be made to the fold plates from the control panel in the event you want to create a custom fold.

The 1711 can be used with paper of various sizes, up to 8 ½” x 14″ large. While many machines out their struggle with folding legal-size documents, the 1711 handles them without any issues. This machine can handle paper thicknesses ranging from 16 lb. bond to 70 lb. index.

No pre-fanning of the paper is required with this paper folder. Simply take your paper, up to 150 sheets, and place them in the feed tray. While you don’t need to fan the paper, it is still a good idea to keep the paper jogged prior to folding.

A powered exit conveyor helps to keep paper aligned, versus other folding machines that simply spit the folded paper out into a tray. This is especially nice for folding documents that need to be kept in order.

Overall I really like the 1711. I would consider this to be a great option for medium-volume paper folding. The machine is compact enough to be used on most desks and tables and should be a great addition to any office.

You can find the Martin Yale 1711 Electronic Ease-of-Use AutoFolder here. You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.

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