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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 the ‘Tips & Advice’ Category

Why You May Want to Use Coil Binding

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Coil BindingAre you binding a cookbook, an instruction manual or perhaps even a photo album? One book binding format you should consider using is coil binding. Coil binding, often referred to as spiral binding, is the fastest growing binding format today. There are many reasons for this and I would like to cover all the pros and cons. I would also like to show you, with a video, how a coil binding machine works.

Coil binding is a format that uses tiny coils that look a lot like springs (found here). Other than the fact that coil binding coils are made from PVC plastic, they look almost identical to the spirals used in traditional spiral notebooks. PVC coils are available in different diameters, based on the thickness of the book you are binding, and come in a wide range of colors.

I personally think that coil binding looks very professional. I have personally used coil binding to bind instructional booklets and I have in my possession several cookbooks (family and neighborhood) that are bound in coil. Coil binding machines are affordable and can even be used at home. Popular brands include Akiles, Intelli-Bind and Tamerica.

Coil Binding MachinesI would like to now go over the pros:

  • Durability – Because coil-binding elements are made from PVC plastic, they are extremely durable. The hold up well with continued use, easily survive being dropped and can even be stepped on without suffering any damage. Durability alone is a huge reason to consider using coil binding.
  • Color – I have already mentioned this earlier, but coil binding comes in a variety of different colors. Popular colors include red, white, brown, green, blue, black and clear.  Custom colors are also available.
  • Page Turns – A book bound in coil is extremely easy to use. The round holds, combined with round-shaped elements, make page turns extremely easy. Pages can be wrapped around a full 360 degrees and pages lay extremely flat.
  • Speed – Binding a book with coil is extremely easy, especially if you have a machine that has an electric coil inserter. Simply punch the holes, insert the coils and crimp off the excess coil.

These are what I would consider to be the cons:

  • Modifications – You cannot add or remove pages to a coil bound document without cutting off the end of the coil and spinning the coil back out. The coil cannot be re-used. If you are removing or adding pages, a new coil would have to be used. On the bright side, this makes coil binding semi tamper proof.
  • Stability – Because coils are floppy and unstable, they don’t provide a lot of added stability to a book like comb or Velobind does. Your books stability is dependent entirely on the pages being bound. This isn’t a huge deal for most people.

Here is a video demo of a coil binding machine in use:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

In conclusion, coil binding is one of my favorite formats. It looks good, is functional and can be used for binding books as simple as a cookbook or as professional as a business proposal. You will find coil binding machines in schools, churches, homes and businesses.

You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Portable 72 Hour Emergency Kits

Friday, October 14th, 2011

72 Hour Emergency Kit on WheelsTornadoes, floods, earthquakes, fires, hurricanes and all other manner of disasters usually hit without warning and can often knock you off your feet (literately and figuratively). One great way to be prepared, whether it is for your family or business, is to use a 72 hour kit.

Seventy-two hour kits are designed to provide you with everything you need to keep going for 72 hours. This includes food, medical support, shelter, hygiene and more. These kits have to be portable, which is why a backpack is often the most common packaging used. It is recommended to have these kits readily available and near an exit in the event that you have to leave your home or office building quickly.

Many of the kits you find out there are designed with one thing in mind, profit. They often try to cram in as many cheap things as possible to help drive down cost and increase profit. When it comes to a 72-hour kit, you don’t want to buy something that is seconds rate. The 72-hour kits offered at ABC Office are packed with high-quality food, sanitary gear, shelter products and more.

One of our most popular kits is our emergency kit on wheels. This kit is a backpack, but also includes a deployable handle and sits on wheels. This makes it easy to cart along a sidewalk, floor or road. If you don’t need the handle or wheels, simply retract the handle back into the back and throw the kit on your back. The American Red Cross, Greater Salt Lake Chapter, prefers our wheeled backpack kit. It includes supplies that cover all 10 areas of survival requirements.

72 Hour Emergency Kit ContentsSince over 114 items are included with the kit (found here), I will list off a few of my favorite items.


  • Beef Jerky
  • Trail Mix
  • Oatmeal
  • Granola Bars
  • Noodle Soup

Personal Hygene

  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Lotion
  • Razor
  • Tooth Brush

First Aid

  • Guaze Pack
  • Dressings
  • Gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Bandages

Basic Items

  • Flashlight
  • Poncho
  • Blanket
  • Hand Warmers
  • Compass
  • Whistle

You can see the entire list of included items by going here.

While I think something like this is ideal for any home, it is also good to have at work. Available kits include office emergency kits, adult kits and even kid / children 72 hour kits.  You can find our entire selection of 72-hour kits and office emergency kits here. You won’t be disappointed.

Is Laminating / Lamination Film Waterproof?

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Pouch LaminatorIf you are laminating a sign or a banner, there is a chance you may want to use it outside. If it is outside, there is a chance it could be affected by rainwater, snow, sprinklers and other elements. A question I frequently get from customers shopping around for a laminator or for laminating film is, “Is laminating film waterproof?” This is a great question. This is my answer.

To begin with, there are two primary forms of lamination. One is pouch lamination, which is done using a pouch laminator. The other is roll lamination, which is done by a roll laminator. While both formats produce results that are very similar, the method is slightly different.

Pouch laminators use laminating pouches, which look very similar to a folder. Products are placed inside and they are run through the laminator. Heat, rollers and pressure is used to melt the thermally-activated glue, finishing the lamination process.

Roll Laminating FilmRoll laminators use two separate rolls of film. One roll is for the top and the other is for the bottom. As a sign or banner is run through the laminator, a layer of thermally activated glue is applied to the top and bottom.

Pouch laminators are typically used for smaller items, up to about a legal-size sheet of paper. Roll laminators are used for mass laminating and for laminating larger signs and banners.

Laminating film is waterproof as long as there is a sealed barrier around the sign or banner. This barrier prevents water from seeping in and damaging the paper, photo or sign. If for any reason you use scissors and cut into the film and into the laminated paper, water can now soak in from the edge.

Laminating film will, however, deteriorate over time as hot sun begins to break down the glue. This process usually takes months of direct harsh exposure to the elements. If the laminated item sits under an eve or isn’t in direct sunlight, it could potentially last years.

The sun can also cause colors to bleach over time. For this reason UV film was created. While it is a bit more expensive, UV film can help filter out bleaching sunrays and dramatically enhance and preserve color.

You can find our entire selection of laminating pouches / film here and our entire selection of roll lamination film here. We also offer a great selection of laminating machines here.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions about laminators or film.

What is a Reverse Flap Envelope?

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Folder InsertersAn envelope is just an envelope, right? Is there really that much difference from one to another? While on the surface business envelopes may seem as simple as a #9 or a #10 size, there is actually a lot more involved than you might think. A few of those differences include where the flap is located and where the windows are found.

One common question is “What is a reverse flap envelope?” Reverse flap envelopes, also known as reverse fold envelopes, have the folded flap on the bottom of the envelope rather than the top. There are a lot of reasons for this, with the primary reason being mass mailing and use with folder inserter machines.

This is an example of a reverse flap envelope:

Reverse Flap Envelopes

Reverse flap envelopes have mail inserted from the bottom rather than the top. The orientation of the address window is typically on the left side of the envelope. Bottom flap envelopes, due to the design and orientation, flow and run much better in envelope inserting machines. While most folding and inserting machines, such as those by Formax, can use a standard top flap envelope, bottom flap envelopes are preferred.

Once the bottom flap has been sealed shut, the envelope looks almost identical to a standard top flap envelope. To the customer, or envelope recipient, it is just a standard envelope. These types of envelopes are perfect for mailing bills, receipts, invoices, promotional material and more.

You can find our entire selection of Formax folder inserters here and Relyco business envelopes here.

How to Tell when It’s Time for a New Shredder

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Paper Shredder Maintenance, Parts & RepairsPaper shredders are effective at what they do. They cut, chew and tear up paper into undecipherable pieces of paper. As is the case with any piece of equipment, paper shredders will eventually die. So how do you know when it is time to purchase a new shredder? If you do need to purchase a new shredder, how do you know which one to get? Here are a few tips that should help you out.

Here are some telltale signs that your shredder may be in trouble:

  • Diminished Sheet Capacity – If your shredder is only shredding a 1/4 to ½ the sheets it should, it is possible that the motor may be failing or the shredder blades may be dull. This can also be indicative of a much simpler (and often fixable) problem of simply oiling the shredder.
  • Squealing or Noise – If your shredder is making strange sounds, popping or squealing, it may be on its last leg. While this issue is usually a symptom of a more serious issue, oiling can also help if the shredder blades are simply running dry.
  • Shredder Overheats – If your shredder overheats after just minutes of use, the motor may be going bad. Most non-thermally protected shredders can go for at least 30 minutes before needing to cool down. As mentioned earlier, shredder oil can sometimes fix this problem.
  • Slow Shredding Speed – If your shredder is running extremely slow, the motor may be failing. This symptom is often associated with a diminished shredding capacity as well. Most offices need speed, and if the speed isn’t there, the shredder probably needs to be replaced. Oiling the shredder blades can sometimes fix this issue.
  • More Frequent Jams – If the shredder continually jams, your shredder may be suffering from a broken gear tooth, misalignment or even chips in the shredder blades. In higher-end shredders, these parts can sometimes be replaced. In cheaper shredders, the shredder usually needs to be replaced.

Things to look for in a new paper shredder

  • Continuous Motor – If you’re a business, don’t even bother with a shredder that can overheat. You need a continuous-duty shredder that has a thermally protected motor.
  • Cross Cut Pattern – While strip cut is OK for some home use, most businesses need a cross cut shred pattern if they seriously want to destroy sensitive information.
  • Bin Capacity – If your shopping for an office paper shredder, get one that has a large bin capacity. In the US, shredder bins are measured in gallons. I recommend at least a 10-gallon bin for an office shredder.
  • Speed – If you don’t like sitting around the shredder all day, you probably need something that is fast. Speed, in my opinion, is equally important as capacity. Try to get something that runs at 10 feet per minute or faster.
  • Noise – I personally like to have a quiet shredder in the office. While most high-end office paper shredders are designed to be quiet, try to find something that is at least 65 decibels or quieter.
  • Brand – Brand is key to a good shredder. I know many people say brand isn’t everything, but I can tell you from experience that brand is everything when it comes to shredders. You will have a good paper shredder experience if you stick with the following brands:
  1. Dahle
  2. Destroyit
  3. Formax
  4. HSM
  5. Intinmus

I hope this information helps you in your pursuit of a new paper shredder. You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here. Please feel free to post your questions or comments on this article.

Heat Sealer with a Professional Finish?

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

AIE-210C Medical Impulse Bag SealerIf you are sealing bags with a heat sealer for retail sale purposes, your probably want something that looks presentable an professional. For this purpose, there are heat sealers that don’t just “seal” the bag shut, but use a professional cross-hatch or honeycomb pattern as well has have a built in cutter. There are machines out there that can do both.

I would say that at least 70%+ people out there simply want something that is functional and that gets the job done quickly and effectively. The other group of people also wants something presentable as well as professional in the finished product.

Those who simply want the job completed usually want a sealer for preservation, protection or for bulk packaging purposes. They don’t need “pretty,” they simply need “functional.” In these situations, they customer usually doesn’t need a wide seal or a built in trimmer. Some people, however, do need these qualities in a machine.

I spoke with a person today who wanted a 8″ wide heat sealer. I thought to myself, “I’ve got a great selection of Tish and Traco handheld sealers that should work!” I then went on to direct the customer to a few pages. I was specifically showing them the AIE-200, the AIE-205 and the TISH-200. These particular models I was showing the customer did not impress. The customer went on to tell me that they already had an AIE handheld sealer and they did not like the solid sealing pattern that it had.

After pinpointing exactly what the customer wanted, I discovered they wanted a machine with a wider seal and a “professional” finish. In particular, they wanted a crosshatch sealing pattern rather than a solid seal. It just so happens that AIE makes a few impulse bag sealers that have a honeycomb pattern. When I pointed this out to the customer, they were pretty excited. Some models even include a built in cutter, designed to trim off excess plastic. This is ideal for products that are going to be presented in a retail setting.

One great model that I recommended to our customer is the AIE-210C. This medical impulse bag sealer has a 10mm wide seal and uses a honeycomb texture pattern. The end results look great. It can be used for medical packaging or for other bag sealing purposes. You can find the AIE-210C impulse bag sealer here.

I have found that heat sealers by AIE and Traco are the best out there. You can find our entire selection of impulse bag sealers here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions. Also feel free to post a comment with any questions.

Why Use Relyco DURASEAL Secure Business Envelopes?

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Relyco DURASEAL Secure Business EnvelopesIf you send out bills, checks, invoices and other sensitive information via the USPS or other mailing services, you probably have the need of a secure envelope. These types of envelopes make it difficult to impossible to view contained documents. One of the most popular secure businesses envelope available is the DURASEAL line from Relyco. These envelopes are popular not only because of their quality and security, but also because of their unique ability to work with folding and inserting machines (aka envelope stuffing machines).

DURASEAL envelopes are designed from the ground up with security in mind. As of the writing of this article, DURASEAL envelopes come in #9 (3-7/8″ x 8-7/8″) and #10 (4-1/8″ x 9-1/2″) sizes. These envelopes feature a unique security tint. This tint obscures the contents by making the envelope impossible to see through, even when held up to a bright light.

Another important security feature in is the window. Many envelope windows make contents easy to see, including account numbers. All you need to do is shake the contents around or pull back on the window to see what’s inside. Relyco DURASEAL envelopes position the window slightly higher than normal to keep bank account information obscured.

There are currently about 8 different types of DURASEAL envelopes available, with the biggest differences being the positioning of the window and the positioning of the flap. This includes double windows and reverse bottom flaps. If for any reason the standard DURASEAL envelope doesn’t meet your needs, customized envelopes can be made. Call 1-800-658-8788 to request a custom envelope quote. Custom modifications include window location, window size, personal logos, colors and more.

One of the biggest reasons our customers like Relyco envelopes is their unique ability to work flawlessly with Formax automatic paper folder inserters. Relyco and Formax actually have a relationship where they have designed each others equipment and supplies to work well with each other. Relyco envelopes, including DURASEAL, can also be used with most other folding and inserting machines (aka envelope stuffing machines).

You can find our entire selection of Relyco business envelopes here and our entire selection of Formax folder inserters here.

Is Cerlox Binding and Comb Binding the Same?

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Cerlox Binding SuppliesI had a customer ask me a few days ago if we sold Cerlox binding supplies. The question floored me. I thought I had heard about every style and type of binding ever made. After digging around, and doing a little research, I discovered that I was not only familiar with Cerlox binding machines and supplies, I had used them for over 10 years.

To my surprise, I discovered that Cerlox (sometimes spelled Surelox or Surlox) binding is actually 19-ring comb binding. Same thing. No difference. If you ever have someone ask you to purchase or track down Cerlox binding supplies, you now know that comb binding supplies will do the trick. It’s much like calling a car an automobile and vice versa.

I can now safely say that we offer Cerlox binding supplies (found here). At ABC Office we offer a huge selection of comb binding machines, both manual and electric. Popular Cerlox brands (can’t help myself) include Fellowes, GBC, Ibico, Akiles, Tamerica, Intelli-Bind and Renz.

This style of binding is extremely popular because the supplies are cheap, readily available and can re-used over and over. It allows for pages to be added and removed and the supplies come in several different colors and diameters.

I have seen people use comb for binding cookbooks, presentations, photo albums, short stories, reports and books. Binding combs come in 11” lengths (19 rings) for letter-size paper and 297mm lengths (21 rings) for A4 paper. You can find our entire selection of Cerlox binding machines here and Cerlox biding supplies here.

Minipack Shrink Wrap Machine Impulse Sealing Blade Change Instructions

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Shrink Wrap MachinesAs is the case with any I-bar or L-bar impulse sealer, they will eventually wear out. Normal wear includes cracking, corrosion, being dull and difficulty cutting film. The average impulse-sealing blade lasts about a year. Once your blade is caput, how do you go about changing it? This article will go into great detail on how to change your impulse-sealing blade.

These instructions are specifically for the Minipack Galileo, Galaxy, Synthesis, Junior, Vision, Media, RP-Series, FM-Series, FC-Series, EP-Series, Replay-Series and Modular-Series. While these tips are specifically for Minipack Galileo, most L-bar sealers operate in a similar manner. Be aware that sealing blade, sealing knife and sealing wire are often used interchangeably.

Minipack Impulse Sealing Blade Installation:

STEP 1 – Loosen the screws that hold the sealing blade in place. This involves a left clamp, center clamp and rear clamp. A brass piston, found in the left and rear clamps, will snap back from spring compression. This is normal. You can now remove the old sealing blade. Check for ware and replace if needed.

Minipack Impulse Blade Change Instructions Part 1

STEP 2 – Working from the back, insert the new sealing blade into the rear brass clamp piston. Do this until it cannot be inserted further. Be aware that the sealing blade must contact the bottom of the brass piston. It needs to make it past the set screw.

Using your left hand, press the blade about 6″ into seat. While holding the blade in place, push the clamp piston forward using an 8mm nut driver. The blade should move forward about ¾”. Release the clamp and continue to press the blade into the seat.

Minipack Impulse Blade Change Instructions Part 2

STEP 3 – You will now need to use your thumb to bend the blade, allowing it to fit inside the seat of the corner clamp. While holding the sealing blade wire in place, continue pressing the blade into the seat until it reaches the left front clamp.

Minipack Impulse Sealing Knife Changing Instructions Part 3

STEP 4 – You will now need to completely loosen the left clamp assembly. Once loose, continue pressing the sealing blade into the seat. Cut the sealing blade approximately 7/8″ past the aluminum channel. Be careful not to cut the sealing blade too short as the retention screw will not be able to hold the blade. If the sealing blade is too long, it will pop out. The brass clamp must be 2mm from the aluminum channel. Re-assemble the left clamp and follow STEP 2.

Minipack Shrink Wrap Sealing Knife Change Instructions Part 4

STEP 5 – Using a soft object, such as wood, push down firmly on the center blade assembly and tighten the set screw. Be aware that improper set screw alignment can lead to the sealing blade popping out during operation.

Minipack Blade Sealing Change Instructions Part 5

STEP 6 – Push the rear clamp forward using an 8mm nut driver and tighten the set screw. Be aware that the brass piston needs to be 2mm away from the aluminum channel.

If for any reason you are having trouble changing the sealing blade, or you need a few additional tips, please feel free to call our Service Department at 800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines, supplies and accessories here.

Need to Save Money? Free Shipping on Formax Paper Shredders!

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Formax Paper ShredderIf you’re in the market for a solid and reliable paper shredder, there has never been a better time than now. Formax, one of the top 5 best office paper shredder brands around, is offering free shipping on their ENTIRE line of paper shredders for the month of September. This will save you money for multiple reasons.

To begin with, the free shipping is a huge savings alone. Many of these high-end paper shredders have to ship via freight truck. With gas prices as high as they are, freight shipping isn’t exactly cheap. This should easily save you hundreds of dollars on each of our Formax paper shredders.

Another reason why this will save you money is because you are probably now more likely to buy a Formax paper shredder. Because Formax paper shredders are some of the best available, this means they will last you for years to come. As a result, you won’t be buying a new paper shredder every few months or every year, saving you even more money.

Having used Formax paper shredders for years myself, not to mention we use them here at ABC Office for our own paper shredding needs, I can attest to the fact that Formax paper shredders are solid. They feature excellent metal construction, hardened steel blades and solid electronics. You won’t be disappointed.

You can view our entire selection of Formax paper shredders here. Good luck and happy shopping!

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