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 sales@abcoffice.com.

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 sales@abcoffice.com.


Archive for the ‘Tips & Advice’ Category

Business Card Laminating Pouches – A Professional Finish

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Laminating Business CardsWhile many things in this world have gone digital, business cards still play an important role in helping establish contacts and promoting an individual or business. There are many ways to create, produce and print business cards. Some are glossy, some have a dull luster and others are created on a laser printer. Regardless of the style of business card you use, you can benefit from laminating them with a business card laminating pouch (found here).

Lamination adds a lot of qualities and benefits to a business card. Aesthetically, it looks great. A laminated business card has a nice shine and glossy “new” look to it. If you don’t like the glossy look, matte pouches are also available. Laminated business cards have several other benefits:

  • They have a longer lifespan.
  • They don’t get bent out of shape.
  • They are less likely to be discarded.
  • They have a professional sturdy feel to them.
  • They are waterproof.
  • They stand out from other business cards.

Business Card Laminating PouchesBusiness card laminating pouches measure in at 2 ¼” x 3 ¾” in size (5.72 cm x 9.53 cm). The standard business card is 2″ x 3.5″ in size. The laminating pouch adds a thin border around the card for added security and durability. This border is usually no more than 1/8″ wide. While most people are fine with a small border, it can be trimmed off by using a rotary paper cutter (found here).

Business card laminating pouches are typically sold in quantities of 100 per box and generally cost less than $5 per pack. They come in different thicknesses, referred to as mil thickness (1 mil = .001″). The higher the mil thickness, the thicker the pouch.

Which mil thickness should you use? In the business card size, there are 5, 7 and 10 mil thick options. The thickness you use really depends on the thickness of your card. If your business card is printed on card stock, you are probably going to be fine with a 5 mil thick pouch. Five mils is the most popular thickness. If you are printing your own business cards on thin stock or standard copy paper, I recommend using a 7 mil thick pouch. Once all is said and done, a 10-mil pouch will give our business card the thickness, weight and feel of a credit card.

Laminating a business card is easy. Place your business card in the pouch, place the pouch in a carrier and run it through a laminator (found here). Once done, you may want to consider rounding the corners by using a corner rounder (found here).

At ABC Office, we offer bulk quantity discounts. We offer price breaks at 5 boxes, 10 boxes, 25 boxes and 50 boxes of film. We are a wholesaler for laminating pouches, so we can typically get you the best price possible. If for any reason you find the price for less, we can almost always match it. You can find our entire selection of business card laminating pouches here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Using AIE Bag Sealers for Food Storage Purposes

Monday, March 5th, 2012

AIE-305A1 Bag SealerI had an opportunity over the weekend to package food in #10 cans and foil bag pouches for food storage purposes. I packaged black beans, potato flakes, spaghetti, oats and more. It actually ended up being really fun. What really surprised me is that the facility I was at was using an AIE-305A1 bag sealer (found here), which we just happen to sell here at ABCOffice.com. It was fun to see a piece of equipment, which we offer, being used in the wild

So what is a bag sealer (aka heat sealer)? Have you ever purchased a bag of beef jerky, a bag of candies, opened a hard drive from an anti-static bag or torn open a Mylar bag that was full of dried fruit? These are all items that were sealed using a bag sealer. These sealers use heat to seal the open end of plastic bags for packaging and preservation purposes. These bags range in thickness, size and material composition. The bag you use will depend entirely on what you are packaging.

Mylar Barrier Bags for Heat SealersThe foil pouch bags (aka Mylar barrier bags) that I was using were made of multiplayer laminated plastic and aluminum. The bags were 7 mils thick (1 mil = .001″) and are designed to protect food from moisture, rodents, insects and other environmental factors that can decrease the life of food. The pouches I was using were designed to hold up to a gallon of food. This was large enough to hold 7 pounds of wheat, 5 pounds of dry milk or 6.8 pounds of white rice. These bags were lined with food grade plastic. The aluminum barrier helps to prevent moisture and oxygen.

If you want to package food for long term storage (sometimes up to 30 years at a time), the food will need to meat few criteria:

  • The food has to be dry (10% moisture or less)
  • Low in oil content
  • Shelf-stable

Using the AIE-305A1 bag sealer (found here) was extremely easy. These are the steps I took to package my food:

AIE-305A1 Settings: Set the recycle dial to 2, the Congealing dial to 6, the Sealing dial to 4 and the Action Selector switch to manual. I recommend setting the heat sealer 5 inches above the table or desk surface. This can be done by setting it on a block of wood, books or something else that can support and elevate the machine. This makes operation easier.

  1. Fill the pouch with the food product. Don’t overfill the back as this can result in a poor seal. If you are packaging powder, be sure the area that will be sealed is clean.
  2. Place an oxygen absorber on the top of the food inside the pouch.
  3. Turn on the AIE heat sealer.
  4. Place the open end of the pouch into the machine. Let the bag rest on the table or shelf.
  5. Pull the sides of the pouch outward to ensure everything is flat.
  6. Fold the top of the pouch over (at about 1 ½” from the top) at a right angle.
  7. Now press the bag and expel remaining air from inside.
  8. Open the folded top bag open for sealing.
  9. Hold the bag by the sides and insert the open end of the pouch into the heat sealers jaw.
  10. Remove any wrinkles.
  11. Activate the AIE heat sealers jaw by pressing the foot pedal.

There you go! It is recommended to test the seal for any leaks. If any air can be forced out or if the seam can be pulled apart, you may need to re-seal the bag. You may also need to adjust the sealing dial from 4 to 4.25. If the seams seem to be burned, decrease the sealing dial from 4 to 3.75. Also remember to not overfill the pouches as this will result in a poor seal as well.

Where should sealed pouches be stored? I recommend putting sealed pouches of food in a cool and dry location. This should preferably be in a rodent-free area as rodents can chew through the aluminum / plastic material. If you have a rodent issue, you can place the sealed bags of food in a metal trashcan or other rodent-proof container.

While the 14″ wide AIE-305A1 (5mm seal) was the machine of choice where I was packaging food, you can use other heat sealers to complete the process.

American International Electric (AIE) makes some of the best heat sealers, bag sealers and shrink wrap machines available. Their machines have an industrial look to them and are made from solid metal components and long-lasting electronics. You can find our entire selection of AIE heat sealers here and our entire selection of bag heat sealers here.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions regarding heat sealers. You can also leave your questions here as a comment.

Waiting Room Benches by Wooden Mallet

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Waiting Room Benches by Wooden MalletWaiting room benches (found here) provide a comfortable, easy-to-clean and portable way to provide comfortable seating for customers, clients, patients and customers. Wooden mallet, one of the best-known manufacturers of waiting room benches, offers several different seating options. Could one of these work for you?

If you have an office lobby or a waiting room, there are several things you can do to provide a more comfortable experience to your customer or patient. Customers who have a pleasant experience in a waiting room are more inclined to remember it begin an overall “good” experience and in turn are more likely to return for a later visit. This makes good business sense and good customer service sense.

One feature you may want to consider using is a magazine rack (found here). Reading material helps time pass by more quickly. Several floor, wall mounted and countertop magazine rack options are available at a reasonable price. Once you have provided your customer with good reading material, it is nice to have a comfortable place to sit.

If waiting room times range between five and 30 minutes, a great (and affordable) option is to use a padded bench. Benches come in single, double, triple and quadruple variations. These benches are designed to easily sit against a wall or be used directly in the open. The can be used from either side and are convenient for sitting or lying down.

Because there are few nooks and crannies on these benches, they are extremely easy to clean. There are several other features that make Wooden Mallet waiting room benches an ideal option. To begin with, they are made with one-inch thick solid oak. This oak build allows them to hold hundreds of pounds. This sturdy oak frame also eliminates annoying creaking and bending. Solid oak is simply more durable than cheap pressed wood benches.

These chairs all feature soft lush padding. This padding makes sitting comfortable and fabrics are available in several different colors and patterns, depending on your preference. The wood stain is also available in your choice of light oak, medium oak and mahogany.

Assembly of these waiting room benches is extremely easy and does not require any special tools. Simply use the included slide brackets and you’re ready to go.

We currently offer four different models of waiting room benches:

If you expect your customers, clients and patients to be waiting in excess of 30 minutes, you may want to consider using a Wooden Mallet waiting room chair:

These chairs feature the same quality as the benches, but include a supportive back rest.

Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions about our Wooden Mallet furniture or regarding waiting room furniture options. Remember, we have a low-price guarantee on our entire line of Wooden Mallet Furniture!

SigLite or SignatureGem? – Topaz Signature Capture Pads

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Topaz Signature Capture PadsIf you are shopping around for a stand-alone digital signature capture pad that can be used with a computer, while creating legally binding signatures, you may want to consider a signature pad from Topaz (found here). Topaz signature capture pads are considered to be the best, bare none. With that in mind, should you use a SigLite or a SignatureGem?

Topaz signature capture pads are used by pharmacies, DMVs, government entities, offices, retailers (receipts) and more to create legally binding signatures on documents and other forms. They can be connected to a computer via USB or via a standard serial port (depending on the model). These pads can be integrated into Adobe for use with PDF documents, MS Word (up to 2007) and many other programs.

Topaz has this to say about their signature capture pads:

The Topaz approach to electronic documents and contracts with signatures is to mimic the tried-and-true methods of ink-on-paper contracts, documents, and authentication.  This is good news because all current state and federal digital handwritten signature regulations are based on the same approach.  One of the things that this means is that Topaz .sig data contains the original signature data and little else. A Topaz e-signature is original signature data bound in such a way that the signature can only be verified in the context of the original document.    We have designed the software so that document data including meaning and the identity of the signer stay as originally authored in the document. This allows compliance with FDA regulation 21 code, Part 11, section 11.50, and state regulations such as CA 220002(b)(4)(A) and (B). Systems which display and store meaning and identity information separately from the document appear to violate various government requirements.   By keeping traditional pen-and-paper document data where it belongs – in the document, the Topaz system avoids potential security and refutability problems that may plague other electronic signature systems.

While this may all sound complicated, it basically means that a signature generated on a Topaz signature pad is just as legally binding (and even more secure) than a signature on standard paper. Other capacitive and resistive capture devices (including phones, pads and tablets) don’t offer the legally binding capabilities or the security of a Topaz unit.

There are two main categories of Topaz digital signature pads. They are all solid units, but each are designed to meet the needs of different entities. These two categories are the SigLite and SignatureGem models. Here are the basic differences between the two:

Topaz SigLite 1 x 5 Signature Capture PadSigLite – The SigLite is the most basic signature capture pad Topaz offers. This pad comes in a wide variety of screen sizes and designs. Two of the most popular models include the Topaz SigLite 1 x 5 (found here) and the Topaz SigLiteLCD 1 X5 (found here). The LCD version of the SigLite includes an LCD screen that can display text, graphics and the signature as it is being made. The typical SigLite signature capture pad has a 10,000-signature lifespan. This makes the SigLite ideal for low to medium-volume use. This is more than enough capacity for most people. Bundled software is included with the SigLites. As is the case with Topaz pads, a developer kit is available, allowing the SigLite to be integrated into other systems.

Topaz SignatureGem 1 x 5 Signature Capture PadSignatureGem – The SignatureGem is the workhorse of the signature capture pad industry. These signature pads are designed for medium to high-volume signature capture volumes. The SignatureGems can be used to capture up to 250,000+ signatures, which is over 25 times the lifespan of a SigLite. As is the case with the SigLites, the SignatureGems come in a standard and an LCD version and most come with USB or standard serial connectivity. Popular models include the Topaz SignatureGem 1 x 5 (found here) and the Topaz SignatureGemLCD 1 x 5 (found here).

Both of these lines of signature capture devices feature both Windows and Linux support. Bundled software includes:

  • Support for Word, Excel, Access, Acrobat, Notes and Domino, HTML, Java, ASP, VB, VC++, Delphi, Images, Crystal Reports, etc.
  • Supported Windows Operating Systems: 95, 98, NT, ME, 2000, XP, Vista (32 & 64 bit), Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit)
  • Other Supported Operating Systems: Linux support using either the JAVA or the C++ Software Tool Kits.
  • Signature Encryption, Document Binding, Transaction Receipts

We sell these pads every day and our customers are very satisfied with the quality, the price and the ease-of-use. If you are considering going digital, or adding digital signature capabilities to your existing hardware or software, consider one of our Topaz devices. You can find our entire selection of Topaz signature capture pads here.

While these signature capture devices are pretty straightforward, you may have questions about how these can be used with your existing computers, software or hardware. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with those questions or post your question as a comment. I would love to hear from you.

How Does a Pouch Laminator Work?

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Pouch LaminatorsPouch laminators (found here) are the most popular type of laminating machines used today. This is because they are affordable, can be used by just about anyone and the supplies are extremely affordable. While the end results are pretty obvious, have you ever wondered how one actually works? This article will cover in great detail exactly how a pouch laminator works.

Why do people use laminators? Most people who use a pouch laminator want to add an extra layer of protection or stability to a document. This may be a picture, a card, a sign or other piece of material. While some laminators can be used with plastic sheets or foam core mounting board, most are used with some sort of paper. Laminated documents are water resistant, are easy to clean and do not damage easily.

There are two crucial elements to keep in mind when talking about how a pouch laminator works. This includes pressure and heat. I would first like to explain how the laminating pouches themselves work.

Laminating pouches (found here) consist of a hard plastic outer shell with a softer plastic lining. The lining, which usually makes up about half of the pouches thickness, gets soft and liquefies with heat. It is very similar in makeup to a hot glue stick. As this glue softens, it sticks to the object that has been placed inside the pouch. Once heat is removed, the glue cools and solidifies. The cooled glue is clear and transparent.

A pouch laminator essentially provides the heat and the pressure needed to make the pouch look good. You could technically use a hot iron to laminate a pouch, but the end results wouldn’t look very good. A laminator has a heating element. This may be in the form of a heating plate or as heated rollers. This is how the heat is transferred to the laminating film.

As the pouch warms up, pressure is applied to the pouch via silicon rollers. Pouch laminators feature at least 2 rollers (top and bottom), with many including four, six or even more rollers. As a general rule, the more rollers you have the better the results will be.

This diagram shows you where the rollers are generally located, where you typically find the heat source and how the carrier (with the film) makes its way through the laminator:

Pouch Laminator Diagram

 

Sometimes seeing things in action helps better demonstrate a point. This is a video demo of a thermal pouch laminator being used. This will demonstrate how a laminator works from start to finish.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

The end results look great. Laminating pouches themselves come in a wide variety of sizes and thickness. The thickness of the pouch is referred to as a mil (thousandth of an inch). Not all laminators can handle higher mil thicknesses. Prior to purchasing film, find out what your laminator’s maximum thickness is.

Features you may want to look for in your pouch laminator, that I consider to be nice to have, include an adjustable temperature control (for precision laminating) and a reverse switch (in the event your laminator gets jammed). I also like a laminator that has an independent switch for the motor and for the heating element.

You can read step-by-step instructions on how to use a pouch laminator by reading our guide here.

Many people ask me which brands I personally recommend. I have used and like laminators by Tamerica, Fellowes, Intelli-Lam and Banner American. You can find our entire selection of pouch laminators here and pouch laminating film here.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions regarding pouch laminators. You’re also more than welcome to leave a question as a comment. Happy laminating!

How Does a Paper Drill Work?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Paper DrillsHave you ever-wondered how ruled paper is three-hole punched for use in a three-ring binder? Even if you’ve never put much thought into it, it is a very interesting process. While you may imagine people sitting in a factory with a paper punch, paper manufacturers actually use paper drills (found here) to put holes in paper. So how exactly does a paper drill work?

While paper punches are great for use in an office for occasional hole punching, they aren’t very fast and require a bit of effort to use. Punching through a one-inch stack of paper could potentially take several minutes. A paper drill can complete the same process, with clear results, in just second.

Paper drills are very similar in function and even a bit in appearance to a standard wood drill press. They share several basic components. Paper drills feature a spinning motor attached to a drill bit. The bit is then pressed, by manual, electric or hydraulic means, into the paper. The bit, once it has made its way through a piece of paper then rests on a wood block located on the opposite side.

There are some major differences, however, between a paper drill press and a wood drill press. To begin with, paper drills use hollow bits. As the drill spins, it cuts through the paper. Cut paper holes then travel up the drill’s shaft until it reaches a catch tray located in the top or back of the drill.

This is a video demo of a single-spindle paper drill in action:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Many people ask if they can use a paper drill bit on a standard wood drill press. The answer to that question is no. Chuck incompatibility issues aside, the hollow bit has nowhere to deposit the drilled holes of paper, resulting in a complete failure of the bit after just a few minutes.

Popular brands of paper drills include Martin Yale, Lassco Spinnit, MBM, FP (File Pecker) and others. So what exactly separates one paper drill from another?

  • Number of Spindles: Entry level paper drills typically only feature a single drill bit (aka spindle). From there you can find two and three-spindle paper drills. Three holes can still be drilled using a single-spindle machine, but will require multiple passes.
  • Power Source: Some paper drills are manual, requiring the force of the drill to be powered by an individual pulling on a handle. Other presses apply drilling force via an electric motor or via hydraulics.

If you are a business, a factory, a manufacturer of paper or handle paper on a regular basis, you may have need of a paper drill. These machines are very easy to operate and can drill through inches of paper in just seconds. You can find our entire selection of paper drills here.

We have been selling paper drills since 1980, so we have a lot of experience setting these machines up and using them. If you are just starting out researching paper drills, or are looking for a specific model, please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with your questions.

Laminating Film Conversion Guide (Mils, Microns, Inches and Gauge)

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Lamination FilmIf you have been shopping around for laminating film, pouches or lamination rolls (found here), you have probably come across terms such as mil thickness or micron thickness. There are several different ways to measure the thickness of a laminating pouch. I have come up with this conversion chart that should help you determine which pouch thickness you need and which your laminator can handle.

In the United States, lamination film is typically measured in mils and in Europe it is measured in microns (aka micrometer). One is based on English measurements and the other is based on the metric system. In between these two common measurements are other less common measuring units used for determining the thickness of film.

In the US, laminating film usually comes in 1.5, 3, 5, 7 and 10 mil thickness. The higher the number, as is the case with microns, the thicker the film. Because most people in the United States measure laminating film by mils, I am going to use mils as the base measurement.

Here is a chart that will help you with your conversions:

Lamination Film Conversion Chart Mills Microns Gauge

Hopefully this information helps you out. As far as mil thickness goes, I have found that 3 and 5 mils are the most popular for pouch laminators and 1.5 and 3 mils are most popular for roll laminators. Ultimately the thickness you use will depend on preference, budget, purpose and laminator capabilities. As you probably know, the thicker the film, the more it will cost.

At ABC Office we offer a great selection of pouch laminating film (found here) and lamination rolls (found here). Our film is extremely affordable, is made from high quality materials and produces beautiful results. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions regarding what type of laminating film you may need.

We also offer a great selection of pouch laminators (found here) and roll laminators (found here).

Affordable Alternatives to the MBM Triumph 4305

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

MBM Triumph 4305 Stack Paper CutterThe MBM Triumph line of stack paper cutters are immensely popular for many reasons. They are German made, which typically means precision, and they typically hold up for years without issue. One of the most popular Triumph stack cutters is the Triumph 4305 (found here). This manually operated stack cutter is affordable and ideal for low to medium volume stack cutting. What can you do if the budget doesn’t allow for one? Are there any good alternatives?

The Model 4305 is a 100% manual stack cutter. That means that the clamping mechanism, the backstop and the cutting blade are all either adjusted or powered by manual effort. While manual may sound exhausting, this cutter requires very little strength or physical power to operate. This is all due in part to the mechanics and design. The long angled blade handle is leveraged in such a way, combined with gears, that cutting an inch of paper can be done using a single finger.

Triumph is by far one of my favorite lines of stack cutters. If the funds permit, definitely go with a Triumph. If the funds don’t permit, however, it is nice to know that there are some great alternatives out there. I am speaking of Intelli-Cut.

Intelli-Cut paper cutters, made by Intelli-Zone, are designed for precision cutting as well, but at a much lower price. Intelli-Cut paper cutters are often 25-30% less than their Triumph counterparts. Does this mean the Intelli-Cut cutters are just as good as Triumph? Having used both, I can say that I think they both have a good build quality and are both solid. I still have to give the edge to Triumph (barely), but I think you will probably be equally as happy with the Intelli-Cut.

Which Intelli-Cut stack cutters are the equivalent to the Triumph 4305? Here are two cutters that fit the bill:Intelli-Cut 530M Stack Paper Cutter

  • Intelli-Cut 530M Stack Cutter (found here) – This stack cutter mechanically and physically almost identical to the Triumph. It has a mechanical clamping mechanism, a manually adjusted backstop and a manual cutting arm. The safety features are even almost identical. You still have to have the covers in place, and lift on a safety lever, prior to making a cut. Unlike the Triumph 4305, the 530M includes a handy optical cutting line that lets you know exactly where the blade will make its cut.
  • Intelli-Cut 530D Stack Cutter (found here) – This stack cutter is identical to the 530M except for one detail. The 530D has a digital measurement display, located on the top front of the machine, that lets you know in centimeters or inches where the back stop is located. This is nice for making measurements and adjustments.

Regardless of whether you ultimately go with a Triumph or an Intelli-Cut paper cutter, I’m certain you will be satisfied with the end results. You can find our entire selection of Triumph stack paper cutters here and our Intelli-Cut paper cutters here.

Feel free to post a comment, or call us at 1-800-658-8788, with any questions.

Are Counterfeit Money Detectors Fool Proof?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Counterfeit Bill ScannerIf you are trying to stop counterfeit detection dead in its tracks, there are several tools available to help you achieve this. One question that you may be thinking is, “Are counterfeit money detectors (found here) totally fool proof?” There are many answers to this question and a lot of it depends on the technology you are using. Here are a few tips that may help you out.

To begin with, you should know that counterfeiters are constantly coming up with new and creative ways to fool the system. This should come as no surprise. High-definition printers, bleaching techniques and more make keeping ahead of the curve more and more difficult. While the U.S. government is releasing bills that make counterfeiting more difficult, manufacturers of counterfeit bill detectors are also getting more creative.

I would like to first cover common methods for counterfeiting money and then cover the various types of counterfeit bill detectors you may want to use.

What are the most common methods of counterfeiting money?

  • Copy Machine – This is very easy to detect, but on a dark or low lit room, a bill printed on a copy machine may still fly. This becomes more difficult when printed on paper with a similar color and texture to real bill paper.
  • Computer Printer (Laser or Inkjet) – This is one of the most common methods of counterfeiting bills. Full-color high definition printers can produce convincing copies.
  • Printing Press – This is far more sophisticated and is uncommon with the availability of cheap printers. Rogue countries will sometimes use sophisticated printing presses to counterfeit US bills.
  • Bleaching – People will bleach lower denomination bills and re-print it with a higher value. This is the method is very common and will fool some counterfeit detectors.

Bill Counter with Counterfeit ScanningTypes of Counterfeit Detectors

  • Pen – The counterfeit pen uses ink that reacts with starch found in normal paper. This will cause a dark mark to appear on counterfeit bills, where it appears clear on legitimate money. This format, however, will not work with bleached bills. This is not 100% accurate.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) – UV detection uses a black light to illuminate a strip found in real US currency. The strip is located in different places, depending on the denominational value. You can see where these strips are located by going here. If you are visually checking a counterfeit bill, this method is almost 100% accurate. Machines that automatically scan bills for UV properties may still be tricked by bleached bills.
  • Magnetic (MG) – This method of counterfeit detection checks certain places on the bill for magnetic ink. A bill that has been copied on standard paper will not have magnetic ink. Even bills that have been bleached will loose their magnetic ink properties. This method is almost 100% accurate.
  • Watermark (WM) – Most bills have a watermark that can be seen with a backlight. Be sure the watermark that is displayed matches up with the corresponding portrait that is printed on the bill. While this method of counterfeit detection is extremely accurate, a bleached bill that has been reprinted may still have a portrait, just not a corresponding portrait.
  • Visual – There are several visual properties in a bill that can be detected by the naked eye, or by using a magnifying glass, to determine the authenticity of a bill.
  • Combination Detectors – Many detectors will incorporate UV and MG detection. Many automated bill counters will do this. A combination machine, that checks for multiple properties, will almost always catch counterfeit money.

At ABC Office we offer a great selection of counterfeit money detectors (found here) that can be used to catch fake bills before they become a problem. We also offer a wide selection of bill counters (found here) that are equipped with counterfeit bill scanners.

If you still have questions about the correct machine for your business, please feel free to speak with one of our experts by calling us at 1-800-658-8788.

Signs Your Paper Cutter Blade is Dull

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

As is the case with all blades, knives and cutters, they will eventually become dull with continued use. This is the case with rotary paper trimmers, stack cutters and guillotines. While all blades will dull, it is sometimes hard to determine if a blade is dull or if the paper cutter is simply having mechanical issues. This article will cover the symptoms of a dull blade and what parts you will need to replace if your paper cutter is dull.

While there is an entire range of different styles of paper cutters out there, there are three main categories that are used by 90% of people. These paper cutters include rotary, stack and guillotine. Each of these cutters use a sharpened blade to cut paper, but the process varies greatly from one format to another. I would like to start off by covering dull rotary cutters, followed by dull stack cutters and finishing with dull guillotines.

Dull Paper Cutter Symptoms

Rotary Paper CuttersRotary Paper Cutters (found here)

ABOUT  – Rotary paper cutters use a round blade to roll across and cut paper, much like a pizza cutter slices through pizza. Some rotary cutters, dubbed self-sharpening rotary cutters, also incorporate a base blade, which usually looks like a strip of metal. As the rotary cutter blade slides along the rail, the round blade rubs against the base blade. This ensures a more accurate cut while also helping to keep the rotary cutter’s round blade sharp.

SYMPTOMS – The first sign of a dull rotary cutter blade are usually manifested in decreased cutting capacity. If your rotary cutter cut 15 sheets out of the box, but is now only cutting 7 or 8 easily, your rotary blade is becoming dull. Another symptom of a dull rotary cutting wheel is burrs forming on the edge of the paper.

REPLACEMENT – Replacing the rotary cutter blade is typically an affordable and easy process. If you have a self-sharpening rotary cutter, be sure to replace the cutting wheel and the base blade as well. While some cutters require the entire cutting head to be replaced, most only require the cutting wheel itself to be replaced, which is far less expensive than replacing the entire paper cutter.

Stack Paper CuttersStack Paper Cutters (found here)

ABOUT – Stack paper cutters use a flat wide blade to cut through hundreds of sheets of paper at a time. This includes simple 20# bond paper up to heavy-duty card stock. This blade is brought down horizontally, with manually leveraged pressure, an electric motor or hydraulic pressure driving the blade. These cutters are popular in print shops, copy centers and with businesses that have specialized cutting needs.

SYMPTOMS – A dull stack cutter blade will have trouble cutting through all the sheets of paper. This should not be confused with a worn-out cutting stuck. The bulk majority of the time that a stack paper cutter is struggling cutting through all the paper, the blade is usually misaligned or the cutting stick needs to be rotated.

In manually powered stack cutters, required cutting effort might increase with a dull blade. Another symptom is cutting lines or artifacts showing along the edge of a cut stack of paper, which is often the result of a nick or gouge caused by cutting through a staple or paper clip.

REPLACEMENT – Before replacing your stack paper cutter blade, be aware that most blades can be re-sharpened about six times. This will save you a lot of money over purchasing a new blade every single time. Blade sharpening should always be considered when purchasing a new stack paper cutter. If the stack cutter’s blade cannot be re-sharpened, consider buying one that can. You will save a lot of money in the long run. It isn’t a bad idea, however, to have an extra blade on hand to prevent downtime while the other blade is being re-sharpened.

Guillotine Paper CuttersGuillotine Paper Cutters (found here)

ABOUT – Stack cutters, often referred to as arm cutters, use a curved long blade with a handle on the end. This blade is manually pulled down, sliding up next to a base blade, cutting paper in a scissor-like motion. Stack cutters are ideal for accurately cutting a lot of paper at once.

SYMPTOMS – Symptoms of a dull guillotine blade typically start with diminished cutting capacity. If the cutter used to cut 30 sheets at a time, and now only cuts 20 or fewer, you may have a dull blade. Cutting through paper clips and staples with a guillotine will often result in a damaged or dull blade.

REPLACEMENT – Replacement blades are available for most guillotines and typically take just minutes to replace. Replacement usually involves removing the safety guard, removing the cutting arm and removing the base blade. Remember, always change the blade on the guillotine’s arm as well as the base blade.

Hopefully this helps you determine whether or not you have a dull blade. At ABC Office we offer replacement blades for most of the paper cutters we offer. This includes Dahle, Kutrimmer, Dahle, Rotatrim, Carl and many other brands. If you can find the blade you need, contact one of our associates at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of new paper cutters here.

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