Why Use A Paper Shredder Bag?

April 20th, 2010

Paper Shredder BagsWhat is the purpose of a shredder bag? Obviously they are used in a shredder for holding shred particles, but are they necessary? Why not just use a garbage bag? Seems simple enough. Here are a few answers to these commonly asked questions.

Shredder bags are used in paper shredders to collect shredded documents. Seems simple enough. The nice thing about shredder bags is that they make emptying a paper shredder easy. Simply pull out the bin, tie off the bag and put in a new bag.

I have emptied shredders that didn’t use a shred bag. It was not easy. Static electricity builds in shredded paper and the end result was a huge mess with diamond-shaped particles all over the floor.

So, we have determined that shredder bags are a good thing. So why not just use a garbage bag? The reason: the bags don’t fit. Sure you can use a large garbage bag in a shredder, but there is usually excess bag and gaps are left open.

In the end, you have to change your bag more often, because a large portion of the bin is filled with excess bag plastic. Because the bag doesn’t fit correctly, gaps cause particles of paper to still fall into the cabinet of the shredder, causing a mess anyway.

We offer a great selection of exact-fit shredder bags for Fellowes, Destroyit, Dahle, Kobra, Intimus and other brands. Our bags are OEM replacement bags designed to fit your shredder like a glove. Using a correct-size bag makes all the difference in the world when it comes to emptying a shredder. You can find our entire selection of shredder bags here.

HIPAA Compliant Privacy Chart Holders

April 19th, 2010

HIPAA Chart HolderPatient privacy is a big deal, due in large part to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). Not only do unused patient documents need to be destroyed, but active patient documents need to be protected as well. Gone are the days of clear plastic chart holders in medical facilities, hospitals and doctors’ offices.

Chart holders now have to have the front panel be completely blocked. This is done to protect patient privacy and prevents random people from seeing this data. Most of these chart holders are made out of wood. The chart holder pocket is deep enough to protect the data, but still allows tabs to be visible for easy access.

ABC Office carries over a dozen different HIPAA compliant chart holders. These chart holders include standard wood chart holders, open ended chart holders and deep pocket chart holders. These chart holders include all necessary mounting hardware and are available in different wood stains. Most of ABC Office’s chart holders will fit right in with existing furniture.

You can find ABC Office’s HIPAA compliant chart holders here.

What Are The Most Common Fold Types? (Paper Folding Machines)

April 16th, 2010

Paper Folding MachinesSo what are the most common fold types used today? Can you expect your folding machine to create them all? I will go over some of the most common folds used by paper folders and answer a few common paper folder questions. Let’s start with the most common fold types.

The two most common fold types used today are the letter fold and accordion fold. These two fold styles are also commonly called the C fold (letter) and Z fold (accordion). Both of these fold types are used for sending mailers and letters. The letter fold (C fold) is the most common.

The next most common fold is the half fold, sometimes referred to as the single or “V” fold. This basically involves folding a single sheet of paper in half. This is commonly used for creating programs for concerts, plays and other events.


Single (Half, V)
Single (Half, V) fold
Standard Letter (C)
Letter (C) fold
Z (Accordion) fold
Z (Accordion) fold

A few other less common, but standard folds, are the double parallel fold, French fold (aka cross fold), half accordion fold (aka engineering fold) and gate fold. You will see an example of theses folds below.


Double Parallel  fold
Double Parallel
fold
Cross Fold (French, Right)  fold
Cross Fold
(French, Right) fold
Half Accordion (Fold-out, Engineering) fold
Half Accordion
(Fold-out, Engineering) fold
Gate fold
Gate fold

Most paper folders can create the folds mentioned, with the French fold probably being the exception. While the French fold is pretty common with paper folders, not all are capable of creating it.

Can paper folders create custom folds? Most paper folders will give you the option of tweaking the fold plates and creating your own custom folds.

You may view our entire line of paper folding machines here. We also have a very informative paper folding guide found here.

Digital Signature Capture Pads – What To Look For

April 15th, 2010

Signature Capture Pads from TopazSignature capture pads are found almost everywhere now. They are used in retail stores at the checkout, in the pharmacy for signing for a prescription or even in an office for digitally signing legal documents. These digital capture pads are also widely used to ad signatures to photo ID cards and security badges.

One observation you may have made when using these devices is that some work much better than others. Quality amongst signature capture pads varies wildly among makes and models. Sometimes people are simply using the wrong capture pad for the wrong job. We sell a wide variety of digital signature capture pads from Topaz.

Here are a few things you may want to keep in mind when shopping around for a signature capture pad.

Visual Display – Some signature capture pads only capture the signature, but do not give you a visual representation in “e-ink.” Most signature capture pads will give you some sort of e-ink display.

Backlit Screen – Not all signature capture pads are backlit. If you plan on using a signature capture pad in a dark or low-lit room, be sure you get a model that is backlit.

Number of Signatures – Signature capture pads are rated for a certain number of signatures. The SigLite 1X5 is an example of a model that is rated for 10,000 signatures. The SignatureGemLCD 1×5 is an example of a model that is rated for 250,000+ signatures.

Signing Area – How big an area do you need? If you only need a signature, a 1×5 pad will be more than efficient. If you need to display additional text, menu options or wording, a pad with taller dimensions will be required.

Developer Software Tool Kits – Most signature capture pads we sell from Topaz will work with programs designed to be used with signature capture pads. We offer software development tools for free that can be used to integrate our Topaz pads with software or databases. You can find these developer software tools here.

We offer a huge selection of Topaz brand digital signature capture pads. You can find our entire selection of these signature pads here.

How To Eliminate Static Electricity From Paper

April 14th, 2010

Eliminate Static With A Paper JoggerIf you have ever dealt with static electricity in paper, you know how annoying it can be. It causes sheets of paper to stick together and can cause problems / jams when collating paper, folding paper, printing on paper and much more. Is there a good way to get rid of static electricity in paper?

There are a couple of things you can do. One of the best things you can do is use a paper jogger that is designed to cut down on static electricity. Most modern paper joggers will gather the electrical charge and ground it out, all while jogging and squaring up paper. This is one of my preferred ways of cutting down on static charge in paper. You can find our paper joggers here.

Static Eliminator SprayAnother option for cutting down on jam-causing static electricity is using a static eliminator spray on your collator, folding machine or copier. Static eliminator is sprayed on rubber rollers and other machine components, which dramatically cut down on static electricity. You can find our static eliminator spray here.

Good luck cutting down on static electricity. Do you have some additional ideas that have worked for you? Post them here in a comment!

Spiral-O, Wire-O & Wire Comb. What Is The Difference?

April 13th, 2010

Wire Binding SuppliesTerms like Spiral-O, Wire-O and wire comb are all used to describe what is more commonly known as wire binding. With all these terms floating around, it’s no wonder so many people get confused. I will try and break down exactly why these terms exist and what they mean.

First off, there are three different types of wire binding supplies. These are 3:1, 2:1 and 19-ring pitches. Basically these three formats are different hole patterns. The hole spacing on 3:1 is three holes per inch, 2:1 is two holes per inch and 19-ring is 19 holes along an 11-inch sheet of paper.

Both 3:1 and 2:1 pitch holes can be round or square, although round is far more common. Nineteen-ring holes are always rectangular in shape.  The format you use depends on the look you prefer and the amount of sheets you need to bind.

These are some of the terms used to describe the different wire binding hole formats:

  • Spiral-O – This is another term used for 19-ring wire binding. Nineteen-ring wire hole patters are the same as comb binding.
  • Wire-O – This is a trademarked term commonly used to describe 3:1 pitch wire, although many retailers will use it for 2:1 pitch wire as well.
  • Wire Comb – This is a term used to describe wire (19-ring) that has the same hole pattern as comb binding.
  • Double Loop Binding – A generic term used for all wire binding.
  • Twin Loop binding – Another generic term used for all wire binding.

Wire binding looks great. It holds up well and is available in a variety of colors. You may find our entire selection of wire binding supplies here.

Best Binding Machine For Making Cookbooks

April 12th, 2010

Coil Bound CookbooksYou’ve probably seen them, homemade cookbooks that are passed around amongst friends and family. These cookbooks often contain some of the tastiest recipes and are a great way to keep popular recipes in the family. These homemade cookbooks are often printed right from a computer and later bound. What is the best way to bind a cookbook?

Of the three most common binding machine formats (coil, wire & comb), coil binding is by far the best method for binding cookbooks. Why is this? Coil (aka Spiral) binding is very durable and can be stacked next to other cookbooks without being damaged.

Unlike comb or wire bound documents, coil binding allows the reader to flip pages a complete 360 degrees. Coils are also available in multiple colors, allowing you to customize the look of the cookbook.  Be aware that coil machines & supplies come in different hole patterns (pitches). I personally like 4:1 pitch hole patters for cookbooks.

Spiral Binding MachineMy recommendations for a coil-bound cookbook are as follows:

  • A 4:1 pitch coil binding machine (5:1 pitch can be used) found here.
  • Coil binding spirals (4:1 pitch) found here. A 5:1 pitch coil may be used if you have a 5:1 pitch machine.
  • A clear cover for the front page. This will protect the book, but allow you to still see the front page. You may find our clear binding covers here.
  • A card stock sheet to protect the back pages. You may find our card stock report covers here.

Most cookbook binding jobs aren’t going to be huge. If you are only binding 1-50 books, a manual coil-binding machine should be more than adequate. Read step-by-step instructions on how to use a coil binding machine here.

Have an additional question about binding a cookbook? Post a comment and I will answer it!

Product Spotlight: The FP-1 Single-Hole Punch

April 9th, 2010

FP-1 Single Hole PunchSo you have a job that needs to be punched, but don’t quite have the budget for a paper drill? You could always try using a three-hole punch, but that will probably take you the rest of your life. Standard hole punches just don’t cut it (pardon the pun) when it comes to punching hundreds of sheets of paper.

In comes the industrial FP-1 single-hole paper punch. This manually operated single-hole punch is capable of punching through a stack of 300 sheets of paper in one pass. Because of the way the handle is designed, and the gears are positioned, it doesn’t take nearly as much manual effort to use as you might expect.

What if you need to three-hole punch a lot of paper? Simply punch one hole at a time. Punching one hole only takes a matter of seconds. Once one hole is punched, the stack can be slid and another hole may be punched.

The punch itself only weighs about 14 pounds, which means it can be easily moved from one area to another. Four different punching dies are available; depending on the diameter of hole you need for your job.

You may find the General Graphic FP-1 single-hole punch here.

Top 5 Best Corner Rounders

April 8th, 2010

Best Corner RoundersSeveral customers have recently asked me which one of our corner rounders is the best. This question isn’t too hard for me to answer as I have been handling, using and selling corner rounders for 10 years. To start with, I can tell you hands down that Lassco and Akiles are by far the two most superior corner rounder manufacturers out there. Lassco is well known for its Cornerounder® line.

The corner rounder you use will ultimately depend on how many sheets you need to round, what you will be cutting and where you need to use it. Corner rounders come in desktop, floor model, manual, electric and pneumatic designs. For most corner rounding jobs, I would highly recommend the following models:

Top 5 Best Corner Rounders

  1. Lassco CR-20 Cornerounder
  2. Akiles Diamond-1 Corner Rounder
  3. Lassco CR-50B Cornerounder
  4. Lassco CR-50XP Pneumatic Cornerounder
  5. Akiles Diamond-5 Industrial Corner Rounder

You may find our entire selection of corner rounders here.

Best Business Card Cutter For The Dollar

March 30th, 2010

Business Card CuttersCreating business cards in-house is a fast growing trend. Many businesses, home businesses and entrepreneurs are realizing how much money they can save by creating business cards by using a business card cutter. Which business card cutter is the best deal for the dollar though?

The business card cutter you go with will depend a lot on what you intend to cut and the template you decide to use. Ten-up and 12-up patterns are still the most popular used today, but if you want to create business cards with full edge-to-edge color, you may need what is known as a gutter cut. This article will focus on non gutter cut machines.

Business Card Cutter Patterns

If you are creating standard business cards, I highly recommend these two models. Option one is manually operated (and very affordable), while option two is electric:

Option 1: Cardmate Business Card Cutter

Option 2: Martin Yale BCS210 & BCS220

I have personally used both of these machines and can recommend them both. As far as manual business card cutters go, the Cardmate is in a league of its own. Nothing else out there (manually operated) even comes close.

You may find our entire selection of business card cutters here.

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