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

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

Foil Fusers vs. Foil Stampers – What’s The Difference?

February 17th, 2010

What is the difference between a foil fuser and a foil stamper? They both create a foiled metallic logos or text. The end results look very similar. So it’s no surprise that many people get confused between the two. Be aware, however, that foil fusers and foil stampers are two very different machines. Be sure you get the right machine for the right job.

Foil fusers are designed almost exclusively to work with paper and cardstock alone. They cannot be used to put foiled lettering on photographs, pencils, matchbooks and other objects. Foil fusers use a special type of foil that literally fuses to toner. Toner is what copy machines and laser printers use. This means everywhere text or images are printed, the foil will stick. Foil fusers will not work with ink or ink jet printers.

Foil stampers, sometimes referred to as hot stamping machines, use a heated aluminum alloy die to stamp text and logos onto leather, cards, photographs, napkins and other solid objects. The foil stamper has a type holder that holds the lettering, the logo or both, after which the machine heats up. The heated lettering, along with pressure from the machine, transfers foil from a roll (usually attached to the machine) to the surface of a different object.

The end results of both foil fusers and foil stampers looks very similar. It is pretty safe to say that if you want foil on paper or card stock, to use a foil fuser. If you need foil on a book, napkin, photograph or other object, use a foil stamper. Be aware that the supplies for foil fusers and stampers are not interchangeable.

You can find our foil fusers and stampers by going here. Have more questions about foil stampers or fusers? Write a comment and I will post an answer.

Are Spiral and Coil Binding the Same Thing?

February 10th, 2010

Are Spiral and Coil Binding the Same Thing? We get asked this question almost every day. I can completely understand the confusion. There are so many different binding formats out there. The quick answer is that spiral and coil binding are exactly the same. They are just synonyms of each other. Both terms describe the binding element in great detail. I have even heard coil supplies described as spring supplies, due to the look.

I’ve been also been asked, “Isn’t coil binding metal?” Coil / spiral binding supplies can be metal, but for the last 10 years they have been primarily made from PVC plastic. Plastic is easier to work with, more durable and available in multiple colors. The machines we sell are designed for plastic coils.

Many people also get twin-loop wire binding confused with spiral binding. I just spoke with a lady today who said, “Coil bindings are those metal loops with the straight wire going down the center, right?” Twin loop wire binding looks much different than coil binding. You can see the wire binding above.

Hopefully I have helped clarify the definition of coil / spiral binding. You can read more about coil binding by reading our detailed coil-binding guide found here.

New Formax FD 402A1 Paper Jogger Now Online

February 9th, 2010

The name “paper jogger” brings some pretty funny images to one’s mind who is not familiar with the equipment. The concept is simple, but it saves you so much time. A paper jogger, simply put, is a machine that squares up and organizes jumbled stacks of paper. Why use a paper jogger? Because paper needs to be properly aligned before being bound, folded, cut and more.

We are very happy to announce the addition of the Formax FD 402A1. This paper jogger is made to handle some heavy-duty stuff. You could say the FD 402A1 is a commercial (industrial) paper jogger. Not only does it jog paper, but it also uses air to more quickly jog paper and dry out ink.

This jogger has its own base, which means it doesn’t need to be set on a table or other surface. This helps free up space, especially for print shops where space is limited. A few of the features this jogger has are variable speed control, foot pedal operation and casters for easy movement.

Stop by our site and take a look at the new Formax FD 402A1 paper jogger today!

Top 7 Best Manual Wire Binding Machines

February 5th, 2010

Wire binding looks great. It has a professional appearance and is probably one of the most aesthetically pleasing binding formats available today. Using the right machine can dramatically streamline the wire binding process.

We have come up with a list of the top 7 best manual wire binding machines. These are machines that have proven themselves to be reliable, durable and made from quality parts. Here is our list:

Top 7 Best Manual Wire Binding Machines:

  1. Akiles WireMac Wire Binder
  2. Tahsin 213-PB
  3. Akiles WireMac Duo Series
  4. Akiles Megabind II
  5. Renz RW Wire Binder
  6. Renz SRW Binding Machine
  7. Akiles WireMac Combo

Akiles A Great Replacement For An Old GBC Comb Binding Machine

February 4th, 2010

We get some pretty good questions from our customers. I just received one yesterday from a customer who had gotten fed up with their GBC comb binding machine. Here is their question along with my answer:

QUESTION: I am fed up with my GBC C400e comb-binding machine. We have had it repaired 3 times now and I’ve had enough. Do you know of a good replacement for a GBC comb binder? I want to stay with comb binding and it needs to be electric.

ANSWER: I personally recommend Akiles hands down. Akiles, in my opinion, runs circles around low-end GBC machines. You have a couple of options here, much of it depending on your binding volume.

If you have low to medium-volume binding needs, the Akiles AlphaBind-CE is a great choice. It still has an electric punch, like the GBC C400e, and is very easy to use. Unlike the GBC C400e, the Akiles model is made from durable metal construction. A foot pedal is great for hands-free operation.

If you have high-volume binding needs, you really can’t go wrong with the Akiles CombMac 24E. This comb-binding machine is a beast, capable of punching 25 sheets of paper at a time with an electric-powered motor. This machine is designed for more use and output than the GBC C400e, but could be a good choice if you expect your binding needs to increase in the future.

Regardless of which machine you go with, manual or electric, Akiles has risen to the top and can be considered one of the best brands available today. You can see our entire selection of Akiles binding machines here.

Have more questions about comb binding machines? Post your comments here!

Best Laminating Sheets & Film Explained

February 3rd, 2010

Laminating sheets, sometimes referred to as laminating pouches, are commonly used to protect and preserve business cards, report covers, photographs and much more. What are the different types of laminating sheets and which types are the best to use? Here are a few recommendations.

Laminating sheets come in a variety of different thicknesses. These typically come in 3, 5, 7 and 10 mil thicknesses. A mil is a thousandth of an inch. A 10-mil pouch has two 10-mil sides equaling a total of 20 mil. This means that 3, 5, 7 and 10-mil pouches are 6, 10, 14 and 20-mil thick once laminated (not counting the material being laminated). A credit card is 30-mil thick. Hopefully this hasn’t confused you too much.

The most common sizes of laminating sheets purchased today are 5 and 7 mil thick. A 10-mil sheet is very thick once laminated and is typically only used to laminate extremely thin documents. Five mil thick laminating sheets are probably the most common size used for laminating photographs.

Most pouch laminators can handle 5-mil thick laminating sheets, but not all can handle 10-mil thick sheets. Be sure you know what your laminator can handle prior to making a purchase.

You can find our entire selection of pouch laminating sheets here.

Best All-Around Shrink Wrap Machines

February 2nd, 2010

We often get asked which shrink wrap machine is best for daily packaging of a variety of different products. This may involved CDs, soap, chocolate, software and more. I have a couple of great options.

There are two primary types of shrink wrap machines. The first type is an I-bar (straight bar) and the second is an L-bar. The machine you get will depend on your preference and the volume you are packaging.

An I-bar sealer has a single cutting bar that cuts and seals the film. Because it only cuts one side at a time, it usually requires two passes to completely encapsulate a product. Why only two passes?

Assuming you are using centerfold shrink wrap film, the folded side is already sealed leaving three open sides.

Every time an I-bar sealer is used, not only does it cut the film for your package, but it also seals one side of the film for the next package. This leaves a total of two open sides for each consecutive package.  A heat gun is typically used to shrink the film.

An L-bar sealer has two cutting and sealing bars, in the shape of an L. As previously described with the I-bar sealer, the film usually only has two open sizes, which means an L-bar sealer will completely encapsulate a packaging in one pass. Many L-bar sealers come with a heat tunnel, although a heat gun may be used.

We have two recommended I-bar and two recommended L-bar sealers for your daily packaging needs. These are as follows:

Top I-Bar Sealers

Top L-Bar Sealers

You can see our entire selection of shrink wrap machines and equipment here.

How Can I Make My Reports Look More Professional?

January 28th, 2010

How can you make your report or book look more professional? Here are a few tips that will take your bound report from OK to classy.

When binding a report, many people will create a title page or decorative cover on their computer, print it out and bind it to the front page of their booklet. This isn’t always the most professional look. I highly recommend using a report cover to improve the overall look and appearance.

The most common report cover combination is to use a clear cover for the front and a solid card stock cover for the back. This combination looks clean and professional. Clear covers come in different thicknesses, depending on your preference. Card stock covers are available in a variety of textures, colors and styles. You can find our report covers and clear covers here.

The style of binding can also dramatically change the look of your document. Changing from a plastic comb to double-loop wire look can add an extra degree of professionalism to a document. The style of binding you use will depend on the situation, but double-loop wire and coil binding are very popular for professional reports. You can find our book binding machines here.

Using one or more of these tips will really add an extra dimension to your bound report or book. Good luck!

Minipack Galaxy & Galileo Shrink Wrap Machines Reviewed

January 21st, 2010

It’s amazing how many people are now reigning in once outsourced packaging operations to in-house. Why is this? A huge part of it is because it isn’t difficult for a business to package their own products. It is also a great way to save money during a recession.

Shrink wrap machines have become smaller, easier to use and far more affordable. Minipack has been on the forefront of this revolution. Two of their most popular machines are the Minipack Galaxy and Galileo machines. You can find them here.

The Galaxy and the Galileo shrink wrap machines replaced the Mini-Plus and the Mini-Mini shrink wrap machines. The Galaxy and Galileo are essentially the same machine, but with different chamber dimensions. Both the Galaxy and Galileo are available in different setups. These have been broken down into systems. The system you use depends entirely on what you need.

Both of these machines have an integrated heat tunnel. This means that when the hood is brought down, it will cut the film around the package and shrink it in one single pass. This is very quick and very convenient. Packaging a DVD, software box, pizza or soap bar can be done in just a few seconds. You can use these to package food by using polyolefin film.

The Galaxy and Galileo are very easy to use and set up. There is no special training required. Maintenance is also easy.

Both of these machines are very efficient and emit very little odor. This is especially nice when being used in poorly ventilated rooms. These machines can use both PVC and Polyolefin film. You can learn more about the two different types of film by going here.

We have had customers ask if the heat will damage products. While there may be some heat-sensitive products you will not want to package, we have had customers send in chocolate samples for testing and haven’t had a problem with the heat melting anything.

If you are interested in the Minipack Galaxy or Galileo, send a sample into us and we will test it out on these machines. We can then send the sample back to you for your approval.

We are also able to offer live video demonstrations of these machines through the Internet. If you are interested in having one of these machines demonstrated for you, simply one of these forms:

For answers to additional shrink wrap questions, feel free to call one of our shrink wrap experts at 1-800-658-8788.

Rotatrim Professional Series – Best Rotary Cutter Ever?

January 21st, 2010

Rotatrim has made a significant name for themselves over the years with their line of rotary paper cutters. Photographers, copy shops, scrap bookers and more consider Rotatrim cutters the Holy Grail of rotary paper cutters. Why is it that these British-Made cutters are so popular? Are they really as good as everyone says they are?

There are a couple of reasons the Rotatrim line is popular. Most of this boils down to quality and build. Rotatrim cutters are heavy and made from solid components. If you ever have the chance to handle a Rotatrim next to another cutter, you will be amazed at the difference in quality. In many instances, the difference is as stark as comparing a bicycle to a Porsche.

The Rotatrim Professional Series of cutters are considered to be some of the best cutters made by Rotatrim. The cutting wheel is large, making cutting effortless, and the cutting head itself rests on two support bars. These two bars keep the cutting head solidly in place, preventing movement. This means cuts are very accurate and very straight every time.

While Rotatrim rotary cutters cost more up front, chances are pretty good that they will last for years. Many have reported their Rotatrim cutters lasting up to 10+ years. Now compare that to a Fiskars cutter, which you may be replacing every few months. The costs makes itself up quickly.

You can find our line of Rotatrim Professional Cutters here. If you need a rotary cutter, but the Rotatrim is a little much for you, here are five great high-quality alternatives.

Great Rotatrim Alternatives:

by Category