Direct Heat Sealers vs Impulse Sealers – Which Should You Use?

January 23rd, 2013

If you are shopping for a bag sealer, you have probably noticed that they seem to come in two different flavors. These are direct heat sealers and impulse sealers (found here). The type of sealer you purchase really depends on the type of bag you are trying to seal. Both types of sealers are designed to quickly seal bags shut for packaging purposes. At ABC Office we offer both types of sealers. I would like to discuss the difference between the two technologies and help you determine which type you should use.

  • Direct Heat Bag SealerDirect Heat Sealers (aka Constant Heat Sealers) – These sealers use constant heat to seal plastic shut. This usually involves both sides of the sealing jaw. This means that the jaws are constantly hot. These types of sealers are excellent for use with sealing thicker materials. Materials that are ideal for use with direct heat sealers include gusset bags, poly cello films, coated Kraft papers, cellophane, waxed paper, mylar, coated polypropylene (PP) and other thick materials. Because direct heat sealers remain hot while it use, a little extra caution is urged to prevent burns.
  • Impulse Bag SealersImpulse Sealers – These sealers don’t need to warm up. They use impulses of electricity to quickly heat up and seal a bag shut. Once the sealing process is complete, impulse sealers quickly cool down. These types of sealers are very convenient because they can be immediately used and the chance of being burned is minimal. These types of sealers are perfect for use with thermoplastic materials. This includes those made from polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Impulse sealers can be used with bags and plastics such as padded mailers, foil, coated bags, Kel-F, Polyethylene, Polyurethane, Pilofilm, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Polyvinylchloride, Nylon, Sara, Mylar, Tyve, Polyflex and bubble packs.

Both direct heat sealers and impulse sealers come in different designs, depending on the size of the bag, the volume you are working with and the usage. Here are the different types of sealers:

  • Hand Sealers – These sealers look a lot like an I-bar sealer and are extremely portable and easy to move around. These sealers use impulse-sealing technology and come in different lengths. Most can seal film up to 10 mil thick.
  • Foot Sealers (aka Pedestal Sealers) – These sealers are ideal for continuous sealing operations and situations where both hands are needed to position bags. They usually have some sort of foot pedal that can be pressed to bring down the sealing bar. You can find foot sealers in both impulse and direct heat designs, depending on what you are sealing. Most foot sealers handle film up to 15 mil thick. The heavier-duty direct heat sealers can often handle 20 mil bags.
  • Double Impulse Sealers – These are the toughest impulse sealers you can buy. These include two sealing bars (top & bottom) and can be used with film up to 20 mil thick. These sealers are ideal for heavy duty projects and applications.
  • Sealers w/ Cutters – These sealers are designed to quickly seal a bag shut and then cut off the excess plastic. The cutting blade is usually built into the sealing arm of the sealer.
  • Automatic Sealers – These are heavy-duty sealers designed for continuous operation throughout the day and come in semi-auto and fully automatic designs. They usually sit on a table or countertop. These are designed to be programmed to accommodate the film you are using and then repeat the seal over and over again.
  • Continuous Band Sealers (found here) – These are the fastest bag sealers you can buy. They are designed to seal bags on a mass scale and use a conveyor-style system to quickly seal bags shut. These come in horizontal, vertical and tilted designs.

There are a few things you will want to keep in mind when picking a bag sealer. First, you will want to determine the type of film you are using and establish whether you need a constant heat sealer or an impulse sealer. You will then need to determine the speed that you need to package. You will also need to establish the maximum sealing length you need and how wide you need the seal to be. The nichrome sealing wire, depending on the model, comes in 2mm, 3mm, 5mm, 8mm or 10mm sealing widths.

We carry several different brands of bag sealers. We have great luck with models from AIE, SealerSales and Traco. If you need additional assistance with finding a machine, or if you have some questions, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788.  You can find our entire selection of direct heat and impulse bag sealers here.

Why is Oak Wood So Popular for Furniture?

January 21st, 2013

Northern Red Oak PodiumAt ABC Office, we offer a wide assortment of lecterns, pulpits, chairs and tables (found here), much of it being made from northern red oak from New York State. While oak does look nice, why is it so popular in furniture? I would like to cover several of the benefits of oak furniture and why oak is so popular for use in hardwood furniture today.

Oak is a type of wood with a rich history, having been used by several countries and cultures over the past several centuries. Even as far back as the Vikings, oak was used in their more prestigious Viking longships. Into the middle ages oak was used for building frames, as furniture and can even be found in the House of Commons in London in the interior paneling. It was especially popular during the 19th century for building construction and shipbuilding.

So why is oak so popular? For starters, it is readily available in many parts of the world. Of course availability isn’t the only reason. It is also extremely hard and durable, having a density of 0.75 g/cm3, which is extremely dense and strong for use in furniture. Hardwood has a tendency of being stronger and lasting longer. The density, along with high tannin content, makes oak more resistant to both insect and fungal attacks.

Historically both red and white oaks were two of the most common types used in the United States. White oak is lighter in color than red oak and white oak has longer grain rays. Because white oak is waterproof, it was the most common wood used in shipbuilding. Red oak on the other hand was very popular for hardwood floors, railroad ties and wagon wheels.

Today white and red oaks are still used, with red oak being especially popular for furniture. Other types of oak used include such varieties as natural oak, tiger oak, pippy oak, burr oak and more. The different varieties of oak have different densities and wood patterns. The type of oak used often depends on preference and regional availability.

Unfinished oak is second only to pine and when it comes to popularity and it is known for its ability to stain nicely. It is ideal for use in high-use environments due to its durability.

Much of our furniture at ABC Office is made using northern red oak from New York State. This is because northern red oak is very durable and has an absolutely beautiful wood grain pattern. One of our manufacturers, Woerner, uses this wood for their lecterns, pulpits, tables and chairs. Many of our other manufacturers, such as Wooden Mallet (found here) and Executive Wood, also use high quality oak wood in much of their furniture manufacturing.

When you buy a piece of furniture made using oak, you are almost guaranteed a longer-lasting piece of furniture. Not only does it look better, it is also holds up much better than cheaper particle board or MDF board.

If you need wood samples, or simply have questions about our oak furniture, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We would love to help answer your questions. You can find our entire selection of oak lecterns here, oak tables here and oak seating here.

Canadian Polymer Currency Counters Now Online

January 17th, 2013

Canadian Polymer Banknote Currency CountersBack on November 14th 2011 Canada released its first Polymer bill ($100). That was followed on the 26th of March 2012 with the $50 and on November 7th 2012 with the $20. The $10 and $5 are expected to be released this year. While there have been a few complaints with the new banknotes, they are expected to stay. The biggest advantage of the new Polymer bills is their excellent lifespan that is about 2.5 times longer than standard bills. These is one small problem many people are experiencing, however, that I would like to cover in this article.

One problem with the new banknotes is that they are not all compatible with older currency counters and can result in some pretty bad jams. As a result, many of our Canadian customers are looking for currency counters that can handle the new bills. Thankfully one of our most reputable currency counter manufacturers, Semacon, has stepped up to the plate with brand new Canadian currency counters (found here). Rather than make you sift through our entire index of bill counters, I would like to list the models that will 100% work with polymer banknotes.

Canadian Bill Counters from Semacon that Handle Polymer Banknotes (sorted by least expensive to most expensive)

Semacon makes some of the toughest currency counters we offer. They are all made from high-end components and feature a rigorous burn-in period to ensure they work properly prior to shipment. Many of our Canadian currency counters feature counterfeit detection as well. If you are looking to upgrade, or have some questions about these machines, please contact us at 1-800-658-8788. While we are based in the United States, we can ship to Canada and have many Canadian customers.

I would also like to mention that Semacon also offers some excellent Canadian coin counters and sorters:

Thank you for reading this article. If you own one of the above mentioned Semacon currency or coin counters, please leave your feedback here as a comment.

ABC Office January 2013 5% Off Coupon Code

January 11th, 2013

We at ABC Office hope that you had a great 2012. We wish you an even more prosperous 2013. One great way to kick of the new year is to streamline operations and move costly paper handling jobs in house. At ABC Office we offer an excellent selection of machines that allow you to bind your own documents, fold your own paper, create your own business cards and much more. For the new year, we would like to extend a 5% off coupon that you can use over the phone or via our secure shopping cart.

The coupon code you will want to use during the month of January is JAN1305. This coupon can be applied towards any of the equipment we offer or towards our selection of thousands of different supplies. You can even use this code on multiple purchases throughout the month. If for any reason you have trouble using it or applying it, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788 and we can help you out.

ABC Office January 2013 Coupon Code

Here are a few products you may want to consider buying with your coupon code:

  • Intelli-Cut 530D Stack Cutter (found here) – This is by far one of the most robust and affordable paper cutters out there. It is easy to set up and can be used to cut hundreds of sheets of paper. It is equipped with such features as an optical cutting line and an LCD measurement display that you simply won’t find in other similar stack paper cutters.
  • Akiles iCoil 41 Coil Binding Machine (found here) – Have you ever wanted to try binding your own booklet? The Akiles iCoil 41 is a great tool for doing this. It uses PVC coils to bind multiple stacks of paper together. It includes the punch, coil inserter and coil crimping pliers!
  • Electric Document Stamps (found here) – One of the best ways to keep track of documents is by stamping them. We offer a huge selection of numbering, date and text stamping machines. Most of these machines use an electric motor to drive the crash head into the paper. Check out our great selection!
  • Intelli-Fold DE-112AF  Folding Machine (found here) – If you need to fold letters, invoices, brochures or other material, you should consider using the Intelli-Fold DE-112AF. This affordably priced paper folding machine is tough, well built and includes everything you need to get up and going. We offer fast shipping on this machine. Orders placed before our shipping deadline will ship out same day.

Thank you for visiting our blog. We sincerely appreciate your patronage and again hope you have a great 2013. You can read more about the coupon code and its restrictions by visiting us here.

Top 6 Best 8 ½” x 14″ and 11″ x 17″ Paper Joggers

January 11th, 2013

11" x 17" Paper JoggersIf you are jogging paper larger than your standard letter size document, you are probably going to need a slightly more robust and capable paper jogger than your standard run-of-the-mill design. At ABC Office we offer several paper joggers (found here) that can be used to handle both 8 ½” x 14″ legal size paper and large 11″ x 17″ documents. The model you choose will depend on how many sheets you need to jog and where the paper jogging will take place. I would like to recommend some of our highest-rated models in this article.

A paper jogger, for those of you unfamiliar with the technology, uses a motor to generate fast vibrations that quickly cause jumbled sheets of paper to re-align into a squared-up stacks. This helps keep paper organized when placing it in a copy machine, paper folder,  tabletop printer and in other paper handling machines. It also helps to eliminate static electricity and cuts down on jams. Some paper joggers also use air during the jogging process to help align pages and dry wet ink as they come out of a printing press.

At ABC Office, we offer paper jogging machines from such brands as Martin Yale, Lassco, Formax and MBM. All of the paper joggers we offer are great machines, but not all can be used with larger 11″ x 17″ paper. Over the years we have had a lot of luck with the following models.

Top 6 Best 8 ½” x 14″ and 11″ x 17″ Paper Joggers

  1. Lassco LJ-4 Paper Jogger (found here) – This is the least expensive of our large format paper joggers. It can handle paper up to 11″ x 17″ in size and up to 500 sheets at a time. We have had great luck with our Lassco brand paper joggers and they have proven themselves to be excellent products over the years. This jogger features a wood tray and sits at an angle for faster jogging. It is open sided for easy removal of paper.
  2. Formax FD 402P1 Paper JoggerFormax FD 402P1 Paper Jogger (found here) – Formax paper joggers are known for their metal build and solid construction. The Formax FD 402P1 can be used with larger 11″ x 17″ paper as well and features an open sided design. Unlike the Lassco LJ-4, this jogger has a large 800 sheet capacity and a variable speed motor.
  3. Formax FD 2054TA1 Air JoggerFormax FD 402TA1 Paper Jogger (found here) – If you need a jogger capable of handling paper up to 12″ x 18″ in size, the FD 402TA1 is the machine you are going to need. This is a table top air jogger that features a motor that runs at speeds of up to 2,500 vibrations per minute and air pressure capable of 29,000 rpm. The V shape of the bin encourages extremely fast jogging. This machine can hold up to 940 sheets of paper, making it one of the highest capacities we offer in a tabletop design.
  4. Martin Yale Premier 4200 Paper Jogger (found here) – The Martin Yale Premier 4200 is one of the largest joggers we offer. It has a 17″ x 23″ x 3″ bin that can be used to hold a variety of larger paper. The tray itself can be adjusted to sit at different angles. This includes an 80-degree upright layout to sitting almost flat. This is a tabletop machine and is very easy to set up and use.
  5. MBM AJ-700 Air JoggerMBM AJ-700 Air Jogger (found here) – If you jog large volumes of paper on a daily basis, you may need something like the MBM AJ-700 air jogger. This jogger forces air between sheets while jogging the paper, resulting in extremely fast results. The air also helps to assist in drying ink. This machine features an open sided design and a floor stand. It is very easy to use and is excellent for use in printing presses and much more. It can handle paper up to 12 7/8″ x 17 ¾” in side and the tray has a 4″ depth, allowing it to hold a lot of paper.
  6. Formax FD 402A Air JoggerFormax FD 402A Air Jogger (found here) – The Formax FD 402A is one of the most robust paper joggers available. It is highly adjustable and can be used with an included foot pedal for hands-free operation. Because it sits on casters, this floor model jogger can be wheeled around from one area to another. It includes a timer and can be used in air only or vibrate only modes. This jogger is excellent for use commercial applications.

We have decades of experience with paper joggers, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788 x140 for answers to any of your paper jogging questions. We can provide you with quotes and can match prices.

Types of EZ-LAM Roll Laminators (aka EasyLam)

January 10th, 2013

EZ-LAM Roll Laminators by Laminators SpecialtiesIf you’re in search of a high-quality roll laminator (found here) for your school or business, you may really enjoy using an EZ-LAM. These laminators, made by Laminators Specialties, have been around for well over a decade in one form or another. With several different versions of the EZ-LAM, which model should you consider using? I will cover all three models in this article.

To begin with, EZ-LAM used to be called EasyLam. Why the name change? EasyLam was the name of the laminators when they were produced by Banner American. After the company went out of business, Laminators Specialities took over the business and changed EasyLam to EZ-LAM. The quality is still the same and they are essentially the same laminator as they used to be. These laminators are all available with options that allow you to customize them.

When Laminators Specialities took over, they did drop a few of the EasyLam models including the EasyLam Green and the EasyLam II. Luckily we are still able to provide roll lamination film (found here) for all of the discontinued EasyLam roll laminators.

The three EZ-LAM roll laminators that survived the transition to new ownership are some of the best models available. These are the EZ-LAM School Budget, EZ-LAM Budget Pro and the standard EZ-LAM. Here is a little bit of information about the three:

  • EZ-LAM School Budget (found here) – This laminator is designed for low to medium-volume use in a school environment. Most schools are on a tight budget, but still need to laminate signs and banners. The EZ-LAM School Budget was designed just for this situation. While it isn’t terribly fast (3.5 feet per minute) and it only handles film up to 3 mils thick, it gets the job done right. This laminator can be used on many tables and desks and is very easy to set up and operate.
  • EZ-LAM Budget Pro (found here) – The EZ-LAM Budget Pro is a beefed up version of the School Budget. It includes the ability to mount material up to 3/16″ thick and is great entry-level machine for use in a print shop or copy center. It also has the ability to use all mil thicknesses of film including 10 mil.
  • EZ-LAM 27″ Laminator (found here) – This is the time-tested classic that has been around for years. It is used in businesses, copy centers, print shops and other organizations around the world. It can be used with film up to 3 mils thick and includes two rolls of 1.5 mil film. It can be used with larger core rolls of film using optional core adapters. It can also be built with features like cooling fans, a foot switch, side slitters and more.

All three of these laminators are solid products. The build quality is excellent. Unlike many manufacturers out there, Laminators Specialties uses steel side plates that are computer machined ensuring consistency in quality. We have had several of these machines out on our showroom floor and I have had the opportunity to use them myself. They are very easy to use and the quality of the laminated items is excellent. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any of your roll laminator questions. You can find our entire lineup of roll laminators here.

Best Shrink Wrap Machines for Packaging Food

January 7th, 2013

Food Packaging Shrink Wrap MachinesWhether you are trying to package chocolate or you simply need a way to package and present fruit baskets, shrink wrap (found here) is an effective food packaging tool. There are a few things you will need to know before purchasing a machine, but ultimately shrink wrap is an affordable and easy way to package food for a variety of reasons. I would like to cover a few machines that may help you and go over a few tips that may help you out.

There are two types of shrink wrap machines you’ll want to consider when packaging food. The first uses an I-bar sealer (found here) and the second uses an L-bar sealer (found here). An I-bar sealer shrinks film along one length at a time, requiring usually about two passes to seal a product in centerfold film. An L-bar sealer seals the film in two spots completing the sealing process in a single pass. As you might imagine, the L-bar sealer is much faster than an I-bar sealer, making it ideal for industrial and commercial applications. An I-bar sealer, however, is better for sealing and packaging products with awkward shapes and sizes.

When it comes to shopping around for film, you’ll probably want to use Polyolefin film (found here). Polyolefin film is safe for direct contact with food, where PVC film is only safe for indirect contact with food. Most shrink wrap machines can use either type of film.

What are the benefits of packaging food with shrink wrap? Shrink wrap provides a protective barrier from the outside. This may be handling by customers, shipping, the elements and much more. Shrink film also makes products look much more presentable. Shrink wrap can also have food preservation benefits by helping contain moisture and flavor.

Which machine design should you use? There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, but the biggest is packaging volume. I-bar sealers are good for packaging a few dozen to a few hundred items a day. If you are packaging more than that, you should really be using an L-bar sealer equipped machine.

What are some of the limiting factors? The biggest limiting factor will be the sealing width. In the case of an L-bar sealer it will be the width and the length. If you are using an L-bar sealer equipped with a heat tunnel, you will also need to take the height of the product into account. Many people remember the width and length, but forget the height. Remember, the height of the product will take up film. You’ don’t want to end up with a machine that won’t accommodate your product or future products.

What about heat damage? If you are worried your food item may suffer from heat damage, you may want to use a machine that utilizes a heat tunnel. A heat tunnel applies heat evenly and shrinks film much faster than a heat gun. Because heat guns are manually operated, they are subject to human error such as leaving the gun in a single spot for too long. I have had people package chocolates and other temperature sensitive food without suffering any damage.

Which brand is best? There are a lot of shrink wrap brands out there. Those that I have personally used and trust include AIE, Traco, Intelli-Pack, Minipack and Strategic Group.

If you still have questions about our shrink wrap machines, or if you would like samples to be tested on the machine we offer, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have over 30 years of experience and are more than happy to help you out.

Packaging Pizzas – Should You Use Shrink Wrap or a Vacuum Sealer?

January 3rd, 2013

Pizza Packaging MachinesI had a great conversation with a customer yesterday who was interested in packaging his own pizzas. He had a small startup business and was only looking at packaging about 50 pizzas a day for retail sale. He was looking at several machines to package his 10″ and 12″ pizzas. He asked me, “Should I be using shrink wrap (found here) or a vacuum sealer (found here) for my pizzas?” This is how I answered him.

To begin with, I asked him what he was doing with the pizzas. He said he was packaging them for retail sale and needed professional packaging for sanitary purposes, preservation and professional presentation. These are all important when it comes to packaging food. While a good answer, this still isn’t enough information to answer the Shrink Wrap or Vacuum Sealer question. I then went on to explain why people use one or the other.

Shrink Wrap for Pizzas – Shrink wrap is one of the most common methods used for packaging pizzas. It is fast, looks great and is relatively affordable. One thing I let the customer know is that you need to use Polyolefin film (found here) when packaging pizzas. It is approved by the FDA for direct contact use with food. PVC shrink film is not. Shrink Wrap helps keep the food together (for presentation purposes), keeps it from drying out and also helps provide a barrier from outside contamination.

Shrink wrapping a pizza, however, is not good for long-term preservation. Shrink wrap is excellent for refrigerating a pizza, for use in displays and for a customer carrying the food home. It does not, however, provide adequate protection in a freezer. Most people, especially in a pizza retail environment, will be eating the purchased pizza the day they purchase the pizza or shortly thereafter. This is why shrink wrap is still extremely popular for packaging pizza. Shrink wrap is ultimately great for refrigerator preservation purposes.

Vacuum Sealers for Pizzas – Vacuum sealers are for pizza manufacturers that intend on distributing their pizzas to grocery stores and other food outlets. Vacuum sealers provide pizzas with excellent preservation. Vacuum sealers remove almost all of the air from the vacuum bag ensuring long term preservation. The vacuum seal bag also prevents the pizza from frost burn. I recommend that a cardboard backing be used or the pizza will loose its shape during the packaging process.

So which machines did I recommend? Before we established the type of packaging he needed, we went over these four machines for packaging his 10″ and 12″ pizzas:

  • AIE I-bar Sealer Shrink Wrap Machine (found here) – This machine is excellent for packaging a few dozen to perhaps a few hundred pizzas a day. It can be used with polyolefin film. Just be sure you get a machine that is the right size for your pizza. In this case, I recommended the 18″ model. Simply insert your pizza, seal the two open sides and use the heat gun to shrink the film.
  • Minipack Galaxy Shrink Wrap Machine (found here) – This machine is excellent if you need to package a pizza in a very short amount of time. Simply insert your pizza into the film, pull down the hood and let the machine do the rest. While the hood is down, the Galaxy will cut the film around the pizza and blast it with air to shrink the film.
  • Compack 5800 Shrink Wrap Machine (found here) – If you need a larger sealing area, the Compack 5800 is a great option. Like the Galaxy, it quickly packages products in seconds. It can be used, depending on the speed of the operator, to package 8-10 pizzas per minute. This machine has a great track record with our customers.
  • Minipack MVS 45X Vacuum Sealer (found here) – This is a vacuum sealer that can be used to vacuum seal pizzas in a very short amount of time. It is Italian-made and features high-quality components. It is a great machine to have for vacuum sealing pizzas on a daily basis.

The customer told me he was not selling directly to the public and needed something for longer-term food preservation purposes, so he ended up going with the Minipack MVS 45X vacuum sealer. At ABC Office we offer a huge lineup of shrink wrap machines and vacuum sealers. We are bound to have a machine that will fit your business’s needs. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to your pizza packaging questions.

Hopefully this information helps you out. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

FP-1XLS Heavy Duty Single Hole Punch Review

December 21st, 2012

FP-1XLS Single Hole Paper PunchIf you are looking for an affordable alternative to a single spindle paper drill, the FP-1XLS paper punch (found here) is an excellent alternative. This single-hole punch makes high-capacity paper punching easy. So is something like this a good fit for you and is it an adequate replacement for your paper drill? This article will provide a detailed overview of the FP-1XLS single-hole paper punch.

The FP-1XLS is very similar it setup and operation to a tabletop single spindle paper drill. Even the design of the worktable is similar. This paper punch features a tabletop design that allows it to be used on just about table, desk or surface. It weighs in at 18 pounds and is made from durable metal components. We have been selling the FP-1(B), a slightly scaled down version of the FP-1XLS, for years and it has had an excellent track record with our customers.

This paper punch is completely manual, however, it isn’t like other single hole punches. Rather than a crash bar or a small lever, the FP-1XLS has a handle. This handle has been leveraged and the mechanics of this punch have been geared to make paper punching easy and fast. It isn’t nearly as laborious as you might think when you hear the word “manual.” It has a 1″ punching capacity, which equals out to be about 300 sheets of paper. The punching bit is also hollow, which means less surface area to deal with as compared to a solid punching die found on cheaper hole punches.

One reason this punch is so similar to a single spindle paper drill, apart from the huge paper capacity, is the worktable. The FP-1XLS has a 14″ wide worktable that features stops that can be adjusted to accommodate one, two, three or even four hole punching. Simply set the stops where you want the holes punched, place your paper on the worktable, punch and slide the worktable to the next position. Again, this is very similar in setup to a paper drill.

The FP-1XLS comes shipped with a ¼” diameter punching bit. Optional punching dies in 3/16″, 3/8″ and 5/16″ are also available.

So why would you want this over a paper drill? For one, no electricity is required. It is completely manual. Price is another factor. As of this article, the FP-1XLS is about $255, which is $732 less than our cheapest single hole paper drill. If you don’t need the daily capacity of a paper drill, the FP-1XLS is an excellent alternative. This punch can easily keep up with most light to medium-volume paper hole punching operations.

With a solid build and durable metal construction, this is a solid product. Because replacement punch bits are so affordable, it is easy to keep this paper punch up and operational for very little money. It can be used to punch holes in paper, card stock and more. Casinos also use these types of punches for canceling playing cards.

You can find the FP-1XLS paper punch here and our entire selection of single-hole paper punches here.

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

Top 9 Best Rated Electric Letter Openers

December 20th, 2012

High Speed Letter OpenersIf your business needs a high speed and effective way to open letters and mail, consider using an electric letter opener (found here). These letter openers are designed for daily use in a mailroom and are excellent for business use. The model you use will depend entirely on where it is used and how much mail you need to open on a daily basis. To help assist you in your letter opener research, I would like to highlight nine models that have proven themselves to be exceptional.

There are a couple of things you should be aware of when shopping for an electric letter opener. I would like to highlight a few of these before showing you my top seven recommendations.

Opening Speed – Letter openers are rated by the speed of their motors. This is usually a pretty good indication on how “tough” it is and how much mail it can handle. One thing you should be aware of, however, is that the motor speed usually does not indicate the duty cycle. If a letter opener claims to have an operational speed of 18,000 pieces an hour, that doesn’t mean it can open that many pieces an hour during all business hours ever single day. That would quickly wear it out. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 of you need help determining the duty cycle of a machine.

Slitter Type – Some letter openers simply slit the mail open, where others cut a tiny slit of paper off the top of the letter. The type of opener you purchase will depend a lot on preference. Most people purchase openers that cut the entire top of the envelope off. Regardless of the format you choose, letter openers are all designed to prevent damage to the contents.

Letter Size & Thickness – Check and ensure the letter opener you purchase can handle all envelope sizes and thicknesses you receive in your mailroom. You don’t want to end up with a machine that can “almost” handle everything.

Top 9 Best Rated Electric Letter Openers (sorted from least to most expensive)

  1. Staplex MA-1 Letter Opener (found here) – This is a compact tabletop unit that is designed to open your mail as fast as you can feed it. It is designed for light to medium-volume use. It includes a catch tray. This machine is excellent for opening several hundred envelopes a day.
  2. DocuGEM 3010 (found here) – We have always had great luck with our DocuGEM letter openers. They are all well built machines. This just happens to be one of the most affordable letter openers we offer that includes a feed hopper for automatic feeding and opening. It slits letters open rather than cutting the tops off, meaning less mess for you.
  3. Martin Yale 1648 (found here) – Martin Yale has been making paper handling machines for some time. The Model 1648 is an excellent machine for the mailroom of a small business. It isn’t designed for heavy volume, but does a great job of opening several hundred to several thousand envelopes a day. It can handle a stack of envelopes up to 3″ thick and can handle envelopes up to ¼” thick.
  4. Martin Yale 62001 (found here) – If you need a letter opener that is a little faster and has more capacity than the 1648, this is a great option. It features fully enclosed self sharpening blades, automatically feeds in envelopes and runs at a speed of about 300 envelopes a minute. It also includes a convenient receiving tray.
  5. DocuGEM LO2145 Letter Opener (found here) – This is one of the best rounded envelope openers for a mailroom setting. It is fast, has a 100 envelope hopper and can handle envelopes up to ¼” thick. If you are a small or medium-size business, this is an excellent letter opener to have on hand. It features excellent build quality and is available in a version (the LO2120) with a digital counter.
  6. Formax FD 452 Envelope Opener (found here) – This is a solid piece of equipment and slits mail open rather than cutting the top off. This means no messy cleaning and easy letter opening. The feed tray can hold up to 80 #10 envelopes. It is easy to operate, features Formax’s well known quality and can be used on just about any desk or table.
  7. DocuGEM LO3253 High-Speed Letter Opener (found here) – This is a high speed letter opener that is perfect for medium-size business mailrooms. It has an operational speed of 8,000 envelopes per hour and can handle envelopes up to 1/3″ in thickness. This is a chadless envelope opener, which means there are no messy scraps to clean up. It is fast, effective and won’t damage the contents of the envelope. A receiving tray catches the opened mail.
  8. DocuGEM LO4063 (found here) – This is a very fast and very effective letter opener for high-speed operations. It has an operational speed of 12,000 envelopes an hour, features solid metal construction and includes a total of 2 motors for continuous operation.
  9. DocuGEM LO4073 Commercial Letter Opener (found here) – If you are in need of the king of letter openers, the DocuGem LO4073 is the machine for you. This letter opener is crazy fast. It can open mail at a speed of up to 20,000 pieces per hour. This machine is excellent for use in large businesses. It features durable metal construction and a nice one-year warranty. Service agreements are available.

Each of these letter openers have proven themselves over the years to be reliable machines. If you need help determining the correct model for your business, or if you simply need an answer to a question, please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788.

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