Posts Tagged ‘Bag Sealers’

Impulse Bag & Direct Heat Sealer FAQ

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Bag Sealer FAQAt ABC Office, we sell a lot of impulse bag sealers and direct heat bag sealers. These tools are used by people around the world to package food, parts and other products for retail sale. Having spoken to hundreds of customers over the past decade, I would like to provide a list of answers to frequently asked questions regarding our bag sealers (found here).

What is the burst strength of the seal? – Many people want to know just how tough the seal is made by a bag sealer. While there is no set burst strength, the wider the seal the stronger it will be. I have found in my own experience that the bag will often burst before the seal. The reason I can’t provide a set burst strength on the seal is because it can vary wildly depending on the bag’s material makeup and the product being packaged.

Should I use a hand sealer or a foot sealer? The type of sealer you use depends on the size of the bag and volume you are packaging. Hand sealers make sealing smaller bags, anywhere from a few inches to 12″, very easy. If you are packaging 12″ or larger, the foot sealers are nice because they allow you to use both hands to support and insert the bag for sealing. Foot sealers are also ideal for higher volume packaging needs (hundreds to thousands a day).

What types of materials can I package with my bag sealer? A lot of it depends on the sealer. As a general rule, impulse sealers work well with polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) bags, where constant heat sealers work well with gusset bags, poly cello films, coated Kraft papers, cellophane, waxed paper, mylar, coated polypropylene (PP) and other thick materials

Direct Heat SealersAre bag sealers safe to use? – Impulse bag sealers heat up and cool down in just seconds, making them safe to handle and use. Direct heat (aka constant heat) sealers get very hot and stay hot. Using a direct heat sealer does require the operator to be mindful of the hot sealing jaws.

How hard is a bag sealer to use? Bag sealers are extremely easy to set up and operate. Most allow you to set the sealing time and some the sealing temperature. These sealers, in most cases, are as easy to use as a pair of scissors. Very little training is required.

Which bag sealer should I buy? There are two factors to consider. First, what types of bags are you sealing? An answer to that question will determine if you need an impulse sealer or a direct heat sealer. Second, what is your packaging volume? If your volume is low, a hand sealer should be fine. If your volume is high, you may need a more robust machine like a foot sealer.

What are the power requirements? Most bag sealers that we sell run on a 110-120 volt system. This means if you are in the US or Canada, they should be able to be plugged into any standard outlet.

These are some of the most common questions we receive, but we receive several other less common questions every day. If you need more advice or answers to other questions, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have years of experience with these machines and would sincerely like to help you out. You can find our entire selection of bag sealers here. Feel free to post your questions as a comment.

Sealer Sales KF-300CS & KF-200CS Heat Sealer Review

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Sealer Sales KF-200CS & KF-300CS Direct Heat SealersWhen it comes to sealing thicker bags shut, such as cellophane, coffee bags, coated aluminum and Kraft paper, you are probably going to need something a little tougher than your standard impulse bag sealer. That is where direct heat sealers come into play. Two of our most popular direct heat sealers are the KF-200CS (found here) and the KF-300CS (found here) from Sealer Sales. These machines are similar in every way except the sealing width. So is the KF series direct heat sealers a good match for you? Read on!

Impulse sealers are extremely popular tools for sealing bags shut, often made from materials such as polypropylene and polyethylene. Impulse sealers are designed to be quick, safe to operate and efficient. The only downside with impulse sealers is that the often can’t handle the thicker stuff, unless you go with a double impulse sealer (often more expensive). For this reason, direct heat sealers (often called constant heat sealers) fit the bill.

Direct heat sealers are continually on and produce a lot of heat. The result is the ability to quickly seal thicker bags shut such as those made from cellophane, Kraft paper and coated aluminum. The KF-300CS is 12″ wide and the KF-200CS is 8″ wide. This is enough width to seal most retail food bags and other thicker bags. Both models feature an adjustable temperature control. The seal produced by both of these sealers features a nice serrated pattern (horizontal lines) that is 15mm thick.

These sealers do produce a lot of heat. As a result, both of these sealers have had their jaws coated in PTFE, which is a non-stick surface much like what you find in a pan. This helps the sealer to seal the plastic shut without sticking to it. The design works remarkably well and is very fast, taking just seconds to seal a bag shut.

Because both of these sealers feature a portable handheld design, they are extremely easy to use, maneuver and operate. They are also great for use with odd sized packages and material. An included stand helps to keep the sealer in place when not in use or in place while packaging. Rubber handgrips help to protect the operator from the heat.

Here is a video demo of the KF series of direct heat sealers in action:

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

One thing to keep in mind while using either the KF-300CS or the KF-200CS is that they get very hot. They take about 5-15 minutes to fully warm up and take several minutes to cool back down. Do not touch the jaws at any time as you could seriously burn yourself. As long as you take the proper precautions, you will be very happy with these direct heat sealers.

As is the case with most Sealer Sales products, both the KF-300C and KF-200CS are solid products. They are made using high quality metal products including the jaws and the handles.  If you need something a little bigger than 12″, you may want to consider using the 16″ FKR-400 bag sealer found here. You can find our entire selection of bag and hand sealers here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

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

Wednesday, 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.

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.

Heat Sealer with a Professional Finish?

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Sealing Width For Heat Sealers

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Heat Sealers / Bag SealersHeat sealers are great machines to have on hand. They can be used to package and seal most plastic bags. While heat sealers vary in sealing length, they also vary in sealing width. So which sealing width is best for packaging your products?

As should probably come as no surprise, the thicker the sealing width, the more durable the seal. I have found that as the sealing length goes up, the sealing width increases to compensate for the added pressure from the larger contents of the bag. This isn’t, however, always the case.

If you have found a heat sealer of equal length, but of varying sealing widths, there are a few things you will want to take into consideration.

If you are sealing liquids, powders or other fluidic products, you may want to use a wider sealing width. This is because liquids, powders and other pliable products can quickly produce added pressure in a single area during shipping and transport. More pressure could create a rupture if the sealing width is too small.

If you are packaging solid products, food, parts and other materials, you may be fine with a thinner sealing width. Remember, the smaller the sealing width the less film and bag you will end up using. Sealers with smaller sealing widths also typically cost less money.

If in doubt, a thicker sealing width will certainly not hurt anything and will provide you with added protection.

Common sealing widths include:

  1. 2mm (most common)
  2. 5mm
  3. 10mm
  4. 15mm (typically the largest)

A few additional features you may find in a heat sealer includes a magnetic lockdown (for convenience) and a built-in cutter for slicing off excess plastic.

You can find our entire selection of heat sealers here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any heat sealer related questions.

Traco THC-150 Handheld Bag Sealer Review

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Traco THC-150 Crimp Style Bag SealerDo you need to quickly seal up balloons, small gift bags or other novelties? One great way to do this is by using a handheld bag sealer. One model you may want to consider is the 6″ Traco THC-150 handheld crimp-style bag sealer (found here). This is my review.

Traco is one of the largest manufactures of shrink wrap equipment, supplies, heat sealers and bag sealers in the United States. Their products have developed a great reputation and are considered to be an affordable alternative to other more expensive products on the market.

The THC-150 is designed to seal bags up to 6″ wide. As mentioned earlier, this may include balloons, gift bags, small retail bags and more. It can be used with materials like polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC, foil, surlyn, Mylar and bubble packaging. It is a very versatile sealer.

Sealing is done via a constant-heat Teflon sealing surface. This means that it can be used for repeat sealing and is great for keeping up with a wide variety of projects. I would rate this sealer as a light to medium-volume sealer.

The THC-150 only weighs in at 1 pound, so it is extremely portable. It is also fairly compact, which means it can be placed in most drawers and cupboards for storage purposes.

The housing of the THC-150 is made out of plastic. Once plugged in, it takes about 10-15 minutes before it is fully warmed up and ready to use. Sealing only takes a few seconds. It can seal bags up to 0.010″ thick.

While the THC-150 isn’t the best bag sealer Traco has to offer (no slitter or impulse sealing), it is an affordable alternative that is capable of keeping up with most jobs. The build quality is great for what it is and it should hold up well.

You can find the Traco THC-150 handheld crimp-style bag sealer here. You can find our entire selection of heat and bag sealers here.

Traco TISH Handheld Bag Sealer Review

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Traco TISH Impulse Bag SealerBag sealers are a very important tool in the retail and packaging market. Bag sealers (aka heat sealers) can be used to seal a wide variety of PVC, poly, foil, mylar and other bags. They can also be used to seal bubble pack bags and padded mailers. If you need a good solid bag sealer, you may want to consider our Traco TISH impulse bag sealers (found here). I have used these and this is my review.

One of the most popular bag sealers we sell is the AIE line of handheld sealers. The Traco TISH line the second most popular line we offer and it is quickly rising in popularity. This is due in part to the excellent pricing and the fact that TISH sealers are made from the same parts as the AIE sealers. This means the TISH sealers equal the quality of AIE sealers, usually at a much better price.

Traco has been making shrink wrap equipment and machines for years. Manufacturing impulse bag sealers fit right in with their existing product line.

The TISH line of impulse heat sealers comes in a variety of different designs. These include the TISH-100, TISH-200, TISH-200C, TISH-300 and the TISH-300C. These sealers are all very similar in make and construction. The biggest difference is the cutting width. Models ending in “C” include a built-in cutter.

These sealers use impulses of electricity to quickly seal bags shut. This is a huge advantage over traditional heat sealers as impulse sealers produce less smoke and less odor.

The TISH line of bag sealers can be used to seal polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC, foil and surlyn, mylar or bubble pack / padded mailers. This makes the TISH sealers extremely versatile.

Very little training is needed to get one of these bag sealers up and running. Once the time duration has been set, simply plug in the machine, insert a bag and pull down the arm. In just seconds a bag will be completely sealed shut.

The TISH line of sealers weigh in at 6-12 pounds shipped, depending on the model. This makes them very light and very portable. This is great, especially for packaging operations that require a portable machine.

We have been selling TISH bag sealers for several years now and I am not aware of any quality issues. The build quality seems to be right where it should be. Traco claims, and I agree, that the TISH bag sealers are designed to hold up for years.

You can find our Traco TISH bag sealers here. You can find our entire selection of heat sealers and bag sealers here.

AIE Impulse Bag and Hand Sealer Review

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

AIE Impulse Bag and Hand SealersSo you need to seal products in a bag and need a reliable impulse hand sealer to get the job done. Which model should you go with? One model that you may want to consider using is the AIE impulse bag and hand sealer (found here). This is my review.

To begin with, AIE has been making hand sealers and shrink wrap machines for years. AIE stands for American International Electric. AIE is especially known for their exceptional build quality and reliability.  AIE tests all their sealers in their West Coast facility and provides a warranty that guarantees dependability and durability.

We carry a wide variety of AIE impulse hand sealers. The biggest difference between models is the sealing length and the sealing width. Models range from four-inches long to 20 plus inches long.

The sealing width ranges from 2 mm to 10 mm. The bag thickness these sealers can handle ranges from 5 mil to 8 mil (on select models). The “C” version of our impulse hand sealers include a sliding cutter. Some of these sealers even include a holding magnet for convenience.

Models include: AIE-100, AIE-200, AIE-200C, AIE-205, AIE-205C, AIE-300, AIE-300C, AIE-305, AIE-305C, AIE-400, AIE-400C, AIE-405, AIE-500.

Our sealers can be used to seal most plastic bags without any issue. AIE hand sealers provide exceptional air and watertight seals on most plastic materials up to about 6 mil. This includes  poly bags, mylar bags and much more. This may be to package food, protect products or for display purposes.

Customer satisfaction with AIE impulse hand sealers is exceptionally high. I very rarely hear about any customer service issues with these machines.

You can find our standard AIE impulse hand sealers here. You can find our AIE impulse hand sealers with cutters here. You can find our entire selection of impulse hand sealers here.

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