Coil binding is the most popular method used to bind booklets, presentations and reports. It looks great, is very professional and has many benefits the other binding formats simply can’t offer. If you’ve been shopping around for a coil binding machine (found here), you may have discovered that some include an electric inserter and others do not. So, do you really need to have an inserter on your coil binding machine? I’ll cover the answer to that in this article.
As mentioned above, coil binding is hugely popular right now. Machines are now cheap enough that every day people can afford them. It isn’t uncommon for use to sell a machine to someone for home use. These machines can bind car manuals, cookbooks, college reports, scrapbooks and more. One of the biggest advantages of coil is that pages can lay entirely flat on a table and can even be wrapped around a complete 360 degrees for extremely easy reading.
The coils themselves, often called spirals, have changed over the past decade as well. Years ago coil binding, aka spiral binding, involved metal wire. This became problematic, however, because the coils would bend, stretch and simply didn’t hold up. While you can still buy “spiral notebooks” with wire at the store, coil binding now utilizes PVC coils. These coils are superior in every way to wire. They are nearly indestructible and come in a wide variety of colors.
Electric inserters are a part of the coil insertion process. Once you have punched holes in your paper, you typically insert the coil through the first three or four holes and then put the coil up next to the inserter, where it then spins the coil the rest of the way through. Coil inserters can insert coil in just a matter of seconds. Once the coil is inserted, the excess can then be cut off and crimped using coil crimping pliers.
So do you really need an inserter? The answer is no. You don’t need to have one. Some machines, like the Akiles CoilMac-M (found here), don’t have inserters. They are designed to have you manually insert the coils through the holes. These machines typically cost less than those that have a built-in electric inserter. The biggest determining factor on whether you need an electric inserter or not is time. Manually inserting coils through the holes is anywhere from 3-5 times longer than using an electric inserter (depending on the operator).
I have found over the past few years that more and more machines are being built with the inserter than without. Many machines now also include coil crimping pliers. My advice is if you find two machines that are the same price, but one has an inserter an the other does not, go with the model that includes the inserter. The inserter is simply more convenient and faster to use. If you already have a machine, but would like an inserter, independent coil inserters (found here) are available.
Years ago, if you were only binding a few books per day, I would have recommended a coil binding machine without an inserter. Many brands, like Intelli-Bind, now include inserters on even their cheapest machines. If you are only binding a few books a day, consider an Intelli-Bind IC110 or an IC210, both of which are affordable and include coil inserters.
If you still have questions about coil binding machines or their inserters, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We are the leading experts on the subject and would love to help you out. You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here.
If you’ve ever wanted to coil bind your own documents, you’d be surprised just how easy it is to do. Even someone who has never used a binding machine can usually have a book bound within 5 minutes. These machines can be used to bind presentations, cookbooks, scrapbooks, reports, books and much more. One of the most solid lines of coil binding machines available is CoilMac from Akiles, including the CoilMac-ER (found here). I have over a decade of experience with this machine and would like to share with you why I think it may be the machine for you.
Akiles has been making binding machines (found here) for well over a decade. Their popular lines include MegaBind (comb), WireMac (wire) and CoilMac (coil). Having sold these for years, I can safely say that Akiles produces THE best binding machines available. They easily surpass those made by GBC, Fellowes and many other brands. What strikes me with Akiles binding machines is just how tough they are. They are very hefty and feel as if they were forged out of a solid piece of metal. Needless to say, the build quality and track record of these machines is truly unsurpassed. They are manufactured under ISO9001 and 14001 quality control guidelines.
The Akiles CoilMac-ER is a medium-duty coil binding machine. It binds books using PVC coils (found here). These coils are now one of the most popular binding formats used today. PVC coils are tough, durable, don’t bend or wear out and allow pages to lay flat and wrap around a full 360 degrees. These coils are also available in a variety of colors, allowing for a lot of personalized customization. They can also be used to bind small reports or thick books.
The CoilMac-ER is designed for small to medium-size businesses and can be used for daily binding operations. It punches paper using a 4:1 pitch hole pattern (0.250″). This is the most common hole pattern used and is 4 holes punched per inch of paper. Other pitches are available upon request. If you need a 5:1 pitch, give us a call at 1-800-543-5454.
It has a 13″ wide punching length, which handles most sizes of paper. It can be used to punch even longer paper thanks to an open ended design and a continuous punching guide. This allows for the punching and binding of books up to 26″ long. It is able to punch through up to 20 sheets of 20# bond paper at a time. Thanks to a very long leveraged handle, punching paper and binding books is fast and doesn’t require a lot of manual strain or labor.
It features a total of 5 disengageable punching pins. This means you can prevent 5 of the 53 punching pins from punching the paper. This is designed to help eliminate half-punched holes on the edges of paper. If you need more than 5 disengageable holes, you’ll need to look at upgrading to the CoilMac-ER+. The ER+ is almost exactly the same except it has fully disengageable pins and uses a slightly oval hole pattern (verses the perfectly round 4mm diameter pattern found in the standard CoilMac-ER).
Once the holes have all been punched in your paper, the coil can then be quickly inserted using the built-in electric coil inserter found on the top left corner of the machine. Once the coils are spun through, the ends can then be cut and crimped. This is done using the included coil crimping pliers. This means you get everything you need to bind a book with the Akiles CoilMac-ER except the coils.
In conclusion I just have to say that I adore this machine and pretty much all of the CoilMac machines made by Akiles. I know when one of these machines leave our warehouse I won’t have to worry about it coming back. It the extremely rare event that something does happen, this machine is covered by a one-year warranty.
Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454 with any of your questions. We would love to help. You can find all of our coil binding machines here. Please feel free to post a comment.
Have you ever tried to fold thicker paper, only to find that it cracks along the spine during the folding process? There is a reason for this. The fibers in the thicker paper will actually break and crack when forced to bend, much like a twig will crack when you break it in half. This can be annoying, especially when you are trying to fold thicker paper for announcements, brochures, marketing material and more. There is a way to fold paper without breaking the spine. I would like to cover a few options that may help you prevent cracks in this article.
The biggest culprit with “cracking” the paper during folding, at least that I’ve seen, is not understanding how the paper is made. Humidity and the age of the paper can also affect the quality of the fold. One thing many people don’t realize is that paper has a directional grain pattern to it depending on how it was manufactured. Folding with the grain will produce much better results than folding against the grain and will dramatically cut down on cracks. Folding against the grain of the paper causes a lot of damage. It is possible to fold against the grain, however, which I will cover in this article. I will also cover other popular ways to fold thicker paper in this article.
There are many ways that people fold paper. One of the most common, at least on an individual level, is to fold it by hand. Folding paper by hand, however, results in a very messy spine and the results don’t look very professional. I recommend at least using a folding bone (found here) if you are going to fold paper by hand. A folding bone will crease the paper, making the fold cleaner and more precise. This also helps with folding thicker paper.
One of the most effective ways to fold thick paper, without cracking the spine, is to use a paper scorer or creaser (found here). These devices come in manual and electric designs. What these do is compress the paper in a line along the length of the paper. This helps to crush the fibers in the paper, making a fold much easier. The idea is actually very similar to a folding bone, but in a more practical design for repeated use. Paper scoring machines can be used with some of the thickest paper out there and can even be used against the grain of the paper. These tools work great for dozens to even hundreds of sheets of paper per day.
If you are folding dozens to potentially hundreds or thousands of sheets a day, a paper folding machine (found here) is probably more realistic. These devices do a very good job of handling thicker paper without cracking the spine, however, does not work as well with extremely thick card stock as a paper scoring machine will. What some people will do, especially when folding thousands of sheets of thick paper a day, is score the paper on an automatic scoring machine prior to feeding it into a paper folding machine. This two-step process is ideal for folding thousands of extremely thick sheets of paper a day.
None of these folding methods is completely fool proof, so I recommend if there is any doubt to send in samples for testing prior to purchasing a machine. This way we can guarantee the machine you are purchasing will work with the paper you are using. If you have questions about your paper, and the best machine to fold it, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We have a lot of experience with folding thick card stock and can probably help point you in the right direction.
Thank you for reading this article. If you have your own experience or feedback you’d like to share, please post it as a “comment.” We would love to hear from you.
When shopping around for a paper folding machine, I have found that many customer expect to pay upwards of thousands of dollars to get a good machine. While there are many excellent machine hovering around that price range, one often overlooked model that can handle a remarkably high volume of paper is the Martin Yale 1611 paper folding machine (found here). I have personally used this machine out on our showroom floor and would like to offer some of my own personal observations and thoughts in this article.
Martin Yale makes a lot of paper folding machines and other pieces of office equipment. Products from Martin Yale are hit and miss in my book. Some products are masterful pieces of engineering genius, while others (like the 1501X & 1217A) make me want to bang my head against a wall. Luckily the 1611 (and the automated 1711) utilize newer technology and seem to have ironed out many bugs.
So what is the Martin Yale 1611 (known as the 1611 Ease-of-Use AutoFolder)? It is a friction feed paper folding machine. This means it uses rubber rollers to grab and pull paper into the machine via friction. This system is the most common used in office equipment. While it is extremely effective, its biggest shortcoming is in use with slick, glossy and coated paper. Because the surfaces of these types of paper are slippery, friction wheels can choke on them creating a significant jam. My advice? Try to stick with non-glossy paper when using this machine.
This is a manual setup paper folding machine, meaning the folds have to be manually adjusted by you. This is done by adjusting two folding plates. One of the plates is located under the feed tray and the other above the exit tray. Martin Yale does a pretty good job of indicating where the folding plates need to be adjusted. I have found that it only takes me a few seconds to adjust each. If the fold isn’t exact, or is a little off skew, you may need to go back to the plates and make some fine tuned adjustments.
The Martin Yale 1611 can handle paper ranging in size from 3 ½” x 5″ up to 8 ½” x 14″. Most people use this with standard letter-size paper, although it can create folds with legal size paper. The feed tray on this machine holds up to 150 sheets of paper (based on 20# bond paper). The motor used to pull in and fold the paper runs at a speed of 9,000 sheets per hour, although I don’t recommend you run it like this for hours on end. I recommend using this machine for a few hundred to a few thousand sheets a day.
You can create all of the most common folds with this machine. I tried out the Z fold (aka accordion) and the C fold (aka letter fold) without a problem. It can also be used to create a half fold, right angle fold, double parallel fold and can create variations of these by tweaking the folding plates. As the paper is folded, it drops out onto a powered exit conveyor with a stacking roller. This system helps keep the folded paper organized as it leaves the machine.
One feature that I feel sets this machine apart from much of the competition is the inclusion of a multi-sheet bypass tray. On the top of the machine, you can manually insert up to 5 sheets of paper at a time (based on standard copy paper) for multi sheet folding. While the multiple sheets do have to be manually fed, it is a fast process and the results turn out quite well.
While not necessarily an important part of the operation of the machine, I have to admit that this is one of the nicer and more modern looking folding machines we offer. It features nice rounded curves with a black / gray design. Overall I consider this a great value for the money. As of this article, this machine is less than a thousand dollars and it really does fit in nicely in an office environment. I recommend this for use with businesses, schools and churches.
Wire binding is easily one of the most popular binding formats used throughout the world for binding reports, books and presentations. There are a lot of reasons for this including the quality of real metal, the fascinating deign of the twin loops and the variety of colors and sizes available. To date, there are three different “pitches” of wire binding supplies available (all found here). Of these, the 3:1 pitch remains the most popular. Why is this? I would like to address that question in this article.
Before I dig too deep into why 3:1 pitch wire is so popular, I would like to address exactly what the pitch is. The pitch is a word used by the industry to describe the hole pattern. This applies to most binding formats. In the case of wire, a 3:1 pitch is used to describe a hole pattern that consists of 3 holes per inch of paper. A 2:1 pitch is two holes per inch and Spiral-O wire uses a comb binding 19-hole pattern.
Now that we have covered the pitch, I would like to explain exactly what wire binding is. Wire binding is literally made out of metal wire. It is made from a long single piece of wire that is bent into a pattern that consists of two parallel loops of rounded wire that are inserted into every wire punched hole. This wire is then bent closed by a wire binding machine, preventing the wire from slipping back out.
Usually the back page is placed on the front of the document during the wire insertion and closing process and is then flipped around to the back after the wire is closed. This helps hide the open seam of the close wire and gives the look and impression that the twin loop wires are free floating. This look is very classy and is a huge reason why wire binding is so popular with businesses for binding presentations and reports.
At ABC Office we sell 3:1 pitch, 2:1 pitch and Spiral-O wire binding machines (found here http://www.officezone.com/wire1.htm). Of the machines we offer, over 90% of them are in a 3:1 pitch pattern. So why is this? How did 3:1 pitch gain so much popularity over the 2:1 pitch competition? There are a few reasons for this, and businesses played a big roll in making this happen.
It all boils down to the look of the finished product. A 3:1 pitch wire has more holes per inch than 2:1 pitch wire. As a result, the wire loops are closer together with 3:1 pitch. Businesses like the added stability of more wires and the “tighter” look that the 3:1 pitch wire has. Because of this, businesses almost always buy 3:1 pitch wire binding machines.
The only real downside of 3:1 pitch wire over 2:1 pitch is that it can’t binding as much paper at a time. The increase of holes and wire causes pages to bind if the book becomes too thick (over an inch). If you need to bind more than ¾” of paper at a time with wire, you will need to use a 2:1 pitch wire.
Finally, which hole shape is most popular? You can buy wire binding machines with round or square punched holes. Years ago both were fairly common, but today almost all of the machines punch using square holes. It was determined, with years of use, that pages turned better on a square-punched hole over a round-punched hole.
If you still have questions about twin loop wire binding, either in a 3:1 or 2:1 pitch, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We literally have decades of experience with these machines and can help answer any question you might have. You can find our entire selection of wire binding supplies here and wire binding machines here.
Restaurant menus come in all shapes and sizes. Some businesses go with something simple like a “to go” menu, where others go all out. Some simply laminate a sheet of paper and put the menu on both sides. At Office Zone we offer a wide assortment of tools (found here) that can help you crate your own in-house menu that will look professional and give you control over how it looks. Here are a few products that we offer that you may want to consider using.
One of the most common tools you will find in the restaurant trade for creating a menu is a laminator. Why is this? Because laminators provide a protective barrier that is scratch, wrinkle and moisture proof. This is ideal, especially since a menu can be re-used over and over throughout the day. You don’t want to be creating a new menu on a daily basis…right? Here are some tools our customers like to use for laminating their menus:
Pouch Laminators – The pouch laminator is the perfect tool for laminating a menu. Most of our customers use either letter-size laminating pouches or menu-size laminating pouches (found here). If you are using the larger 12″ x 18″ menu-size pouches, I recommend you use a laminator that is at least 13″ wide. This provides ample room for laminating and also gives you room in case the pouch isn’t fed in perfectly straight.
Here are two menu laminators I recommend using:
Intelli-Lam IL400 (found here) – This laminator is both affordable and durable. It features a 13″ wide laminating width and four rollers for added quality.
Akiles iLam 340 (found here) – Akiles makes great products and the iLam 340 is a great example. This laminator has a 13″ laminating width and comes equipped with everything you need to laminate menus.
PAPER FOLDING MACHINES
Many people like to give menus to customers to take home. This makes sense. I personally have menus at home for various restaurants around the community. Sometimes it is easier to simply break out a menu at home and place an order than try to look it up online. Paper folding machines can be used with letter-size or 11″ x 17″ to 12″ x 18″ paper, depending on the machine. Paper folding machines can also create some really cool and unique folds.
Over the years, I have found that restaurants like to use three primary types of folds with their menus. These are the half fold, the letter fold and the gate fold. Here are some images representing the three folds:
So which machine should you use? It really all depends on the size of paper, thickness of paper and volume of paper you are using. I would like to recommend two machines for folding menus:
Intelli-Fold DE-112AF Paper Folder (found here) – This machine is excellent for folding standard letter-size paper. It is affordable, yet versatile enough to create most of the folds that you will need. It can even be used to create a gate fold, which looks great with a menu.
Intelli-Fold DE-172AF Paper Folder (found here) – If you are folding larger sheets of paper, you may want to use a machine like this. The DE-172AF can be used with paper up to 11″ x 17″ in size. It can also be set up to create a letter, half or gate fold.
The last item you may want to consider using for your in-house menu creation is a paper cutter. These can be used to trim down your menus, cut off excess lamination film and much more. There are three main types of paper cutters you may want to consider using when making menus.
Rotary Paper Cutters (found here) – These cutters use a round cutting wheel that is ideal for precision cutting. These cutters are generally used for trimming a few sheets of paper at a time and are excellent for trimming off excess lamination, photos, paper and more.
Guillotine Paper Cutters (found here) – These are very similar to the arm cutters you may have seen in school as a kid. They feature a long pivoting blade attached to a base. These cutters, especially those by Kutrimmer, are excellent for cutting several sheets of paper at once. Unlike cutters of the past, these ones produce remarkably straight cuts.
Stack Paper Cutters (found here) – These are the cutters you need if you are trimming down hundreds of menus at the same time. They are especially good if you are cutting a large stack of letter-size or menu-size documents in half or simply trimming around the edges.
Hopefully this helps you in your search to find machines for creating in-house menus. We have years of experience doing this, so please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 with any question.
Binding a book is a fulfilling task and the end results look great. If you are shopping for a book binding machine, you have probably found that there are a LOT of different designs, binding formats and machines (found here) available. So if you are trying to bind your own book, whether it is on a personal or professional level, which machine should you use? I would like to cover the most popular binding formats and will include videos so you can see exactly what is involved when binding with coil, comb and wire.
Comb, wire and coil binding are the three most popular binding formats used today. Sure there are other formats out there such as ProClick and VeloBind, but they pale in comparison to the big three when it comes to popularity and availability of supplies. You will find comb, wire and coil in use in schools, copy shops and businesses around the world. These binding formats are commonly used to bind sheets of paper together, ranging from a few to a few hundred in thickness.
I would like to explain the characteristics of each of these three binding formats:
Comb Binding (found here) – Comb binding has been around the longest of the three. The comb binding element is made of plastic and features 19 “fingers” that can be opened and closed for adding or removing paper. Comb binding machines punch 19 holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of letter-size paper. The comb’s fingers are inserted through those holes to help keep the paper bound and together. Combs range in thickness from 3/16″ diameter up to 2″. The comb supplies are available in several colors.
Pros – Comb is by far the least expensive of the three binding formats covered in this article. This is one of the reasons comb binding is one of the most popular formats used today. As of this article, a box of 100 3/16″ diameter combs is just shy of $4. Comb binding supplies also allow the operator to add or remove pages. Comb binding has a small learning curve and can be used to bind small presentations to full-blown manuals. Comb binding also provides a lot of stability to the bound book.
Cons – Combs, when opened and closed multiple times, will eventually begin to wear out. On thicker books this can result in the comb’s fingers becoming week and books loosing pages. Many people thing comb binding looks “cheap,” although that is debatable. Comb binding does not allow pages to be turned around a full 360 degrees.
Here is a comb binding video that will show you in detail exactly what is involved in the binding process:
Wire Binding (found here) – Wire binding uses actual metal wire to bind books. The wire binding element itself is made from a single long wire that is formed into a twin-loop wire appearance. The amount of loops in a twin-loop bound document depends on the hole pattern being used. Wire binding is available in three different hole pattern. These hole patterns are 19-ring (same pattern as comb binding), 3:1 pitch (three holes per inch) and 2:1 pitch (two holes per inch). The hole pattern does change the look of the bound document. The 3:1 pitch has the holes closer together where 2:1 has the holes farther apart. Be aware that the hole pattern cannot be modified on a machine. Once you have selected a machine with a specific hole pattern, you will need to make sure you buy correctly corresponding supplies.
Pros – Wire binding is very popular with businesses for binding reports and presentations. Wire binding is considered to be the most professional-looking supply. The wire elements themselves are available in several different colors.
Cons – The biggest con of wire binding is that the spines are made of wire and are susceptible to being bent out of shape if dropped or stacked upon. Another con is that pages cannot be added or removed.
Here is a wire binding video that will show you in detail exactly what is involved in the binding process:
Coil Binding (found here) – Coil binding has been gaining a lot of popularity over the years. Coil binding, often called spiral binding, is patterned after the old wire coils used in spiral notebooks. Modern coil binding is made using durable PVC plastic. This allows the coils to maintain their shape and makes them available in a wide assortment of colors. This binding format is very popular for several reasons I will cover under the “Pros” section of this article. Coil binding is available in two different hole patterns. These are 4:1 pitch (four holes per inch) and 5:1 pitch (five holes per inch). The 4:1 pitch is by far the most popular.
Pros – Coil binding is the most durable binding format of the three mentioned in this article. The coils can withstand a lot of abuse. Coil binding makes page turns very easy and due to the nature of the coils, the pages can actually be turned a full 360 degrees. Coil bound books also lay extremely flat for easy reading. Coil binding happens to be my personal favorite binding format.
Cons – The only real disadvantage to coil is that pages cannot be added or removed. If you want to add pages, you have to remove the coil and insert a new coil. Coil binding also provides little stability to the bound book, where comb does.
Here is a coil binding video that will show you in detail exactly what is involved in the binding process:
In conclusion, I have to say that all three binding formats have their place. I recommend comb for schools and home projects, wire for businesses and coil for just about anyone. Having used dozens of machines myself, I have to say that my personal favorite brands include Akiles, Intelli-Bind, Tamerica and Renz. While I have used Fellowes and GBC machines, I don’t feel the quality is up to par with what I like.
You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here. If you still have questions about binding machines, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We have decades of experience with machines and are more than happy to help answer questions.
If you own a high-end paper shredder for your office, chances are you are using clear plastic shredder bags (found here). These bags provide a clean and effective way to empty the shredder, making way for additional shredding. There are a lot of reasons why people use shredder bags. If you own an office paper shredder, you may want to consider browsing Office Zone’s huge selection of bulk shredder bags.
At Office Zone, we offer shredder bags for the following brands:
The above-mentioned shredder bags are specifically designed to be used with your model of shredder. Using the correct size, versus a generic bag, ensures proper shredder operation. This helps shred particles, pieces of paper and other waste from getting into the mechanical components of the shredder.
Using the correct bag size helps to cut down on bag changes. This is because the correct bag size fills the shredders bin or cabinet correctly, ensuring you get the total amount of gallons of shredded paper promised by the manufacturer. Using a bag that is too small will cut down on capacity and using a bag that is too big will cause valuable space to be filled by excess bag.
The bags we sell are all OEM. This means quality. Our paper shredder bags are made for the shredder by the manufacturer and use heavy-gauge plastic. This ensures fewer bag tears and added durability. We also sell these bags in bulk boxes, ensuring a lower price per bag for you.
We are an authorized dealer for Destroyit, HSM, Fellowes, Intimus, Rexel, Kobra, GBC, Formax and Dahle. If you don’t see the shredder bags for your model of shredder, give us call at 1-800-543-5454. We can more than likely track down the correct bags for your shredder and provide them to you at a guaranteed low price.
At Office Zone, we have over a decade of experience with paper shredders. We are not only able to provide you with replacement bags, but we can also help you track down replacement parts, additional shredders, accessories, shredder oil and much more. You can find our entire selection of paper shredders, supplies and accessories here.
Please feel free to post any feedback, thoughts or additional advice on this article in the form of a comment. Thank you for reading!
If you have a roll laminator and are going to be laminating posters, you may be wondering what type of film is best for your project. At Office Zone, we offer a huge selection of roll lamination film (found here) and would like to provide you with a few tips on laminating posters. I will cover a few questions you may want to ask yourself and will highlight a few points that should help you make the best selection possible.
When I refer to posters, I am talking about your traditional movie posters, educational posters, large signs and many banners. Lamination film is used on all of these types of printed material for various reasons. Most people laminate them to help bring out the colors, protect the posters’ surface and to protect them from the elements. Before I talk about the best film for your poster, I would like to cover the different types of film. Understanding laminating semantics and terms will help you in making your decision.
These are four terms I recommend you become familiar with when shopping for roll lamination film:
Mil – The mil thickness is the how thick the film is. This is very similar to the gauge often used to measure the thickness of plastic. One mil equals 0.001″, which also happens to be 100 gauge. The higher the mil thickness, the thicker the film. Roll lamination film is usually available in 1.5, 3, 5, 7 and 10 mil thicknesses.
Width – All roll laminators have a maximum width of film they can use. The most popular poster laminators are in 25″ and 27″ widths. If you own a 27″ wide laminator, you can use widths from 27″ on down, including 12″ wide rolls of film.
Core Size – Roll laminators have mandrels, usually made of metal, that are used to hold and support the rolls of film. These mandrels come in different sizes. Most 25″ and 27″ laminators use mandrels with a 1″ diameter, which subsequently are compatible with lamination rolls that feature a 1″ core. Wider format laminators often have mandrels of 2 ¼” or 3″ diameters.
Finish – The most popular roll lamination film we offer has a glossy finish. It reflects light and brings out color. Some people, however, don’t like the shiny look of glossy film. In those situations, I often require a matte film instead. Matte film has a dull luster, but is still clear. Another type of finish people often like is a UV filter for outdoor use. UV film filters out UV rays that can cause printed materials and posters to fade.
Having sold a lot of film and having laminated a lot of posters, I personally recommend you use a film with a glossy finish. As far as the thickness of the film is concerned, I recommend a 1.5 or 3 mil thickness. You can use thicker film, but for the purpose of laminating posters the thinner film is usually more than adequate. All of the film we offer, as long as there is a sealed border around the edge, should be water resistant. A 1.5 mil or 3 mil finish should also be enough to provide adequate protection while still bringing out the colors.
If you are a fan of Minpack-Torre shrink wrap machines, you have probably noticed that a lot of their more affordable machines seem to be disappearing. About a year ago the Minipack Galileo (very popular) was discontinued and just a month ago the highly popular Minipack Galaxy was discontinued. While the replacement machine, the Minipack FM760 (found here), is a solid machine, it is a lot more money than their other discontinued model and it is a 220 volt machine. So what should you do? Is there a comparable model to Minipack that provides similar quality and ease-of-use? Yes there is, and I would like to cover a few of those machines in this article.
If you were to ask me what other manufacturers out there compare in quality to Minipack, I would have to say Truline and Strategic Group are right up there. There are three models in particular I would like to mention. These are the:
First, I would like to show you the sealing dimensions for the Galaxy and Galileo so you have a reference point on the size of the machine:
Minipack Galaxy Sealing Dimensions: 17.5″ x 14″ x 8″
Minipack Galileo Sealing Dimensions: 21″ x 17″ x 8″
Now here are the alternative machines’ dimensions:
Truline TP-48ST Sealing Dimensions: 18.5″ x 12″ x 6″
Truline TP-76ST Sealing Dimensions 22″ x 16″ x 8″
Compack 5800 Sealing Dimensions: 22″ x 18″ x 10″
The Truline TP48ST is the smallest of the three, but is also the most affordable. It is very similar in size and functionality to the Galaxy, but with a slightly smaller sealing length and height. The nice thing about the TP-48ST is that it operates on a 110 volt power supply like the Galaxy, which is now the only shrink wrap system we offer with a 110 volt power supply. This machine is perfect for those looking to get started with a shrink wrap system with integrated heat chamber.
The Truline TP-76ST and Compack 5800 are more in line with the Minpack Galileo as far as dimensions are concerned. They are also both 220 volt machines. The Compack 5800 has the largest sealing dimensions of the three and has been around for years with a proven track record. The Compack 5800 is also extremely affordable considering what you get.
As is the case with the Minipack machines, these three alternative shrink wrap machines all feature a film roll holder, a magnetic hold down, an integrated heat chamber and an impulse L-bar sealer. The can also all be used with both PVC and polyolefin film. The quality, in my personal opinion, is right up there with Minipack.
If you are looking for a Minipack alternative, or simply have some questions regarding the above-mentioned models, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap systems here. Thank you so much for reading our article. Please feel free to post your comments.