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Kutrimmer 1135 Paper Cutter Review

Posted by: James on July 15th, 2013

Kutrimmer 1135 Paper CutterWhen you need a tool for slicing and dicing photos, paper and card stock, a solid paper cutter is a must-have tool. You don’t want something that will cut crooked, dull quickly or cause you a massive headache. You probably don’t want something that is just a step above a pair of scissors. One solid paper cutter, considering what you get for the money, is the Kutrimmer 1135 guillotine cutter from MBM (found here). I have personally used this very cutter on many occasions and would like to share my thoughts about it with you.

MBM stands for Michael Business Machines. This company, based out of South Carolina, is a national dealer for a wide range of high-end German machinery from IDEAL Krug & Priester. This includes Destroyit paper shredders, Triumph stack cutters and Kutrimmer. These products are known for their precision engineering and high build quality.

The Kutrimmer 1135 is a guillotine paper cutter. This means that it features an arm blade that rubs against a base blade in a scissor-like fashion. These types of paper cutters used to be found in schools everywhere and featured a wood base. The downside to these older guillotines is that they didn’t have a clamping mechanism and when the blade became dull, it would pull the paper while cutting it, resulting in a very crooked cut. Luckily modern guillotines implement a wide range of technology that makes them far superior to the older guillotines.

To begin with, the Kutrimmer 1135 is made of metal. Everything from the base to the arm is made of metal. The only plastic components are the guide, safety shield and hand grip. A built-in clamping mechanism forces the paper to stay in place during the entire cutting process. The result of these improvements means a very straight and very accurate cut. The metal used in the blade is made of German Solingen steel, which is arguably some of the best in the world.

Something else you find in this cutter that you definitely didn’t find in the guillotines of a decade ago is an optical cutting line. This laser line shines right across the paper. While the included sliding guide is ultimately all you need to align the paper, the laser makes it easy to make fast and accurate visual adjustments. Wherever the light shines, the blade will cut. It’s that easy.

Assuming you are cutting standard 20# bond paper, this cutter will handle up to about 25 sheets at a time. It can also be used to cut photos, card stock, laminated material, clear covers and more. Just be aware that the cutting capacity will change depending on how thick the material is that you are cutting.

Slicing through paper using this cutter is actually pretty easy. Every time I have used it the blade cut through the paper without any issues. This is due in part to the double pivot bearings and aluminum blade mounting bracket. It’s just very easy to move, handle and manipulate. It weights about 13 pounds shipped and I can pick it up and move it around very easily. Rubber feet on the bottom of the cutter help keep it in place.

I recommend using this at home, in the office, at church or in a school. It really is a nice general-purpose cutter. It can cut a little of everything and very accurately.

If you still have questions about this cutter, give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. You can find all of our guillotine paper cutters here.




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Akiles iCoil 41+ 4:1 Pitch Coil Binding Machine Review

Posted by: James on July 10th, 2013

Akiles iCoil 41+ Coil Binding MachineIf you like making things by yourself, you are the perfect candidate for a book binding machine. These machines make it possible to create your own cookbooks, scrapbooks, books, manuals, presentations, photo albums and more. If you are shopping around for a machine, and need one that is compact and modern, the Akiles iCoil 41+ (found here) is an excellent option. This product has been out for a few years now and I would like to share my personal thoughts on the machine.

Akiles makes awesome machines. I can’t think of any other way to put it. Their products work and they seem to always work well. Part of it is the quality control they put into the manufacturing process. Where other machines may have a few rough edges, Akiles products are always well refined and finished. Akiles makes over a dozen different comb, wire and coil binding machines. If the iCoil 41+ isn’t your cup of tea, consider another Akiles products.

The iCoil 41+ is a 4:1 pitch coil binding machine. This means that it punches a total of 4:1 holes, which ends up being around 44 holes along the 11” side of a sheet of paper. If you already own an iCoil 41+, do not purchase 5:1 pitch coils. They won’t work. The holes have to line up, like a jigsaw puzzle.

There are many reasons I like this machine so much. For one, it is extremely compact. This is nice if you have limited desk space like I do. The binding arm will easily fold down and the back paper support will fold down to act as a dust cover. There is even a little nook where you can store the included coil-crimping pliers. All compacted, it can fit in many drawers and be tucked away in many cabinets.

This machine is actually very similar to the standard Akiles iCoil 41 (found here), but includes the Akiles “Plus” hole pattern. The plus hole pattern has an oval shape to it rather than round. This helps make coil insertion a little faster and page turns a little easier. Personally I think it looks really nice. The iCoil 41+ isn’t the only machine that features the plus hole pattern. Akiles offers a wide range of coil binding machines with and without the plus hole pattern.

Using this machine is actually pretty easy. You place the paper in the vertical punching slot (vertical helps keep paper edges aligned), you pull the handle to punch the paper (repeat as needed) and then insert the coil through the first 3-4 holes. An included electric coil inserter is then used to insert the coils the rest of the way through. This is done by using a foot pedal, allowing for hands-free operation.

I would recommend this machine be used for home or small office use. It can be used to bind a few to a few dozen books a day. If you need something more robust, I recommend going with one of the Akiles CoilMac machines. Overall I consider this machine to be an excellent value for the money.

You can find the Akiles iCoil 41+ by visiting us here. You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here. Give us a call at 1-800-543-5454 with any questions. Because we are an authorized Akiles dealer, we can also provide you with replacement parts, service and much more.




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Formax FD 8704CC Multimedia Paper Shredder Review

Posted by: James on June 18th, 2013

Formax FD 8704CC Multimedia Paper ShredderModern businesses have many needs and often need tools that support their often versatile and constantly changing working conditions. For this reason, Formax has made the FD 8704CC multimedia paper shredder (found here). This shredder is designed from the ground up to keep up with the needs of modern businesses and help them stay on top of the curve, especially when it comes to data and information destruction. I would like to share a few of these features with you in this article.

While paper destruction and HIPAA / FACTA compliance is extremely important, not all data and sensitive information is stored on paper. Many businesses use optical or magnetic media to store patient and customer records, important plans, research and much more. This is where the Formax FD 8704CC really finds its mark. This shredder is equipped with paper, optical and magnetic media destruction capabilities. Let me go into more detail.

Before I go into too much detail on how the FD 8704CC’s capabilities shredding material, I would like to cover how many other manufacturers approach multimedia shredding. The ability of a shredder to destroy optical media is often an afterthought with other shredders. All shredding is done via the same slot. That’s not to say they are bad shredders, but the separation of the paper and multimedia material found in the FD 8704CC is by far superior in my personal opinion.

The FD 8704CC has two dedicated shredding slots. One is designed for paper, found in the front, and the other is dedicated for CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, floppy discs, mini DV cassettes and zip discs. Because there are two dedicated slots, each does it’s own proprietary job extremely well. Amazingly, Formax didn’t go chintzy on the paper shredder. It handles up to 45 sheets of paper in a single pass!

The cross cut shredding pattern falls in at a Level 3 and the particle pieces are 5/32″ x 1 5/8″ in size, which is more than what most offices need. The feed slot is 9.4″ wide, so it easily handles letter-size paper and smaller. You can even shred larger paper, it just needs to be folded in half. The shredding blades themselves are made from heat-treated steel. Formax didn’t cut corners on the quality. Even the gears are made from high quality materials.

Have you ever used a shredder and had to turn it off after 20 or 30 minutes to cool down? This is what’s referred to as the duty cycle when it comes to shredders. The Formax FD 8704CC is what’s known as a continuous duty shredder, meaning there is no duty cycle. It uses a thermally protected motor that can be used continuously through the day. This is especially nice in an office where there may be several people using the shredder throughout the day.

If you have ever used an office shredder, you may have discovered that some almost require a degree to use, if not at least a manual. The FD 8704CC is extremely easy to use. It has a control panel with LED lights to let you know what’s going on. It lets you know when the shredder door is open, when the bag is full and when the shredder needs to be oiled. It also includes a photoelectric sensor that automatically turns the shredder on when material is detected. A load control indicator lets you know how hard the motor is working. If the light goes up into the red, it is working too hard. If it is shredding too much, it will shut off, reverse the paper back out and let you adjust the quantity. You could almost say this shredder is jam proof.

Overall I just have to say that this is a solid piece of machinery and an EXCELLENT shredder for the office. I can’t stress enough just how well put together this shredder is. It is ideal for use in a centralized office location. You can find the FD 8704CC here. Still have questions? Give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here.




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Best Types of Stack Paper Cutters

Posted by: James on June 17th, 2013

Stack Paper CuttersWhen it comes to stack paper cutters (found here), there are many things you should be aware of. Quality ranges greatly and the types of machines available are many. I would like to cover what I have come to learn about stack paper cutters over the past decade of working with them. I will answer a some common questions and cover several popular terms in the industry.

So what is a stack paper cutter? A stack paper cutter is a machine that is designed to cut a stack of paper in a single pass of the blade. The amount varies, but it is typically several hundred or more sheets at a time. This type of paper cutter is popular with businesses that produce paper, printed material, marketing material or handle paper on a daily basis. Because these cutters are capable of trimming down so many sheets at once, jobs are done quickly and output is high.

So what are the different types of stack paper cutters? While it can be argued that there are over a half dozen different types of stack cutters, I like to break them down into three categories. These are manual stack cutters, electric stack cutters and hydraulic stack cutters. Here is what each entails:

  1. Manual Stack Paper Cutters (found here) – These are the most affordable stack cutters available. They don’t feature any kind of motor and are totally manually operated. While manual and cutting stacks of paper don’t seem to belong in the same sentence, these machines actually make cutting paper easy. These cutters use a long handle that is pulled down to cut paper. While not all manual stack cutters are equal, most are very easy to operate and require little force to cut through paper. Popular brands include Triumph, Dahle and Intelli-Cut. These cutters also feature a manual clamping mechanism. Manual stack cutters are ideal for light to medium-volume cutting.
  2. Electric Stack Paper Cutters (found here) – These types of paper cutters use a powerful electric motor to do all of the cutting. These types of paper cutters range greatly in features. Some include an electric clamp, where others have a manual clamp. The backstop also varies a lot. Some adjust themselves and others require the operator to turn a hand crank to adjust the back stop. These are the most popular paper cutters for higher-volume jobs. Depending on the cutter, these can be used for medium to high-volume cutting jobs. Some cutters are also programmable, allowing the operator to simply input some data and the machine does the rest. Some include the ability to remember these settings for repeat and common cutting jobs.
  3. Hydraulic Paper Cutters (found here) – If you are cutting thousands of sheets of paper per day and need the most powerful cutting force available, then a hydraulic stack cutter is what you need. These cutters use hydraulics to drive the cutting blade, producing an amazing amount of force. These cutters are excellent for daily repeated cutting of chipboard, card stock and much more.

Things To Look Out For – When it comes to shopping around for a high-quality stack paper cutter, most electric and hydraulic machines are solid. I find most quality issues in the manual cutter category. This is because there are a lot of cheap imitation machines made that simply aren’t up to par. Most of these fall in the sub $500 category. That isn’t to say you can’t find a good cutter under $500, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Unfortunately when it comes to stack cutters, you often get what you pay for.

I highly recommend you get a stack paper cutter that has a clear plastic guard in the front and back of the machine that prevents access to the cutting blades during the cutting process. Most brands, such as Dahle, Intelli-Cut and Triumph implement many safety features. You just can’t be too safe when dealing with a powerful machine like a stack paper cutter.

If you still have questions about stack cutters, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We would love to help you out.




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Does Your Coil Binding Machine Need an Inserter?

Posted by: James on May 21st, 2013

Coil Binding Machine With Electric Coil InserterCoil 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.

Akiles CoilMac-M Coil Binding Machine Without InserterSo 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.




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Akiles CoilMac-ER 41 13″ Coil Binding Machine Review

Posted by: James on May 17th, 2013

Akiles CoilMac-ER 41 13" Coil Binding MachineIf 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.




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Thick Card Stock Paper Cracks Along the Spine When Folded

Posted by: James on April 26th, 2013

Cracked Spine Card Stock PaperHave 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.

Folding BoneThere 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.

Paper ScorerOne 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.

Paper Folding MachineIf 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.




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Martin Yale 1611 AutoFolder Paper Folding Machine Review

Posted by: James on April 24th, 2013

Martin Yale 1611 AutoFolder Paper Folding MachineWhen 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.

If you have any questions about the Martin Yale 1611 AutoFolder, please give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. You can find the Martin Yale 1611 here and our entire selection of paper folding machines here.




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3:1 Pitch Twin Loop Wire Binding Supplies Are Most Popular

Posted by: James on April 17th, 2013

Wire Binding SuppliesWire 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.

3:1 Pitch Wire Binding PatternNow 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.

2:1 Pitch Wire Binding SuppliesUsually 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.




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Creating Your Own Restaurant Menus? Here Are Some Tips

Posted by: James on April 12th, 2013

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.

Types of Restaurant Menus

LAMINATORS

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:

Intelli-Lam IL400 Pouch LaminatorPouch 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:

Common Restaurant Menu 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-172AF Paper Folding MachineIntelli-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.

PAPER CUTTERS

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 CuttersRotary 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.