Archive for March, 2013

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Which Type of Binding Machine is Best for You?

Posted by: Office Zone on March 27th, 2013

Book Binding MachinesBinding 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 SuplliesComb 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 SuppliesWire 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 SuppliesCoil 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.

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Replacement Paper Shredder Bags

Posted by: Office Zone on March 20th, 2013

Paper Shredder BagsIf 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!

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What is the Best Laminating Film for a Poster?

Posted by: Office Zone on March 13th, 2013

Roll Lamination FilmIf 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.

You can find our entire selection of glossy roll lamination film with a 1″ core by visiting us here. You can also find our entire selection of roll laminators by visiting us here. If you still have questions, please give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. Thank you for reading this article!