Archive for the 'Paper Handling' Category


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.


Electric Text Stamps – A More Efficient Way to Track Your Documents

Posted by: James on October 23rd, 2012

Electric Text Stamping MachinesProper document control can mean the difference between mass confusion and precision organization. If your business handles and works with a lot of paperwork, you may have the need of a document control text stamp (found here). At Office Zone, we currently offer three different models depending on what your needs are. Here is what we have to offer and why you should consider using a text stamp.

Text stamping machines aren’t just novelty items used for stamping your name onto a document. Text stamps are designed to designate and assign paperwork for workflow and organizational purposes. Examples of words used with text stamping machines include, RECEIVED, PREPAID, SENT, DATA PROCESSING, PROCESSED THROUGH, PAID, CANCEL, VOID and much more. In fact, many of the text stamps we offer have an engraving area where you can put a lot of text.

The text stamping head in these units is electric powered. A motor actually forces the crash plate into a ribbon, leaving an impression on the document. The penetrating / striking power can be adjusted to accommodate multi-part carbon forms and much more. The impression left is clean, crisp and clear. Legibility is very important in a text stamp and these produce far more accurate and legible results than a non-electric text stamp.

The type of text stamp you buy will depend on what you will be stamping. We offer machines with both fixed and non-fixed text plates. Right now, we offer three different models made by Widmer. These are the models we currently offer:

  • Widmer Model O-3 (found here) – The Model O-3 imprinter is a text-stamping machine that uses a fixed die. It has a total engraving area of 2″ x 1 7/8″. This machine is designed to be used in document control situations where the message is going to remain constant. This is excellent for document validation, instructions for orders, shipping instructions and more. The O-3 has an adjustable pressure to accommodate almost all document types.
  • Widmer Model D-3 (found here) – The Model D-3 is both a text stamper and a date stamping machine. It features text on top, the date in the middle and text on the bottom. Each of the two brass text stamping plates are 2″ W x 5/8″ H. This style of text stamp and date stamp helps control documents while helping pin-point possible bottlenecks in operations.
  • Widmer Model R-3 (found here) – The Model R-3 is a text stamp designed for use where the message needs to change. It uses an interchangeable 2″ x 1 ¾” brass text stamp. It is extremely easy to swap out. Simply depress the lever, remove the plate and replace it with another brass plate with a different message. This is excellent for use where text stamping is necessary and versatility is needed.

Each of these three text stamps are made in the USA and are build using the highest-quality parts and components available. We have been selling Widmer stamping machines for over a decade and have had great success and have seen great results with their product line. If you have more questions about text stamping machines, please call us at 1-800-543-5454. We would love to help answer your questions.


New Product Review: The Formax FD 6102 Tabletop Inserter

Posted by: Morgan on April 27th, 2012
Formax FD 6102 Tabletop Inserter

Formax FD 6102 Tabletop Inserter

Have you ever been an unwilling participant in a late-night paper folding/envelope inserting “party” at the office? You know the situation: The marketing department is pressed to make a deadline with the post office and hundreds, or even perhaps thousands, of letters with multiple sheets must be folded, inserted and mailed by the next day.

Thankfully, innovative companies such as Formax provide an affordable solution to this type of unwanted hassle and stress to your career. It used to be that the type of machine that could tackle a somewhat technical process was too much of an investment for most businesses.

Formax recently introduced the FD 6102 Desktop Inserter. Why is this newly designed machine such a big deal? Well, for one, the FD 6102 is the most affordable low-volume paper folder inserter in it class. The machine’s impressive lineup of powerful features makes make it the best low-volume paper folder/inserter option available today.

The FD 6102 can process paper up to 14 inches in length. It also has the capability of folding and inserting up to five sheets of paper, stapled or unstapled, at a time. This impressive possibility alone makes the FD 6102 a significant value. This Formax model sports two fully automatic sheet feeders; with one automatic insert feeder. This feeder gives you the option of inserting a business reply envelope, or BRE, into a No. 10 business flap envelope.

The FD 6102 delivers a wide range of paper folding and inserting capabilities. Paper fold types include half, letter and double parallel. Other impressive innovations include a color touch screen, revamped internal engineering, new feeding systems and a user-friendly interface with job wizard. The FD 6102 also has an impressive total 15 programmable jobs. You can expect to process up to 5,000 mail pieces per month with this unit. The model 6102 also offers the ability to process half folds for 6” x 9.5” envelopes.

The 6102’s new feeding system is based on proven technology borrowed from the Formax FD 6202 series. Also included are green foam paper fold rollers that reduce toner build-up from copy paper. They also improve folding consistency. Internal mechanics are easier to access and document catch points have been eliminated.

Intuitive icons have been added to help users better understand how to load paper and envelopes.  Formax is an industry leader in the design, engineering, sales and support of office machines. The company has a strong reputation in the industry for continually introducing new and innovative products.

Be sure to contact Office Zone today for further information about the Formax FD 6102 paper folder and inserter.



Widmer S-3 Check Signer Review

Posted by: James on August 29th, 2011

Widmer S-3 Check Signing MachineThere are many mundane tasks in an office that are very important, but are about as exciting as watching a mime try and recite Shakespeare. Signing checks, invoices and other paperwork are one of these tasks. Business can’t continue to operate, and employees and vendors can’t get paid, without a steady flow of ink being scribbled across the signature line on documents.  But no one really wants to be the one who gets hand cramps from signing each and every document. That’s where the Widmer S-3 Check Signer comes in.

The Widmer S-3 Check Signer is a handy device that automatically stamps dates, numbers, data or authorized signatures on checks, purchase orders, invoices or other documents. It is fast, efficient and never gets tired of signing, even after the 100th document. It is a must-have for banks, retail stores, restaurants, distributors, warehouses, churches, nonprofits, schools or any other large organization and business.

The Widmer S-3 Check Signer is easy to use and can handle signing as many documents as you can feed it. The check signer works in the same was as a traditional style punch clock. The user simply slides the document to be signed into the feed slot on the machine. An internal switch detects the document and automatically activates the signer. In less than a second a clear signature, date or other desired information is clearly stamped on to the document.

Users will like the convenience of not having to reset any buttons or stamp settings while feeding a stack of documents through the check signer. Another convenience is the auto advance number printer. When you’re printing a series of sequential numbers on to a set of documents, the Widmer S-3 will automatically advance to the next number in the series. This is a true time saver and eliminates the need to use pre-printed or pre-numbered forms and documents.

The S-3 Check Signer is the product of the Widmer Time Recorder Company, a New York City based company who has produced time and date stamping products since 1933. Widmer started as a repair shop for time stamps and has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of time and date stamps products in the world.

One concern that some companies have with check signers in general is the fear that someone will abuse the machine by making unauthorized signatures on checks and documents. The good news is that the S-3 Check Signer has some multiple security locks to prevent unauthorized personnel from using it. And if The President of the United States has enough trust in check signers to use one to sign legislation, then you can rest assured that they are secure.

The S-3 Check Signer is versatile enough to handled different styles of paper. The stamping pressure can be increased enough for it to penetrate through carbon paper forms, leaving a perfect imprint on each sheet. It can also be adjusted to accommodate lighter bond paper and carbonless forms.  It is made from sturdy material so it will provide years of consistent use.

You can purchase a Widmer S-3 Check Signer from Office Zone. You can find Office Zone’s entire selection of check signing machines here.


Can Paper Counting Machines Count Stickers?

Posted by: Morgan on April 12th, 2011

Max Bantam paper counterQuestion

Hello, my company is trying to find a way to quickly and accurately count stickers that we produce.  They measure 4 inches by 8 inches and are a vinyl sticker on a paper backer.  Would this be something that your paper counting machines would be able to do without peeling the sticker from its backer?  Do you have any suggestions on which one would work best?  We need to count them into groups of 10.

Kacey O.


We recommend the Max Bantam paper counter. Manufactured by U.S. Paper Counters in Cairo, NY, this unit is relatively easy to set up and accurate. This entry-level model in the paper counting family is capable of executing up to 2,000 counts per minute (CPM) on 25-250 gsm paper. We have successfully test counted stacks of stickers similar to yours in the past. You are welcome to send us samples for testing.

Unlike several competing models that simply count paper based on weight, the Max-Bantam provides an exact number by literally counting each sheet. We have had prospective customers in the past question the accuracy of this machine. We actually have a Max Bantam in the offices of Office Zone and frequently test the unit with various paper samples. We have placed the same stack of paper on the machine, counting it multiple times, and the Max Bantam consistently provides the exact same number of sheets. It is indeed highly accurate.

The Max-Bantam comes loaded with several useful features. Besides counting high volumes of paper, it also has tab insertion and batch counting capabilities. All you have to do is the Max Bantam to place a tab into every 5 to 999 sheets. The tab insertion depth may even be adjusted. The tabs are then fed from a paper tab roll. Be sure to call Office Zone to learn more about the Max-Bantam paper counter.


Check Signing Machines

Posted by: Morgan on April 5th, 2011

Check Signing MachineQuestion

Dear Sir / Madam,

We are a firm of security printers, based in the UK. I have an overseas client that is interested in a machine for signing cheques. I note from your web site that you market various machines:

I understand, first of all, that these machines would be capable of printing a signature on to a cheque? Can you please confirm? I was wondering also if you could advise which model would be the most suitable for my customer.

We are tendering for the printing of their cheques, continuous format, size 3.1/3” x 215 mm wide (including sprockets), single part, and a quantity of 2,000 – 10,000. My client is in Africa and, with all due respect to them, would be looking for something cheap and cheerful, and not too complicated.

Could you please advise?


Cas A.


Yes, all of the models listed will print a signature on to a check. However, some models are more automated than others. If you need a machine that’s affordable, yet capable of signing up to 10,000 checks, we recommend the Martin Yale 930A Check Signer.

Check signers are highly efficient and significantly increase productivity.  Some of our customers who now own an automatic check signer, had to in the past manually sign hundreds of payroll or accounts payable checks a week. A check signer machine can do it in minutes. Using check signing machines saves considerable time and prevents writer’s cramp.


Looking for a Paper Counter

Posted by: Morgan on April 4th, 2011

Max-Bantam Paper CounterQuestion

I am looking for a paper counter. Do you have anything that will count paper coupons 10 inches long.

Christopher M.


Yes, we have several paper counter models that will tally your coupons. Most of our customers who use a paper counting machine generally include printers, copy shops, government agencies, and several other varieties of businesses and organizations. Paper counting machines quickly and precisely count large stacks of paper in merely seconds.

Paper counters also help businesses inventory the paper they use in operations. Some of our customers report that a paper counter comes in handy when they need to do an inventory of available promotional mailers such a postcards or other marketing materials. Copy shops like paper counters because they can give their clients a precise count (99.9 percent accurate) of printed pieces in a print job. Some competing paper counting machines on the market merely measure the thickness of a stack of paper or provide an estimated count based on the weight of the paper. The models we offer from U.S. Paper Counters actually count every single sheet of paper.


Interested in Table Sheet Paper Counters

Posted by: Morgan on March 18th, 2011

Count Wise IMB Paper Sheet CounterQuestion


We do an awful lot of padding work as well as counting/shrinking in 25’s/50’s etc.  I am interested in the table sheet counters that you sell and would like some more information.  We generally count 23 x 35” press sheets, as well as sometimes as small as 8.5 x 11.  Drop me a note or feel free to give me a shout.


Scott M.


Your best option would be the Count Wise IMB Paper Sheet Counter from U.S. Paper Counters. This model has a large enough table to hold your larger-sized stacks of paper. The highly flexible Count-Wise IMB offers high paper counting speed and multi-batching features. The Count Wise is relatively simple to operate after some initial training. You may edit and view batch amounts during any stage of the counting process, simply with the touch of a button. The machine also offers you the ability to set up to 10 different batch amounts at one time. The industry-strength Count-Wise IMB paper counter is the ideal solution for most paper counting and tabbing needs.


Need High-Volume Paper Burster

Posted by: Morgan on March 17th, 2011

FD 676 High-Volume BursterQuestion

Hi, I am with the assessor office.  We need to get a burster that will take different size paper from a tractor feed and separate it.  We do a high volume of paper during different times of the year.  Could you let me know which one of your machines can handle a high volume, not constantly but occasionally, and handle different sizes of paper and cards, taking off the sides also.  thanks

Theresa S.


You need the model FD 676 High-Volume Burster from Formax. The FD 676 is a high-volume industrial burster. This is one tough machine designed for heavy use. It comes with integrated forms slitters that can trim the sides of each form. Most of our customers like this feature so that they can remove the tractor-feed holes from their forms. The Formax FD 676 can slit, separate, and stack forms in a neat pile. This model is capable of bursting an impressive staggering 30,000 feet per hour. A convenient exit conveyor comes standard with his model.