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Semacon S-1000 Mini Currency Counter Review

Posted by: Office Zone on January 10th, 2013

Semacon S-1000 Mini Currency CounterAs technology advances and electronics get smaller, so do many products. Currency counters are a great example of this. A decade ago, a currency counter required its own space in the office and they were often the size of a small printer. Currency counters today are much smaller and the Semacon S-1000 mini (found here) is an excellent example of this. Compact bill counters have many benefits, but are they for you?

The Semacon S-1000 Mini and is just slightly shorter in height than the Cassida Tiger. The S-1000 Mini stands at just 5.5″ high, which is impressive considering most are around 7″ to 9″ high. It is 9″ wide and 11.5″ deep. It is just 10 pounds in weight and is extremely easy to pick up and move around. The compact nature of this counter also makes it ideal in offices where space is in short supply.

While it is compact, it is still very fast. It counts bills at a speed of 900 per minute, which equals out to 15 a second. The hopper holds up to 120 new banknotes. The bills are pulled in and counted so quickly it will probably operate faster than you can keep up. Simply place your stack of bills in the hopper and pull them out of the stacker once counting is completed.

The S-1000 Mini can be used for various counting purposes. It can simply count a stack of bills or it can be used to add multiple stacks of bills together. If you are sorting the bills for storage or organization, the S-1000 mini is also capable of batch counting. Simply tell the machine how many bills you want batched together. If you put in 25, it will count 25 bills and stop until you remove the bills. It is very accurate. Put in 113 bills and it will tell you that there are 113 bills. You should be aware, however, that the S-1000 mini is a currency counter, not a currency discriminator (aka mixed bill counter). It will not provide you with the total dollar value, just the total bill amount.

As is the case with most modern currency counters, the S-1000 is equipped with double, chain and half not detection. The control panel has been simplified and is very easy to navigate. The display is located on the top of the machine and it is very easy to view and read during the entire counting process.

Semacon currency counters typically cost a little more than the competition. There is a reason for this. I’m not saying other brands are bad, or that they’re not of good quality, but Semacon goes out and beyond what’s needed for quality in a machine. Their machines are some of the best constructed we offer. Semacon even goes as far as to test and burn in their machines prior to shipment, ensuring optimal quality and operation. I would say Semacon machines are probably the best built that we offer.

The S-1000 doesn’t come with any counterfeit detection capabilities, but you can purchase variations that do. The S-1015 Mini (found here) has UV ultraviolet counterfeit detection and the S-1025 Mini (found here) has UV ultraviolet and MG magnetic detection capabilities.

Do you have more questions about the S-1000 Mini from Semacon? Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. You can find our entire selection of currency counters here. Do you own or have you used the Semacon S-1000 Mini? Please post your thoughts and feedback here in a comment. Thanks for reading!




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What Makes a Silent Paper Shredder Quiet?

Posted by: Office Zone on January 9th, 2013

Quiet Paper ShreddersIf you use a paper shredder in the office, you probably want it to be quiet. A loud shredder can be annoying and distracting. While most paper shredders generate some sort of noise, some are quieter than others. So what features should you look for in order to get a quieter shredder (found here) and is there anything you can do to quiet your existing shredder? I will cover the various technologies shredder manufacturers use to quiet their shredders and will offer a few tips to help out existing shredder owners in this article.

Having worked in the office equipment industry for well over a decade, I have had a chance to use a variety of paper shredders. Some are remarkably quiet (almost as if they were off) and others sound like a wood chipper caught on something. Louder shredders are like nails on a chalkboard and they really can cut into work productivity.

Before I go too far into what makes a shredder quiet, I would like to offer a small bit of advice. While I recommend cross cut shredders for office use, strip cut shredders are by nature more quiet than cross cut shredders. There are fewer moving parts and less cutting involved, which results in a quieter machine. If you need a cross cut shredder, which most of us do, here are some things that help keep them quiet:

  • Vibration Absorbing Motor Mounts – Many manufacturers, especially those that offer German-made shredders, use special mounts for the motors. Like a car’s motor mounts, these rubber mounts absorb vibration and cut down on noise.
  • Wood or Sound Absorbing Cabinets – Many manufacturers use a wooden cabinet, versus a metal or plastic cabinet, purely because wood naturally absorbs vibrations. Metal cabinets can sometimes reverberate the sound and cheap plastic cabinets can cause more vibration.
  • Insulated Shredding Head – Many shredder manufacturers line their shredder heads with special insulation, which helps cut down on sound.
  • Modern Shredding Blades With Less Friction – Thanks to modern engineering, many shredder blades have been engineered from the ground up to produce less noise by minimizing friction as much as possible. This isn’t something you’ll find in a cheap department store shredder, but is something you will find in a higher-end German-made shredder.
  • Automatic Oilers – Oil helps cut down on friction, which cuts down on noise. If you are shopping around for a shredder, consider buying one with an automatic oiler. This will keep your shredder well lubed and should extend the life of the shredder. If you already own a shredder, consider buying shredder oil (found here http://www.officezone.com/shredder_oil.htm) and oil the shredder yourself. This will help cut down on noise.
  • Level Floor – Believe it or not, if your shredder is not flat and level on the floor, it can wobble and vibrate just enough to generate additional noise. If your shredder is abnormally loud, consider moving it to a different location. It might help.

A few brands I highly recommend you look at, that are almost always quieter, include Dahle (found here), Intimus (found here), Destroyit (found here) and Formax (found here).

If you would like more information on paper shredders, please feel free to give us a call and speak with one of our Paper Shredder Experts at 1-800-543-5454. Hopefully this article has helped you out. Do you have tips or ideas that have helped you quiet your own shredder? Post them here as a comment!




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Cassida Tiger Currency Counter Review

Posted by: Office Zone on January 8th, 2013

Cassida Tiger Currency CounterIf compact, portable and small footprint are features you need in a currency counter, the Cassida Tiger may be a good option. We have been selling this machine for a few years now and have had remarkable luck in how it has held up with continuous use. So if you are a casino, bank, credit union or other business, is the Cassida Tiger a good fit for you? I would like to cover a few of this machine’s features and benefits in this article.

The Cassida Tiger is available in three flavors. You can buy it as the basic model (found here), the UV model (found here) and the UV/MG model (found here). Which  of these three you end up using will depend on the degree of counterfeit detection your business needs. The basic model has no counterfeit detection capabilities. The UV only uses ultraviolet lights to scan bills and the UV/MG model uses ultraviolet light and a magnetic ink scanner. As you might expect, the more equipped the counter, the more it will cost. Other than the counterfeit detection differences, all three are pretty much the same.

One of the biggest perks of the Cassida Tiger is the compact design. It measures in at 10″ x 10.4″ x 5.4″ and weighs in at just 8.3 pounds. Few currency-counting machines have a height that is just 5.4″ tall. While this is one of Cassida’s newer machines, it really holds up well with rigorous use. The Cassida Tiger is one of our top 2 selling Cassida counters. Thanks to a compact design, this counter can be used on most tables, work desks and other surfaces.

Another huge advantage of this counter is it’s easy-access cover. The entire top of the machine flips up, allowing easy access to the internals of the counter. This makes it easy to clean out dust and gunk often left over by dirty bills and money.

So here are some of the specifications you will find in this machine, which I must say are very impressive considering how compact it is.

Capacity – This counter can hold up to 250 new bills in the hopper (where you feed in the bills) and 250 in the stacker (where the bills come out). You can usually divide that number in half when dealing with used bills, which would be 125. This is a decent capacity for a currency counter.

Speed – This counter has a counting speed of up to 1300 bills per minute. I have seen machines range from 900 up to 1500, so this is a good counting speed. In fact, it will probably count the bills faster than you can feed them in.

Other Features – This counter can count stacks of bills, add up multiple stacks and will batch count bills. The control panel is very straightforward and the display is easy to read. It will also alert the operator audibly and visually when there is an issue. It can detect double notes, half notes, chain notes and for foreign currencies it includes size note detection. If equipped with counterfeit detection, it will notify the operator when a suspicious bill is detected.

For the price, and considering its compact size, this is a very well rounded currency counter. This will fit in nicely with casinos, banks, credit unions and other businesses that need a compact bill counter. For more information, please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454. Have you used this machine? Post your experience and feedback as a comment. You can find our entire selection of currency counters here.




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Top Recommended Chart Holders for the Office

Posted by: Office Zone on January 7th, 2013

Wooden Mallet Chart HoldersIf you are a business or organization, such as a doctor’s office or hospital, you probably use chart holders on a regular basis. If you are in need of something, or are looking to upgrade, you should consider one of our Wooden Mallet chart holders (found here). These are extremely popular with our customers. They are durable, made from high-quality wood and are all available in light oak, medium oak and dark red mahogany. So which chart holders do our customers like and which one should you consider using?

To begin with, our single pocket chart holders are by far the most popular models we offer. They can easily be placed in a waiting room or medical office. They can also be easily lined up side-by-side or in a vertical alignment. We also offer several multi-pocket vertically designed model. All of the mounting hardware is included with these chart holders. Some models show a little of the top of the chart and other HIPAA approved models cover almost the entire chart. All of the models we currently offer are wall mounted except one. The CH10-FS (found here) is a 10-pocket freestanding model.

I would like a few of our more popular models:

  • Wooden Mallet CH14-1 Single-Pocket Chart HolderWooden Mallet CH14-1 (found here) – This is our most popular model. This is due to the fact that it is extremely affordable and it has a nice single-pocket design. This chart holder is excellent for use in individual offices, waiting rooms and more. It features pockets that are 12 1/2″ wide and 2″ deep. The sides are made from solid oak.
  • Wooden Mallet CH15-1 (found here) – The CH15-1 is very similar to the CH14-1, but features a square design rather than an angled front. This chart holder is also very affordable and has a 12 ½” wide pocket that can hold up to 2″ of charts, files and other material.
  • Wooden Mallet CH15-1 HIPAA Chart HolderWooden Mallet PCH15-1 HIPAA (found here) – If you need a chart holder that is HIPAA compliant, the PCH15-1 is a great option. This rack features a higher front panel (9″ tall) than other chart holders for added privacy. It also features a nice 2″ pocket depth. All mounting hardware is included.
  • Wooden Mallet OCHO20-1 (found here) – This chart holder has a more contemporary design and includes open sides for easier access. This rack is mounted to the wall via an oval mounting plate. The OCHO20-1 looks great, has a nice wood grain finish and is an attractive chart holder for any office or medical facility.
  • Wooden Mallet CH14-3 Three-Pocket Chart HolderWooden Mallet CH14-3 (found here) – If you need multiple pockets, the CH14-3 is a great option. This chart holder looks like the CH14-1 single pocket holder, but with a three pocket vertical design. This is great for offices that need a little more capacity. Each of the three pockets are 12 ½” wide and 1 ¼” deep. Considering it has three pockets, this is a great deal.
  • Wooden Mallet CH14-2 (found here) – This chart holder has a total of four vertically aligned pockets. Each pocket features an angled-front design and each pocket is 12 ½” wide by ¾” deep. This is great for offices that need multi-pocket organization for charts and files. The design looks great, the build quality is excellent and the design is intended for daily use.

None of the above-mentioned models are any better than the other. I am just listing models that are popular. All of the chart holders we offer are of equal quality. Many of our higher-pocket models are unique and highly useful, but are not in as much demand as the models with fewer pockets.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 for answers to any questions you may have about our chart holders.




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Cassida 5520 Currency Counter Review

Posted by: Office Zone on January 2nd, 2013

Cassida 5520 Currency CounterMoney counting machines are a must-have product for any retail environment, bank, credit union or business that handles money on a regular basis. They are accurate, eliminate human error and dramatically improve workplace efficiency. One of the most reputable manufacturers we offer is Cassida. When it comes to affordable machines, the Cassida 5520 currency counter (found here) is often mentioned. This article will cover how this machine is used and what features you may find helpful.

Before I go too far into this article, you should be aware that the Cassida 5520 is a currency counter, not a currency discriminator (aka mixed bill counter). This means the 5520 will provide you with a total number of bills counted, not the total dollar value. Most people have bills pre-sorted, so this isn’t an issue. If you do need a currency discriminator, you can find one here.

The Cassida 5520 comes in two flavors, one is a UV and the other UV/MG. This means one model implements ultraviolet (UV) counterfeit detection where the other has UV and magnetic (MG) detection. A currency counter with counterfeit bill detection is a nice tool to have on hand. The 5520 will actually stop counting bills when a counterfeit bill is detected and will notify the operator.

Looks aren’t everything, and they don’t even mean a machine is functionally better, but you still want something in your office that is attractive. The Cassida 5520 looks great. It has a black and gray color scheme. The rounded corners are easy on the eyes and there really isn’t anything on it that would snag on clothing. A handle, found on the top of the machine, can be lifted up for portability purposes. Cassida machines are some of the best looking we offer.

The hopper and stacker have a 200 bill capacity (based on crisp new bills). Bills are loaded into the top of the machine and they exit through the front. The sorting fingers help keep bills neatly stacked after being counted. The Cassida 5520 has a 1,300 bill per minute counting speed, which means the bills are counted almost as fast as you can load them into the hopper. The 5520 will scan double banknotes, half and chain notes.

The display, fount on the top of the machine, makes data easy to view. It even includes a remote display. It can be used to count bills, add multiple stacks of bills or batch count bills. The control panel is easy to navigate and setup takes very little time.

The cover on this currency counter easily opens up, allowing easy access to internal components. This makes cleaning out dust and maintenance easy.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 with any questions you may have about this machine. We have been selling currency counters for well over a decade and have a lot of experience that may help you in selecting a machine. You can find our entire selection of currency counters here.




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Intelli-Fold DE-172AF Paper Folding Machine Review

Posted by: Office Zone on December 28th, 2012

DE-172AF Paper Folding MachineIf your business folds hundreds to thousands of sheets of paper per day, you may want to consider buying a paper folding machine. These machines can be used to fold invoices, letters, brochures, pamphlets and much more. One machine that our customers enjoy using is the Intelli-Fold DE-172AF paper folder by Intelli-Zone (found here). I have had the opportunity to use this machine on several occasions and this is my review.

The Intelli-Fold is an upgraded version of the Intelli-Fold DE-202AF (including the Dynafold DE-202AF). While the DE-202AF is a solid machine, the DE-172AF has a few upgraded features. This includes sensors that let you know when the folding plates aren’t properly seated, when the cover isn’t closed and when the paper is out. It also includes a powered exit conveyor with a set of stacking wheels.

The added sensors are a nice addition because one of the most common culprits for a paper folding machine jam is improperly seated folding plates. Any gap or incorrect clearance in the plates can results in a fairly serious paper jam.

The inclusion of a powered exit conveyor helps bring order to the paper folding process. Many folding machines have a basic catch tray. While this works, it can lead to the paper becoming disorganized and jumbled. The conveyor, along with the stacking wheels, help slow the paper down as it leaves the machine and keeps it organized and stacked. This is excellent for organizational purposes and helps keep invoices, bills and other documents in order.

The DE-172AF utilizes a high-speed motor that folds paper at a speed of up to 6,000 sheets per hour. While it is not recommended to run this machine at full speed for hours on end, it is fast. It also features a variable speed motor. This allows it to more easily handle various paper thicknesses and adds an extra degree of control to the operator. The DE-172AF can be used with paper ranging in thickness from 16# bond up to 50# index.

The feed tray on this machine holds up to 500 sheets of standard 20# bond paper. What I appreciate is that you don’t have to pre-fan the paper. Simply press down on the spring loaded tray (paper squared up) and the machine will automatically begin pulling one sheet at a time from the top of the stack. The feed system works very well. A total of three rollers help ensure the paper is pulled in straight for more accurate folds.

I have personally set up this machine and would say it takes about 2-3 minutes to properly set up. Once set, no further adjustments are needed unless a different paper size is used. The DE-172AF can use paper ranging in size from 3.5″ x 5″ up to 11″ x 17″. All you need to do is find the sheet size you are folding on the two folding plates, determine the type of fold you need to create and adjust the folding plates accordingly. The process is very simple. If the paper seems to be slightly off skew, I recommend either re-aligning the paper guides or making fine-tuned adjustments to the folding plates.

Overall I highly recommend this machine. It is a great fit for small businesses, medium-size businesses, church, school or copy shop. It is easy to use, our customers tell us it is very reliable and it is priced right. Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454 with any questions you may have about the Intelli-Fold DE-172AF. You can find our entire selection of paper folding machines here.




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How Do Counterfeit Bill Detectors Work?

Posted by: Office Zone on December 21st, 2012

Counterfeit Money DetectorsCounterfeiting money is a multimillion dollar industry in the United States. If you don’t protect yourself, or your business, you could quickly end up with bogus currency and could be out hundreds of dollars or more. Many of our customers have purchased and now use portable counterfeit detectors (found here) that they use for scanning $50, $100 and sometimes other denominations. This is a great way to catch counterfeit bills and save yourself money. So how does a counterfeit bill detector work and which type should you use?

Bill counters come in a variety of designs, depending on the amount of money you need to scan and how often you need to use it. Some machines scan everything at once, where other machines have stations that detect different counterfeit elements in a bill. You can read more about important features in bills by going here. Here are the four most common counterfeit detection methods used today:

  • Magnetic (MG) – US currency uses magnetic ink in strategic areas that can be detected by a counterfeit bill detector with magnetic detection.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) – US bills have ultraviolet strips (inscribed security thread) placed in different areas, based on the value of the denomination. The location of this strip will let you know what the value of the bill is. This method of counterfeit detection is excellent for catching bills that have been bleached and re-printed with higher denominations.
  • Watermark (WM) – Modern US bills have a watermark built into the bill. The watermark is of the face of the individual printed on the bill. Using a light, this watermark can be viewed and authenticity of the bill can be verified.
  • Ink Pen – The counterfeit pen uses special ink that reacts with starches found in regular paper (not present in bills). If the ink shows up, the bill is counterfeit. If the ink is clear, the bill is probably real.
  • Visual – There are many visual elements found in a US bill that can be seen by the naked eye or with a magnifying glass. Some of those visual elements can be seen by going here .

Now that we have established the counterfeit features built into a bill, what type of machine should you use? Here are a few examples of machines you may want to use.

  • Bill Counter w/ Counterfeit Detection (found here) – Many modern bill counters include ultraviolet, magnetic or both types of detection. This is a very fast way to scan through a stack of bills. If the bill doesn’t pass the UV / MG test, the machine will stop and audibly alert the operator.
  • Handheld UV ScannersHandheld UV Light (found here) – These are handheld UV lights that can be held over a bill to highlight the UV properties. This is a cheap and affordable way to verify money. These are especially popular because they are often battery-powered and are very easy to move around.
  • Counterfeit Bill Scanner (found here) – These scanners use very sophisticated technology to scan a bill for multiple properties. Many can even verify the denomination value of the bill being scanned. It usually takes a second or two for the bill to be scanned. The machine will then alert the operator as to the authenticity of the banknote.
  • Counterfeit Bill Detector StationsCounterfeit Station (found here) – Counterfeit detection stations are tabletop devices that usually incorporate several counterfeit detection technologies. Many of these stations, like the ABC-95, include a magnetic ink scanner, backlit light, UV light, magnifying glass and a counterfeit detection pen.

At Office Zone, we offer several counterfeit bill detectors (found here). The model you use depends on the business, volume of bills being handled and where the bills need to be scanned. We have years of experience with money handling devices including counterfeit bill detectors. If you have questions, please give us a call at 1-800-543-5454.




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Top Rated Heavy Duty Staplers

Posted by: Office Zone on December 20th, 2012

If you’re doing a lot of stapling on a daily basis, you should really be using a heavy duty stapler (found here). At Office Zone, we offer a great selection of heavy duty staplers ranging from desk mounted saddle staplers to tabletop electric staplers. We have years of experience with staplers and I would like to share some of our top rated staplers with you. These are staplers that have a proven track record and have proven themselves to be reliable.

Choosing a stapler can be a tricky task. If you’re not sure which stapler you need, consider reading our stapler guide found here. Staplers come in all shapes and sizes. This includes saddle, long reach, flat, high capacity and more. I would like to recommend one stapler from each of the categories we offer on our site.

Manual Saddle Stapler

  • Screbba W115 StaplerSkrebba W115 (found here) – This is by far one of the best and most versatile manual saddle staplers we offer. Besides the quality, I really like the fact that this stapler can easily be changed from saddle stapling to flat stapling, making it excellent for a variety of stapling jobs. It connects to the edge of a table and has a 50 sheet stapling capacity (based on 20# paper). This is very affordable and is excellent for medium-duty stapling jobs. The included guides make it easy to staple along multiple locations. You simply won’t find a better manual saddle stapler.

Electric Saddle Stapler

  • Rapid 106 Saddle StaplerRapid 106 (found here) – The Rapid 106 stapler has been around for years. Like the W115, the Rapid 106 can be adjusted from saddle stapling to flat stapling easily. The stapler connects to the side of a stable and quickly staples through up to 40 sheets of paper. It can even be connected with other Rapid 106 units for simultaneous stapling. The Rapid 106 can staple paper via the micro switches or by using a foot pedal. I have used this stapler personally multiple times and really like it.

Long Reach Staplers

  • Skrebba W117L Long Reach StaplerSkrebba W117L (found here) – The W117L is a heavy duty flat stapler and features long reach capabilities. It will staple through up to 120 sheets of standard 20# bond paper and has 10″ depth adjustment capability. A nice angled handle makes stapling easy. This long reach stapler has been a customer favorite for about a decade and has one of the best track records when it comes to staplers.

Header Card Staplers

  • Staplex S-630NHL Card Header StaplerStaplex S-630NHL (found here) Staplex is synonymous with quality when it comes to stapling. Staplex staplers are made in the USA and the S-630NHL feels like it was crafted out of a solid block of metal. It is excellent for high-volume header card stapling throughout the day and uses a powerful motor to pound staples through up to 40 sheets of paper at a time.

Desktop Electric Staplers

  • Staplex Model ST Desktop Electric StaplerStaplex Model ST (found here) – If you need a nice tabletop electric stapler for use in the office, the Staplex ST is excellent. It has a small footprint, takes up little space, and can staple up to 18 sheets of paper at a time. This is a well built stapler and far outperforms and outlasts cheaper electric staplers. This is the stapler you want if you are stapling frequently on a daily basis in an office environment. I have seen these staplers used at the DMV for attaching expiration stickers to registration paperwork.

These are some top notch staplers and as I mentioned earlier, they all have a great track record with our customers. While I didn’t list them all here, I would like to mention that we have always had great luck with our entire lineup of Staplex Staplers. They are made in the USA and feature high-end components. If you still have questions about staplers, or need a recommendation, feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454. You can find our entire selection of staplers here.




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Book Binding – Electric or Manual Punching?

Posted by: Office Zone on December 17th, 2012

Binding Machine PunchesWhen it comes to book binding several different styles are available, each with their own unique look. One thing in common with all book binding formats, including comb, wire and coil (found here), is the option of buying a machine with a manual or an electric punch. If you are buying a book binding machine for office or home use, which format should you use? I try to help answer that question in this article.

The punching method you use will depend on a lot of factors. A few of these are more obvious than others. Before I go into why you may want one over another, I would like to explain exactly what is meant by manual and electric punch.

Manual – Manual comb binding machines use a lever to punch through paper. This lever is usually long and is designed to make paper punching as easy as possible. Some are even ergonomically designed for added comfort. Not all manual punches are the same. Quality and results will vary from brand to brand. There are three different types of punching handles

  • U-Shaped Binding HandleU Shaped – The U-shaped handle is one that connects on both sides of the machine. This is especially popular for lefties and you can punch from the left or right side of the machine. Most manual punch machines are designed for right-handed people. These handles are easy to grab and make punching very easy. The only downside is that the U design can obstruct the top of the machine and isn’t as “open” as a machine with the handle only on the right side.
  • Lever Style Manual Binding MachineLever – The lever is one of the most common punching handles found in comb, wire and coil binding machines.  The lever-style handle consists of a a long lever that comes out from the right-side of the machine. This lever can be straight or angled, depending on the design. There is nothing glorious or special about this design. It is fairly simple and straight forward.  Simply put your paper in and pull down on the lever to punch the paper. This can be used to punch 10 to 20 sheets of paper depending on the machine.
  • Lever w/ Handle Book Binding MachineLever w/ Handle – The lever with handle design is a very comfortable binding design. Instead of a straight lever that comes off the side of the machine, the lever includes a handle that comes off the side of the lever for added convenience. This design is much more ergonomically comfortable for the operator.

Electric – These machines use a powerful motor to punch through paper. It is ultimately designed for people who need speed or need to decrease manual effort for long binding runs. There are two primary methods used for punching paper with an electric punch:

  • Button – This is pretty straightforward. These types of electric punch machines have a button located on the front of the machine that is pressed to activate the motor.
  • Binding Machine with Foot PedalFoot Pedal – This is my favorite because it allows for hands-free use of the machine. Many machines with a foot pedal also include a button for punching paper. The foot pedal is usually either electric or pneumatic (a puff of air from the pedal presses a button on the machine).

Now comes the real question, should you get an electric or manual punch binding machine? Manual punch machines, in my opinion, produce just as good a job (final results) as an electric punch machine. Don’t feel you are getting a worse machine by purchasing a manual punch.

I would recommend you get an electric punch if you are punching and binding a lot of books per day, perhaps 20 or more a day on a regular basis. Electric machines are a little faster than manual machines, but the biggest benefit is for the operator. Binding 20+ books a day manually can take its toll with a manual punch machine. The only other reason you may want to consider an electric punch machine is for the sake of convenience.

If you still have questions about manual vs electric book binding machines, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We have been working with binding machines for decades and can provide you with valuable answers and information. You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here.




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What is Mil Thickness and Which is Best to Use?

Posted by: Office Zone on December 14th, 2012

Lamination Film Mil ThicknessIf you’re shopping for lamination film (found here), you undoubtedly have come across the term mil thickness. It is a critical part of the lamination film selection process. If you’re new to lamination, or simply want some clarification, I will explain exactly what a mil is and how many mils you should have in your film.

A mil is a measurement of thickness, much like gauge and microns is used to measure the thickness of other products. A mil is exactly a thousandth of an inch (0.001″). This measurement method is used in the United States to measure the thickness of lamination film, CR-80 cards, plastic and other material. A mil is equal to 100 gauge film or 25.4 microns.

The lamination process typically involves two layers of film (both pouch and roll lamination). In pouch lamination there is a pouch that consists of a folder with a top and bottom layer. The item being laminated goes in between the layers. Roll lamination uses two rolls of film, one on the top and another on the bottom. The mil thickness of the film only refers to one layer. This means a photo, paper, poster or other object laminated using 5-mil film consists of two 5-mil layers (top & bottom), which together add up to 10 mils of total film.

Lamination FilmSo which mil thickness should you use? A lot of it depends on what you are laminating and your own personal preference. The higher the mil number, the thicker the film is going to be. Lamination film typically comes in 1.5, 3, 5, 7 and 10 mil thicknesses. Here is what you would use each thickness for.

1.5 Mil Film – This is the thinnest lamination film available. It is designed solely to provide a protective layer and a nice finish, but doesn’t provide much additional support.

3 Mil Film – This is very popular with schools that need to laminate posters, signs, banners and student projects. It is still affordable, but provides enough protection for most school needs.

5 Mil Film – This is probably the most popular film we offer. It is affordable, provides good protection and still adds some rigidity and support. Most pouch and roll laminators can be used with 5 mil film.

Laminating Pouches7 Mil Film – This is probably the least common film used. It is generally used for its supportive properties and is a good option if you want a lot of rigidity, but perhaps don’t need it as thick as 10 mil.

10 Mil film – This film is purchased for its protective and solid supportive capabilities. This film is thick enough to provide paper, posters, banners and signs with optimal support. Objects laminated with 10 mil film don’t bend and can hold up through many conditions that would damage or destroy other mil thicknesses.

At Office Zone, we stock just about all of the lamination film we offer. This means we are able to provide you with a great price and fast shipping. If you need help determining the film your laminator can handle, or if you have general questions about lamination film, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. You can find our entire selection of lamination film and machines here.