What is Mil Thickness and Which is Best to Use?

Posted by: James 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.


Dahle 842 Stack Paper Cutter Review

Posted by: James on December 13th, 2012

Dahle 842 Stack Paper CutterIf you’re in the market for a budget stack paper cutter, the Dahle 842 (found here) is definitely a model you may want to consider. Stack paper cutters are very popular with businesses, copy centers and print shops that need to cut down large stacks or high-volumes of paper down to smaller sizes. The trouble with stack paper cutters, at least those you find on Ebay and elsewhere, is that they are assembled using tinker toys. I have used the Dahle 842 and this is my review.

The Dahle 842 is the first in Dahle’s Professional Series of stack cutters. It is German engineered, which in the cutting world is a very impressive fact. Dahle has been manufacturing shredders and cutters for decades now. A decade ago I was luke warm to the idea of a Dahle paper cutter, but over the past 10 years they have made some significant improvements to their designs and build quality.

As mentioned earlier, the 842 is Dahle’s entry level stack cutter. It can be used on a tabletop or with an optional floor stand. It is designed to compete right along with Intelli-Cut’s and Triumph’s line of stack cutters. It is a budget cutter. As of the time of this article, it is just over $1,200 with free shipping. This is a steal considering it can be used repeatedly throughout the day.

This cutter is completely manual. While it is gear driven, and features a lengthy leveraged handle, it still requires the operator to manually pull the clamp lever and the cutting handle. The good news is that it doesn’t take much effort to use. It can cut through 200 sheets of standard paper (about a 7/8″ stack). This is significantly more than you could ever do with a rotary or guillotine cutter. The cutting blade is made out of authentic German Solingen steel.

Unlike the Intelli-Cut and Triumph cutters, which use nice clear acrylic guards, the Dahle 842 features metal guards designed to keep fingers and hands safe. Dahle’s larger stack cutters feature clear acrylic guards. This is a safe cutter, but I do like the clear guards found on the other stack cutters. For the price, it really won’t affect the end results.

The biggest downside to this cutter is the limited 200 sheet cutting capacity. If you need a Dahle with a bit more cutting oomph, but still has the same cutting width, I recommend upgrading to the Dahle 846 (found here). The Dahle 846 has a 500 sheet cutting capacity, more than double that of the Dahle 842.

I’ll be honest, the Model 842 doesn’t have the finesse of a Triumph or Intelli-Cut paper cutter, but for the price, it is a great alternative. I consider it to be a well-built cutter and I think you’ll be very happy with it.

If you have questions about this stack cutter, or other models we offer, please call us at 1-800-543-5454. We have a lot of experience with stack cutters and would love to answer your questions or provide you with advice. You can find our entire selection of stack paper cutters here.


Traco SuperSealer I-Bar Replacement Parts Kit Instructions (Wire, Pad & Tape)

Posted by: James on December 11th, 2012

Traco Shrink Wrap MachinesIf you own either a Standard or a Deluxe Traco SuperSealer I-bar shrink wrap machine, eventually you are going to have to replace the nichrome wire, the silicon rubber pad and the Teflon tape (found here). These are all of the critical components that allow an I-bar sealer to cut and seal shrink wrap film. This article will cover symptoms of a worn out wire and includes instructions on how to replace the various components.

A worn out I-bar sealer can be very frustrating. Luckily changing out the components is a very easy process and doesn’t have to be done by a specially trained Service Technician. Symptoms of a worn out I-bar SuperSeler include:

  • Inability to completely seal the entire length of the film.
  • Excessive smoke during the sealing process.
  • Burrs and poor sealing along the sealed edge.
  • Burnt and charred film during the sealing process.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may need a replacement kit. These kits are affordably priced and are designed to get your Traco SuperSealer back up into “like new” operation. We offer a basic kit and a complete kit. Here is what the two kits include:

Basic Kit Includes:

  • Two pieces of 3-mil Teflon tape
  • One piece of 10-mil Teflon tape
  • One Nichrome wire with connectors

Complete Kit Includes:

  • One silicone rubber pad
  • Five 3-mil pieces of Teflon tape
  • Three 10-mil pieces of Teflon tape
  • One Nichrome wire with connectors
  • One micro switch
  • One arm spring and anchor
  • One fuse

Here are some diagrams that show the bottom part of the sealer and the sealing arm (Figures 1 & 2). Please reference these diagrams as I go over how to change the tape and wire.

Traco Replacmeent Parts Kit Diagram

Replacing Worn Teflon Tape

Step 1. First remove the old tape from the surface of the silicone pad (base of the machine) as seen in Figure 1.

Step 2. Clean the silicone pad with a cloth and rubbing alcohol. Ensure the silicone is smooth and clean. This allows the new Teflon tape to stick.

Step 3. Take the 10 mil Teflon tape and apply it to the newly cleaned silicone pad  as seen in Figure 1.

Step 4. Now remove the tape from the flexboard found on the sealing arm as shown in Figure 2.

Step 5. Clean, scrape off and remove burnt residue and film. With the flexboard still attached, scrape down the debris using a damp washcloth. If the washcloth isn’t cleaning everything, you can use a fine grain sandpaper to finish the job. The flexboard needs to be smooth and clean so the new tape can properly stick.

Step 6. If you need to change the wire, continue to the below {Replacing Worn Wire) instructions. Whether you are using a new wire or the old wire, be sure to clean it with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth. Once the wire is cleaned, you can apply a strip of 3-mil Teflon tape to the flexboard and over the wire as seen in Figure 2.

Replacing Worn Wire

Step 1. First loosen the screw found on the right side of the sealing bar. Once done, remove the black plastic end cape. This is found under the sealing bar. Now remove the insulator sleeve. Locate the bolt, sprint and nut and remove the assembly from the sealing bar by pulling down. You may need to use a flat head screwdriver to assist in removing this. Please reference Figure 2.

Step 2. Now you will loosen and remove the nut found on the bolt that runs through the insulator. This will allow you to release the upper end of the sealing wire.

Step 3. Find the access hole on the bottom of the base. Keep the arm held down and loosen the screw (don’t remove it). The screw only takes a couple of turns to loosen it. This should allow you to remove the old wire. You should now be able to attach a new sealing wire under the loosened screw and tighten it back down. Be sure the wire is properly aligned before tightening the screw.

Step 4. You can now attach the wire to the bolt on the front of the sealing bar. Place the ring terminal on the bolt and tighten the nut to the bolt. You can now slide the insulator back into the slot on the I-bar. Ensure the flat side is facing the arm. Tighten the first nut without over tightening (you don’t want to strip the threads). Ensure the wire is tight between the two nuts and adjust as needed.

If you are still having trouble replacing the tape, pad or wire, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-543-5454 x129. Our Service Department is knowledgable and highly skilled when it comes to all types of shrink wrap machines and heat sealers. They should be able to help you out. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap replacement parts here and shrink wrap machines here.


Coil Binding Hole Pitches Explained

Posted by: James on December 6th, 2012

Coil Binding MachinesIf you are shopping for coil binding supplies (found here), or if you need a machine (found here), you have probably run across the term “pitch” being used on several sits. The pitch is the hole pattern the binding machine uses. This is usually labeled as holes per inch. So which pitch is the best and which should you use with your machine? Here are a few tips that may help you out.

First off, coil binding comes primarily in two different hole patterns. These are 4:1 pitch and 5:1 pitch (known as 5mm outside the US).  While there are other coil pitches (such as 3:1 and 2.5:1 aka 0.400 pitch), the 4:1 pitch and 5:1 pitch are most common.  In the United States, the 4:1 pitch is by far the most popular. Coil binding is by far one of the most customizable binding formats, making binding of small and large books extremely easy. At Office Zone, we offer binding coils in 12″ and 36″ lengths. These coils (found here) are made of PVC plastic and come in a wide assortment of colors.

  • 4:1 Pitch Coil Binding Hole Pattern4:1 Pitch (aka 0.250″ pitch) – This hole pattern consists of 4 holes punched per inch of paper. This ends up being roughly 43 to 44 holes along the 11″ side of a letter size 8 ½” x 11″ sheet of paper. Standard size 4:1 pitch coils come in 6mm up to 32mm diameters. The 32mm diameter coil can be used to bind up to 230 sheets of standard 20# bond paper.
  • 5:1 Pitch Coil Binding Hole Pattern5:1 Pitch (aka 5mm pitch) – This hole pattern is more common outside the US in Canada and Europe. It has a tighter hole pattern with 5 holes per inch of paper, resulting in about 54 to 55 holes along the 11″ edge of a sheet of paper. Because the holes are tighter together, this pattern cannot be used to bind books thicker than 152 sheets. Anything thicker would cause the pages to bind up and not turn easily.
  • Akiles Plus Coil Binding Hole PatternThe Plus Factor – A few years ago Akiles introduced their line of PLUS spiral coil binding machines.  Akiles deals primarily in 4:1 pitch coil, being that it accounts for 90% of the coil binding machines sold in the US. The PLUS line is a variation of a 4:1 pitch (0.248″ pitch). The biggest difference is that the holes are oval in shape instead of circular. Akiles says this helps make coil insertion and page turns easier. The verdict is still out on whether or not this really makes much difference.

At Office Zone we offer a wide range of coil binding machines. This includes models with a manual paper punch, an electric coil inserter and an electric punch. Major brands include Intelli-Bind, Akiles, Renz and Tamerica. If you have questions about binding machines, or the various hole pitches and patterns available, please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454. You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here.


Do You Need a Cross Cut or Micro Cut Paper Shredder?

Posted by: James on December 5th, 2012

Cross Cut Paper ShreddersYou may have heard the term micro cut floating across the Web lately. It is a term that has been coined by many paper shredder manufacturers to describe their shredders that cut paper “even smaller” than other cross cut shredders. So what is all the hubbub about and do you really need a micro cut shredder or are you going to be just fine with a standard cross cut? I have a lot of experience with paper shredders (found here) and would like to share my thoughts on this topic.

The term cross cut is used to describe any shredder that cuts paper in a cross-hatch pattern. So is a micro cut still a cross cut? That is correct, a micro cut shredding pattern is still a cross cut, just on a smaller level. Today many people use cross cut to describe a Level 3 shredder and micro cut to describe a Level 4 shredder, but technically anything that is not a strip cut is a cross cut.

One reason many manufacturers are trying to push “micro cut” is because it is a way to get you to upgrade from your “old” shredder to a newer model with better technology. The thing many businesses and individuals don’t realize is that a micro cut isn’t for everyone. Here is the biggest difference between a Level 3 cross cut and a Level 4 micro cut:


  • Level 3 Cross Cut – This cut falls within a 3.9mm x 50mm range. This is very small and very difficult to piece back together.

  • Level 4 Micro Cut – This cut pattern falls within a 1.9mm x 15mm range. This is one of the smallest cutting patterns used by non-government / military organizations.

You can read more about the various cutting patterns and security levels by reading our Paper Shredder Guide here.

Both cutting patterns are FACTA and HIPAA compliant and are appropriate for shredding patient, customer and client data. So do you really need a micro cut pattern? I would say that most businesses will be fine with a Level 3 cross cut pattern. While the Level 3 pattern is a little bigger than Level 4, it is still small enough to provide enough security for most applications. If you feel the need for a little more security, there isn’t anything wrong with a Level 4 pattern.

So if you are buying a new shredder, there are a few things you will want to consider. The Level 3 pattern has less area to cut than a Level 4 pattern, which means you will have a decreased shredding capacity with a Level 4. A Level 3 shredder that can handle 10 sheets at a time will usually be about 6 sheets at a time with a Level 4. You will simply need to weigh in if you need the added security or the increased cutting capacity.

If you still have questions, concerns or need answers about cross cut and micro cut shredders, please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454. We have a lot of experience with paper shredders and should be able to help point you in the right direction. You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here.


Intelli-Cut Paper Cutting Sticks FAQ

Posted by: James on November 29th, 2012

Intelli-Cut Stack Paper CutterWe recently had a customer that was trying to track down some cutting sticks (found here) for their Intelli-Cut stack paper cutter (found here). What was odd is they seemed to be burning through these things quickly. A cutting stick, which is a type of plastic stick that the cutting blade touches when completing a cut, typically last a long time before it even needs to be rotated let alone replaced. After asking a few questions, I figured out what they were doing.

It ends up the customer didn’t realize that a cutting stick can be rotated. In fact, they didn’t realize this, but a cutting stick can be rotated a total of eight times. This is because the stack paper cutters are designed not to cut into the middle of the stick, but off to the side. This allows you to rotate the stick four times and then turn the cutting stick around and use it four more times. This means a single cutting stick should easily be able to last for months without needing to be changed.

Here is a diagram showing where the blade typically rests in the cutting stick:

Stack Paper Cutter Cutting Stick Rotation Diagram

As you can see from the diagram, you can get a lot of use out of a cutting stick. Changing cutting sticks on Intelli-Cut, Triumph and Dahle stack cutters is very easy. The Intelli-Cut and Triumph stack cutters have a hole on the side of the cutter where you simply pull out the stick and insert a new one. This makes removal, replacement and rotation extremely easy..

So how do you know when your cutting stick needs to be rotated? As a stack cutter makes repeated cuts, the blade rests in the cutting stick. This is designed to protect the blade, maintain a sharp edge and to cut through all the sheets of paper. When a cutting stick begins to be worn, you will often notice that the last page or two will not cut all the way through.

Stack paper cutters are amazing machines. They can be used to cut down stacks of paper, card stock and much more. Some can cut up to as much as 3″ of paper in a single pass. At Office Zone, we have a lot of experience with stack paper cutters, cutting sticks and paper cutter maintenance. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454. You can find our entire selection of stack paper cutters here.

We are also able to perform repairs and find replacement parts for Dahle, Intelli-Cut, Triumph, Standard and Martin Yale stack cutters. This includes replacement blades, electronics, safety guards and much more. You can contact our service department by calling 1-800-543-5454 x129 or by filling out this form.


Minipack Galaxy – One of the Best Values in a Shrink Wrap Machine

Posted by: James on November 27th, 2012

Minipack Galaxy Shrink Wrap MachineIf you are a startup business, a small business or simply need an economical way to package your products for retail sale, the Minipack Galaxy (found here) is by far one of the best shrink wrap machines you can buy for the money. Shrink wrap machines package products using clear thermo shrink film that looks great! Customers won’t know the different between your products packaged on the Galaxy versus an industrial machine that costs 10 times as much. It is a highly professional system. Here are a few reasons why I recommend the Minipack Galaxy over the competition.

  • Value – Let’s face it. We all have a limited amount of money and are often expected to squeeze blood from a turnip. When you’re given a limited amount of money for a complete shrink wrap system, but are expected to buy a superb piece of expensive equipment, I recommend the Minipack galaxy.
  • Sealing Area – The Minipack Galaxy offers a sealing area that is 14″ wide by 17 ½” long by 8″ high. This is more than enough sealing area to package DVDs, CDs, Blu-rays, software boxes, chocolates, soap and even some pizzas. It is ample room for most retail packaging needs.
  • L-Bar – This machine uses an L-bar sealer to seal film around a product in a single pass. When using centerfold shrink film, the bottom (where the product is inserted) and the right side (connected to the roll of film) are open. The L shape of the sealing bar seals both open sides simultaneously.
  • Integrated Tunnel – The Minipack Galaxy is a very compact system considering what it does. It uses an integrated shrink tunnel that is actually part of the sealing area. This means while the shrink film is being sealed around a product, the thermo shrink film is being shrunk around the item. This all-in-one process takes just seconds to complete. The Galaxy is rated to package about 300 pieces an hour.
  • Film Compatibility – The Galaxy can be used with both PVC and Polyolefin film (found here). Just be aware that the Galaxy’s film dispenser has a roll diameter limitation of 10″. The tunnel shrinks both PVC and Polyolefin centerfold shrink film without a problem.
  • Fine Tuned Adjustments – The control panel on the Minipack Galaxy allows the operator to adjust the sealing time, temperature of the integrated tunnel and the amount of time hot hair is blown onto the film. These adjustments make this machine highly versatile for a variety of packaging applications.
  • Mobility – The Galaxy sits on casters, making it easy for just about anyone to move around. This is especially nice when freeing up floor space after a packaging job.
  • Build Quality – Let’s face it, many of the shrink wrap machines are assembled using the cheapest parts available to save cost. The Galaxy is made using superb materials and craftsmanship in Italy. The design works flawlessly and it is literally designed to hold up for years with proper care.

This is a detailed video demonstration of the Minipack Galaxy in use:

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact one of our Shrink Wrap Specialists at 1-800-543-5454. They can help answer questions in a clear and timely manner. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here. If you need replacement parts or accessories, feel free to contact our Service Department at 1-800-543-5454 x129. Thanks for reading!


Polyolefin vs PVC Shrink Film. Which is Best?

Posted by: James on November 26th, 2012

Centerfold Thermo Shrink Wrap FilmIf you’re shopping around for shrink film for your machine, you have probably come across two different times of film, PVC and Polyolefin (found here). Both of these film types are readily available and are used for packaging a variety of products. So which of these two types of film are best? Should you go with PVC or Polyolefin shrink film?

Before you decide on a film type, be aware that most shrink wrap machines (I-Bar and L-Bar) can use either type of thermo shrinkable film (film that shrinks with heat). That means if you would like to try both out and see which you prefer, you can try one out and then the other without having to buy a new machine. There are a few limitations you should be aware of.

Many shrink wrap machines have a diameter limitation based on the diameter of the centerfold shrink wrap film being used. Almost all shrink wrap machines can handle a PVC shrink film roll because the length is usually around 500 feet long. The Polyolefin film rolls range in length from 2,600 to 4,300 feet in length, making the diameter fairly large. Most I-bar sealers can handle any roll of centerfold Polyolefin film, but not all L-bar shrink wrap systems can.

Here are some of the pros and cons of both types of shrink wrap film.

Polyolefin Centerfold Thermo Shrink Wrap FilmPolyolefin Film (found here) – Polyolefin shrink wrap film has quickly become one of the most popular used today. A few years ago PVC was still king, but Polyolefin has risen to the top for many reasons. Here are just a few that you should be aware of:

  • Polyolefin film is more environmentally friendly than PVC and is easier to recycle.
  • Polyolefin is typically more durable than PVC film because it has more stretch and give.
  • This film is better than PVC for bundling multiple items together.
  • Unlike PVC film, Polyolefin doesn’t give off nearly as much odor or smoke during the shrink wrap process.
  • When you break it down per square foot of film, Polyolefin is actually less expensive. While the rolls cost more, you get a lot more film for the price.
  • It doesn’t gum up the cutting wire in shrink wrap machines as much as PVC.
  • It is safe for direct contact with food.
  • It is more difficult to puncture or tear Polyolefin film than PVC film.
  • Polyolefin film can be used to package just about anything from DVDs and music to fruit baskets and soap.
  • Doesn’t lose integrity or appearance with age.
  • Provides a professional appearance for retail display purposes.

PVC Film (found here) – PVC film used to be the most popular film used. It is still very popular today for packaging individual items for retail sale. Here are a few things you may like to know about PVC film:

  • Still a great method for packaging  items such as DVDs, CDs, boxes and software.
  • Very common and readily available.
  • Compatible with all heat tunnels and heat guns.
  • Can be used with any I-bar sealer or L-bar shrink system.
  • Easier for a customer to open up than Polyolefin film (this could be a plus or minus).

Both types of film are available in different thicknesses. In the United States this is known as the gauge. The higher the gauge number, the thicker the film. Film thicknesses usually range from 60 gauge up to 100 gauge. Outside the United States shrink film is measured in microns.

In conclusion, I have to say that my preference is Polyolefin film. I don’t consider PVC film to be bad, but I do consider Polyolefin to be better. The only downside is that Polyolefin film comes in larger diameters that may not be compatible with your system.

At Office Zone, we have years of experience with both shrink wrap machines and film. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 with questions about film or machines. You can find our entire selection of film here and shrink wrap machines here.


Reviewed: Compack 5800 Shrink Wrap Machine

Posted by: James on November 21st, 2012

Compack 5800 Shrink Wrap MachineIf you’re shopping around for a shrink wrap machine that can be used to package a wide range of products, boxes, music, videos and mother material, the Compack 5800 shrink wrap machine (found here) is a great option. This commercial-grade machine has been around for years and is an Office Zone recommended products thanks to a great track record. So is this machine a good fit for you and your business? I will explain why this may be the shrink wrap machine for you in this article.

To begin with, the Compack 5800 is what’s known as a shrink wrap system or an L-bar sealer with tunnel. It is designed to be used with centerfold shrink film (PVC or Polyolefin) and is a very simple system to use. From start to finish, it takes just a matter of seconds to seal plastic around your product and for the tunnel to shrink the film.

Here are just a few reasons why this is such a good machine:

Compact Design – Many shrink wrap systems involve separate heat tunnels, conveyor belt systems and a wide range of hardware. The Compack 5800 is very compact and requires little floor space. It can package 8 to 10 products a minute while measuring in at 53″ L x 34″ W x 52″ H.

Film Roll Dispensor – This machine uses centerfold rolls of shrink film. Centerfold film consists of PVC or Polyolefin film that has been folded over once and rolled up. The Compack 5800 holds this film and makes it easy to pull the film out and insert a product. It even has a film opener that keeps a pocket open for easy product insertion.

Perf Wheels – Small perf wheels poke tiny holes into the shrink film as it is being dispersed. This allows air to quickly leave the packaging while shrinking, preventing holes from forming during the shrink process.

L-Bar Sealer – The integrated L-bar on this machine seals all open ends of the film, fully encapsulating the item being shrink wrapped. This is much faster than I-bar sealers and is excellent for packaging several items a minute.

Magnetic Lockdown – A magnetic lockdown keeps the sealing bar and hood held down during the entire shrink wrapping process, freeing up your hands to begin working on the next item. Once the process is complete, the magnet will let go of the hood and it will open back up on its own.

Integrated Heat Tunnel – The integrated heat tunnel allows the Compack 5800 to seal and shrink a product at the same time. This also means you won’t have to deal with a separate heat tunnel hanging off the side of the machine. This is a very fast and seamless process.

Freestanding Design w/ Casters – There is no need to have a counter or table to use this machine. It comes in a freestanding design and sits on casters. It is very easy to wheel around and position.

Adjustable Heat, Sealing & Fan – The Compack 5800 allows the operator to adjust the heat temperature, the sealing time and the amount of time the fan blows hot air on the product. These features make it possible to shrink wrap delicate products such as soap and chocolate and allows the Compack 5800 to be used with a wide variety of shrink wrap film.

Items of Note – Be aware that this is a 220 volt 20 amp single phase machine. You will need to have a power source available to accommodate these power requirements.

Here is a video demonstration of the Compack 5800 in use:

As mentioned earlier, this is one of the most popular shrink wrap machines we offer. It is extremely versatile, has impressive sealing dimensions and has a great track record with our customers. Having used it myself, I can vouch for its quality and excellent results. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-543-5454 with any questions. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here.


Which Shrink Wrap Gauge Thickness is Best?

Posted by: James on November 20th, 2012

Shrink Wrap Machines & FilmIf you have a shrink wrap machine and are shopping around for film (found here), you may be wondering which gauge thickness you should be using. For that matter, you may also be wondering what type of film you should use. I will cover all of the various gauges of film in this article and will make some recommendations based on what you are packaging. Just remember, once you have the basics down shopping for shrink film isn’t too difficult.

The gauge of shrink film is the thickness. Unlike electrical wire, where the lower the gauge the thicker the wire, shrink film gets thicker the higher the gauge number is. If you are familiar with mil thickness, which is a thousandth of an inch, the conversion to shrink film gauge is very simple. One mil of film (0.001″) is the same thickness as 100-gauge shrink film. The thickness of film you use will depend greatly on the type of film you are using.

Types of Film:

  • Polyolefin Shrink Wrap FilmPolyolefin (found here) – Polyolefin film is a food grade shrink wrap film that is commonly used for packaging music, videos, food and more. It is growing in popularity due to its stretchy properties and extreme durability. This film has a similar consistency to saran wrap. It emits less smoke and odor than other types of shrink film.
  • PVC (found here) – This film has a stiffer feel than Polyolefin film and used to be the most common type of shrink film used. It is still usually the cheapest and is excellent for packaging boxes, CDs, DVDs and other material. This film is not food safe.

Common Shrink Film Gauges:

  • 60 Gauge – This is the most common and popular thickness for Polyolefin shrink film. This is an excellent thickness for packaging movies, CDs, boxes and other single items. If you need to package multiple items together, depending on their weight, you may want to go with a slightly thicker film for additional support.
  • 75 Gauge – This is the most common thickness for PVC shrink film. It is more than adequate for packaging individual items. If you are bundling multiple movies, boxes or other material together, you may want to go with a 100 gauge film.
  • 100 Gauge – While you can buy film thicker than 100 gauge, this is by far the most common thickness for bundling multiple items together. You can buy both Polyolefin and PVC shrink film in 100 gauge. Rarely will you ever need Polyolefin in a 100 gauge thickness.

Most shrink wrap machines can easily handle 60, 75 or 100 gauge films. I have never had an issue with a heat gun or a heat tunnel getting all thicknesses of film to properly contract and wrap around the item being packaged. You can buy both PVC and Polyolefin in centerfold shrink film rolls or in pre-cut shrink bags.

At Office Zone we have years of experience with shrink wrap machines and film. Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-543-5454 with any questions. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here.