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All About Centerfold Shrink Film Rolls – PVC & Polyolefin

Posted by: Office Zone on November 16th, 2012

Centerfold Shrink Wrap FilmIf you’re looking for an economical way to package products for retail sale, you may want to consider using a shrink wrap machine (found here) that uses centerfold shrink film rolls (found here). Centerfold shrink film provides a fast, affordable and effective way to package products. There are several factors involved in choosing a roll of film for packaging. This article will cover all aspects of shrink packaging in an effort to help you make a more educated decision when shopping around.

Before you start packaging anything, you’re going to need a machine. At Office Zone, we offer a great selection of I-bar sealers and shrink wrap systems. Once you have a machine, you will need to read the owner’s manual and determine what the maximum width of film is, maximum diameter and types of film it can handle. If you can’t find that information, please call us at 1-800-543-5454 and we can help you figure that out.

Here are a few things you will need to know:

  • Centerfold Shrink FilmFilm Types – Centerfold shrink film comes in two different formats; these are PVC and Polyolefin. Most shrink wrap machines can use either PVC or Polyolefin film.
  • PVC Film – PVC film has been around for years and used to consist of the bulk majority of packaging. It is commonly seen in packaging for DVDs, CDs, software packaging and other retail packaging. PVC film has a crinkly feel to it and is less flexible than Polyolefin film. PVC film is not approved for direct contact use with food. PVC film is typically cheaper than Polyolefin film.
  • Polyolefin Film – Polyolefin film is growing in popularity for many reasons. To begin with, it is stretchier and has more give to it than PVC film. As a result, Polyolefin film (aka Poly film) doesn’t break or tear as easily. It is also approved for use with food.
    Determining Film Size – When packaging a product, there are several things you will need to take into account. While the width of the product is important, you will also need to take into account the height of a product. If you have a box that is 10″ wide and 4″ tall, you will need at minimum a roll of film that is 16″ wide to accommodate the height. How is this calculated? Take the width of the film, plus the height and add 2″. The formula looks like this (Width + Height + 2″).
  • Width – If you have a shrink wrap machine that handles film up to 24″ wide, you will be able to use any rolls 24″ or smaller. This is nice to know and may affect the machine you purchase. If you only need a 10″ width, but may see a need for something bigger in the future, I recommend you get a machine with a slightly longer sealing width in order to be prepared for future jobs.
  • Diameter – A centerfold roll of film consists of a sheet of film that has been folded in half and rolled up. This means a 24″ wide roll of centerfold film is actually a 48″ sheet that has been folded in half. Different shrink film supplies come in different lengths. PVC film often comes in 500 foot lengths, but Polyolefin film often comes in rolls as large as 4,000+ feet long. Just be sure your machine has ample room to accommodate the diameter of the roll.
  • Thickness – Shrink wrap film thickness is measured in gauge rather than mils (mils is used with lamination film). The higher the gauge number, the thicker the film. The most popular PVC film gauge is 75 and the most popular Polyolefin gauge is 60.

If you still have questions about centerfold shrink film, or if you just need a little help selecting the right product, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-54543.




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Which Wire Binding Hole Pattern is Best – 2:1 or 3:1 Pitch?

Posted by: Office Zone on November 15th, 2012

Wire Binding MachinesIf you are shopping for a wire binding machine (found here), you may have come across two or perhaps even three different hole patterns. While wire binding looks great, it can often be difficult to settle on any one wire hole pattern. So which pitch (aka hole pattern) is best? This article will cover all hole patterns and their benefits.

The three hole patterns used in wire binding are referred to as 2:1 pitch, 3:1 pitch and 19-ring. The most common wire binding hole pattern used today is 3:1 pitch. The pitch is the hole pattern, specifically the amount of holes per inch. A 2:1 pitch machine punches two holes per inch and a 3:1 pitch machine punches three holes per inch. A 19-ring hole pattern, often called Spiral-O, consists of 19 total holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper.  You can find all our wire binding supplies here.

3:1 Pitch Wire Hole Pattern3:1 Pitch Wire – The 3:1 pitch hole pattern is the most common hole pattern used today for many reasons. To begin with, it has a very tight look because there are three holes per inch of paper. It ends up being about 32 to 33 holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper. They can be used to bind up to 9/16″ of paper, which is about 120 sheets. This is very popular for reports and presentations.

2:1 Pitch Wire Hole Pattern2:1 Pitch Wire – The 2:1 pitch isn’t as popular as 3:1, but is very poplar with people that need to bind over 9/16″ of paper. The 2:1 hole pattern can bind documents up to 1 ¼” thick. This style of wire binding machine punches two holes per inch and has a wider look than the 3:1 pitch wire.

19-Ring Spiral-O Wire Hole Pattern19-Ring Wire – The 19-ring Spiral-O pattern was developed to take advantage of existing comb binding machines that used the same hole pattern. The idea was to market a wire supply that could be used with a comb-binding machine. All you would need to purchase would be a separate wire closer to complete the process. A 19-ring pattern looks very similar to a 2:1 pitch pattern. This type of wire binding is not very common.

So what do you do if you like both 2:1 and 3:1 wire bound documents? What you have to do is use a combination binding machine (found here). These are machines that are built with a 2:1 and a 3:1 pitch wire punch. This allows them to punch paper in either hole pattern and is a very useful machine. Our most popular combination wire binding machine is the Akiles DuoMac (found here).

When shopping around for entry-level to mid-level wire binding machines, I recommend keeping an eye open for Intelli-Bind and Akiles. When shopping around for high-volume machines, I recommend Akiles and Renz. You can find our entire selection of wire binding machines here.




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Best Bag & Heat Sealers for Your Business

Posted by: Office Zone on November 14th, 2012

Handheld Bag & Heat SealersIf you are packaging products in a bag, the fastest and most efficient way to complete the packaging process is to use a bag sealer, often referred to as a heat sealer (found here). These machines use heat to seal the open end of a bag shut. Bag sealers are used to package everything from beef jerky to nuts and bolts. These plastic bags provide a sanitary and tamper proof way to present products for retail sale. So with dozens of machines available, which is the best one to use? This article will cover several types of bag sealers.

While you can probably break it down into more than just three categories, I have found that most people put bag sealers into these four categories:

  1. Handheld Bag Sealers (found here) – These are the most common types of bag sealers that we offer due in part to the low cost and the portability factor. These sealers come in an I-bar configuration and in a clamp design. You can usually choose from several sealing lengths, depending on the bag you are sealing, and different sealing widths. AIE and Traco manufacture our most popular units. Longer bag sealers can be used to seal smaller bags. Some handheld bag sealers include built in cutters for trimming off excess plastic.
  2. Foot Operated Bag SealerFoot Operated Heat Sealers (found here) – These sealers allow for hands free operation, which means the operator can hold the bag with both hands while sealing them shut. These sealers don’t cost a lot more than a handheld sealer, yet make it possible to seal a lot more bags. AIE manufactures our most popular foot operated heat sealers although SealerSales makes a really cool adapter that makes it possible to turn your clamping handheld sealer into a cheap foot sealer.
  3. Automated Bag Sealers (found here) – These are the kinds of sealers that a lot of preppers and food storage companies use to bags shut. These machines usually have very specific settings based on the type of bag being sealed and usually include a foot pedal that activates an electric sealing clamp. These machines are ideal for industrial-level bag sealing.
  4. Continuous Band Bag SealerContinuous Band Bag Sealers (found here) – Continuous band bag sealers make it possible to seal a lot of bags shut in a short amount of time. Simply feed your bag into the band sealer and it will pull it through a heating element that seals the bag shut. These types of machines are excellent for commercial bag sealing and are used by companies and factories for retail packaging of food and other items.

Types of Seals – A few things to keep in mind is the sealing length, width and type. The sealing length is determined by the total length of the heating element. As mentioned earlier, longer sealing lengths can be used to seal smaller bags or multiple bags shut. The sealing width ranges from 2mm up to 10mm+.  The seal is usually just a flat line although some sealers create a textured, honeycomb or crosshatch pattern.

Types of Materials – Our heat sealers and bag sealers can be used to seal and package products in a variety of plastic bags. THis includes Polyethelene, Polypropylene, PVC, Foil and Surlyn, Mylar, Padded Mailers and Bubble Pack.

You can find our entire selection of bag sealers, shrink wrap machines and other packaging products here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 with any questions you may have regarding heat and bag sealers.




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How do Self Sharpening Paper Cutters Work?

Posted by: Office Zone on November 12th, 2012

Self Sharpening Paper CuttersIf you have ever shopped around for a paper cutter (found here), you may have seen the terminology “self sharpening blade” touted as a selling feature. This sounds almost too good to be true, right? How can a paper cutter blade possibly be self-sharpening? Is this a gimmick or is it the real deal? I would like to answer a few of these questions and more in this article.

The first thing you should know is that the term self-sharpening is almost entirely coined by the rotary paper cutting business. Rotary paper cutters are those trimmers that have the round pizza cutter-like blade that rolls across the paper. Rotary cutters come in all shapes and sizes. Some have blades that rest into a plastic strip (typically cheaper cutters) and then there are those that slide against a metal base blade.

The cutters that slide against the metal base blade are known as a self-sharpening cutter. The idea is that the rotary cutting wheel is positioned in such a way that it rubs against the base blade in such a way that it is constantly sharpening the rotary cutting wheel. This means as you are cutting your paper or photos, you are also simultaneously sharpening the cutting wheel. Here is a picture showing what I am talking about:

Self Sharpening Paper Cutting Blade

So is this “self-sharpening” system real or is it simply a gimmick? I can attest to the fact that a self-sharpening cutter will hold its edge longer than those rotary cutters that simply roll along a plastic strip. Will a self-sharpening blade eventually dull? Yes, it will eventually dull with time. While the self-sharpening system isn’t magic, it does accomplish what the engineers set out to do. It does in fact extend the life of the blade and maintain an edge for a longer period of time.

Some guillotine cutters, especially those from Dahle, also claim to be self-sharpening. As the arm blade slides against the base, it rubs against a base blade much like a pair of scissors. This friction action acts like a knife on a whetstone, which helps keep the blade sharp. This also helps the guillotine maintain a decent edge over a long period of time.

When it comes to rotary paper cutters and trimmers, I find Rotatrim, Akiles, Dahle and Foster Keencut to be great cutters that utilize high quality blades that are designed to hold up with continued use. These cutters (found here) are excellent for photography use, scrapbooking use, copy shop use and more.

If you are looking for a decent rotary paper cutter or a guillotine, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We would love to help you out!




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Dahle or Kutrimmer – Which Guillotine Trimmer Should You Use?

Posted by: Office Zone on November 12th, 2012

Guillotine Paper CuttersWhen it comes to guillotine paper trimmers (found here), there are two main brands you should consider using; these are Dahle and Kutrimmer. Both brands have been around for years and both implement high-quality German technology into their products. So which of these two brands should you consider purchasing? Dahle or Kutrimmer.

If you were to ask me ten years ago which of these brands I would consider purchasing, I would have answered Kutrimmer hands down. This isn’t because Dahle was junk, but because Kutrimmer was so much better. Kutrimmer has remained the industry standard, but Dahle has gone to great lengths to re-design and improve their current tabletop trimmer lineup.

Here are some features that I really like about both:

  • Safety – Both Kutrimmer and Dahle have implemented safety technology into their guillotines to prevent personal injury. Kutrimmer uses a Plexiglas guard to prevent fingers from accidentally touching the blade. Dahle uses a corkscrew-like guard that wraps around the blade as the blade moves. It is very unique and pretty cool to see in person. I would consider both cutters to be equally safe even though they both use different technologies. Here is a picture of the two safety measures side-by-side.

Kutrimmer & Dahle Safety Features

  • Blade Quality – Both cutters use razor-sharp German Solingen steel in their cutter blades. Solingen steel is considered to be the best steel available for knives, blades and cutters. The blade holds its edge. I would say the blades on both machines are of similar quality and are both similarly effective.
  • Cutter Quality – The cutters themselves are both made from durable metal components and they both do a great job of cutting down paper, card stock, laminated documents and more. I would probably give Kutrimmer a slight edge up on this one, but not by much.
  • Clamping – Both Dahle and Kutrimmer typically incorporate some sort of clamping mechanism to help prevent paper shift during cutting. This helps to keep lines straight and accurate. I think both brands of cutters use equally effective clamping mechanisms.
  • Setup and Operation – Both of these brands are easy to set up, both usually feature measurements for paper alignment and both usually have printed on the base common cutting patterns. Both usually have some sort of guide or backstop for paper alignment. I would say they are both equally as easy to set up and align for cuts.
  • Additional Features – One thing I really like about Kutrimmer that Dahle has not implemented on their cutters as of this article is a red optical cutting line. The cutting line makes it easy to see exactly where the blade is going to fall, making setting up the cutter extremely easy.

In conclusion, I would have to say that both Dahle and Kutrimmer make some great guillotine / tabletop paper cutters & trimmers. I still give Kutrimmer a slight edge, but Dahle is an excellent second choice. If the Dahle is cheaper in price, go for it. You won’t regret it.

Please feel free to speak with us at 1-800-543-5454 about any of our guillotine paper cutters our trimmers. You can find our entire selection of both Dahle and Kutrimmer guillotines here.




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What Replaced Polaroid 669 Instant Film?

Posted by: Office Zone on November 12th, 2012

FujiFilm FP-100C Instant FilmIf you are using an instant film style camera for taking photo IDs, driver’s license pictures, passports and for other photography, you are probably aware of the fact that Polaroid recently discontinued the 669 film. This is a real disappointment to a lot of people, especially considering how many still use Polaroid 669 film for their various photography projects. The good news is that there is a high-quality alternative available (found here).

The film you will want to use in place of your Polaroid 669 film is FujiFilm FP-100C film. This film is directly compatible with all cameras that used 669 film. The cartridges are exactly the same size and. Each box of FP-100C film comes a film cartridge that contains 10 sheets. If you have a passport camera, you will be able to get 20 pictures out of a cartridge. If you have a 4 lens ID camera, you will be able to get up to 40 pictures per cartridge.

Having spoken with many customers that have made the switch, pretty much all of them say the FP-100C film keeps up with the Polaroid 669 film in every way. I have even had some customers tell me they are even happier with the FP-100C results than they were with the 669 film. Fuji doesn’t cut any corners with their instant film. The results are fast, clear and crisp. Our FujiFilm is also compatible with photo ID die cutters.

How does the film work? Simply load the cartridge in your camera and take a picture. When you pull the sheet from the camera will depend on the camera design and the amount of pictures you need to fit per sheet. Once a single sheet is filled with pictures, pull the sheet from the camera. Special rollers in the camera will mix chemicals within the instant film sheet, causing the picture to develop.

If you are in need of an instant film camera, we currently offer the MX-2I (found here). It uses instant film and is designed to take passport pictures. While modern digital passport cameras are catching up, most people argue that the speed and convenience of an instant film camera for passports is still superior. The MX-2I is easy to pick up, simple to aim and works fast and efficiently.

At Office Zone, we also offer a great selection of die cutters designed to quickly cut pictures out of instant film. This includes our popular 6001 LA photo ID die cutter (found here) and our Model 6500 LA passport die cutter (found here).

Many people like to laminate their instant film ID cards using a pouch laminator and film. At Office Zone we also offer a great selection of pouch laminators and film (found here). Our most popular ID badge laminator is the PL4A pouch laminator found here.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 with any questions you may have regarding instant film, Polaroid 669 film or the new FujiFilm FP-100C replacement.




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Best Small Business Paper Shredders for the Office

Posted by: Office Zone on November 9th, 2012

Best Small Business Paper ShreddersWhile large businesses often use paper shredders (found here) to destroy sensitive data, it is equally important for small businesses to do the same. The biggest difference between the two is that a small business isn’t going to need a massive shredder to get the job done. Most small businesses are fine with a machine that is designed to be used by 4-8 people. So what is the best small business paper shredder?

We have decades of experience with shredders and would like to share some of our customers’ top picks. As you read this article, you will probably notice a similar them with many of our shredders. We have found that the best-built shredders originate in Germany. They seem to have figured out the correct formula for design and build quality. Popular German paper shredder brands include Destroyit, Intimus, HSM and Dahle.

At Office Zone, we offer two separate indexes for shredders. These are:

Now that we have gone through that, I would like to point out some of our most popular small business shredders and why they are a great option for you.

Best Small Business Paper Shredders for the Office (sorted by least to most expensive)

  1. Destroyit 2360CC ShredderIntelli-Zone ST-10C (found here) – This shredder offers a Level 3 cross cut pattern in a compact deskside design. It is extremely quiet and can shred up to 10 sheets of paper at a time.
  2. Intelli-Zone ST-12C (found here) This is another great Level 3 shredder from Intelli-Zone, featureing a 12 sheet shredding capacity and the ability to also shred CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and other optical discs.
  3. Destroyit 2360CC (found here) This German-made paper shredder is about as tough as they come in this size. It is reliable, extremely durable and even features a continuous-duty motor for regular shredding needs.
  4. Intimus Pro 32CC3 (found here) – Intimus shredders have been around for decades and have developed a good reputation with the government. The 32CC3 can be used to shred paper, optical discs and much more. This shredder features some of the latest in modern paper shredder technology.
  5. Intelli-Zone ET-15C (found here) – This shredder has a nice 15 sheet shredding capacity, features a 7 year warranty on the shredder blades and has a nice 7-gallon shred bin. This shredder is aesthetically pleasing and is very quiet, making it ideal for the office.
  6. Destroyit 2404 (found here) – This German built shredder features hardened steel shredding blades, a large 13-gallon shred bin, sits on mobile casters and is one of the easiest shredders to use and operate. It even features a continuous-duty motor.
  7. Intimus 45CC3 (found here) – This Intimus shredder is a tough little paper destroying machine. It is excellent for small business use and can keep up with use by multiple people throughout the day. It cuts paper using a level 3 pattern and can be used to destroy paper, CDs, DVDs, credit cards and more. It is silent, absorbs noise-causing vibrations and is full of safety technology.
  8. Dahle CleanTEC 41214 (found here) – If you need a quiet and reliable shredder, the Dahle CleanTEC line of shredders is an excellent shredder. These shredders are German made, feature a quiet design and are energy conscious.

These are just eight of our most popular small office shredders. In case you need more cutting capacity or a larger shred bin, we offer several high-quality larger models of shredders as well. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454 with your paper shredder questions. We are more than happy to answer your questions, provide you with quotes, match prices and more.




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Why Does A Roll Laminator Need Fans?

Posted by: Office Zone on November 1st, 2012

Roll Laminators with Coolling FansSo I was speaking with a customer yesterday who was looking at purchasing a 27″ wide roll laminator (found here). The laminator in question came in a fan and a fanless version. The version with a fan could be used to laminate products up to 5 mils thick, where the fanless version could only handle film up to 3 mils thick. The customer asked me why a laminator would need fans. Here is the answer I provided him.

Most roll laminators use heat to melt the inner lining glue layer on the roll film. When this glue melts, it adheres to the object being laminated. When the glue cools, it solidifies. This seems like a fairly simple process, right? While the process is essentially simple, there are a lot of factors that can go into producing good and bad results.

Different roll laminators handle different thiknesses of film. The thickness of lamination film is referred to as the mil thickness. A mil is a thousandth of an inch (0.001″). The higher the mil, the thicker the film. Not all roll laminators can handle the thicker film. Almost all roll laminators can handle 1.5 and 3 mil film. Most can handle 5-mil film. Heavy-duty laminators can handle the 7 and 10 mil film.

This now goes back to our original question. Why do some roll laminators have rear-mounted fans? These fans are designed to help cool the film as it leaves the laminator. It just so happens that thicker film, such as 5, 7 and 10, retain the heat longer than thinner film. As a result, the film says hotter for a longer period of time. The fans help to quickly cool and solidify the laminating glue.

When the glue cools faster, the results are smoother and more professional. With thicker film, if it isn’t cooled fast enough, can become malformed, wavy or rippled as it leaves the machine. You rarely find a cooling fan system on a roll laminator that only handles 1.5 or 3 mil film as the film cools naturally fairly quickly. Laminators that handle 5 mil film may or may not come with fans. Most laminators that handle film up to 7 or 10 mils thick will have fans.

So do you need a fan? No. Is it ideal to have a fan? It is nice to have, but far more critical with thicker film. Almost all heavy-duty and commercial-grade roll laminators come equipped with cooling fans. You can find our entire selection of roll laminators here and our entire selection of roll lamination film here.

Since we have decades of experience with roll laminators, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454 to speak with one of our trained Laminator Specialists.




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MBM Kutrimmer Guillotine Paper Cutters – Where Quality Meets Precision

Posted by: Office Zone on October 24th, 2012

Kutrimmer Paper CuttersWhen it comes to guillotine paper trimmers, few have the quality or reputation that Kutrimmer has (found here). Kutrimmer, made by MBM, has been around for years. These cutters are known for their razor-sharp Solingen steel blades and their precision German engineering. The only manufacturer to come close over the years has been Dahle, also a German engineered cutter. So is a Kutrimmer the ideal cutter for you?

Guillotine paper trimmers simply aren’t what they used to be 30 years ago. Those large wood base cutters had no real safety measures in place and they could potentially be dangerous. Kutrimmer has taken the design of the old wood-base trimmers and has taken it to the 21st century. Modern guillotines now feature metal bases, non-skid rubber feet, smooth pivoting handles and safety shields that keep fingers away from sharp parts. Modern guillotines also include clamps, which helps keep cuts straight and true.

As mentioned earlier, Kutrimmer paper cutters are made in Germany and are German engineered. In the world of precision machined office equipment, this is a very good thing. The quality on these cutters is as good as it can get. At Office Zone, we carry eight different Kutrimmer cutters with most of them (as of this article) available with free freight.

Here is a list of the eight models we currently offer:

  1. MBM Kutrimmer 1134 (found here) – This cutter has an amazing 25 sheet capacity and is the least expensive Kutrimmer we offer. It is excellent for tabletop use and includes a side guide, a Solingen steel blade, a cutting line indicator and an adjustable back guide. This is great for use in schools, churches and businesses.
  2. MBM Kutrimmer 1135 (found here) – This is an upgraded version of the 1134 that includes an easy-lift release clamping lever. It can be used to cut paper, features a solid metal base and creates extremely precise cuts every time.
  3. MBM Kutrimmer 1046 (found here) – This cutter has a nice 18″ cutting length, making it ideal for cutting standard paper sizes as well as larger art prints and other material. The Solingen steel blade is extra sharp and easily maintains its edge for a long time. It can be used to cut up to 30 sheets of paper at a time.
  4. MBM Kutrimmer 1038 (found here) The Kutrimmer 1038 features extended front guides, an extra tough hand lamp and can be used to cut through up to 50 sheets of paper at a time! (based on 20# bond paper). This trimmer has a 14.75″ cutting length and is excellent for use with standard sizes of paper or smaller. It is also excellent for trimming down photos.
  5. MBM Kutrimmer 1058 (found here) The Kutrimmer 1058 is one of the few 23″ long cutters that has a 40 sheet cutting capacity. This cutter features a metal base, a safety guard on the cutting blade and a heavy-duty clamp. This is a great trimmer for framers, artists, schools and more. It is easy to use and the blade makes straight cuts simple.
  6. MBM Kutrimmer 1071 (found here) – The Kutrimmer 1071 is a heavy-duty cutter with a massive 28.5″ cutting length. It can be used to cut up to 40 sheets of paper at a time and is one of the largest guillotines we offer for tabletop use. The guide, combined with a Solingen steel blade, can be used to cut paper as thin as one millimeter.
  7. MBM Kutrimmer 1110 Heavy-Duty GuillotineMBM Kutrimmer 1080 (found here) – This cutter is a floor unit that is designed for print shops, copy centers and other locations where a variety of paper sizes need to be cut on a regular basis. This heavy-duty cutter has a large 31.25″ cutting length and it can be used for cutting up to 40 sheets of paper at a time and has a hairline trimming capability. It includes a sturdy metal stand.
  8. MBM Kutrimmer 1110 (found here) – This is the largest guillotine trimmer MBM has to offer. It has a very large 43.75″ cutting length that can cut up to 20 sheets of paper at a time. This impressive cutting length makes this cutter excellent for cutting down large prints, signs, banners, posters and much more. It includes a durable stand and is made with precision German engineering.

These types of paper cutters are commonly used to cut anything from paper and card stock to matt framing and more. You can find our entire selection of guillotine paper cutters and trimmers here. Please call us at 1-800-543-5454 for answers to your paper cutting questions.




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Which Mil Thickness is Best for Lamination Film – 3, 5, 7 or 10?

Posted by: Office Zone on October 24th, 2012

Pouch Lamination FilmIf you own a pouch laminator, you are probably well ware of the fact that you have to use a laminating pouch to complete the lamination process. I get at least one or more people a day asking me which mil thickness they should use. I would like to start off this article by explaining what a mil thickness is and then I will go into which thickness is best for you. Before I continue, you can find our entire selection of high quality pouch lamination film here.

You would be surprised how many people think Mil is short for millimeter. I would just like to clarify that they are in no way related. Mil is actually short for thousandth of an inch. This means that 3 mils is 0.003″ thick. Being a Spanish speaker, I would also like to point out that mil in Spanish is thousand in English. Is there any relation? I really don’t know.

So 3 mil is 0.003″ thick, 5 mil is 0.005″ thick, 7 mil is 0.007″ thick and 10 mil is 0.01″ thick. Seems simple enough, right? Well, not so fast. I don’t want to confuse you too much, but a 3-mil pouch is actually 6 mils thick. What? That’s right. A laminating pouch has two sides. A 3-mil lamination pouch has two 3-mil sides, totaling 6 mils. A 5-mil pouch is actually 10 total mils thick, a 7-mil pouch is actually 14 total mils thick and a 10-mil pouch is actually 20 total mils thick. A credit card is 30 mils thick, so that just gives you an idea to just how thick a 10-mil pouch is.

Pouch LaminatorsNow if you have ever looked at a box of lamination pouches, you may have noticed a fraction or a series of numbers on the side. This usually indicates the hard plastic and glue ration. A box of 7 mil pouches may say 5/3 on the side of it. This means five mils of the pouch is hard plastic and 3 mils is glue, totaling 7 mils.

Now that you know what a pouch is, what the thickness means and what it is made from, you probably want to know which mil thickness is most popular. With over a decade of experience under my belt, I have found that a 5 mil laminating pouch is the most common thickness. It is rigid enough to provide support, yet does a great job of protecting the document inside. It is also more affordable than 7 and 10-mil thick pouches. If you need the utmost in thickness, you will want to go with a 10-mil thick pouch. Just be aware that a 10-mil pouch is thick.

At Office Zone, we sell laminating pouches 100 per box. We offer a price break starting at 5 boxes of film. Each box of film includes a carrier, which is designed to provide the pouch with support as it makes its way through the laminator. I would like to go on record saying that we have some great prices on our film and it is the high-quality kind of stuff you want to use. The film comes out crystal clear, lacking the bubbles, ripples and cloudiness found in other cheaper film. You can find our entire selection of pouch lamination film here. You can find our wide assortment of pouch laminators here.