When shopping around for a paper folding machine, I have found that many customer expect to pay upwards of thousands of dollars to get a good machine. While there are many excellent machine hovering around that price range, one often overlooked model that can handle a remarkably high volume of paper is the Martin Yale 1611 paper folding machine (found here). I have personally used this machine out on our showroom floor and would like to offer some of my own personal observations and thoughts in this article.
Martin Yale makes a lot of paper folding machines and other pieces of office equipment. Products from Martin Yale are hit and miss in my book. Some products are masterful pieces of engineering genius, while others (like the 1501X & 1217A) make me want to bang my head against a wall. Luckily the 1611 (and the automated 1711) utilize newer technology and seem to have ironed out many bugs.
So what is the Martin Yale 1611 (known as the 1611 Ease-of-Use AutoFolder)? It is a friction feed paper folding machine. This means it uses rubber rollers to grab and pull paper into the machine via friction. This system is the most common used in office equipment. While it is extremely effective, its biggest shortcoming is in use with slick, glossy and coated paper. Because the surfaces of these types of paper are slippery, friction wheels can choke on them creating a significant jam. My advice? Try to stick with non-glossy paper when using this machine.
This is a manual setup paper folding machine, meaning the folds have to be manually adjusted by you. This is done by adjusting two folding plates. One of the plates is located under the feed tray and the other above the exit tray. Martin Yale does a pretty good job of indicating where the folding plates need to be adjusted. I have found that it only takes me a few seconds to adjust each. If the fold isn’t exact, or is a little off skew, you may need to go back to the plates and make some fine tuned adjustments.
The Martin Yale 1611 can handle paper ranging in size from 3 ½” x 5″ up to 8 ½” x 14″. Most people use this with standard letter-size paper, although it can create folds with legal size paper. The feed tray on this machine holds up to 150 sheets of paper (based on 20# bond paper). The motor used to pull in and fold the paper runs at a speed of 9,000 sheets per hour, although I don’t recommend you run it like this for hours on end. I recommend using this machine for a few hundred to a few thousand sheets a day.
You can create all of the most common folds with this machine. I tried out the Z fold (aka accordion) and the C fold (aka letter fold) without a problem. It can also be used to create a half fold, right angle fold, double parallel fold and can create variations of these by tweaking the folding plates. As the paper is folded, it drops out onto a powered exit conveyor with a stacking roller. This system helps keep the folded paper organized as it leaves the machine.
One feature that I feel sets this machine apart from much of the competition is the inclusion of a multi-sheet bypass tray. On the top of the machine, you can manually insert up to 5 sheets of paper at a time (based on standard copy paper) for multi sheet folding. While the multiple sheets do have to be manually fed, it is a fast process and the results turn out quite well.
While not necessarily an important part of the operation of the machine, I have to admit that this is one of the nicer and more modern looking folding machines we offer. It features nice rounded curves with a black / gray design. Overall I consider this a great value for the money. As of this article, this machine is less than a thousand dollars and it really does fit in nicely in an office environment. I recommend this for use with businesses, schools and churches.
If you have any questions about the Martin Yale 1611 AutoFolder, please give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. You can find the Martin Yale 1611 here and our entire selection of paper folding machines here.