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Home > Informative Articles > Paper Folder Articles > Letter Paper Folder Buyer's Guide

Letter Paper Folder Buyer's Guide

Click to enlargeSo, you are in the market for a paper folding machine, but aren't sure what paper folder is right for you? Let us guide you through the purchasing of your new folding machine.

Folding brochures, letterhead, sales letters, marketing letters, invoices, and statements by hand can be time consuming and tedious, not to mention the painful paper cuts that can occur during the process.

The use of an automatic paper folder can increase the number of sheets you can fold dramatically, without all the back breaking labor involved in manual paper folding.

You may also be interested in reading our newer updated article, on this subject, over on our blog.

Paper folders will do the following:

• Increase the number of sheets folded per hour.
• Save you time by allowing you to do other things.
• Reduce physical and mental fatigue.
• Increase the types of folds you can create.
• Save you money by increasing output and decreasing man-power.

When considering the purchase of a paper folder there are several things to keep in mind:

How often you will be using the folder.

Some paper folders are built to be used continually, while others are only meant to be used occasionally. Some paper folders are built to withstand mass mailings. Others are built to fold an occasional sheet of paper. Be sure you get a folder that works with the volume you fold.

What kind of paper you will be using.

There are many different types of paper. Paper can be thick, thin or even glossy. Different paper folders have different capabilities. Make sure the paper folder you are using can fold the paper you use now and in the future. If you will be doing folding of glossy paper, we recommend the purchase of an air fed folder, rather than a friction fed model.

Friction feed paper folders have rollers which pull the paper into the paper folding machine. Friction feed folders offer letter folding options for all folding volumes. The friction feed paper folder relieves the problem of bulk folding. Also, automatic friction paper folders have rollers which automatically pull the paper in from the in-feed tray and fold it. With a manual setup folder, you usually have to adjust the folding plate to the exact fold you want. Friction feed paper folders have wearable items. Typically, the front rollers on your paper folder wear out the most. It is very common to have these replaced if your paper folder is folding to its maximum duty cycle.

Air feed paper folders use air to suck paper into the paper folding machine to be folded. A puff of air lifts each sheet of paper and pulls it into the folder, reducing the static build up on each sheet of paper. Because air-feed paper folders use air rather than friction to pull the paper in, they are ideal for use with glossy paper. If your application is folding glossy paper documents, then an air feed folder is recommended. These folders tend to be more expensive than the friction fed paper folder models.

What size of paper you will be folding.

Before purchasing a folder, it is good to take stock of what type of projects you will be using it for, and the size of paper and types of folds you will need to do. Some folders only do preset folds, while others can be set for custom folds. Lower priced paper folders may only handle up to letter size (8.5" x 11") or legal size paper (8.5" x 14"). If you will be printing tabloid size items (11" x 17"), you will need to look at larger format machines.

How much space to you have for the folder.

Some paper folders sit at the side of your desk, providing mobility and ease of use. Larger, more heavy-duty folders require a table or countertop to rest on. For heavier paper folders, use a work station with wheels for mobility and ease of use.

Whether you decide to purchase a friction-feed or air-feed paper folder, the investment will pay for itself when compared to the time and money spent manually folding each printed piece.

If you are looking for troubleshooting information on paper folders, check out our Troubleshooting Tips.

Written By: Nora Kramer. ©Your Office Stop, 2011.
This is original content that may not be reused without our express written permission.

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