How do I maintain my machine's punching die?

posted this on Jul 16, 2015

Owning a plastic comb, twin-loop wire, or color coil binding machine can be very helpful. If you have such a device, you’ll be able to punch and bind your own documents without leaving your office. Doing so will help you save money as well as enable you to produce work that will impress current and potential clients. Binding machines don’t really require a whole lot of maintenance but it is important to take good care of the punching dies. Here’s some information on how to do it as well as signs to look for so you’ll know if the dies are becoming too worn.

There are a couple of ways to tell if your machine’s punching dies are in bad shape. For one thing, the paper you punch won’t be processed cleanly. The holes will be ragged even if you’re only punch a few sheets at a time. You might need to remove bits of paper from the holes which can be frustrating and time-consuming. If you ever punch plastic covers with your device, you’ll notice that the plastic is stretched after it’s been punched. If you notice these signs, you should think about having the machine serviced to prevent further damage to the dies. If you have a modular punch, now would be the time to pick up a new die set.

Now that you know what to keep an eye out for regarding die wear and tear, here are a few tips to help you keep the dies in the best possible condition:

  1. Never go over your machine’s stated punching capacity. Doing so is hard on the dies and will cause them to age prematurely. In fact, it’s helpful to process a couple of pages less than the machine can handle. This won’t cause the binding process to take up too much extra time and it will keep the device in better shape.
  2. When you’re working with plastic covers, don’t punch more than two of them at at time. While the plastic might seem light and flexible, it’s actually very tough and it can really do some damage to the dies if you try to punch too much. Also, never try to punch items such as wood, metal, cardboard, or other thick materials.
  3. It’s important to empty the machine’s chip tray on a regular basis. If you try to punch a bunch of materials while the tray is full, the dies will become worn pretty quickly. It can also be more difficult to punch, so save yourself the hassle and just empty the tray regularly.
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