Which paper folding machines are best?

While the internet and email have gone a long way in revolutionizing communication, some businesses still rely on old-fashioned snail mail. If you find yourself in this situation, a paper folding machine can save you a lot of time. With the reliable Martin Yale P7400 RapidFold Automatic Feed Desktop Folder at your disposal, sending out neatly folded letters and documents has never been easier.

What to know before you buy a paper folding machine

Where to buy a reliable paper folding machine

Purchasing heavy-duty office equipment like paper folding machines can be rife with fraud. You might be tempted to buy a cheaper machine sold by a third-party vendor, lesser-known company or auction site. However, if you do so, you could risk being sold a defective unit. Failing to invest in a machine with suitable abilities and pedigree may cost you far more in the long run with frequent paper jams and constant repairs.

Always inspect the packaging for your paper folding machine and document any damage, missing parts or other kinds of physical issues. It is always worth contacting the customer service of a particular company to inquire about repair services, warranties and any other concerns you may have.

What type of paper folding machine you should buy

When buying a paper folding machine, the type you should get depends on your space and what you are folding. While the smallest units can fit on a reasonably sized desktop, the larger units can take up a lot of space. You should always check that any paper folding machine you are interested in is capable of folding in your desired styles.

If you are entirely unfamiliar with the various folding styles, you should take care to select a machine that highlights flexible folding styles. You should also determine whether you need your machine to fold multiple documents or single documents, whether it is capable of folding glossy paper and if it has both manual and automatic controls.

What your paper processing needs are

Two of the biggest factors that determine the overall quality of a paper folding machine are its overall processing speed and how heavy-duty it is. A heavy-duty machine can process and fold more documents with greater speed, which has a direct impact on its processing abilities. To determine this, you should carefully consider how often you require documents to be neatly folded.

As an example, a paper folding machine that is capable of processing up to 1800 documents in an hour should be more than sufficient for use in your home or small business. Larger organizations should consider buying a unit with greater speed and folding capacity to ensure timely processing. 

What to look for in a quality paper folding machine

Multiple fold capabilities

If you happen to be unfamiliar with the various types of document folding, you might be surprised to discover there are at least 12 distinct types of folding methods. 

Simple paper folding machines often only use traditional C folds, which end up leaving a margin of a quarter-inch to allow easy opening of envelopes. However, Z folds are commonly used in multipage marketing letters, bills, invitations and catalogs to name a few. The double parallel fold is often used for larger size papers bigger than 11 inches by 17 inches. This fold style creates up to eight different printing surfaces. It’s often used for customer reports and transactional mailings.

Simple controls

You can make your paper folding process much less frustrating by finding a machine that has simple controls. Unlike some office equipment that requires you to fan paper out before inserting it, the best models allow for simple drop-in top-feeding, stacking trays and clearly defined fold settings. This makes switching between types quick and easy. 

Folds paper easily and consistently

Dealing with paper jams can be downright infuriating. To avoid further frustration, look for machines with an option to hand-feed paper if needed or desired. The best machines also allow for easy unjamming of paper via access for your hands. However, they have even more features that help ensure a consistent and attractive finished product.

For example, some units come with features like Autobatch programming (to process specific numbers of sheets) and stacking trays.

How much you can expect to spend on a paper folding machine

Depending on your desired features and any budget restraints, a quality paper folding machine can cost between $199-$695.

Best paper folding machine FAQ

How can I fix issues like wrinkling documents?

A. There can be several potential issues at work here, including folding plates being dirty, the plates becoming misaligned or attempting to fold documents where the ink has not fully dried. Check to see if any of these are the source of the problem and then tackle the issue at the source.

Why is my paper folding machine not turning on?

A. This could be as simple as your machine not being plugged in or the cord being damaged. If neither is the case, you should read your instruction manual, contact the manufacturer and inspect the unit for any paper jams.

What’s the best paper folding machine to buy?

Top paper folding machine

Martin Yale P7400 RapidFold Automatic Feed Desktop Folder

Martin Yale P7400 RapidFold Automatic Feed Desktop Folder

What you need to know: This handsome and reliable paper folding machine is ideal for use in a small business or organization.

What you’ll love: This unit features the ability to switch easily between four different folds — namely the letter fold, half-fold, z-fold and double parallel fold. It can also fold up to three sheets of paper simultaneously with or without staples. It comes with auto jam protection and can fold up to 4000 documents per hour.

What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with papers becoming wrinkled and torn by the machine.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top paper folding machine for the money

Martin Yale P6200 Automatic Desktop Folder

Martin Yale P6200 Automatic Desktop Folder

What you need to know: This affordable paper folding machine still offers impressive capabilities for small-scale use.

What you’ll love: This unit features twofold anywhere from one to three sheets of paper either loose or in a stapled set. It works best with 20- 24-pound bond paper and can process up to 1,800 documents an hour.

What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with being unable to load multiple sheets and receiving improperly folded letters.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Formax FD 300 Document Folder

Formax FD 300 Document Folder

What you need to know: This heavy-duty paper folding machine is best suited for larger businesses and mailrooms.

What you’ll love: This unit features an output conveyor for neat, sequential stacking as well as an LCD control panel with a three-digit resettable counter. It comes with clearly marked fold settings for user convenience and is capable of folding up to 7,400 sheets of paper per hour.

What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with displaying false error codes and failing within a year.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Daniel Martin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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