Perforators - Frequently Asked Questions



The following is a listing of the most commonly asked questions regarding Perforators:


Q1. How much does a perforator cost?
Q2. What can I expect shipping costs to be?
Q3. How large are these machines and what is the size of the perforations?
Q4. How much do the machines weigh?
Q5. Do perforators come in different styles or colors?
Q6. How noisy are perforators?
Q7. How long will a perforator last?
Q8. What are the differences between the various models?
Q9. How long is the warranty that comes with a new perforator?
Q10. How do I get service on my perforator if it is required?
Q11. What kind of operator maintenance is required?
Q12. How many sheets of paper can be perforated at one time?

 

Document perforators are very important to many businesses, organizations and governmental bodies, etc. With an American perforator, you can be sure that you'll be getting the best document perforator on the market that will also stand the test of time.


If you have any other questions or concerns that are not addressed here or in this website, please ASK!


A1. Depending on the custom configuration, custom modifications such as guides, locks or power requirements, etc. - all of which will affect the cost of your machine, you can figure anywhere from $3,000 - 4,000 USD per machine OR MORE for most variations. They can cost less, or more, this is an *average* price only. Please remember that all of our perforators are custom built to order. (within the capabilities of the machine that is) Shipping to overseas locations will increase the price, in some cases substantially.

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A2. Normally I pay for shipping costs within the contiguous "lower 48" states of the US. For shipment to other countries or locations, the price can be quite substantial - in some cases it can be over $700.00 USD. We normally will quote you a delivered price - i.e., one that includes the shipping costs, handling, insurance and documentation from our end.

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A3. The machine measure approx. 6 1/2" wide x 10" tall x 13" in length. The size of the holes used in the perforations is approx. .045". A smaller size is available (.036") but is recommended to be used ONLY in certain low volume applications. The "normal" size of a letter or number perforation - top to bottom - is 10mm or 3/8". Left to Right is normally approx. 2" in width for the date. There is approx. 5/8" of space from the leading edge of the document, to the first hole perforation UNLESS a Special Fixed Guide is added to the machine to decrease that distance. If you utilize the full 3 line capability of the machine, the overall size of the perforation - Top to Bottom, and Left to Right is approx. 2 1/4" H x 2" W. This may change with special needs or requirements in sizing of letters etc.

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A4. The perforators weigh an average of 43 pounds. When packed for shipment, figure approx. 45 pounds. The dimensions of the box that is used for shipping is currently: 14" x 14" x 18" - and is a special, heavy-duty carton.

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A5. Unfortunately NO. These machines sport a retro-fifties look in silver/gray. They are not available in any other color - but you are free to repaint yours after you purchase it. What you see in the photos on this website is what you will get (however we do understand that the photos on the website appear goldish in color). These machines are considered to be work horses and in an effort to contain costs have not been redesigned externally in many years.

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A6. Well, lets put it this way, I wouldn't want one right next to me if I was talking on the telephone. The machines do make noise when actuated. Normally they are placed in a mail room, or rear section of an office away from other workers. Placing a carpet or felt machine pad underneath the perforator will help in quieting them down a bit.

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A7. Under normal use, and with minimal care, it is not unusual for an American Perforator to last 10, 20, or even more than 30 years in use! These are heavy duty machines, but NOT indestructible machines! For commercial applications or extremely high volume applications, multiple machines may be required.

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A8. Basically there are 3 BASE models that everything is custom built from: The model 400A has no date for those applications that do not require a date. The model 400 has a date and also can have a line above and below the date. The model 410 has the capability of a changeable first line, a date, and a third fixed line if required.

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A9. The American Perforator comes with a ONE YEAR Factory Parts & Labor Warranty.

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A10. We ship these machines all over the world. They require very minimal maintenance. When something does go wrong, we recommend that you have someone (either your maintenance person or someone else with a minimum amount of mechanical ability) call the factory while next to the machine. Have a couple sizes of regular and philips head screw drivers ready. The factory can help you troubleshoot the problem in most cases and decide if you can fix it there, or if the machine will need to be returned to the factory for a quick-turnaround repair. These machines are designed in such a manner that there is only a limited number of things that can be repaired in your office anyway.

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A11. We keep this very simple. There is a small drawer on the side of the machine that collects the paper "chads" from the holes. This must be kept empty and not allowed to fill up and compress. The operator needs to be instructed to empty this drawer several times a day depending on use. The operators also need to be instructed to only put into the throat of the machine what it will take WITHOUT FORCING IT. If it fits easily, it is fine. DO NOT put anything other than paper into these machines. (no staples, paperclips, fasteners, etc.). Lastly, once or twice a year the machine needs to be unplugged, the cover taken off, and several pivoting points lubricated. The paperwork that comes with the machine will show you where to lubricate it with a light machine oil. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the factory for assistance.

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A12. The manufacturer's literature states that you can perforate "up to 25 sheets of paper at one time". While this is possible to do, you can only reach that capacity if the paper you are punching is very thin. Normally 15-18 sheets is a more realistic amount of average sheets to perforate at one time. The machine will take as much paper as you insert into its throat opening WITHOUT FORCING.

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Don Allen - The Perforator Guy email