How Do Letter Folding Machines Work?

We take many automation devices for granted, not really knowing how they work. Read on to learn just what letter folding machines do and how they work.

Despite the rumors you may have heard about a decline in mailing out physical letters, over 141 billion letters are mailed out in a single year!

Even more importantly, 79% shoppers respond both positively and quickly to mailed correspondence, offers, and advertisements from companies.

The takeaway? If you think snail mail is a thing of the past, think again.

But depending on the number of clients you have, we understand that mailings can be time-consuming.

That’s where effective, time-saving devices like a letter folding machine can help – no matter your budget.

In this post, we’re explaining how a letter folding machine works, and talking more about why your business needs one!

Why You Need a Letter Folding Machine

Before we get into the mechanics of letter folders, let’s talk about the benefits they offer your company.

They save you time, and therefore money

If you send a lot of mailings, you’ve likely had to hire extra help, or pay employees for overtime, to get them out in time.

Letter folding machines prevent this, and they also allow you to focus on selling, not folding during prime office hours.

They can make you look more professional

Be honest with yourself: if you received a letter from an otherwise reputable business that was clearly folded in a hurry, or that had uneven edges, what would you think about that company?

Probably some not-so-nice things. It may seem like a small detail, but a nice, clean crease makes a difference, and it shows you’re attentive to every aspect of your image.

They can complete a variety of folds

We get it: you didn’t get into the tech world because you’re an origami expert.

Still, if you like to get creative with the size, shape, and even paper type of your mailings (smart move, by the way) certain types of a letter folding machine can fold even your craziest mailings.

OK, So How Exactly Do Letter Folders Work?

First of all, a letter folding machine isn’t as complicated as you might think.

They consist of 2 folding plates, some rollers, (usually made of rubber) wheels to move the paper, and a small motor.

Though the exact mechanics may vary based on size and special features of your machine, they all work roughly like this:

  • First, your machine will use its wheels to draw in your paper.
  • Next, the first plate pulls the paper back and forth, until it reaches folding plate number two.
  • Third, the rubber rolls themselves create the folds on the paper.
  • The final step: your neatly-folded paper comes out of the machine, and lands on the tray.

Not only is it a fast and effective process, it’s incredibly fun to watch. As see below, there are even machines that can fold paper airplanes!

Wait, Back Up: Can You Get Specific On The Parts Of The Folder?

Sure! We know it may be surprising to learn that a paper folding machine has so few parts. The stars of the show are:

  • Your Input Tray:
    • As the name implies, this is where you feed in the sheets you’re planning to have folded.
    • Usually, these trays are adjustable to make room for many different paper sizes.
  • Your Pickup Roller:
    • This is a fairly good-sized roller that drags your paper up into the machine, and transfers it onto the first plate.
    • Depending on the thickness of the paper, you may need to look for options that have stronger rollers.
  • Your Fold Rollers:
    • These rollers are what keep your piece of paper moving smoothly along the same path, so that your lines are clean.
    • Because they’re doing a lot of heavy lifting, it’s important to clean them a few times a quarter. Nothing fancy: a little soap and water is perfect!
  • Your Folding Plates:
    • This is the part of your letter folding machine that does the real work – it creates the folds!
    • Depending on your model, you may have to do a bit of manual adjustment for your plates, though most are automatic.
  • Your Exit Tray:
    • As you may have guessed, this is where you’ll see your final product! There are actually a few types of tray options:
      • You can go for a conveyor-belt effect (more common in factories) or simply a bin-like option.

OK, You’ve Convinced Me: What Should I Take Into Account When I’m Buying?

There a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when choosing the type of machine you’ll need.

The kinds of folds you want to create

Unless you’re a design firm, or just really into intricate folds, a standard letter folding machine will work.

The size of your paper

Even though the vast majority of trays can be adjusted to fit many types of paper, if you’re using unusual sizing, it may be something that impacts the kind of machine you buy.

The thickness of your paper/its stock

The industry standard of 20-pound bond will work just fine in pretty much all letter folders.

However, if you’re going with a glossy finish, or even with cardstock, you may need to buy accordingly.

How much you need to fold

Depending on the average amount of correspondence you send out, you may need a more heavy-duty, high-volume folder.

How much you’re willing to pay

Of course, your budget matters! Don’t worry if it’s on the lower side, though. There are plenty of affordable letter folder options that work just as effectively as the higher cost versions.

Keep in mind though – this is an investment. And, in the time and labor costs saved, it will likely end up paying for itself!

Ready To Get Your Own Letter Folding Machine?

We hope you’ve found this post helpful, and that your questions about why you need these machines, and how they work, have been answered.

Maybe you’re even ready to look into getting a machine of your own!

That’s where we come in.

We’re always happy to answer any additional questions you may have, as well as to guide you towards the exact folding machine that’s right for your business and mail volume.

We can even help you to get a quote on a letter folding machine.

Don’t lose another day folding letters yourself – get a folding machine to do the work for you!

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