Long a popular choice for churches, schools, and small businesses, the Martin Yale 1601 is a nice paper folder for the price. In this review, we will take a closer look at this machine and give you a rundown of what we consider its strengths and weaknesses.
We found the 1601 to be a pretty flexible paper folder for the price. For example, the 1601 is designed to enable several different folding styles such as double parallel, letter, half and cross (right angle) fold. It can also be set up for custom folds. As far as paper size, the 1601 is primarily set up for letter and legal sheets (which will suffice for the vast majority of jobs out there), but can also accommodate anywhere from 3.5 x 5 to 8.5 x 14 inch sheets.
We loved the convenience of the feed tray, which holds up to one hundred fifty sheets. The way it is designed means that you do not need to fan the paper out in order for it to feed into the machine correctly. Fanning can sometimes be a bit of a bear in that if you don't do it just right, you are bucking for a paper jam or at the least, a misfeed and misfold. We were glad not to have to worry about that when using the 1601.
The 1601 is pretty darn peppy, folding at a maximum of nine thousand sheets per hour. At this rate the vast majority of folding jobs you give this machine will take a couple of minutes, max.
Another thing we really liked about the 1601 is that it features a manual bypass that will allow the user to feed and fold stapled sets of up to four pages at a time. This is unbelievably convenient for working with mailers, newsletters and the like. However, you may want to note that the manual bypass requires you to feed one set of pages at a time.
The 1601 is a machine that requires manual setup, meaning that when you want to change folding patterns, you will need to set the position of the folding plates by hand. This is not always the easiest thing to accomplish and it can sometimes take some doing to make sure that everything is square and in the right position. If you think that you are going to want to change folding patterns a lot, or even semi-frequently, you might want to pay a little extra and get yourself a paper folder that is designed for automatic set up, such as the Martin Yale 1701.
This is a machine that works very well with stocks of paper that are not coated and are between 16 and 28lb weight. The 1601 will not function properly with heavier card stocks, coated or glossy sheets. These types of papers will very likely cause paper jams and misfeeds on this particular machine.
Letter and legal size sheets work like a charm in the 1601, but you will have no luck with larger size sheets such as eleven by seventeen. For the vast majority of jobs, however, this shouldn't be a problem.