Want to jump straight to the answer? The best paper folding machines for most people is the Martin Yale 1611 or Formax FD 38X Automatic.

Most workplaces have to fold many documents each week, costing time and money.

Paper folding machines are here to help—as the name implies, these machines automatically fold paper for you. They can deal with multiple documents and prepare them to be professionally sent out at speed, saving you more time and money than you can imagine.

The Top 5 Best Paper Folding Machines

How to choose the best paper folding machine. Quicksprout.com's methodology for reviewing paper folding machines.

So those are the best paper folding machines available today—let’s dive in a bit further.

Martin Yale 1611 — The Best for Multiple Fold Styles

Martin Yale logo

It’s tempting to think that paper folding machines are all the same, but the truth is: many paper folding machines offer different folding styles and even more besides that. The Martin Yale 1611 is all about folding techniques.

Designed for offices, churches, schools, and mailrooms, this paper folding machine can fold your paper in seven different ways. There’s the Letter Fold, the Half Fold, the Z-Fold, the Double Parallel Fold, the Gate Fold, the Engineering Fold, and the Church Fold.

The number of different folds gives you options, and you’ll be able to test them out to see which is ideal for you.

Martin Yale 1611 paper folding machine.

The Martin Yale 1611 isn’t just about different folds, though. In terms of speed and capacity, we’re looking at 9000 sheets per hour—more than impressive—and a feed table with a capacity of 150 sheets so you won’t be constantly refilling the machine.

There’s also automatic feeding that helps to fold and stack documents as required, and enhanced precision paper skew adjustment that keeps your paper folds crisp and as accurate as possible.

The Martin Yale 1611 is a favorite around the world, and as a result, remains in low stock. It’ll set you back between $1100-$1400, depending on where you purchase it. For more availability information, it’s best to contact Martin Yale. 

Formax FD 38X Automatic — The Most User-Friendly Folder

Formax logo

The Formax FD 38X Automatic offers speed and precision coupled with an easy-to-understand LCD screen. 

This paper folding machine is for those who want more information and control as their paper gets folded. The LCD screen gives you access to 18 pre-programmed fold settings, and you’ll be able to choose from a variety of options, from size to the speed of the folding.

Most appealing of all, the LCD screen allows you to see what’s going on as the paper gets folded, keeping you updated at all times.

Formax FD 38X Automatic paper folding machine.

The screen itself is a 2.8″ backlit LCD and features a control panel with a step-by-step user interface—the aim is a high level of ease of use, and the screen helps facilitate this. Not all paper folding machines offer a screen like this, so this could significantly benefit some users.

The multi-sheet feeder on the machine allows up to four sheets to be folded simultaneously with side guides and skew adjustment as needed.

It can easily handle large projects with up to 20,100 pieces per hour, although this depends on the requested operation and fold style.

The Formax FD 38X Automatic costs up to $5300, putting it on the premium end of the price spectrum. But if you want a seamless, straightforward user experience combined with the power to handle large projects quickly, that price may well be worth it for you. 

Intelli-Fold DE 102 AF — The Best for Durable, Long-Lasting Performance

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Paper folding machines need to be durable, among other things, and the Intelli-Fold DE 102 AF can take more than a few knocks in use, making it a great choice.

It may not be the fastest paper folding machine on the market, but it makes up for that with solid and highly durable metal construction. The machine is about durability and reliability—it’s intended to be used on a long-term basis every day of the week.

Intelli 102 AF paper folding machine.

On top of the durable design is a paper folding machine with a folding speed of up to 6000 pieces per hour—still fast enough for most projects. Its fold types include the Single Fold, Half Accordion Fold, Double Parallel Fold, Z-Fold, Letter Fold, and the Gate Fold.

The Intelli-Fold DE 102 AF has an input capacity of up to 500 sheets, an automatic friction feed system for better ease of use, and any adjustments to the paper are made quickly and easily without much in the way of hassle. The self-adjust feature allows the machine to adjust to the thickness of the paper without user input.

The Intelli-Fold comes in at $1095 with a 1-year Intelli-Zone limited warranty. 

WBBM 98M Manual — The Best Compact Paper Folder

Whitaker Brothers logo

The WBBM 98M Manual is ideal for schools, churches, and small businesses due to its compact yet reliable nature.

It’s a paper folding machine that offers a lot in a small package and is an excellent choice if you don’t have a lot of space. It’s worth mentioning that the exit conveyor and exit tray are both removable to save more space when needed.

MBM 98M Automatic paper folding machine.

On top of that more diminutive size, we find a machine that’s easy to use thanks to its digital panel, allowing users to input pre-set folding options quickly. It offers a capacity of up to 150 sheets and a rate of 7200 sheets per hour—the latter is a respectable speed and more than enough for most schools and churches.

We also like the stop feature that automatically stops after the last piece of paper in a batch gets finished, helping to prevent overheating and damage to the machine—surprisingly, not all paper folders offer this simple feature, so it’s a nice extra.

The WBBM 98M Manual costs $849.99 but is highly limited in stock due to its popularity.

Duplo Manual DF 755 — The Best for Tracking Paper Counts

Duplo logo

The Duplo Manual DF 755 has a lot to offer users and helps you keep an accurate count of folded papers.  

Aimed at offices, universities, and churches, the Duplo Manual DF 755 features an LCD counter that boosts overall accuracy during operations.

The LCD counter helps you keep track of your folded documents through its 4-digit digital display, and users can place up to 500 sheets of paper at once into the feed tray—a more than acceptable amount that rivals the best paper folding machines on the market.

Duplo Manual DF 755 paper folding machine.

Other strengths of the machine are its speed of 120 sheets per minute, or 7200 sheets per hour, with many fold types also available, including Single, Double, Irregular Accordion, Letter, and Gate Fold styles.

It’s an easy-to-use paper folder with helpful adjustment knobs and a reasonable price to match, making it ideal for those that would rather have reliability over cutting-edge tech. 

The Duplo Manual DF 755 automatically sets the fold position of each of the programmed fold styles for added simplicity. 

This paper folding machine is an entry-level device that gets the job done in more areas than one. It costs up to $2500 and is limited in stock at the time of writing.

How To Find the Best Paper Folding Machines

Picking the best paper folding machines can be more complicated than you might first assume. The good news is most paper folding machines clearly do the same thing, and it’s primarily the features, fold styles, and speeds that separate them more than anything.

Which machine you opt for primarily comes down to the size of your operations and needs.

For example, some paper folding machines on our list offer fast speeds and greater capacities for more extensive procedures, while others are more limited with slower speeds. The better the speed and capacity, typically, the higher the price.

Think about what you need a paper folding machine to do, and work from that point onwards. We’ve listed the most critical areas to consider below to make it a bit easier.

Folding Speed

Speed is all about the amount of time you save and the extent of your paper folding operations. Some machines excel in this area, while others offer more moderate speeds.

Paper folding machines start at around 1800 papers per hour and go up to over 8000 papers an hour. The size and power of the device will dictate the speed in the vast majority of cases.

The perfect folding speed for you will come down to what you need, your budget, and the size of the machine you’re looking for overall. Think carefully about this as the folding speed can be a dealbreaker, certainly for larger businesses that have a lot of paper folds to get done.

Types of Folding

There are many different ways of folding paper, and not every paper folding machine will do them all.

The standard number of different foldings is around six per machine, but some will offer more than this. Popular examples include the Letter Fold, the Z-Fold, the 4-Panel Accordion Fold, and the Double Parallel Fold.

The type of fold you need will largely hinge on your business operations and what you need to accomplish within that. If you need a specific type of fold, be sure to double-check the machine you like can do it before committing to the purchase.

Machine Size

Some offices have more space than others, and the same goes for schools and churches. Paper folding machines differ in their sizes, but this won’t be a problem for some due to the available space.

The best machines to go for are those with removable stacks and trays, certainly for those who need more compact devices.

Of course, this comes down to your circumstances, so if a larger paper folding machine offers what you want, and you have the space, then you shouldn’t hesitate. For others with less room, space can be quite a significant factor to consider.

Paper Size

Paper size varies more than you might think. There are multiple paper sizes, types, and varying levels of thickness. Even the weight of the paper is something to consider—although it’s not the most significant factor.

Papers start at around 8″ x 5″ and can double in size from there. The grams per square meter (known as the GSM count) go up to 170-180 GSM.

Different machines will accommodate different paper sizes and types, although the best ones will adjust as necessary without any extra fuss. It may not be the most important factor to think about, but it still needs some thought.

The Top Paper Folding Machines Summary

The best paper folding machines save businesses time and money while helping to complete various projects. These machines are faster, more efficient, and more cost-effective than folding papers by hand.

Whichever paper folding machine you desire, be sure to factor in the speed of folding, the different folding types, the device’s size, and the paper size and weight before ultimately deciding.