Wire binding is easily one of the most popular binding formats used throughout the world for binding reports, books and presentations. There are a lot of reasons for this including the quality of real metal, the fascinating deign of the twin loops and the variety of colors and sizes available. To date, there are three different “pitches” of wire binding supplies available (all found here). Of these, the 3:1 pitch remains the most popular. Why is this? I would like to address that question in this article.
Before I dig too deep into why 3:1 pitch wire is so popular, I would like to address exactly what the pitch is. The pitch is a word used by the industry to describe the hole pattern. This applies to most binding formats. In the case of wire, a 3:1 pitch is used to describe a hole pattern that consists of 3 holes per inch of paper. A 2:1 pitch is two holes per inch and Spiral-O wire uses a comb binding 19-hole pattern.
Now that we have covered the pitch, I would like to explain exactly what wire binding is. Wire binding is literally made out of metal wire. It is made from a long single piece of wire that is bent into a pattern that consists of two parallel loops of rounded wire that are inserted into every wire punched hole. This wire is then bent closed by a wire binding machine, preventing the wire from slipping back out.
Usually the back page is placed on the front of the document during the wire insertion and closing process and is then flipped around to the back after the wire is closed. This helps hide the open seam of the close wire and gives the look and impression that the twin loop wires are free floating. This look is very classy and is a huge reason why wire binding is so popular with businesses for binding presentations and reports.
At ABC Office we sell 3:1 pitch, 2:1 pitch and Spiral-O wire binding machines (found here http://www.officezone.com/wire1.htm). Of the machines we offer, over 90% of them are in a 3:1 pitch pattern. So why is this? How did 3:1 pitch gain so much popularity over the 2:1 pitch competition? There are a few reasons for this, and businesses played a big roll in making this happen.
It all boils down to the look of the finished product. A 3:1 pitch wire has more holes per inch than 2:1 pitch wire. As a result, the wire loops are closer together with 3:1 pitch. Businesses like the added stability of more wires and the “tighter” look that the 3:1 pitch wire has. Because of this, businesses almost always buy 3:1 pitch wire binding machines.
The only real downside of 3:1 pitch wire over 2:1 pitch is that it can’t binding as much paper at a time. The increase of holes and wire causes pages to bind if the book becomes too thick (over an inch). If you need to bind more than ¾” of paper at a time with wire, you will need to use a 2:1 pitch wire.
Finally, which hole shape is most popular? You can buy wire binding machines with round or square punched holes. Years ago both were fairly common, but today almost all of the machines punch using square holes. It was determined, with years of use, that pages turned better on a square-punched hole over a round-punched hole.
If you still have questions about twin loop wire binding, either in a 3:1 or 2:1 pitch, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We literally have decades of experience with these machines and can help answer any question you might have. You can find our entire selection of wire binding supplies here and wire binding machines here.