Which Type of Binding Machine is Best for You?

Posted by: James on March 27th, 2013

Book Binding MachinesBinding a book is a fulfilling task and the end results look great. If you are shopping for a book binding machine, you have probably found that there are a LOT of different designs, binding formats and machines (found here) available. So if you are trying to bind your own book, whether it is on a personal or professional level, which machine should you use? I would like to cover the most popular binding formats and will include videos so you can see exactly what is involved when binding with coil, comb and wire.

Comb, wire and coil binding are the three most popular binding formats used today. Sure there are other formats out there such as ProClick and VeloBind, but they pale in comparison to the big three when it comes to popularity and availability of supplies. You will find comb, wire and coil in use in schools, copy shops and businesses around the world. These binding formats are commonly used to bind sheets of paper together, ranging from a few to a few hundred in thickness.

I would like to explain the characteristics of each of these three binding formats:

Comb Binding SuplliesComb Binding (found here) – Comb binding has been around the longest of the three. The comb binding element is made of plastic and features 19 “fingers” that can be opened and closed for adding or removing paper. Comb binding machines punch 19 holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of letter-size paper. The comb’s fingers are inserted through those holes to help keep the paper bound and together. Combs range in thickness from 3/16″ diameter up to 2″. The comb supplies are available in several colors.

  • Pros – Comb is by far the least expensive of the three binding formats covered in this article. This is one of the reasons comb binding is one of the most popular formats used today. As of this article, a box of 100 3/16″ diameter combs is just shy of $4. Comb binding supplies also allow the operator to add or remove pages. Comb binding has a small learning curve and can be used to bind small presentations to full-blown manuals. Comb binding also provides a lot of stability to the bound book.
  • Cons – Combs, when opened and closed multiple times, will eventually begin to wear out. On thicker books this can result in the comb’s fingers becoming week and books loosing pages. Many people thing comb binding looks “cheap,” although that is debatable. Comb binding does not allow pages to be turned around a full 360 degrees.

Here is a comb binding video that will show you in detail exactly what is involved in the binding process:

Wire Binding SuppliesWire Binding (found here) – Wire binding uses actual metal wire to bind books. The wire binding element itself is made from a single long wire that is formed into a twin-loop wire appearance. The amount of loops in a twin-loop bound document depends on the hole pattern being used. Wire binding is available in three different hole pattern. These hole patterns are 19-ring (same pattern as comb binding), 3:1 pitch (three holes per inch) and 2:1 pitch (two holes per inch). The hole pattern does change the look of the bound document. The 3:1 pitch has the holes closer together where 2:1 has the holes farther apart. Be aware that the hole pattern cannot be modified on a machine. Once you have selected a machine with a specific hole pattern, you will need to make sure you buy correctly corresponding supplies.

  • Pros – Wire binding is very popular with businesses for binding reports and presentations. Wire binding is considered to be the most professional-looking supply. The wire elements themselves are available in several different colors.
  • Cons – The biggest con of wire binding is that the spines are made of wire and are susceptible to being bent out of shape if dropped or stacked upon. Another con is that pages cannot be added or removed.

Here is a wire binding video that will show you in detail exactly what is involved in the binding process:

Coil Binding SuppliesCoil Binding (found here) – Coil binding has been gaining a lot of popularity over the years. Coil binding, often called spiral binding, is patterned after the old wire coils used in spiral notebooks. Modern coil binding is made using durable PVC plastic. This allows the coils to maintain their shape and makes them available in a wide assortment of colors. This binding format is very popular for several reasons I will cover under the “Pros” section of this article. Coil binding is available in two different hole patterns. These are 4:1 pitch (four holes per inch) and 5:1 pitch (five holes per inch). The 4:1 pitch is by far the most popular.

  • Pros – Coil binding is the most durable binding format of the three mentioned in this article. The coils can withstand a lot of abuse. Coil binding makes page turns very easy and due to the nature of the coils, the pages can actually be turned a full 360 degrees. Coil bound books also lay extremely flat for easy reading. Coil binding happens to be my personal favorite binding format.
  • Cons – The only real disadvantage to coil is that pages cannot be added or removed. If you want to add pages, you have to remove the coil and insert a new coil. Coil binding also provides little stability to the bound book, where comb does.

Here is a coil binding video that will show you in detail exactly what is involved in the binding process:

In conclusion, I have to say that all three binding formats have their place. I recommend comb for schools and home projects, wire for businesses and coil for just about anyone. Having used dozens of machines myself, I have to say that my personal favorite brands include Akiles, Intelli-Bind, Tamerica and Renz. While I have used Fellowes and GBC machines, I don’t feel the quality is up to par with what I like.

You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here. If you still have questions about binding machines, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We have decades of experience with machines and are more than happy to help answer questions.


Save Now With Office Zone’s Discount Coupon Code!

Posted by: Morgan on April 24th, 2012

For a limited time, Office Zone is offering a coupon code to customers that may be applied to any equipment or supplies purchase over $35. This coupon code will be valid through the end of May 2012. Be sure to place your order with Office Zone today to take advantage of this limited-time savings.

Simply enter the code: SPRING05 in our shopping cart before you submit your order. Or, you can mention the code when calling our customer service department at 800-543-5454. This coupon code is good for 5% off your order — up to $200 in savings.

Saving your business money, or perhaps your own personal pocketbook, is always a good idea. Now, you can improve production and streamline operations at work with new office equipment and supplies from Office Zone, plus improve the bottom line.

Office Zone’s deep lineup of office equipment includes laminators, binding machines, paper cutters and paper folding machines, shrink wrap machines, employee time clocks, office furniture and more. Popular supplies include binding materials such as spiral coils, wire loop binding elements, plastic combs, staples, lamination film including laminator rolls and laminator pouches.

The Office Zone shopping cart has a field that reads: “Enter coupon or gift certificate number.” Once you have entered the code SPRING05 in the box, simply hit “Enter.”

At Office Zone, we are always seeking new ways to save you money and help you streamline operations. Established in 1996, Office Zone has earned a solid reputation for a large office machine and supplies selection, competitive prices and trusted customer service. Be sure to contact Office Zone today for all of your office automation equipment needs.



Which Binding Machine Format is Best?

Posted by: James on September 7th, 2011

Comb Binding MachinesWith all the different binding machine formats floating around out there, it is a little tough to know which one you should use. I have over 10 years of experience using pretty much everything out there and I have to say that comb, wire and coil binding are still my favorites. Of these three binding formats, each have their own pros and cons that I would like to explain in this article.

As mentioned earlier, I really like comb, wire and coil binding machines. These three formats also happen to be the most widely used today. These binding styles each go by a variety of different names:

  • Comb Binding (AKA) – 19-Ring Binding, Plastic Binding, School Binding
  • Wire Binding (AKA) – Metal Comb, Spiral-O, Wire-O, Twin Loop, Double Loop, 3:1 Binding, 2:1 Binding
  • Coil Binding (AKA) Spiral Binding, Spring Binding, Plastic Spiral Binding, Color Coil Binding, 5:1 Binding, 4:1 Binding

Now that we have established the different names attached to these binding formats, I would like to cover why you may want to use these binding formats.

Comb Binding MachinesComb Binding – If you are looking for a binding machine purely for binding and organizational purposes and you don’t care what the end results look like, this is the binding format for you. Comb binding is by far the cheapest method of binding books, reports and presentations. The machines are cheap and the supplies are about as inexpensive as they come. Having used dozens of different comb binding machines myself, I have to say that this is probably the easiest binding format out there.

Comb binding involves 19-hole punched paper (on the 11″ side of letter-size paper). Once paper has been punched, place a comb on the machine’s comb opener. Open the comb and slide the comb’s fingers through the punched holes and close the comb element. That’s really all there is too it.

Comb binding elements themselves come in a wide array of colors and are usually available in quantities of 100 per box. Comb binding elements allow you to remove and re-add pages. The elements can be re-used multiple times before they wear out, which is ideal for those of you who are into recycling.

Wire Binding MachinesWire Binding – If you bind things for professional purposes, let’s say in a business environment, wire binding may be the best format for you. This binding style utilizes loops of wire, often referred to as twin loop wire. Each of these twin loops is inserted through punched holes (usually done on a wire binding machine). The look is very professional and very classy.

Wire binding comes in 3 different hole patterns. The least common is 19-ring wire, aka Spiral-O wire. This format involves 19 total holes along an 11″ sheet of paper and is designed to work with the same hole pattern as coil binding. Holes are rectangular in shape.

The other 2 more popular hole formats are 2:1 pitch (2 holes per inch) and 3:1 pitch (3 holes per inch). While both common, the 2:1 pitch is probably slightly more popular. Two-to-one pitch holes are slightly rectangular in shape, where 3:1 pitch holes are square (sometimes round).

The biggest downside to wire is that it cannot be re-used and can potentially bend if hit or dropped. Wire binding comes in a variety of colors and is one of the most popular “business” binding machine formats”

Coil Binding MachinesCoil Binding – If you need a binding format that is almost indestructible and is perfect for long-term booklets, reports and presentations, coil binding is just what you need. This format uses binding elements that look like coils, often referred to as spirals. Coil binding is made from PVC plastic, which makes them really tough. I had someone tell me once that they accidentally ran over a report that fell onto their driveway that was coil bound and it came out of the incident unscathed.

Coil binding supplies come in a wide range of colors and diameters, however, you should be aware that there are 2 different hole patterns. One is 4:1 pitch (4 holes per inch) and 5:1 pitch (5 holes per inch). Both of these hole patterns look good. The style you use depends on the look you prefer and how much paper you need to bind. The more common 4:1 pitch can bind more paper than 5:1 pitch.

While there is a little bit of a learning curve with coil binding, it is easy to pick up and the process is pretty quick, especially if your coil binder is equipped with an electric inserter. The biggest advantage of coil binding, other than its durability, is the fact that coil bound pages can be completely wrapped around a full 360 degrees. Pages lie flat for easy reading. This is probably why coil binding is so popular for instructional booklets, cookbooks and manuals.

Best Brands

Who makes coil, wire and comb binding machines? To date, there are over a half-dozen different reputable manufacturers. These are the ones that I feel confident you will enjoy using:

Hopefully this guide has been helpful to you. Office Zone is one of the best sources for binding machines online. You can find Office Zone’s coil binding machines here, comb binding machines here and wire binding machines here.

If you are new to binding, and this guide hasn’t answered all your questions, please feel free to call one of Office Zone’s experts at 1-800-543-5454.


How To Use Velobind Machines

Posted by: James on May 27th, 2011

VeloBind Binding MachinesThere are many types of binding available today, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.  While most are fairly simple to operate, the one that seems to hold that “mystery” or “confusing” effect is the Velobind machine.  You’ve seen them here and there, and you’ve always wondered what they do, but you haven’t actually seen what they can do.  This article will explain the benefits that come with this style of binding, as well as a tutorial on how they work.

How They Work

Like most other binding machines, the first thing you need to do is punch the holes.  Simply insert the paper into the allotted punch location and the hard part is over.  Most Velobinders operate the punch with either a foot pedal operation or a simple touch of a button, and the Velobind System III can do both.

Most machines will be able to punch up to 15-25 sheets of paper.  Once your punch is made, you will need to manually insert your binding strip into each hole.  After that, snag the back portion of the binding strip and place it into the posts.  Many Velobind machines come with a pin that shows you exactly where to place your binding element for the next phase.  Simply line it up with that pin and lay your paper flat on the machine.  When you’ve completed that part, lift the heating bar and lower it onto your paper.  At this point the machine will do the rest.  It will heat up and melt the posts off and cut off any excess.

Here is a short, yet effective, video that will show these steps in action: VeloBind Machine Video Demo

Velobind Strengths

  • – Durable and solid bind.  Velobinding is very popular for law offices and construction companies for this reason.  It would be most unfortunate to have any vital information for your client or an important building schematic lost because of the binding not holding properly.  That problem is eliminated with the Velobind machines.
  • – Large capacity.  Velobind soars when it comes to being able to bind large documents.  With the ability to bind up to 3″ thick of material, these machines are on a level all their own.  Comb and Coil binding only bind up to a little over 2″ thick.

Velobind weaknesses

  • – Laying the document flat.  Unlike your Coil binding, the Velobind machines cannot lay 100% flat on the desk.  This isn’t a huge issue, however, unless you like to have your hands free when going through your documents or reports.  Turning the pages is still easy, however.
  • – Debinding.  Most of the lower end Velobind machines cannot be undone, making your project permanent.  So, if you ever need to add or take away pages from your report, you may be out of luck.  The Velobind System III, however, does have a built-in debind function that is completely automatic.

Overall, these machines are great for the price, especially due to their durability and longevity.  We have a model that’s been in our showroom for over 10 years now and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down whatsoever.  The models we carry are from GBC and can be found here:

While GBC is typically not my favorite manufacturer, they have done a great job with these machines.

Officezone also carries all the supplies needed for Velobinding, such as the strips (in multiple colors and sizes), as well as a wide assortment of covers.  If you have questions, need to make an order, or would like an official quote, make sure to contact us by phone (800-543-5454) or by e-mail regarding all your binding needs.


Minipad 4000 Padding Press Notepad Making Machine

Posted by: Morgan on May 26th, 2011

Minipad 4000 Padding PressQuestion


I’m interested in possibly purchasing the Minipad 4000 Padding Press/ Notepad Making Machine, but I have a couple of questions:

1. Will it bind 8.5″ x 11″ paper along the 11″ side?
2. Will I need to purchase additional parts such as glue and cardboard for binding?

Thank so much


The Minipad 4000 Padding Press will pad documents up to nine inches wide. However, the MiniPad 4000 padding press is still a popular choice with our customers. It can pad a stack of paper up to 10 inches high (approximately 4,000 sheets of 20 lb. paper). That’s why it’s one of our best-selling items. But for you, we recommend the Superpad Padding Press Notepad Machine. The model can pad up to 18 inches wide. If you are looking for a padding press that is capable of padding thousands of sheets of paper at a time, then the Superpad Notepad Machine padding press is your best option. This high-volume padding can literally pad up to 10,000 sheets of paper at a time.

Yes, you will need to purchase padding press supplies to properly bind your notepads.


Akiles EcoBind-C Plastic Comb Binding Machine Reviewed

Posted by: James on May 17th, 2011

Akiles EcoBind-C Comb Binding MachineDo you dread the fact that you have to make yet another trip to Fedex-Kinkos or a similar store to get your binding done?  If so, it’s probably time to start looking at getting your own binding machine.  Binding machines are surprisingly inexpensive, especially comb binding.  When it comes to affordable comb binders, a great model to consider is the Akiles EcoBind-C.  It is a low to mid volume range machine.  This review will give you some great insight into this machine, as well as help you understand why it will save you time and money.

An important thing to consider, when shopping for binding equipment, is which brand name to go with.  Akiles is 100% solid quality and their machines have a great reputation for standing the test of time.  Built from all-metal construction, they offer durability and longevity from their most basic models to their high-end industrial binders.  They also back up their machines with a great one-year warranty.

A key component to this model that separates it from its competition is a full set of disengaging punching dies.  This allows you to select which holes will punch on the paper, thus eliminating those pesky half-punches on the edge of the paper.  It also gives you flexibility to bind smaller documents with ease.  Most binders in this range will have 1 or 2 disengaging punching dies or none at all.

One thing many people don’t take into account when comb binding is a margin selector.  The Akiles EcoBind-C can handle documents up to a whopping 425 sheets.  When binding larger documents, it is always a good idea to adjust the margin so that the punch is deeper into the paper.  This will prevent your document from coming unbound from the comb.

The modern design also offers a “U” shaped handle, which is perfect for eliminating arm strain.  It also features a catch tray for the excess chad (left-over paper).  It punches up to 20 sheets at a time (tested…it really does).  Many models sport a high punching capacity, but just don’t live up to the hype.  Not so with this model.  It also has an extended base for your paper.  This is great for making sure to punch in the proper place consistently each time.

The Akiles EcoBind-C comb binder (found here) is a good quality machine. I would easily recommend it over some of the more expensive models.  You can find our entire selection of comb binding machines here. If you have any questions about comb binding, other models, or binding in general, be sure to contact knowledgeable customer service reps at 1-800-543-5454.


Need Maximum Punch Capacity for 2:1 Pitch Wire

Posted by: Morgan on April 19th, 2011

Intelli-Bind IM1000 Electric Multipunch MachineQuestion

Hello –

I’m looking for a solution to a book binding problem we have.  We have a bottleneck in our production at the binding machine.  Currently, our 2:1 binding machine only has the capacity to punch 20 pages at a time.

We make about 50 wire-bound books a day, so it’s not a lot, but the time spent punching the holes is too much.  Can you help me understand what our options are for maximum punch capacity?  Price wise, we’d like to stay under $750.

Thank you,

Megan D.


We can help speed up your production volume by about five sheets per punch. The Intelli-Bind IM1000 Electric Multipunch Machine will punch through 25 sheets of 20 lb. bond paper at a time. This paper punch from Intelli-Zone was designed for high-volume document binding punching. It is offered with your choice of punching dies including 2:1 wire, 3:1 wire, 19-ring comb and 3:1 wire with a thumb cut for calendars.

The included foot pedal makes it possible to hold paper with both hands while punching. This unique feature alone helps speed up binding production in a significant way. The Intelli-Bind IM1000 does not cost under $750, but it’s definitely in the neighborhood of your budget. It is the ideal punching machine for long-run binding jobs and is typically used by our customers as an accessory to other document binding machines.


Do you Have Tabletop Comb Binding Machines?

Posted by: Morgan on March 28th, 2011

Intelli-Bind IB850 Electric Comb Binding MachineQuestion

I am not sure what the name of the product is that I’m looking for so I wanted to e-mail for your assistance.

We currently are using an older electric punch system to bind (plastic rings and covers) together our presentations. Do you have a machine that can do the same function but is a tabletop version? The other we have is quite bulky.


Sarah R.


It sounds like you are currently using an older-style comb binding machine. We had one from the 1970’s in our repair shop the other day. The unit weighed at least 80 lbs.! Fortunately, binding machine technology has come along way in the last 40 years. If you still need an electric punch system with your binding machine, the Intelli-Bind IB850 Electric Comb Binding Machine comes highly recommended.

This model is made by Intelli-Zone and is a terrific value. Most comparable electric comb binding machines with its features cost hundreds of dollars more. Electric comb binding machines are a necessity in several offices today. These popular models make it easy to quickly punch and bind stacks of paper in seconds. The Intelli-Bind IB850 is certainly no exception. This convenient comb binder is easy to set up and operate. It comes standard with a foot pedal that makes it possible to handle paper while punching. This provides convenient, hands-free operation. The IB850 can punch through 20 sheets of 20 lb. paper at a time. All punching pins on the unit may be disengaged to prevent half-punched holes.


Looking for Quality, Reasonably Priced Binding Machines

Posted by: Morgan on March 11th, 2011

Binding MachineQuestion

We are looking at replacing our current binding machine.  We need something with high qualities yet reasonably priced.

Sharon B.

To begin, we should ask a few important questions. What are you binding? How many sheets do you need to punch at a time? In addition to paper, do you plan to punch and bind report covers? Do you plan to create professional-looking presentations such as sales proposals? If so, a nice wire binding machine is your best choice. Our customers tell us they prefer the professional look of a wire-bound presentation. Spiral, or coil binding can offer a similar result as well.

What kind of volume do you plan to produce? If you intend to use your binding machine on a daily basis, then plan to budget for at least a $400 investment. If you are binding documents on a lesser scale, you can probably get by with a $150-$200 binding machine. Your best option would be to contact our customer service department to further explain your document binding needs. We can then recommend the best binding machine, at a reasonable price for you.


How to Make a Spiral Notebook

Posted by: Morgan on March 8th, 2011

Spiral Binding MachineHere are some handy step-by-step instructions on how to make your very own spiral-bound notebook.

The first and most important thing to do is to make all of the necessary adjustments to your coil binding machine. This may seem a waste of time, but the effort ensures a professionally looking bound document. These minor machine adjustments typically include dialing in the desired margin punch depth and disengaging punch/dies to prevent half-punched holes.

Next, organize the paper you need to bind. This stack may also include a report cover and bottom cover. Now, take a hold of the set of sheets you will punch. The maximum amount of sheets that you can punch at a time depends on the machine model used. Office Zone recommends you punch 80% of the maximum amount specified by the machine manufacturer.

After you have punched the stack of paper and covers, line up the newly punched holes. Spin the plastic coil through the holes. This may be done by hand, or if you have an electric binding machine you can quickly install the binding element with the automatic coil roller inserter.

Finally, crimp off the excess coil with a pair of coil crimping pliers. Be sure to twist the coil so that the binding element does not work its way out of the document. Congratulations! You are ready to coil bind your next document.

One last thing, a binding machine is completely useless without binding supplies. Here is a list some of the recommended supplies you will need for coil binding: