Coil binding is the most popular method used to bind booklets, presentations and reports. It looks great, is very professional and has many benefits the other binding formats simply can’t offer. If you’ve been shopping around for a coil binding machine (found here), you may have discovered that some include an electric inserter and others do not. So, do you really need to have an inserter on your coil binding machine? I’ll cover the answer to that in this article.
As mentioned above, coil binding is hugely popular right now. Machines are now cheap enough that every day people can afford them. It isn’t uncommon for use to sell a machine to someone for home use. These machines can bind car manuals, cookbooks, college reports, scrapbooks and more. One of the biggest advantages of coil is that pages can lay entirely flat on a table and can even be wrapped around a complete 360 degrees for extremely easy reading.
The coils themselves, often called spirals, have changed over the past decade as well. Years ago coil binding, aka spiral binding, involved metal wire. This became problematic, however, because the coils would bend, stretch and simply didn’t hold up. While you can still buy “spiral notebooks” with wire at the store, coil binding now utilizes PVC coils. These coils are superior in every way to wire. They are nearly indestructible and come in a wide variety of colors.
Electric inserters are a part of the coil insertion process. Once you have punched holes in your paper, you typically insert the coil through the first three or four holes and then put the coil up next to the inserter, where it then spins the coil the rest of the way through. Coil inserters can insert coil in just a matter of seconds. Once the coil is inserted, the excess can then be cut off and crimped using coil crimping pliers.
So do you really need an inserter? The answer is no. You don’t need to have one. Some machines, like the Akiles CoilMac-M (found here), don’t have inserters. They are designed to have you manually insert the coils through the holes. These machines typically cost less than those that have a built-in electric inserter. The biggest determining factor on whether you need an electric inserter or not is time. Manually inserting coils through the holes is anywhere from 3-5 times longer than using an electric inserter (depending on the operator).
I have found over the past few years that more and more machines are being built with the inserter than without. Many machines now also include coil crimping pliers. My advice is if you find two machines that are the same price, but one has an inserter an the other does not, go with the model that includes the inserter. The inserter is simply more convenient and faster to use. If you already have a machine, but would like an inserter, independent coil inserters (found here) are available.
Years ago, if you were only binding a few books per day, I would have recommended a coil binding machine without an inserter. Many brands, like Intelli-Bind, now include inserters on even their cheapest machines. If you are only binding a few books a day, consider an Intelli-Bind IC110 or an IC210, both of which are affordable and include coil inserters.
If you still have questions about coil binding machines or their inserters, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We are the leading experts on the subject and would love to help you out. You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here.
If you’ve ever wanted to coil bind your own documents, you’d be surprised just how easy it is to do. Even someone who has never used a binding machine can usually have a book bound within 5 minutes. These machines can be used to bind presentations, cookbooks, scrapbooks, reports, books and much more. One of the most solid lines of coil binding machines available is CoilMac from Akiles, including the CoilMac-ER (found here). I have over a decade of experience with this machine and would like to share with you why I think it may be the machine for you.
Akiles has been making binding machines (found here) for well over a decade. Their popular lines include MegaBind (comb), WireMac (wire) and CoilMac (coil). Having sold these for years, I can safely say that Akiles produces THE best binding machines available. They easily surpass those made by GBC, Fellowes and many other brands. What strikes me with Akiles binding machines is just how tough they are. They are very hefty and feel as if they were forged out of a solid piece of metal. Needless to say, the build quality and track record of these machines is truly unsurpassed. They are manufactured under ISO9001 and 14001 quality control guidelines.
The Akiles CoilMac-ER is a medium-duty coil binding machine. It binds books using PVC coils (found here). These coils are now one of the most popular binding formats used today. PVC coils are tough, durable, don’t bend or wear out and allow pages to lay flat and wrap around a full 360 degrees. These coils are also available in a variety of colors, allowing for a lot of personalized customization. They can also be used to bind small reports or thick books.
The CoilMac-ER is designed for small to medium-size businesses and can be used for daily binding operations. It punches paper using a 4:1 pitch hole pattern (0.250″). This is the most common hole pattern used and is 4 holes punched per inch of paper. Other pitches are available upon request. If you need a 5:1 pitch, give us a call at 1-800-543-5454.
It has a 13″ wide punching length, which handles most sizes of paper. It can be used to punch even longer paper thanks to an open ended design and a continuous punching guide. This allows for the punching and binding of books up to 26″ long. It is able to punch through up to 20 sheets of 20# bond paper at a time. Thanks to a very long leveraged handle, punching paper and binding books is fast and doesn’t require a lot of manual strain or labor.
It features a total of 5 disengageable punching pins. This means you can prevent 5 of the 53 punching pins from punching the paper. This is designed to help eliminate half-punched holes on the edges of paper. If you need more than 5 disengageable holes, you’ll need to look at upgrading to the CoilMac-ER+. The ER+ is almost exactly the same except it has fully disengageable pins and uses a slightly oval hole pattern (verses the perfectly round 4mm diameter pattern found in the standard CoilMac-ER).
Once the holes have all been punched in your paper, the coil can then be quickly inserted using the built-in electric coil inserter found on the top left corner of the machine. Once the coils are spun through, the ends can then be cut and crimped. This is done using the included coil crimping pliers. This means you get everything you need to bind a book with the Akiles CoilMac-ER except the coils.
In conclusion I just have to say that I adore this machine and pretty much all of the CoilMac machines made by Akiles. I know when one of these machines leave our warehouse I won’t have to worry about it coming back. It the extremely rare event that something does happen, this machine is covered by a one-year warranty.
Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454 with any of your questions. We would love to help. You can find all of our coil binding machines here. Please feel free to post a comment.
Binding 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 (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 (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 (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.
Coil binding, in my opinion, is one of the best looking book binding formats around. Supplies are affordable, colors are diverse and the format is extremely durable. One critical part of the coil binding process is the coil-crimping pliers (found here). The only problem is that many models don’t include these pliers, meaning you have to purchase the pliers separately. So which coil binding machines include the coil-crimping pliers? I would like to provide you with a list.
So what are coil-crimping pliers? These are used to cut off excess coil and crimp the ends off to prevent the coil from spinning back out of the holes. These pliers look a lot like needle nose pliers. The benefit of coil crimping pliers, versus needle nose pliers, is that they cut and crimp the coil in a single pass. Once you figure out how they work, the pliers are actually very fast and effective.
So which brands and models include the pliers? I have found that pretty much all Akiles and all Intelli-Bind coil binding machines include the pliers. Here is a list of the models that do:
Manual Coil Binding Machines
Intelli-Bind IC210A (found here) – This is one of the least expensive coil binding machines on the market. It is basically a coil binding paper punch. Coils are manually inserted.
Intelli-Bind IC110 (found here) – This is one of the least expensive coil binding machines that includes an electric coil inserter. It is excellent for a home or small office.
Intelli-Bind IC210 (found here) – This is essentially the same machine as the IC210A, but includes an electric coil inserter. This helps speed up the binding process by quickly spinning coils through the punched holes. This is one of our most popular models.
Akiles iCoil 41 (found here) – This compact coil binding station is one of the newest models released by Akiles. It folds up and is very easy to store in a cabinet. It includes the punch, pliers, a small inserter and a foot pedal.
Akiles CoilMac-M (found here) – This coil binding punch features the quality Akiles is known for along with 5 disengageable punching pins. This model does not include an electric inserter.
Akiles iCoil 41+ (found here) – This machine is the same as the regular Akiles iCoil, but includes the Plus hole pattern. This is essentially an oval-size hole versus a circular hole. According to Akiles this makes the coils easier to insert and pages easier to turn.
Akiles Coilmac-M Plus (found here) – This is a coil punch that features the Plus oval-shaped hole pattern as well as 54 disengagable punching pins. It is a solid machine, but does not include an electric inserter.
Intelli-Bind IC310 (found here) – This is one of our best selling coil binding machines. It is popular because it includes a full width inserter, selectable punching pins, includes pliers and features a metal body design.
Intelli-Bind IC410 (found here) – This tough machine includes a nice leveraged punching handle, six selectable punching pins and a nice wide electric inserter. This machine features a durable metal body and is extremely sturdy.
Akiles CoilMac ER (found here) – This is the first of several Akiles machines that feature the metal body and an electric inserter. It features 5 disengaging dies as well as a compact coil inserter found on the top left of the machine.
Akiles CoilMac-ECI (found here) – This is one of the most robust Akiles machines we offer that features a manual punch. It is made out of durable metal components and features a full width electric inserter.
Akiles CoilMac-ECI Plus (found here) – As is the case with the other “Plus” machines, this is an upgraded version of the standard ECI, which includes the oval-shaped punching pins and features 54 selectable punching pins.
Electric Coil Binding Machines
Intelli-Bind IC21E (found here) – This is by far the most cost effective coil binding machine that features an electric punch. On top of that, it also includes coil crimping pliers, an electric inserter and 46 disengageable punching pins.
Akiles CoilMac-EPI (found here) – Having used this machine myself, I can say that this is a beast of a binding machine. It is tough, easy to use and the electric motor really packs a punch. It also includes five selectable punching pins and a full width electric inserter. This is made to last for years.
Akiles CoilMac-EPI Plus (found here) – This is the Cadilac of coil binding machines. It is well built, looks nice and is excellent for high-volume coil binding. It features the oval-shaped Plus hole pattern and includes 54 fully disengageable punching pins.
When you take into account that coil crimping pliers can cost anywhere between $30 and $70, having them included with the machine is actually a huge value. If you have questions about any of these machines, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. Do you own one of these machines? Please post your feedback and experiences here as a comment. Thank you for reading!
If you are shopping for coil binding supplies (found here), or if you need a machine (found here), you have probably run across the term “pitch” being used on several sits. The pitch is the hole pattern the binding machine uses. This is usually labeled as holes per inch. So which pitch is the best and which should you use with your machine? Here are a few tips that may help you out.
First off, coil binding comes primarily in two different hole patterns. These are 4:1 pitch and 5:1 pitch (known as 5mm outside the US). While there are other coil pitches (such as 3:1 and 2.5:1 aka 0.400 pitch), the 4:1 pitch and 5:1 pitch are most common. In the United States, the 4:1 pitch is by far the most popular. Coil binding is by far one of the most customizable binding formats, making binding of small and large books extremely easy. At Office Zone, we offer binding coils in 12″ and 36″ lengths. These coils (found here) are made of PVC plastic and come in a wide assortment of colors.
4:1 Pitch (aka 0.250″ pitch) – This hole pattern consists of 4 holes punched per inch of paper. This ends up being roughly 43 to 44 holes along the 11″ side of a letter size 8 ½” x 11″ sheet of paper. Standard size 4:1 pitch coils come in 6mm up to 32mm diameters. The 32mm diameter coil can be used to bind up to 230 sheets of standard 20# bond paper.
5:1 Pitch (aka 5mm pitch) – This hole pattern is more common outside the US in Canada and Europe. It has a tighter hole pattern with 5 holes per inch of paper, resulting in about 54 to 55 holes along the 11″ edge of a sheet of paper. Because the holes are tighter together, this pattern cannot be used to bind books thicker than 152 sheets. Anything thicker would cause the pages to bind up and not turn easily.
The Plus Factor – A few years ago Akiles introduced their line of PLUS spiral coil binding machines. Akiles deals primarily in 4:1 pitch coil, being that it accounts for 90% of the coil binding machines sold in the US. The PLUS line is a variation of a 4:1 pitch (0.248″ pitch). The biggest difference is that the holes are oval in shape instead of circular. Akiles says this helps make coil insertion and page turns easier. The verdict is still out on whether or not this really makes much difference.
At Office Zone we offer a wide range of coil binding machines. This includes models with a manual paper punch, an electric coil inserter and an electric punch. Major brands include Intelli-Bind, Akiles, Renz and Tamerica. If you have questions about binding machines, or the various hole pitches and patterns available, please feel free to call us at 1-800-543-5454. You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here.
Have you tried binding a book, but only to have it result in poor results? One of the most common issues I have found when people are having problems with their binding machine is that they are trying to bind too much paper. I would like to point out some common signs that you are binding too much paper and provide you with some tips and suggestions. I will cover the three most common binding formats; these being comb, wire and coil (located here).
Comb, wire and coil binding all have their benefits. Comb is extremely cheap and available in several colors. Wire has a finish that is extremely professional and presentable. Coil is near indestructible and allows books to lay flat and pages to turn a full 360 degrees. When used correctly, all three of these binding formats produce satisfying results.
Binding too much paper usually results from putting too much paper into a binding element. If you are experiencing “over capacity” results, try upgrading to the next diameter (or several sizes up). Here is how you know you are binding too much paper with all three binding styles:
Comb Binding – It is easy to know when you are binding too much paper with a comb. The first symptom is difficult page turns. The paper will bind together, making it difficult to turn the pages. This can even cause the paper to begin to tear as pages are turned. Another symptom is pages begin to fall out. The stress of too much paper on a small binding element can cause the comb to lose integrity, resulting in pages falling out.
Wire Binding – If you are binding too much paper with wire, much like comb, you will experience difficult page turns, often resulting in torn pages or the inability to navigate the book. Too much paper can also cause the wire itself to begin to bend and mangle, resulting in a mess.
Coil Binding – Coil binding probably handles over capacity binding the best. While the integrity of the spiral element itself holds up, and pages won’t fall out, pages can still be difficult to turn when too much paper is bound.
Now that we have established identifying over capacity books, I would like to help you by showing how much paper each binding element’s diameter can handle. This will help you establish the appropriate amount of pages to bind for the size of element you are using.
Comb Binding Sheet Capacities
Wire Binding Sheet Capacities
Coil Binding Sheet Capacities
Hopefully these capacity guides help you out. At Office Zone, we offer a huge selection of book binding machines (found here) at great low prices. Please feel free to browse our selection. You can call us at 1-800-543-5454 to speak with one of our Book Binding Specialists. They can help answer any questions you may have.
The Intelli-Bind IB700 Comb Binding Machine by Intelli-Zone
What ever happened to comb binding machines? You know, those strange looking gadgets that sit alone in a dark corner in the copy room. It seemed only just a few years ago that comb binding was the most popular method to professionally binding office documents. Wire binding machines and coil binding machines have been around for a while too, but they have lured away former loyal comb binding enthusiasts in recent times.
There still remains, however, a strong customer base for comb binding machines. For example, we have several schoolteachers and others in the education market that love the versatility and relative low-cost of comb binding machines and materials. A plastic comb binding spine is easy to remove from a punched document. You would do this if you needed to remove or add a page or two to an already bound document.
If your child brings home a stack of artwork or similar project from school, chances are it’s been bound with a plastic comb binding machine. Several of our customers also prefer using a comb binding machine over other binding methods simply because of the ease of use, low costs for supplies, and you can actually bind up to several hundred sheets at a time.
The Intelli-Bind IB700 Comb Binding Machine from Intelli-Zone is a solid, all-around model for most binding needs. This manually operated comb binding unit is not difficult to use or expensive. We have actually extensively tested this model in the offices of Office Zone. Its specially designed punching handle is leveraged in a way that you only need to exert minimal effort to punch a stack of paper.
The Intelli-Bind IB700 actually makes punching a stack of 20 sheets of paper feel like you’re only punching through five. Not only is the IB700 simple to operate, it is also equipped with high-end features, typically not found in a competing model in this price range. Some of the unique features include disengaging (selectable) punch pins, punch and comb opening levers that work independently of each other, adjustable margin depth, waste catch tray and more.
The IB700 is designed to last for several years of typical office needs use. It’s an attractive machine that looks good in any office or copy room. The IB700 and is the ideal solution for most medium-volume document binding needs. Be sure to contact Office Zone today to learn more about the comb binding machines that we recommend, including the impressive IB700 from Intelli-Zone.
If you’re shopping around for a coil binding machine, you may want to take a look at a coil binding machine. Why? There are a lot of reasons why I consider coil binding to be one of the most superior book binding formats out there. Before I explain why I personally like coil binding, let me go over exactly what makes up a coil binding machine.
Coil binding machines, frequently called spiral binding machines, use a special plastic PVC coil to bind and hold sheets of paper together. This binding format is very similar in appearance to the lined spiral notebooks you can buy at the store for school purposes. The only difference is that PVC coil binding is available in multiple colors and doesn’t easily bend or break.
Coil binding comes in two different hole patterns, commonly referred to as the pitch. These are 4:1 pitch and 5:1 pitch. A 4:1 pitch is 4 holes per inch, which ends up being about 44 holes along an 11″ side of paper. A 5:1 pitch is 5 holes per inch and ends up being about 55 holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper. Between these two hole patterns, I find 4:1 pitch to be more popular. This is because it can be used to bind more sheets of paper.
4:1 Pitch Capacity: 2 to 230 sheets of paper (1/4″ to 1 1/4″ of paper)
5:1 Pitch Capacity: 2 to 152 sheets of paper (1/4″ to 13/16″ of paper)
The binding format you use ultimately depends on your own personal preference. I personally like both. A 4:1 pitch has a more spaced look where 5:1 pitch has a tighter look. Both can be used to bind reports, presentations and books. You will find, however, that 4:1 pitch coil supplies are more readily available online and locally.
These machines are all manual punch machines with an electric coil inserter. I personally think an electric coil inserter is a must-have accessory on a coil binding machine. Some entry-level machines don’t include an inserter, which means you will have to manually spin coils through the punched holes.
I really like coil binding because the spines look nice, the pages turn easily and pages can even be wrapped a full 360 degrees. I have used cookbooks bound in coil and I love the face that the pages wrap around and the books even lay flat for easy reading.
Coil binding is available in a wide variety of colors and diameters. If you need to bind books smaller than 11″, you simply cut off a little more coil when crimping the ends of the coil closed. It is simply a very versatile binding format. Here is a vide demo of a coil binding machine in use:
As you can see from this video, coil binding a book takes just a minute or so. It is easy to do, the machines typically hold up well and they can be used at home, in the office, at a school or in a church. Coil binding is both function and professional.
Did I mention that coil binding is extremely durable? You can drop coil bound books, step on them, stack other books on them and the coil will retain its look. The same can’t be said for comb binding or wire binding.
The Akiles CoilMac ECI PLUS is a top-quality coil binding machine that will give all your manuscripts, reports, notebooks, proposals and other documents a sharp, professional look. The Akiles Coilmac ECI PLUS coil binding machine is a popular book binding machine choice among large corporations, colleges, churches, print shops, schools, law firms, court houses, government agencies, accounting offices, publishers and other organizations due to its reliability, functionality and output capacity.
By using the Akiles CoilMac ECI PLUS to bind the pages of a document into a spiral bound book all the individual pages are secure, easy to turn through, and show your target audience that you take your business seriously.
The Akiles Coilmac ECI PLUS coil binding machine is very simple to operate and can produce as many books in an hour as the operator can run through it. The Akiles Coilmac ECI PLUS has two sections that are used to prepare and bind the documents. The first part that is used is the paper punch, and the second part of the binding machine is the coil feeder.
To bind the documents into a spiral bound book, the user first sets the stack of document pages in order on to the hole punch section of the book binding machine. The operator then simply pulls down on the lever, piercing the pages. The hole punch leaves a series of oval-shaped holes in a 4:1 pitch along the margin of the pages. Once the holes have been punched through the document the binding machine operator runs the complete document through the coil feeder. The coil feeder briskly applies the metal or plastic coil through the holes in the pages, binding the pages together into a sturdy, professional looking spiral-bound book.
This is a video demo of the Akiles CoilMac ECI Plus coil binding machine:
The Akiles Coilmac ECI PLUS book binding machine has a rugged metal frame and an industrial grade roller motor. This solid construction ensures that it will provide years of reliable use, giving you more bang for your binding machine buck. The hole punch features a super strength punch mechanism with exclusive “Precision Guiding System” Blade Set that has a 20 sheet stack capacity to handle thicker books. The insertion roller on the Akiles Coilmac ECI PLUS is a full length heavy-duty electric coil inserter with a double roller mechanism to make coil inserting faster and easier.
The CoilMac-ECI PLUS book binding machine is the product of Akiles Products, Inc. Akiles is a leading manufacturer of quality book binding, book making, and accessory equipment in the Binding and Laminating Industry.
The Akiles Coilmac ECI PLUS book binding machine has a heavy duty, high volume design that is able to bind books more rapidly than similar coil binding machines. The oval shaped holes in the paper, combined with the double roller system, will speed up insertion time by 50%. The two sections of the machine can be separated so you can use the punch and inserter side by side with two people operating it, one punching the other inserting. This enables you to get through more books faster if you’re up against a deadline, or have a larger order to bind.
With 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
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 – 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 – 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 – 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.
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: