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.


Akiles Coilmac ECI Manual Coil Binder w/ Electric Inserter Review

Posted by: James on August 29th, 2011

Akile CoilMac-ECI Coil Binding MachineProposals, manuscripts and reports all have one primary function-they are supposed to impress stakeholders, decision makers and prospects. The condition in which you present these documents speaks just as loudly as the information and data contained on the pages. So unless you think your target audience is going to be impressed with your awesome stapling or paper clipping skills, you need a book binding machine. More specifically, you need the Akiles Coilmac ECI binding machine.

The Akiles Coilmac ECI is a coil binding machine that will give all your important documents a professional, “we actually care about our business,” appearance. It binds the individual pages together to create an organized book.

The Akiles Coilmac ECI coil binding machine is commonly used by large corporations, churches, print shops, schools, accounting offices, publishers and other organizations to organize and bind their documents into sturdy books. The binding equipment contains all the pages in order, so there is no fear of losing important information due to page fall out. The coil binding also makes pages easy to turn so it reduces tearing or damage to the book.

The Akiles Coilmac ECI coil binding machine functions using two parts that are very easy to operate. The first part is the paper hole punch, the second part is the coil feeder. To bind books the user first places an ordered stack of documents from the book into the hole punch section. The user then pulls the lever down on, piercing the pages leaving a series of oval-shaped holes in a 4:1 pitch along the margin of the pages. After all the pages have had holes punched, the binding machine operator runs the complete stack of pages through the coil inserter which rapidly feeds a metal or plastic coil through the holes, binding the pages together.  And just like that, the user has a sturdy, professional grade book instead of a bunch of pages that look like a high school research paper.

This is a video demo of the Coilmac ECI:

The Akiles Coilmac ECI book binding machine is ruggedly built to provide years of solid use. It can punch a stack of 20 sheets at a time, and has an industrial grade roller motor. The insertion roller on the Akiles Coilmac ECI is designed to be high friction and have long durability to make coil inserting more fast and easy.  This solid construction means you’ll get years of use out of this machine, making it a good purchase decision.

The CoilMac-ECI 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 book binding machine is designed to bind books together more quickly than other binding machines. The oval shapped holes in the paper, combined with the double roller system, will speed up insertion time by 50%. You also have the option of use the punch and inserter side by side, so two people can operate the machine at a time.  This is a handy time saving feature when you’re up against a deadline.

You can purchase the Akiles Coilmac ECI coil binding machine at Office Zone. You can find Office Zone’s entire selection of coil binding machines here.


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:


Coil Binder Demo Request

Posted by: Morgan on December 6th, 2010

Akiles CoilMac-EPI PlusQuestion

Good morning,

Our office is interested in finding out more information on the Coilmac EPI Plus Coil Punch w/Electric Inserter by Akiles. We would like to see a demonstration of this product’s capabilities and information. Is there a demo we can download or schedule with a representative? Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Heather R.


The Akiles CoilMac-EPI Plus is a highly durable, yet easy-to-use electric punch and binding machine. Akiles is known for manufacturing quality binding machines, and continues the tradition with the CoilMac-EPI. The EPI has a durable electric motor that punches and inserts coil in a matter of seconds. And, it punches oval-shaped holes in a 4:1 pitch pattern. This decreases coil insertion time by up to 50%. That’s because oval holes make it easer to insert coil vs. round.

We currently do not have a prerecorded video demo of the Akiles CoilMac-EPI that we can show you. However, we would be glad to perform a live demonstration of the EPI. This is one of the key advantages Office Zone holds over the competition. Over the years, we have found that our live office machine demonstrations are a highly efficient way to adequately showcase the features of a product. You can schedule your live demo today by calling toll-free: 1-800-543-5454.