Comb binding continues to be one of the most popular book binding formats used today. There are many reasons for this. Let me list off just a few of those reasons:
Price – Comb binding supplies are THE cheapest available today. You can buy a box 100 1/4″ diameter supplies for just a few dollars. Even wire and coil can’t compete with that rate. Not only are the supplies inexpensive, but the machines are affordable as well. You can find our comb binding machines here and comb binding supplies here.
Look – Many people like the look of comb binding. It is very unique and has been used for decades, developing a certain appeal to many people.
Availability – Comb binding elements are one of the most available supplies available. You can find the online, in brick & mortar stores and much more.
Colors – Comb binding supplies come in a wide range of color, including red, green, blue, brown, black, clear, white and much more.
Adding / Removing – Comb binding elements are extremely easy to re-open, allowing you to easily add and remove pages.
Recycling – Comb binding supplies can be re-used over and over again, making it possible to bind multiple books for years using the same element.
Comb binding is commonly used to bind booklets, reports, presentations and other documents. The two most common types of comb binding machines are electric and manual comb binders. Manual comb binders are generally used for low to medium-volume binding and electric machines are used for medium to high-volume binding.
So how do you actually use a comb binding machine? This guide will show you how to comb bind a booklet in 8 easy steps.
How to Use a Comb Binding Machine
Step 1. Set up the comb binding machine prior to use. This may involve adjusting the margin depth (how far the holes are punched in the paper), side margin guides (where the holes punch in the paper left to right) and the selectable punching pins (If equipment, will allow you to disable specific holes). There isn’t usually too much involved in setting up the comb binding machine.
Step 2. Take the paper you plan on punching and gather it into a stack. This is a personal preference, but I like to keep the cover and the back cover separate.
Step 3. Take about 10-20 sheets (depending on your machine’s punching capacity) and begin punching each stack of paper. If using a manual punch, pull the punching arm. If using an electric punch, press the punching button or foot pedal. This process usually only takes a few seconds. Repeat this process until all the paper has been punched.
Step 4. Take all your paper and jog it together, aligning the edges. This can be done manually by tapping the paper on a table or by using an electric paper jogger (found here). This will make it easier to insert the combs.
Step 5. Place the comb element you will be using on the machine’s comb opener. Open the comb by pulling or pushing the comb opening lever. Most electric comb binding machines still have a manual comb opener.
Step 6. Once the comb is open, insert the open fingers of the comb through the punched paper. Be sure you get all 19 fingers through each of the 19 punched holes. Also be sure the fingers make it all the way through the holes. It is easy to accidentally mist a few pages.
Step 7. Release the comb opener, allowing the comb’s fingers to naturally recoil back into their natural position.
Step 8. You have just finished comb binding your first book. You are now ready to repeat the process (if needed).
This is where you can find everything you need to start comb binding:
So there you have it! While it may seem a little intimidating at first, comb binding books is actually pretty easy. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact one of our comb binding specialists by calling 1-800-543-5454.