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.