Wire binding is easily one of the most popular binding formats used throughout the world for binding reports, books and presentations. There are a lot of reasons for this including the quality of real metal, the fascinating deign of the twin loops and the variety of colors and sizes available. To date, there are three different “pitches” of wire binding supplies available (all found here). Of these, the 3:1 pitch remains the most popular. Why is this? I would like to address that question in this article.
Before I dig too deep into why 3:1 pitch wire is so popular, I would like to address exactly what the pitch is. The pitch is a word used by the industry to describe the hole pattern. This applies to most binding formats. In the case of wire, a 3:1 pitch is used to describe a hole pattern that consists of 3 holes per inch of paper. A 2:1 pitch is two holes per inch and Spiral-O wire uses a comb binding 19-hole pattern.
Now that we have covered the pitch, I would like to explain exactly what wire binding is. Wire binding is literally made out of metal wire. It is made from a long single piece of wire that is bent into a pattern that consists of two parallel loops of rounded wire that are inserted into every wire punched hole. This wire is then bent closed by a wire binding machine, preventing the wire from slipping back out.
Usually the back page is placed on the front of the document during the wire insertion and closing process and is then flipped around to the back after the wire is closed. This helps hide the open seam of the close wire and gives the look and impression that the twin loop wires are free floating. This look is very classy and is a huge reason why wire binding is so popular with businesses for binding presentations and reports.
At ABC Office we sell 3:1 pitch, 2:1 pitch and Spiral-O wire binding machines (found here http://www.officezone.com/wire1.htm). Of the machines we offer, over 90% of them are in a 3:1 pitch pattern. So why is this? How did 3:1 pitch gain so much popularity over the 2:1 pitch competition? There are a few reasons for this, and businesses played a big roll in making this happen.
It all boils down to the look of the finished product. A 3:1 pitch wire has more holes per inch than 2:1 pitch wire. As a result, the wire loops are closer together with 3:1 pitch. Businesses like the added stability of more wires and the “tighter” look that the 3:1 pitch wire has. Because of this, businesses almost always buy 3:1 pitch wire binding machines.
The only real downside of 3:1 pitch wire over 2:1 pitch is that it can’t binding as much paper at a time. The increase of holes and wire causes pages to bind if the book becomes too thick (over an inch). If you need to bind more than ¾” of paper at a time with wire, you will need to use a 2:1 pitch wire.
Finally, which hole shape is most popular? You can buy wire binding machines with round or square punched holes. Years ago both were fairly common, but today almost all of the machines punch using square holes. It was determined, with years of use, that pages turned better on a square-punched hole over a round-punched hole.
If you still have questions about twin loop wire binding, either in a 3:1 or 2:1 pitch, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-543-5454. We literally have decades of experience with these machines and can help answer any question you might have. You can find our entire selection of wire binding supplies here and wire binding machines here.
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.
If you are shopping for a wire binding machine (found here), you may have come across two or perhaps even three different hole patterns. While wire binding looks great, it can often be difficult to settle on any one wire hole pattern. So which pitch (aka hole pattern) is best? This article will cover all hole patterns and their benefits.
The three hole patterns used in wire binding are referred to as 2:1 pitch, 3:1 pitch and 19-ring. The most common wire binding hole pattern used today is 3:1 pitch. The pitch is the hole pattern, specifically the amount of holes per inch. A 2:1 pitch machine punches two holes per inch and a 3:1 pitch machine punches three holes per inch. A 19-ring hole pattern, often called Spiral-O, consists of 19 total holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper. You can find all our wire binding supplies here.
3:1 Pitch Wire – The 3:1 pitch hole pattern is the most common hole pattern used today for many reasons. To begin with, it has a very tight look because there are three holes per inch of paper. It ends up being about 32 to 33 holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper. They can be used to bind up to 9/16″ of paper, which is about 120 sheets. This is very popular for reports and presentations.
2:1 Pitch Wire – The 2:1 pitch isn’t as popular as 3:1, but is very poplar with people that need to bind over 9/16″ of paper. The 2:1 hole pattern can bind documents up to 1 ¼” thick. This style of wire binding machine punches two holes per inch and has a wider look than the 3:1 pitch wire.
19-Ring Wire – The 19-ring Spiral-O pattern was developed to take advantage of existing comb binding machines that used the same hole pattern. The idea was to market a wire supply that could be used with a comb-binding machine. All you would need to purchase would be a separate wire closer to complete the process. A 19-ring pattern looks very similar to a 2:1 pitch pattern. This type of wire binding is not very common.
So what do you do if you like both 2:1 and 3:1 wire bound documents? What you have to do is use a combination binding machine (found here). These are machines that are built with a 2:1 and a 3:1 pitch wire punch. This allows them to punch paper in either hole pattern and is a very useful machine. Our most popular combination wire binding machine is the Akiles DuoMac (found here).
When shopping around for entry-level to mid-level wire binding machines, I recommend keeping an eye open for Intelli-Bind and Akiles. When shopping around for high-volume machines, I recommend Akiles and Renz. You can find our entire selection of wire 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.
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:
We are looking at replacing our current binding machine. We need something with high qualities yet reasonably priced.
Sharon B. Answer
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.
We get this question almost every week. The answer really depends on what you need to do. For example, if you work in a small office where sales presentations (and other similar items) are needed on a weekly basis, we recommend the Intelli-Bind IW250 Wire Binding Machine.
First of all, the Intelli-Bind IW250 is an affordable binding machine. It won’t break your company’s budget. The unit may be used to bind proposals, marketing booklets, reports and more. This wire binder is capable of punching up to 15 sheets of standard 20-lb. bond paper at time. Another reason why this wire binding machine is a preferred choice is simply the fact that it binds documents with wire. Our customers tell us they love the professional appearance of wire-bound presentations.
If you have a slightly larger budget to work with, the Akiles WireMac is a solid recommended choice. The WireMac is a durable wire binding machine designed to punch and bind throughout the work day. Once Akiles binding machines go out our door, they don’t come back. These machines are engineered to last for decades.
I’m interested in the Sirclebind WR-200 manual wire binding machine. Can you tell me the volume this machine is designed for. We expect to have approx. 500-1000 binders to create short-term and then minimal volume afterwards. Is this machine ok for that kind of volume?
The SircleBind WR-200 Manual Wire Book Binding Machine will handle the volume that you anticipate. The SircleBind is a medium-grade machine when comparing its features, performance and durability to other models. It’s a rather easy-to-use wire binder. It will punch up to 20 lb. sheets at a time, and that amount of paper equals high production numbers.
The WR-200 is ergonomically designed to accommodate almost anyone. It features a unique U-shaped handle that may be used by both right- and left-handed people. The WR-200 is actually a combination wire binder that will punch documents for both 2:1 and 3:1 pitch wire binding elements.
I am looking for a manual wire closing machine. I am having a bit of difficulty finding the right product and I was hoping you could give me a recommendation on any of your products. I need one that is adjustable to the wire coils and is just a wire closer. If you need anymore information from me please let me know. I would truly appreciate you assistance in the matter. Thank you.
We recommend you choose the Akiles WBM-532 Wire Closer. This is a heavy-duty model designed to be used on a frequent basis. The WBM-532 features an open-ended wire closer tray capable of closing wire up to 14 inches in length.
The all-metal construction of the WBM-532 means this durable wire closing unit will last you for several years. The machine is easy to set up and includes handy features such as a diameter size selector and wire holder. The WBM-532 may be used with both 2:1 and 3:1 pitch binding wire.