If you are considering buying a plastic comb binding machine
, let me be the first person to congratulate you. Plastic comb binding is one of the most widely used binding styles available on the market today. However, before you rush out and buy your first plastic comb binding machine there are a few things you should know. Here is a quick list of five things that you should really know before you buy your machine…
1. Plastic combs are available in twelve different colors including Black, White, Clear, Navy Blue, Dark Green, Maroon, Royal Blue, Kelly Green, Red, Yellow, Brown and Gray. If one of these colors will work for your company and its color scheme then great. However, if you think you might need a different color you should probably look for a different binding style. Plastic combs can be ordered in custom colors. However, the minimum order would be at least 10,000 pieces per size (a custom extrusion of plastic is needed) and the cost is usually pretty high. This is definitely something that you should consider before you buy your machine.
2. Most plastic combs
that you buy in the United States are 19 rings for 11” standard size documents. If you plan on binding documents that are 11” or smaller then plastic combs are pretty easy to find. However, if you are going to bind longer documents custom length combs are required. Often these combs are available in black only and require addition lead time. If your organization binds lots of legal or 11” x 17” documents on the long sides, this is definitely something to consider.
3. If you are planning on binding documents with a plastic comb binding machine that are either shorter or longer than 11” you will most likely need a machine with disengageable dies. This simply means that your machine needs to have the ability to let you tell one or more of the punching pins not to punch. If you try to punch a non standard size of paper on a machine without disenageable dies you will discover that your document has a hole hanging over the edge of the document. If you plan on binding any documents landscape or binding half letter size documents you will definitely want to make sure that you machine has this feature.
4. The best plastic comb binding machines have an adjustable depth of punch margin control. This is simply a control that allows you to determine how far from the edge of the paper your holes will be. This control is important when binding very small books and very large books. For small books your holes will need to be closer to the edge of the document to ensure that the pages turn freely. For large books, your pages will need to be further from the edge of the book so that the weight of the document doesn’t cause the pages of the book to tear out.
5. Plastic comb binding spines come in two different shapes. Combs up to 1-1/8” in diameter are round. However, for documents that are 1-1/4” or larger the plastic combs are round and have two or three special locks. These locks help to ensure that the weight of the pages of the book don’t cause the pages to fall out if you pick the document up by the spine. Some of the smaller and cheaper plastic comb binding machines are not designed to open the oval shaped plastic combs so if you think you will be binding larger documents you will need to make sure that you have a machine that can handle them.
Although there are probably other things that you will learn after you have purchased your comb binding machine, these five tips will help you from choosing the wrong system for your needs. Just be sure to look at features and specifications of your system closely to make sure that it will handle your binding needs.