I have had many customers call me over the years asking for help in deciding what binding machine
style would be best for their office. Often they have seen one binding style or another but want to understand their options for binding their own documents. This article will provide a quick overview of the strengths and limitations of the four major binding styles. These four styles include: Comb Binding
, Coil Binding
, Wire Binding
and Thermal Binding
. Although there are other binding styles available, these four styles represent the lion’s share of the presentation binding industry. Lets take a quick look at each of the four styles.
1.Comb Binding : Comb Binding is the most common binding style used in North America. It has been around for more than 40 years, is simple and readily available. Binding supplies for plastic comb binding are cheaper than binding supplies for the other major binding styles. Plastic comb binding books have the ability to open flat for easy copying and can be easily opened and closed with a comb binding machine for editing purposes. Plastic comb bindings are available in 12 colors and in sizes up to 2”. Comb bindings that are 3/16” – 1-1/8” are round while comb bindings that are 1-1/4” – 2” are oval. Of all the binding styles, comb binding is the most economical and robust. However, because comb binding has been around for so long and is so economical it has become somewhat commonplace in the market. Many people see comb binding as “cheap” and such and image doesn’t lend itself well to many proposals and presentations. For this reason, several other binding styles are more popular.
2. Coil Binding : Spiral Coil Binding is a great option for individuals searching for a different look for their presentations and proposals. Spiral coil binding involves winding a single piece of pre-coiled plastic binding onto the edge of ones book. Spiral coil binding is available in more than 60 different colors making it ideal for marketing firms and designers that are looking to match unique colors with company logos or report covers. Coil bound documents can open flat and can also wrap around for easy copying and reading. Documents bound with coil binding are ideal for documents that need to be mailed since the spines are flexible and retain their shape exceptionally well. Although spiral coil binding is available in sizes up to 2”, coil binding documents that are larger than 1” can be very difficult. Binding supplies for coil binding are more expensive than plastic comb bindings but are still reasonably priced and readily available.
3.Wire Binding : Twin Loop Wire binding (also known as Wire-O) is another popular binding style available for individuals looking to bind their own documents. Twin loop wire binding comes out of the package in a C shape and a wire binding machine is used to close the wire binding so that it is round. Twin loop wire binding is available in sizes up to 1 – 1/4” thick. However, a different hole pattern is used for twin loop wire binding that is 9/16” or smaller than is used for wire binding from 5/8” to 1 – 1/4". An individual wanting to bind documents in all of these sizes would need either two binding machines or a binding machine that can punch both hole patterns. Documents bound with twin loop wire binding can lay flat and can also wrap around. Wire bound documents are not ideal for mailing since the metal wire binding can be deformed with abuse. Twin loop wire binding provides an elegant look and feel but is slightly more expensive than coil binding or wire binding.
4.Thermal book Binding : Thermal book binding style is another popular binding style. However, it is dramatically different from the other three styles discussed in this article. Thermal book binding does not involve punching holes in your documents to bind them. Instead, a strip of heat activated glue inside the spine of the book is used to bind the presentations or proposals. Books bound with this method of binding have the look of “perfect bound” documents and provide an beautiful finished product. Many people who use thermal binding buy utility covers which have a clear front cover with a linen paper back and spine; however, custom cover sets can be produced for this binding style assisting with company branding and brand awareness. Hard cover cases are also available for use with thermal book binding machines making short run hard cover books and proposals a possibility (something the other binding styles are not really capable of). Of all the available binding styles, thermal binding has the highest supply costs. However, it also provides the most unique and professional looking solution.