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Why Bind?

There are many reasons why documents should be bound, such as:

  • A presentation left with a customer represents you and your business so needs to be smart and user friendly

  • A well bound document creates a professional image

  • Binding protects a document and makes it easier to use again and again

  • Adding individuality to your presentation

  • Bound documents are easy to store and great for reference

What to Bind?

Whether you are using a binder at work or at home, there are countless types of documents which will benefit from being bound...

At work...

  • Customer Presentations
  • Monthly Reports
  • Training Manuals
  • User Guides
  • Instructions
  • Information
  • Frequently used Documents
  • Lists
  • Customer Information

At home...

  • Projects
  • Essays and Dissertations
  • Address Lists
  • Recipes
  • Create your own Photo Album
  • Song Sheets
  • Computer Printouts

Things to consider before purchasing a binder.

What kind of a look do you want for your bound documents?
Before purchasing a binding machine, think about how you would like it to appear. Each method of binding will give your document a different look.

How many books will you be binding per day?
You will want to buy a machine that will work with the volume you need to bind. If you are only binding a few books per day, a low volume (8-12 sheet punching capacity) binder should work for you. If you will be binding several dozen books per day you will want something with a larger punching capacity. If you will be binding hundreds of books per day, you will probably want a machine with an electric punch that can punch several sheets of paper at a time.

What will the application of your bound document be?
You will need different kinds of binding for different applications. Do you want something that is less expensive, more professional, re-usable, something that will lay flat, or something that is easy to store? Plastic comb binding is less expensive and easy to use, while double loop binding provides a more professional look. These are all things to consider when purchasing a binding machine.

The table below will help you to select the most appropriate binding style.

What do you plan to do with your document?

Comb Binding


Thermal Binding




Document lays flat







360 degree page turning (for easy reference)







Editable (easily add or remove pages)







Suitable for mailing







Easy to use







Highly professional finish







Modern & flexible design







Most secure







What are the different types of binding?

Plastic Comb Binding
Plastic comb binding is one of the most popular forms of binding. Plastic combs are not only durable, but they can be re-used.

Plastic combs are widely used by schools, businesses and are easy for home use.

You have the option to purchase a machine with an electric or manual punch. Manual punches are usually used for small to medium volume jobs and the electric punches are usually used for medium to high volume jobs. It all depends on how much work you want to do.

Plastic comb binders first punch the holes for the paper. After punching the holes, you place a binding comb on the machine. You then pull a handle which opens the combs up for you. While the comb is open, you place the comb through the holes and close the plastic comb.

Plastic comb binding machines punch 19 holes along the 11 inch side of a paper. Plastic combs can bind anything from 3/16 inches (12 sheets of standard 20 pound paper) to 2 inches (425 sheets of standard 20 pound paper).

Double Loop Wire Binding
"Double loop bound documents lay flat and wrap around for easy reading."

Create a contemporary, professional image right at your desk. Double loop bound documents lay flat and wrap around for easy reading. In addition, pages are bound so securely that they won't fall out and documents maintain their neat appearance for the lifetime of the information.

There are three different types of wire binding. There is what is known as 3:1 pitch, 2:1 pitch and Spiral-O.

3:1 wire means that the machine will punch three holes per inch (32 holes total along the 11" side of a standard sheet of paper). You can only use 3:1 wire with a machine that punches 3:1.

3:1 pitch wire binds a stack of paper as small as 3/16" (10 sheets of standard 20 pound paper) up to 9/16" (120 sheets of standard 20 pound paper).

2:1 wire machines will punch two holes per inch (21 total holes).

As with a 3:1 machine, the 2:1 machine can only use 2:1 wire. 2:1 wire can bind a stack of paper as small as 1/4 inch (20 sheets of standard 20 pound paper) up to 1 1/4 inch (230 sheets of standard 20 pound paper).

Spiral-O wire is also known as wire comb binding because it uses the same style of punching die as plastic comb. A Spiral-O binding machine punches 19 total holes along the 11 inch side of a standard sheet of paper. A Spiral-O double loop wire machine can only use Spiral-O double loop wire.

Spiral-O wire can bind from 1/4 inch (20 sheets of standard 20 pound paper) up to 1 inch (200 sheets of standard 20 pound paper).

Some machines have been made that will bind Spiral-O twin loop wire and plastic comb. The Ibimaster 400-E is an example of this.

A Double Loop wire machine is easy to use. After punching the paper, you insert the wire and close the wire. The wire closer is usually built into the machine. Wire closers can be purchased separately.

Coil Binding
"Pages turn very easily and the book will lay completely flat."

Coil binding is a continuous PVC filament formed into the shape of a spring. You may recognize this type of binding. It is very similar to the spiral notebooks you may have used in school.

Properties of this binding are:
  • Pages turn very easily and the book will lay completely flat.
  • Pages may also be opened back to back, while remaining flat.
  • Very durable. Excellent crush resistance.
  • Variety of colors available.
Binding books with this system involves 3 simple steps:
  1. Punching the paper and punch.
  2. Inserting the spiral.
  3. Cutting and crimping the ends of the spiral.
As with plastic binding and double loop wire binding, you can purchase the coil binding machine with a manual or electric punch. You will have to make the decision as to what your workload will be. A manual punch will be fine for a small to medium workload. You will probably want an electric punch if you will be involved in larger volume binding.

Some machines include a motor run coil inserter which will quickly turn the coils through the holes. An example of this would be the model PC-2000. Most coil binding machines require that you insert the coils yourself like the CoilMac or Rubicoil.

Coil binding is available with 4:1 pitch binding and 5:1 pitch binding. 4:1 machines punch 4 holes per inch and the 5:1 machines punch 5 holes per inch. You need to make sure you get the correct coils for your machine.

4:1 coils can bind from 1/4 inch (20 sheets of 20 pound paper) up to 1 1/4 inch (230 sheets of 20 pound paper).

The 5:1 coils can bind from 1/4 inch (20 sheets of 20 pound paper) up to 13/16 inch (152 sheets of 20 pound paper).

Velobind System Binding
"For sleek, slim styling, books lay flat for easy filing and mailing."

No binding style is more secure, because VeloBind literally locks pages in place. For sleek, slim styling, books lay flat for easy filing and mailing. VeloBind comes in a variety of colors using only 3 sizes of elements, and can securely bind books up to 3" thick.

Velobind uses a 1/4" wide binding element. There are several different types of VeloBind Binding.

Desktop and Electric Desktop VeloBind models are for the entry level user. These binders are for low volume and use a 4 prong VeloBind strip.

The Desktop/Electric model punches 4 holes. After the holes are punched you put the binding element through the hole and snap it shut on the other side.

The next step up in VeloBind binding is the System I, II and III. All three of these models are what is known as "hot knife" VeloBind Binder. The System I, II, and III models use an 11 prong binding element.

After punching the holes, you put the binding strips through the holes. The machine will then cut the excess prongs off and seal everything off with heat. This provides a very secure bind.

The System I binds up to 1 inch, the System II binds up to 2 inches and the System III binds up to 3 inches.

Thermal Binding
Create thermally-bound presentations, proposals and reports with a clean, sleek look, in seconds! Bound books are easy to use, mail and file easily, and have a library quality appearance.

Thermal binding is a simple concept. The thermal binding machines use pre-glued spines. You apply the paper into the pre-glued spine and place it in the pre-heated holding tray on the machine. The machine heats the glue up. After the glue cools off you have a well bound document.

Although the pre-glued spines are a more expensive than other methods of binding, they provide a professional bound document for the low volume user.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What types of binding are there?

There are three main types of binding; comb, wire and thermal.

Q. What is the best type of binding to use?

The best method to use depends upon the size and type of documents you are binding. See Binding Methods section for more information.

Q. Do I use Wire or Combs with my machine?

If you have a comb binder you will need to buy plastic combs. Wire binders use wire elements.

Q. What type of wires do I need?

Most wire binding machines use 3:1 pitch - 34 loop wires.

Q. What size wire do I need?

The size of the wire depends on the size of the document. Once the document is bound the pages should be able to turn easily and not overlap.

34 loop wires (for use with the majority of binding machines)

Wire Size - Maximum document size
5mm - 35 pages
6mm - 55 pages
8mm - 70 pages
9.5 mm - 85 pages
11mm - 100 pages
12.5mm - 115 pages
14mm - 130 pages

20 loop wires (for use with Rexel CB405 and 405e)

Wire Size - Maximum document size
8mm - 70 pages
12.5mm - 115 pages

Q. What type of comb do I need?

Most binding machines use 21 loop combs. If you are binding a smaller document you can cut the comb to the length you want.

Q. What size comb do I need?

The size of the comb depends on the size of the document. Once the document is bound the pages should be able to turn easily and not overlap.

Comb Size - Maximum document size
6mm - 30 pages
8mm - 50 pages
9.5 mm - 60 pages
12.5mm - 95 pages
16mm - 125 pages
20mm - 170 pages
25mm - 225 pages
38mm - 325 pages
50mm - 450 pages

Q. What size thermal cover do I need?

The size of the thermal cover depends on the size of the document. It is important to get the correct size of cover for a professional and well bound document.

Wire Size - Maximum document size
1.5mm - 15 pages
3mm - 30 pages
6mm - 60 pages
9mm - 90 pages
12mm - 120 pages

Q. Is there a machine which binds comb and wire?

There are a number of dual-function and multi-function machines. See our binders pages for more information.

Q. What type of covers should I use?

If you have a thermal binder you will need to buy thermal covers which have glue down the spine which is activated by the thermal binder.

For wire and comb binding there is a wide variety of covers available. The clear covers are excellent for the front of your document. They allow you to show your title page and help to prevent your document from being damaged.

The leatherboard and metallic covers add colour to your reports and presentations and are ideal as a back cover to strengthen your document.

(Metallic covers are for use with machines which have a 10 sheet and punch capacity).

Q. Why should I use a cover with my wire and comb binder?

Binding covers help to prevent your document from being damaged and also strengthens it. There is a wide variety of covers available. Using a cover gives your presentation a more professional finish.

Q. Can I bind an A4 document landscape?

Yes there are a number of machines which allow you to do this by deselecting punches.

Q. How does an electric binder work?

An electric binder works in the same way as a manual binder but the pages are punched by pushing a button as opposed to using a handle.

Q. Can I bind A3?

A3 documents can be bound along the short end of the page.

Q. Where can I get a manual or download one?

You can usually download pdf versions of the manuals from the relevant manufacturers' website.






All prices exclude VAT. A delivery charge of £6.95 excluding VAT applies to all orders under £75

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