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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between 3:1 and 2:1 binding wires?

There are two different types of wire binding. These are known as 3:1 pitch (or 34 loop) and 2:1 pitch (or 23 loop).

3:1 wire means that the machine will punch 3 holes per inch (or 34 holes in total along the long side of an A4 sheet of paper – hence 34 loop). The user can only use 3:1 wire with a machine that punches 3:1 or a multi-format machine that punches both 3:1 and 2:1. 3:1 wires are available up to 16mm diameter (around 140 sheets of copier paper), although most machines can only take 3:1 wires up to 14.3mm (around 120 sheets of copier paper). Generally, only Renz brand machines can take 3:1 wires up to 16mm. 3:1 is the most common wire format available in the market.

2:1 wire means that the machine will punch 2 holes per inch (or 23 holes in total along the long side of an A4 sheet of paper – hence 23 loop). The user can only use 2:1 wire with a machine that punches 2:1 or a multi-format machine that punches both 3:1 and 2:1. 2:1 wires are available up to 38mm diameter (around 340 sheets of copier paper), although most machines can only take 2:1 wires up to 28.5mm (around 250 sheets of copier paper). Generally, only Renz brand machines can take 2:1 wires up to 38mm. 2:1 is less common than 3:1 but still readily available.

There is an additional variation on 2:1 wire which still consists of 2 holes per inch but only totals 21 holes along the long side of an A4 sheet. This is made especially for GBC multi-function comb and wire binding machines only.

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Can I use any binding covers with a thermal binding machine?

No. Thermal binding machines use special, pre-glued covers that usually consist of a clear acetate front and a colour-coordinated card-based spine and rear cover. Hardback thermal binding covers are also available for use with appropriate machines. Paper is loaded into the cover and the cover is placed in the pre-heated holding tray on the machine. We do have customers who have taken standard binding covers and inserted these into the thermal binding cover to suit their own specific requirements, but it is not possible to actually bind with these standard covers using a thermal binding machine.

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How do I select the correct wire, comb, coil, thermal cover or channelbind cover size?

The sheet capacity for each wire, comb, coil, thermal cover and channelbind cover in our appropriate supplies sections is indicated in 80gsm copier paper as well in mm. It should be borne in mind that this is only a guide as paper thickness and construction varies from one source to another. If in doubt, always choose a slightly bigger spine or cover. As a basic guide, remember that the guides are based on the paper thickness being 80gsm. If you were using paper of 100gsm, for example, you would need to re-calculate the size needed. If you are unsure call us for guidance on 0844 800 9928.

 

What is the difference between a manual and electric machine?

A manual machine requires that the operator punches the edge of paper by pulling down on a lever, whereas an electric machine punches using an electric motor activated by a button or pedal. The latter dramatically reduces the amount of effort required by the user and is especially relevant for large runs or high volume applications.

 

Is there a fully automatic or hands-free binding solution?

Unfortunately, there is currently no binding style or machine that offers a fully automated binding process – all solutions require some operator intervention.


I need my documents to be tamper-proof or especially secure – what is the best solution?

No binding style is more secure than Surebind strip binding which literally locks pages in place.

Surebind strip binding uses a 6mm plastic binding spine. The spines come with a front and back that is linked by the prongs on the front piece.

The Surebind system can bind up to 750 sheets and trims any excess prong on the front spine before heat welding the front of the spine to the rear for a neat and totally tamper-proof finish, making this solution very popular for legal and accountancy documents. This system is available with manual and electric punching.

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I like the style offered by binding wires, but I sometimes have very thick documents in excess of 120 sheets – is there a machine that can handle both binding wires and binding combs?

Yes, we have multi-function machines that can handle both wires and combs so are able to bind documents as thick as 450 sheets. Alternatively, if you do not need to bind anything thicker than 250 sheets, you can opt for a dual-function wire binder that can use both 3:1 and 2:1 wires and thus bind up to 250 sheets with wires alone.

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Is there a difference between coil and wire binding?

Yes, although the two often get confused as does the terminology. A lot of people also refer to wire binding as “coil” binding but the two are quite different and not compatible. Wire binding uses spines made up of a series of double-loops of wire – each double-loop is inserted through a corresponding hole in the edge of the paper. Coil binding uses a continuous spiral of wire often coated in plastic that is wound on to the document to be bound. Wire binding is far more common with much greater flexibility in terms of binding capacities, machine choice and availability of supplies. It’s also generally considered to be a simpler binding method as coil binding can be something of an acquired knack.