There is a wide variety of comb binding machines on the market with a number of features to handle every on-site binding situation. One of the biggest choices to make when considering a binding machine is whether an electric or manual model is best for your needs, since each has its own unique characteristics.
What Manual Comb Binding Machines Have To Offer
Although manual binding machines don’t have the speed of the electric models, some people still prefer them for the element of control they provide when creating documents. From another perspective, if your business is new and every penny counts, you may find your electricity costs are more manageable with a manual binding machine.
The Benefits of Electricity
Electric comb binding machines are a popular choice for several reasons, probably the most important of which is that they are easier for operators to run.
Since the operator is not using their arm to physically punch the holes, they can run the machine longer and be more productive. In addition, what is produced will be of higher quality, with fewer missed punches because the operator does not have to hold the paper against the paper stop while simultaneously moving the punch lever.
Vertical Vs. Horizontal Feed Considerations
One particular advantage of the electric comb binding machines is the vertical paper feed. This configuration uses gravity to help more easily move paper down into the throat of the diem and ensures that all the sheets are aligned. Then when the materials are punched, all the holes will be even with each other and all the page edges will be aligned so that the binding materials can be easily inserted.
With horizontal feeds, it can be difficult to line all the pages up evenly. Sometimes the bottom sheet doesn’t go along for the ride, which causes your entire document to mis-punch. On the flip side, horizontal feeds can be good for larger documents like 18 x 18 calendars, because large amounts of paper often fall over when set vertically which leads to mis-punching. A horizontal feed helps keep the stack stable and properly aligned during the feeding and punching process.
What to Look For In Manual and Electric Machines
Whether you choose manual or electric, look for particular features to be sure you have a high-quality machine.
- If you’ll be using various paper sizes, make sure the machine will be able to handle this. If your device only handles regular sized paper, you won’t be able to punch legal sized or smaller documents.
- Check that the dies can be disengaged so that you can set up the best punching pattern for your needs. Moving the dies will ensure that you don’t have partial or half holes at the ends of your document.
- Look for a control that allows you to change the depth of your punch margins, that is, the space between the edge of the paper and where you want to punch your holes. The right distance allows pages to turn easily once bound. This adjustment also makes it easier to bind small, off-size documents and to use oval comb binding elements.
- Make sure the comb opener on your machine is metal, not plastic. It must be durable enough to handle all the use it will get.
- If you’re choosing an electric machine, you’ll need to decide between one with a push-button punching activator, or a foot pedal activator. Keep in mind that the foot pedal allows your hands to stay free to handle any issues during the punching process.
Whether you choose manual or electric, today’s comb binding machines have everything you need for professional on-site document creation.