If you are a small business person who makes in-person presentations to clients or distributes workbooks, handbooks, booklets, or other materials to employees, you may be looking for an effective binding system. You know that stapled documents don’t lie flat, and tend to pull part, while three-ring binders are cumbersome. The output of comb, wire, and coil binding machines could be the perfect solution for you.
The Basics Of Bound Documents
Binder equipment includes a hole punch, and a mechanism that guides or inserts a plastic or metal element through the holes to bind the document. The holes are in a pattern that corresponds to the loops of the binding element so that the finished product opens easily and looks professional.
The booklet that results takes up no more space than a stapled document, yet is more durable. If what you are binding is a manual, workbook, or annual report, the user will be able to open it to the desired page, and fold back the facing page for easy reading.
Which Type Of Equipment Do You Need?
Since there is a wide range of binder equipment available, what kind should you buy? What is easiest and quickest to use? What will meet your needs without going overboard? What type will be the most durable, and offer the best performance?
Binding equipment uses three basic types of binding media:
Comb: Plastic combs, which come in a variety of dimensions and lengths, offer the most economical solution to your binding needs. For letter-sized paper, your punch machine will make 19 holes. The combs can be re-opened by hand or machine, if you want to reuse them, or to add materials later.
Wire: For a more professional look, wire binding uses a spine made of loops of wire that match with either 19 holes total as in comb binding, or arranged in patterns of two or three rectangular or square holes per inch. Two holes per inch, called the 2:1 pitch, is the most popular pattern. Though the finishing looks great, the wire spines can only be used once, and are easy to bend out of shape.
Coil: Using spirals made of PVC plastic, coil binding is the Rolls Royce of binding techniques. With spirals available in a myriad of colors and diameters, this process uses a 4:1 pitch (four holes per inch), or a 5:1 pitch (five holes per inch). Coil binding machines, often equipped with electric inserters, spin the spiral through the holes. The finished product looks professional, is virtually indestructible, and is the easiest to lay flat.
You should select the best machine based on how your materials will be used. Comb binding machines are the cheapest, but if your workbook or report must hold up to daily use, you may find that going for wire or coil binding machines will produce more durable output. Many machines have interchangeable dies to accommodate various hole patterns and binding elements, giving you the ultimate in versatility.
Buying The Right Quality Machine
Punching and binding documents requires equipment that will hold up to the continual pounding that takes place when a die pin punches a hole in a multipage document. The force that is required to punch a clean, professional looking series of holes puts tremendous stress on the punch motor, frame, and electrical components. Unless you anticipate limited, occasional use, you will want a punch with a heavy steel frame that can withstand the force of continual punching, and a large motor that will drive the pins cleanly through the document every time.
When you price binding equipment, you will find that you don’t have to spend a fortune to acquire serviceable equipment. Though you can spend into the thousands, you do not need to make that investment unless you run a copy center, or have an in-plant print shop. For a few hundred dollars, a small business can acquire a machine that does comb, wire, or coil bindings – or all three.
Making The Decision
Any binding machine you buy should last you at least five years, and have a long-term warranty to give you peace of mind that the machine will hold up as promised. Before making your decision, be sure to familiarize the sales rep with your specific needs, talk to current owners about their experiences with the machine, and read online reviews to assist you.