MyBinding Knowledge Base
A Comparison of Fellowes and GBC Comb-Binding Machines
Binding machines are fast becoming a must-have for any small office that is looking to have more flexibility, convenience, and control when putting together its important documents, reports, presentations and proposals. One of the most simple, common and cheapest binding methods is comb binding. For this reason, there are many machines available on the market that are designed for comb binding. There are differences, however, in the different comb-binding machines and their capabilities. These differences may seem insignificant to the untrained eye. However, when it comes to binding machines, the slightest advantage can mean time and money saved.
Here we will take a look at two of the major players on the market, Fellowes and GBC. Both companies have a solid line of binding equipment, but there are some differences that you might want to know about before you take the plunge and buy your own binding machine.
First of all, you will have to decide whether you want a manual or electric punch on your binding machine. Manual is a little bit less expensive, but electric is quicker and more accurate. All of the machines that we will discuss here are available with either manual or electric punch mechanisms. Here is a quick comparison of Fellowes and GBC’s manual machines for the small office:
1. Fellowes Pulsarvs. GBC C110: Both of these machines feature a 15 punch/300 bind capability, and will run you about $230 (list price). The Pulsar gets the slightest nod here, however, because of the following advantages it provides:
- The Pulsar is built for vertical document loading, which ensures accurate punch alignment, and a rotary edge guide that accurately centers documents.
- The Pulsar features a much more compact and lightweight design. It even folds up for quick and easy storage, and won’t take up much more room than a book on a bookshelf.
- While the Pulsar and C110 manual versions cost the same, the Fellowes electric machine is a bit less expensive than its GBC counterpart.
- The Pulsar comes with a two-year warranty, whereas the GBC provides only one year.
2. Fellowes Quasar and Quasar E vs. GBC’s C210E. Again, Two very similar machines, with both featuring a 20-punch capability. Again, however the nod has to go to the Fellowes machines, due to the fact that they have a 500-bind capacity vs. the C210E’s 300. The Quasar stores in a smaller space, and the warranty of two years just makes more sense, especially when you consider that the electric versions cost virtually the same.
Both of these companies are well known and respected in the binding industry for making highly reliable devices, and really, you can’t go wrong with either one of these manufacturer’s comb-binding machines. The advantages we’ve discussed here are fairly slight in the grand scheme of things, which is why we wanted to lay out the differences for you. Ultimately, you will need to compare the systems for yourself and make a decision about the machine that will best fit your particular needs.
< Over the years, a number of customers have asked me whether they can use twin loop wire with their plastic comb binding machine. These customers often don’t want to have to buy a brand new machine but like the look and feel of twin loop wire binding. However, the answer to their question isn’t as simple as it seems. You see, they actually do make twin loop wire that is designed to work with the plastic comb binding hole pattern. With that said, if you want to use these wires you are going to need a way to close the wires. What is Spiral-O Wire?Let me explain a little bit more…There is a product that we carry called Spiral-O Wire. This wire has 19 loops and is designed to work with the hole pattern from a plastic comb binding machine. Spiral-O Wire is sometimes called Wire Combs or Ibico Wire and was originally designed for use with some of the older Ibico binding machines. A number of the older Ibico plastic comb binding machines also included a twin loop wire closer on the front of them to allow users to use both plastic combs and wire. This 19 loop wire was designed for this purpose.What Equipment is Needed? As the Ibico brand has been phased out by GBC and all of the older Ibico plastic binding machines have been replaced with new models, they no longer have the twin loop wire closer on the front of them. This presents a problem in trying to use these spiral-o wires since you can’t use the wires without a way to close them.One of the only options left is to purchase a Twin Loop wire closer. However, since twin loop wire closers are not incredibly cheap this option usually only appeals to users who have larger electric plastic comb binding machines. Otherwise, it is often advisable to simply buy a low end 3:1 pitch twin loop wire binding machine (the supplies are cheaper). This being said, if you have one of the older Ibico binding machines that has a wire closer included you are in luck. The Spiral-O binding supplies that we carry will work perfectly with your machine and you will be able to use both plastic combs and wire depending on your needs. These Spiral-O binding supplies are available in Black, Silver, White, Blue and Red and in sizes up to 1″ in diameter.If you aren’t sure what type of wire binding supplies that you need to work with your machine simply give us a call. Our trained sales representatives will be glad to help you find the correct supplies for use with your machine.(Read More)