MyBinding Knowledge Base
Comparing the Fellowes Starlet and Star Comb Binding
Choosing a plastic comb binding machine can be a difficult process, especially since there are so many different makes and models available. One of the best names in the business is Fellowes, an office machine company that’s known primarily for their paper shredders. However, they also produce some great binding units, including the Star and Starlet plastic comb binding machines. These two products look very similar and they share many of the same features. So how do you know which one to choose? This article will look at both machines so you can make a decision about which one you should buy for your office: the Fellowes Starlet and Star Comb Binding Machines.
The Fellowes Starlet is a basic plastic comb binding machine that’s made for people who don’t bind documents very often. This machine can punch up to seven pages at once and bind documents that are 90 pages long. The largest binding comb it can handle is a half-inch one, so this isn’t a good machine if you need to bind thicker booklets. The Starlet has a comb selection guide and storage tray, an upright document loader that ensures your document will be bound properly, and it comes with a two-year warranty. Plus, the teeth on this thing are made of metal, which is atypical for a basic comb binding machine. The Starlet retails for less than $100.00, so it’s definitely affordable even in this economy, and it closes up so you can store and transport it without difficulty. However, it does lack some advanced features such as disengageable dies and an adjustable dept of punch margin control. This means you won’t be able to create custom-length booklets. However, if you just need a basic binding machine, chances are you don’t need such features anyway.
The Fellowes Star binding machine is meant to be a step up from the Starlet and it’s available for just over $100.00. It has many of the same features as the Starlet machine such as a comb storage tray and an upright document loader. It also looks very similar to the Starlet, so at first glance, it’s very difficult to tell them apart. But the Star outperforms the Starlet in two key areas: punching and binding capacity. It can punch 10 pages per lift and it can bind documents that are up to 150 pages long using combs as thick as 3/4″. Unfortunately, the Starlet doesn’t have disengageable dies nor does it have an adjustable dept of punch margin control, so if you need those features, you should get a machine such as Fellowes’ Galaxy comb binding machine.
The Starlet and Star plastic comb binding machines are both well-constructed units and carry the prestigious Fellowes name. If you’re wondering what machine to get, it’s pretty clear that you should go with the Star. It costs only a few dollars more than the Starlet and it offers more binding and punching power. It’s likely that once you start binding your documents with a plastic comb binding machine, you’re going to want a machine that can do more. Therefore, investing in a Star right off the bat would be a wise decision. Don’t you think?
< 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)