MyBinding Knowledge Base
Comparing the GBC CombBind C12 and Fellowes Star Comb Binding Machines
When it comes to comb binding machines, GBC and Fellowes make some of the best. GBC recently released a new device: the CombBind C12. We took a look at this machine alongside the Fellowes Star to see how they compare and if one has a distinct advantage over the other. Please continue reading to find out what we noticed.
Punching and binding capacities: The C12 can punch up to 12 sheets of paper at a time and it can bind documents that have a maximum of 200 pages. It’s compatible with combs up to 1” thick. Meanwhile the Star can only punch 7 sheets and bind up to 150 with 0.75” combs. Clearly the C12 has the better punching and binding capacities, but the Star also has a vertical punching mechanism, something the GBC device lacks. Vertical punching ensures your pages will be aligned properly and the holes will be in the right place.
Ease of use: Both of these machines are more or less entry-level devices and are pretty easy to use. They both have ergonomically friendly D-shaped handles for easy punching. And they also have comb selector guides to take the mystery out of choosing the right comb. However, the C12 has something the Star doesn’t: step-by-step instructions printed directly on the device. That makes the machine ideal for beginners because the instructions walk you through the entire process.
Size and appearance: The Star and C12 are on the small size. The Star’s approximate dimensions are 3” (height) x 18” (weight) x 10” (depth) while the C12 approximately measures 8” x 18” x 17”. Each machine is pretty modern-looking although the GBC device looks a bit better thanks to its black and silver color scheme.
Odds and ends: Neither one of these devices has disengageable dies which isn’t too surprising since they’re lower-end machines. The Fellowes device does have a comb storage tray that the C12 lacks as well as an adjustable rotary edge guide that will help you align your pages.
Price and warranty: Both of these devices are available for less than $115.00 so they’re great for people who are on a budget. The Star has the better warranty – it offers two years of coverage. The GBC device comes with only one year of protection.
With the exception of the punching and binding capacities, the GBC CombBind C12 and Fellowes Star are actually pretty similar. They both look modern, are pretty compact, have D-shaped handles and comb selectors, and they’re reasonably priced. As for which one is right for you, it depends on what you want. The GBC device is great for beginners (thanks to the on-board instructions) as well as people seeking higher punching and binding capacities. On the other hand, the Fellowes machine would be good if you want something with an adjustable rotary edge guide and a two-year warranty. Both of these products are high-quality and come from respected manufacturers, so no matter which one you choose, you’ll be getting a terrific binding machine. Choose yours today.
< 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)