MyBinding Knowledge Base
Comparing GBC CombBind C12 and James Burn SmartBind
GBC recently released a brand new comb binding machine call the CombBind C12. This is a machine that has a lot of great features and we wanted to see how it compared to similar device, the James Burn SmartBind. Here’s a side-by-side look at these products’ features (binding capacity, size, price, etc.) so you can decide if one is right for you.
Punching and binding capacities: The SmartBind and C12 share the exact same punching and binding capacities. These machines can punch up to 12 sheets of paper at once and bind books that contain no more than 200 pages. Combs up to 1 inch thick can be used with these devices. If you want a machine with a vertical punching mechanism, go with the SmartBind because the C12 doesn’t have one.
Ease of use: The C12 has the upper hand in this category for a number of reasons. First, it has an ergonomically friendly D-shaped handle that can be easily used by both right- and left-handed people. The SmartBind’s handle is located on the right side of the device so left-handed people might have trouble using it. Also, the GBC device has instructions printed right on it so you won’t have to go digging for the owner’s manual if you run into problems. James Burn’s product lacks this feature which makes it better suited for more experienced binders.
Size and appearance: Both of these machines are pretty compact so they’re not going to take up a lot room in your workspace. The SmartBind’s approximate measurements are 3” (height) x 15” (width) x 13” (depth). Meanwhile, the C12′s approximate dimensions are 8” x 18” x 17”. It also looks great because it’s sleek, black, and has a couple of bursts of color on it. It’s really modern-looking and will look great in a variety of environments. The SmartBind has a blue and white color scheme and while it looks fine, it’s not as eye-catching as the GBC device.
Odds and ends: The SmartBind has a built-in handle so it’s pretty easy to transport. However, the C12 has a comb selection guide that the James Burn device lacks. The guide is right on the front of the device and it’s color-coded so it’s easy to use.
Price and warranty: Both of these products are pretty reasonably priced. They’re available for less than $150.00 and are backed by one-year warranties.
When you look at the GBC CombBind C12 and the SmartBind side-by-side, it’s clear that the former is the better product. Sure, both of these products have similar punching and binding capacities, they’re on the small side, and they’re inexpensive and come with one-year warranties. But the SmartBind’s handle could use some improvement (it should be D-shaped) and it lacks the on-board instructions the GBC machine has. Plus, the GBC product looks great and is much more visually interesting than the other device. While there are some good things about the James Burn product, the C12 is definitely the machine to get, so take a look at it 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)