Comparing GBC CombBind C12 and James Burn SmartBind

posted this on Apr 25, 2016

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.

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