What Pitch Do I need for Coil Binding?

posted this on Aug 25, 2015

In the article conveniently titled: “What Does Pitch Mean?” we describe in full detail what pitch means. For a quick reminder: the pitch refers to the number of holes per inch. If you go to our spiral coil page you’ll see that there are 7 pitch sizes. Most of those are specialty; if you’re looking for a machine, almost all the options used in the USA are 4:1 machines. So, if you have a coil binding machine you probably don’t have much of a choice--95% chance you will need 4:1 coil.

4:1 coil--two options(43 hole and 44 hole)?

If you’re browsing through machines, you’ll see 4:1(43 hole or .250) and 4:1(44 hole or .248). They use the same coil, so there is no worry there. The difference is only a visual appeal--with 44 hole, the holes come closer to top and bottom edges of the page. This provides a tighter, more full look that some may prefer, but some may like the extra space of 43 hole. In the end, it’s not a huge difference.

 

3:1 coil used with 3:1 wire binding

If you have a wire binding machine or proclick punch already you don’t need to purchase a coil punch machine. 3:1 coil gives you the availability to use the wire binding punch. The only downside to this is that the holes are square, and not rounded. You also either need to bind it by hand or purchase an inserter. But it is a great option for that special project if you already have another style of binding machine.

 

2.5:1 coil used with 2:1 wire binding

If you have ever tried to insert coil onto a large document (over one inch) you know just how difficult it can be.  Sort of like putting a slinky on the edge of a book.  2.5:1 pitch coil is made of thicker filament (plastic) and is used with a 2:1 or 2.5:1 (only available on specialized large auto punches).  The thicker coils and smaller number of holes makes inserting a breeze.  Definitely worth a try if you do many large documents and have a 2:1 punch.

 

5:1 coil

You can find one or two 5:1 machines out there for an even tighter look than the 44 hole 4:1 coil. Again, this is a visual option. It’s NOT more expensive, and it has the same color selection as the very common 4:1.  5:1 coil is sometimes referred to as 5mm and is most common outside the USA.

 

3.2:1 coil

This is mostly used with industrial coil machines, but can be used with 3:1 wire. It is only available in larger sizes, but it’s made of a harder plastic.


6mm coil

This coil is the equivalent to 4:1 pitch but is mostly sold in European countries.  If you have a 6mm machine you can special order this pitch or if you prefer just order standard 4:1 pitch and use that (you will probably save yourself a few dollars).


Turbo Coil

BIG projects? Turbo coil is a thick coil, but it requires specific machines to punch.  Like 2.5:1 it is designed for documents larger than 1 inch and is made specifically to make inserting easier.  The holes for this pattern are larger and oval shaped to allow pages to turn easier on your document.  This is a huge favorite with larger print shops that coil bind big, thick documents.

 

Our Recommendation?

We recommend going with 4:1 coil. If you need a machine and don’t care if the punch pattern is 44 hole or 43, just choose whichever machine you like the most in your price range.

Key Points:

  1. Your safest bet--4:1 coil.
  2. Have a wire binding machine? Try 3:1 or 2.5:1 coil depending on your machine.

 

Recommended products and other links:

Coil Binding Machines: https://www.mybinding.com/binding/binding-machines/coil-binding.html

Spiral Coil: https://www.mybinding.com/binding/binding-supplies/spiral-coil.html

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