What are my options for binding legal-sized documents?

posted this on Jun 30, 2015

Does your company do a lot of Legal Sized Binding? Or maybe you only do a few legal sized documents but you want to make sure that the binding machine that you buy can handle 14″ long documents. Either way, this article is designed to help you understand the options available on the market for binding legal sized documents. Here is a quick overview…

  1. Plastic Combs: The most common method for binding legal sized documents is with plastic combs. Combs are available as a standard item in black and can easily be ordered with a little bit of lead time in other colors. There are a also a few different legal sized comb binding punches available on the market including the Tamerica Durabind 242 , the Akiles CombMac and the Akiles line of Combo Machines that bind both wire and combs. However, if you don’t have a plastic comb binding machine that is long enough to punch your legal sized documents you may still be able to bind your documents. You will simply have to punch the documents in two steps and possibly have to insert the five extra rings by hand.
  2. Twin Loop Wire: Although many of the wire-binding machines on the market are capable of handling legal sized documents, the trick with wire is getting the elements in 14″ lengths. Fortunately, wire can be ordered cut to almost any length including legal size. However, in order to ensure that the element matches the punching pattern on your document you will first want to punch one legal sized document and count the number of holes. You can simply order your spines so that they are cut to the exact number of holes you need.
  3. Spiral Coil: One of the least expensive methods of binding legal sized documents is with spiral coil. Coil can be purchased in virtually any length and is available in more than 60 different colors. If you want to bind legal sized documents with spiral coil you will probably need to order 15″ long spiral coil to ensure that you have enough coil on each end to easily crimp your books. Not all of the spiral coil binding machines on the market have the ability to punch 14″ long books. However, the Akiles CoilMac, CoilMac ECI and CoilMac EPI have a feature that allows you to flip your books over to punch legal documents (and other documents longer than 12″) in two passes.
  4. Velobind: GBC Hot Knife binding systems are some of the only binding systems that are ready to bind legal sized documents out of the box. GBC manufacturers legal sized 1″ thick Black strips that can used in the System One, System Two and System 3 Pro machines. However, it is important to recognize that these strips are only available for books up to 1″ thick. If you need to bind a document larger than 1″ you may need to look at plastic comb binding as an option.
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