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What are some tips for using my comb binding machine?

posted this on Jul 14, 2015

Whether you’re new to your comb binding machine or have been doing it for a long time, there’s no doubt about it: it’s one of the easiest binding methods around. However, just because it’s relatively easy, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do to make the process even easier. That said, here are five things you should keep in mind when using one of these devices.

1.) Emptying the chip tray is essential. It may sound like a no-brainer, but emptying your machine’s chip tray is important. It will make the whole process easier and it will reduce wear and tear on your device. That’s because if there are too many chips in the tray, punching will become more and more difficult, and you could eventually break some (or all) of the punching dies. That could lead to expensive repairs or you may even have to purchase a whole new machine.

2.) Lower the number of sheets you punch. Speaking of punching, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t try to punch too much at once. Your machine has a maximum punching capacity which can be as low as 5 sheets or as high as 25 or more. But just because your machine can theoretically handle that much paper, that doesn’t mean it should. It’s easier on the dies to punch smaller amounts so if you do that, you’ll find that your machine will last much longer. Also, take special care when punching plastic covers and don’t do more than one or two at a time. Plastic covers can really wreak havoc on the dies if there are too many of them.

3.) Use the adjustable margin control if your machine has it. Some comb binding machines have an adjustable margin control feature. What this does is let you control how far away from the edge of the paper your holes will be. This is important because if the holes are too close, the pages can be easily ripped out. However, if they’re too far away, it will be very difficult to turn the pages. So adjust the margins. Your books will be easier to read and the pages will be less likely to fall out.

4.) Be careful when opening the comb. When you go to open your comb, be careful when doing so. If you open it too far it’s just going to go flying off the comb opener and could potentially hit someone in the eye. Not only could that be dangerous, it means you have to open it all over again.

5.) Insert your pages in small groups. When it’s time to actually bind your book, you’ll want to place the pages in the comb in small groups rather than just as one big stack. Trying to insert all the pages at once is difficult and it can be frustrating if it doesn’t work the first time. If you insert the pages in smaller groups, your work will be much easier.

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