MyBinding Knowledge Base
What features should I look for in a comb binding machine?
If you’re looking for a good comb binding machine, you’re probably wondering how you can choose one that will fit your needs. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to do. You just need to do a little bit of research and consider the following things:
- Punching capacity. Just about all comb binding machines have hole punches built into them and that’s because a letter-sized document needs 19 holes punched in it before it can be bound. You should choose a machine that can punch a reasonable amount of sheets per punch. “Reasonable” depends on the thickness of your documents. It could be as low as 5 sheets per lift or as many as 25.
- Comb size. In order to determine what comb sizes are right for your needs, document thickness is key again. Combs range in diameter from 3/16” (10 pages) to 2” (425 pages). Not every machine can handle every comb, so it’s a good idea to choose a device that can accommodate a variety of sizes.
- Design and construction. The design of a comb binding machine is an important consideration. Not so much because the look of the device matters, but because a well-designed machine will be easier to use. For example, it’s good to choose a binder with a D-shaped handle so both left and right-handed people can use it. Some machines also have directions printed on them which makes operation a snap. Also, you should choose a device that features metal parts as plastic implements can break rather easily.
- Special features. There are a number of special features that may interest you. If you plan on binding a lot, a device with an electric punching mechanism can save you a lot of time. Rotary edge guides and depth of punch margin control can help you punch the holes more easily and produce stronger documents. And a vertical punching mechanism can help you align your paper properly. Finally, a comb storage tray will give you extra space for your supplies.
- Warranty. Finally, you need to check out the warranties of the machines that interest you. High-quality binding equipment can be pricey, so you want a device that comes with a good warranty. A good warranty is one that lasts for at least six months. Most of the reputable binding machine manufacturers (GBC, Fellowes, etc.) offer great warranty coverage, so it won’t be too hard to find a device with the right coverage.
< 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)