What should I look for in a manual comb binding machine?

posted this on Jul 7, 2015

If you are in the market for a manual plastic comb binding machine, you might be wondering how to pick the device that’s best for your needs. To help you out, here are the five features you should look for.

  • The right punching length. Most of the comb binding machines on the market are designed for letter-sized paper (8.5” x 11”). There are some devices that are larger so you can bind documents of varying sizes. Usually these machines can handle paper that’s up to 14” long, so you can create legal-sized documents (8.5” x 14”). Choose a device that will be able to handle the paper you want to use.
  • Disengageable dies. A good comb binding machine will have disengageable dies. Machines with disengageable dies are suitable for binding work of various sizes because they’ll punch the correct hole pattern. If you don’t disengage the appropriate die(s), you will probably end up with a partial hole at the edge of your paper.
  • Depth of punch margin control. A depth of punch margin control is an essential feature that you should look for. This feature allows you to control the distance between the edge of the paper and where the holes are punched. Adjusting this distance will help you create documents that are easy to read because the pages will turn freely. Also, this feature makes it easier to bind short documents as well as work bound with oval combs.
  • Durable construction. Since you’re putting out good money for your comb binding machine, it’s important to choose a device that is durably constructed. The most durable machines contain metal parts and can withstand years of use. Whatever machine you choose, it should definitely have a metal comb opener since this feature will be used frequently.
  • A good warranty. Finally, the comb binding machine you select should have a good warranty. Comb binding machine warranties can last anywhere from 90 days to a year or two. Be sure to find out if the warranty is replacement one or of the return-and-repair variety. Replacement warranties can be more convenient because you’ll be able to get a new machine so you can stay productive.
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Can I use wire with my comb binding machine?
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< 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)

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