What supplies do I need to bind my documents with comb bindings?

posted this on Jul 7, 2015

Plastic comb binding is easy, affordable, and it can help you produce great-looking documents. However, before you can use this binding method, you’re going to need to have some things to get started. Check out what you need to start binding with plastic combs.

  • Paper. One of the most important things you need to get started with plastic comb binding is your paper. Chances are you’ll be using 8.5” x 11” (letter-size) paper for your document which is just fine. Most of the available machines can handle this size. You can use white 20 lb. bond or you could used colored paper. If you want to use different sizes of paper, such as legal-size (8.5” x 14”) make sure your machine can handle it. (We’ll talk about binding machines in a moment.) If you want to save time, you can purchase sheets that have been punched for use with comb binding machines.
  • Covers. Using the right covers is an important part of producing a professional-looking document. For one document, you’ll need a front and back cover. There are many different types of covers to choose from including leatherette, regency, recycled poly, and even holographic ones if you want to give your work a unique look. Covers come in a variety of thicknesses and colors such as black, red, blue, and so on. Clear covers are particularly helpful because readers will be able to see the title of your document. They also look great.
  • Binding combs. If you’re going to use a bookbinding machine, you’re definitely going to need plastic binding combs. As you’re probably aware, most combs are about 12” long for use with letter-sized documents. The combs come in different thicknesses so you can bind short and long documents. (The thickest combs can bind up to 425 pages.) Different colors are available as well. There are some combs that are made for use with legal- and half-sized sheets if you want to avoid using letter-sized paper. However, if you want to work with those combs, you need to look for a machine with a couple of special features. Which brings us to….
  • The machine. Finally, you’re going to need to select a machine. The most basic elements of a device are the paper punch, comb opener, punching handle, and punching dies. Most machines can handle letter-sized paper. That said, you should look for a machine with disagreeable punching dies and an open throat so you can work with different sizes of paper. Some optional features that can make your job easier include a comb selector, adjustable depth of punch settings, and so on. Make sure you check out the device’s punching and bookbinding capacities before buying anything. You want to make sure you get a machine that can work with your supplies.
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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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