Why waste when you can reuse, right? So, can you live up to this statement when it comes to bookbinding? Believe it or not, some binding machine formats can be reused, where others cannot. If you are interested in reusing your binding supplies, whether it be for financial or environmental reasons, I would like to introduce you to some of the most reusable binding formats amiable. Binding formats I will cover include comb, wire, coil, VeloBind, ProClick and thermal. You can find all of our binding machines here.
There are many reasons why people want a reusable binding format. For one, it is nice to be able to reuse binding supplies rather than simply throw old bound documents away. It is more affordable to do this and ultimately it means less waste, which in turn is more environmentally sound. Reusable binding supplies often also mean you can add or remove pages from an already bound document.
I am going to start by listing the most reusable binding formats to the least reusable.
- Comb Binding (found here) – Comb binding has literally been around for decades. I remember handling and using comb bound books when I was going to elementary school back in the 80s. This binding format uses a spring-loaded spine that can be opened and closed using a comb opener, typically found on the top of the machine. Comb binding continues to this day to be THE least expensive binding format around, which includes the machines and the supplies. These machines are affordable enough that they can be used for business, school or even home use. The supplies are available in a variety of sizes and colors and can be used to bind small reports or thick books.
- ProClick (found here) – ProClick, from GBC, uses a proprietary binding element that uses a similar hole pattern to twin loop wire. The binding element opens and closes using a special tool. The end results look class. The supplies “zip” open and closed and can be reused multiple times over. This binding format has a loop like format. The only downside is that the machines and supplies are proprietary to GBC, which means they aren’t very common or easy to come by. Other binding formats also have better color selection.
- Coil Binding (found here) – This is by far the most popular binding format used today. The supplies are extremely durable, the colors are vast and the size range is broad. Coil allows pages to turn 360 degrees, lie flat and can be used for binding small presentations or large manuals. This binding format is semi-reusable. You can clip the ends off of the coil and spin it back out, allowing it to be re-used. The only catch is that the element (now clipped shorter) cannot be used with the same size sheet of paper. It will have to be used with a smaller book. That is a pretty huge catch, which is why most people don’t reuse their coil supplies, but it can be done. The PVC coils can be recycled.
- Wire Binding (found here) – I have had many many people ask me lately if twin loop wire can be re-used. Simply put, it cannot. Wire binding is literally bent into place. The wire element itself is made from a single piece of wire. Removing the wire element results in the destruction of the wire. The good news is that the wire isn’t hard to remove and a new wire can be easily inserted and closed. Wire binding is a classy format, and it looks great, but the supplies cannot be reused.
- Hot Knife VeloBind (found here) – Velobind is a fairly permanent bind. It uses heat to literally melt the prongs to the back strip. The VeloBind System 3, however, does have a debind feature that will use heat to soften the plastic prongs and strip, allowing it to be removed. The removed strip, however, cannot be reused. Having used this machine and the debind feature myself, I can safety say that the debind feature is quirky at best and the debound book often does not come out of the process looking good.
- Thermal Binding (found here) – Thermal binding machines use glue to bind paper. The glue is thermally warmed up, causing the glue to liquefy. When the glue is soft, it sticks to the paper. As the glue cools it hardens and the binding process is complete. You cannot remove the glue…period. It is a permanent bind. The only way you could possible salvage a document and rebind it would be to cut the glue bound spine off of the book using a stack paper cutter (found here).
As you can see, comb binding (which happens to be one of the most affordable) is still the king of binding formats when it comes to reusability. ProClick and coil follow soon after. At ABC Office, we offer a huge selection of book binding machines that can be found here. If you still have a question about one of the above-mentioned binding styles, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We also repair binding machines. If you have a binding machine that isn’t working properly, we may be able to fix us. You can reach our binding machine Service Department by calling 1-800-658-8788 x129.
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