I have spoken with many people who were looking for a binding machine, but had one small (yet very important) requirement. They wanted to be able to add or remove pages from their bound document later down the road. While this can be done, the binding style you use will be the ultimate determining factor on your post-binding modification capabilities.
So which book binding styles and formats are easiest and hardest for debinding? I am going to cover comb, wire, coil, Velobind and thermal binding and their debinding properties. Hopefully this will help you in your decision to buy a book binding machine.
Binding Machine Debind Capabilities
Comb Binding – Comb binding may be one of the best debind binding formats. This is because the plastic combs used in comb binding can easily be re-opened and closed over and over again. The spines themselves can easily be removed from old documents and be re-applied to new documents.
Wire Binding – Wire binding is probably one of the least friendly debind binding formats. Wire that has been closed can be removed, but it will be completely ruined in the process. Wire can then be re-applied to the document, but it will require a new binding element.
Coil Binding – Coil binding elements (aka spirals) are very easy to remove from documents, but cannot be re-used. Simply snip off the end of the coil and spin it back out of the holes. A new coil can then be re-inserted through the holes. I have personally had to do this myself after discovering that my bound document needed a few additional pages.
Velobinding – The Velobind process produces a very permanent bind. While there are some Velobind debind tools available, the process can potentially destroy the document. I’ll explain.
I’ll use the GBC VeloBind System Three as an example. This machine has a built-in debind feature. You essentially place your bound document in the machine and it will re-warm the 11 sealed posts and make them soft, allowing the back strip to be pulled off. The only problem is that the ends of the posts, after the back strip is removed, end up in a “mushroom” positing that can tear up the Velobind punched holes as the posts are removed. I have seen it work and fail. I don’t recommend Velobind if you intend to remove or re-add pages later down the road.
Thermal Binding – Thermal binding uses hot glue that literally soaks into paper to keep it attached to the spine. As a result, the pages cannot be removed without tearing them out. You’re best result for re-binding thermally bound documents is to cut off the spine by using a stack cutter. Those pages can later be re-bound, although they’ll be about 1/8″ to ¼” shorter in width. My verdict on thermal binding and debinding: Possible? Yes. Practical? No.
In conclusion, comb binding is probably going to be your best bet for adding and removing pages. Hopefully these tips will help you find the right binding machine. As you can see, some binding machines have better debind capabilities than other machines. You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here.
If you still have some questions that are not addressed in this article, please feel free to call 1-800-658-8788 for more advice and information. Our Customer Service Associates are extremely knowledgeable and courteous.