Which Is Best? 5:1 or 4:1 Pitch Spiral Coils

Intelli-Bind IC310 Spiral / Coil Binding MachineI spoke to a customer today who wanted to buy a spiral binding machine, but had no idea which hole pattern to go with. He asked me, “Should I go with 5:1 or 4:1 spirals?” I went over a few of the pros and cons with him. Here is a summary of my response.

First of all, once you choose a hole pattern, you have to stick with it. A 4:1 pitch machine cannot use 5:1 pitch coils and vice versa. There are machines out there that can punch both types of holes, made by Akiles, but this is the exception, not the norm.

I personally think both types of spiral binding look great, but here is what you will want to consider prior to making a purchase:

4:1 Pitch Spiral Coil Hole Pattern4:1 Spirals / Coils – The 4:1 pitch hole pattern is currently the most common and popular hole pattern used today. This equals four holes punched per inch of paper.  A 4:1 pitch spiral binding machine can typically bind up to 1 ¼-inches of paper, which is pretty significant. These types of spirals are available in a wide variety of colors and are used to bind reports, booklets, presentations and more.

5:1 Pitch Spiral Coil Hole Pattern5:1 Spirals / Coils – The 5:1 pitch hole pattern is less common. Some people like this. I have had many customers tell me that they prefer the “tighter” look of a 5:1 pitch. This hole pattern equals five holes per inch of paper. A 5:1 pitch spiral pattern can bind up to 13/16-inch of paper. Because the holes are closer together, the 5:1 cannot bind as many sheets as the 4:1 pitch hole pattern.

While more machines are made in a 4:1 pitch hole pattern, you can still easily find 5:1 pitch machines. You can find our entire selection of spiral / coil binding machines here. You can find our entire selection of spiral coil supplies here.

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