Binding Machine Glossary – Popular Book Binding Terms

Book Binding MachinesSo you’re looking for a binding machine, but don’t know what all the terms mean? No worries. I have been involved in the binding machine industry for over a decade and have come up with a list of common terms and their definitions. This should help you out.

Binding Machine Glossary

  • Combo / Combination – A combination book binder is a machine that can bind books using multiple binding formats and techniques. The most common combination binding machines can bind in both comb and wire formats.
  • Compound – Compound is a term used to describe paper padding press glue & adhesive.
  • Diameter – The diameter is used to describe the size of a binding element. This term is used with comb, wire and coil binding.
  • Dies – Dies are the sharpened pins that are used to punch holes in paper.
  • Disengageable Dies – Disengageable dies are dies that can be selected and enabled / disabled by the operator. This is ideal for cutting down on half-punched holes.
  • Double-Loop – Double loop is another term used for wire binding. This is because the wire has the appearance of two double wire loops per hole.
  • Edge Distance – The edge distance is the amount of clearance there is from the side of a sheet of paper to the first punching pin on a binding machine. Most binding machines have an adjustable edge distance.
  • Hole Pattern – The term hole pattern is used to describe the distance between holes. Different binding machines utilize different hole patterns.
  • Hole Shape – Different binding formats utilize different hole shapes. Wire binding, for instance, may have a square, round or rectangular hole. Coil binding may have a round or oval-shaped hole. Comb binding always has a rectangular hole.
  • Hot Knife – Hot knife is used to describe a VeloBind machine. Part of the VeloBind process involves a hot knife that cuts of excess prongs and seers remaining prongs to a back strip.
  • Inserter – Coil binding machines often use what’s referred to as an inserter. This inserter is typically electric and spins coins through pre-punched holes.
  • Margin Depth – The margin depth is the distance that holes are punched from the edge of a sheet of paper. Not all binding machines have an adjustable margin depth, however, it is a nice feature to have when binding several different book thicknesses.
  • Modular – A modular binding machine is a machine that is built up from a punching base. Someone who has a comb binding base may want to buy a modular comb opening attachment.
  • Multi-Format – These types of binding machines are capable of binding books using different binding formats. The most common type of machine is one that binds books in either comb or wire.
  • Pitch – The pitch is the distance between holes. Wire binding uses 2:1 (two holes per inch), 3:1 (three holes per inch) and 19-ring patterns. Coil uses 4:1 (four holes per inch) and 5:1 (five holes per inch) pitch patterns. Comb is 19-ring (19 holes along 11-inch sheet of paper). Be sure the supplies you buy for your machine fit the pitch your machine uses.
  • Punching Capacity – The punching capacity is the amount of sheets that can be punched at any given time. The punching capacity typically goes down when thicker paper is punched.
  • Selectable Dies – A machine with selectable dies allows the operator to enable or disable specific punching pins. This is idea for binding custom-size books and eliminates annoying half-punched holes.
  • Twin-Loop – This is a term used to describe wire binding. This is because wire binding creates the look of twin loop wires in each punched hole.

So there you have it. Some of the most common binding terms used in the industry. Hopefully this has helped clarify a few things for you. If you still have questions, please feel free to call one of our binding machine specialists at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here.

Keith Barlow

Keith is a third generation office equipment expert. ABC Office was started by his grandfather back in 1980 and he is proud to be caring on the values that made ABC Office what it is today… unsurpassed selection, detailed information, low prices, and courteous support.

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