Features To Look For In A Coil Binding Machine

Coil Binding MachinesCoil binding is increasingly becoming one of the most preferred book binding formats a available. Sometimes referred to as spiral binding, coil bound books are durable, pages turn a full 360 degrees and coil binding can be used to bind reports, presentations, booklets and more. So what features should you look for in a coil binding machine? Here are some tips that should point you in the right direction.

Features To Look For In A Coil Binding Machine

  1. Machine Pitch – The pitch of a binding machine is the hole pattern that particular machine uses. Coil binding is available in two different hole patters. These are 4:1 pitch and 5:1 pitch. The “pitch” you choose will depend on the hole spacing you like and the thickness of your book. Once you select a hole pattern, you will need to be sure you use supplies with the same hole configuration.
  2. Round or Oval – While round holes are by far the most common available for coil binding, some newer Akiles machines now feature oval holes. Oval holes are supposed to make coil insertion and page turns a little easier.
  3. Book Thickness – How thick a book will you need to bind? A 4:1 pitch can bind a book up to about 1 ¼” of paper where a 5:1 pitch binds a book up to about 13/16″ thick.
  4. Page Size – Most coil binding machines are used to bind letter-size paper. Some machines, however, can bind legal size and larger documents. Be sure to check the maximum page length of a machine before making a purchase. Some coil binding machines are open ended, which means you can punch paper, slide it over and punch it again.
  5. Margin Depth – If you are binding books of varying thicknesses, you may need a machine with an adjustable margin depth. I have found with coil binding (versus wire or coil), margin depth isn’t quiet as big a deal. This is because there are more holes, providing more stability to the bind. An adjustable margin depth is nice, however, if you are binding thick books. Punching deeper into the paper should help prevent pages from accidentally tearing out.
  6. Disengageable Punching Pins – While most people bind  8 ½” x 11″ books with coil, some of you may want to bind a custom cookbook or booklet. If you are binding odd-size paper, a disengageable punching pin will help you to disable dies that may otherwise punch a half hole on the edge of the document.
  7. Machine Construction – As with most binding machines, you will usually find coil binders made from plastic, aluminum, steel or a combination thereof. Build quality will affect the longevity of your machine. Steel will last longer and is best for high-volume binding. Aluminum and plastic components are better for light to medium-volume binding. Some machines feature steel gears and components with a plastic shell. Looks can be deceiving.
  8. Electric Inserter – Electric coil inserters are rubber wheels or rollers that are used to spin coils through punched paper. About 65-70% of the machines out there feature an electric coil inserter. While you can manually insert coils through punched holes, an inserter can quadruple (or more) coil insertion speed. I personally love having an electric inserter.
  9. Coil Pliers – Be aware that you will need coil-crimping pliers to finish the coil binding process. Many machines come with pliers, but an equal number don’t. Be sure to check whether or not your machine comes with pliers. If your machine doesn’t have crimping pliers, they can be purchased separately. I have even heard of people using wire snips to cut and crimp coil.
  10. Electric & Manual Punch – Coil binding machines come with manual and electric punches. The style of punch you use will depend on preference, budget and output capacity. If you are binding high-volume amounts of books, you may want to consider using an electric punch. If you are only binding a few dozen a day, a manual punch should be more than enough.
  11. Foot Pedals – Foot pedals, whether for an electric inserter or paper punch, allow for hands-free operation. Hands-free operation is awesome when you are binding a lot of books per day.

You can find our entire selection of coil binding machine here and coil binding supplies here. Feel free to speak with one of our coil binding experts by calling us at 1-800-658-8788.

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