Features To Look For In A Wire Binding Machine

Wire Binding MachinesWire binding is one of the classiest and best-looking book binding formats available today. When done correctly, twin loop wire almost appears to defy the laws of nature. Wire binding is commonly used for binding reports, presentations, books and more. So what should you look for when buying a wire binding machine? Here are a few tips that should help you out.

Features To Look For In A Wire Binding Machine

  1. Binding Pitch – Wire binding machines come in 3 different hole patterns. These hole patterns are 3:1 pitch (3 holes per inch), 2:1 pitch (2 holes per inch) and Spiral-O (19-ring wire). The 3:1 and 2:1 pitch are the most popular hole patterns. Some wire binding machines come with multiple punching dies, making it possible to bind in 2:1 or 3:1 pitches.
  2. Paper Size – The majority of wire binding machines can easily handle letter size 8 ½” x 11″ paper. If you are wire binding legal size documents (14″) or larger, you will want to get a machine that either has a wider punching width a machine is open ended.
  3. Punching Capacity – Each wire binding machine has a maximum punching capacity. This amount is the absolute maximum amount of sheets you can punch before breaking or jamming the machine. Most wire binding machines punch anywhere from 8-20 sheets of paper, depending on the make and model.
  4. Book Thickness – Be sure and determine the maximum thickness you need for your books prior to purchasing a machine. Be aware that 3:1 wire can only bind up to 9/16″ of paper and 2:1 pitch up to 1 ¼” of paper. Spiral-O 19-ring wire handles about 1″ of paper.
  5. Margin Depth – Different diameters of wire require holes to be punched at different depths in the paper. This capability is known as an adjustable margin depth. Not all wire binding machines have this capability. I, for one, really like this feature.
  6. Disengageable Dies – If you plan on binding non-standard paper sizes, or smaller lengths of paper, you may want a wire binding machine with disengageable punching dies. This will allow you to disable specific punching pins, which will allow you to eliminate half-punched holes that often show up on the edges of non-standard paper sizes.
  7. Machine Durability – How durable do you need your machine to be? Wire binding machines come in plastic, aluminum and heavy-duty steel designs. Many machines implement a combination of the three. Most heavy-duty steel machines hold up better when used continuously throughout the day. If you are only binding a few books a day, machine composition may not be as big a deal as plastic and aluminum machines typically cost less.
  8. Wire Closer – If you find a wire binding machine that doesn’t come with a wire closer, don’t buy it. A wire closer is 100% needed to complete the wire binding process. Wire closers, however, can be purchased separately if needed. Machines that have wire closers (which is most models) come in different configurations. Some require you to eyeball how far the wire has closed where other machines allow you to dial in the wire radius you are using for an even “close” every time. I personally like it when the wire binding machine allows you to set the wire diameter. Wire that has been closed too much or too little can cause some serious problems.
  9. Electric or Manual – Wire binding machines are often available with manual or electric punches. While the end results look the same either way, electric wire punches are better for higher-volume binding. If you are only binding a few books a day, a manual wire punch is probably more than enough.
  10. Foot Pedal – If you are buying a wire binding machine with an electric punch, you may want to consider a machine with a foot pedal. Foot pedals allow for hands-free punching, which is really nice when binding a lot of books.

You can find our entire selection of wire binding machines here and our entire selection of wire binding supplies here. Good luck with your wire binding! If you still have questions, give us a call at 1-800-658-8788.

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