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You are being redirected to ABC Office. Why? has joined their sister company ABC Office to provide our customers with a greater product selection, while offering the same great prices and service you have come to love and expect!If you have questions or concerns during this transition please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788, or email us at sales@abcoffice.com.


Archive for the ‘Binding Machines’ Category

What to Look for in a Paper Padding Press

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Paper Padding PressPaper padding presses (found here) are simple yet highly effective tools when it comes to creating your own scratch pads and notepads. They can pad a wide range of paper styles and types. While these machines are ultimately simple in design, there are a lot of differences from one model to another. Having spoken to several customers over the years regarding these presses, I have come up with a list of features you may want to consider having when purchasing a machine.

To begin with, padding presses are essentially clamping mechanisms that help keep paper in place while applying glue. Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? Many people, after receiving their presses, are often surprised to see that some of the models out there are nothing more than a few slabs of wood, a few hardware clamps and some piping that has been fitted together to create a support or frame.

Some people even make their own padding presses. One thing I can tell you about our manufacturers is that they have years of experience making these tools and they work very well. I still recommend using a manufactured padding press when making your own notepads. With that said, here are a few features you need to be aware of when shopping around.

  • Capacity – All padding presses are rated by the capacity of paper they can handle. This is usually measured in inches. An example would be the Blane Graphics Mini 2 (found here). It has a 12 ½” padding capacity. That means you can put up to 12 ½” of paper in it at a time. Those large pads can later be cut down into smaller pads. Some of our larger padding presses can pad dual stacks of paper (side-by-side) for even more capacity.
  • Size – Be sure the padding press you buy can handle the sheet size you’re padding. A larger padding press can still be used to pad smaller sizes of paper. The reason I bring this up is that some padding presses are only 4 ½” wide and can’t pad letter-size paper. Just be sure the padding press you buy fits your paper.
  • Padding Press with Swivel BaseSwivel Base – This is a feature I personally like. A swivel base allows the padding press to be easily rotated 180 degrees to allow you to easily apply glue to the back of the paper. Padding presses without a swivel base require you to either go to the other side of the table to apply the glue or manually turn the entire padding press around, which can be laborious. The Blane Graphics Superpad padding press (found here) is a good example of a press with a swivel base.
  • Tilt Base – In order to get the paper two square up properly, it needs to be jogged. This is necessary for the glue to be applied evenly and for the pad to look professional. While you can use a paper jogger prior to placing the paper in the press, some manufacturers have gotten creative using a tilt base. A tile base uses gravity to naturally square up the paper. Most padding presses are set at an angle for this purpose, but it is a feature you may want to look for. The General Graphic PP-2 padding press (found here) is an example of a press with a nice tilted base.
  • Material – This isn’t quite as important in purchasing a machine, but you should be aware that most padding presses are made mostly out of wood. Some, especially those made by Martin Yale, are made from metal. While metal is nice, the wood padding presses hold up remarkably well.
  • Glue Padding glue (found here) is available in both white and red colors and in pint or gallon containers. The glue usually takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes to try depending on how thick you put it on. Some people like to leave the padding press for 30 minutes to an hour in order to ensure everything has dried properly.
  • Tools – There are a few padding tools (found here) you may want to buy for your padding press. This includes the glue, a padding brush, a pad counter (aka paper stabber) and a pad knife. The padding brush is used to apply the glue, the pad counter makes it easy to separate large padded stacks into equal smaller pads and the padding knife is designed to make it easy to cut the glue on larger pads into smaller pads. I recommend you at least have glue and a brush for your padding press.

This is how a padding press works:

  1. Put the paper in the padding press.
  2. Tighten down the paper clamps to keep the paper held tightly in place.
  3. Remove the back jogging plate from the padding press.
  4. Apply the glue to the back of the notepad.
  5. Wait for the glue to dry.
  6. Loosen the clamps
  7. Remove the paper.

It really is that easy. The longest part of padding your own notepad is the glue drying time.

Here is a video demo of a padding press in use:

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If you want to create your own scratch pads and notepads, you should seriously consider using a paper padding press. The machines themselves are pretty cheap, but they can literally be used for years. I have heard of people with a padding press over a decade old that are still using them as if they were new. I have found that schools, doctor’s offices and other businesses like to use padding presses. You can find our entire selection of padding presses here.

We have been selling padding presses since 1980, so we have a lot of experience on using them and choosing a good model. Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to your padding questions. If you own one, or have some additional advice, please feel free to post that information right here as a comment. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Best Electric Wire Binding Machine for the Money – Intelli-Bind I23W

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Intelli-Bind I23W Electric Wire Binding MachineWire binding is considered by many to be one of the classiest and nicest looking book binding formats around. For this reason, it is extremely popular for binding presentations and reports. If you are binding several books a day, or need something that makes punching paper easier, the Intelli-Bind I23W (found here) is an excellent option. It is also one of the cheapest electric wire binding machines on the market, costing hundreds of dollars less than comparable machines.

There are a lot of reasons why the I23W is such a good machine and a great option for you. To begin with, it is made of metal components. Even the casing is made out of metal, where many other manufactures have opted to go with a cheaper plastic housing. Even the wire closer handle on this thing feels like it was forged in a steel factory from WWII America. It is tough, which may also account for the heavy 85 pound shipping weight. All this metal goodness is a nice thing though and really helps it hold up with continuous use.

The I23W is a dual format wire binding machine. This means it can be used with 2:1 pitch twin loop wire or 3:1 pitch twin loop wire. The pitch of the wire is the amount of holes the machine punches per inch of paper. A 2:1 pitch creates about 22 holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper and a 3:1 pitch pattern is about 33 holes. The 3:1 pitch is the more common format used today, due to its tighter hole configuration, but the 2:1 pitch is popular for binding thicker books due to its higher sheet capacity. It is nice to have the luxury of using one or the other in the same machine.

The punching on this machine is all done with an electric motor. Up to 20 sheets of paper can be placed in the machine at a time. With the press of a button, the I23W will punch square holes into the paper. The margin depth on this machine can be adjusted to set the punched holes closer to the edge of the paper or farther into the paper. Individual holes can also be disabled or enabled using the build-in selectable punching pins (aka disengageable dies).

While the hole punching process is fully electric, the wire closing process is manual. There are few electric wire binding machines out there with an electric wire closer. One reason is because closing the wire with a handle is just as fast and easy (in many cases faster) than using an electric closer. All you need to do to use the wire closer is dial in the diameter of the wire you are using, insert the spine of the book into the closer and pull the handle (found on the left side of the machine). The wire closer, once the diameter is set, wont over close or under close the wire. The results are extremely professional.

The I23W can be used with all standard diameters or 2:1 and 3:1 pitch wire. It can also be used to punch holes in card stock, poly covers, clear covers and other types of paper. It is extremely versatile. As of this article, the I23W costs just $622, where the next closest metal build wire binding machine is the Akiles WireMacE, which comes in at $1626. That’s over $1,000 in savings on a machine of similar quality.

If you have questions about the Intelli-Bind I23W, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of electric wire binding machines here.

Can A Binding Machine Handle Clear Covers, Card Stock and Chipboard?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Intelli-Bind IB850 Electric Comb Binding MachineI recently had a conversation with a customer who was buying a comb binding machine (found here). They asked me if the comb binding machine they were looking at could be used to punch non-standard paper items such as clear covers, card stock and chipboard. While capacities can vary from machine to machine, my answer to them was yes. I did have a few bits of advice, however, that you should take into account when punching thicker materials with your binding machine.

  • Binding Clear Covers (found here) – Most wire, coil and comb binding machines can handle clear covers. All binding machines have a maximum sheet capacity that they can handle. This sheet capacity is based on standard 20# bond paper. Because clear covers are made of a different material and are sometimes thicker, you may not be able to punch as many at a time. I recommend you start by punching just one clear cover to start with. See how that goes and increase the amount until it starts to become difficult. The most important thing is to not strain the binding machine.
  • Book Binding CoversBinding Card Stock (found here) – Card stock, often called binding covers or report covers, are often used on the back and sometimes the front of a bound document. As is the case with clear covers, I recommend that you scale the punching back to just one sheet until you can get a feel for how your machine handles it. Most binding machines can handle card stock. I have punched everything from paper-based card stock up to synthetic polypropylene covers without issue. I have even punched laminated paper without a problem. If you are concerned your card stock cover may be too thick, send in a sample and we can test it out.
  • Binding Chipboard (found here) – Punching chipboard with your binding machine can be iffy depending on the machine and how thick the chipboard is. The chipboard we offer is about 20 mils thick (0.021″), which is thin enough that most binding machines can handle it. The only downside is that some people out there offer some very thick chipboard that will not work with all machines. As far as chipboard is concerned (unless you are buying ours), I recommend sending in a sample to have tested prior to making a binding machine purchase.

The best thing about using clear covers, card stock and chipboard for binding books is you can add your own touch and personality to the finished product.  Most book binding machines are very versatile and you shouldn’t have any problem. We stock much of what we sell, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788 to have your samples tested or to ask a question. You can find our entire selection of binding machines here.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Coil Binding

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Coil Binding MachinesSo you’re interested in coil binding, but you have a whole lot of questions that need answering before you make a purchase? That’s OK. When it comes to investing $100s to potentially $1000s of dollars in a binding machine, you should know everything there is to know about the format. I have over a decade of experience with coil binding machines (found here) and I would like to share some of that information with you.

To begin with, coil binding is a book binding format that uses coils (often called spirals) that have a spring-like appearance. Have you ever used a spiral notebook? That is a type of coil binding, which uses metal coils. The binding I am going to talk about in this article is very similar except that it uses PVC plastic coils instead of metal.

Coil binding has some huge perks over other book binding formats. Here are just a few of the reasons coil binding has become so popular over the last few years:

  • Coil BindingPages Lay Flat – Due to the nature of coil binding, coil bound books can be opened and will lay flat on a table. This makes coil binding excellent for instructional information such as manuals and cookbooks.
  • Pages Turn 360 Degrees – That’s right! Pages on a coil bound book will wrap around a full 360 degrees. This is excellent for reading and accessing information. I have a manual for an old 1979 VW diesel rabbit that was coil bound. I loved it because I could turn right to the section I needed, wrapped the page around and laid it on the front of my car while doing automotive work.
  • Durability – Plastic PVC binding coils are extremely durable. In situations where comb would fall apart or wire would bend, PVC binding coils hold up. You can drop coil bound books or step on them and they just seem to hold up.
  • Customization – Plastic PVC coils are available in over a dozen different colors and are available in several different diameters. This makes it possible to bind a book that is just a few pages thick or something that is a hundred pages thick. This customizability makes it possible to bind a book that is unique and classy.
  • Affordability – Plastic binding coils are affordable and readily available.

So what types of coil binding machines are there and which is best for you?

  • Manual Punch Coil Binding Machines (found here) – Manual coil binding machines have a punch that is manually operated. This is usually done via a lever located on the right side of the machine. Manual punch machines usually vary from 10-20 pages per punching pass, depending on the machine. This style of book binding machine is ideal for low to medium-volume book binding.
  • Electric Punch Coil Binding Machines (found here) – Electric punch machines have an electric motor that punches the paper. This requires little manual effort and is ideal when binding a lot of books throughout the day. Most electric punch machines have a food pedal that activates the punch although some use a button and others uses a combination food pedal / switch.
  • Electric Coil Inserters – Some manual and most electric punch machines have what’s known as an electric coil inserter. These inserters are designed to quickly spin coil through pre-punched holes. The process is extremely fast and is far quicker than manually inserting coils.
  • 4:1 Coil Binding Pitch PatternPitch – Coil binding machines come in either 4:1 pitch or 5:1 pitch hole patterns. The pitch is how many holes are punched per inch of paper. This means a 4:1 pitch machine has four holes per inch of paper. Once you purchase a machine 5:1 Pitch Coil Binding Hole Patternwith a punch set in a certain pitch, you need to make sure the supplies (found here) you purchase are the same pitch. Unfortunately 5:1 pitch supplies will not work with a 4:1 pitch machine and vice versa. The 4:1 pitch is the most popular used in the United States.

Which brand should you use? I have used many brands of coil binding machines. Some work better than others and some hold up better than others. From personal experience, I can safely say that personally like Akiles and Intelli-Bind. Both brands are reliable and seem to hold up well with continuous use.

Would you like to see a coil binding machine in use? Here are video demos of manual coil binding machines and electric coil binding machines. These videos should give you a good idea as to how these machines work:

MANUAL COIL BINDING MACHINE

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ELECTRIC COIL BINDING MACHINE

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You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here and coil binding supplies here. We also have a great step-by-step guide on how to use a coil binding machine that you can find here.

If you still have questions about coil binding, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We have over 30 years of experience with coil binding and would love to help point you in the right direction.

How to Create Your Own Binders Full of Women

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Binders full of WomenIf you have been watching the presidential debates lately, following Twitter or if you’re up on the news, you may have heard about Mitt Romney’s “Binders full of Women” comment. Regardless of whether you are a Republican or Democrat, and regardless of where you fall on the topic, you can easily create your own binder or book by using a book binding machine (found here). While you probably won’t actually use it to bind lists of women for hiring purposes, at ABC Office we offer a great selection of binding machines that can be used for creating presentations, reports, presentations, manuals and more.

There are three major types of book binding machines that are most commonly used in businesses, schools, government and other organizations. These are comb, wire and coil. They can all be used to create presentations, books, manuals and reports. While there are obvious aesthetic differences between them all, they are also small functional different as well. I would like to briefly cover the differences between all of these binding styles.

These are the three formats I recommend:

  • Comb BindingComb Binding (found here) – Comb binding is one of the oldest and most recognizable book binding formats. It has literally been around for decades. Supplies are cheap and extremely easy to find. Comb binding machines use a 19-ring plastic binding comb. It is called a 19-ring comb because a total of 19 comb fingers are inserted into rectangular-punched holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper. Comb binding elements are available in diameters up to 2″ and can be re-opened for adding or removing pages. Mitt Romney would probably love a comb binding machine because he could easily remove or insert pages much like a three-ring binder.
  • Wire Binding Wire Binding (found here) – Wire binding is often considered the “Professional” binding format. This is because the metal look and feel of a wire bound document looks high quality. The wire is inserted through round or square punched holes (depending on the machine) after which the wire is closed, sealing the bind shut. Wire binding comes in two primary formats. These are 2:1 pitch and 3:1 pitch (two holes per inch and three holes per inch). If you own a 3:1 pitch machine, you have to use 3:1 pitch coils. Unfortunately they are not interchangeable. This is a more permanent bind and pages cannot be removed or added without destroying the bind and adding a new binding element.
  • Coil Binding Coil Binding (found here) – Coil binding, frequently called spiral binding, is one of the most durable and easy-to-use binding formats. Modern coil binding uses PVC coils, which come in a wide variety of colors and diameters. They don’t bend, don’t easily break and allow pages to lay flat or completely wrap around. Coil binding is one of my personal favorites and many people use this for binding manuals, reports, cookbooks, scrapbooks and a lot more. The supplies are reasonably priced and the machines are easy to use.

These are the three most common binding formats we offer, but we also have a great selection of VeloBind machines, ProClick machines, thermal binding machines and more. You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here. We have over 30 years of experience with binding machines, so if you have a question, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788. We are more than happy to help answer your questions. There is no such thing as a bad question when it comes to office equipment. Have a great day!

Hot Melt Glue Pellets for Perfect Binding

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

vIf you are using a perfect binding machine, you may be using some sort of hot glue to bind notepads and books. Perfect binding machines often use hot glue because it can quickly soak into paper and solidifies usually under a minute. This allows for quick binding, especially on an industrial level. If your perfect binding machine uses hot glue, you may be in need of some hot melt glue pellets (found here). Be aware, quality matters when it comes to hot glue pellets.

At ABC Office, we have an older Standard BindFast 5 on our showroom floor that we use to bind booklets and pads of paper. It works well and I really wish Standard Duplicating Machines still produced the machine. The good news is we are still able to provide adhesive glue for the BindFast 5. The even better news is that the same glue pellets we use for our BindFast 5 will work on most other perfect binding machines that use thermal glue.

I’m not entirely sure how these hot glue pellets are made other than they have the feel and consistency of the glue you would find in a hot glue gun. It almost looks like they took tiny glue sticks and cut them up into pellets. These pellets are sold in ½ gallon containers or in a 50-pound box. The reason I like these pellets is that they are easy to pour and use. Once in the machine, they melt quickly. In liquid form, the glue is completely clear.

Something I really like about the Standard glue pellets is that they are really high quality stuff. We have imported and tried no-name pellets and they just didn’t hold up to the Standard pellets. The no-name pellets actually produced a really bad smell and some smoke. The Standard hot melt glue pellets don’t produce much of a smell if any and they don’t smoke (under correct operational temperatures).

You can find our entire selection of hot melt glue pellets here.  If you have questions about perfect binding, or if you need help finding the correct supplies, please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788.

Pages Keep Falling out of Comb Bound Books

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Comb Binding SuppliesI recently had a customer call and speak to me who was concerned that their comb binding supplies simply weren’t working. While she didn’t buy the supplies from us, I thought I would ask a few questions to see if I could determine if the combs were faulty or if there were perhaps other issues at hand. After a few minutes I think we discovered the problem.

You can find our high-quality comb supplies here.

You would be surprised how many people I have spoken with who complain about pages falling out of their comb-bound books. Comb binding itself is actually a really solid bind, but there are a few things that can lead to poor results later down the road. After speaking with the above-mentioned customer, we discovered that she was using comb supplies that were too small for the books she was binding.

Over capacity isn’t always the reason for pages falling out of a comb bound document. There are several possible issues. Here are a few of the most common issues I have found:

  • Overuse – Remember, comb binding supplies are made out of plastic. While they can be re-used and pages can be added and removed, the process of opening and closing combs will eventually where the comb fingers out. As is the case with anything made of plastic, bending it back and forth will weaken it. After you have used a comb several times, the plastic fingers will be more prone to slipping back open. If you are having problems with your re-used combs losing pages, you may want to consider disposing of the old comb and using a new one.
  • Over Capacity – Binding combs are rated to hold specific amounts of paper. Many people try to buy just one size and use it for everything. The only problem is that if you bind a book to “bulging” over capacity, the comb’s fingers simply can’t keep that amount of paper secure for long. If you are binding a book to capacity, try using a slightly larger diameter comb. I suspect you will be much happier as a result.
  • Poor Quality – Believe it or not, there are varying degrees of quality with comb supplies. At ABC Office we try to stock only the good stuff. We have, in the past, brought in supplies from different sources and found some of them to be sub par and chose to get rid of them. Poor quality combs are usually made from cheap plastics or from thing gauge plastic. If you’re combs are having problems from the get go, you may want to try a different brand (preferably ours).
  • Improper Use – While comb binding is a great binding method, it does have its limitations. Comb bound books do not wrap a full 360 degrees like a coil bound book. If you try opening a comb bound book to far, or try wrapping the page, it will cause the comb to open and pages will fall out. Most people can see theses limitations simply by handling a comb bound book or by knowing the limitations ahead of time.
  • Comb Binding Alternatives – If durability is what you are looking for, and comb simply does not seem to be working for you, I would recommend you consider coil binding (found here) or VeloBinding (found here). Both of these methods are extremely tough and ultimately hold up a little better than comb.

Please fee free to contact us at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to more comb binding questions. We have over 25 years of experience and are more than capable of help you find the correct machine for your application. I hope you have found this article helpful.

Overview of the Akiles WireMac-E 2:1 & 3:1

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Akiles WireMac-E 2:1 & 3:1 Pitch Wire Binding  MachinesProfessionals that frequently use binding machines (found here) know that not all binding machines are created equal. Some book binding machines have simple function features that are pretty straight forward, they have one style hole-punch, and one style of binding, and only fit one style of document. While other book binding machines have more complex bells and whistles in order for user to customize the machine for the unique specifications of a particular book or document.

If a company is only in the market to purchase a single binding machine then the purchasing agent needs to be aware of these differences so they don’t purchase a machine that is so basic that it won’t accommodate all their book binding needs. Likewise, it wouldn’t be prudent to purchase a machine with a lot of superfluous “whiz-bang” features that may never be utilized.

Fortuitous for purchasing agents, there are binding machines like the Akiles WireMac-E (found here) that offer an alternative to the ultra-simple and ultra-complicated. The Akiles WireMac-E is a heavy-duty twin-loop wire binding machine that offers a complete system of functions that are useful for every common book binding task and improve the end-user experience.

The hole punch mechanism of the Akiles WireMac-E binding machine can be easily adjusted from a 2:1 to a 3:1 pitch ratio to handle the capacity size of the document, booklet, journal, prospectus, report, guide, manuscript or periodical being bound together. The lower ratio will generally be the better choice for documents with a large number of pages.  In fact, the recommended capacity for the 2:1 ratio is over 250 pages, or 1 1/4 inch width, compared to the 225 pages or 9/16 of an inch width for the 3:1 ratio.

The Akiles WireMac-E binding machine is constructed with heavy-use die punches. Each of the punch dies can be engaged or disengaged to ensure that each punch will be clean and complete regardless of the size of paper being used. Some user features that the Akiles WireMac-E binding machine uses to make operation easy and concise include the side margin control, diameter scale and punching margin control. These features ensure that each punch will be consistent throughout the document, reducing the probability of user-error. The open punching throat enables various sizes of papers to be used in the machine. This paper compatibility feature is a real time saver and improves operator productivity.

The Akiles WireMac-E binding machine is designed to punch through 20 sheets of paper per punch and is built to handle commercial volume workloads. As such, the hole-punch mechanism is electric and operated by foot pedal. This allows the operator to free up his or her hands to continuously feed stacks of paper into the hole punch, or being attaching the binding wire.  The diameter scale on the binding machine helps to eliminate waste and improve production by indicating which size binding element that should be used to complete the document, based on its size.  The wire holder and wire closer control features on the Akiles WireMac-E holds the binding wire in place and makes the insertion through the pages of the document a much easier  process for the operator.

The Akiles WireMac-E binding machine was developed and produced by Akiles Products, Inc.  Based in California, Akiles Products manufactures some of the top selling binding and laminating equipment on the market.

Get the features you need without paying for the features you don’t. You can find the Akiles WireMac-E by visiting us here. Please don’t hesitate to call and speak with one of our Binding Machine Specialists at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Akiles DuoMac 421 2-in-1 Wire and Coil Binding Machine Review

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Akiles DuoMac 421 Two-in-One Coil and Wire Binding MachineTwo of the most common and popular binding methods used today is coil binding (found here) and wire binding (found here). Both of these formats are used to bind reports, presentations, books, manuals and more. While both formats look great, it can be a bit costly to buy two “good” binding machines, not to mention the amount of space it takes up on a desk or table. The solution to this problem is to use what’s known as a combination or 2-in-1 binding machine. One solid machine you may want to consider using is the Akiles DuoMac 421 (found here).

Akiles is easily one of the best known manufacturers of book binding machines. Their CoilMac is the best selling coil binding machine to date. That just goes to show you how desirable their machines are. Three of their most popular lines of binding machines include the MegaBind, WireMac and CoilMac. Why are their machines so popular? It has a lot to do with the build quality and just how easy the machines are to use.

The Akiles DuoMac is a line of combination 2-in-1 binding machines. This includes coil / wire, comb / coil, comb / wire and many other combinations. Many of the DuoMac machines look like something concocted in Frankenstein’s laboratory. While these machines are literally a mish mash of multiple machines into one machine, they work remarkably well.

I decided to review the DuoMac 421 because it combines comb and wire, which are very popular right now. Not only does it combine these two formats, it combines the most popular hole patterns in both. The DuoMac 421 has a 2:1 pitch twin loop wire punch and a 4:1 pitch coil patter. The pitch is the amount of holes the machine punches per inch. A 4:1 pitch, for example, has four holes punched per inch of paper. Once you have a machine with a specific hole pattern, you need to make sure you purchase supplies that correspond with that pattern.

The DuoMac 421 has a coil binding punch on the front and a wire binding punch in the back. Both of the punching handles are located on the right side of the machine (a plus for those of you who are right handed). The two handles don’t get in the way of each other and each are leveraged to easily punch through up to 20 sheets of paper at a time. It can also be used to punch through clear covers (found here) and binding covers (found here).

The coil punch has five disengageable punching pins and the wire punch is completely disengageable. This is awesome if you like to punch sheet lengths of various sizes. It eliminates half-punched holes along the edge of the paper.

The wire punch has a 14″ punching length and the coil punch has a 13″ punching length. Both punches are open ended, which means you can actually punch longer lengths of paper by simply sliding the paper out the side of the machine and punching again.

The Akiles DuoMac 421 has a wire closer on the front of the machine, including a convenient wire hanger. The lever on the left-side of the machine is used for closing wire. Simply adjust the wire closer to coincide wit the diameter of wire you are using. This will ensure that the wire is closed perfectly. You never want wire to be under closed (pages fall out) or over closed (looks bad and pages are hard to turn).

Unfortunately this machine does not have an electric coil inserter. Based on my own capabilities, I am able to manually spin a coil through punched holes in about 20-30 seconds, which isn’t bad, however, it isn’t as fast as an electric inserter (3-5 seconds). A free pair of coil crimping pliers is included, which is a nice value in and of itself.

Overall I have to say that this is a solid piece of machinery. If you are a business, school, church or organization that wants a two-in-one machine, this is definitely one to consider. It takes up a much smaller footprint than owning two machines and is perfect for binding a few dozen to a few hundred books a day.

You can find the Akiles DuoMac 421 here and our entire selection of two-in-one binding machines here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with questions or post your question here as a comment. Happy binding!

Top 8 Best Manual Coil Binding Machines

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Intelli-Bind IC410 Manual Coil Binding MachineThe hottest type of binding for 2012 is coil binding (found here). This versatile and easy-to-use binding format can be used to bind presentations, cookbooks, reports, manuals and more. While this all sounds great, which machine should you use for your own coil binding operations? There are a lot of machines out there. Some of them are garbage and others are diamonds in the rough. Which machine should you use? I would like to visit 8 machines that have a great reputation with our customers.

Coil binding, often referred to as spiral binding, is a way to bind pages of paper together using spring-like PVC plastic coil binding elements. These coils spin through punched holes in the paper. Once the coils have been spun through the holes, the ends are cut and crimped off using a tool called coil-crimping pliers. The entire process takes just a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the experience level of the operator.

There are many reasons people choose coil over wire or comb. To begin with, pages bound in coil can turn a full 360 degrees. This makes access to bound literature extremely easy. This binding format also allows books to lay flat open on a table or surface. This again makes reading and handling easy.

Akiles iCoil 41+ Coil Binding MachineCoil binding comes in two different hole patterns. The hole pattern is referred to as the pitch. A 4:1 pitch coil binding machine punches 4 holes per inch of paper and a 5:1 pitch coil binding machine punches 5 holes per inch of paper. The 4:1 pitch can bind more paper than the 5:1 pitch as the holes are spaced farther apart. If you don’t plan on binding more than about an inch of paper, either hole pattern will work for you (matter of preference). Once you settle on a hole pattern, you will need to be sure the supplies you buy match up with the hole pattern of your machine.

So which machines should you consider buying? I will list of 8 best sellers, but first I would like to familiarize you with a few reliable brands. If you’re shopping for a machine, consider a brand like Akiles, Tamerica, Intelli-Bind or Renz. These four brands are solid machines.

These 8 machines are what are known as manual coil binding machines. This means the punching is done by manually pulling a handle. The coil insertion process, however, is often still done with an electric motor while still being called a “manual” machine. Without further wait, here is my list.

Top 8 Best Manual Coil Binding Machines (Sorted by lowest to highest price)

I have hands-one experience with each of these machines. They’re solid. You won’t be disappointed. That said, you should still get a machine that is appropriate for the amount of books you are binding per day. If you would like to bind several hundred books a day, you may still want to  consider going with an electric coil binding machine (found here). Electric punches help speed up the process and require less manual effort to bind a book.

At ABC Office we offer a huge selection of coil binding machines (found here) and coil binding supplies (found here). We have been selling coil binding machines for over 30 years and have the experience and the knowledge to help you find a good machine. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

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