Archive for the ‘Binding Machines’ Category

Do Comb Binding Machines Exist with Electric Comb Openers?

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Electric Comb Binding MachinesAbout 11 years ago I used to work for the Federal Government. In the mailroom they had a comb binding machine. I believe it may have been an Ibico, however, I was unfamiliar with makes and models (nor did I care) at the time. It looked like something from the 80s. I do remember that binding machine had an electric comb opener. I used the machine to bind a few reports and presentations as needed. One thing I do remember is that the motor that powered the electric opener was pathetically underpowered and had a bad habit of stopping in the middle of the process.

As fate would have it, I have had customers ask me if we offered a similar machine. Just today I had a customer looking for a comb binding machine that had an electric comb opener. The problem they ran into is that they couldn’t find any machines with that capability. Comb binding machines were aplenty, but models with an electric opener weren’t around. She asked me if I knew of any.

Having researched this myself, I can tell you that some models do still exist with an electric comb opener, but none from well-known manufacturers that I’m aware of. There is a good reason for this. It is faster to use a manual comb opener than an electric comb opener.

While the punching portion of comb binding requires a lot of effort (hence the advantage of an electric punch), the comb opener requires little effort. Even with the electric comb openers the operator is still required to place the comb on the opener’s fingers by hand. The only difference is that with the electric opener you push a button and wait, where the manual version requires you to tilt a tiny lever.

Even the most robust and complex Akiles, Renz, Tamerica and Intelli-Bind electric comb binding machines still have manual comb openers. This is because, as I have mentioned earlier, manual comb openers are faster and have fewer issues.

You can find our entire selection of manual comb binding machines here and electric comb binding machines here.

Can you Manually Close Wire or Reuse Wire for Book Binding?

Friday, December 9th, 2011

If you have a wire binding punch, lack a wire closer on your binding machine or simply want to speed up binding operations, you may wonder if you can manually close twin loop wire by hand. It is a question I get from customers from time to time. I have also had customers ask if they can reuse the wire. I will answer these questions and more in this article.

Twin Loop Wire Binding Supplies

Having personally tried to close wire using my hand. Can it be done? Yes. Does it look good? No…absolutely not. The problem is that a wire closer, used with most wire binding machines, closes all the rings of wire at the same time, providing a nice and even look. Closing each individual loop (32 loops with 3:1 pitch and 21 loops with 2:1 pitch) results in each loop being closed a little more or a little less than the next or previous loop. To put it simple, it looks horrible.

Twin Loop Wire BindingSo can you open wire and reuse it? Unfortunately this is not a possibility either. Having tried this myself, I can vouch for the fact that it is impossible. While I have seen some wire binding machines that include a wire opener, that actually does an OK job, it still never looks as good as a new wire binding element. The problem is that opening the wire causes kinks, crimps and gets fatigue spots in the wire that never look right, even when the wire is re-closed. It is also extremely hard to remove wire from a wire bound book by hand. It can easily rip and damage the document in the process.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but twin loop wire binding is not forgiving. If you need to be able to reuse or reopen a binding element, I recommend you consider using a comb binding machine. Coil binding, while it can be re-used, is easy to remove if you need to add or remove a page.

You can find our entire selection of wire binding machines here, wire binding supplies here and book binding machines here.

Akiles WireMac-Combo Binding Machine Review

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Akiels WireMac-Combo Wire / Comb Binding MachineAre you having trouble settling on either comb or wire binding? Do you feel that you have reports, presentations or books that could benefit from both binding styles? If you are torn, or are having trouble making a decision, you should consider the Akiles WireMac-Combo (found here). This book binding machine can be used to bind books using comb or wire. I have used this machine and this is my review.

Akiles is known for making some of the best binding machines out there. Having used over a dozen different models of Akiles machines myself, I can tell you that I personally like using them over GBC, Fellowes and many other brands. The build quality is simply some of the best I have ever seen in an office machine. The WireMac-Combo falls right in line with this tradition.

The WireMac-Combo is literally made from all-metal construction. Everything from the outer shell of the machine to the inner guts to the handles are made from metal. There are a few wood and plastic trim pieces, but I would say that at least 90% of the machine is made from metal. That really means something in a world where plastic seems to be replacing metal. Head to head, metal always wins over plastic.

The WireMac wire binding machine and the Akiles MegaBind are two great machines. The WireMac-Combo takes these two machines and smashes them into one unit. The end result is pure engineering genius. The WireMac-Combo has to separate and unique punching dies. One die punches paper in a 19-ring plastic comb hole pattern and the other punches paper using a 2:1 pitch or a 3:1 pitch hole pattern (depending on the version of the WireMac-Comb you go with).

Two separate punches mean you never have to worry about swapping out dies. Everything is right there in one machine. The WireMac-Combo also includes a manually operated wire close and a manually operated plastic comb opener / closer. While this may sound very complicated, and the picture of the machine may seem intimidating, it is actually pretty easy to use. Just remember, while there are 4 different handles on the machine, you will only ever use 2 of them when binding a book. Two of the handles are for wire and the other 2 are for comb.

The WireMac-Combo doesn’t just bind books using twin loop wire or plastic comb. It also includes a wide range of “luxury” features. This includes an adjustable margin depth (for the punches) and independent disengageable dies. This allows you to turn of individual punching pins, making custom book binding easy. This feature essentially cuts out the dreaded “half punched” hole. The base of the punching dies also feature a printed diagram showing you where the holes will be punched.

The WireMac-Combo also includes gauges, diagrams and tools that ensure proper binding. This includes a wire closing gauge that keeps the closer from under or over closing the wire.

This machine is excellent for use in an office or copy center. While a robust machine (20.5″ x 27″ x 20″), it will easily sit on most desks or tables. It is a little heavy, weighing in at 64 pounds, it can still be easily moved around by a couple of people.

Having used this machine, I would like to personally vouch for its quality and longevity. This machine is built to last and will easily hold up to daily use. Simply put, our customers love this machine.

You can find the Akiles WireMac-Combo wire and comb binding machine here and our entire selection of book binding machines here. Please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Akiles WireMac Wire Binding Machine Video

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Akiles WireMac Wire Binding MachineIf you’re considering purchasing the Akiles WireMac, you may want to see how it works. Having used this machine myself, I can vouch for the fact that it is a solid machine and is easy to use. A few years ago we shot a detailed video demo of the WireMac in use. I will include that video in this article.

Before I show you the video, I would like to explain why the Akiles WireMac is such a popular machine with our customers. To begin with, it has been around for some time and has developed a stalwart reputation with our customers. It is very common for this machine to literally last for years without experiencing any issues.

You can buy the WireMac in two different hole patterns. The most common is the 2:1 pitch, which is two holes per inch. This size is the most common because it can be used to bind the thickest books. The 2:1 pitch hole pattern can bind up to 1 ¼” of paper at a time. The 3:1 pitch, which has a tighter hole pattern (3 holes per inch) can only bind up to 9/16″ of paper. Both patterns look good, and if you don’t need to bind over ½” of paper, either format will work for you.

The Akiles WireMac itself is one of the best-built machines we offer. It features durable metal construction, which includes the innermost components. It features fully disengageable punching pins, an adjustable margin depth and much more.

This is a video demo of the Akiles WireMac in use.

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As you can see from this video, the WireMac is a pretty slick machine. Not only does it do a great job binding presentations, reports and booklets, but it looks great too. It is heavy enough to hold its own, yet is light enough to be used on just about any desk or countertop. Simply put, this is a great deal and a great option for binding paper.

You can find the Akiles WireMac binding machine here and our entire selection of wire binding machines here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Different Types of Akiles WireMac Binding Machines

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

The Akiles WireMac is one of the most popular wire binding machines in the United States. These machines are used to bind reports, presentations, books and much more. You will find the WireMac in businesses, schools, churches and other organizations. We currently offer 4 different variations of the WireMac. This article will explain the differences between each.

Types of Akiles WireMac Binding Machines

Akiles WireMac Binding MachineAkiles WireMac (2:1 or 3:1) – The first and most common version is the standard Akiles WireMac (found here). It is a manually operated machine and is available in a 2:1 pitch hole pattern or a 3:1 pitch hole pattern. This wire binding machine is completely manually operated. It includes a handle for punching paper and a separate handle for closing the wire. It features fully disengageable punching dies, an adjustable margin depth and a dial that sets the wire closer (prevents over closing or under closing wire). This is the most popular WireMac. This is because it is the least expensive, yet still features an extremely durable metal frame and shell.

Akiles WireMac-Combo Binding MachineAkiles WireMac-Combo (Comb / Wire) – This version of the WireMac combines both 2:1 wire and comb or a 3:1 wire and plastic 19-ring comb binding. The Akiles WireMac-Combo (found here) features a wire punch and a comb binding punch. Also included is a wire close and a comb opener / closer. This is especially nice for people that don’t want to settle on any one binding format. While this machine is completely manual, it is easy to use and is fast to operate. This machine is robust, powerful and is made from durable metal construction. It also features disengageable punching pins, an adjustable margin depth and much more.

Akiles WireMac-Duo 2:1 / 3:1 Binding MachineAkiles WireMac-Duo (2:1 & 3:1) – If you can’t settle on a wire binding hole pattern, you may want to consider the Akiles WireMac-Duo (found here). This version of the WireMac features both a 2:1 pitch and a 3:1 pitch punching die. This allows you to create reports using a tighter hole patter (3:1 pitch) or a wider spaced hole pattern (2:1 pitch) that allows for thicker books. It can also punch through clear covers, card stock and standard paper. This is a great wire binding machine for a business environment due to its versatility. The WireMac-Duo is a very popular binding machine. It is both affordable and features a superb build quality.

Akiles WireMac-E Binding MachineAkiles WireMac-E Electric Wire Binding Machine (2:1 or 3:1) – If you really like the WireMac, but need to increase your binding output, you may want to consider using the Akiles WireMac-E (found here). This version of the WireMac features an electric punch and a manual wire closer. This machine is available in either a 2:1 pitch hole pattern or a 3:1 pitch hole pattern. Unfortunately, as of the writing of this article, there is no WireMac-E-Combo that combines both hole patterns. This wire binder features a foot pedal for hands-free operation and can punch 20 sheets of paper at a time. This machine is a beast and will easily keep up with your daily wire binding operations.

The WireMac line of wire binding machines has an excellent track record with our customers. As long as you know the differences between the models, you should be very happy with your purchase. I personally love selling Akiles WireMac machines because I know that I won’t have to worry about customer service issues later down the road. I personally recommend that you invest a little extra money in a WireMac that will easily last for years, versus a slightly cheaper machine that may last 1 year.

You can find our entire selection of Akiles wire binding machines here. Please feel free to contact one of our customer service representatives at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions. We are more than happy to help you find the right machine. You are also more than welcome to post your question as a comment at the end of this article.

Best GBC VeloBind Machine for You

Monday, November 28th, 2011

GBC VeloBind System One Binding MachineGBC VeloBind machines provide a professional and nice looking bind. Having used VeloBind myself to bind several reports and presentations for college, I can vouch for the fact that they make a great impression. Few binding formats beat a VeloBound document with a nice clear cover front and a card stock back cover. So which machine should you purchase for your business or copy center? There are 4 viable options available and these are my recommendations.

Four Different VeloBind Machines:

Before you purchase a GBC VeloBind machine, there are 2 primary questions you need to ask yourself:

How thick are your documents? VeloBind machines are modeled and designed to handle a maximum thickness. The System One can handle 1″ of paper, the System Two can handle 2″ and the System Three can handle 3″ of paper. It is a pretty straightforward system. The larger machines, such as the GBC System Three Pro, can also handle 2″ and 1″ strips. The larger machines are all backwards compatible.

If you don’t think you will ever need to bind a book thicker than 1″, and you don’t need an electric punch, the VeloBind System One is going to be more than enough for you. If you need to bind up to1 ½” of paper, you’ll need a VeloBind System Two (etc…).

GBC VeloBind System Three Pro Book Binding MachineHow many books do you need to bind per day? Hot Knife VeloBind machines are partially automated. The cutting and heat sealing of the VeloBind strips is all automatic. The punch, however, is not electric on all the VeloBind machines. The Tamerica V200-Pro (SecureBind) and the GBC VeloBind System One both feature a manual punch. The GBC System Two and System Three Pro both have electric punches.

If you expect to bind more than a few dozen books a day, you may want to consider using an electric punch. This will be faster and will cut down on operator fatigue.

Customer Favorite – Having used all of the GBC VeloBind machines and the Tamerica V2000-Pro Secure Bind (SecureBind is Tamerica’s version of VeloBind), I have to say that the System One is my favorite simply because it is affordable and does a great job. That’s not to say that the System 2 or System 3 Pro are bad, they just aren’t as popular with our customers.

The Tamerica V2000Pro is a good alternative to the GBC System Two, however, I would personally go with the GBC System One over the Tamerica V2000-Pro for 1″ binding.  I personally think the GBC VeloBind machine is a slightly better built machine.

You can find our entire selection of VeloBind book binding machine here and our 11-prong hot knife VeloBind strips here.

Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any of your VeloBind questions. Have a great day!

Types of GBC VeloBind Strips / Number of Prongs

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

GBC VeloBind MachineIf you own a GBC VeloBind machine, you probably need to buy VeloBind strips from time to time. One thing you may have discovered, while shopping around, is that GBC (over the years) has released over 4 different VeloBind formats, with each format offering different sizes and capacities. With all this confusion, it’s no wonder customers often have no idea which supply they need for their machine. This guide should help you out.

I would like to start off by covering the most up-to-date and modern machines and supplies used today and ending with supplies / machines that are now discontinued.

11 Prong GBC Hot Knife VeloBind StripsHot Knife VeloBind:

The most common type of VeloBind machine is the 11-prong hot knife VeloBind machine. These machines use 11-prongs along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper, or 9 prongs (aka posts) along the 8 ½” side of a sheet of paper.

These are referred to as hot knife because a heated blade actually cuts off excess prongs and seals them to the back strip using heat. Once finished, the end result is an extremely permanent and very secure bind.

To date, GBC makes a 1″, a 2″ and a 3″ long prong. The following supplies can be used with the accompanying listed machines:

1 x 11 and 1 x 8.5 hot knife VeloBind strips (11 or 9 prong): GBC VeloBind System One, GBC V800pro, VeloBind System Two, GBC VeloBind System Three Pro, GBC VeloBind System Four, Tamerica SecureBind V2000-Pro

2 x 11 and 2 x 8.5 hot knife VeloBind strips (11 or 9 prong): VeloBind System Two, GBC VeloBind System Three Pro, GBC VeloBind System Four, Tamerica SecureBind V2000-Pro

3 x 11 and 3 x 8.5 hot knife VeloBind strips (11 or 9 prong): GBC VeloBind System Three Pro, GBC VeloBind System Four,

The 1 in 1 x 11 stands for 1″, the 2 in 2 x 11 stands for 2″ and the 3 in 3 x 11 stands for 3″ thick capacity. Larger machines, such as the VeloBind System Three Pro, can use 1″ 2″ and 3″ strips, making it completely backwards compatible. Smaller machines, such as the VeloBind System One can only use 1″ strips and not the longer 2″ or 3″ strips.

This is a video demo of the GBC VeloBind System 3 Pro in use:

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4 Prong GBC Personal VeloBind Strips

Personal VeloBind 4 Prong:

This style of VeloBind machine is designed for temporary and light volume use. The machine, available in a manual and an electric punch, use a 4 prong strip. This equals 4 total holes along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper. As you might imagine, the 4 prongs, as compared to the 11 prongs used in a hot knife system, are not nearly as stable.

Once all holes have been punched, the 4 prong VeloBind strip can be inserted through the holes. The excess prongs are then bend over and snapped into the back strip. This format still looks nice, but is not ideal for thicker books.  These are all examples of 4 prong Personal VeloBind machines: GBC V50, GBC V100, GBC V110e

6 Prong GBC Personal VeloBind StripsPersonal VeloBind 6 Prong:

This binding format is no longer used, although supplies are still available. This binding format is very similar to the 4 prong format. Because 6 holes are used, it is a little more stable than the 4 prong systems. Once the 6 holes have been punched along the 11″ side of a sheet of paper, the 6 prong VeloBind strip is inserted through the holes. The excess prongs are then bend over and snapped into the back strip.

11 Prong GBC Cold Knife VeloBind StripsCold Knife VeloBind Machines:

These binding machines provided a very secure bind without the use of heat. While 11 prongs were used with Cold Knife VeloBind machines, no heat was involved. The top strip, which featured 11 prongs, snapped into the back strip much like a zip tie. The excess prongs were broken off, making them flush with the back strip. Cold knife strips were available in ½ x 11 (1/2″ thick) and 1 x 11 (1″ thick) sizes.

While not quite as secure as a hot knife machine, the snapping zip-tie style of the cold-knife machines were very stable. Unfortunately neither the machines nor the supplies are available any more.

You can find our entire selection of GBC VeloBind machines here and our entire selection of GBC hot knife VeloBind strips here. Feel free to call one of our binding experts at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions about VeloBind machines.

Holographic Poly Binding Covers – Bookbinding with Style

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Hologram Poly Binding CoversAre you tired of binding books and presentations with standard clear covers or single-color card stock? Perhaps you should consider binding your books using special effects poly covers. These covers use a holographic emboss that creates a very unique look. This look has pattern to it with a unique depth that you don’t find in other covers. Let me explain more.

First off, these covers are made from an extremely resilient and durable poly plastic material.  They are rigid, waterproof, temperature resistant (up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit) and won’t tear. They also have a translucent appearance to them, allowing elements of the title page of your bound book to show through. It is a very unique and professional look. The best part about ploy covers is that they cost far less than composite or vinyl binding covers.

We currently offer our holographic style poly covers in blue, clear and smoke colors. These covers are 16 mils thick (0.16 of an inch). We offer them in two sizes. You can buy them in an 8 ½” x 11″ size with square corners or in an 8 ¾” x 11 ¼” size with round corners.

Most binding machines can punch through our special effects poly covers (holographic binding covers). This includes comb binding, wire binding and coil binding. I have even seen people use these covers with GBC Velobind machines.

You can find our entire selection of holographic poly binding covers and other poly-based report covers here. This also includes crystal, sand, leather and stripe poly binding covers.

Manufacturer Spotlight: Tamerica Binding Machines

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Tamerica Office EquipmentIf you’re shopping around for a binding machine, or even a laminator or paper cutter, one manufacturer you may want to consider using is Tamerica. Established in 1985, Tamerica Products Incorporated (TPI) has been manufacturing and distributing office machines for over 24 years. ABC Office has been selling Tamerica products for decades and they are considered a customer favorite.

Tamerica states that they operate under process-oriented principles of Kaizen, which is Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the better.” In true form, Tamerica is always making improvements and increasing the performance of their machines.

Tamerica is best known to our customers for their line of binding machines. Their 190PB, 210PB, 213PB and TCC 210EPB comb binding machines are particularly popular. These binding machines all utilize durable metal components and are known for their rich features for little cost. You can find our entire selection of Tamerica comb binding machines here.

Tamerica V2000-Pro SecureBind Binding MachineA few years ago Tamerica released one of the first-ever alternatives to the GBC VeloBind bookbinding format known as SecureBind. SecureBind, found in their V2000-Pro, uses the same hole pattern and thermal process as standard GBC VeloBind machines, but at a fraction the cost. The V2000-Pro has an impressive 2″ binding capacity.

While Tamerica is extremely well known for their binding machines, they also manfacture an impressive line of stack paper cutters, roll laminating machines, pouch laminators, business card cutters, paper folding machines, laminating film and workstations.

Here are just a few of Tamericas most popular cutters, laminators and folding machines

Tamerica is continually developing new machines, so be sure to check back often to see what’s available. You can find our entire selection of Tamerica office equipent here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Best Binding Machines for Children’s Books

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Binding Children's BooksIf’ you’re binding children’s books, you probably want to use a format that is durable, tough and resilient. My 3-year-old son was recently given a book that was bound in twin-loop wire. As you might imagine, that book isn’t in such good shape anymore. When it comes to children’s books, a lot more needs to be taken into consideration than just looks. I will cover in this article the best binding machines you will want to use for binding kid’s books.

If you will be binding a child’s book using a binding element (i.e. Wire, Coil or Comb), you need something that is tough, can take an impact and will cut down on page tearing. The two most resilient binding formats are comb and coil. I’ll explain why I would personally use these binding styles for a kid’s book.

The one format I would never use is twin loop wire, unless you’re binding a teenager’s book. Wire, to put it simple, bends and looses its form when stepped on, thrown on the ground, stacked on with other books or is thrown in a backpack.  I have seen some books bound in thick-gauge twin loop wire. The thicker gauge stuff seems to hold up much better than your standard gauge twin loop wire.

As mentioned earlier, I would use comb or coil for a children’s book. Let me explain the benefits and the disadvantages of both.

Comb Binding Children's BooksCOMB BINDING – This is my second choice for binding kid’s books. This format is made from tough plastic and will rarely break or bend. Comb binding supplies are cheap, costing very little for a box of 100 elements. Comb is also available in dozens of colors, making it a colorful choice for binding children’s books. The individual comb fingers are wide, providing added support to pages, making them tougher to accidentally rip out.

The biggest con to comb binding is the fact that combs can be re-opened, even without a machine. It is tough to do, and extremely unlikely to happen, but it is possible. I still don’t think this should count out comb binding.

Because you may be binding books smaller than 8 ½” x 11″, I would recommend that you use comb binder with selectable punching pins.

These are some comb binding machines I recommend for binding kid’s books:

Coil Binding Children's BooksCOIL BINDING – Coil binding is my first choice for binding kid’s books. Binding coils are made out of extremely durable PVC plastic. These coils won’t bend or break and can withstand the unforgiving wrath of a child. Binding coils are colorful, which kids like, and can be used to bind thick or thin books.

I personally recommend using 4:1 pitch coil for children’s books (4 holes per inch) as the wide hole pattern makes the pages harder to tear out. A 5:1 pitch hole pattern (5 holes per inch) have the holes too close together for kids, making the pages much easier to tear out.
As you will probably bind books in a wide range of sizes, I recommend using a coil-binding machine with disengagable punching pins and an electric coil inserter.

These are some coil binding machines I recommend for binding children’s books:

Hopefully these recommendations help you in your book binding endeavors. We have decades of experience with book binding machines, so please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions. You can find our entire selection of binding machines here.

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