Archive for the ‘Binding Machines’ Category

Akiles WireMac 2:1 / 3:1 Wire Binding Machine Reviewed

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Akiles WireMac 2:1 / 3:1 Wire Binding MachineCreating your own product is fun and fulfilling. One hobby that I enjoy, and many businesses perform on a daily basis, is bookbinding. It’s fun to produce something that is tangible and looks professional. One of the best-looking binding formats is wire binding. It’s clean, looks great and is ideal for the most important presentations and reports. One machine I personally recommend using is the Akiles WireMac wire binding machine (found here). I have used this machine myself and this is my review.

To start with, I have to say that Akiles is one of the best binding machine manufacturers around. They manufacture comb, wire and coil binding machines and they almost always turn out to be high quality products. The reason I bring this up is because if the WireMac doesn’t fit your bill, you should still consider an Akiles Machine.

The WireMac wire binding machine is designed for low to medium-volume book binding. That isn’t to say that it is a low-volume machine, but it features a manual punch. That means the WireMac’s biggest limiting factor to speed is the operator. The machine itself could stand up to higher-volume binding, but the operator would probably get tired.

You can get the Akiles WireMac in two different designs. One design comes with a 2:1 pitch hole pattern and the other comes with a 3:1 pitch hole pattern. The pitch you use depends entirely on your preference. I can say, however, that the 2:1 pitch has been more popular, due in part to the fact that a 2:1 pitch hole pattern can bind more paper.

Using the WireMac is extremely easy. Simply take a stack of paper (up to 20 sheets of 20 lb paper) and punch it. Keep punching paper until you have the designed amount punched. You then insert a wire binding element into the punched holes and close the wire shut using the built-in wire closer. Sounds easy, right? It really is an easy machine to use.

Don’t let this machine’s simplicity fool you. It is also packed with features. One of my favorite features is the selectable punching pins (aka disengageable dies). This allows you to shut of any of the 40 dies (3:1 pitch) or 27 dies (2:1 pitch). This eliminates half-punched holes and makes it possible to bind books of varying sizes. This machine has a 14″ punching length. Because it is open ended, you can technically punch paper even longer than 14″.

I also really like the adjustable margin depth and diameter selector. Both of these features make it extremely easy to bind books of varying thicknesses.

The WireMac has been around for years and we have sold untold amounts of these machines to customers. Akiles has a great track record with our customers and the WireMac has proven to be extremely reliable, lasing for years without any issues.

Having handled this machine myself, I can tell you that it is solid. The all-metal construction really helps improve the book binding experience. I highly recommend this machine for those interested in binding books, reports and presentations.

You can find the Akiles WireMac wire binding machine here and our entire selection of Akiles book binding machines here. You can find ABC Office’s entire selection of binding machines here.

Which GBC VeloBind Machine is Right for You?

Monday, June 13th, 2011

GBC VeloBind Book Binding MachinesVeloBind, made by GBC, is one of the most popular book binding formats used today. It is right up their with coil, comb and wire binding. There are currently 3 main VeloBind machines people use today. These are the System One, System Two and System Three Pro. I will explain the differences between the three and why you may want to consider one over another.

First off, modern-day VeloBind machines use a hot-knife process for binding books, presentations and reports. All three of the GBC VeloBind models I listed use 11-prong binding strips. Once holes have been punched in paper, a top strip is inserted through the holes and a back strip is placed on the back of the book. The machine then cuts off the excess prongs and seals the front strip to the back using heat. The process is extremely solid.

Most people like VeloBind because it is sturdy, tamper proof and ideal for binding large volumes of paper. I have seen lawyer firms, construction companies, universities and many others use VeloBind to bind just about anything you can imagine. These machines are generally considered to be reliable and usually hold up for years.

Here are the biggest differences between the VeloBind System One, System Two and System Three.

GBC VeloBind System One – This machine is designed to bind up to 1″ of paper. It features a manual punch with an electric “hot knife” system that finishes the job. This particular system is ideal for low to medium-volume book binding. If you need to bind more than 1 book every 3-5 minutes, you may want to consider upgrading to a faster machine like the VeloBind System Two.

GBC VeloBind System Two – The System Two is a VeloBind system capable of binding books, reports and other material up to 2″ thick. This particular machine features an electric punch, which is nice for higher-volume binding and for use by people that don’t like the idea of manually punching paper. This system doesn’t have to bind huge books. It can also be used to bind thinner material (only 2 pages) and can use the System One’s 1″ strips. Backwards compatibility is always nice.

GBC VeloBind System Three Pro – The System Three Pro is the monster of the VeloBind line. This bad boy can bind up to 3″ of paper at a time! I am not aware of any other “element” style book binding machine with this large a capacity. It is also backwards compatible and can use 1 x 11 and 2 x 11 strips from the System One and System Two. Basically you can bind as few pages as 2 or hundreds, it all depends on the project. This machine is great for medium to high-volume binding. It even includes a debinding feature.

Regardless of the machine you need, you should consider ABC Office for your purchase. We offer some of the best prices available online, stock our own products (faster shipping) and have a Service Department that can help you keep your VeloBind machine up and running for years.

You can find our entire selection of GBC VeloBind machines here and our VeloBind supplies here. Good luck and happy binding!

SircleBind CB-60 Comb Binding Machine Review

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

SircleBind CB-60 Comb Binding MachineIf you like to bind books as a hobby, run a home business or have small-volume book binding needs, you probably don’t need a binding machine that costs thousands of dollars. You probably need something pretty basic, yet professional. As part of my under $100 binding machine reviews, I would like to introduce you to the Sircle CB-60 comb binding machine (found here). This is my review.

SircleBind (aka Sircle) has been around for a few years now, which is long enough to have developed a reputation for offering “budget” binding machines. Their machines provide a nice blend between affordability and functionality.

The SircleBind CB-60 comb binding machine is one of the most affordable comb binding machines we offer. As of this article, you can pick one up for about $57. For that price, you can’t expect high-volume binding capacities, but it certainly has its place.

To begin with, this machine is extremely compact. It only weighs 5 pounds shipped. It is also very easy to pick up and move around. The handle itself can be folded down and locked into place. If you need a portable book binding machine, this may be just what you need.

The CB-60 can punch through about 6 sheets of paper at a time, however, I would recommend scaling that back to 4-5 sheets. This machine utilizes a lot of plastic parts and I think scaling back the punching amount will extend the life of this machine. It can be used to punch card stock, clear covers and other binding covers, but I would recommend punching one at a time. Don’t force this machine to punch paper. If it feels like you are straining too much, back off. You don’t want to break it.

The binding capacity on this machine is somewhat limited, maxing out at a ½” thick (12mm diameter). That equals out to be about 95 sheets of paper. This means you won’t be able to use the CB-60 to bind thicker books, but it is good for binding booklets, presentations and other reports.

While you can use the CB-60 to bind custom-size books, I would recommend staying with 8 ½” x 11″ paper. It doesn’t have disengageable punching pins, so you could potentially end up with a half-punched hole if you are binding material smaller than letter-size paper.

Having used this little machine myself, I have to say that I highly recommend that it not be used for anything more than light-volume book binding. I have used many binding machines (dozens upon dozens) and I have to say that I have never before seen a comb binding machine that used plastic fingers for opening combs.

The construction is plastic. The shell is plastic, the comb opener is plastic and the catch tray is plastic. If you use this machine for more than light volume use, you will probably be disappointed.

If you are using this for just the occasional book or report, I think you’ll like its compact nature, sleek design and great price point.

Here are a few affordable comb binding alternatives:

You can find the SircleBind CB-60 comb binding machine here and our entire selection of comb binding machines here.

Top 10 Best Portable Book Binding Machines

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Portable Book Binding MachinesIf you like to bind books, or need to quickly bind presentations and reports on the go, you probably need a portable book binding machine. While there are a lot of binding machines available, few of them can be easily picked up and moved from one location to another. This article will cover some of the most portable book binding machines available.

One important thing to be aware of, when shopping for a probable binding machine, is to realize that most portable machines are designed for light use or occasional use. I would put that at about 10-20 books a day. This is more than adequate if you are binding reports and presentations on the go. Portable binding machines are also almost always manually operated, with electric machines being too heavy to easily carry in a bag or move around.

I am going to list the top 10 best portable book binding machines. This list will include the three most common bookbinding formats; these being comb, wire and coil.

Top 10 Best Portable Book Binding Machines (Listed Alphabetically)

  1. Akiles iCoil 41 Coil Binding Machine
  2. Akiles iCoil 41 Plus Coil Binding Machine
  3. Akiles iWire 21 Wire Binding Machine
  4. Akiles iWire 31 Wire Binding Machine
  5. Fellowes Star Comb Binding Machine
  6. Fellowes Starlet Comb Binding Machine
  7. Intelli-Bind IC110 Coil Binding Machine
  8. Intelli-Bind IB150 Comb Binding Machine
  9. SircleBind CB-60 Comb Binding Machine
  10. SircleBind WR-60 Wire Binding Machine

These book binding machines are all lightweight and very portable. Many of them even include handles that fold up for added portability and convenience. The Akiles line of iWire and iCoil machines are especially nice as they fold completely up and include everything you need (minus supplies) to get up and going.

You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here.

Best Binding Covers for Your Reports and Presentations

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Book Binding CoversIf you’re binding a report or presentation, regardless of style, you more than likely want it to look professional. There are several ways you can go about doing this. I personally recommend using a binding cover. Our binding covers will work with comb, wire, coil or Velobind and they look great! Here are the binding covers I personally recommend.

To start with, you’re probably going to need a front cover and a back cover. I personally recommend using some sort of a clear cover for the front and a card stock cover for the back. We offer clear covers in various thicknesses and back covers in a variety of colors and styles. Another great option for a front cover is a card stock cover with a window. I will briefly describe the differences between binding covers.

Best Binding Covers for Your Reports and Presentations

Clear Binding Covers – Clear covers come in a variety of thicknesses, these being 5, 7 and 10 mils. A mil is a thousandth of an inch. The smaller the number, the thinner the cover. We offer clear covers in clear and matte finishes. Clear covers are by far the most common front binding cover used by our customers.

Polypropylene Binding Covers (Poly Covers) – Polypropylene covers, often-called poly covers, are synthetic binding covers. Some, such as sand and leather finish, are designed to look like card stock. We also offer poly covers with a crystal, strip and hologram finish. Each of these styles come in a variety of colors. These types of covers are quickly growing in popularity due to their durability.

Sturdy Grain Binding Covers – These types of covers have a non-glossy leatherette finish to them. Available in a variety of colors, these covers have always been a hit. These covers are made from a paper-based card stock.

Linen Binding Covers – Linen binding covers, which are a type of thicker card stock, have a cross-hatch pattern on them that almost have the appearance of fabric. This style of binding cover is one of my personal favorites.

Composition Binding Covers – Composition covers, after clear covers, are one of our most popular book binding covers. These covers have a leatherette texture to them. One side has a glossy shine to it and the other side is dull. These covers look excellent on the back of a report or presentation.

Window or no Window? So should you go with a window or without a window? It really depends on where you will be using the cover. Solid covers are best used on the back of a report and covers with windows are best for the front. The small window allows contents from the page, located underneath, to show through. Many people like to buy binding covers in pairs, with and without windows.

Standard or Oversize? We offer binding covers in a standard 8 ½” x 11″ (square corners) and an oversize 8 ¾” x 11 ½” format (round corners). The size you use really depends on your preference and the type (and size) of paper you will be binding. Standard 8 ½” x 11″ covers are by far the most popular purchased.

I hope this mini guide helps you find the right cover for your presentation. It’s amazing how much book binding covers spruce up a presentation or report. You can find our entire selection of binding covers here. You can find our entire selection of book binding machines and supplies here.

Cheap 3:1 and 2:1 Pitch Wire Binding Supplies

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Wire Binding SuppliesDo you need affordable wire binding supplies for your twin loop wire binding machine? Whether you use a GBC, Akiles, Tamerica or SircleBind wire binding machine, they all need supplies to work. I would like to set you up with some great prices on both 2:1 and 3:1 pitch wire.

In case you didn’t know, we stock all our wire binding supplies rather than drop ship them. This is beneficial to you because it means cheaper prices and much faster shipping. We offer our wire binding supplies in 2:1, 3:1 and 19-ring hole patterns. You can find our entire selection of wire binding supplies here.

In case you aren’t familiar with the various hole patterns used in wire binding, perhaps this will help you out:

3:1 Pitch – Three holes per inch. This hole pattern creates a tighter look but at the expense of binding capacity. The 3:1 pitch hole pattern caps out at a 9/16″ hole pattern. Some people call this Wire-O or twin loop wire.

2:1 Pitch – Two holes per inch. This hole pattern is currently the most common used today. It has wider hole spacing than 3:1 and the binding capacity caps out at 1 ¼” of paper.

19-Ring – This wire pattern is sometimes called Spiral-O wire or wire comb. This wire was designed specifically to work with 19-ring comb binding punching patterns. If you have a comb binding machine, and a wire closer, you can use this wire.

Hopefully this helps clarify a few things. With all the different hole patterns, I can completely understand why you may be confused. We offer wire in 11″ lengths in a variety of different diameters and several different colors.

I appreciate you reading through this blog posting. As a reward, please feel free to use coupon code ABCWIRE05 for an additional 5% off our already low wire supply prices. This code can be applied to your shopping cart or may be mentioned over the phone. You will be hard pressed to find a better price, and if you do, please let me know!

You can read more about wire binding and it’s sheet capacities here.

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

Best Book Binding Machine Brands

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Best Binding Machine BrandsIf you’re looking for a book binding machine, you probably want to get one from a manufacturer that has a good reputation. While there is a lot of information out there on the best cars, Blu-ray players and laptops, there is little information regarding the best book binding machines. I have been using, selling and working with binding machines for over a decade. I have compiled a list of the best binding machine brands.

As previously mentioned, I have a lot of experience with book binding machines. This includes comb, wire, coil and many other formats. I have to admit that while I have used some absolute amazing binding machines, I have used a lot of lemons as well. I will explain why these binding machines brands are the best and why you may want to consider using them.

Best Book Binding Machine Brands

  1. Akiles Binding Machines – Akiles is probably one of the best and most reputable manufacturers of binding machines. They manufacture the WireMac, CoilMac and MegaBind book binding machines along with several other models. Akiles machines are known for their durable “metal” construction and ability to hold up after years of rigorous use.
  2. Intelli-Bind Binding Machines – Intelli-Bind, from Intelli-Zone, has been around for about a year and has developed a reputation for offering extremely affordable machines with many high-end features. Most of Intelli-Bind’s coil binding machines feature electric coil inserters. Other binding formats (coil, comb & wire) often feature disengageable punching pins and much more. These machines have a great track record with customers.
  3. Renz Binding Machines – Renz book binding machines feature elegant designs and the ability to handle higher-volume binding operations. They are probably best known for their high quality wire binding machines. Many publishers, copy centers and organizations like to use their machines for commercial wire binding operations.
  4. Tamerica Binding Machines – Tamerica (sometimes called Tahsin) offers a great line of comb, wire and coil binding machines. These machines are affordable and generally fall in the range of low to medium-volume book binding.
  5. SircleBind Binding Machines – SircleBind offers a great selection of comb, wire and coil binding machines. Having used these machines myself, I have to say that make a good low to medium-volume machine. The only thing I don’t like about their machines is there is a lot of plastic involved in the manufacturing process. That said, they have a good reputation with our customers.
  6. GBC Binding Machines – GBC offers a wide range of book binding machines, from coil to VeloBind. I have to say that it is hit and miss with GBC. I really like their VeloBind line of machines and really like their GBC C800 Pro comb binding machine, which is a modification of a very popular Ibico binding machine.

I hope this list helps you find a good machine. You can find our entire line of book binding machines here.

If you have questions, or simply need more information, feel free to speak with one of our binding machine specialists by calling 1-800-658-8788.

Debinding Capabilities of Book Binding Machines

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Binding Machines with Debind CapabilitiesI have spoken with many people who were looking for a binding machine, but had one small (yet very important) requirement. They wanted to be able to add or remove pages from their bound document later down the road. While this can be done, the binding style you use will be the ultimate determining factor on your post-binding modification capabilities.

So which book binding styles and formats are easiest and hardest for debinding? I am going to cover comb, wire, coil, Velobind and thermal binding and their debinding properties. Hopefully this will help you in your decision to buy a book binding machine.

Binding Machine Debind Capabilities

Comb Binding MachinesComb Binding – Comb binding may be one of the best debind binding formats. This is because the plastic combs used in comb binding can easily be re-opened and closed over and over again. The spines themselves can easily be removed from old documents and be re-applied to new documents.

Wire Binding MachinesWire Binding – Wire binding is probably one of the least friendly debind binding formats. Wire that has been closed can be removed, but it will be completely ruined in the process. Wire can then be re-applied to the document, but it will require a new binding element.

Coil Binding MachinesCoil Binding – Coil binding elements (aka spirals) are very easy to remove from documents, but cannot be re-used. Simply snip off the end of the coil and spin it back out of the holes. A new coil can then be re-inserted through the holes. I have personally had to do this myself after discovering that my bound document needed a few additional pages.

Velobind Binding MachinesVelobinding – The Velobind process produces a very permanent bind. While there are some Velobind debind tools available, the process can potentially destroy the document. I’ll explain.

I’ll use the GBC VeloBind System Three as an example. This machine has a built-in debind feature. You essentially place your bound document in the machine and it will re-warm the 11 sealed posts and make them soft, allowing the back strip to be pulled off. The only problem is that the ends of the posts, after the back strip is removed, end up in a “mushroom” positing that can tear up the Velobind punched holes as the posts are removed. I have seen it work and fail. I don’t recommend Velobind if you intend to remove or re-add pages later down the road.

Thermal Binding MachinesThermal Binding – Thermal binding uses hot glue that literally soaks into paper to keep it attached to the spine. As a result, the pages cannot be removed without tearing them out. You’re best result for re-binding thermally bound documents is to cut off the spine by using a stack cutter. Those pages can later be re-bound, although they’ll be about 1/8″ to ¼” shorter in width. My verdict on thermal binding and debinding: Possible? Yes. Practical? No.

In conclusion, comb binding is probably going to be your best bet for adding and removing pages. Hopefully these tips will help you find the right binding machine. As you can see, some binding machines have better debind capabilities than other machines. You can find our entire selection of book binding machines here.

If you still have some questions that are not addressed in this article, please feel free to call 1-800-658-8788 for more advice and information. Our Customer Service Associates are extremely knowledgeable and courteous.

Tape Binding or Thermal Binding? Which is Better?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Thermal Binding MachinesIf you’re in the market for a binding machine, you may have come across thermal and tape binding. I find that many customers that are torn between the two formats, with both typically producing similar end results. If presented with both formats, I would personally go with a thermal binding machine. I’ll explain why.

To begin with, let me explain what thermal and tap binding involves:

Tape Binding
– Tape binding typically involves a strip of tape lined with some sort of pressure sensitive adhesive or heat-activated adhesive. This tape is typically applied to the spine of a stack of paper. Most tape-bound documents utilize some sort of clear cover and card stock back cover. While some tape binding machines can bind thicker books, this format is usually used for thinner reports and presentations.

Thermal Binding – Thermal binding machines use special covers, typically a clear cover front and a card stock back, that includes some sort of heat-activated clue in the spine. Paper is placed in the pre-made cover, after which the cover is placed in a machine that heats the glue. Once the hot glue has absorbed into the paper, the cover is removed and the glue solidifies. This type of binding is especially popular for reports and presentations.

Having used both binding formats myself, I can attest to the fact that the end results are almost identical. So why do I like thermal binding machines more? It all has to do with the longevity of the bind.

Tape binding, after a duration of time, will begin to lose pages. This is because, in most cases, the tape adhesive begins to dry out and crack. Because the tape is only sticking to the back spine of the paper, pages begin to loosen and fall out. Continuous use helps prolong this problem.

I remember years ago we offered a tape binding machine called the Report Master. I remember customers calling up complaining that literally after a few weeks to a few months pages would start falling out. I now tell customers that tape binding is intended for temporary use.

Thermal binding, on the other hand, uses glue that absorbs much farther into the paper than tape. As a result, thermal bound documents last much longer. Fellowes makes a line of thermal binding machines called “Helios” that use pre-made covers with glue in the spine, much like I described earlier.

In conclusion, I have to say that both binding formats look great, but ultimately I would go with a thermal binding machine. You can find our thermal binding machines here.

If you don’t mind the involvement of a thermal binding strip, comb, wire, coil and Velobind will all last longer than either thermal or tape. You can find our comb, wire, coil and VeloBind machines here.

Akiles CoilMac-ECI 4:1 Coil Binding Machine Video Demo

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Akiles CoilMac-ECI 4:1 Coil Binding MachineWhen shopping around for a coil binding machine, you more than likely want to get the best machine for your money. While we would all like a fully automated machine, budgets often do not allow for such luxuries. One great compromise is a semi-automated coil binding machine with an electric coil inserter. One such machine is the Akiles CoilMac-ECI 4:1 coil binding machine. I recently had a chance to play around with one.

If I were to come up with a top 5 best coil binding machines list, the CoilMac-ECI would easily be one of the top two models. To begin with, the CoilMac-ECI is a solid coil binding machine. It is made from durable metal construction. While the punching is manually done, coil insertion is done via an electric coil inserter that spins coils through punched holes.

The coil inserter on the CoilMac-ECI isn’t a puny or scaled back. It runs almost the entire width of the machine, powered by a powerful motor. Many cheaper machines with inserters use low-quality motors. Everything used to build the CoilMac-ECI appears to be of the highest grade quality.

The CoilMac-ECI is now also available in a “Plus” version. The CoilMac-ECI Plus is pretty much the same machine as the standard CoilMac-ECI with the only differences being that the “Plus” punches oval holes instead of round holes and features disengaging punching pins on all the punching dies. Both machines are of equal quality.

As mentioned earlier, I had a chance to use the CoilMac-ECI. We ended up shooting a video of it, which you can find here:

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As you can see, the end results look extremely professional. You can use the Akiles CoilMac-ECI to bind booklets, cookbooks, reports, presentations and much more. It is an extremely versatile machine. It literally only takes a few minutes, from start to finish, to complete a booklet.

I recommend this machine for use in schools, churches and businesses. Having sold these machines for years, I can vouch for the fact that the CoilMac-ECI has an excellent track record. You won’t be disappointed.

You can find the Akiles CoilMac-ECI coil binding machine here and our entire selection of coil binding machines here.

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