Archive for the ‘Binding Machines’ Category

Wire Binding Machines – Square or Round Holes?

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Wire Binding MachinesSo you’re looking for a wire binding machine and have noticed that some come with round holes and others come with square holes. Is there much of a difference between the two styles and should you choose one over another? I will try to answer a few of these questions here.

To begin with, wire binding machines are available with square, rectangle and round punching dies. Square and rectangular-shaped hole patterns make up well over 90% of the hole patterns found in modern-day wire binding machines. Round wire hole patterns are very rare to find in machines.

3:1 Pitch Wire Binding Hole PatternWire comes in 2:1, 3:1 and Spiral-O hole patterns. The binding supplies used depend on the pitch of the wire binding machine. The pitch is the distance between the holes.

2:1 Pitch Wire Binding Hole PatternA 3:1 pitch square hole typically measures in at 4mm x 4mm. A 2:1 pitch hole pattern looks square, but it is actually slightly rectangular in shape, measuring in at 4mm x 5.5mm.

19-Ring Spiral-O Wire Binding PatternSpiral-O wire binding machines only punch paper using a rectangular hole pattern like what’s used with comb binding. The Spiral-O hole measures in at 3.12 x 7.94mm.

Many multi-format binding machines with interchangeable punching dies give you the option of purchasing a square or a round hole pattern.

Are there any advantages of using square vs. a round hole for wire binding? There are no advantages or disadvantages. Both hole patterns work with twin loop wire. The only difference is the appearance, which is a matter of personal preference.

One thing you should be aware of is that round holes are typically associated with coil binding. Coil binding, however, uses a completely different hole pattern than wire binding. Supplies from wire binding cannot be used with coil punched hole patterns.

Most wire binding machines will specify on their product pages whether they punch square or round holes. Most wire binding machines also show, on the machine itself, which hole pattern they punch.

You can find our entire selection of twin-loop wire binding machines here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our wire binding specialists.

Akiles VersaMac Multi-Format Electric Binding Punch Review

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Akiles VersaMac Electric Book Binding PunchDo you bind dozens to perhaps even hundreds of books a day? Trying to bind hundreds of books a day can be pretty tough, especially if you don’t have the right equipment. Many modern-day binding machines only punch 10-20 sheets at a time. If you need more punching capacity, you may want to look at the Akiles VersaMac heavy-duty electric binding punch (found here). This is my review.

Akiles makes a lot of book binding machines. This includes comb, wire and coil binding machines. The Akiles VersaMac is capable of punching paper for all these book binding styles and more. This is all due to the interchangeable punching die system the VersaMac uses.

Interchangeable means the VersaMac can use a punching die for one hole patter, let’s say wire, which can later be removed and replaced with another punching die (such as comb). Because the dies can physically be swapped out, punching possibilities on the VersaMac are only limited by the punching dies available.

To date, punching dies for the VersaMac include:

  • Comb (19-Ring)
  • Wire (2:1 & 3:1 pitch in square or round holes)
  • Coil (4:1 round or oval holes)
  • VeloBind
  • 3-Hole Punch

This ends up being about 9 different interchangeable punching dies. This is very impressive.

So why would you want a stand-alone book binding punch? The biggest reason is for high-volume or commercial binding purposes. Most binding machines punch a dozen or so sheets at a time. The VersaMac can punch 35-55 sheets of 20# paper at a time, depending on the punching die being used.

Because the VersaMac has such a high punching capacity, it can be used in conjunction with other binding machines for significantly increased output. The VersaMac can also be used with independent wire closers, comb openers and coil inserters.

The build quality of the VersaMac is very impressive. It is made out of all-metal construction. It weighs in at 121 pounds shipped. That gives you an idea as to just how much metal is used in it’s construction.

Not only is the Akiles VersaMac tough and capable of punching a lot of paper, but it also includes disengageable punching pins, an adjustable margin depth, a diameter scale, a foot pedal and many other high-end features.

I am impressed with Akiles in general and have to say that the VersaMac is an impressive piece of machinery. I have no doubt that if treated properly it will easily last for years. For a binding punch, I give the VersaMac a solid 5 out of 5 stars.

You can find the Akiles VersaMac heavy-duty electric binding punch here and our entire selection of book binding machines here.

SircleBind CB-210 Plastic Comb Binding Machine Review

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

SircleBind CB-210 Plastic Comb Binding MachinePlastic comb binding machines are affordable, make it easy to bind your own books and produce solid results. With literally dozens of models to choose from, you may be wondering where to start. One comb binding machine you may want to consider is the SircleBind CB-210 plastic comb binding machine (found here). This is my review.

Sircle, the manufactures of SircleBind, have been making binding machines for a few years now. Their machines have been thoroughly tested and seem to be a great value for the dollar spent. SircleBind machines are available in comb and wire formats.

The CB-210 comb binder is a nice looking machine. It features a white shell that blends in nicely with existing office furniture. On a table, it fits right in with copy machines, printers and other office equipment. Looks aren’t everything. How does this machine perform?

To begin with, the SircleBind CB-210 can manually punch up to 18 sheets of standard 20# paper at a time. This is pretty impressive for a binding machine in this price range. It can also be used to punch report covers, clear covers and card stock. Be aware that you will have to scale back the amount of sheets you punch when handling thicker paper.

The CB-210 has a maximum binding capacity of about 2″ of paper or 500 sheets of 20# paper. This means you can bind a book that is just a few pages thick or several hundred pages thick with this comb binder. Again, this is impressive.

Once pages have been punched, you will need to open a comb on the comb opener. The CB-210’s comb opener is located on the top of the machine. Comb is opened by using the same handle used to punch paper. Once the comb is opened, you can easily add your punched pages and close the comb.

While the SircleBind CB-210 is primarily designed for punching and binding books about 11″ long, it can be used to punch and bind smaller books. This is possible thanks to the built-in disengageable punching pins. Simply pull out the pin and disable the hole you don’t want punched. This is great for custom book binding and for eliminating half-punched holes.

Another nice benefit you will find in the CB-210 is the adjustable margin depth. This adjustment allows you to determine how far into the paper you want to punch the holes. This is ideal for binding extremely thin and extremely thick books.

Alternative Binding Machines

While the CB-210 isn’t quite up to par with some of the larger Akiles machines, it is a great binding machine for home or small office use. It can easily keep up with binding projects equaling a few to a few dozen books a day. I give this binding machine 4 out of 5 stars.

You can find the SircleBind CB-210 plastic comb binding machine here and our entire selection of SircleBind binding machines here.

Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our binding machine specialists with any questions you may have.

Best Clear Covers For Book Binding

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Clear Report Binding CoversClear binding covers are by far one of the best ways you can make your book binding projects look more professional. There is something about the shine and glean you get from a clear report cover. They are the icing on the cake. Here are a few things you may want to keep in mind when shopping for a clear cover.

To begin with, clear binding covers come in different sizes. We offer what’s known as a standard 8 ½” x 11″ clear binding cover and an oversize clear binding cover that measures in at 8 ¾” x 11 ¼”. The standard clear covers have square corners and the oversize clear covers have round corners.

Clear report covers also come in different finishes. The most popular finish is the clear glossy finish. This type of clear cover has a highly reflective cover that has the appearance of a transparency or a laminated document. The clear glossy finish looks classy.

We also offer clear covers in a matte finish. While matte covers still look great, they have more of a dull surface that doesn’t reflect as much light.

Clear report covers also come in different mil thicknesses. The mil thickness is measured in thousandths of an inch. The most common thicknesses are 5, 7 and 10. I would have to see that I see more people ordering 5 mil covers as they tend to be a good protective layer, however, the thicker 7 and 10 mil covers look great.

You can find our entire selection of clear binding covers here and our entire selection of book binding report covers here.

Wire Binding Troubleshooting Tips

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Wire Binding Machine TroubleshootingIs your wire book binding project not turning out exactly the way you had hoped? It happens to the best of us. Even with 10+ years of wire binding experience under my belt, I have come across book binding issues. The good news is that most wire binding troubles are easy to solve. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Common Wire Binding Issues

  1. Half-Punched Holes – If you are experiencing half-punched holes, you are either punching paper that is shorter or longer than the machine is designed to handle or you don’t have the side margin adjusted correctly.The side margin is the easiest fix. Loosen it and slide it left or right until you have eliminated the half-punched holes.If you are still experiencing half-punched holes, you will probably need to get a machine equipped with a disengageable (selectable) punching die. This will allow you to disable punching pins on the machine and eliminate half-punched holes.
  2. Pages Fall Out – If pages are falling out of your bound book, you probably haven’t closed the wire enough. Insert the wire spine back into your machine’s wire closer and close the wire a little more.
  3. Pages Won’t Turn – If pages won’t turn, you are either using a wire binding spine that is too small or you have closed the wire too much. Either get the correct size diameter of wire or fine-tune the wire closer on your machine.
  4. Annoying Seam Along Spine – If you are experiencing a seam along your wire binding spine, you have probably bound the book incorrectly. When wire binding, you want to have the last page on the top of the book. Once the binding process is complete, the back page (currently on top) can be turned back around to the last page. This will hide the wire seam.
  5. Won’t Punch Paper – If you’re machine won’t punch paper, you are either punching too much paper at a time or your punching pins are dull. Try scaling back the paper you are punching.
  6. Punching Crooked – If your machine is punching crooked, you may have some punched paper stuck in the punch. Take a look, using a flashlight, and make sure the punching pins are cleared and that there is no paper in the way of the punch. If there is excess paper in the punch, empty the tray and try to clear out the punch by using a piece of card stock (sliding back and forth).

These are just a few of the most common wire binding issues our customers and I have experienced. Hopefully these troubleshooting tips will keep your wire binding machines up and running.

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

How To Choose The Right Coil Binding Machine

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Coil Binding SuppliesCoil binding is considered by many people, professionals and businesses to be one of the most versatile book binding formats available. There are many reasons for this. Here are just a few of the most common reasons I hear from our customers:

  1. Plastic PVC coils are durable.
  2. Pages turn 360 degrees.
  3. Coil bound documents look professional.
  4. Coils are available in several different colors and sizes.
  5. Coil binding machines are very affordable.
  6. Coil binding is great for binding cookbooks, reports, presentations and other documents.

Now that we have established that coil binding is pretty nice, there are a few things you should ask yourself prior to buying a machine. Answers to these questions should help you find the right machine that will work for you.

Coil Binding Questions

  • How many books will you be binding per day? The amount of books you bind per day will determine whether you need a manual punch or an electric punch. Electric punch machines are ideal for runs of several dozen to several hundred books. Manual punches are fine for a few to a few dozen books a day.
  • What size are the books you will be binding? How big is the book you will be binding. Most coil binding machines have at least a 12″ binding width, however, some can bind legal size 14″ documents. Also, if you are binding smaller books you may want to consider getting a machine with disengageable punching pins. This will allow you to bind a wide variety of custom-size books.
  • How thick will be books be that you are binding? If you will be binding a book about ¼” thick, most machines will work for you. If you will be binding thicker books, you may want to consider using a machine with an adjustable margin depth. This allows you to punch deeper into a sheet of paper, depending on the thickness of the book. This will help cut down on pages inadvertently tearing out.
  • Which hole binding pitch / pattern do you prefer? Coil binding supplies comes in 4:1 pitch and 5:1 pitch patters. This is 4 holes per inch (4:1) and 5 holes per inch (5:1). Different pitches / hole patterns create different appearances. The 4:1 pitch pattern can bind more paper than a 5:1 pitch.
  • Where will you be using your binding machine? Keep in mind how big the machine is. Be sure the desk or table you are using can accommodate both the size and the weight of the machine.
  • Do you need an electric coil inserter? Coil binding machines come with and without electric coil inserters, depending on the design. If your machine does not have an electric coil inserter, you will need to insert the coils by hand. If you are only binding a few to a dozen books a day, this isn’t a big deal. If you are binding several dozen to hundreds of books a day, I highly  recommend getting a machine with an electric coil inserter.

Answers to these questions should help you track down the right machine. I understand that you may still have some important questions. Please feel free to post your questions here and I will try to answer them. You may also call us at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our coil binding experts.

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

Tamerica VersaBind-E 4-in-1 Electric Binding Machine Review

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Tamerica VersaBind-E 4-in-1 Electric Binding MachineHow many times have you wanted to bind a book in a different format than what you already have? We always want what we can’t have, right? Well now maybe you can. With the Tamerica VersaBind-E 4 in 1 electric binding machine (found here), you can bind books in up to 4 different popular formats. This is my review.

Tamerica is one of the leading book binding machine manufacturers around. They manufacture a wide selection of popular binding machines, laminators and paper cutters. Their machines feature a good build quality at a decent price.

The VersaBind-E is one of the most versatile book binding machines around. That is because it can bind books in 19-ring plastic comb, 3:1 Wire-O wire, 2:1 wire and 4:1 coil. This is pretty impressive for any binding machine.

The machine itself utilizes what’s known as interchangeable punching dies, which Tamerica calls the EZ slide system. This means that the punching die can be removed and a new one can be added. You literally slide out the die and insert another. This is not only nice because you can punch holes for multiple binding formats, but it also makes it extremely easy to replace punching dies when the become dull.

The Tamerica VersaBind-E includes a comb opener, a wire closer and a coil insertion channel. It is basically like having 4 different binding machines in one single model. This is pretty neat if you ask me.

The punching die on the VersaBind-E is completely electric. It is operated by use of a foot pedal. This allows you to hold the paper you are punching with both hands. This allows for accurate and aligned punching. A foot pedal also helps speed the entire book binding process. The electric punch is capable of punching through up to 20 sheets of paper at a time.

The build quality on the Tamerica VersaBind-E is actually pretty nice. The punching dies are metal and the machine itself appears to be made from durable metal components. The price is certainly right, especially considering everything you get.

I have to say that I personally really like the VersaBind-E, especially considering all the different binding formats it can perform. This is a great binding machine to have in an office, school, church or copy center. Not only does it have interchangeable dies, but it is electric.

You can find the Tamerica VersaBind-E 4 in 1 electric binding machine here and our entire selection of book binding machines here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Everything You Need To Start Padding Paper

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Paper Padding PressesSo you want to start creating your own notepads, but don’t know where to get started. No worries. Padding paper is extremely easy and the equipment needed is fairly simple (and inexpensive). Here are a few tips to help you get started.

To begin with, you’ll need a paper padding press. A padding press is essentially a glorified clamp designed to be used on a table or desk. Padding presses are designed to handle large stacks of paper and typically handle paper up to 8 ½” x 11” in size. Some can even handle larger stacks of paper. Padding presses are usually made out of wood or metal, depending on the make and model.

The next thing you will need is padding compound. Padding compound is a type of glue designed to be applied to the back of a stack of paper. Once dried, padding compound keeps a stack of paper together, yet remains soft enough to allow pages to be torn out. Padding compound is typically available in white or red colors and comes in a variety of container sizes.

You will need a padding brush. Padding brushes look a lot like paintbrushes. These brushes are designed to be dipped in the padding glue and then applied to a stack of paper. Once you are done padding, I recommend washing out the brush prior to storage. Padding brushes come in different sizes, depending on the thickness of the pad you are using it on.

While not required, I highly recommend using a padding knife. Padding knives are designed to cut large stacks of padded paper into smaller stacks. Padding knives are extremely sharp and easily slice through dried padding compound.

Again, while not required, I highly recommend using chipboard as a backing to your notepad. This will provide stability and it looks pretty nice as well. Some people prefer to have paper padded by itself without chipboard. It is really a matter of personal preference.

So there you have it. Everything you need to start padding paper. You can find all these products here:

Hopefully this helps you get started with your paper padding projects. Don’t be intimidated by the process. It is very easy to do and the end results will look great.

Black Wire Binding Supplies (2:1, 3:1 & 19-Ring Spiral-O)

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Wire Binding Supplies from ABC OfficeWire binding, sometimes called twin loop or double loop wire, is one of the most attractive book binding formats used today. If you already own a wire binding machine, you probably know what I mean. The end results look professional and are perfect for reports, presentations and booklets.

I often get asked which color of wire binding supply is most popular. The title of my post has probably already given away the answer to this question, but black is by far the most popular color. There are several reasons for this.

Black wire binding supplies match with just about any binding cover. They can be used with clear covers, plastic report covers and even card stock. Another reason black is so popular is because it doesn’t draw too much attention. Most people want the cover of their report to be the focal point, not the binding spine.

Black Wire Binding Supplies

We offer black wire binding supplies in three different hole formats. These are 2:1 pitch, 3:1 pitch and 19-ring Spiral-O. You need to make sure you use the correct hole pattern for your machine. Unfortunately supply hole patterns and machine hole patterns are not interchangeable.

You can find our black wire binding supplies here:

We also offer a wide range of other colors. Other popular colors include white and silver. We currently over about 5 common colors. You can find our entire selection of wire binding supplies here.

If needed, you can find our entire selection of wire binding machines here. Good luck with all your book binding projects!

Akiles CoilMac-EPI Electric Coil Binding Machine Review

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Akiles CoilMac-EPI Electric Coil Binding MachineAre you in need of a strong, durable and confident coil binding machine? Are you binding dozens to perhaps even hundreds of books a day? You’re going to need a machine designed for continuous use. One great machine I would recommend you to consider is the Akiles CoilMac-EPI electric coil binding machine (found here). I have used this machine many times and this is my review.

The CoilMac-EPI is one of Akiles’ most popular coil binding machines. It punches paper in a 4:1 pitch (0.250″), which is 4 holes per inch. This is the most popular coil binding pitch and allows you to bind books, reports, presentations, cookbooks and more.

The first thing I would like to point out is the build quality of the CoilMac-EPI. This machine is all metal. The punching pins, base, handle and gears are all metal. This is what allows the CoilMac-EPI to hold up so well with continuous use throughout the day. We have sold several of these machines. Once they leave our building, I never hear back from the customer.

The Akiles CoilMac-EPI is an electric coil binding machine. It has an electric paper punch capable of punching through up to 25 sheets of paper at a time. This is impressive for any binding machine. The process takes just seconds. The CoilMac-EPI includes a foot pedal. I personally like this feature because it allows you to hold the paper with both hands while activating the punch. This keeps alignment in check and produces beautiful results.

Once paper is punched, the built in motor spins coils through the punched holes. Unlike many machines out there that have electric coil inserters, the CoilMac-EPI utilizes an industrial-grade roller motor. This means it will hold up with continuous use throughout the day. Did I mention this machine is a high-quality product?

The CoilMac-EPI has a 13″ wide punching length. Because it is open ended, you can use this machine to punch paper up to 26” wide. Several of the punching dies on this coil binder are disengageable (total of 5).

Akiles states that the CoilMac-EPI is manufactured under ISO9001 & 14001 guidelines for highest quality control & environmental management standards.

I can’t even begin to express how much I like this machine. It is a high-quality piece of machinery and you will not be disappointed in it. I rate this machine a solid 5 out of 5 stars. It is perfect for use in any office, bindery or copy center.

You can find the Akiles CoilMac-EPI electric coil binding machine here and our entire selection of coil binding machines here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

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