Posts Tagged ‘Binding Machine Reviews’

Akiles CoilMac-ECI Plus Coil Binding Machine Review

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Akiles CoilMac-ECI Plus Coil Binding MachineIn need of a durable coil binding machine capable of continuous daily use? With a lot of cheap binding machines floating around out there, it is tough to know if you are getting a good machine. One coil binder you may want to consider is the Akiles CoilMac-ECI Plus coil binding machine (found here). I have used this machine and this is my review.

The CoilMac-ECI Plus is designed for continuous daily use. It features a manually operated hole punch and large coil inserter. This coil binding machine is made from solid metal construction, as is the case with most Akiles brand binding machines.

The punching pins are thick and designed to punch all day long without dulling, bending or jamming. I actually had our Service Technician open this machine up for me and the inside is all metal, including the gears. It is a great work of engineering when it comes to coil binding machines.

The punching pins are aligned in a 4:1 pitch hole pattern. This means the machine will punch four holes per inch of paper. This is the most common coil binding hole patter used today. The CoilMac-ECI Plus can punch up to 20 sheets of paper at a time.

Unlike the CoilMac-ECI Plus’s cousin, the standard CoilMac-ECI, the ECI Plus punches oval-shaped holes. These oval holes are supposed to make coil insertion and page turns easier. I have used both round and oval holes in book binding and am personally fine with both formats. Both 4:1 pitch round and oval holes take the same supplies.

The ECI Plus also features fully disengaging punching pins. This means you can select exactly which holes you want punched. This is really nice when binding custom books. Have you ever used a binding machine that ended up with a half-punched hole at the end of the paper? This is no longer an issue with disengaging punching pins.

The CoilMac-ECI Plus weighs in at about 52 pounds, so be sure you set it on a desk or table that can support that weight. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

My favorite feature in the CoilMac-ECI Plus is the electric coil inserter. Any inserter is nice, but the CoilMac-ECI Plus uses a wide and powerful inserter that makes coil insertion extremely easy. A food pedal is used to turn the inserter on and off, which allows you to hold the book with both hands.

Overall I am extremely impressed with this coil binding machine. I really can’t find any faults in it. Sure it would be nice to have an electric punch, but you really can’t complain too much considering the quality and the price.

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

Akiles CoilMac-ER Plus Coil Binding Machine Review

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Akiles CoilMac-ER Plus Coil Binding MachineCoil binding has quickly jumped up to the top of the popular list and is now one of the most common book binding formats used today. Finding the right coil binder isn’t always an easy task. One machine you may want to consider using is the Akiles CoilMac-ER Plus coil binding machine (found here). This is my review.

To begin with, the CoilMac-ER Plus coil binding machine uses a 4:1 pitch hole pattern. This means that it punches four holes per inch of paper. This is the most common hole pattern used in coil binding machines today. Coil binding can be used to bind cookbooks, manuals, books, textbooks and much more.

The CoilMac-ER Plus uses a manual punch to punch through up to 20 sheets of 20 lbs paper at a time. This is fairly large amount of paper for a manual punch machine. You will notice in the picture that the CoilMac-ER has a fairly long punching handle. This added length provides additional leverage, making it easier to punch paper.

The build quality of the CoilMac-ER is great. The machine is made from metal and should easily last several years without any issues. The CoilMac-ER weighs 38 pounds, which should give you a pretty good idea on how solid it is.

The CoilMac-ER Plus has two benefits over the standard CoilMac-ER.

  1. Oval Punching Pins – The CoilMac-ER uses a punching die that punches oval-shaped holes. Oval-shaped holes are supposed to make pages easier to turn than standard round holes.
  2. Selectable Punching Pins – Selectable (disengaging) punching pins means you can choose exactly which hole punches. This is ideal for binding larger or smaller documents. By disengaging a punching pin, you can eliminate half-punched holes.

The CoilMac-ER also includes a built in electric coil inserter. Electrically spinning coils through punched paper is several times faster than manually inserting coils. The electric inserter is located on the top-left of the machine. The CoilMac-ER Plus uses a food pedal activated inserter for hands-free operation.

Overall I am very impressed with the Akiles CoilMac-ER. It is very easy to use, seems to be very solid and can be used for light to medium-volume book binding. This machine can be used in copy shops, schools, churches and other businesses without any issues.

You can find the CoilMac-ER Plus coil binding machine here. You can find the standard Akiles CoilMac-ER here. You can find our entire selection of manual coil binding machines here.

Akiles WireMac-E Wire Binding Machine Review

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Akiles WireMac-E Electric Wire Binding MachineAre you in need of a solid electric wire binding machine for your book binding needs? One model you may want to consider is the Akiles WireMac-E wire binding machine (found here). I have had a chance to use this machine and this is my review.

Here at ABC Office we have a stocked showroom, so I am able to play around with much of the equipment we sell. We have a lot of binding machines from Akiles in stock and I have had a chance to use most of them. I have bound books using the WireMac-E. The first word that comes to mind when describing the WireMac-E is “solid.”

The build quality on the Akiles WireMac-E is exceptional. This is the case with most Akiles machines. The machine is made from cast iron with metal components. It weighs about 70 pounds, which gives you a pretty good idea on the build.

You can get the WireMac-E in either a 2:1 or 3:1 pitch. The pitch determines the hole pattern that is punched. A 2:1 pitch has two holes per inch where a 3:1 has three holes per inch.

Because the holes on a 2:1 are spaced farther apart, it can be used to bind thicker books than a 3:1. The look is a little different between the two. Ultimately the hole pattern you choose will depend entirely on the thickness of the book and the look you want.

Punching paper on the WireMac-E is very easy. It is food pedal operated, which frees up both hands for holding the paper. I really like hands-free operation on a binding machine. Both the 2:1 and 3:1 versions of the WireMac-E are capable of punching up to 20 sheets of paper at a time. Wire is still inserted manually and the wire closing is completed by pulling a lever.

Some people may find the positioning of the wire closing a little awkward, since it is on the left side of the machine, but that shouldn’t be a problem. I am right handed and closing wire with my left hand didn’t seem like a problem. I’m not entirely sure why they laid it out that way.

A dial on the right side of the machine is used to adjust how far the wire closer will close the wire. It seems to be dead on accurate. If you are using ¼-inch wire, you adjust the wire closer to ¼-inch and you’re ready to go. A good wire closer is critical in wire binding. If the wire isn’t closed enough, pages will fall out, and if it is closed to much, it looks odd and pages will bind up.

I’m only covering a few of the features found in this machine. It really is jam packed. My overall impression on the WireMac-E is very high. I consider it to be a high quality machine capable of daily continuous book binding.

You can find the Akiles WireMac-E wire binding machine here. You can find our entire selection of electric punch wire binding machines here.

Akiles RubiCoil Spiral Binding Machine Review

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Akiles RubiCoil Spiral / Coil Binding MachineIf you like spiral binding (aka coil), but you don’t have the need for a big massive machine, you may want to consider using the Akiles RubiCoil (found here). I have used this spiral binding machine and this is my review.

Akiles is well known for the build quality of their machines. Akiles machines are made from metal components, unlike much of the competition’s plastic machines. It’s usually pretty safe to say that an Akiles machine will last for years.

The RubiCoil is an entry-level spiral binding machine designed for use in the home or for occasional spiral binding jobs around the office. It is ideal for binding a couple to a dozen books a day. Any more than that and you may want to consider looking at an Akiles CoilMac (found here).

The RubiCoil is very stable and durable. The metal chassis on the RubiCoil eliminates play during binding. The punching die is machined to a 4:1 pitch, which means the RubiCoil is designed to punch four holes per inch of paper.

The RubiCoil is manually operated. Paper is punched by pulling a handle, up to 10 sheets of standard copy paper. I like the “U” shaped design of the handle because it allows the operator to pull down on the lever from any angle, regardless of hand preference. The paper punching is easy and doesn’t require a lot of effort.

Coils on the RubiCoil are manually inserted. The RubiCoil has a coil-inserting table on the front of the machine that makes manual coil insertion easier. This table has a channel dip in it that helps guide the coil. While I would love to see an electric coil inserter, it simply isn’t possible for the price.

Overall I like the RubiCoil. It is important to take into consideration that it is designed for low-volume use though. You certainly don’t want to use it for daily jobs of dozens of books. It simply isn’t designed to handle that much use.

You can find the Akiles RubiCoil spiral binding machine here. You can find our entire selection of spiral binding machines here.

SircleBind CW-350 Comb & Wire Binding Machine Review

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

SircleBind CW-350 Comb and Wire Binding MachineAre you looking for a well rounded binding machine capable of binding in both comb and wire? If this is the case, you have probably found several different options. One machine you may want to look at is the SircleBind CW-350 comb and wire binding machine (found here). This is my review.

Sircle brand binding machines are some of the most affordable binding machines out there. Sircle machines often include many high-end features found in more expensive machines. The SircleBind CW-350 is an example of this.

To begin with, the SircleBind CW-350 has selectable punching pins. This means you can disengage pins that you don’t want to punch. Why is this nice? Because you can punch odd-sized paper without annoying half-punched holes at the edges of paper. This is a feature that I look for in binding machines.

The SircleBind CW-350 also has the ability to punch holes for either 3:1 pitch wire (three holes per inch) and 19-ring comb. Because the CW-350 has a comb opener and a wire closer, you can also use the CW-350 with 19-ring wire, sometimes called wire comb.

Having multi-format binding capabilities makes this machine great for people who can’t settle on wire or comb. The CW-350 gets away with multi-bind functionality without sacrificing quality or functionality. Everything is combined into one compact machine.

The design of the CW-350 isn’t bad either. It features a contemporary design that fits in well with most office environments. The handle and paper support plate can be folded down for convenient storage.

Another nice feature of the SircleBind CW-350 is the “U” shaped handle. This is nice because you can punch paper, close wire and open combs from a variety of positions. This design is especially nice for those of you who are left-handed and are tired of right-handed only binding machines.

Overall I am impressed with this machine. While I don’t consider it to be up to the level of an Akiles machine, you really can’t complain too much about the price. This is a great machine for low to medium volume binding.

You can find the SircleBind CW-350 comb and wire binding machine here. You can find our entire selection of combination binding machines here.

Akiles MegaBind-1 Comb Binding Machine Review

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Akiles MegaBind-1 Comb Binding MachineDo you need a solid, well-rounded comb binding machine? Finding one can be difficult in an ocean of dozens of different makes and models. One machine you may want to consider looking at is the Akiles MegaBind-1 comb binder (found here). I have used this machine and this is my review.

To start with, Akiles makes some of the highest quality binding machines out there. While there isn’t a consumer reports list of binding machine reviews available, if there was Akiles would probably be at the top of the list. The build quality is just phenomenal.

The Akiles MegaBind-1 is no exception when it comes to build quality. The machine is made out of solid metal. The gears are metal, the housing is metal, etc. Because this machine is so solid, it is very easy to use. Longevity is no issue with the MegaBind-1.

So who should use the MegaBind-1? This machine is a good all-round machine best used for low to medium-volume binding. It can be used to bind reports, cookbooks, booklets and more. It is compact enough to be set on almost any table, counter or desk.

It is a manual machine, so don’t expect binding speeds seen in electric machines. It is capable of punching up to 25 sheets of paper at a time (thanks to an upgraded punch), so it is fast, but electric machines will always be faster.

If you are left handed, be aware that the lever for punching and opening the combs is located on the right side of the machine. This isn’t an issue for most people, but you should be aware.

A few features that I really like in this machine are the selectable punching dies and the adjustable margin depth. For the price, these features are pretty uncommon. Both of these features will increase your ability to bind books of various sizes and thicknesses.

Overall I am very impressed with this little comb binding machine. It is solid, durable and priced right. You can find the Akiles MegaBind 1 comb binding machine here. The MegaBind is also available in a MegaBind-2 found here.

The MegaBind-2 is pretty much the same as the MegaBind-1 but with a wire closer for 19-ring wire. You can find our entire selection of manual-punch comb binding machines here.

Akiles CoilMac-M Coil Binding Machine Review

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Akiles CoilMac-M Coil Binding MachineCoil binding (aka spiral binding) is one of the most attractive and durable binding formats available today. If you are in the market for a coil binding machine, you’ve probably discovered there are a lot of options. One machine you may want to consider is the Akiles CoilMac-M coil binding machine (found here). I have used this machine and this is my review.

To begin with, the CoilMac-M is available in two different versions. One is the basic CoilMac-M and the other is the CoilMac-M Plus. There are only two significant differences between these two machines.

The CoilMac-M has five selectable (disengageable) punching pins where the CoilMac-M Plus has 54. The CoilMac-M punches round holes where the CoilMac-M Plus punches oval-shaped holes. More selectable dies is always nice and the oval holes are suppose to make for easier page turns.

Akiles CoilMac Hole PatternsBoth machines are made from solid metal and feature durable construction. This is the case with most Akiles machines. I can’t even think of I time I heard a complaint back from a customer regarding the CoilMac-M.

Both the CoilMac-M and the Plus weigh in at 35 pounds, which gives you an idea on how tough they are. They punch a total of 20 holes of paper at a time, which is pretty good for a manual-punch machine.

The CoilMac-M uses a 4:1 pitch hole pattern. This means it punches a total of four holes per inch of paper. This is the most common coil binding hole pattern and the supplies are very common.

I suppose my biggest complaint with the CoilMac-M series of binding machines is that they don’t have an electric inserter. Coils have to be manually inserted through the holes. If you are only binding a dozen books a day, that isn’t an issue.

If you need to bind dozens or more books a day, you may want to go with something that has an inserter like the Akiles CoilMac-ER, CoilMac-ECI or CoilMac-ECI Plus.

Overall I really like the CoilMac-M coil binders. I would rate these as being perfect for low to medium-volume use. You can easily use the CoilMac-M to create booklets, reports, cookbooks and more. You can find the CoilMac-M here and the CoilMac-M Plus here. You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here.

Akiles OffiWire Wire Binding Machine Review

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Akiles OffiWire Wire Binding MachineWire binding looks great. It can be used for binding reports, booklets and much more. So which machine should you get? One model you may want to consider buying is the Akiles OffiWire (found here). I have used this machine and this is my review.

To begin with, the OffiWire is made by Akiles. I make this point because Akiles is known as being one of the best binding machine manufacturers around. They have passed up GBC and many other manufacturers in quality and durability. Akiles machines are made from durable metal components.

The OffiWire is a wire binding machine. Wire binding is sometimes referred to as twin loop or double loop wire. I have even heard some people refer to wire binding as wire comb.

The OffiWire is available in two different pitches (hole patterns). This includes both 2:1 and 3:1 pitch. A 2:1 pitch hole pattern has two holes per inch of paper and a 3:1 pitch hole pattern is three holes per inch.

Both hole punch patterns look similar but are still very distinct. A 2:1 pitch pattern has the holes spaced farther apart, allowing the 2:1 pitch to bind a thicker book. The 3:1 pitch pattern has the holes closer together, creating a “tighter” look. I find more people go with the 2:1 pitch due to the added binding capacity.

The Akiles OffiWire is a very simple, yet well-built machine. It isn’t designed for high-volume binding. It’s best used at home or in the office for binding the occasional booklet or report. I wouldn’t use the OffiWire for binding any more than a few dozen books a day maximum.

The OffiWire weighs in at 23 pounds, which is fairly hefty for the size, but it can still be easily moved around from one room to another. It is best used on a desk, table or counter.

Punching paper with the OffiWire is very easy to do. The “U” shaped handle is easy to pull and is equally easy to use between right-handed and left-handed people. There is a side margin control adjustment to help get the holes properly aligned. The OffiWire can punch up to 10 sheets of standard paper at a time. It even includes a wire selector tool.

One thing I wish the OffiWire had was selectable (disengageable) punching dies. While not an absolute necessity, I do like to have the ability to choose which holes will punch. In this price range, however, selectable dies are not very common.

One of my favorite features of the OffiWire is the closer. It has one of the toughest, heaviest-duty wire closers I have seen in some time. It is very reminiscent of the old EB-32 wire binder from the late 90s. The wire closer is designed to close evenly and effortlessly.

I have to say that if you have low to medium-volume wire binding needs, the OffiWire may be a good fit for you. It is very affordable and should last you for years without a problem. You can find the Akiles OffiWire wire binding machine here. You can find our entire selection of wire binding machines here.

GBC VeloBind System Three Pro Binding Machine Review

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

GBC VeloBind System Three Pro Binding MachineDo you need a binding system that can handle a lot of paper? Perhaps up to three-inches of paper? If you need to securely bind that much paper, you should seriously consider using the VeloBind System Three Pro from GBC (found here). I have used this machine for years now and this is my review.

To begin with, VeloBind in general looks really good. The concept is very simple. You punch the paper (11 total holes), insert the VeloBind strip (11 total prongs), put it in the machine and the machine does the rest. VeloBind is one of the most tamper-proof and secure binding formats available today.

The VeloBind System Three Pro punches the paper, cuts off the excess prongs and uses heat to automatically seal the back strip to the VeloBind prongs. Apart from some manual interaction, the machine is fairly automated. Be aware that the VeloBind System Three Pro is also marketed as the System Three Pro SecureBind. They are both the same machine.

The System Three Pro can bind paper up to three-inches thick, but can also be used to bind smaller and thinner books. The machine will cut off the excess prongs and adjust the strip to the thickness of the book being bound.

The System Three Pro can use 1 x 11, 2 x 11 and 3 x 11 strips. These are one, two and three-inch strips. If you used a three-inch (3 x 11) strip with a ¼-inch thick book, the machine would cut off the excess 2 ¾-inches of prong. You can find our VeloBind supplies here.

Three inches is a lot of paper. A lot of people ask if the VeloBind System Three Pro can really bind this much paper. My answer is “yes, it can.” It does a very good job at binding that much paper. The VeloBind strips keep the paper in place and the end result is extremely secure.

This machine is particularly popular with lawyer’s offices, businesses that deal with contracts, construction companies and other organizations that need to bind a lot of paper. VeloBind is also popular with businesses that need a “tamper proof” binding system. A VeloBound document cannot be tampered with. Pages can be ripped out, but it is obvious.

GBC VeloBind Binding MachinesAlthough the VeloBind System Three Pro does have a de-bind feature, it doesn’t work that well. It essentially heats up the back strip, making it possible to peel it off. Because the prongs are cut off and sealed with heat in the binding process, the prongs have almost a mushroom-like shape to them. Because the end of the prong is “mushroomed” out, they don’t pull back through the paper easily. Ultimately you will get the VeloBind strip back out of the paper, but the paper won’t look “untouched.”

Also be aware that pages bound with VeloBind will not lay flat. If you need a document that lays flat, you will need to go with a binding format like coil / spiral binding. Coil and spiral binding cannot, however, bind three-inches of paper.

Overall I really like the VeloBind System Three Pro. It is secure, easy-to-use, inexpensive to operate and the end results look professional. In fact, I think VeloBound documents look far more expensive than they really are. You can find our GBC VeloBind System Three Pro here. You can find our entire selection of GBC VeloBind machines here.

Tamerica V2000-Pro SecureBind Review

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Tamerica V2000-Pro SureBind Binding MachineDo you need to VeloBind documents but don’t have the budget to buy a GBC VeloBind machine? You may want to consider an alternative. That’s right. Tamerica makes a machine called the V2000-Pro SecureBind (found here) that punches the same hole pattern as VeloBind and uses the same supplies as VeloBind. Here is my review of the V2000-Pro SecureBind.

To begin with, Tamerica’s SecureBind is their own take on VeloBind. The V2000-Pro SecureBind is very similar in operation the GBC VeloBind V800 Pro. The biggest difference between the two machines is that the Tamerica V2000-Pro can bind two-inches of paper where the V800 Pro can only bind one inch of paper. Because VeloBind supplies are so readily available, you will have no trouble keeping the V2000-Pro up and running.

The V2000-Pro can punch between 20-22 sheets of standard copy paper at a time. This amount will vary depending on the type of paper you are punching. I recommend starting at about half the maximum punching capacity and working up from there. The V2000-Pro punches a total of 11 holes along an 11-inch side of paper.

Hole punching is completely manual. One thing I really like about the V2000-Pro is the “U” shaped handle. This makes it easier to punch paper with your left or right hand.

Once the holes are punched, an 11-prong SecureBind or VeloBind. Strip can be inserted through the punched holes. A back strip is then placed on the back of the paper. The document is then placed on the V2000-Pro.

Much like the V800 Pro from GBC, the V2000-Pro automatically cuts off the excess prongs and seals them shut using heat. The end result is an extremely secure bind, hence the name SecureBind.

This style of binding is very popular with lawyer’s offices, construction companies and other businesses that bind large volumes of paper. You are able to use your own covers and back sheets.

You can find the Tamerica V2000-Pro SecurBind here. You can find our VeloBind supplies here. You can find our entire selection of VeloBind machines here.

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