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Comb Binding for Professional Publishing

Updated on September 5, 2014

Comb Binders

Comb Bind your Documents for that Professional Finish

If you need to create a presentation or organise your documents, binding can be a valuable resource. Whilst there are several different types of binder, such as Double Loop Wire, Coil, Velobind and Thermal, Plastic Comb binding is arguably the most popular type of binding for general office and home use. The plastic combs are durable and can be re-used.

Comb binders can be manually operated or electrically operated. Manual punches are usually used for small to medium volume jobs and the electric punches are usually used for medium to high volume jobs. It all depends on how much work you want to do.

The binding machine first punches a series of holes in the paper to be bound. After punching the holes, a binding comb is placed in the machine. A handle is pulled which opens the combs up and whilst open, the 'teeth' of the combs are fed through the punched holes and then the comb closes, binding the paper.

You need to think about the type of binding you'll need to be doing to select the right binder in the following areas

  • Punching Capacity - Some low end manual machines will only punch 5 sheets of A4 (80gsm) paper. Not much good if you're needing a 100 page report bound. Others, such as the GBC C20 will punch up to 20 sheets at a time.
  • Binding Capacity - Some machines can only bind up to 95 sheets, whilst others such as the GBC Multibind 320 will bind up to 500 sheets.

There are a number of manufacturers of good comb binding machines, these are GBC, Rexel, Fellowes and Ibico. Of these, GBC has arguably the largest range of Comb binders in terms of price and performance from machines costing less than £40 to the BC ProClick P3000 Electric binder which costs around £1,300 but which will electrically bind a document in 6 seconds or 450 documents an hour.

If you've decided on your comb binding machine then you need to consider the most appropriate binding supplies for the task. Binding supplies cover:

  • Binding Covers - These come in different materials such as cardboard, PVC, Polypropylene, linen effect and leather effect and come in all sorts of colours.
  • Binding Combs - These come in 14 sizes in both A5 and A4 format from 6mm combs which will bind up to around 15 sheets up to 51mm which will bind up to 450 sheets. In addition to different sizes, binding combs come in a multitude of different colours allow bound presentations to be colour co-ordinated with projects or company brand colours.

Finally, it's very easy to unbind and edit bound documents using comb binders. Simply insert the document into the comb binder, unbind it, remove or add pages and rebind. Also, with comb binding, pages lie flat which makes photocopying bound document pages simple.

At Office Allsorts we supply a wide range of comb binders and office supplies and are always on hand to help. Use our live chat to ask questions and we will happily help you select the right product that suits your needs.

How to use a Comb Binding Machine

Comb Binders If your business has an office, then you require a Comb Binding Machine. Typically comb binding is one of the several means to bind pages together to form a book. In this method you use round plastic spines with either 19 or 21 rings or "teeth" depending on the size of the paper along with a puncher that makes rectangular holes on the papers to be bound. This is called a plastic comb binder.

Generally this sort of binding, if required in large quantities, is carried out by printers, but you can purchase a comb binding machine for home or office use for a relatively low price.

In order to bind pages you first have to load the paper into the machine. Generally comb binders can punch a certain number pages in one go, which means that if you are binding a large number of pages you may have to punch them a few at a time. Once the holes are punched the rings on the plastic spine are opened and inserted into the holes in the pages that then rest on the base length of the spine. As a consequence the rings close up and you have all the necessary pages bound into book form. These rings can be opened again if you need to add extra pages later.

When you purchase a comb binding machine you are provided with a user guide that will tell you exactly how to go about the binding process. Remember that you should never punch more sheets than recommended by the manufacturer. It would be a good idea to punch lesser number of sheets rather than load the machine to full capacity so as not strain the machines parts which may potentially lead to damage and repair costs. It is also important to clear the chip tray on a regular basis to prevent it becoming blocked.

Comb binding machines are aplenty in the market today and there is no doubt that you can avail of a binding machine of your choice if you just browse the internet. But remember you have to have a fairly good idea of the type of binding machine that you have in mind. There are good variety of binding machines to suit every taste and pocket.

By and large all comb binder machines work in more or less the same fashion and they all typically use two major steps. One is the punching and the other the binding. The punching area is generally found at the bottom of the machine while the binding spines will be inserted on to the pages either on the top or the side of the binding machine. The comb binder is placed into a row of stakes and normally the same lever that is utilised for the punching process is used to open or separate the teeth. When you have placed the punched pages in line with the teeth of the comb then the lever is released such that the teeth close round each other as a result of which the pages are held together.

Which ever way you look at it, whether you are a novice or an expert in binding there is no doubt about the fact that comb binding is one of the best and easiest means of binding. comb bindersare available in two varieties the manual and the electric, and as you can rightly guess the electric ones are definitely more efficient. Some of the most commonly used machines are the GBC BindMate, the GBC CombBind Series and the GBC ClickBind Series.

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    • profile image

      sharonsaxton 6 years ago

      Great content thanks

    • profile image

      Conveyor_Systems 6 years ago

      Great lens :) Thanks.

    • jenangeldigital profile image

      jenangeldigital 6 years ago

      Thanks for this post, it's very helpful :)

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      Carl Barton 6 years ago from Nottingham

      @twisted-barfly: Thats great - glad we could help! Comb binders are great for organising documents, letters and bills around the office or home.

    • twisted-barfly profile image

      twisted-barfly 6 years ago

      Great post, I've been thinking about using comb binders for my business but didn't know mcuh about them. Thanks for clearing it up for me :)