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What is a Binding Machine?

By Jodee Redmond
Updated May 17, 2024
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A binding machine is a device used to secure papers together. It is a relatively common piece of piece of equipment used in offices and schools. Businesses offering copying services will also likely have binding machines available. Depending on the company, self-serve binding machines may be available right alongside photocopy machines for public use.

Binding machines are available in both manual and electric styles. If you only have a few projects that require binding, or items to be bound are only a few pages long, then a manual binding machine may be the right choice. However, in a situation where you have a large volume of materials to be bound or your projects are rather lengthy, it makes more sense to go with an electric version.

Using a binding machine is relatively simple. You place a few sheets into the unit, left-hand side up. If the machine is a manual type, you then pull down on a lever to punch holes in the paper. With an electric model, you press down on a foot pedal to perform the same action.

Once the holes have been punched in the paper, the next part of the procedure for using a binding machine is to secure the papers. A popular choice for this function is to use plastic comb binding. This form of binding is inexpensive and reusable. Plastic comb binding involves punching 19 holes in a standard sheet of paper. Longer plastic comb binding coils are available for use with legal-sized documents.

Plastic comb binding coils are available in a number of widths to accommodate up to 425 pages at a time. Once you have selected the right one for the job in question, you position it on the binding machine and spread the coils open. The machine will hold them open while you position the punched holes on the coils. Once you have placed all the pages onto the plastic comb binding coils, you use a lever to close the coils and your project is bound and ready to go.

When you want a more professional-looking option for binding papers, you may want to consider using a double loop wire with the binding machine. This type of binding is available in 2:1 or 3:1 ratio. This type of binding makes it easier for the bound document to lie flat, which may be desirable for manuals or cookbooks.

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Discussion Comments
By anon298974 — On Oct 23, 2012

Nice and precise description of the binding machine. You have also mentioned the types of them. I find it quite informative.

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