When it comes to binding styles, the most common punch patterns only work with a single binding method. In this post we’ll explore Spiral-O, PaperLock, and comb binding – three distinct binding options that can be used in conjunction with the 19-hole comb binding punch pattern.
Comb Binding: The Basics
Comb binding utilizes plastic combs in order to create custom booklets. The punch pattern for comb binding has 19 holes per letter-sized sheet, and can be created using either a manual or electric punch. A comb opener holds the comb open while punched pages are inserted onto the prongs.
Plastic binding combs are available in a broad range of sizes, accommodating as few as 12 pages and as many as 425 pages. They come in standard 11" lengths, which are made up of 19 rings and are sized to bind 8 1/2" x 11" (letter size) paper. Comb sizing is based upon the diameter of the comb in inches (or fractions thereof). Binding combs come in a wide variety of colors, allowing organizations to create custom-looking bound documents without having to pay for custom combs. The comb design allows for easy editing of documents, since it can be opened after binding to add, remove or reorder pages without damage. It is the only binding style that offers that capability, making it ideal for organizations that require frequent updates to their materials, such as churches or schools.
Spiral-O: The Basics
Spiral-O wires look similar to traditional twin loop binding wires, but they are specially designed to fit the same 19-hole punch pattern as comb binding. Spiral-O wires have 19 loops (similar to binding combs).
Like duo-wire, Spiral-O wire offers tamper-proof binding that is durable and lays flat when opened. The biggest advantage of binding with Spiral-O wire is that it uses the same pattern as comb binding, which means that users who already own comb binding punches do not need to purchase an additional punch, however it does require the use of a wire closer to secure the bind.
Spiral-O wire is available in sizes ranging from 1/4" (20-30 sheets of standard 20 lb bond paper) to 1" (190-220 sheets of 20 lb bond paper), and in seven standard colors. The per-wire cost for Spiral-O is significantly higher than that of twin loop wire, so if you plan on binding frequently, you may want to consider twin loop binding instead.
PaperLock: The Basics
The PaperLock binding system uses adhesive-backed paper strips to create secure, eco-friendly bound documents. Though the machine itself does not perform any punching, it utilizes the same 19-hole punch pattern as traditional comb binding. To bind with the PaperLock system, begin by inserting your pre-punched document into the binding slot and clamping it in place. Insert the appropriate size of PaperComb into the holes and remove the adhesive backing, then use the Overturning Panel to flip the comb onto the document. Once the comb has been turned onto the spine, simply pull the binding handle down to complete the bind. After you have loosened the clamp, retrieve your finished document from the binding slot.
Like presentations bound with plastic combs, documents bound with the PaperLock system lay completely flat when opened, making them ideal for reports and proposals. Because the spine is flush against the surface of the paper, the resulting documents are easy to stack, file, and mail. PaperComb spines are secure and tamper-proof by nature, however you can add an extra layer of protection by signing or applying a company stamp across the seam of the bind – a feature that is unique to this binding style. Since the binding spines are made of paper, they are Earth-friendly and biodegradable, which is why a growing number of environmentally-conscious organizations have begun to use them in place of traditional comb binding spines made of plastic. Unlike plastic combs which require users to stock a broad range of sizes to accommodate different documents, PaperCombs can bind as few as four pages or as many as 200 with only three sizes. They are available in many attractive colors that will compliment any corporate brand identity.
If you already own a comb binding machine and are interested in alternate binding styles, then be sure to take a closer look at Spiral-O wire and PaperLock PaperCombs. Using the punch that you already use for comb binding in conjunction with a wire closer or the PaperLock binding system, you can create three distinct binds without having to purchase additional, full-function binding machines.