An Overview of Wire Binding: A Tamper-Resistant & Durable Binding Method

There are many wonderful binding options offered to today’s consumer, ranging from traditional methods that have been around for decades to innovative, new styles that are just emerging. As a result, selecting the right machine and supplies to fit your unique needs can be a daunting task. In this post, we will cover the basics of wire binding, which is one of the most durable and secure of the traditional binding styles.

The Basics

Wire binding uses twin loop wires (also called “duo-wires,” “double loop wires,” “wire-o,” and “wirebinds”) to create strong and secure bound booklets. There are two distinct punch patterns used in wire binding – 2:1 pitch (two holes per inch) and 3:1 pitch (three holes per inch). The 3:1 pitch patter uses square holes, and is designed for small documents with fewer than 120 pages. The 2:1 pitch pattern, which is made up of rectangular holes, is reserved for larger documents with page counts of 110 pages or more. Depending on your binding volume, the holes can be punched using either a manual or electric punch. After the pages have been punched with the appropriate hole pattern, the holes in the document are aligned with the prongs of the wire and inserted. A specialized device called a wire closer is then used to gently bend the prongs of the wire into the closed position to secure the documents in place.

Twin Loop Binding Wires

Twin loop wires are available in both 2:1 and 3:1 pitches, and are sold in pre-cut, 11″ lengths as well as bulk spools for production environments. They are offered in a variety of colors, though not quite as many as plastic binding coils or 19-ring binding combs. Unlike plastic binding combs, duo-wires do not need to be opened before a document can be inserted as they are already in an “open” state. The looped design of binding wires enables wire-bound documents to lay flat when opened, making them an excellent choice for reports or presentations.

For information on which wire size to use for your project, refer to this wire binding chart. To see the selection of wire sizes and colors offered by Lamination Depot, visit our wire binding supplies section.

Wire Binding Machines

Wire binding utilizes two individual processes – punching the document and closing the binding wire to secure the document in place. Both punching and closing can be accomplished using either manual or electric machines, however electric wire closers are far less common than manual versions (and are generally only used in high volume production environments). Most wire binding machines offer both punching and closing capabilities, there are some stand-alone units that only punch or close (in addition to modular punches, which usually do not include a built-in wire closer).

When researching machines that perform punching (either with or without an inserter), there are a number of factors to consider. Most wire binding machines only punch a single pitch, which means that you will have to determine how many pages your average document will be and select the pitch that corresponds to that size. The 3:1 pitch pattern will bind documents ranging between 20 and 120 pages, and the 2:1 pitch pattern will bind documents between 110 and 260 pages. If you expect to bind a range of document sizes, then you may want to invest in a multi-function binding machine that is capable of punching with both patterns or a modular binding machine that uses interchangeable dies.

One of the biggest differences between available models is whether they are manual or electric, which has a major impact on the speed at which the operator is able to complete a job (with electric punches being much faster). Some punches only punch letter-sized paper, while others can accommodate larger sizes. The punch capacity (the number of sheets that can be punched at one time) ranges from 6-25 sheets, and some machines offer the ability to selectively disengage some or all of the punching pins (which allows the user to punch non-standard paper sizes or specialty paper, such as three-hole paper). Many machines include an adjustable depth margin, enabling the operator to move the placement of the holes relative to the edge of the paper.

Wire closers apply steady, uniform pressure to gently push the prongs of the wire closed. Since the wires are made of metal, documents bound with them are extremely tamper-resistant. Unlike combs, which can be opened and reused, or coils, which are easily removed and replaced, wire spines have to be bent or cut in order the edit the document, and specialized equipment is required to close a replacement wire.

To learn more about any of the wire binding machines available at Lamination Depot, visit our wire binding equipment section.

In Review

Wire binding is a popular method of document binding that creates books that are both attractive and functional. Because the wires are made of metal instead of plastic, they are more resistant to tampering and more durable than spiral binding coils or 19-ring combs. There are two distinct punch patterns used in wire binding – 2:1 pitch and 3:1 pitch – which accommodate specific document thicknesses. The punch patterns and supplies are not interchangeable, so it is important to purchase a binding machine that uses the appropriate pitch for your document size as well as the corresponding binding wires. If you plan on binding documents with a wide range of page counts, then you should consider a multi-function or modular binding machine that will enable you to punch using both 2:1 and 3:1 pitches. With both manual and electric punching and wire closing options available, it is possible to achieve a professional-looking and secure bound document within practically any budget. Electric punching can greatly increase binding speed and reduce operator fatigue, so it is recommended for high-volume production environments.

iCoil Binding Machine Review: Compact Coil Binding Machines with Robust Features

Many offices have transitioned their document binding in-house, but finding a binding machine that offers the right combination of features in an office-friendly size can be tricky. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the iCoil-41 binding machine series, which pairs essential binding functions with an attractive and compact design.

The Basics

Coil binding utilizes a 4:1 pitch hole pattern (four holes per inch) in conjunction with plastic coils to create bound documents. Depending on the binding machine used, the punch is either operated manually or electrically, with most small office machines utilizing manual operation. Though the coils can be inserted by hand (by simply twisting the coil through the holes in the document), organizations that bind frequently generally prefer to use an electric coil inserter to speed up production time and increase efficiency. Electric coil inserters are built in to a number of coil binding machines, but can also be purchased as stand-alone units. In order to complete the bind, it is necessary to trim the excess coil and crimp the ends so that the coil will be secured within the document. This is most commonly done with a pair of hand-held cutting and crimping pliers, though some high-volume production environments use electric coil cutting and crimping units.

Benefits of the iCoil-41 Binding Machine Series

The iCoil-41 coil binding machine series from Akiles has two models – the iCoil-41 and the iCoil-41+. Both offer the same general features, including a 15-sheet manual punch capacity, a compact electric coil inserter, and a free pair of manual coil crimpers, but the plus model also has oval holes instead of round holes (for easier coil insertion) and a letter 4:1 pitch hole pattern instead of standard 4:1 pitch (which eliminates partially punched holes at the edges of the paper). The iCoil binding machines have a streamlined design, which includes a hinged cover that keeps the machine clean and protected when not in use. The electric coil inserter is operated with a convenient foot pedal, and is capable of inserting coils up to 7/8″ (coils up to 2″ can be inserted manually). As with all Akiles binding machines, the iCoil coil binders have a 1-year warranty and are built with the utmost care and precision.

In Review

To help cut costs and increase productivity, many businesses are bringing their document binding in-house. With coil binding being one of the most popular and cost-effective binding styles, coil binding machines are especially well-liked within the office environment. The Akiles iCoil binding machine series is packed with features usually found in more costly machines, including an electric coil inserter, but a much more attractive price point. If your organization has been considering an investment in a binding machine, then be sure to take a closer look at the iCoil binding machine series.

Spiral-O, PaperLock, and Comb Binding: One Punch Pattern, Three Binding Options

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.

In Review

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.

Fastback Strips: Fast & Innovative Thermal Binding from Powis Parker

As we’ve outlined in previous posts, thermal binding is quickly becoming one of the most popular binding styles, both because of the ease of production and the attractiveness of the finish. The Fastback binding system, created by Powis Parker, is among the most user-friendly and unique thermal binding methods. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Powis Parker Fastback system, and learn what separates it from the competition.

Fastback Binding Strips

The Basics

Fastback Super Strips are vibrant, paper-based strips that have thermal adhesive pre-applied to the underside. Though there are other similar thermal binding tapes on the market, Powis Parker Super Strips have a few distinct features that make them special. They are manufactured to be extremely ecologically friendly, with at least 50% recycled content in the paper component (including up to 25% post-consumer pulp) and an environmentally neutral adhesive that does not release any harmful fumes. The adhesive side of each strip utilizes a patented “intelligent” coding that identifies the size and style of the strip being used, and the binding machine automatically adjusts to the optimum settings, which eliminates the need for manual configuration.

Powis Parker’s Fastback Super Strips are designed to work exclusively with the Fastback 20, Fastback 11, and Fastback 15xs binding machines, as well as the Powis Printer (a foil printing machine that allows users to create custom spines for their books). They are available in 15 attractive colors and three convenient widths. The narrow strip accommodates books 3-125 pages in length (up to 1/2”), the medium strip binds documents 126-250 pages long (1/2”-1”), and the wide strip is capable of binding 251-350 pages (1”-1 1/2”). They are rated with a pull strength of 50 lbs., and take as little as 15 seconds to create a secure bind.

Binding with Fastback Strips

Binding with Fastback strips is very easy. If you are using the Fastback 11 binding machine, documents are bound in a simple four-step process. Once the machine has warmed up, the first light on the three-light indicator panel will light up. Insert your documents, and align them to the right. When the second light begins flashing, press the green button on the machine. The third light will then begin to flash, indicating that it is time to insert the binding strip. Remove the book once all three lights flash, and allow it to cool briefly on the cooling rack.

Binding books with the Fastback 20 is a simple, three-step process. Jog and align the pages of your book before placing them into the binding machine, then press the green button. The Fastback 20 will automatically measure the thickness of your book and the display screen will show the required Super Strip width (either narrow, medium, or wide). Insert the requested binding strip and the machine will do the rest. Once the binding process has finished, remove the book from the binding channel and place it onto the cooling rack to allow the glue to set. 

If you are using the Fastback 15xs binding machine, the binding process is even easier. After the machine has reached the proper temperature, the display will read “Ready to Bind.” The book clamps will automatically open to a narrow width, but they can be opened to accommodate thicker documents by pressing the “OPEN” button. Align your documents and insert them into the binder, sliding them all the way to the right side of the opening. Next, press the green “BIND” button, which closes the book clamps. The machine will automatically determine which spine width you need to use based on the thickness of your document and will list the appropriate spine size on the display. Feed the correct strip into the machine, and the binding process will begin. Once binding is complete (approximately 15 seconds), the display will read “Remove Book.” Remove your document from the machine and allow it to cool on the cooling rack for a few minutes.

In Review

Thermal binding is one of the easiest ways to achieve a professional-looking, book-like finish on any document. There are a number of great thermal binding machines on the market, but the Powis Parker Fastback systems are the most innovative. The machines themselves are carefully designed for ease of use and are packed with unique features. Fastback Super Strips not only have the widest color selection on the market, but they are also ecologically friendly and surprisingly intelligent. Though the systems may not fall within the budgets of smaller organizations, mid-sized and large businesses that bind frequently will find them to be a worthwhile investment.

Making Your Own Custom Calendars with Wire Calendar Hangers

With the beginning of a new year just around the corner, there’s no better time to create your own custom calendars! Whether you’re using them for promotional giveaways for business associates or as unique gifts for friends and family, custom calendars are a great way to share your message with others all year long. Even if you don’t have the budget for large runs of professionally-made calendars, it is still possible to achieve professional-looking results in your own home or office when you use wire calendar hangers – and it’s surprisingly easy! In this post, we’ll take a closer look at wire calendar hangers and discover how they can transform ordinary color copies into a extraordinary wall calendars.

The Basics

Wire calendar hangers are small, sturdy pieces of wire that have a shallow curve located in the center. This curve is aligned with a notch on the edge of the document (which is created using a half-moon punch), and the resulting opening allows the calendar to be hung using a nail or push pin while still providing clearance for the pages to be turned. They are available in two sizes – 6” wires that accommodate calendars that are 6”-9” on the bound side and 10” wires that are designed for calendars that are 10” or larger on the bound edge. The calendar hanger is secured in place by a standard wire binding spine (recommended size: 5/16”).

The Process

Creating a custom calendar with wire calendar hangers is easy! All that is required is a 3:1 pitch wire binding machine, a half-moon punch, 5/16” twin loop binding wires (3:1 pitch)wire calendar hangers, and color copies of your photographs or promotional images that have been prepared with your favorite calendar software. Begin by using the half-moon punch to create a semi-circle notch in the center of the edge to be bound (the edge that will be used to hang the calendar). Next, align your document in the punching portion of your wire binding machine so that it has an even number of holes on both sides (note: this may require you to disengage a few pins to avoid punching partial holes in either the notched section or the outside edges of your calendar). After punching your document, cut your wire binding spine down to the appropriate length for each side of the top edge. Insert your pages as well as the wire calendar hanger into the two spine sections, and use your wire closer to complete the bind. Now your custom calendar is ready to share with a friend or colleague.

In Review

Almost everyone has a calendar hanging in their home or office, so creating a custom calendar is an excellent way to share your photographs or promotional messages with others throughout the entire year. Though professionally-produced calendars can be expensive (and often require large production runs), making your own calendars is a cost-effective and surprisingly simple process. By using a wire binding machinehalf-moon punchtwin loop wireswire calendar hangers, and your artwork, creating small or large batches of calendars is as easy as binding a document. If you’re looking for an original gift idea for friends or family, or a useful promotional piece for business associates, custom calendars may be an ideal choice for you.

Thermal Soft Covers: A One-Step Binding Solution!

With more and more organizations creating their own bound documents, making your own presentations stand apart from the rest is more important than ever. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at thermal soft covers to see how they work and to learn about how they can be used to add a professional touch to any document.

The Basics

Thermal soft covers are used for perfect binding, a popular binding style that uses heat-activated adhesives to create an attractive, uncluttered bind. Perfect binding is commonly used on both soft cover and hardcover books, as well as magazines, because it allows for easy stacking and storage (unlike other binding styles which tend to have a bulkier finish). Since the documents are secured with glue, no punching is required to achieve a secure bind.

Thermal Soft Covers

Like traditional binding covers, thermal soft covers are made from paper or clear plastic (or a combination thereof) and are available in a variety of finishes. Instead of having separate front and back covers, thermal soft covers come as a pre-scored, solid piece (similar to a file folder) that has a strip of thermally-activated adhesive down the center. To create a bind, simply place your document within the cover and insert the cover into your thermal binding machine (following the manufacturer’s instructions). Because the covers are made as single pieces, they are available in different spine sizes that are specifically designed to accommodate the thickness of your report. They are offered with spines as small as 1/16” (capable of holding 1-10 pages of standard 20 lb. paper) and 1-3/4” (capable of holding 280-350 pages of standard 20 lb. paper).


There are three standard styles of soft thermal covers – solid, window-cut, and transparent front. Solid covers are made from a single sheet of paper, and are available in a wide variety of textures and colors. Window-cut covers are identical to solid covers in style and design, however they have a small window cut out of the front cover that allows for a portion of the text or artwork from your title page to be visible. Transparent front covers have a paper back and a clear plastic front, which enables the entire title page to show through without requiring the reader to open the book.

One of the best features of this style of cover is that it can be customized in a number of ways, which makes it great for promotional documents, catalogs, pricelists, tax reports, or even yearbooks and photo books. They can be screenprinted, foil stamped, embossed, and offset printed, which gives you (or your organization) complete control over the look and feel of the finished book. When you combine the available customizations with the wide selection of cover stocks and styles, the possibilities are practically limitless!

In Review

Perfect binding is a great way to achieve a book-like finish on almost any document. It creates a slim spine that is stackable and easy to store (unlike other conventional binding methods). Thermal soft covers are used in conjunction with a perfect binding machine, and come with thermally-activated glue pre-applied. Since they already have the adhesive in place, you simply have to insert your document into the cover and place it within the thermal binding machine to create your bind. Thermal soft covers are available in many attractive colors and textures, and can even be customized with screenprinting, foil, embossing, or offset printing to create your ideal book.

If you are looking for a way to make your presentations, reports, and even photo books look stand out, then you’ll definitely want to consider binding with thermal soft covers. Not only are they among the most professional-looking binding covers, but they also require very little effort to use. With almost endless options for customization, you can design custom thermal soft covers to fit all of your binding needs.

Extra Savings on Overstocked Products!

Have you been looking for the best deals on binding and laminating supplies? Then you’ll definitely want to check out Lamination Depot’s clearance section! From deals on overstocked products to savings on recently discontinued items, you’ll find a wide selection of products at prices that are impossible to beat. New items are being added often, so be sure to visit our clearance area frequently to take advantage of these special offers before they are gone! These limited-time deals are only available while supplies last.

The PaperLock Binding Machine: An Eco-Friendly Binding System

Ecologically-friendly products are continuing to grow in popularity, and Earth-conscious binding solutions are no exception. Though many binding systems have traditionally used plastic spines to secure documents, an innovative new system uses paper to create secure and attractive binds with ease. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the PaperLock binding machine, a powerful, table-top binder that offers a number of unique benefits.

PaperLock Binding System

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 binding 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.

In Review

The PaperLock binding system is an innovative machine that transforms paper strips into secure and attractive binding spines. The machine itself is easy to use, however it does require the use of pre-punched paper in the 19-hole comb binding pattern, as it doesn’t perform any punching. If your organization has been looking for a way to bind documents without having to use traditional plastic spines, then the PaperLock binder may be a great solution for you.

56 New Reasons to Bind with Screw Posts!

In our post “Getting to Know Screw Posts: A Binding Solution with a Twist,” we introduced you to screw posts (also called “Chicago screws”) – versatile, inexpensive, and popular binding posts that are reusable and easy-to-edit. Now, we’d like to share the newest additions to our collection of screw posts. Lamination Depot now carries 56 new varieties, including black-, antique brass-, and gold-finished aluminum posts as well as multi-function plastic posts in black and white. In this post, we’ll recap some of the benefits of this unique binding style and take a look at the new screw posts that are now available.

Screw Posts from Lamination Depot

The Basics

A screw post is made up of two separate pieces – a threaded post attached to a head and a cylinder attached to a matching head. To create a bound item, a hole is first punched through the documents to be bound. The cylinder is inserted into the hole, and then the threaded post is inserted into the cylinder and tightened. Because the heads are of a larger diameter than the hole, the documents remain securely bound between them. To make changes within the bound document, simply unscrew the threaded post from the cylinder, insert your revised documents, and reassemble the screw post.

New Styles

In addition to our popular, silver-finished aluminum Chicago screws, we now carry aluminum posts in goldblack, and antique brass finishes. All of our aluminum screw posts have the following specifications:

Outside Post Diameter: 3/16″
Screw Head Diameter: 7/16″
Screw Head Height: 1/16″ (top and bottom heads will add a combined 1/8″ to post length)
Screw Posts 3/8″ & Smaller: Post is threaded all the way through
Screw Posts 1/2″ & Larger: Post is threaded on one side
Recommended Hole Size: 1/4″-5/16″

Our new plastic screw posts, which are available in black and white, offer the same features of our aluminum binding posts as well as a special permanent binding capability not available on other screw posts. To create a standard, removable bind, slowly twist the screw into the post, threading it into position. For those projects that require a more secure, permanent bind, simply snap the screw directly into the post (without twisting), which locks the post into position. The threads have barbs that lock the post into place when inserted by pushing as opposed to twisting.

In Review

Screw posts are a great way to quickly and easily bind documents of all sizes, without needing a machine or other specialized equipment. With 56 new binding posts now available, there is a post style for every application, from elegant menus and eye-catching swatch books to oversized blueprints and thick manuscripts. In addition to standard, reusable aluminum posts that are available in four finishes, new plastic binding posts give users the option to create permanent binds by snapping the posts into place instead of twisting them. If you have the need to bind something, but don’t have the budget to invest in new equipment, then you should definitely give screw posts a try.

An Overview of Thermal Binding: Customizable & Professional

Have you been looking for a way to create stylish, secure, and professional-looking bound documents within your own office or home? In this post, we will provide an overview of thermal binding – a steadily growing binding style that is both customizable and attractive.

The Basics

There are two types of thermal binding – binding with an adhesive spine and binding with sets of pronged plastic bars (commonly referred to as “VeloBind spines”). The most popular thermal binding style involves the application of an adhesive-lined spine to a set of documents using a specialized machine that heats the spine and melts the glue, allowing adhesive to permeate the documents and create a bind. These spines are available in a few styles, including varieties that have pre-attached covers in both soft- and hard-cover formats. VeloBind-style binding is preferred by people looking to create tamper-proof binds, as it is impossible to edit without having to rebind the document. To bind with these spines, the user punches the documents with the proper hole pattern, inserts the pronged side through the holes and then slides the flat side onto the prongs. The document is then placed into a VeloBind binding machine, which trims the prongs to size and melts the ends to secure the bind.

Thermal Binding with Binding StripsThermal Binding with VeloBind Spines

Thermal Binding Spines

Adhesive-lined thermal spines are generally offered in four styles: binding strips, utility coverssoft covers, and hard covers. Binding strips do not have any covers attached, and are available in a wide range of colors and widths. Utility covers are pre-made soft covers that have paper backs and clear front covers. Because they are pre-assembled, they are only available in a specific range of sizes with select paper stocks for the backs. For those looking to create a more individualized bound document, custom covers are a great option. Available in both soft- and hard-cover styles, custom covers enable the user to select the finish, stock, and size, and allow for the addition of personalized lettering or graphics. With only a few covers varieties available as stock styles, many of the covers have to be custom ordered which makes them somewhat more expensive than VeloBind spines and requires additional processing time.

VeloBind spines (also called “hot knife strips”) are available in 9-, 11-, and 14-pin varieties, which accommodate binding on 8 1/2”, 11” and 14” paper. They are able to secure up to 750 pages in a single book, making them the preferred choice for large documents. Though they are not customizable like the adhesive-lined covers, hot knife strips do come in a broad range of attractive colors. Since they are all stock items, the turnaround on purchasing VeloBind strips is generally faster and the cost is lower.

Thermal Binding Machines

Thermal binding machines that perform perfect binding with adhesive strips or covers are extremely easy to operate and require no punching. Simply insert the document into the cover or strip, place it into the opening of the machine, and allow to heat for the specified amount of time. The resulting bind is neat and permanent, and the customizable nature of the covers makes perfect binding a popular choice with many businesses.

Binding with VeloBind spines requires punching with a specialized hole pattern before performing the thermal bind, which generally means that the machines cost more than other thermal binding systems. Because of the additional punching step, VeloBinding is commonly regarded as being one of the most secure and tamper-resistant binding styles, which is why it is often used in binding legal documents.

To learn more about any of the thermal binding machines available at Lamination Depot, visit our thermal binding equipment section.

In Review

Creating professional-looking bound documents is easy with thermal binding. With two distinct styles to choose from, users are able to decide between security and the ability to customize to create a document that fits their specific needs. Each of the two methods only requires the use of a single machine, with no additional crimpers, closers, or other specialized equipment required. Perfect binding generally requires less of an initial investment, since the thermal binding machines are not as expensive, but the spines themselves are often custom and therefore cost more. VeloBinding machines cost more upfront because they perform a punching function in addition to the thermal binding function, but the hot knife binding strips are usually stock items, and are less expensive than custom perfect binding covers. Regardless of which style you choose, thermal binding is a great way to create bound documents that look and feel professionally-made at a reasonable cost.