Getting to Know Screw Posts: A Binding Solution with a Twist

Screw posts, also known as Chicago screws or binding posts, are extremely versatile binding devices that allow loose documents of practically any shape or size to be securely bound together. These low-cost, reusable screws enable the user to easily change out bound documents, making them a great choice for price books, menus, swatch guides, and much more.


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.

Another popular usage for screw posts is in conjunction with specially-designed portfolios or binders. These portfolios combine the protection and durability of a hard-bound book with the ease of updates provided by screw posts. Generally, screw post binders have hinged covers and pre-drilled holes to accommodate the posts. The user inserts their documents into special sheet protectors that have a hole pattern that matches the cover, and then threads the post through the cover and sheet protectors, tightening it to secure the documents. Since the portfolio is expandable, the user is free to add or remove sheets based on their needs.

Screw posts are sold based upon post length, and they are available in lengths ranging from 1/8″ to 4″. Screw post extensions, which allow users to add length to a post in order to securely bind additional documents, are available in lengths ranging from 1/4″ x 3/4″. All screw posts sold by Lamination Depot are made of aluminum, and 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″


Unlike most binding styles, screw posts require no special equipment (with the exception of a hole punch) and can easily accommodate frequent updates. As a result, they are commonly-used for menus, wine lists, swatch books, portfolios, architectural drawings, price lists, and any other application that requires regular updates. Their low price point also makes them a great option for anyone looking to bind on a budget without having to invest in specialized machinery, such as crafters or hobbyists, schools, small offices, or even restaurants.

In Review

Keeping documents attractively and securely organized can be a challenge, whether you’re working with a lengthy manuscript or a handful of paper swatches. Screw posts provide a versatile and easy-to-use alternative to other binding methods at an exceptionally low price point. Their two-piece construction allows for no-fuss updates, making them an ideal choice for many applications. They are also easy to expand, with a number of extension lengths readily available. If you’re in need of a quick and inexpensive way to organize your documents, you’ll definitely want to give screw posts a try.

In Need of Custom Laminating Pouches?

Laminating is a versatile and inexpensive way to protect and preserve documents of almost any type. With over 300 pre-cut laminating pouch sizes in stock, Lamination Depot has a size to fit practically any laminating need. But what about those specialty projects that aren’t compatible with standard pouch sizes? That’s where our custom pouch manufacturing option can help!

Simply tell us what size, finish and thickness you need, and we’ll manufacture custom pouches to your exact specifications in six to eight weeks. Best of all, the minimum order amount is only $250, making custom laminating pouches an affordable option for nearly every budget.

Getting started on your custom pouch order is easy! Visit our custom laminating pouch page, fill in the specifics for your custom pouches and your contact information, and one of our friendly customer service representatives will contact you with a quote within three business days.

Lamination Depot also carries a full range of trimmerspunches and corner rounders to help you achieve the look of custom pouches for small quantities of non-standard documents using our in-stock laminating pouches.

An Overview of Coil Binding – One of the Most Popular Binding Styles

With all of the binding styles available in today’s marketplace, it can sometimes be a challenge to determine which one is right for your needs. From purchasing the appropriate machine to determining what supplies you will need for any given project, it is important to be able to identify the benefits and limitations of each binding style. In this post, we will cover the basics of coil binding, which is currently among the most popular binding types.

The Basics

Also referred to as spiral binding, coil binding utilizes plastic coils in order to create custom booklets. The punch pattern for coil binding is 4:1 pitch (four holes per inch), and can be created using either a manual or electric punch. After the pages have been punched with the appropriate hole pattern, a coil is fed through the holes by hand or with an electric coil inserter. A specialized set of coil crimping pliers is used to cut and crimp the ends of the coil, which secures it in place and stops it from unwinding.

Plastic Binding Coils

Plastic binding coils are available in a broad range of sizes, accommodating as few as 30 pages and as many as 460 pages. They come in standard 12″ lengths, which are made up of 48 loops and are sized to bind 8 1/2″ x 11″ (letter size) paper. Some sizes are also offered in 36″ lengths, which can be used for binding even larger documents. Coil sizing is based upon the diameter of the coil in millimeters. Binding coils offer the greatest color variety of any binding style, which makes them a great choice for individuals or organizations that are looking to create custom documents featuring team or company colors. The coil design also allows booklets to lay flat when opened, and for the cover to be folded back so that only a single page is visible. Plastic coils are very durable, and are the only mechanical binding spine that can be inserted by hand.

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

Coil Binding Machines

Coil binding is based on two individual processes – punching the documents that are to be bound and insertingthe binding coil into the punched documents. Both of these processes can be accomplished using either manual or electric means, however manual inserting is only recommended for low-volume binding (or for binding with coils over 22mm). Many coil binding machines perform both processes, but it is important to read the description thoroughly because some machines only punch while others only insert coils into punched documents.

When researching machines that perform punching (either with or without an inserter), there are a number of factors to consider. The primary difference 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 10-55 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. A number of professional-level machines punch oval holes instead of circular holes, which makes for easier coil insertion and more fluid page turning for readers. Select machines include other punching patterns in addition to the 4:1 pitch coil pattern, making them a cost-effective option for organizations interested in performing multiple binding styles (such as comb and wire).

Electric inserters utilize small rollers that spin and advance the binding coil through the holes of the punched document. Depending on the model, the roller ranges from 4 to 11″ in length and is generally operated by a foot pedal. Select models also include an electric coil cutter and crimper to streamline the production process, while others include a pair of manual cutting and crimping pliers. Basic, low-volume machines do not always include pliers, so they will need to be purchased separately as they are required for completing a coil bind.

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

In Review

Coil binding is a popular, easy-to-use mechanical binding method that results in booklets that lay flat and can be folded backwards. The plastic coils used to bind the pages together are durable, inexpensive and available in the largest selection of colors of any binding spine style. With both manual and electric punching and inserting options available, it is possible to achieve a professional-looking, bound document within practically any budget. It is the only mechanical binding style that can be preformed manually, but because manual inserting is time consuming, it is recommended only for low-volume users. Electric punching and inserting can greatly increase binding speed and reduce operator fatigue, so it is recommended for high-volume production environments.

Earth-Friendly Binding & Laminating Supplies

Earth-conscious products are in higher demand than ever, and Lamination Depot is here to help fill your binding and laminating needs with ecologically-friendly products. Read on to learn about our selection of environmentally-sound binding supplies, including binding posts, paper covers and a brand new binding system, as well as an innovative roll laminator designed to reduce energy consumption.

Screw Posts

We carry more than 20 sizes of screw posts (also called “Chicago Screws”) and screw posts extensions, all of which are made of solid aluminum and are 100% recyclable. These reusable binding posts are a great choice for swatch books, architectural and engineering drawings, or any other application that requires loose sheets to be securely bound together. Click here to see our entire selection of recyclable aluminum screw posts.

PaperLock Binding System

This revolutionary PaperLock binding system is attractive, eco-friendly and secure. Using paper punched on a traditional plastic comb binding system, thisbinding system inserts a patented PaperCombthat securely binds documents and allows them to be easily stacked and stored. The materials used to produce the PaperCombs are environmentally-friendly and can be recycled, making the PaperLock binding system a functional and “green” addition to any office. Click here to learn more about the PaperLock binding system.

Binding Covers

With eight vibrant colors and three rich textures to choose from, our Earth-friendly binding covers are manufactured using recycled materials and are 100% recyclable! Heavy-weight Grain covers feature a sturdy 16 mil. thickness, are available in eight colors, and are made from 25% recycled materials and 10% post consumer waste. Linen Weave covers feature 80# (12 mil.) linen-textured cover stock in five eye-catching colors, and are made from 20% recycled material and 30% post consumer waste. Leatherette covers feature 80# (12 mil.) leather-textured embossed paper, and are made from 20% recycled material and 30% post consumer waste. These attractive and environmentally-conscious covers are offered in a variety of sizes with both round and square corners available.

Selecting the Best Pouch Laminator for Your Needs

A pouch laminator can make a great addition to your home, office, school, or professional print shop; however it can be difficult knowing which machine will fill your unique needs.

Taking the time to review the features of the available pouch laminating machines will help to ensure that you get the best laminator for your purposes. Below we will break down the differences between the various styles of pouch laminators to help you make an informed decision about which laminating machine to purchase.

The Basics

When selecting a pouch laminator, you’ll need to evaluate the features that are the most important to your specific needs:

  • Width: Those who only laminate IDs or badges may be content with a model that has a maximum document width of 4 in., while those looking to laminate signs or displays will likely want a machine that offers a larger width.
  • Temperature Range: Nearly all pouch laminators are thermal machines, which means that they utilize heat to seal the pouch and fuse the layers together. Depending on the machine, the heat is applied by either heated plates or heated rollers. Most machines offer variable temperature control to allow users to adjust the heat level based on the thickness of the laminating pouch. If you regularly use thick laminating pouches (7 Mil or 10 Mil), then you’ll need to ensure that your selected machine can handle thick pouches.
  • Rollers: All machines utilize rollers to help ensure secure adhesion, eliminate air bubbles and move the laminated documents through the machine. Low volume machines (primarily for home use) are equipped with two rollers, mid-level laminators (for offices or schools) contain 2-6 rollers and professional laminating machines (for high volume users or copy shops) include between 4-10 rollers.
  • Reverse Function: Many pouch laminators also include a reverse feature, which makes it easier to clear jammed or misfed documents.
  • Volume: If you will be producing a high volume of laminated documents, you may want to look for a machine that has a high maximum laminating speed. Speed is often increased by additional sets of rollers.

Other popular features include a stand-by mode (preserves power while the machine is not laminating), the ability to laminate without a carrier sheet (used to prevent adhesive from oozing out from the edges of the laminating pouch and onto the rollers), cool rollers (help to reduce curling of laminated documents), and the ability to laminate photos.

Office Pouch Laminators (for Low to Moderate Usage)

Pouch laminating machines for office use offer a greater range of features than those designed for home use, and can handle a medium-to-high volume of usage. These laminators are available in widths ranging up to 13-1/2 in., and can laminate pouches from 3 Mil and 10 Mil thick. In addition to being able to stand up to more frequent usage than home laminators, office pouch laminators also laminate much more quickly (in some cases, more than three times as fast as the home machines).

Two popular models of office pouch laminators are the Tamerica SM330 13 in. Economy Laminator and the TruLam TL-320B 12 in. Pouch Laminator. Below is a comparison of their features:

ModelTamerica SM-330
Economy Pouch Laminator
TruLam TL-320B
Pouch Laminator
Max. Speed13 in./min.25.6 in./min.
Max. Width13 in.12 in.
Max. Pouch Thickness10 Mil10 Mil
Temperature AdjustmentDialDigital
Reverse Function?YesYes
Number of Rollers4
(2 Hot, 2 Cold)
(2 Hot, 2 Cold)
Warranty90 Days1 Year

Depending on your requirements, either of these machines would be a productive and beneficial addition to an office setting.

Professional Pouch Laminators (for High Volume Usage)

Pouch laminating machines for professional settings are the most robust machines on the market, and offer the most features.

These laminators are available in widths ranging up to 44 in. and can laminate pouches from 3 Mil to 10 Mil thick (with select machines having the ability to mount and laminate simultaneously). Professional pouch laminators also have the highest maximum laminating speed, with some machines laminating 12 ft. per minute.

Nearly all industrial machines come housed within metal casings for added durability.

Compare the Akiles ProLam Ultra 13 in. Professional Laminator and the James Burn USA SpeedyLam Pouch Laminator:

ModelAkiles ProLam Ultra
Photo Pouch Laminator
James Burn USA
Pouch Laminator
Max. Speed53 in./min.
(4 ft./min.)
144 in./min.
(12 ft./min.)
Max. Width13 in.13 in.
Max. Pouch Thickness14 Mil14 Mil
Temperature AdjustmentDigitalDigital
Memory Settings?YesYes
Reverse Function?YesYes
Number of Rollers6
(4 Hot, 2 Cold)
(6 Hot, 4 Cold)
Warranty1 Year1 Year

Both of these machines are equipped to handle high-volume, professional use, with the primary differences relating to the number of rollers and overall speed. Depending on your requirements and resources, either of these machines are capable of producing a high volume of laminated documents.

In Review

Whether you are looking to preserve family photos, enhance company ID cards or provide lamination services at your print shop, pouch laminators are cost-effective and user-friendly with numerous models to fit practically any need.

There are many pouch laminators on the market, and you can learn to distinguish quality laminators by evaluating key features. Investing the time to research the capabilities of the available machines will not only help you find the best machine for your application, but will also help you make the most of your budget.

Remember: what works best for someone else may not be a fit for your unique needs, so performing your own research is a crucial step in the process of purchasing a pouch laminator.

Lamination Depot is one of the leading sources for laminating equipment and pouches in the industry, with more than 300 pouch varieties available. Visit our collection of pouch laminating machines to learn more about these laminators or other available models.

New Laminating Pouch Sizes are Now Available!

We are excited to announce the release of 30 brand new thermal laminating pouch varieties! We’ve heard your feedback, and we’ve created seven additional pouch sizes to help fill all of your laminating needs. Among these new sizes are two pouches designed to accommodate ISO standard paper sizes A3 (297mm × 420mm/11.7″ × 16.5″) and A4 (210mm × 297mm/8.3″ × 11.7″), both offered in 3, 5, 7, and 10 mil. thicknesses. You’ll also find five pouch sizes that are exclusive to Lamination Depot in this new collection (listed in bold in the chart below).

New Thermal Laminating Pouches
Pouch NamePouch Size3 Mil5 Mil7 Mil10 Mil
Wallet2-3/8″ x 3-5/8″ 
ID Badge*2-9/16″ x 3-3/4″ 
Credential2-3/4″ x 5-1/16″ 
Giant Card4-1/2″ x 6″ 
Mini Photo4-3/8″ x 6 1/2″ 
A48-3/4″ x 12-1/4″
A312-1/4″ x 17″

*Also available in self-adhesive “cold” version

In addition to the new sizes now being offered, we’ve also added even more thicknesses to existing pouch sizes (highlighted in red in the chart below).

New Thicknesses of Existing Pouch Sizes
Pouch NamePouch Size3 Mil5 Mil7 Mil10 Mil
Bookmark – Small2-1/8″ x 6″ 
Bookmark – Large2-3/8″ x 9″ 
Special3-1/8″ x 4-1/2″ 
Recipe Card3-3/16″ x 4-3/8″ 
Extra Circulation3-15/16″ x 6-7/8″ 

Still don’t see the pouch you’re looking for? Be sure to contact us to learn about our affordable custom pouch manufacturing option!

All of our laminating pouches are of the highest quality, and pass a 21 point inspection before we offer them for sale. Learn more about what makes our laminating pouches the best here.

Watch for the NEW Lamination Depot Blog!

The brand new Lamination Depot blog will launch on April 1st! From product guides and reviews to instructional videos, you’ll find a wealth of laminating and binding resources in our informative blog. New posts will be added every Monday to keep you in-the-know about our latest product additions, tips and tricks from our knowledgeable Customer Service team, answers to your frequently asked questions, and much more.