If you’re looking to bind your office documents with something better than a paper clip or a slider, there are many types of binding machines you can buy.
It’s just there are several types of binding machines having their own sets of pros and cons and advantageous features.
Even when you’re finally able to decide on which type of binding machine works for you, there’s still the issue of picking the right model.
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The good news is that we can help you pick among the different types of binding.
We can offer you a clear overview on your options regarding the best types of binding machines for your needs.
We’ve also picked out several excellent binding machines that can meet your document-binding needs.
Types of Binding Machines
While you can certainly bind your documents in a folder manually, binding machines can do a better job—and do it faster.
However, there are different types of binding machines to choose from.
Here are some examples of your different book binding options:
Comb Binding Machine
You can use plastic comb binding for your documents, and this machine can make the process a lot easier.
Advantages of Comb Binding
The comb, made of plastic, acts as the spine of the document, which makes this method relatively inexpensive compared to other book binding options.
When you open the document, the pages just move around the spinal comb.
You’re able to let the pages lie flat, so you can just lay the book on a desk while you read it.
It also lets you see the details on the innermost margin of the pages.
The comb also allows you to add more pages or take pages out easily, which is great for a document that you need to update regularly.
They’re great for notes regarding an ongoing project, for example and also great for manuals, and for guidelines that may be amended often.
Disadvantages of Comb Binding
One issue though, is that this will punch holes in the paper.
The pages may also get damaged when people turn the pages too quickly.
Wire Binding Machine
Instead of a large plastic comb binding the pages, with this machine you have wire rings.
This offers advantages very similar to what you get with the plastic comb binding machine.
Advantages of Wire Binding
The pages move around the wire, and you’re able to lay the pages flat.
You can also add and remove pages easily, though for this you may need a de-binding tool.
Rotate the document so the wire binding is on top, and you’ve got yourself a calendar design that lets you flip the pages for each month.
This works well for brochures too.
It’s great for manuals as well, especially for manuals which don’t need to be edited or upgraded too often.
This also looks a lot more professional than the plastic comb binding method, because wire is more discreet.
Thermal Binding Machine
This uses heat to melt glue in the thermal binding glue strips to bind the pages together.
The result is an impressive, professional-looking book or booklet with very firm binding.
You can use soft or hard covers for your documents.
Advantages of Thermal Binding
This is quite easy to use, as it basically just requires you to put in the documents into the machine.
The thermal binding machine will warm up, and then it can start the binding process.
That will take only a few minutes, depending on how many sheets you have in your book.
Once that’s done, you let the glue cool down and afterwards you have a nice document or brochure that you can impress clients with.
It’s also fine for official documents in their final version, especially if you don’t want anyone to take out or add pages to the document.
If someone tries this, it will be very obvious, although you still can add or take out pages, but you’ll have to melt the glue again.
Disadvantages of Thermal Binding
The main disadvantage of this method is that you can’t lay the pages flat on a desk.
That means you’ll have to hold this to read it, instead of just laying it flat on your work table.
You also may have to set up your documents to have a wider margin.
If you have picture details or words too near the spine, you may not be able to see it easily.
Factors to Consider
So how do you choose among the different types of binding machines?
Which models are the best?
You should read the specs carefully, noting the various functions, features, and limitations.
Then you should read our reviews, and the customer reviews as well.
When you do all this reading, you should focus on the following considerations:
These different types of binding machines offer different advantages and drawbacks.
You need book binding options that serve your needs, while their drawbacks aren’t really deal-breakers for you.
Among the different types of binding, some offer more functional documents while other give you a more professional-looking brochure.
These different types of binding may also offer different sets of issues for you to face.
How thick of a book can it produce?
How many sheets can you include in your document?
Your binding machine should be able to handle the usual lengths of documents your office normally produces.
Then advantage of having a large sheet capacity is that you can also bind several shorter documents at once.
Ease of Use
You should be able to figure out how to use the machine you get efficiently and easily.
That way, you’re able to get optimal results and you can complete binding the documents quickly.
It does help if you have a nice manual for the machine with clear directions.
Also, check out YouTube to see if there are demonstration videos for the machine you’re considering on buying.
The machine should also have various features that reduce the possibility of mistakes.
You may have beeps and lights that tell you what to do next.
How quickly can you finish binding a document?
Some offices may need to use the binding machine often, with so many documents to collect and bind.
With a quick machine, you won’t have a backlog of documents waiting to be bound and people can make use of your bound documents right away.
Obviously, it’s better if your machine will last you for several years.
What you don’t want is a machine that conks out after only a few uses.
Some machines are rated for light use, which means you can use them maybe once or twice a day.
Others are meant for heavier office duties, which can mean that it’s pretty much used as often as your printers.
Some machines are bulky and heavy, so you better pick the right spot to put it.
You may have trouble moving it from one spot to another.
Larger machines may also take up too much space on your desk and storage can be a problem as well.
With a smaller machine, you can transfer it from one office to another and also save space on desk for other tools such as your printer.
The main problem with smaller and lighter models is that they’re generally not as durable as the heavier models.
The more durable models tend to use more metal parts, while the lightweight models can have a lot of plastic parts, which are more fragile.
Our TOP 5 Binding Machine Reviews!
To start your search, you’re better off looking over our recommendations.
We offer 5 book binding options for you to consider for your office needs.
“Easy to Use After Practice”
Our Rating: 4.5
This is nicely affordable, especially when you consider its quality.
The quality control is quite stringent, as these machines are checked and tested before they’re sent out.
This is the best binding machine for you if you want everything made easy.
It also comes with 100 free pieces of ⅜-inch black 21-ring PVC comb.
Sheet Capacity of 450
The built-in punch can go through 12 sheets of 20-pound paper at a time.
However, it’s able to bind up to 450 sheets at once.
This can handle A4 size papers at 21 holes, Letter size at 19 holes, and A5 at 15 holes.
You can also adjust the margin, which can be 3, 4, or 5mm.
Easy to Use
The brand explicitly emphasizes its most notable feature—it really is easy to use.
All you really need to do is to first line up the pages, then press the punch lever, and it put in the comb.
When you pull the handle back, the binding is complete.
There’s an adjustable edge guide to make sure the pages are aligned and you can use a single hand to punch and bind.
This comes with non-slip feet to go with the solid metal housing.
You still need to practice before using, but the manual is very helpful, and you can find online videos demonstrating how to use this right.
16.9 by 12.2 by 7.1 Inches
This measures 16.9 by 12.2 by 7.1 inches, and it weighs a little over 8 pounds.
It’s easy enough to move, especially with the built-in handle in the middle of the baseboard.
“Professional Documents at a Snap”
Our Rating: 4.0
With a thermal machine, you can produce manuals and brochures that can impress your clients.
It offers more professional-looking documents than other book binding options.
But you’re not just getting a standard thermal binding machine with the Helios 60.
This is one of the most popular models, as it’s also one of the best binding machine options for thermal binding.
How Does It Work?
This uses a heating plate to melt glue, which will then bind the pages to the spine.
It won’t need to punch holes in the document at all like the other book binding options.
Everything is also automated, so there’s no need to do stuff by hand except to insert the papers and to make adjustments.
This can handle the work load of even a large office, as it is rated for medium-duty.
As long as you don’t use it 8 hours a day straight for days on end, you can rely on this to work for you.
Sheet Capacity of 600
Unlike other binding machines, this can handle up to 600 sheets at once time.
You can then also bind several books at once if each one is less than 600 sheets.
Convenient to Use
The manual is great, as it gives clear directions with 5 basic steps for you to follow.
It has internal clamps to secure the pages, a manual document measure, and an LED control panel.
Its automatic document thickness detector then adjusts the thermal binding settings, depending on the thickness.
You’ll first need to warm up the heat plate, but that takes only 4 minutes or so.
The machine will then indicate that it’s ready for use.
The binding process will take 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of your document.
When it’s done, it’ll beep so you can take it out promptly.
Don’t worry about getting burned by the heat plate.
This features the HeatShield safety barrier to prevent any accidental contact.
It also has auto shutoff so it won’t overheat.
Not Too Big
It’s really not too big at all, unlike then other different types of binding machines.
The LED panel even folds down, which makes it easier to store away.
“Mistake-Free Binding Machine”
Our Rating: 4.5
This is simple, easy, and affordable, and it does everything you need.
If you’re opting for plastic comb binding, you may find this the best binding machine for your office.
Sheet Capacity of 150
This can punch through 15 sheets in one go.
After that, it will then use a ¾-inch comb to bind 150 sheets at once.
A Breeze to Use
It’s almost impossible to make a mistake when you use this machine.
The loading mechanism aligns the papers perfectly when you punch through them.
Your documents are also centered properly due to the rotary edge guide.
The built-in measuring tool then gets you to pick the right comb size to use every time.
You even have a built-in storage tray for the combs you use.
“Great Value for Money”
Our Rating: 4.5
If you’d rather not put in the coil manually, then this may be the best binding machine for you.
This is both a punch as well as an automated inserter for the coil binding.
Punch Capacity of 20
This can punch holes through 20 sheets of paper at once.
With the open-throat design, you can put in paper sizes larger than letter size.
How It Works
You just basically use this to punch holes through the sheets.
Then you can also use it to automatically set the ⅞-inch coil through the document.
You need 4:1 pitch plastic binding coils.
For 2-inch coils, you’ll still have to insert them manually.
This comes with special pliers for crimping the edges of the coils.
Easy to Operate
This has disengaging pins to let you pick precisely where the holes will be.
You can also adjust the side and depth margins.
The handlebar can be used by the left or right hand, or even by both hands.
“It Never Fails”
Our Rating: 4.5
This is basically a punch machine, but it’s extremely popular and highly regarded.
It’s not just because it’s affordable, but also because it’s extremely easy to use.
This is the best binding machine for you, if you don’t mind manual coil insertion.
20 Sheets per Punch
This will punch a hole through 20 sheets of standard 20-pound paper.
It can also handle larger papers than letter size and can also deal with bon-standard page sizes.
The open-throat design lets you insert these sheets with no trouble.
Side and Depth Margins
How large of a margin do you want for your bound books?
You can choose from 2.5, 4.5, and 6.5 mm.
Convenient to Operate
The manual isn’t really all that helpful, but this is easy nonetheless.
All you really need to do at first is to practice.
You should try this with about 20 scrap pages or at the start, to get rid of any oil residue.
Once you get the hang of aligning the papers correctly and setting the tab, you won’t have any problems.
The full handlebar works very well, as you can use this whether you favor your left or right hand.
In some cases when you need a little bit more strength to punch through the sheets, this handlebar allows you to use both hands.
You’ll get used to this quickly enough, and then you can just mindlessly punch holes through documents all day.
It doesn’t really take a lot of strength to punch holes through paper with this.
You can watch TV or multitask while you’re also using this machine.
Plastic Coil Binding
This binds your documents using 4:1 pitch plastic binding coils.
You have to insert this into your document by hand, but it’s easy enough and you can do that quickly.
You can finish the edges of the coil with the heavy-duty manual coil crimping pliers, which you also get with your purchase.
This is easy enough to move around the office, as it weighs a little over 18 pounds.
It’s also not too big, though it can take up a bit of space on your work desk.
It measures 17.2 by 8.2 by 13.2 inches.
The machine gives you a nice solid feel, and it feels like it’ll last for years.
It also doesn’t hurt that it’s a basic machine, so very few things can go wrong.
Types of Binding Machines: Final Thoughts
You’re the best judge to determine which of the types of binding machines will best suit your needs.
But essentially, you can either go for plastic coil binding or for thermal binding.
With plastic coil binding, you have a way of binding documents that everyone can read easily.
With thermal binding, your documents will be impressive enough for clients.
With these types of binding machines, you can make sure your office has what it needs to produce documents you can read and use more effectively.