Office Binding Systems
The term "office binding systems", refers to any means of combining printed documents into a book, a booklet or brochure. Probably the simplest and most common version of an office binding system is the common stapler.
Over the years, systems have been developed so that even a small one-man professional office, can produce reports on a simple and inexpensive binding system, which are as functional and elegant as those produced by our richest corporations. The choice of which system to use or purchase, usually depends on the answers to these questions
- How important is cost ? - equipment cost and unit cost of materials.
- How much time can I spend to produce each book? Is productivity an important factor?
- How important is the visual presentation of my document?
- Should the material open up flat, or fold out like a normal book?
Of course, different people will answer these questions in different ways - which means that they will prefer different binding systems. In the following section, we list the main characteristics of each of the common systems.
Cerlox (comb) binding:
This is still the most versatile and cost effective binding system for most users. Both the equipment and the binding elements are inexpensive. Production time is fast and easy. Books lie flat.
Cerlox allows the use of almost any cover material. You may use any color combinations of covers and binding elements to match corporate colors or color-code a series of books or manuals. Cerlox is still, by far, the preferred choice of professional offices.
Coil (spiral) binding:
Koil binding is rapidly gaining acceptance as a viable alternative to cerlox. Recently new machinery has arrived on the market which makes koil binding a good alternative to cerlox. In particular, many customers find that comb binding worn out its appeal and have turned to koil or wire binding as exciting alternatives. Koil books lie flat, and like cerlox, they can be color coordinated with over 36 colors of elements to choose from and almost any cover material. Production time is usually about double that of cerlox. One unique advantage that koil shares with wire binding, is that books may be folded back on themselves. For this reason, they are often used where space is at a premium - on a computer desk for example.
WIRE BINDING (Wire, Cerlox Metal):
Originally from Europe, wire binding is often used for its uniqueness. Books lie flat. Like cerlox and koil, almost any cover material can be used. Production time is quick, but the cost of elements is a little higher than for cerlox. Advertising agencies, promotional films and graphic artists like it for its uniqueness.
Two common standards for wire binding exist. One is based on cerlox standard. Any cerlox punch can cut the holes, but one does need the addition of a closing machine. From the point of view of purchasing the equipment, this is a more economical approach.
However, the final product, (in our opinion), is less pleasing to the aesthetic eye than the Wire version.
The second wire binding system, known as "Wire-o", comes in a neat package. It is available in many colors including the normal silver wire color. Recently, new equipment has arrived in the market place which is much improved and less expensive than the original machinery. Machine cost is now about on a par with cerlox machinery and the wire elements are reasonably priced. Wire too has become a strong contender for the attention of customers who are looking for an alternative to cerlox comb binding.
We generally advise wire binding customers to choose this product because of the neater product that results. We do, however, stock equipment and supplies for both versions.Wire binding is sometimes used for security in documents which should not be tampered with. The elements cannot easily be removed without destroying them. Since Wire equipment and supplies are not common, it is not easy to add or replace pages without being noticed.
This is a unique product usually used for binding swatches of paper or carpet. Legal and accounting offices often use them to bind together individual files. Occasionally they are used for catalogs and other documents. No machinery is required other than a simple hole punch.
Chicago screws come in lengths of up to 7 inches (good for 1400 sheets) and can be further extended indefinitely. Because they are a simple screw with a slotted head, they may be added to in the field without the need for a special machine. Documents bound with Chicago screws are like normal books, i.e. they do not lie flat when opened. They are often used for archiving documents.
Chicago screws are also available in nylon material, which has the advantage of faster, easier assembly. They simply press together, but may still be unscrewed.
We also subject some of our stock to the anodizing process which colors them. They are stocked in brass, black, metalic magenta, metalic cyan (blue), and many other color and materials.
Plastic Snap Binders:
A neat new choice in binding supplies, snap binders are designed to fit a standard 3 hole punch format. Because they may be opened at will by hand, they are simple to use and require no machinery other than a simple 3 hole punch. School teachers like these, because students may add handouts and note pages to course material as the classes progress.
For similar reasons, snap binders are used for price lists where, when prices change, it is convenient for a customer to simply replace the obsolete pages.
Snap binders make a neat package similar to a normal book. They are available in seven standard colors plus a wide range of specials. Like Cerlox, Koil, and Wire, almost any cover material may be used.
A very simple and inexpensive binding system which requires no machinery of any kind. Usually used for reports of up to 30 pages such as school essays, resumes and simple price lists. Documents do not lie flat, but imitate a book. Most commonly, tension bars are sold with a folded vinyl (see-thru) cover, although most cover materials can be used. They are available in seven standard colors.
Thermal Binding Systems:
Now that covers have been developed with a strip of hot-melt glue inside, glue binding has moved from the smelly factory operation to one which can be accommodated in the modern office. The machinery is compact and inexpensive. Standard cover sets are also reasonable in price.
Practically any cover material can be made up, but these are special orders and therefore carry a higher price. Like books, thermal bound books do not lie flat when opened. Pages may be added or replaced by reheating the glue in a thermal binding machine and simply inserting or removing pages. Many customers like this product because it is easier to mail.
Other Binding Systems:
Of course, other binding systems exist, but these are the ones in common use. If you are looking for something unusual please contact us. We are always pleased to hear of our customers needs.