If you have decided that you want to invest in a new binding machine there are likely to be a couple of features you want to use and there are going to be a few more points to consider before parting with your cash.
To help you choose a binding machine that is just right for your needs there are a number of key questions that need to be asked and once you have your answers it should narrow down your options enough to identify the right binding machine.
Here are some suggestions to help you in your search for a new binding machine.
First on your list
A fundamental question and the first one on your checklist will be the question of what type of binding options you want.
It is worth remembering that not all binding tasks require the use of a machine, although the majority of tasks in a commercial environment will almost certainly require the use of a binding machine.
Small tasks such as using slide binders can be done manually but if you are planning on carrying out regular tasks it will require you to have a binding machine.
There are various types of binding machines to choose from and your list of regular tasks will help decide whether you have a comb or wire binder, or you buy a thermal binding machine instead.
Try to work out how much material you want to bind at any one time and also consider how much you want to spend on your binder as this will dictate your options to a certain extent.
Do you need a thermal binding machine?
It is well worth taking the time to understand the distinction between thermal binding and other options.
If you are wanting to produce professional documentation that reflects well on your business there is little argument that thermal binding is likely to be your best choice.
Think of thermal binding as a close relation of the bookbinding process and you will have a good idea of how impressive the end result should look when you bind your documents using a thermal binding machine.
Brochures and product catalogs are always going to stand out and look the part when you choose thermal binding as your option. The alternative is either comb or wire binding, which does the job but arguably doesn’t look as attractive or professional.
If you are buying a wire binding machine
If you have decided that you want a wire binding machine there is another key question that you need to consider which is whether it is better to have a 2:1 or 3:1 pitch.
For the uninitiated, the difference between the two is all about how far apart the looped wire is going to be spaced. The reason this matters is because it determines how much paper the binder can handle in one go.
A basic explanation of the measurement is that a 2:1 pitch means the loop wire is spaced at a distance of two holes per inch, which equates to 23 holes for an A4 sheet of paper.
Knowing this basic information should help you choose a wire binding machine that will suit the paper size and look that you want to achieve.
It is often a case of choosing a wire binding machine that comes in a standard format of 2:1 or 3:1, although you can find a few models that are able to offer you both options.
Fit for purpose
It is highly relevant to try and calculate how much binding you intend to do on a daily basis as this will be a highly influential factor in determining the binding machine you buy.
It stands to reason that if you only have modest binding requirements and it is only going to be used on an occasional basis you could probably spend a lot less on a binding machine than if you are going to be putting it through its paces regularly.
A plastic comb binding machine might be a good selection if you want a basic entry-level binder that is not required to perform volume tasks.
If you are going to be carrying out a significant volume of binding, such as producing a lot of promotional material, it is best to search for a machine that is capable of a more heavy-duty performance and has been built to cope.
Do you need an electric binding machine?
If you are going to be using a thermal binder the question of whether to choose electric or manual is clearly not applicable. However, if you are opting for a wire or comb binding machine it is possible to buy a manual as well as electric versions.
Again, a key deciding issue is whether you are going to be doing a lot of binding tasks or it will be used less frequently.
It will be a lot less hassle to use an electric binder and if you are binding thicker documents it will also be easier to use an electric model.
Basically, a manual version should only be considered if you have minimal use for a binder on a regular basis.
Ease of use
Another consideration might be the issue of how easy it will be to use your new binding machine and whether one type of binder is easier to use than another.
The simple answer is that any type of binding machine is reasonably easy to use and you shouldn’t encounter any difficulties. The only issue you might encounter is lining up your documents accurately for a comb or wire binder, but you will quickly learn how to do this on your machine and it is not really too challenging for anyone operating this type of binder.
As you can see, there are a few options to consider and questions to answer, but the bottom line is that you should be able to find a binding machine that does what you want it to do and proves to be a cost-effective investment.