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The Flexibility of Mechanical Binding

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Mecahnical Binding Styles-Left to Right Plastic Comb, Plastic Spiral, Wire-O, Sprial Wire

Mechanical binding is perhaps the most versatile binding option available. All mechanical binding styles offer layflat capabilities that make books easier to use. Design options such as foldouts, inserts, die cuts and index tabs are a breeze to include. Mechanical binding is ideal for projects that include a variety of substrates, such as thick and thin stocks, synthetic paper and plastic sheets. There are also plenty of cover options, including semi- and fully-concealed styles, that give you design and usage flexibility.

To help you determine the best style for your application, keep these tips in mind:

Mechanical Binding Styles
Plastic spiral — A durable solution, plastic spiral elements can take some punishment without cracking or deforming. That makes plastic spiral a viable solution for media guides, calendars, cookbooks and instruction manuals. Plastic spiral binding elements are available in several diameters and colors to meet the needs of your specific project.

Wire-O — Wire-O binding combines timeless style with unparalleled versatility. Ideal for all sizes and formats of books, Wire-O offers one benefit over other mechanical binding styles: Pages do not “step up” when opened, allowing crossovers to appear seamlessly from one page to the next. Like plastic spiral, Wire-O elements are available in many sizes and colors, including PMS-matched tones.

Spiral wire — Similar in appearance to plastic spiral binding, spiral wire makes use of metal binding elements. Coil diameters are available up to 2".

Plastic comb — This style features a single-piece “comb” binding element to bind the sheets. Although plastic comb binding offers slightly less flexibility than other mechanical binding styles, it does allow for printing directly on the spine. In addition, pages can be added or removed once the piece is bound. Cookbooks, textbooks and retail applications are popular uses for plastic comb binding.

Design and Planning Tips
Plan for Punching – The punching pattern and margins differ for each mechanical binding style. For example, Wire-O binding uses either a 2:1 or 3:1 (two or three holes per inch) punching pattern depending on the bulk of the book. Projects that require 3:1 binding (three holes per inch), leave 3/8” to 1/2” from the binding edge to the edge of the punched hole. If your books require 2:1 binding, allow for a punching margin of approximately 1/2" to 5/8”.  Bindery 1 can help you to determine appropriate punching patterns and margins for your specific project.

Build a Dummy – Supplying your finisher with a bulking dummy or a mock-up of the finished piece ensures efficient production. With a bulking dummy, we can measure margins, copy and punched hole placement, final trim size, tab placement and book bulk. Although a dummy is a key planning element of any mechanical binding project, it is especially important for books with wraparound or concealed covers, which require careful measurement of score and fold placement to yield accurate results.

The Bindery 1 Advantage
Bindery 1 is a leader in mechanical binding capabilities. Our range of equipment includes high-speed automatic punching and inserting, as well as inline shrink-wrapping for efficient production. In addition to mechanical binding, we also offer comprehensive perfect binding services, saddle stitching, folding, die cutting, collating and more. Call today and let the experts at Bindery 1 begin planning your next successful project.

Bindery 1 has a large surplus of Wire-O binding elements we are offering at a *significant discount*. The Wire-O elements are 7/8” in diameter and pewter in color. If your project calls for Wire-O binding with these parameters, contact us today and *save money* on your materials costs!