How to choose the best binding machine for your home

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When you run your own business from home, or have the option of home-working in your job, there are lots of things that are different from being based in a work place. You may be able to dress differently, and take your lunch break when you want, but you won’t have any colleagues to chat to, or have handy access to the full range of office equipment that makes your job that bit easier.

It may be time to invest in your own home-office equipment, but it’s always a balance between needs and budget. You may not have the budget to invest in the all-singing and dancing multi-use photocopier/fax machine/scanner machine with auto-bind function (although it would be good!), but buying a more modest piece of equipment may help you to get your work done without too much of a compromise on your time.

If you’re thinking of buying a machine for binding documents, here’s how to get the best binding machine for you.

When choosing the right binding method think about the type of documents you want to produce. You will want a method of binding that can accommodate the size of document, for example A4, and also the thickness. Some methods of binding allow for binding thicker documents and you should check that the machine you want to buy is capable of binding the size of document you are likely to produce.

There are three main types of binding – comb, wire, and spiral. All are easy for operators to do compared with a binding method such as stitching, or gluing, and all mean that the document can be opened out flat for easy reading, which is perfect for creating items like instruction manuals which are better hands-free. It’s also much more economical to do a one-off document which home-offices tend to want.

Comb binding is a relatively cheap option, and is good for documents that may need to be added to or amended in time. The disadvantages of comb binding are that it can look cheap, and leaves the document vulnerable to being tampered with easily. Comb binding is good where you give away documents where the cheap look doesn’t matter so much. It is popular for creating brochures for playgroups, and sports teams, where information changes regularly and low cost is of-the-essence. Comb-binding machines are the cheapest to buy initially and the combs themselves are slightly cheaper than alternatives.

Wire binding is more attractive than comb-binding and gives that extra style to your documents. This is particularly important for documents which will go to clients and to prospective clients. Wire binding is sturdy and gives security to the document, however, this means that the document is difficult to add to or amend once it is bound. Wire binding is great for archive storage of single documents such as old invoices. By batching them by month and binding, you can store them safely for the required period and hopefully will not need to worry about them again. Wire-binding machinery is more expensive than comb-binding but the wires themselves are not significantly more expensive than combs.

Spiral binding, also known as coil binding, is a compromise between comb-binding and wire-binding. It offers a more professional look but still gives the option to take apart and amend the document. It’s a bit fiddly to do by hand, but unlike wire-binding, it can actually be done. Spirals are very hardy so this is a great choice if you plan to mail out your documents.  Spiral-binding machines are the most expensive, but the spirals are on a par with wires and combs.

If you’re looking for the best binding machine for your home office, then the Binding Store can help!

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