The 10 Best Binding Machines

Updated June 29, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Binding Machines
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Produce beautiful-looking presentations and brochure packs quickly and easily with one of these efficient, durable and affordable binding machines. Our selections include everything from manual to electric to thermal options, so whether you're a hobbyist or trying to stock a corporate office, there is something that meets your needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best binding machine on Amazon.

10. Marigold Uni-10

The Marigold Uni-10 looks professional yet costs very little. The simple but attractive design will convince anyone who sees it that you're getting real work done, no matter if you use it for business reports or just to have easy access to your favorite pictures of cats.
  • lab-tested for longevity
  • hole punch margins can be adjusted
  • holes aren't clean near max capacity
Brand Marigold
Model Uni10
Weight 11 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

9. Fellowes Star Plus

The Fellowes Star Plus offers continuous action for up to 150 sheets of paper when fitted with a 3/4-inch comb. It sports a convenient built-in storage tray that keeps extra supplies handy, making it easy to switch projects.
  • integrated document thickness guide
  • durable and reliable construction
  • no combs come included
Brand Fellowes
Model 5006501
Weight 11.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Akiles RubiCoil

The Akiles RubiCoil features a built-in slot that aids in the insertion of a coil for quick and effective operation. There's even a gauge to tell you what size you need, based on the number of pages. Its large handle maximizes leverage for superb punching strength.
  • dies are made from hardened steel
  • compact design is easy to store
  • not ideal for large amounts of paper
Brand Akiles
Model Rubi
Weight 13.3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. GBC VeloBind

The GBC VeloBind is capable of punching up to 24 pages at once, and has an editing tool that allows you to add or remove sheets without having to restart the entire process. Once the holes have been made, its spine can hold up to 200 pieces of paper.
  • jam-release knob
  • accepts multiple paper sizes
  • instruction manual is not great
Brand GBC
Model 7704260
Weight 11.4 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. TruBind TB-S20A

The TruBind TB-S20A has a full-size, one-piece handlebar for easy and comfortable operation. It's capable of working with documents up to 2 inches thick and features an electric coil inserter. It also comes with a 2-year warranty.
  • lightweight and easy to move
  • full set of disengaging dies
  • difficult to clean
Brand TruBind
Model S-20
Weight 18.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. WireMac-31

The WireMac-31 delivers a powerful manual square-hole punching mechanism that can work with up to 20 pieces of paper. The extra-long dual handles provide plenty of leverage for hefty projects, including books up to 9/16 of an inch thick.
  • made entirely of metal
  • works on a variety of projects
  • ideal for professional use
Brand Akiles
Model AWM31
Weight 35.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

4. Fellowes Helios 60 Thermal

The Fellowes Helios 60 Thermal doesn't come with a hole-punch, because you won't need one. It heats up and then glues the sheets together at the edge. This makes it a great addition to a work environment where a steady stream of documents are being bound.
  • warms up in 4 minutes
  • folds up for easy storage
  • automatically selects the settings
Brand Fellowes
Model 5219501
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. The Cinch

The Cinch by We R Memory Keepers is an ideal teaching tool. Whether you want to learn for yourself or you have a class full of folks who are new to the process of making bound documents, the intuitive and attractive design will be a hit.
  • great for homemade recipe books
  • widely-spaced holes look clean
  • helpful instructions
Brand We R Memory Keepers
Model 71050-9
Weight 7.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Fellowes Quasar+

Perfect for the needs of medium to large offices, the Fellowes Quasar+ is capable of working with up to 500 sheets of paper at once using a 2-inch plastic comb. The vertical loading tray is specially designed for maximum hole-punching accuracy.
  • edge-guide ensures proper alignment
  • setup is quick and easy
  • built for longevity
Brand Fellowes
Model 5227201
Weight 20.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Akiles Coilmac

The Akiles Coilmac offers a heavy-duty construction with unique, oval-shaped holes that make coil insertion much easier and more efficient compared to most competitors. And once those holes are punched, it uses a foot pedal to thread the coil.
  • pins are fully disengageable
  • built-in electric coil inserter
  • category-leading power
Brand Akiles
Model Coilmac-ER41+
Weight 15.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

History Of Book Binding

The first known book bindings occurred in the first century CE. At the time, it was often done on religious codices, which were printed on sheepskin vellum or papyrus. Up until the 1400s, most bookbinding in the west was done by monks, who laboriously copied book after book.

In 1447, when Gutenberg invented the printing press, the demand for book binding increased as books started becoming more commonplace. Still though, binding was done solely by hand until the mid-18th century when David McConnell Smyth patented the first sewing machine created specifically for book binding.

In 1895, perfect binding was invented, which is a method for gluing book bindings instead of sewing. It was rarely used for book bindings until 1931, at which point Albatross Books, a German publisher, introduced paperback versions. Paperback books caught on relatively quickly and in 1935 Penguin Books, an English Publisher, also started publishing paperback books. They were soon followed by Pocket Books in America in 1939.

In the 1950s and 60s, new binding systems were made designed for use in commercial office settings. To do this, new, easier binding methods were created such as VeloBinding, and plastic comb binding. These were based on a simple punch-and-bind process that was time consuming, but required very little skill.

They did not create the professional style of commercial books, instead producing results that looked like nothing more than bound together office documents. It wasn't until the 1980s that systems utilizing thermoplastic binding arose. These were capable of creating professional looking books, from any office or home setting.

Types Of Bindings Machines

When it comes to bindings, there are four types that are most popular in home and office settings. Each type offers its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Which is best for you will depend on what you are binding, and how often you will be binding.

Coil binding machines, also known as spiral binding machines, are good for internal office documents and presentations, but wouldn't be suited to any type of book binding for commercial sale. Think of the spiral notebooks you used in school; that is considered coil binding.

Unlike those spiral notebooks from years ago, PVC is now used instead of metal as it holds up better with less chance of bending. Spiral binding machines are incredibly easy to use, and are often less expensive than other models. The bindings are also durable and hold up well to regular use, plus they allow the reader to lay the book completely flat while open for note taking.

Comb binding machines are similar to coil binding machines in that they requires numerous small holes to be punched through the documents for a binding spine. Documents with comb bindings have a big plastic spine that can be customized by color and business names or logos. Comb binding is ideal for low cost, high volume applications where the bound documents do not need to be overly durable.

Wire binding is like a cross between spiral binding and comb binding. Instead of one single, spiraled spine, it makes use of a number of individual metal wires. These metal wires are bent into hoops by the wire binding machine. As with both of the previously mentioned options, it requires lots of small holes to be punched in the documents, but these holes have two wires hoops inserted into them instead of a single wire or plastic comb.

Perfect thermal binding machines are great for home publishers and offices that want to create truly professional looking products suitable for commercial sale. Most bookstore paperbacks still make use of thermal binding. They use glue as a binding material, creating a sturdy and durable product with no holes in the pages that can last for years. Books with thermal binding have a one piece cover that is folded in half, with the pages inserted in between.

Some binding machines are combo machines that will allow you to do two or even three different binding types from a single machine.

One Of The Creepiest Book Bindings

There are many rumors of books bound in human skin that are being kept in private or academic libraries. More often that not, these claims prove to be untrue when further investigated, but recently one such book was discovered in Harvard University's Houghton Library. It is a French book entitled "es destinées de l'ame by Arsène Houssaye" and it was published in the 1880s. The content in the book focuses on the nature of life after death and what happens to the soul, which makes the fact that it was bound in human skin even creepier.

Binding books in human skin, known as Anthropodermic bibliopegy is a relatively rare practice, but it is known to have been done in the 16th and 17th centuries. Most were bound in the skins of convicted criminals, but the aforementioned French book was bound in the skin of an unnamed mental patient.

The author was French novelists Arsène Houssaye and, after completion of the book, he gave it to a friend and medical doctor Ludovic Bouland, who also happened to be an avid book collector. Bouland was the one who choose to use human skin. He picked this particular female mental patient after her body failed to be claimed by family or friends.



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Last updated on June 29, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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