How to Remove a Binding Wire

Category : Binding Machines, Questions & Answers


Can you tell me if I can add pages to a wire bound document?


Unfortunately the only way to add pages to any wire bound document (once the wire has been crimped closed) is to Continue Reading

Frequently Asked Questions

Category : Questions & Answers

Q & A


Hello, I currently have a CombMac 240E binding machine. Everyone here loves the machine but we all disagree on how far should we should open the combs on the comb opener. Is there a right or wrong comb opening setting and if so what is it?


Tania Stevenson


Hi Tania

Like everything else everyone will have their own method of doing things, so I guess there is no strict rule.

Having said that after many years of experience, I personally find that if the handle is pulled forward far enough to make the “teeth” an elongated C shape, this position makes it easier to slip the first lot of punched pages over the opened combs. Just make sure it is not too far open for the pages to slip off or so the comb springs off the comb holder (particularly with small diameter combs). Once the curled end starts to fill with your pages, push the handle slightly back so the comb curls up a tiny bit more to securely hold the rest of your pages on the opened comb.


I hope you can help? Is it true that you can only bind thin documents with wire binding machines? My boss likes the look of wire bound reports and I was told it is not possible to bind thick documents in this style of binding. We need to bind about 250 page reports. Is there a wire binding machine which can do this?

Thanks in advance!

Katie J


There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to wire binding. Many people think there is only one wire pitch known as 3:1. This pitch or hole ratio will bind up to 12 mm thick documents. However there is also another wire pitch known as 2:1 which enables you to bind documents up to 250 individual sheets of 80gsm paper (Australian standard copy paper).

So to answer your question, yes your boss will be very pleased that he can have his reports wire bound but you will need to purchase a 2:1 pitch machine such as the WireMac E21. Hope this helps!



Can I bind with wire using a plastic comb machine?


Not really. Plastic comb has rectangular holes (please refer to the pictures) which fit the profile of a plastic comb or “teeth”. Wire has square holes which fit the profile of double loop wire. Plastic comb and double loop wire also have different hole spacing. At one stage one company manufactured a 21 loop wire but I personally think it looked stretched and uncomplimentary.

To achieve a professional finish and so the pages turn nicely in wire binding you need to punch your holes with an industry standard wire binding machine and use industry standard wires to suit.


We want to change over from comb binding to wire binding because we think that it will look more professional. Can you recommend a machine which will handle documents up to about 50 pages? We don’t use the binder often but when we do we might bind perhaps 200 or more documents.


Even though you don’t use the binding machine often you will need a good machine to cope with the large volume binding runs. If your budget allows I would highly recommend a fast electric punch wire binder such as the WireMac E31. It has a one second punch which is very fast and because its punches are made from high grade steel which will give you crisp perforations without blunting. Many machines are painfully slow and produce frayed holes which makes binding very difficult.


Do you know where to get the teeth sharpened on a binding machine; ours seems to have gone blunt. It now only punches a few sheets of paper at once and some of the holes do not cut through the paper properly.




This is a common problem caused by a few reasons. The most likely cause is the quality of the binder. Many binders have been built using soft metal punches which tend to go blunt relatively quickly. Even if it were cost effective to have them individually sharpened they would only go blunt again very quickly. It is much better in the long term to purchase a good quality machine with hardened steel punches which are long lasting and produce clean perforations.

The second reason is that the machine may be simply past its use by date. Like us humans, its parts simply wear out. Even well manufactured machines have a life span and they do ultimately reach their senescence. Perhaps it’s time to look for a new machine, but do yourself a favour and buy one which has good genes that is which will have longevity. The MAC brand is exceptional for long-life, well designed with high quality punches and all internal components. They are also very reasonably priced when you weigh up life expectancy and product quality versus initial outlay.


Hi there

My hobby is scrapbooking. Can you suggest the best way to bind for scrapbooks please?


We are approached by many scrapbookers keen to bind their own memorabilia and to display their creations in the most attractive way. Spiral coil binding is the first method of binding we recommend. The coils are durable, allow the pages to turn a full rotation and the spiral coils come in a range of fun colours. If you buy a machine with continuous punch guide and punch disengaging pins you can bind shorter and longer length books other than A4.

Another great binding method which looks great is wire binding. Often scrapbookers use 2:1 pitch wire to give that funky effect or some prefer the tighter 3:1 wire bind effect. It really depends on the look you want to achieve to suit your artwork.


Is wire binding more difficult to do than comb binding? We want to change over to wire binding but the girls in the office are concerned it might be too difficult.

Thank you!

Andrew P


Hi Andrew

No not at all! This is a common misconception. In fact personally I find wire binding much easier than plastic comb binding. Combs are flimsy and have relatively sharp edges; conversely wire is smooth and more rigid (that is if you buy premium binding wire) when slipping the pages over. Like most things, it comes down to practise. Closing the wire is also quite a simple task once you get the hang of it (no pun intended ) Take a look at our blog on How to Bind Using a Wire Binding Machine.


Binding Machines

Hi, I would like to make my own journals using paper and recycled hard cover books ( as the front and back cover) I would like it bound in metal springs.It would be for domestic purposes only, but I would like one that would be strong and reliable.What would be the best machine for my purposes?

Thanks,Melissa H


Hi Melissa

We have had many enquiries like yours regarding recycling old hard covered books to transform them into journals. I must say the results look fantastic! When you say metal springs, I assume you may be referring to double loop wire binding. Please see attached pictures we took for another creative lady interested in your hobby.

In order to achieve a neat finish will need a binding machine such as the WireMac 31. This model has the leverage strength and wide throat capacity to punch through the thick covers and has punch cancellation pins to ensure you do not have a partially punched hole at the end of the document.


I currently outsource my binding and want to bind in-house now. I do not have high volumes to bind. Can you recommend a machine which is good quality but is not too expensive?

D Wright


The answer really depends on the thickness of your documents and the style of binding you like the look of. Please refer to our blog on Which Binding Style is Best for My Needs.