GBC - How to Choose the Right Binder

Binding provides a professional and polished look to your presentations displays and booklets, taking work to a whole new level. 

But choosing the best binder for the job is tough. Different binders have different results and styles which can often be overlooked, meaning some users end up purchasing tools that don’t fulfil need.

In order to help, we’ve complied a binding reference of styles, binding tips and questions, and also listed how specific binders can be applied in real life, to ensure you make the right investment for you.

‘Aren’t all binding machines the same?’

While all binding machines essentially do a similar job, the features that are included differ, and the type of bind can make for a quicker, more professional or desired effect dependant on the task in hand.

Comb Binding

Also sometimes referred to as plastic binding or spiral comb binding, comb binding is the most recognisable choice for document collation. It involves punching documents, then binding them together using a spine with tabs that roll into the spine itself.

Comb binders are especially useful when numerous booklets need to be made. They are the perfect choice for any sector, from primary school through to large business.

The benefits of comb binding:

  • Pages can be added or removed with relative ease
  • Coloured binding spines for variety in projects
  • Bind up to 450 sheets of paper
  • Cost effective
  • Quick and simple to create
  • Readily available – the most popular binding system
  • Combs are re-usable


Use for:

Reference guides, instructionals, workbooks, kids craft books, school hand-outs

The versatility of comb binders coupled with the range of colours and the ability to bind up to 450 sheets of paper make comb binding spines the perfect choice for almost any job.

We recommend using our CombBind C366 to make quick work of any comb binding task, any time.

ClickBind binding

ClickBind works much like comb binding, but rather than individual tabs which curl into the spine, the bind ‘clicks’ together to secure documents in place.

The benefits of ClickBind binding:

  • Open and close easily to add or remove documents
  • Lie flat for easy photocopying
  • 360 degree page turning
  • Professional, upscale look
  • Fast and easy        
  • Zips and unzips for quick edits 
  • Made from polypropylene – so can be recycled
  • Binds up to 100 pages

 Use for:

  • Similar uses as for comb bind. Refer to ‘comb binding’ for a selection of uses.

A step up in versatility to CombBind due to a slightly easier way of adding and removing pages, as well as the capability to lie flat, ClickBind can be used in any business or school, but tends to lean towards the professional sector. ClickBind binders impress a set of 34 large secure holes to bind through.

For click binding, we recommend our ClickBind 150 Binder for fast, professional results.

Wire binders

A popular book binding method, wire binders take a ‘C-shaped’ binding spine and close it around your punched papers. This style is similar in concept to the wire bound notebook or notepads so often found on the high street.

Wires are measured by pitch 3:1 (3 holes per inch on the paper edge), 2:1 (2 holes per inch on the paper edge)

The benefits of wire binding:

  • Secure. Work cannot be removed without tearing.
  • Full 360 degree movement, allowing work to lie flat for photocopying.
  • Professional finish to documents.
  • Element join is hidden from view.
  • Strong and flexible.
  • Can be removed if required.
  • Maximum capacity of 140 sheets for 4mm-14mm 3:1 wires.
  • Maximum capacity of 250 sheets for 16mm – 25mm 2:1 wires.

 Use for:

  • Legal documents.
  • Professional documents which require an element of security such as proposals or company briefs.
  • Official booklets.

Business users tend to focus on WireBind more than the educational sector, as the metal finish gives the impression of additional security over plastic combs and a more professional finish.

We recommend our WireBind W25E Wire Binder for specialist heavy use binding or a MultiBind 230 Multifunctional which allows for both comb and wire binding in an all-in-one machine.

Thermal Binders

Thermal binding uses heat to activate a strip of adhesive glue in all binding covers that firmly places pages within a document, sticking them fast. 

The results of using thermal binders are permanent and can only be removed by tearing the page itself, making them a secure choice when additional work does not need adding. This is a similar effect to the way many books or novels are bound.


The benefits of heat binding:

  • Don’t worry about dies, punching holes, binding spines or alignment.
  • Professional book quality binding in minutes.
  • Ability to bind more than one book at a time. 

Use for: 

  • Fast professional results. 
  • Presentations where you want to make a professional impact without showing how work was collated. For example: books, novels or annual reports.

 When book binding with heat, we recommend our T400 Thermal binder for up to 400 sheets of A4 paper.

Multifunctional binding

Multifunctional binders perform two separate styles of binding, both wire and comb binding. See above for descriptions and uses for both, or if you are interested, browse models such as our MultiBind 230.

Strip binding

Strip binding is the professional way of binding large volumes of documents up to 750 sheets.

Our Surebind binding strips secure work fast, and are physically cut and welded to the element on the underside of your book, to create a tamperproof seal. Due to the nature of the bind, pages do not lay flat, making this binding style the more logical choice for those not wanting work to be photocopied.

While most strip binding is secure it does prevent removal or insertion of pages. For those who prefer a more versatile secure option. Our VeloBind binding strips give the look and feel of a strip bind, but with the ability to add and remove pages as needed with a specific ‘debinding’ tool. 


Benefits of strip binding:

  • Large volume binding capability
  • Secure – welded fast. Only adjustable with some models 
  • Documents do not photocopy easily due to biding style – ideal for those who do not want copies made
  • Easily mailed or filed due to a flat binding element


  • Perfect for legal documents, large manuals and instructions or personnel documentation

The first choice for larger ventures. Professional looking, secure, and capable of binding large volumes of paper. These are for use in any sector, but are usually the preferred choice for legal, business or high-end education assignments. 

Coil Binding

Coil binding provides a quick continuous loop that covers the length of the document and can bind up to 265 sheets in a set of 47 rounded holes.

Benefits of coil binding:

  • Professional finish
  • Pages lie flat with 360 degree page turning
  • Permanently bind
  • Spine keeps shape with bounce and flexibility
  • Binds up to 265 pages




  •  With the flexible spine, these binding elements are hardy making them perfect for documents that need constant reference.
  • Permanent bind with no way of removing, they are the ideal tamperproof bind making them ideal for legal documents.

If you’re still needing some idea as to which is the best binder for you, head over to our Binding Hints and Tips or How to Use a Binder topics in the Solution Centre to see how our binders work, or browse our selection of binders and binding supplies today.

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