Plastic Comb Binding (also known as Comb Binding) is an inexpensive and readily available method of book binding. The spine edge of the paper stack is punched with a series of rectangular holes. The Plastic Comb, which is a tube of flexible plastic with a series of teeth cut into one edge, is threaded through the holes. The loose end of the teeth is tucked into the straight edge to finish the binding.
One benefit of Plastic Comb Bindings is that the books open flat. Another is that the total cost of supplies is very low. And a third is that books can be bound as needed.
Heavy card stock or plastic sheets can be used to create sturdy and attractive covers to finish the book.
The binding comb can be re-opened to allow pages to be inserted or removed with minimal difficulty.
Up to 425 sheets of 20 lb. paper on a 2″ comb. Smaller combs are available for shorter books. Standard page sizes for this type of printing are 8.5″x11″, but custom sizes can be done.
Plastic Binding Combs come in a range of colors, and if needed, can be custom made with text printed on the spine.
Inexpensive Plastic Comb Binding Machines can be purchased for under $50 USD and heavy duty machines range from $350-$500 USD. The primary differences between the low and high end of the price range concerns the number of sheets that can be punched at once, the total thickness of the document that can be bound, and whether the machine is manually powered or electrical.
At the very high end of the price range, Plastic Comb Binding Machines also include the ability to create Coil Bindings as well.
Because of the low cost of Plastic Comb Binding Machines, it is possible to keep the materials on hand to print books as needed. This ensures that the most current information is always included in your books. It also means you can print and bind what you need when you need it – a huge benefit when you deal with low volumes of books.
If you don’t wish to buy the hardware, copy centers provide Plastic Comb Binding services very cheaply as well.
The major detraction of this method of bookbinding is that it looks and feels cheap, so it is not appropriate for applications that require a high-end expensive look.