I won't let you fall apart
December 7, 2007 10:05 AM   Subscribe

Recommend a binding machine you're familiar with for thermal/perfect binding.

Can anyone recommend a machine that heat-binds packets of paper information (~50 to 200 pages) together? This and its variants look interesting, but I don't really know how well it actually works. And I'm too busy laughing at the 70's style demo videos to seriously consider if it is likely the machine works as well as it appears to. This looks like it's a bit much for my purposes. This doesn't seem to be able to do multiple sets at once.

I want to be able to take my papers, grab some covers from an office supply store, and bind together at least 5 sets of documents at a time with heat and have it look professional.

Staples, OfficeMax, OfficeDepot turn up empty. Any recommendations for thermal/perfect binding machines you're familiar with or have personally used? I'm probably willing to pay in the $150-500 range. Perhaps more if you have a machine that has knocked your socks off. And thermally bound them together into a professional looking document.
posted by cashman to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I used to work on the bigger Coverbind machines.They do a nice job.
I think it (your 2nd 'this') might do about the same job as your 1st 'this'. The only difference I see is that the Coverbind slides in to compress/heat the sides as well as the spine.

One thing to note about these machines is that the covers come in a lot of thicknesses, and you really need to get the correct size to look and work well. (Like for 100 pages a 3/8" binder would be too small and 5/8" would be way too big.)

Sorry I don't have an answer to your main question.
posted by MtDewd at 12:37 PM on December 7, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you MtDewd - I need all the responses I can get, and perhaps I can find a place to get the Coverbind at a discount.
posted by cashman at 12:40 PM on December 7, 2007

We have this ThermaBind machine at work for things like board reports and briefing books. It works really well on about 15-100 pages, but anything less than 10 sheets or more than 110 and it's hard to make them look nice. We have used it for several years, and even the bound books we made about 4 years ago hold together nicely still.

The worst part about any thermal binders, I think, is that they only work with a specific set of covers. Like MtDewd said, it's important to match the size of the covers with the contents, or they end up looking strange and not holding together very well. The covers are also fairly expensive, and you will probably have to custom order them - it's not something that a local office supply store will carry. I only know of one or two places to get our covers online, for example.

To be honest, we have stopped using the thermabind as much lately, because we have moved to Slide-lock report covers. They work well, are cheap, and take less time to warm up! Of course, that's just us.
posted by gemmy at 4:54 PM on December 7, 2007

I had a Coverbind machine, and the pages fall out. There's a former Xerox company, Channelbind, that doesn't have this problem, but again, the problem is with the covers, you need an ample supply.

The best I've found--and what they use at Kinko's--is tape binding. But the machines are not cheap.


(I have no relationship with any of the companies mentioned).
posted by tesseract420 at 11:34 AM on December 8, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks. How do those Slide-lock report covers work? How do they hold the pages together? Thank you for all the answers. I'm not sure what I'm going to do.
posted by cashman at 5:21 AM on December 10, 2007

How do those Slide-lock report covers work?

They just consist of a stiff clip that pinches the pages together. It's like small binder clip that is wrapped into a nice package with covers. Pages do fall out if you throw them around, and you can remove the insides easily, but I find that they keep together much tighter than the traditional report covers that you would find in any office supply store.

I don't think that it's exactly what you were going for, though, it seems like you wanted something another step up.
posted by gemmy at 10:56 AM on December 10, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks gemmy. And yes, I'm still looking - there are a ton of machines and I don't really have an inkling about which one to choose.
posted by cashman at 10:52 AM on December 12, 2007

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