How do you Bind with Wire?

April 20, 2018

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There are two kinds of wire binding: the first is a spiral wire, which is a continuous wire that wraps through many holes along your binding edge. The second, and the more popular wire binding, is called Wire-O (pictured above), and features a continuous hinge of wired loops, which are crimped together through the punched holes on your binding edge. Wire-O is also often referred to as twin-loop, double-o, double loop, ring wire, wirebind, etc.

In this how-to guide, we are going to walk you though the basic instructions for how to bind with Wire-O, as well as offer some professional tips to ensure your documents look great, whether you are making a single book, or thousands.

How to Bind with Wire-O:

Binding with twin loop wire is a simple process that involves first punching holes, then inserting a wire and closing the wire around your document. It will require a wire punching machine and a wire closer to accomplish this. Often times you can find both the punch and the closer on the same unit, or they are also sold separately as well, which can allow for a more assembly-line workflow.

You Will Need:


The instructions will vary a bit, depending on what machine you are using, but the general steps are pretty similar across the board for tabletop wire binding machines. Here is how to bind with Wire-O:

① Determine what wire pitch & diameter you need -- Often machines will have a diameter guide that allows you to place your stack into a notch that indicates the recommended wire diameter for your book thickness. Some others come with a little measurement tool that essentially does the same thing. We also offer a wire capacity chart, which offers approximations for sheet capacities and document thicknesses. Depending on the thickness of your book, you will need either a 3:1 (thinner books) or a 2:1 (thicker books) pitch wire. Often times punch machines will only use one specific pitch, so make sure your book thickness fits within the capabilities of your machine.

② Set up the machine for your paper -- Place the allotted number of sheets into the punching throat and align the holes so they are centered on your page. This will vary depending on your machine as well as the paper stock you are punching. Most capacities are rated based on basic copy paper, so if you are punching covers or thicker stock, you will need to adjust to punch less at a time. Adjust the paper stops, if needed. If using a machine with disengageable or removable pins, pull out the one on the end of you book to prevent it from punching. Some machines also have a margin depth that determines how deep into your page the holes will punch. Set the wire closer to the proper setting for whatever diameter you are using.

③ Punch your paper -- Square your stack up against the stops and do a test punch on some scrap paper to be sure everything lines up as you expect it to. If it looks good, punch the rest of your book pages, stack by stack, until complete.

④ Insert the wire -- Jog your entire stack square so all the holes are aligned. Place your wire onto the wire hanger on your machine. If you don't have one, simply place your book stack onto your desk with the holes hanging slightly off the edge. Slide your pages over the small loops of your wire. With the wire hanger, you can do this in batches to make it easier. TIP: If using covers, you can place the back cover flipped onto the front cover to hide the spine once bound. Here is a video to show you how to hide the wire spine.

⑤ Close the wire -- Once all your pages are hung, slide the book off the hanger and place your wire into the wire closer and activate the closer.

Mallory Morsa, Binding101 Product ExpertAbout the Author • Mallory Morsa has been the product expert at Binding101 since 2008, and has grown up in the industry. Every day she pushes herself to learn new information, incorporating real-life experiences to create solutions to the most common problems in the industry, and then present those solutions in a way that is easy to understand for everyone, from novices to experts.

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