What's the Difference Between the Fastback 9 and Fastback 20?

August 9, 2018
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One of our most frequently asked questions about Fastback tape binding machines is about the differences between the Powis Parker Fastback 9 and Fastback 20 machines. They vary quite a bit in price, but they don't look significantly different in a photo and the don't use the same tape binding strips, which is where a lot of the confusion comes from. In this article, I will compare the Fastback tape binder machines and explain the differences in detail. With this information, you will be able to make an educated decision as to which machine is best for you and your business needs. If you need additional guidance, don't hesitate to call us at (866) 537-2244 for more information.

Powis Parker Fastback Model 9 + Model 20 Tape Binding Machines

The Fastback 9 (FB9) is much more economical compared to the Fastback 20 (FB20). This comes at the cost of reduced binding capacity, as it cannot bind documents in the wide width, limiting the thickness of documents that you can bind with the Model 9 since there are no wide LX strips available. However, the FB9 has the same binding time as the FB20, so they can both make documents 3x faster than traditional punch-and-bind methods. The Powis Fastback 9 is also far lighter and smaller than the FB20, making it perfect for home offices and private use. The Model 9 also has a more manual process than the Model 20, as it requires the user to fold the LX strips along the folding line near the center of the strip before manually inserting the strip into the binding area for use. Thus, the FB9 is meant for smaller runs.

The FB20 is our more industrial version, capable of binding up to 250 sheets with Wide Strips. However, it is nearly twice the weight of the FB9, and a bit larger. It is capable of binding up to 14" in length with our 14" Super Strips, unlike the FB9 which is limited to 11". Though it binds at the same rate as the FB9, its process is more automated. There is no folding of the Super Strips required. The user simply needs to insert the strip into the feeding port at the side of the machine, and the FB20 is capable of recognizing the size and type of strip inserted.

Both machines are incredibly user friendly and easy to use, boasting a helpful UI panel to guide users through the binding process.

Double sided adhesive strips are only for the Fastback 20. They are known as our perfectback strip line. They come in three types-- TA (Temperature Activated), LF (Lay Flat), and PS (Pressure Sensitive). Each strip comes in Narrow, Medium, and Wide. These strips are primarily for adhering a softback cover to your bound documents with the adhesive available on the outside of the strip. There is release paper that is pulled away to allow the softcover to be adhered to the glue beneath.

Fastback Binding Machine Comparison

In this chart we compare the specifications and capacities side by side for easy viewing.

SpecificationsFastback Model 9Fastback Model 20
Suggested UserSmall-Medium OfficeMedium-Large Office
Binding Capacity10 - 250 Sheets10 - 350 Sheets
Binding Edge8 ½" - 12" High5 ½" - 12" High
Compatible Binding StripsLX StripsSuper Strips
ImageBlank Strips
Weight / Shipping Weight17 lbs. / 22 lbs.57 lbs. / 68 lbs.
Dimensions13" D x 19.5" W x 11" H23" D x 23.55" W x 9" H


More Fastback FAQs

Can I use other Fastback strips with the FB9? The Fastback 9 uses LX-type binding strips, which are made with a special folded line down the center. The Fastback 9 has no strip intake roller, so LX strips must be folded to a 90 degree angel (lengthwise) and placed directly onto the binding plate. Our other binding strips do not have this folding line, and therefore cannot be used with the Fastback 9.

Can I use other strips if I fold them before I insert them? Answe from the manufacturer: You can try, however, compatibility is not guaranteed. We recommend looking at an LX strip first to know exactly where the line needs to be before trying - the fold location is important. IMPORTANT: Using the binding strips in ways other than intended by the manufacturer might cause damage to your machine; you risk glue leakage and associated damage, since other binding strips were not manufactured to be folded.

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Mallory Morsa, Binding101 Product ExpertAbout the Author • Mallory Morsa is the product expert and content specialist at Binding101, and has been a valued team member since 2008. She started her career here in customer service, moved onto sales supervisor, product management, and then onto content. She takes a hands-on approach to products, and truly gets to know how every item works before she writes about them, with a goal to give you all of the honest information you need to make a confident buying decision. She has a bachelor's degree with a focus on management and marketing, and has been a writer, photographer, and videographer for many years. In her free time, she loves to read by the pool, volunteer at the local animal shelter in the kitten nursery, and snuggle her three furbabies while she binge watches Netflix.

Posted in: Binding 101