How to Use a Binding Machine

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How to Use a Binding Machine

Of the many questions we are asked here at Binding Store, one of the most common is how to use a binding machine. This is particularly an issue with the equipment designed for use in offices by employees who haven’t necessarily had the luxury of the training that is essential for operating the larger scale professional print and bindery machinery.

To help, we’ve put some short ‘How to’ guides for the smaller pieces of equipment below to provide clarity for new users. If you need to know how to use comb-binding or wire-binding machinery then please read on.


There are two operations to comb-binding. There is the punching of the holes, and then inserting the comb.

Firstly, you need to set your machine for the size of the document and the number of holes. This is usually a straight choice between A4 and A5 documents, though some models will allow different options. Count the number of prongs on the comb you want to use and make sure to set your machine to this.

The next step is to prepare your comb. Put the comb on to the comb holder part of the machine, and pull back the lever. This will open up the comb and hold it open ready for you to insert your sheets of paper.

Then punch the paper using the hole punch slot. You may be able to do more than one sheet of paper at a time, which will speed things up, but it will probably be necessary to do the document in small sections. Make sure you butt the sheets up at the same end each time to ensure the holes are in the exact same position on each sheet.

Then slot the punched paper on to the comb, taking care to make sure the prongs have gone into each hole correctly, and that all your sheets are the right way up and in the correct order.

Once all your sheets are in position, you can push the lever back, and the comb will curl itself back up and secure your document.

For a demonstration, this video on How to comb bind is very useful.


Wire Binding

This is very similar to plastic comb binding but with an added operation which allows for the fact that the wire does not bend back on its own.

This video will explain more about using your Wire binding machine:


It is important for wire binding to measure the thickness of the document to determine the wire size needed, and to set the machine. Do this part first!

Then pop an appropriate sized wire on to the prongs.

Punch the sheets in the punch slot as per comb binding, again taking care to butt the sheets up at one end for uniformity.

Put each section onto the wire, making sure the wire has come through each hole.

The last operation is to put the wire into the closing mechanism, which will squeeze the wire around the document. This process is not as reversible as it is with plastic comb binding, so our top tip is to make sure your sheets are all in the correct order and the right way up BEFORE closing the wire!

If you have any more questions about how to use a binding machine or about using any of the equipment we sell, please see our website, or check out our YouTube channel for some handy instructional videos.