How to print a spiral binding

Written by erika sanders
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How to print a spiral binding
Spiral binding adds a professional look to documents, school projects and written family histories. (nib image by Pefkos from

Spiral binding, or coil binding, is a process that holds multiple page documents together with a piece of plastic woven through a series of closely punched holes. A coil binding machine is used both to punch the holes into the paper and to insert the plastic binding coil. These machines are relatively easy to use, as long as you have set them up properly for the size of the document you need to bind. Give the appearance of a professional upgrade to your school projects, family photo albums or reports and presentations with spiral binding.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Report covers
  • Binding coils
  • Coil crimping pliers

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  1. 1

    Purchase a coil binding machine. Select a machine appropriate for the volume of binding you will regularly be doing. Machines can hold between 25 pages and 125 pages at a time. If you are using the machine for home projects, you should only need a smaller machine. A small business who regularly binds reports and other documents may choose to invest in a larger machine.

  2. 2

    Leave the appropriate amount of margin space on your document's pages prior to printing. Standard spiral coils require 1 to 1 1/2-inch margins with a 1/2-inch margin on the left hand side of the paper. If your print is too close to the edge of the paper, you risk having the holes and coils punching through your text.

  3. 3

    Gather your document pages together. Don't forget to include a front and back cover. Double-check that all your pages are in the correct order and turned the right way.

  4. 4

    Punch holes in the paper using the coiling machine. If your machine has a capacity for 25 pages at a time, insert only 20 pages for punching at once. A general rule of thumb is to punch no more than 80% of the machine's page capacity at a time. This will help your machine to last longer.

  5. 5

    Double-check again that all pages are in the right order and facing the right way after you have punched your holes. Also make certain all pages are in alignment with one another before moving on to inserting the coil binding.

  6. 6

    Spin the coil binding through the punched holes in your document. You may need to manually feed the coil through the first three to four holes. The machine's electric coil inserter should then be able to takeover and complete the binding.

  7. 7

    Crimp both ends of the coil binding with a pair of coil crimping pliers. In most cases, these pliers can be purchased from the same company where you purchased the spiral binding machine. Crimping removes any excess binding from your document and helps keep the binding from working loose.

Tips and warnings

  • For a single binding project, you can also print your document and take it to any major office supply store to be spiral bound. Call the store in advance to get specific requirements for your page margins.
  • Spiral binding coils come in a variety of colours.

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