How to Use a Comb Binder

Updated March 16, 2017

Comb-binding machines are an inexpensive way to give your presentations a professional look. Whether your presentation is a business plan, a recipe collection, or a script, comb bindings keep everything together and make the pages easy to turn. Add even more polish to your comb-bound presentations by colour-coordinating the binding combs with your title page, paper colour and/or covers---also available in a variety of colours, including clear.

Assemble your presentation, including the front and back covers, and place in a neat stack.

Choose a comb binding that is slightly higher than your presentation stack so, once bound, the papers can easily turn while also staying secure.

Set the guide on the comb-binding machine for the paper size you are using--8 1/2 by 11 inches, for example. If you are using covers that are slightly larger than the paper size--9 by 12 inches, for example--set the guide accordingly and punch the covers separately. Otherwise, keep the covers with the stack of paper and punch at the same time.

Place your presentation into the punching slot so that it is flush with the guide on the side and the back of the machine. Do not overload the slot. The paper should fit easily, not tightly. Consult the user guide or manufacturer of your comb binder for paper capacity if you are in doubt. If your entire presentation will not fit, separate it into smaller stacks and repeat the following step until all pages are punched.

Punch the paper by pulling the lever on your comb binder down (if manual) or pressing the punch button (if electric).

Lift the lever (if manual) back to its upright position and remove the punched paper from the machine.

Place the comb binding in the comb separator at the top of the machine and move the lever back slowly to open the binding. Stop the lever when the binding is about 95 per cent open.

Place your punched presentation into the comb separator over the comb-binding teeth so that each tooth fits into a punched slot in the paper.

Move the lever slowly back to its upright position and remove your punched presentation from the machine.


Keep your comb-binding machine in good operating condition by not overloading paper and emptying its confetti tray regularly. The confetti tray is usually located at the bottom of the machine to collect the pieces of punched-out paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Comb binder (manual or electric)
  • Presentation cover (front and back), optional
  • Comb binding
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About the Author

Amie Martin has more than 20 years of publishing experience in proofreading, editing, writing, design and layout. She writes for various websites, specializing in branding, marketing and technical communications. Martin has an Associate of Applied Science in merchandising from Bay State College and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.