How To Make a Spiral Bound Booklet

Three spiral bound books in front of a blue background

Spiral bound books are an important part of day-to-day life in an office environment. When you have a presentation that you want to make professional and distributional—you’re going to turn to spiral binding. It’s frequently used for presentation printouts, training manuals, and meeting notes. Most people are familiar with what a spiral bound book is, but when it comes down to it, few people know how to make one.

Equipment you need to make a spiral bound book

The equipment you need for making a spiral bound book are as follows:

  • Stack of prints (covers optional)
  • Spiral binding hole punching machine
  • Spiral binding coil
  • Handheld coil crimper

To start making a spiral bound book, you need a stack of prints! This will comprise the guts of your book. Then, you need to cover your book with printed cardstock covers (front and back). Many people also opt to add on clear covers (and a black vinyl back) onto spiral bound books.

Single manual spiral binding machine
Single manual spiral binding machine.

Next, you punch holes into the stack of sheets to thread the spiral coil through. This step is pretty straightforward—but make sure to match the coils to the holes that are punched by the machine. There are three popular coil binding types—each with their own unique hole patterns: spiral binding (also called “coil binding”, with round holes), comb binding (with rectangular holes), and wire-o binding (different sized rectangular holes). Just make sure to ask your coil supplier whether it will be compatible with your hole punching equipment.

After you punch the holes, you need to actually bind the book. To do this, you need to thread your spiral coil all the way through the book. Always leave at least a quarter inch on both the top and bottom of the book. Then, you take the handheld coil crimp to clip and crimp of both ends; squeeze and twist the crimping tool. Twisting the crimper will cause the end of the spiral coil to twist—this keeps the coil from spinning through the holes and unbinding the book.

Is it worth it to print and bind in house?

You should consider getting your spiral bound books printed and bound online. It will save you time, give you more access to more paper and coil options, and it will be a higher quality than making spiral bound books yourself.

Making your own spiral bound books can be a pain. Your book volumes have to be in a happy medium before it makes sense to invest in the equipment. Investing in a few hundred dollars’ worth of spiral binding supplies does not make sense if you have a few books to make.

On the other hand—if you are making a lot of spiral bound books, you will not be able to use a cheap spiral hole-punching machine. These machines are made for lighter hole-punching volumes and will break from excessive usage.

The other aspect of making your own spiral bound booklets is the time required to manage a printer and spiral binding operation. Both of these things take time and will distract from your typical work. Don’t believe us? Give it a shot!

The happy medium where it makes sense to make spiral bound booklets is when you’re in a large corporate environment. Usually someone else is paying for the printing and binding equipment. In this scenario, people are willing to pay a premium for access to immediate spiral binding capabilities (for meetings and sales calls).

Getting it done online will be more professional and be cheaper

Printivity makes ordering spiral bound or wire-o booklets online simple! Once you have your manual or presentation designed, it is only a couple clicks away from being professionally printed and bound, then in your hands. Call us at 1-877-649-5463 with any questions about printing a spiral bound booklet!

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