If you love making your own books, a bookbinding machine is a smart investment. Engineered to punch evenly distanced holes in papers and then help you guide them into a binding spine, these devices will save both time and money. You can use them to bind journals, scrapbooks, and even your own custom-made sketchbooks. It’s important to know what kind of finished product you want, as each machine punches a certain type of hole and accommodates not only specific kinds of binding but also different paper sizes. Explore your options by reading about our top picks below.
1. We R Memory Keepers Cinch Book Binding Machine
This binding machine is designed for books of all kinds and sizes, and it can punch paper as well as slightly thicker material including cardboard and chipboard. Compatible with twin loop wires, or Wire-O binding, it punches neat, round holes that are evenly distanced. While the machine features a total of 12 hole punches, these are controlled by a peg system that enables you to adjust the placement if you would like to skip certain holes. Operating it is relatively simple, but beginners may find that it takes a few tries to get a good feel for the proper alignment of papers. In addition to punching, this machine features an anchor that holds your wire in place as you insert your pages, as well as a guiding handle to easily cinch the wire ends together.
2. Fellowes Binding Machine Quasar+ Comb Binding
Designed for use with comb bindings, this machine is capable of punching up to 19 holes per sheet in paper that is letter-sized or smaller. An integrated system holds and stretches the comb so you can bind your punched pages with a single pull of its handle, and an adjustable edge guide ensures proper placement and centering of documents. Since this machine can handle up to 25 sheets of copy paper at a time, it’s a great choice if you need to create thicker books.
3. Zutter Bind-It-All
Weighing less than 3 pounds and capable of sitting comfortably on your hand, this handy device can easily be stored away when not in use. Despite its size (and school-friendly price tag), it’s a true workhorse that’s capable of punching through heavier papers, from cardboard to watercolor paper. Designed for use with Wire-O binding, it cuts even and precise square holes. However, it can punch just six holes at once, which means you have to carefully maneuver your sheets if you want to punch more. Getting used to this can be tricky, but with practice you can use this machine to perform many kinds of jobs.
4. Makeasy Binding Machine
Makeasy’s machine can punch up to 21 holes to fit letter-size, A4, and A5 sheets. With a solidly built metal body and nonslip feet, this binder remains firmly anchored to your work surface to eliminate misalignment due to motion. Its operation is similar to that of the Fellowes Quasar+, with the addition of a helpful tab that allows you to adjust the distance of holes from the margin. However, it can punch fewer sheets at a time, about a dozen per load.
5. Coilbind S20A Coil Punch & Binding Machine
For binding with plastic or metal coils, consider the Coilbind S20A, which features a 46-hole punch to accommodate documents of all sizes. It can handle about 20 sheets of copy paper at once and features an adjustment tab so you can customize the distance between the holes and the margins. Sturdy and incredibly easy to use, this machine also comes with a pair of pliers and 100 eight-millimeter plastic coils, although you can use any brand of 4:1 binding.