Essential Guide to Plastic Coil Binding


Are you looking for a binding method that’s as presentable as it is practical? Discover what makes plastic coil binding so popular in this comprehensive guide covering its use, benefits, and how to keep it looking great for years to come. 

One of the most popular methods for binding, plastic coil offers a durable, flexible way to hold your documents together. While there are many ways to take your work from the idea stage to being printed and bound, plastic coil’s versatility makes it practical for a wide variety of document types. In this article, we’ll cover the essentials of plastic coil binding, including:

  • The benefits of plastic coil binding
  • Choosing the right plastic coil size for your project
  • Tips for maintaining and repairing your binds

Benefits of Plastic Coil Binding

There are many benefits to plastic coil book binding, including its aesthetic appearance, durability, and ease of flipping pages and handling. 

Professional Appearance

The plastic coil gives the finished document a notebook-like aesthetic. Although you can’t print a title or company name on the side (as there’s no flat surface on the binding as there is with comb), coils are available in a wide variety of colors to match your brand or document theme. Coil binding can impart a clean, professional look to any presentation, report, manual, and much more.  

Durability and Longevity

The plastic coils used in this method can spring back into place after handling without bending, crushing, or deforming. In comparison, metal or wire bindings can sometimes be deformed or bent if they are improperly stored or handled. The durability of plastic coil-bound documents makes them perfect for use as reference documents that will be opened frequently.

Flexibility and easy page-turning

The flexibility of the plastic coils used in this binding method helps make the documents easy to carry, store, and read. Coils also allow for 360-degree page turning and lay flat easily, making them ideal for repeated handling and referencing. While thermal or tape-bound books look great, they don’t lay flat as easily as plastic coil binding and have a tendency to curl shut unless you hold them open. If you’re considering using coil binding for business purposes, this trait makes coil-bound documents perfect for reference manuals and training documents.

Choosing The Right Plastic Coil Size For Your Project

Plastic coils are available in various sizes, and you want to ensure that the width is optimal for the number of sheets required. To determine this, take your pages and lay them out on a flat surface. Without overly compressing the document, measure the thickness of the stack, and then add 1/8” to that measurement. If you do that, you’ll have an accurate size measurement for your desired coil diameter. 

While it’s generally true that simply increasing the size of the coil will work as you go up in paper thickness, there are some special considerations for larger documents. Going with an oval punch pattern will result in a wider hole, which can help reduce friction and difficulty flipping pages on very thick coil-bound books.

For a practical reference point, if you print a document 50 sheets thick, you’ll need a spiral binding that’s about 3/8” in diameter. In the table below, we’ll provide some ranges of common sizes, but visit this PDF for a comprehensive list:

# Of Paper SheetsCoil Diameter
Up to 80 Sheets7/16” 
Up to 165 Sheets3/4”
Up to 235 Sheets1-⅛”
Up to 310 Sheets1-½”

Tips for Maintaining and Repairing Your Binds

Even though plastic coil-bound books are flexible and durable, it’s important to care for them properly after they’re printed and bound. First, make sure that after binding, you keep books stacked properly and in a temperature-controlled environment. Extreme temperatures can make the plastic brittle or lead to cracking over long periods of time. In addition, although coils can withstand more flexing without deforming like metal wire binding, they aren’t indestructible. If coils break, you must thread a new coil through the document. This isn’t too challenging, and for one-off fixes, it’s easy to redo by hand and without a machine. However, in most cases, plastic coil binding is very durable if cared for properly.

Bind Documents Simply & Quickly

Plastic coil book binding is an aesthetically pleasing, durable, and surprisingly affordable method for holding documents together. Perfect for a wide variety of documents, plastic coil can work for anything from tiny notebooks to massive quarterly reports up to 400 pages long. Whether you’re looking for new coils or a high-tech coil binding machine, Spiral’s team can point you in the right direction with our decades of knowledge and experience.  Start exploring our latest deals on plastic coil machines and supplies by contacting us today!

Have questions or need help? Contact our dedicated team at 800-631-3572 today. 

About Ryan Sexton

Inspired by his years as a market researcher and teacher, Ryan Sexton leverages his experience to create content that simplifies the complex. His goal is to help every customer find the perfect solution to their individual needs—regardless of the size of their business. His contributions range from in-depth articles onindustrial grade, high-tech binding machines to easy-to-implement recommendations for picking the perfect accessories, materials, and methods.