Guide to soft binding

We are often asked which is the "best" type of soft binding. However as everyone has their own requirements, there cannot be a single, definitive answer. We have therefore graded each type of binding across a range of factors to help you decide, 1 being the best in that category, with some relevant notes.

Channel refers to  Metalbind unless stated otherwise. Please check your University regulations for specific requirements.


1 Channel   2 Comb   3 Wire
Channel binding is very quick - it can take as little as 15 seconds per volume. Comb binding is noticeably faster than Wire.

Low Cost

1 Comb   2 Wire   3 Channel

Maximum Thickness

1 Comb   2 Channel   3 Wire
Comb binding can hold up to 420 sheets. Channel binding limit is 300 pages on 80gsm

Choice of covers

1= Metalbind channel, Comb & Wire   4 Esselte Channel
Channel, Comb and Wire Binding allow you to use your own covers or choose from our selection of clear PVC and different coloured cards.

Take Apart & Re-bind

1 Comb   2 Channel   3 Wire
Comb bound documents can also be opened and the comb re-used or replaced with another size. Channel Binding is non-destructive and can be re-opened with our equipment, pages changed, added or removed (within reason) and the same cover re-used up to 3 times. Opening Wire bound documents destroys the spine which would need to be replaced.

Non-A4 Binding

1= Comb & Wire
It is possible to bind A5 and A3 size pages with Comb and Wire, or anything in between. Channel has spines available in A4 size only.


1 Wire   2 Comb   3 Channel
All except Channel open up flat. Wire can be turned back on itself fully and therefore just edges Comb.

Lettering on Spine

1 Channel
We can put lettering, e.g. degree, name, year, on the spine of  Channel bound documents.


We have not graded this factor as it tends to be rather subjective and your personal experience may vary. We would like to think that none of them falls apart after it leaves us!


You can get an instant price and place an order for printing and softback binding here:

Comb Binding (plastic rings)

Wire Binding (metal rings)

Channel Binding (flat steel spine)


You can get an instant price and order Hardback Binding here

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