Book Printing Lingo: What is Comb Binding?

comb-bound-books

Comb Binding uses a plastic spine with a series of ring-shaped tines or “teeth” to secure a book’s cover and pages

Comb Binding, also known as Cerlox binding or Surelox binding, makes use of a cylindrical plastic shape that has multiple curved tines along its length.

This rigid plastic shape forms the book’s spine and would resemble a hair comb if it were not formed into a cylinder, hence the name Comb Binding.

Each tine or “tooth” along the comb binding element is pre-formed into a closed ring shape. Each ring-shaped tine contains tension. When these tines are spread apart and then released, the tension closes them back into a circular shape.

coil-binding-elementThe comb binding method produces a durable and professional-looking document. To bind a book with this method, the curved tines are spread open and inserted through rectangular slots punched along the spinal edge of the book’s cover and pages. When the tension in the tines is released, the spine closes back into its original shape and secures the covers and pages as a unit yet allows them to turn freely.

Benefits of Comb Binding

A comb bound book can lie flat in the open position without having to be held open. This feature makes it very well-suited for manuals, study guides, directories, cookbooks, and other reference materials that benefit from being “hands free.”

Another advantage of a comb bound book is that pages can be added or removed relatively easily. Tabbed dividers and perforated pages also work well with the comb binding method.  Furthermore, the plastic combs are readily available and come in a variety of sizes to accommodate books of varying thicknesses.

Do you have any questions about Comb Binding or any other softcover bookbinding methods?  Would you like to explore the benefits of Comb Binding for an upcoming book project? If so, give Formax a call at 866-367-6221 or use our simple quote request form. We’ll be glad to assist with your book project!

Take care!  Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include full-color printing, all types of softcover books, laminated printing, plus fulfillment and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 314-434-5500 or 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services for over 30 years.

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