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Printing Lingo: What does Drilling mean?

This stack of paper has been Drilled with three holes

In printing, the term "Drilling" refers to the process of creating round holes in paper using a rotating bit.

Manual Punching vs Automated Drilling

Unlike a manual punch, which presses holes through one or a few sheets of paper, the drilling operation uses a specialized machine with sharp hollow bits to bore through thick stacks of paper.

A paper drill produces very clean and precisely-placed holes. Also, drilling saves valuable time because it can penetrate through hundreds of sheets at once. It can also be set up to create multiple holes in one pass.

Paper Drilling Applications

There are many print projects which require the addition of round holes. The most common application is the holes drilled through the sheets, dividers and other inserts that get placed into a ringed binder, such as the popular 3-ring binder.

Another example is the hole (or holes) drilled through a wall calendar or tag so it can be hung. Also, laminated operating instructions are commonly hole-drilled so they can be suspended from machinery or equipment via a ring, hook or chain.

In addition, perfect-bound and saddle-stitched books - such as manuals and catalogs - are sometimes drilled with multiple holes near the spine for insertion into a binder or fixture.

If you have any additional questions about paper drilling, or would like to discuss an upcoming print project, give Formax a call. We'll be happy to explain all your options and provide you with a cost-effective solution.

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 book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus 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 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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