Bindit Perfect Bind II Thermal Binding Machine Review
When it comes to thermal binding machines, the Bindit Perfect Bind II has been one of the leading options available in the industry for a number of years.However, just because a machine is popular doesn't mean that it is right for every application. This review will take a look at the features, limitations and construction of the PerfectBind II binding machine.
The PBII has a number of features that other machines in the same class don't provide. One such feature is the adjustable temperature control. The Perfectbind Two has two temperature settings. The Medium setting is designed for binding soft cover thermal binding covers while the high setting is designed for binding thermal hard cover cases. Other machines that do not have two temperature settings require two binding cycles to bind hard cover books. With the PBII you can accomplish the same work in half the time.
This machine also has an automatic timer that detects the document in the throat of the machine and beeps when the heating cycle is completed. This takes all of the guesswork out of thermal binding. You simply put your document in the throat and wait for the machine to beep and the light to flash. The combination of both visual and auditory indicators help to make sure that you don't forget your document in the machine.
The Perfect Bind II has a one inch capacity binding throat. This means that you can bind documents up to one inch thick or you can bind multiple documents up to a total thickness of one inch. For binding thinner documents this can greatly improve productivity. However, it is important to note that unless you have two hard cover crimpers it is not recommended to run more than one thermal hard cover case at a time in the PBII because you can only crimp one cover at a time after the books are finished the heating cycle.
Other features that are included on the PBII include an auto-off feature that will turn the machine off it is not used for prolonged periods of time. This is a great feature for saving power and for reducing the risk of a fire (you would never leave your toaster or coffee pot on all day long). The PBII also has a cooling rack attached to the back of the machine and has a document thickness gauge on the edge of the binding throat. These are all great features.
Although the Perfectbind 2 has some great features it also has a few limitations. The first limitation to note is that it requires approximately three minutes to warm up. This isn't a huge deal. However, for organizations who bind one or two documents at a time, the time to bind your first document can be fairly significant. Some other thermal machines do not require a warm up time (they warm up while they bind their first document) but take slightly longer to bind each document. These machines are usually slightly more expensive and are ultimately slower when binding ten or more documents at a time.
As was mentioned above, the PB II is only capable of handling documents up to one inch thick. Some organizations will find that they need to bind documents that are thicker than this. In that case, the PBII is probably not a great choice. It is also limited to a length of 12 inches. Users who need to bind longer documents will need to buy a larger machine.
The final limitation of the Perfectbind II is more a limitation of the thermal binding style than a limitation of the machine itself. Thermal binding requires a one piece cover with glue down the spine. This means that you will need a different size of cover for every different thickness of report that you need to bind. This also means that you either need to buy fully customized covers, or use generic covers with a clear or frosted front. For organizations that want to use their own covers or print their own covers this can be a problem. Although it is possible to make your own covers using a large format printer, a scoring device and a thermal glue strip the process can be tricky and somewhat tedious.
Evaluating the construction of the PBII is fairly simple. It is plastic. Well built, but still plastic. Larger more expensive thermal binding machines are often made of metal but they usually cost three or four times as much as the PBII. That being said, I have never heard of anyone breaking this machine. There really isn't that much to break. You will want to be careful not to put excessive force on the cooling rack attached to the back of the unit. You will also want to be careful not to attempt to force too many covers into the machine at once. Other than that, breaking this machine shouldn't be too much of a concern.
For most thermal binding users, the Perfect Bind II is an excellent choice. It is small, simple to operate, feature rich and it carries a price tag that won't break the bank. Provided that you don't need to bind document thicker than 1", longer than 12" and can live with the warm up time it is most definitely a good choice.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
For more information or to purchase the Bindit Perfect Bind II Thermal Binding Machine visit MyBinding.com.
Jeff McRitchie is the director of marketing for MyBinding.com. He writes extensively on topics related to Thermal Binding Machines, Binding Covers, Bookbinding Supplies, Binding Machines, Binders, Index Tabs, Laminators, Laminating Pouches and more.