Plastic Coil and Wire-O Binding

advancedpfFinishing, Printing

Among the many ways to bind sheets of paper together, two of the most popular are coil and comb binding. To make things confusing there are coil and comb options for both metal and plastic materials. 

Of those options, the two that have risen to the top for professional purposes are Plastic Coil and Wire-O (metal comb). Although these methods are similar there are a couple of distinctions that can help you decide which method will be best for your project. 

Durability vs. Appeal

Generally speaking, Wire-O is considered to be a better looking product and Plastic Coil is considered more durable. Both are very durable and will almost certainly keep those pages together. However, if really smashed the plastic option will spring back to its original shape where the metal coil may remain deformed. 

Because of this durability, Plastic Coil binding is often employed on volumes that will see repeated use. Cookbooks, children’s books, shop manuals or parts manuals and so on. 

Wire-O’s more refined look makes it better suited to formal reports, proposals, family histories and the like. Don’t discount either option based on these examples. These methods are still very similar and will work for any type of book. 


Another point to consider is usability. Although both options lay flat when laid open on a surface, the Wire-O version will line up directly between the two halves of the book. This can be important for critical crossovers such as a table or graph that extends through the binding. 

Plastic Coil’s advantage is when wrapping the cover completely around to the back. The coil binding will offer no resistance, laying completely flat when doubled over. Wire-O will also open this way but there will be a section on the bound edge that will not lay completely flush. 

Color Options

A wide variety of colors are available for both Plastic Coil and Wire-O binding methods. Choosing a custom color is a great way to make your project stand out from the rest generally at no additional cost (some minimums may apply). Below is a list of colors available for each option:

Plastic Coil: Clear, White, Black, Grey, Blue, Green, Gold, Tan, Brown, Yellow, Orange, Red, Pink

Wire-O: White, Black, Silver, Pewter, Gold, Blue, Red, Green, Grey

If choosing either binding method remember to move any critical graphics and text away from the binding edge approximately 3/8” to accommodate for the binding. 


Call or email us to discuss how we can help with your plastic coil or wire-o bound book project: 770-542-0667 /