How to Use the GBC BindMate Comb Binding Machine

Published: 15th March 2012
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GBC makes some of the most popular binding machines on the market. In fact, the company's name is more or less synonymous with document finishing, especially comb binding. One of GBC's most innovative comb binding machines is the BindMate. It's a small device that's both a three-hole punch and a comb binding device, so it's very versatile. This device is also easy to use as the following instructions will illustrate.

To start, let's take a look at using the BindMate as a three-hole punch. You can pretty much use the machine like you would a regular hole punch. All you need to do is adjust the punch selector on the left side of the machine so that it will punch 3 holes instead of the 19 needed for comb binding. After you adjust the setting, just line your paper up and punch it. The BindMate can only punch 6 to 8 sheets per lift and you shouldn't try to punch more than that at once. Doing so can dull the punching dies over time.

If you want to use the BindMate as a comb binding machine it's just as easy as using it as a three-hole punch. Here's how you do it:

  • First, you'll want to adjust the punch selector so it's in comb binding mode. You can then align your paper and covers for punching. You'll see that the machine can handle both letter-sized paper (8.5" x 11") and oversized covers, so be sure to align your materials as necessary.

  • After you punch the holes, you can select a comb for your work. The BindMate works with combs that are up to 5/8" in diameter, so your documents can contain up to 125 pages. Once you have selected your comb, place it on the teeth located at the top of the machine. (The teeth are part of the comb opener.) Use the punching handle to open the comb and keep the handle in place by engaging the lock on the right side of the device.

  • Now that your comb is open, you can insert the comb's tines into the holes you punched in your document. You might find it easier to break the document into smaller sections rather than trying to work with all the pages at once.

  • To finish off your document, disengage the handle lock to close the comb and remove your book. Go ahead and repeat the process if you have other documents to bind. When you're done, take a moment to look at your work and be proud of your accomplishments. Don't forget to empty the chip tray so you can enjoy easier punching the next time you need to prepare your documents.

The GBC BindMate is really easy to use, as you can see by reading the above instructions. The most important thing to remember about using this device is to select the correct punching method. If you do that, you'll be able to prepare your documents in no time. Good luck!

Jeff McRitchie is the Vice-President of Marketing for He regularly writes articles, reviews, and blog posts on topics related to bookbinding, laminating, paper shredding, and office equipment. More than 2,500 of his reviews have been published in thousands of locations on the Internet. If you're looking for information about comb binding machines, his articles are a great place to start.

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