What is Spring Binding?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Also known as wire binding, the spring bind method of book binding is a popular option for a number of simply bound printed materials. Essentially, the method utilizes a section of spiral wire to serve as the means of binding pages and a cover together. While a relatively inexpensive and versatile option, spring binding is also a time intensive method that is not ideal for all applications.

A cookbook with a spring binding.
A cookbook with a spring binding.

The basic process for spring binding involves the creation of a series of punched holes along the left edge of the pages. A wire spine configured in the general shape of the letter “C” makes it possible to insert wire through each hole and then use a wire closer to seal the wire into a permanent circle. Because of the configuration of the wire, it is possible to lay the open book flat, or even to rotate the pages a complete 360 degrees if desired.

There are two levels of machines that can be used for spring binding. A manual binding machine works well when the need is for a relatively small amount of copies completed with a single loop construction. For double looping, larger machines equipped with an automatic hole punch and wire closer help to speed up the process of production. There are also machines designed for mass production that help to segregate each function in the sequence for maximum efficiency in the production process.

Spring binding can be a labor intensive task when using a manual process. Still, the relatively low cost of this binding method makes it very attractive for small businesses and non-profit organizations that need to make the most cost-efficient use of available resources while still producing a product with a professional appearance. Because the process does not require a lot of expensive equipment, it is relatively easy to set up the machine and arrange materials in a spare room or even on a conference room table.

There are a number of ways to use spring binding for quick printing projects. Non-profit organizations that are planning fund raising campaigns may use spring binding to create cookbooks or other booklets for sale. Educational institutions sometimes find that spring binding is ideal for creating low-cost study materials. Businesses may choose to use spring binding to create new employee orientation materials, employee handbooks, or training materials for special projects. Since the method works equally well with hard covers and soft covers, it is possible to use spring binding for just about any type of book binding project.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@SZapper - That does make a lot of sense. I can't help but wonder if ebooks will soon replace spring binding as the go-to method for inexpensive books.

Producing an ebook is virtually free! No printing costs, no binding costs, and no need to find a storage space. These days a lot of people have an ereader or a tablet, and those who don't probably at least have a computer.

I suppose there will always be a few people who cling to print media, but I think ebooks will take over soon enough!


I've always wondered why most books that are produced for fundraisers or small businesses are spiral bound. I guess I have my answer!

It makes sense though. I mean, if I were producing a book to use a fundraiser I would want to maximize my profits. Also, I think spiral binding is probably the best for something like a cookbook anyway because it allows the cookbook to lie flat.

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