7 Popular Bookbinding Methods With Pros And Cons

When printing a book, choosing the right bookbinding method is crucial for ensuring your book stays intact and looks professional. With different ways available, each with its own set of pros and cons, it can be overwhelming to decide which one suits your project best. In this informative blog post, we’ll walk you through five popular book binding methods, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each. Whether you wish to print a book for a project on behalf of a customer, this guide will help you make an informed decision on the perfect book binding method for your next literary creation.

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1. Perfect Book binding

Perfect binding is a book binding technique commonly used for paperback books. It involves gluing the individual sheets together at the spine of the book and attaching a paper cover. This method creates a clean, professional look and is cost-effective for medium to large print runs. However, it may not be as durable as other methods for heavy use.

Case binding is a book binding method where the cover boards are attached to the book block with a durable cover material, typically made of cloth, leather, or paper, for protection, typically with hardcover books.

This is a popular type of book binding method used in various types of books. Here are some of the most commonly used book types:

  • Novels: Fiction and non-fiction novels due to their cost-effectiveness and professional appearance.
  • Magazines: Many magazines in South Africa are perfect bound pages because it allow for a clean and polished finish.
  • Catalogs: Product catalogs frequently are perfect bound to present a large amount of information in a structured and appealing format.
  • Directories: Phone directories, business directories, and other reference materials due to the number of pages and durability.
  • Annual Reports: Corporate annual reports and financial statements are often Perfect Bound for a sleek and professional presentation.
  • Coffee Table Books: High-quality photo books and art books frequently utilize this method to showcase stunning visuals.
  • Theses and Dissertations: Academic papers and research work are sometimes bound using this method for a neat and organized presentation.
  • Instruction Manuals: User manuals for products and equipment often use this method for easy reference and durability.

These are just a few examples of the many types of books that commonly use Perfect Binding for their publication.

Pros And Cons of Perfect Binding


  1. Perfect bound books have a professional finish
  2. Works well for a book with many of pages
  3. Very strong and durable
  4. Pages can open flat


  1. Not the cheapest way to bind books
  2. Not ideal for books with only a few pages

2. PUR Binding

PUR binding, short for polyurethane reactive binding, is a bookbinding technique that uses a reactive adhesive to bind book pages together. It offers superior flexibility, durability, and longevity compared to traditional perfect binding. Perfect binding uses ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) adhesive, which can become brittle over time. PUR binding is ideal for high-quality or long-lasting projects due to its resistance to temperature changes and its ability to adhere to a wide range of paper stocks, making it a popular choice for professional bookbinding.

Pros And Cons Of PUR Bookbinding


  1. Very durable and long-lasting


  1. Not an ideal method for low-quantities

3. Saddle Stitching Binding

Saddle stitching is a method of securing folded sheets of paper with staples along the fold to create booklets, brochures, or magazines. This cost-effective technique is commonly used for publications with a lower page count, providing a professional finish for smaller printed materials

Saddle stitching is most often used with the following book types:

  • Magazines: Low cost magazines like TV guides
  • Booklets: Short informational or promotional materials.
  • Children’s Books: Simple stories or colouring booklets with fewer pages.
  • Comic Books: Often saddle-stitched due to their shorter length and format.

Pros And Cons Of Saddle Stitch Bookbinding


  1. Very cost effective method of bookbinding
  2. Saddle stitching is ideal for a low number of pages


  1. Saddle stitching has a limit on how many pages or how thick you can be bound
  2. The book may fall apart with a lot of use

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4. Wire binding

ActionPrint Wire binding
Black and white wire binding

Book wire binding is a popular method of securing pages together using a metal wire. It involves punching holes along the edge of the book and threading the wire through the holes, creating a durable and professional-looking binding.

The method is commonly used for various types of books that require durability and easy page turning. Some of the most widely used book types that utilize wirebinding include

  • manuals,
  • cookbooks,
  • guidebooks,
  • directories,
  • workbooks,
  • notebooks,
  • journals.

Wire binding allows the books to lay flat making it easier to write, unlike perfect bound books which tend to fold close again.

Pros And Cons Of Book Wirebinding


  1. Ideal for books with frequent use
  2. Allow the pages to lay flat on a service using view or use.


  1. Not the most cost effective method

5. Spiral Binding

Spiral binding is a method of bookbinding that uses a coil made of durable plastic to join the pages and cover of a book. The coil is shaped like a long spring and is inserted through holes drilled along one side of the pages. This binding method allows the book to lay flat when opened and provides durability and flexibility.

This technique is similar to wire bound books.

Pros And Cons Of Spiral Binding


  1. Pages open up flat


  1. Limited sizes available
  2. One of the more expensive methods

6. Plastic Comb Binding

ActionPrint plastic comb binding
Various colour used for plastic comb binding

Plastic comb binding is a method of binding documents using plastic comb elements. These elements are inserted into the punched holes along the spine of the document using a comb binder machine. Plastic combs offer cheap and flexibility, allowing pages to lie flat when bound. It is available in various sizes and colors, holding different sheet capacities.

The most common uses are

  • Office document printing
  • Printed presentation

Plastic Comb Bound Book Pros And Cons


  1. Quick to bind printed pages or documents
  2. Very cheap
  3. Comes in various colours, therefore, can be used to colour code documents
  4. Easy to use and very popular in offices


  1. Does not have a high-end look and finish

7. Padded With Draw On Cover

Padded paper with a draw-on cover is where the pages are padded and bound with glue, like a note pad or exam pad. This method adds a decorative cover page stuck to the back cover, creating a visually appealing and personalized touch to the overall design.

Padding is most commonly used with

  • Notepads
  • Exam pads
  • Application sheets

Pros And Cons of Padded Paper With Draw On Cover


  1. Ideal method if you need to be able to tear out the pages like a workbook or a notebook.


  1. Not recommended for a long time

Are you planning to print a book? Do you need advice on which bookbinding method to use? You have come to the right page! With over 20 years of experience in printing, we will guide you to turn your project into reality.

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