Selecting The Proper Bind:
An Introduction To DIY Document Binding

Trying to figure out which binding style is best for the document you're trying to produce? We've provided detailed answeres to the most common binding questions related to tape, coil, wire, comb, Velobind, stitch and perfect binding.

Tape Binding

Tape Bound Document

What is tape binding and how does it work?

Tape binding is a document binding process that uses strips coated in thermoplastic glue that, when melted to the spine and covers of a book, creates a strong and lasting bind. Also known as thermal glue strips, Super Strips or glue binding spines, they are available in linen or vinyl finishes and come in a variety of colors including black, bright blue, dark blue, dark brown, dark green, dark grey, green, lapis, light grey, red, maroon, purple, white and yellow.

All tape binding supplies we carry are manufactured by Powis Parker and specifically designed to work with the Fastback® tape binding system.

How much do tape bound books cost to make?

Materials: Fastback® Tape Binding Strips are divided into three widths: Narrow (documents under 0.5”), Medium (documents between 0.5” and 1”) and Wide (documents between 1” and 1.5”). The cost of Narrow binding strips ranges between $0.28 - $0.33 per strip, while Medium binding strips range between $0.36 - $0.42 per strip and Wide binding strips range between $0.47 - $0.56 per strip, depending on the quantity purchased. Additionally, rather than being locked into using a proprietary cover, you can use any cover you’d like with the exception of clear plastic covers that aren’t heat resistant.

Required Equipment: Fastback® Tape Binders range in price from $1,895 to $4,295.

How durable are tape bound books?

The bind on a tape bound document is incredibly strong, provided the pages are well jogged and the glue has been allowed to cool and cure. Trying to tear out a page from a Fastback® document will result in the page ripping rather than detaching from the glue and this remains the case throughout the document’s lifetime, with certain exceptions (see material limitations for more details). The textured linen base of the Super Strips is very durable but is susceptible to fraying or tearing if the document is roughly handled.

How quickly can tape bound books be produced?

Depending on which Fastback® tape binding machine you’re using, you can bind between 75 and 150+ documents per hour. The Model 9 is the most basic binder, with manual strip insertion and a 35-45 second bind cycle while the Model 20, Model 15 and Model 11 all feature bind cycles between 15-25 seconds and automatic strip insertion technology that speeds up the binding process.

The built-in automation of the Fastback® tape binding process mitigates the slightly higher material costs of the tape binding strips by dramatically reducing the time required to bind a book. Unlike punch and bind systems, which utilize a multi-stage process of punching then inserting then binding, the Fastback® does everything in one fell swoop; simply insert your pages, feed your binding strip, press the bind button and remove your book.

Can the pages of a tape bound book rotate 360 degrees and lay flat?

No. Like any standard paperback book, a tape bind is limited in how far the pages can rotate and how flat the book can lay.

What are the size and material limitations of tape bound books?

Tape bound documents can be up to 1.5” in width and between 8.5” and 14” in length. The glue in Fastback® Super Strips and LX Strips binds extremely well with most types and weights of paper. Some paper, however, does not. Though seldom, binding issues can occur with heavily coated papers, laser printed sheets coated in fuser oil, some full-bleed prints as well as books bound with paper in the wrong grain direction.

Can the spine of a tape bound book be customized?

Yes. Fastback® Super Strips (compatible with the Model 20, 15 and 11) are specially designed to work with the PowisPrinter P31 which foil prints any text or logo directly on the spine of the strip for easy identification in a bookshelf. Additionally, Image Blank Strips (compatible with the Model 20 and Model 9) are blank white strips that can be designed with any color, image, text or graphic and run directly through any inkjet printer with a rear bypass tray.

Can tape bound documents be used for binding hardcover books?

Yes. By simply adding endleaves to the front and back of your document, you can transform your tape bound book into a hardcover book block ready to be inserted into one of our beautiful self-adhesive Fastback® hardcovers.

Can tape bound books be edited after being bound?

Yes. All Fastback® tape binders feature an edit cycle which re-heats the glue binding the book, allowing for the removal or addition of a few pages, and then reseals the book.


Perfect Binding

Perfect Bound Document

What is perfect binding and how does it work?

Perfect binding is the process of binding paperback books. Unlike tape bound books, a perfectbound book has a contiguous wraparound cover that's glued directly to the spine of the book using one of Powis Parker's specially designed perfect binding strips.

All perfect binding supplies we carry are manufactured by Powis Parker and specifically designed to work with their Fastback® tape binding system.

How much do perfect bound books cost to make?

Materials: Fastback® Perfect Binding Strips are divided into three widths: Narrow (documents under 0.5”), Medium (documents between 0.5” and 1”) and Wide (documents between 1” and 1.5”). The cost of Narrow perfect binding strips ranges between $0.32 - $0.36 per strip, while Medium binding strips range between $0.40 - $0.46 per strip and Wide binding strips range between $0.53 - $0.61 per strip, depending on the quantity purchased.

With the pressure sensitive (PS) and lay flat (LF) perfect binding strips, you can bind one book per strip. With Powis’ temperature activated (TA) strips, however, you can bind multiple book blocks with a single TA strip in conjunction with the Fastback® Model 20. In other words, one wide TA strip provides enough glue coverage for 1.5” worth of spines, so if your documents are 0.25” wide, you’d be able to bind six at a time for the cost of a single strip.

Another factor to consider when perfect binding is whether you want your covers laminated and, if so, what kind of lamination you want to use (thickness, finish, etc.) and whether or not you want single-sided or double-sided laminated sheets.

Required Equipment:
A. Fastback Tape Binder for binding your book blocks; options include the Fastback Model 20 ($4,295) or Fastback Model 15s ($2,495)
B. Scorer for precisely scoring your covers; options range from $295 (manual) up to $8,950 (automatic programmable)

Optional Equipment:
C. Laminator for laminating your covers; options range from $1,199 (manual feed and trim) up to $9,995 (fully automatic feeding and trimming)
D. Guillotine cutter for clean, flush edges on finished perfect bound books; options range from $749 (manual) up to $8,999 (electric, automatic)

How durable are perfect bound books?

Perfect bound books use the same adhesive technology featured in the Super Strip, using thermal-activated glue that produces an incredibly strong bind. The strength of the cover depends on the thickness of the paper as well as if it’s been laminated. Lamination not only increases the strength of your cover, preventing unwanted tears or scuffing, but also creates a moisture barrier that protects the cover as well as the inside pages.

How quickly can perfect bound books be produced?

Between printing, laminating, scoring, binding and trimming your perfect bound book, there are many factors that determine the turnaround time for a given book, including what type of equipment you have, how you want your book to look and how thick it’s going to be. For example, it’ll take approximately the same amount of time to bind five 0.25” perfectbound books using the TA Cover Cycle as it does to bind one 1.25” perfectbound book due to the fact that each undergoes the same number of bind cycles and each has the same number of blade passes on the three-knife trim.

Our lower-limit approximation for production speed is about 20-30 books per hour using our most basic manual equipment, while our upper limit approximation is about 60-70 books per hour using our more automated equipment.

Can the pages of a perfect bound book rotate 360 degrees and lay flat?

No. Like any standard paperback book, a perfect bound book is limited in how far the pages can rotate and how flat the book can lay.

What are the size and material limitations of perfect bound books?

The spine of a perfect bound document can be up to 1.5” in width and up to 11” in length (they can be cut down to virtually any size). The glue in Powis’ perfect binding strips binds extremely well with with most types and weights of paper and cover stock, including laminated covers. Binding issues can occur with heavily coated papers, laser printed sheets coated in fuser oil, some full-bleed prints as well as books bound with paper in the wrong grain direction.

Can the spine of a perfect bound book be customized?

Yes. This is one of perfect binding’s greatest strengths as a bind. Since the front cover, back cover and spine are comprised of one continuous sheet, you can print any color, text or images on the spine of your book and have a seamless transition with the front and back covers.

Can perfect bound documents be used for binding hardcover books?

No. Perfect binding is designed exclusively for softcover books.

Can perfect bound books be edited after being bound?

Yes. Because the perfect bind is made using a Fastback® tape binder, you can use the edit cycle to re-heat the glue so as to remove or add a few pages, before resealing the book.


Coil Binding

Coil Bound Document

What is coil binding and how does it work?

Coil binding is a type of punch-and-bind process that utilizes plastic spiral coil to secure your document. First the pages are punched, then the coil is inserted by spinning it through the holes and finally the ends are crimped to secure the coil in place and prevent it from spinning out of the book.

How much do coil bound books cost to make?

Materials: Standard 4:1 spiral coil supplies prices depend on the thickness of the document being bound, ranging from $0.05 per coil (6mm diameter) up to $0.55 per coil (35mm diameter), not including quantity discounts. Coil books are compatible with our entire selection of premium binding covers.

Required Equipment: Producing coil bound documents requires a machine or machines that will 1. punch your pages with the correct coil pattern, 2. insert your coil within the punched pages and 3. crimp your coil to complete the bind.

Depending upon your budget and volume, this can be accomplished a number of different ways. Coil binding systems range from around $500 for manual solutions (e.g. manual punch + electric inserter + crimping pliers) to $3,300 on up for more automatic machines (e.g. heavy duty modular punch + electric inserter + automatic crimper).

How durable are coil bound books?

Coil is a very rugged binding element, made from flexible, lightweight plastic that’s waterproof and won’t easily deform. As long as the ends of the coil are properly crimped, there should never be an issue with your document coming unbound. The weakest part of a coil document is the punched pages themselves, which are prone to tearing free from the coil if roughly handled.

How quickly can coil bound books be produced?

The most basic coil binding setup (manual punch + spinning coil by hand + crimping pliers) will yield approximately 20-30 coil documents per hour while our more automatic solutions (electric punch + electric inserter + automatic crimper) will yield approximately 80-100 coil documents per hour, depending on the capacity of the punch and the thickness of the document itself.

Can the pages of a coil bound book rotate 360 degrees and lay flat?

Yes. The shape of the coil allows the pages to rotate freely around the axis and lay completely flat.

What are the size and material limitations of coil bound books?

Standard 4:1 spiral coils are available in 12” length with coil diameters up to 50mm to accommodate books up to 2” in width. They can be cut down to any size and can also be special-ordered in lengths up to 36”. Most coil punches feature an open punching throat and disengageable die pins for uniformly punching oversized sheets.

As far as materials go, the only limiting factor is making sure the material punches cleanly. The coil punches we carry feature heavy duty, hardened steel dies which will easily perforate paper, card stock, vinyl, laminated covers, polyester and most other binding materials.

Can the spine of a coil bound book be customized?

No. There is not enough surface area on the coil for custom printing, though there are a large number of colors and finishes available for special order.

Can coil bound documents be used for binding hardcover books?

Not really. The hardcovers we carry are designed to work with a document whose spine is the same width as the book itself. With coil documents, however, the diameter of the coil exceeds the width of the spine and doesn’t fit within the hardcover. Coil bound hardcovers could be suitable for thinner hardcover books (less than 0.5”) if you special order the hardcovers with extra wide gutters that provide extra space for the coil to fit into, but these are more costly and have a longer turnaround time.

Can coil bound books be edited after being bound?

Yes, but not without destroying the coil. Simply snip one crimped end with a pliers, spin the coil counter-clockwise, insert or remove your pages and rebind the document with a new coil.


Wire Binding

Wire Bound Document

What is wire binding and how does it work?

Wire binding is a type of punch-and-bind process that utilizes twin loop metal wire to secure your document. First the pages are punched with either a 2:1 or 3:1 pattern, then the wire is hung on a wire snatch for easy page insertion, the pages are inserted onto the wire rungs and finally the wire is crimped shut by a wire closer to prevent them from falling out.

How much do wire bound books cost to make?

Materials: Twin loop wire prices depend on the thickness of the document being bound, ranging from $0.14 per wire (3/16” diameter) up to $0.78 per wire (1-1/4” diameter), not including quantity discounts. Wire books are compatible with our entire selection of premium binding covers.

Required Equipment: Producing wire bound documents requires a machine or machines that will 1. punch your pages with the correct hole pattern (2:1 pitch, 3:1 pitch or both), 2. hang your wire for easy page insertion and 3. close your wire to complete the bind. If you’re binding documents 9/16” and narrower, you need a punch with a 3:1 pitch wire die. If you’re binding documents 5/8” and wider, you need a punch with a 2:1 pitch wire die. If you intend to bind the whole spectrum of wire sizes, from smallest to largest, you will need either a 2:1 and 3:1 combination wire binder with two separate punch mechanisms or a modular punch with two interchangeable dies.

Wire binding systems range from around $450 for manual solutions (e.g. manual punch + manual closer) to $3,800 on up for more automatic machines (e.g. heavy duty modular punch with one die + automatic wire closer).

How durable are wire bound books?

Wire is comprised of metal filament with a color coating that crimps tight and securely binds your documents. It is more durable than comb binding but not as durable as coil, due to the fact that it’s susceptible to bending and being crushed. Additionally, like most punch and bind documents, the punched pages themselves are prone to tearing free from the wire if roughly handled.

How quickly can wire bound books be produced?

The most basic wire binding setup (manual punch + manual closer) will yield approximately 20-30 wire documents per hour while our more automatic solutions (electric punch + automatic closer) will yield approximately 80-100 wire documents per hour, depending on the capacity of the punch and the thickness of the document itself.

Can the pages of a wire bound book rotate 360 degrees and lay flat?

Yes. The shape of the wire allows the pages to rotate freely around the axis and lay completely flat.

What are the size and material limitations of wire bound books?

3:1 and 2:1 pitch twin loop wire comes in 11” length and is designed for letter-sized documents up to 1-1/2” in width. They can be cut down to any size and, while we stock them in boxes of 50 or 100, we can also obtain the wire in large, continuous spools for binding extra large documents. Most wire punches feature an open punching throat and disengageable die pins for uniformly punching oversized sheets.

As far as materials go, the only limiting factor is making sure the material punches cleanly. The wire punches we carry feature heavy duty, hardened steel dies which will easily perforate paper, card stock, vinyl, laminated covers, polyester and most other binding materials.

Can the spine of a wire bound book be customized?

No. There is not enough surface area on the wire for custom printing, though there are a wide variety of of colors available for special order.

Can wire bound documents be used for binding hardcover books?

Not really. The hardcovers we carry are designed to work with a document whose spine is the same width as the book itself. With wire documents, however, the diameter of the wire exceeds the width of the spine and doesn’t fit within the hardcover. Wire bound hardcovers can be used with thinner hardcover books (less than 0.5”) if you special order the hardcovers with extra wide gutters that provide extra space for the coil to fit into, but these are more costly and have a longer turnaround time.

Can wire bound books be edited after being bound?

Yes, but not without destroying the wire. Simply flip your pages so the seam of the wire bind is visible and pull one of the smaller loops back through the hole it entered; once the first loop is pulled free, the remaining wire loops should easily come out.


Comb Binding

Comb Bound Document

What is comb binding and how does it work?

Comb binding is a type of punch-and-bind process that utilizes 19-ring plastic comb to secure your document. First the pages are punched, then all 19 tines are stretched open with a comb opener wherein the punched pages can be inserted and finally, the comb is released from the opener, allowing it to relax into its natural circular shape and bind the document.

How much do comb bound books cost to make?

Materials: Comb spines are among the most inexpensive binding supplies we offer, ranging from $0.05 per comb (3/16” diameter) up to $0.44 per comb (2” diameter). Comb books are compatible with our entire selection of premium binding covers.

Required Equipment: Our entry-level comb binding machine features a manual punch and opener for $252, while our heavier duty electric comb punch and manual opener sells for $829. If you already have a dedicated paper punch with a 19-hole come die, you can purchase a modular comb opener for as little as $160.

How durable are comb bound books?

Comb is made of flexible plastic that bends without breaking and doesn’t easily deform. Unlike tape, wire, coil and velobind documents which utilize permanent binds that can’t be undone without destroying the binding element, comb acts sort of like a tape-measurer in that each individual comb tine can be repeatedly unraveled and rolled tight again. This is fine for lightly handled documents or for books that will have their contents changed frequently, but for documents that will be heavily handled or that you want to last for a long time, comb is probably not a good option.

How quickly can comb bound books be produced?

While this depends on the capacity of your punch and the thickness of your documents, most comb binding systems will yield between 40-60 documents an hour owing to the relatively simple binding process of opening the comb, inserting the punched pages and closing the comb for a finished document.

Can the pages of a comb bound book rotate 360 degrees and lay flat?

No. While there is a wide rotational radius, combs are designed with a solid plastic sheath that houses and protects the individual tines while covering the spine itself, thereby blocking the pages from rotating around the entire axis of the comb.

What are the size and material limitations of comb bound books?

19-ring comb binding elements are 11” in length and designed for letter-sized documents between 3/16” and 2” in width. Like any other punch-and-bind element, the only limitation of comb bound documents is to ensure the material punch cleanly. The comb punch mechanism is comprised of heavy duty, hardened steel which will easily perforate paper, card stock, vinyl, laminated covers, polyester and most other binding materials.

Can the spine of a comb bound book be customized?

Yes, by special order. Combs are the only punch-and-bind element that allow for custom foil printing on the spine due to the available surface area on the comb sheath.

Can comb bound documents be used for binding hardcover books?

No, we do not recommend comb for any type of hardcover or photo book binding due to the impermanent nature of the bind itself.

Can comb bound books be edited after being bound?

Yes. Comb is one of the only punch-and-bind elements that repeatedly binds and unbinds without destroying the comb itself. Simply place your already bound comb document into your comb opener, push the lever and add or remove your pages. Comb is an excellent choice for documents that need to be frequently edited such as menus, catalogs and seasonal displays.


Velobind Binding

Velobind Bound Document

What is velobind binding and how does it work?

Velobind binding is a type of punch-and-bind process that utilizes plastic, 11-pin Velobind strips to secure your document. First the pages are punched, then the first half of the Velobind strip is inserted into the machine with the tines pointing upwards. The pages are stacked in batches and after the back cover is applied, the second half of the Velobind strip is placed on top of the cover and it's time to bind. The Velobind machine uses a hot-knife to simultaneously cut any excess material and fuse the two halfs of the Velobind strip together for an extremely strong bind.

How much do velobind books cost to make?

Materials: Velobind spines are available in three different widths: 1 inch, 2 inch and 3 inch. The 1” spines are $0.20 each, the 2” spines are $0.36 each and the 3” spines are $0.54 inches each. Velobind books are compatible with our entire selection of premium binding covers.

Required Equipment: The type of Velobind machine you’ll require is going to depend on how thick your books are going to be. If you plan on binding documents 1” or less in width, a GBC System One will run you $1,854. If you’ll be binding documents 2” or less in width, a GBC System Two will do the job at $2,485. If you plan on binding documents up to 3” in width, you’ll need either a GBC System Three Pro for $4,706 or, if you already have punch equipment, you can get the Velobind System Four electric finisher for $3,913.

How durable are Velobind books?

As far as bind strength goes, Velobind strips offer the strongest softcover bind of all the binding elements we sell. The hot-knife on the Velobind machine trims and fuses 11 plastic pins to their base, offering a flexible yet incredibly sturdy bind that will never fall apart. Additionally, unlike other punch and bind documents, the pages are pinched tightly together at the spine and do not run the risk of being easily torn.

One downside of Velobind documents is that because the strips are affixed on the front and back cover, there is nothing to protect the exposed pages of the spine from dirt or wear.

How quickly can Velobind books be produced?

This will depend on the thickness of your document, as that will determine how many punch cycles are required for each book. Once your pages are punched and your Velobind strip is set in place, the bind cycles for the machines range between 10-20 seconds per document.

Can the pages of a Velobind book rotate 360 degrees and lay flat?

No. The Velobind strip runs perpendicular to the spine and sandwiches the pages together, preventing them from laying flat or rotating 360 degrees. Of all the documents covered in this article, a Velobind book has the least spine flexibility and has the most difficult time staying open by itself.

What are the size and material limitations of Velobind books?

Velobind machines are designed to bind documents 8.5”, 11” or 14” in length with a maximum width of 3”. As far as materials go, the only limiting factor is making sure the material punches cleanly. The Velobind punch mechanism is comprised of heavy duty, hardened steel which will easily perforate paper, card stock, vinyl, laminated covers, polyester and most other binding materials.

Can the spine of a Velobind book be customized?

No. While the Velobind strips can be manufactured in different colors, they cannot be printed with custom graphics. If you were using oversized sheets to wrap around the pages of your document, you could mimic a perfect bind and print on the spine of the cover, which would be exposed and easy to read.

Can Velobind documents be used for binding hardcover books?

Yes. Velobinding is an excellent solution for binding super strong hardcovers and photo books and, because of its potential to bind documents up to 3” in width, you can bind extra-wide hardcovers that other binding systems can’t.

While Velobind documents are compatible with Powis’ self-adhesive hardcovers, they require a specially manufactured extra-wide gutter to properly bind as well as tabbed endleaves to hide the Velobind strip exposed on the book block.

Can Velobind books be edited after being bound?

Yes, but not without destroying the Velobind strip. While some Velobind machines come with built-in edit cycles that automatically debind the book, we also sell a nifty manual debinding tool that safely cuts the pins of the Velobind strip without ruining the pages of the book.


Stitch Binding

Stitch Bound Document

What is stitch binding and how does it work?

Stitching, or stitch binding, is a binding process that utilizes staples or spooled wire to pierce the pages and fold back on itself to secure them in place. Stitched books can be saddle stitched directly down the middle of the pages or side-stitched along the very edge of the front and back covers. Stitching is the preferred choice for binding magazines, booklets and other narrow documents not requiring a tremendously strong bind

How much do stitch bound books cost to make?

Materials: Stitching and stapling documents is far and away the most inexpensive binding solution we carry in terms of material cost. If you’re side-stitching with a machine like the SilverStrike Prime, staples run about half a penny each and will bind a letter-sized document for about $0.07. If you’re saddle-stitching with one of our entry-level bookletmakers, double-stitched booklets use about $0.05 worth of staples per book while our most high end automated stitcher will bind up to 1,000 booklets for $1.00 worth of material.

Required Equipment: Our most economical desktop side-stitcher sells for $842, while our entry-level desktop saddle-stitching bookletmaker (which also side stitches and corner stitches) sells for $1,999. Our high volume, automated bookletmakers with higher sheet capacities range from around $7,500 all the way up to $26,500 for a completely automatic, on-line solution with face trimmer and powered exit conveyor.

How durable are stitch bound books?

Since there is no binding element to wrap around or protect the spine, the durability of a stitch-bound booklet largely depends on the strength of the cover itself, as it will take the greatest beating throughout the document’s lifetime.

As a rule of thumb, side-stitched documents are stronger than their saddle-stitched counterparts due to the greater number of staples running along the spine. Additional staples distribute the strength of the bind throughout the entire sheet of paper, allowing it to absorb being tugged at repeatedly without tearing free. While the staples are unlikely to ever unfold from a saddle-stitched booklet, the pages are susceptible to being pulled out easier than other binding solutions and the staples themselves are more likely to deteriorate with exposure to the elements than other binding elements.

How quickly can stitch bound books be produced?

Our most basic stitcher utilizes a foot-pedal to engage the stitch-head and requires the operator to manually push the spine of the book through the stitching mechanism, yielding between 150-200 documents per hour with continuous stapling. Our higher volume equipment will yield between 800 and 2,300 booklets per hour, depending on desired speed and automation.

Can the pages of a stitch bound book rotate 360 degrees and lay flat?

It depends. The pages of a side-stitched document will not rotate 360 degrees or lay flat because the staples run perpendicular to the spine and pinch the pages together so they remain stationary and cannot rotate around the axis of the book.

The pages of a saddle-stitched book, however, can rotate 360 degrees and lay flat due to the staples running parallel with the spine precisely down the middle. This allows the book to be easily folded back and forth without any resistance from the bind itself.

What are the size and material limitations of stitch bound books?

The greatest limitation of stitch-bound booklets is the capacity of sheets that can be stitched. While our manual side-stitcher will bind book blocks up to 0.3” wide, our automated saddle-stitching equipment accommodates booklets between 40-100 pages front and back (depending on sheet thickness and the machine itself). As far as dimensions are concerned, our bookletmaker can stitch documents ranging from 4.25” x 8.25” up to 13” x 18.5”.

Can the spine of a stitch bound book be customized?

No. Stitch-bound books are designed to have very little surface area on the spine of the book, designating 100% of the customizable areas to the front and back covers.

Can stitch bound documents be used for binding hardcover books?

Yes. Side-stitched book blocks make for an incredibly strong and durable bind and are highly recommended for hardcovers and photo books under 0.3” wide. The stitching equipment needs to clinch the staples flat to the surface of the document and lays them down extremely close to the spine to prevent seeing the staple in the seam of the book or having bowed staples protruding from the book block.

Saddle stitching does not create a strong enough bind and is not recommended for hardcover books.

Can stitch bound books be edited after being bound?

Not really. A side stitch-bind is a permanent bind and cannot be unbound without cutting off the spine of the document or painstakingly removing every staple, which would likely cause damage to the pages.

A saddle stitched document is relatively easy to unbind; simply open to the middle of the booklet, fold back the metal of the staples and pull them through the perforated sheet, being careful not to tear the pages.