What in the World is a Binding Pitch?

By Nicole Tinkham

If you’ve ever purchased binding spines/combs in your lifetime, you probably know the basic things to look for such as plastic vs wire, color, and diameter. However, if you’re like the average person, a binding pitch may sound like a foreign language to you (don’t worry, we thought the same thing). In this post we’ll learn something new about the world of binding supplies while we explore the importance of a binding pitch. Did you ever think binding supplies could be this exciting?

Plastic and Wire

There are two main types of binding spines available: Plastic and wire. We mention this fact because binding pitches are only relevant in wire binding spines, which is our focus in this post.

What is a pitch?

You may have baseball (or soccer) on the mind but we aren’t referring to that type of pitch. When it comes to binding spines, a pitch is actually a hole pattern, known as holes per inch. Below you will see 2 common pitch sizes.

• 3:1 Pitch (3 holes per inch)

A 3:1 pitch is often used to bind small documents with a double loop wire. This will work out to be about 34 loops down.

• 2:1 Pitch (2 holes per inch)

2:1 pitches have holes spaced apart further than that of a 3:1 pitch and are best used for larger documents but can be used for smaller projects as well. These range in size from 5/8” to 1-1/4”.

• 4:1 Pitch (4 holes per inch)

Yes, we said we would talk about two pitch sizes but we thought we’d add this one as well. A 4:1 pitch is a little different in that it’s a binding coil measurement. This is for a looped wire that’s threaded through holes closer together than that of a 3:1 or 2:1 pitch.

And then you have the spiral option in a 4:1 pitch:

Choosing a binding pitch isn’t a life or death decision (at least, we don’t think it is) but it’s good to know what a pitch is just in case you’re ever asked about it. The main thing to keep in mind is how many pages you will be binding. If it’s a small document, go with a 3:1 pitch, larger documents would require a 2:1 pitch. You can also use the diameter to determine the best wire spine for the project. The larger the diameter, the higher the page capacity will be. In fact, you may never have to use the term pitch when referring to binding but hey, at least we learned something new today!

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