It all depends on the type of GBC binding machine you will be using. GBC is a major manufacturer of several types of binding machines. Their most popular types of binding machines are comb binding, wire binding and VeloBinding.

Comb Bind

Comb binding machines use plastic spines, much like what you see in an elementary school. The plastic combs are re-usable and are fairly inexpensive. The hole pattern, on an 8 1/2 x 11-inch sheet of paper is 19 holes. The paper is usually punched, either manually or by use of an electronic motor. The GBC comb binding machine then opens the comb spine where the punched paper is then placed and the comb is closed. The end result looks nice.

Wire Bind

Wire binding machines use a metal wire to bind books. Wire binding is often referred to as metal comb binding. There are three types of wire binding machines available. The first is 19-ring, which uses the same hole pattern as comb binding. The second is 2:1 pitch, which is two holes per inch and the third is 3:1 pitch which is three holes per inch.

The "pitch" chosen for wire binding is a matter of preference. The 2:1-pitch can bind more pages at once, but the 3:1 pitch has a tighter look. Supplies from one wire binding format cannot be used on a wire binding machine of another format. GBC makes machines in all three formats. The method of binding is very easy. The paper is punched, the wire binding element is inserted through the holes and the wire is closed shut. The wire cannot be re-opened and re-used as with comb binding

Velo Bind

The third and most unique GBC binding format is VeloBinding, sometimes referred to as QuickBinding. VeloBind machines are available in six, nine and 11 hole formats, but the 11-hole format is the most common. These machines are often used by legal offices for binding large volumes of paper.

The GBC VeloBind machine punches the paper where the 11-prong strip is placed through the holes. The 11-prong VeloBind machine then cuts off the excess prongs and seals the prongs with heat, preventing them from coming "undone" from the back binding strip.