Categories Uncategorized

What makes a planner?

Planner For Blog 2
Some say accessories are the most important part of an outfit. A purse, a belt, a scarf, or anything else you may think of.

So, what is the most important part of your planner? Stickers, font, layout, type of paper? Yes, all those are VERY important, but do they make your planner?

I say the binding is what makes a planner, and the type of binding makes a difference too.

What Makes A Planner
You can always use this, but is this the product you want put out there?
Other alternatives are imported spirals, yes, they are cheaper than a PEL spiral. And less expensive too! But again, is that the product you want to put out there?
What Makes A Planner
2023 Planner, using PEL Solid Spiral
Yes, we could be bragging about our own product, but it is not a coincidence ALL major planner companies use PEL Spirals…….
Categories Uncategorized

Making Projects Stand Out with Spiral Coil Options

Rainbow Group

Mechanical binding uses many products, including Wire-O, combs and spiral coils (aluminum spirals, wire spirals and plastic spirals). This article focuses on spiral coils, as they are the most popular and most customizable product within the mechanical binding method. Spiral coils come in several diameters, colors, thicknesses, hole spacings and materials.

Spiral coils are measured by inside diameter, with diameters ranging from 3/16″ (4.76 mm) to 4 ½″ (114.3 mm). Currently, the largest diameter in plastic is 3 ½″ (88.9 mm), and 4 ½″ in wire or aluminum. With diameters, gauge (material) thickness comes into play as each diameter recommends a suggested gauge. But the beauty of spiral coils is there are no “standards.” As mentioned, spiral coils are customizable – it depends on the look you are going for, your budget and your supplier. For example: a 9/16″ (14.29 mm) 2.5:1 (we will cover hole spacing later) may suggest a gauge thickness of .103, but a gauge thickness of .135 can also be used. Customization can be done will all diameters, hole spacings and materials (aluminum, wire or plastic).

Hole spacing, also known as pitch, refers to the number of holes per inch. For example, a 4:1 pitch means that there are four holes for every inch. There are 10 different pitches available – all serving a purpose – depending on the look you are going for and overall thickness of your project. However, no need to worry about having all pitches available, having a couple of them will be enough for most projects. If possible, you should have a 5:1, 4:1 or 2.5:1. A 5:1 pitch is perfect for calendars, short books/binding edge and thin books/projects. It offers a more appealing look, due to holes being closer together. It is something you may want to suggest to your clients, especially when binding short books. A 4:1 pitch can cover a wide range of diameters. It can be used with a ¼″ (6.35mm) coil up to a 2″ (50.8mm) coil. This pitch is one to have in your inventory. A 2.5:1 pitch is great for larger projects. With a 2.5:1 pitch, you will be able to use a 3 ½” (88.9 mm) coil. A wider pitch will make the coil easier to insert on thicker projects. One to consider if you work with projects that call for a 2 1/8″ coil or larger.

There are currently three types of materials being used to manufacture spiral coils: plastic, wire and aluminum. In the 1920s, we had plastic spirals. Wire spirals were introduced in the 1980’s, and in the 1990ss came aluminum spirals.

So, which one is better? This is a question I am often asked, and it is difficult to give a simple explanation. There are a few components to consider: type of binding project, look your client is going for and the client’s budget, just to name a few.

Plastic spirals are great for most binding projects. Plastic spirals come in a variety of colors. About 40 colors are readily available, but custom colors can always be made. Plastic spirals also come in various lengths, ranging from 6 to 40″, depending on your supplier. From all three materials, plastic spirals are the most economical so, if the budget is tight, plastic spirals will be the way to go.

Wire spirals, not to be confused with Wire-O, are single loop spirals, just like plastic and aluminum (yes, same punching and inserting equipment can be used with all three materials). They also come in a variety of colors including custom colors. One common complaint is that the wire spiral material is too thin, and the spiral could distort after heavy use. This issue can easily be resolved with a little customization – a heavier gauge can be suggested. For example, many menu companies are using heavy gauge wire for their projects – .055 gauge with a 7 mm spiral coil. Wire spirals also come in various lengths and pitches.

Aluminum spirals, the newest of the bunch, are becoming more popular. Aluminum spirals have been around for almost 25 years but did not gain popularity until the early 2000s, when planner companies started using them. Aluminum spirals are also in high demand with marketing companies, as they are always looking to stand out with a unique product. Many binderies are making a switch from wire to aluminum, as it is a strong alloy but lighter in weight, allowing them to save in shipping costs. The base color for aluminum spirals is silver or “plain aluminum,” but like the other materials, color can be added. Aluminum spirals, made in the USA, are manufactured from “virgin” aluminum and is an eco-friendly product. Like wire and plastic, aluminum spirals are also single loop continuous coils. Aluminum spirals also offer a wide range of diameters, from 3/16 (4.76 mm) to 3 ½″ (88.9 mm), and they can be manufactured in 10 different pitches.

Mechanical binding offers a wide range of products, not just plastic spirals, and within each of the materials used we also have options. Each binding project is different – each customer is different – and it is up to us to make customers aware of all available mechanical binding options.

Categories General Information

Want to stand out?

spiral binding suppliers

We know there are many options out there, but most being low quality imports. At PEL manufacturing, we pride ourselves with our 100% American made spiral coils.


How do WE stand out?

We understand and know that time is of the essence, we handle this issue with a quick turn-around time. We have 15 wire forming machines and 22 plastic machines, to meet our clients deadlines. We manufacture our coils in plastic, wire and aluminum. Our spiral coils range from 1/4″ to 5″, in various hole spacings and colors. Let our 85 years of experience work for you.


Why PEL?

  • Customized solutions

  • Quick turn-around time

  • Product variety

  • Extensive product/manufacturing experience

We are here to help, give us a call with any question you may have

Categories General Information

How to order PEL spiral coils

spiral coils

Our spiral diameter is measured by inside dimension. Rule of thumb; Book thickness + 1/8” = inside diameter. Please note, 3/16”+ may need to be added for larger books.

Spiral Length

Binding edge plus one (1) inch. This lets you cut and turn, and also helps to avoid “running through and backing up.”

Pitch or holes per inch

Start with a ruler at the edge of the first hole, and count to the inch mark. This will give you an indication of how many holes per inch. If you are not sure on the pitch, provide a punched sheet to help us determine correct holes per inch.

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PEL spiral coils come in seven different pitches; in various diameters, gauges, colors, materials and lengths. Let our 85 years of experience work for you.

Categories General Information

Plastic or Wire spiral coils?

book binding manufacturers

Both are popular, of course, plastic being more affordable. Like in plastic, wire also comes in various colors (nylon coated), diameters, material gauge, and lengths. The trend we are seeing; As manufactures of spiral coils, in plastic, wire and aluminum, we are starting to see a shift. Wire spiral coils have become very popular for menus, menu companies are seeing the benefits of using heavier gauge wire. Giving a unique look, but also being able to withstand a lot of handling by restaurant patrons.

Book Binding Manufacturers

(Menu, bound with PEL heavy gauge wire)


Aluminum spiral coils have also jumped in popularity. Aluminum spiral coils are used for many projects, especially if you are looking to stand out. Many marketing companies are using our aluminum spiral coils for their marketing presentations. The biggest shift we have seen is with planners, for years wire-0 was used when binding planners, this is no longer the case. From our experience, many planner companies had shifted to spiral wire, but now we are seeing a transition to aluminum spiral coils. Planners are meant to be used on a regular basis, and they take a “beating.” But rest assure that our aluminum spiral coils will keep your pages and your thoughts in one place.

Blog6 Wire Spiral Coils

(Planner, bound with PEL Aluminum spiral)