Spiral Binding vs Wire-O Binding

Selecting the appropriate binding option for your next booklet printing project is very important. If you are considering selecting spiral or wire-o binding, then you’re likely wondering about the difference between the two. While the two are very similar, they also have some distinct differences that could you decide which binding type is right for your project.

Free Sample Packet: Click Here

 Spiral Binding

Spiral Bound Books are usually used for projects such as manuals, workbooks, journals, guides, handbooks, and reports that need to be used as daily reference. This is because the plastic coil is durable and allows for the pages to be turned 360 degrees around on themselves without damaging the edges of the paper or strength of the binding. This makes it easy to read or write in the book with just one facing page showing, which conserves space. The thick coil is less professional looking than wire-o binding.

The Spiral Binding Process:

Spiral bound printing is single sheets of paper printed on both sides, cut down to trim size and collated in page number order. Then a continuous plastic coil loop shaped like a long spring passes through a row of punched holes at the end of the printed piece. The binding can be on the left or top of the project, making it a good option for both booklets and calendars. Spiral Bound books are easy to handle and lie flat when open (180 degrees).

An added bonus to the spiral binding option is that there are different coil colors, sizes, and diameters available to accommodate your project. These spiral coils can bind pages up to 2 3/4 inches thick.

Popular Spiral Book Binding Types:




Spiral Bound Book Printing: Learn More


Wire-O Binding

Wire-O Bound books are used for more formal, organized, and professional presentations of information. Similarly, to spiral binding, the pages can be turned 360 degrees around on themselves without damaging the spine. However, wire-o is less durable than spiral binding. Wire binding uses a looped metal wire. This wire is more malleable than the plastic alternative. This professional looking wire makes it great for fine art photography calendars as well as business reports, documents, cookbooks, or directories.

The Wire-O Binding Process

Wire-O binding is single sheets of paper printed on both sides, cut down to trim size and collated in page number order. The wire, often referred to as a wire comb or a twin-loop / double-loop binding, has pre-formed pairs of two small loops of wire that run along a c-shaped spine that looks like a comb. These wire loops are inserted through each of the square holes that have been punched through the edge of the printed book’s cover and pages which allow the pages of your book to line up precisely. A wire closer squeezes the spine until it is round and securing the cover and pages. The binding can be on the left or on the top, depending on how the project is designed.

You cannot select the color of wire. Our standard color for wire binding is black. Wire-o binding requires a lower page count than spiral binding up to 1 ¼ thick.

Annual Reports

business book

Business Booklets

Guide Books


Design Tips for Spiral and Wire-O Binding

Both spiral binding and wire-o binding generally share the same design tips.

  1. Margins: You must be mindful that there will be hole drilling on the binding side during the design process. An easy way to prepare for this is to set your binding-side margins to 3/8”.
  2. Crossovers, or images that span two inside spread pages, are not recommended for spiral or wire-o binding. This is because the gap between page spreads and the spiral or wire will create an obtrusive break in a full crossover spread. Full bleeding images are fully acceptable.

  3. Spine Printing: You cannot print on the spine of a spiral or a wire-o book.

Print-Ready PDF ChecklistLearn More


Pricing Tool Specification Tips for Spiral and Wire-O Binding

  1. Clear Cover and Vinyl Back: At PrintingCenterUSA, we offer the option of having a clear plastic cover and/or a black vinyl back cover for spiral and wire-o binding. These options are there to provide extra durability to your printed project. This works exceptionally for projects such as cookbooks or employee handbooks.

  2. Pages: Spiral and wire-o orders must be in two page increments. Save your print-ready PDF with each single facing page for your project, including the front and back cover. Upload pages in this order:

  3. Size: Our standard sizes for spiral and wire-o are as follows:


8.5 x 11

5.5 x 8.5

6 x 9

4.25 x 11


11 x 8.5

8.5 x 5.5

9 x 6


6 x 6

8 x 8

If you do not see the size you need, click the “Custom Size” button on the pricing tool and enter your custom size. 

*Height Should Be Between 4” – 9”; Width Should Be Between 5” – 12”


  1. Paper: For Spiral and Wire-o Binding, we recommend 100# Gloss cover and 100# Gloss text. However, if the project is a workbook or journal that is meant to be written in, then we recommend 70# uncoated text.

Start Now

Whether you choose spiral coil binding or twin loop wire binding, PrintingCenterUSA provides exceptional spiral binding services and wire o binding services. If neither of these binding types seem right for your project, consider our two most popular binding types: Saddle Stitch or Perfect Bound.

Perfect Binding: Learn More
Saddle Stitch Binding: Learn More

Leave a Reply