By Jeff McRitchie
The GBC C800pro plastic comb binding machine has been around for years. It used to be called the Ibico EPK21 and at one point was actually orange. The color has changed but the machine really hasn’t. Still, everyone knows that just because a machine has been around for a long time it doesn’t mean that it is high quality. This review will take a quick look at the features, strengths and weaknesses of the GBC CombBind C800 pro binding machine. Take a look for yourself and evaluate whether this machine is right for you.
Strengths and Features:
One of the most important features to note when looking at the C800pro is its heavy duty electric punch. The punching mechanism uses a foot pedal activator that is included with the machine. The foot pedal allows you to hold your document with both hands during the punching process. This means that you are able to ensure that the pages are flush and square with every cycle helping to eliminate costly mispunches. The foot pedal and electric motor also greatly increase punching efficiency and reduce the risk for repetitive motion injuries.
The specs on the C800 Pro say that it can punch up to 25 sheets of 25 pound paper. However, in my experience most users are going to want to punch 20 or less. If you try to consistently punch the maximum number of sheets you will more than likely find that you will end up overloading your machine at times and have a difficult time fitting pages into the punching slot. However, this is true of any electric comb binding machine.
Unlike some of the other smaller GBC electric comb binding machines, the C800 pro also includes a depth of punch margin control and 21 fully disengageable die pins. These features allow the C800pro to be used for binding very thin books with combs as small as 3/16″ or very thick books with oval shaped combs up to 2″ in diameter. They also enable this machine to bind documents that are longer than 11″ in length. However, binding longer documents with the C800pro will require a two step punching process and may require inserting some of the comb rings by hand. This does not make this machine an ideal solution for organizations that do a lot of legal sized binding.
Although the C800pro is one of the best electric machines in its class there are a few things that are worth noting about the machine. First and foremost is the cost of the replacement motor. Unfortunately, the replacement motor costs as much to replace in the C800pro as an entire new machine. This is not usually a problem until the machine has been in service for a number of years. However, if the motor does burn out you can expect to buy a new binding machine. With this in mind, you will want to be careful when punching clear covers on the C800. No more than two plastic covers should ever be punched at a time on a machine like this. Punching more than two clear covers can ruin your motor or dull your punching dies.
The C800pro is designed for letter size, A4 size and half letter (landscape) documents. For users who primarily use these sizes of paper this is a great machine. However, it is not ideal for punching or binding legal or 11″ x 17″ documents. Several machines in the same class as the C800 are designed for legal punching and binding and might be better choices. However, these machines will still be difficult to use with 11″ x 17″ paper.
The GBC C800pro is extremely well built and most users can use it for more than a decade without ever having a problem. All of the important components on the machine are made of high quality steel including the punching mechanism, comb opener, punching pins, handle and case. The foot pedal is strong and sturdy and the chad tray is oversized to accommodate a large number of punching chips. It is also worth noting that the machine is fairly compact and takes up less space than other similar pieces of equipment.
The C800pro electric comb binding machine has been around for years and there is a reason. It is one of the best electric comb binding machines available on the market. It has almost all of the features that you will ever need. Plus, it has a proven track record in the field. GBC’s one year warranty on this machine is adequate for most users. However, if you are concerned about the potential of high repair costs you might consider putting the machine under a maintenance contract. Still, I would highly recommend this machine for offices that do large amounts of comb binding or for organizations that are looking for a high efficiency electric comb binding solution.
About the Author: For more information or to purchase the
GBC C800pro Electric Plastic Comb Binding Machine
Jeff McRitchie is the director of marketing for MyBinding.com. He writes extensively on topics related to
Plastic Comb Binding Machines