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Tape Binding vs Perfect Binding - 2023

Tape Binding vs Perfect Binding - 2023
November 13, 2023 197 view(s)
Tape Binding vs Perfect Binding - 2023


Have you ever gotten confused between Tape and Perfect Binding? This article will help you determine which of these two binding methods is the right choice for your application.


Tape Binding

Tape binding usually involves a strip of tape lined with a heat-activated adhesive or pressure sensitive adhesive. The tape is applied to the spine of a stack of paper. Typically, tape-bound documents use a clear or report front cover and a report back cover of some sort. If using a clear or frosted cover, it is important to make sure that it is heat sensitive or else it will warp from the heat of the machine.

Advantages of Tape Binding

  • Cost efficient
  • Quick turnaround time in comparison to perfect binding
  • Stacks flat
  • Nice finished presentation
  • Easy to file and mail
  • Easy to use machine that does all the work for you
  • Able to use Tab Dividers in your book
  • Option for binding hard cover books (on select machines)
  • An array of Tape colours available to match report covers for a flawless look
  • Secure binding method

Limitations/Disadvantages of Tape Binding

  • Adhesives aren’t as strong as perfect binding
  • Limited to how far the pages can rotate and the book can lay
  • To bind Hard Cover books, additional supplies and some equipment needed
  • Size limitations up to 14” in length


Perfect Binding

Perfect binding is a punchless book binding method that works by securing the book block to the cover spine, similar to tape binding. The book block is roughened or sanded, to create better adhesion, and glued together along the spine with strong glue. The cover is then wrapped around the glued pages, and the product is trimmed to its finished and final size.

It can also be referred to as unsewn binding or adhesive binding. Perfect binding is often used for softcovers books and is most familiar to people in the form of a paperback book.

Advantages of Perfect Binding

  • Ability to print on the spine
  • Professional finished look
  • Can customize cover in house
  • Stacks flat for storage and mailing
  • Its longevity and durability
  • Ability to interleaf pages using a number of colours, finishes and paper weights
  • EVA glue is non-toxic and doesn’t have to be cleaned from the machine after use
  • Option to bind Hard Cover books (on select machines)
  • Specialized equipment available to make seamless Photobooks

Limitations/Disadvantages of Perfect Binding

  • Loss of design space in the inner margin on a press sheet, also known as the gutter
  • Does not allow for hands-free reading since it does not lay flat
  • Unable to use Tab Dividers in soft cover books
  • Recommended curing time for glue to adhere
  • If using PUR glue, must have proper ventilation
  • If binding Hard Cover books, additional equipment and supplies needed
  • Needs to be trimmed after binding for optimal look


Have you made your decision in the tape binding vs. perfect binding battle? Contact Southwest Business to let us know the winner and get your project started today.


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