Monday, September 20, 2010

Bind-it-All Forever! The Cinch can't Compare

Ok, admittedly I am a little biased.  I have worked with the BIA since day one - and I do mean day one!  I have always thought that the Bind-it-All is a clever crafting tool - so much versatility, and even after all these years, my original tool is still going strong.  I <3 my Bind-it-All all the way!

Both my original blue Bind-it-All and the Bind-it-All V2.0 fit within the space of 1 of these other tools! I don't know about you, but my craft space is at a premium!
One BIA weighs less than half of the Cinch.

So when a competitive tool was introduced earlier this year, I was skeptical, but open-minded.  But, after taking one for a test scrap this weekend, I am not only still (very)skeptical, but thoroughly convinced that nothing comes close to what the Bind-it-All can do (and with quality and consistency).

BINDING:  I work in advertising, so I appreciate and understand the power of comparative marketing.  But this is as close as I can get to the "Pepsi Challenge" of punching and binding.  I used both tools side by side to make a few different projects. This is what I got: UGH!

Bound with the competitive tool: The Cinch
Egg-shaped owires - I had nothing but problems with the owire closure.

No matter how many times I tried, the pre-set owire settings on the Cinch failed to create a nicely shaped "o" for the owire.  If you watch the video, you can see some of my many attempts.  The Bind-it-All in contrast has micro-adjustment settings.  You can set the tool for proper owire sizes and then adjust in small increments if you desire a tighter or looser owire closure.  I am a stickler for nice "o" shapes, so hands down this lack of function is a big red NO for me.  I got rather frustrated while shooting the video, as I went through a boat load of owire trying to get it to work for me.  I did give it a good try, even more times off camera.  But, it does illustrate how much better the Bind-it-All is for getting the correct outcome.


PUNCHING: There is a difference between the two tools in the engineering of the punching action.  No doubt some will find it easier to punch with a larger handle on the Cinch, with materials laying flat rather than the Bind-it-Alls vertical format.  The Cinch handle got in my way a little bit - but that could just be me.  But it did feel like by my holding the material in place in the flat position, the handle would get in the way.  It's a matter of preference - and I have no problem doing punching with my BIA.  In fact, the punching action on the BIA makes a point to keep fingers out of the way of the handle and the punching action. What also bothers me with the Cinch punch are the round shaped holes.  They look out of proportion to me, even more so on smaller punched projects. Again, this is a matter of preference, but they just look too big....

The Bind-it-All also has the versatility to punch holes closer to the edge of the page with the optional Space Bar - which is extremely helpful when using smaller owire sizes (but small owire sizes don't matter with the Cinch, as you will read below).  And, the Bind-it-All requires less length of owire overall.  On this 4" piece, the Cinch punches 7 holes to BIA's 6.  I would rather punch with less owire.  Call me crazy, but why use more when you don't have to?
 On a 4" piece, the BIA punches 6 holes and uses less owire.
Back to those big round holes....on this teeny project, those holes look enormous.  The Bind-it-All holes don't distract the eye.  The rectangles are balanced...maybe it's just me, but it looks cleaner and less holey, more professional.  I really don't want to notice the holes on my projects, if you know what I mean,  And, in the above photo, the Bind-it-All is bound with 3/8" owire.  Perfect for the small project.  The smallest the other tool can accommodate is 3/4"  which looks enormous comparatively.  Much too big for smaller projects.

Lastly, with regards to punching.  The Bind-it-All does have variable punching settings - one that allows for the professional binding of "inner pages".  As you can see on the Bind-it-All bound book - with the white inner pages - there is a nice overhanging of the covers.  This is a punching option on the Bind-it-All (use "C" and "D" stop guide settings) that the other tool does not have.  It's another nice versatility plus for the BIA.

 So versatility and customizability - hands down the BIA ranks best!

Which brings me to owire........
OWIRE:  Both tools use the same 2:1 ratio owire - meaning two holes (or loops of wire) per inch. However, the Cinch has only 5 pre-set owire closure settings (and you already know how I feel about those pre-set settings and lack of closing consistency), thus can handle only the five larger owire sizes you see here. So unless you are only binding "War & Peace" thick projects on a regular basis, you have no flexibility for smaller creativity.  The Bind-it-All - again with variable adjustment settings - can handle it all.

OTHER STUFF: Then there are the other issues, like size, weight, and general bulkiness.  I know scrappers are generally tool lovers, but for me and others I know, space and convenience are an issue....so who wants bigger and heavier when the Bind-it-All does more with less space and weight (and for less $ too).  Really? $99.99 for that one, and the Bind-it-All for 25% less!!!

I understand the appeal of the branding with a cute little pink bug and the concept of making something easy.  The makers of the Cinch manufacture other tools that are wonderful and that I use and enjoy.  But I find it hard to improve upon punching and binding perfection.  So, after what I think is a fair test on my part, I am standing thoroughly behind my favorite crafting tool - the Bind-it-All!  The BEST!  

If you've tried both, would love to know what you think.  If you love your BIA, tell me that too :)

22 comments:

Jennifer Priest said...

Wow Nan!! That is such an incredibly thorough comparison. I love the side by side comparisons of the holes. Crazy that the Cinch costs $25 more than BIA out to gate and then they want you to buy more wire. Sounds like a rip off to me. I'll stick with my Bind It All any day!

Jan said...

I LOVE my BIA and wouldn't consider changing to a different brand!

voodoo vixen said...

Great comparison Nan, I haven't actually met a Cinch as yet and I am not going out of my way to do so, I love my BIA, it does everything I ask of it and more, its a fab little machine.

Kim said...

WOW! Thanks for taking the time to do this. I do NOT currently have a binding machine, BUT, I was all ready to go out and purchase the cinch. NOW, after seeing this, NOPE, looks like I'll be purchasing a BIA. I appreciate you showing all of the ins and outs.

Noel said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU...I'm so glad you posted this video and giving your honest opinion of both products...I was considering purchasing the Cinch but after watching your demo and seeing the results...it will be BIA for this gal!

Elena Lai Etcheverry said...

what a great post Nan! I loved reading this. It was super super well done and very informative!

kiki said...

I completely agree!!! I don't change my BIA for anything... it has prove to be versatile, easy to carry, pretty and light. The others are just attempts to copy something good. go Zutter go!!!

hollystar said...

great review! i've had exposure to both (only a little to the cinch, but tons with my well loved BIA) and there is no way i'm giving the BIA up. thanks for looking at the two tool side by side more closely!

Tere said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Not that I was thnking on replacing my BIA, but is good to see why the BIA is te best binding tool!

Shelley Haganman said...

Excellent, excellent, review and comparison Nan!!! The BIA is heads about the Cinch....but we all knew that!! THanks for doing this!

Rosita said...

Great job on this comparison! I was wondering if I'd bought too soon when I got my BIA. Now I'm not worried that a better product is out there.

pamela said...

Thank you Nan!!! I have been thinking about buying a BIA know I know what I want but, what is the different between the pink one and the blue one?

pamala said...

Awesome comparison Nan! I definitely LOVE my BIA, I would never think of giving it up. I have seen many comparisons and they never seem to favor the Cinch in any way, so why would I? :)
Pamela, the blue BIA is the first model, the pink is the most recent. The pink can punch items that are a little thicker, it is a little more heavy duty, and there may be other differences as well, but that is all I can think of right now. :)

Dan said...

An interesting comparison. You said at the start of the post that you were biased, which is to be expected under the circumstances. I, however, am not and to be honest the Cinch could dance and sing til the cows came home but it still wouldn't sway me. At the end of the day all I want is a flexible machine that will bind my projects neatly, big or small, and not take up too much space on my desk. The BIA does all that I could ask from such a machine, and it does it well, so I haven't even taken much of a look at any other. If it ain't broke, why fix it? :)

CatWoman said...

Excellent comparison. I personally wouldn't buy either tool since I don't like the look of Owires (I perfer coil binding myself), but I'm sure this information is going to be very useful to a lot of crafters.

nerllybird said...

Well, to be scrupulously honest, your bias does come out just a teensy bit, lol! But not in the actual, practical elements of the comparison. I suspected that the Cinch was an effort to jump on the bandwagon rather than a genuine improvement on an already existing tool, and you've confirmed this. I don't like the lack of scaling options: that you can't make a small project that looks nice. Thanks so much for this, it's really useful!

RMarija said...

The thickness of material that can be punched was not addressed in your assessment. The BIA has a set slot size, so material like a vinyl LP would not fit. The Cinch, however, looks like it has a fairly wide gap, so that thick material could be easily punched.

I do own the pink version of the BIA and I agree that as far as the binding aspect, it is consistent and certainly creates professional-looking results.

Scrappy Nan said...

RMarija,
You are right I didn't really test punching thickness. Although the BIA has a fixed width in the punching channel (the V2.0 is wider than the original blue version), the Cinch punching capability is also fixed. The BIA can indeed punch vinyl records, CDs, thin metal, and of course acrylic, Zutter Clipboard Wood and canvas.

Sasha Holloway said...

Interesting comparison. Love it

scrappymama said...

Thank you for the very detailed comparison. I went back and forth on which one to get but I believe I've landed on the BIA!

Chris Higdon said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I currently have the blue bind it all & I am really on the fence about getting the pink one. Not sure if the difference is enough to really put out the money for it? Your review has saved me from talking the Cinch plung.

Anonymous said...

Nan I was debating on both machines. In Canada we have such a range of prices to choose from. The BIA is $100 the Cinch I found it for $50. After watching and reading your site I think I should stick with the BIA and spend the money. I do have limited space in my Creative Center but I have shelves in our basement for storage - why take up more space if yo do not have too.

Can you use the wires for both machines on boht machines. I see the Cinch wires are much cheaper and hope you could interchange them. I love your demo on the squishing of wires... that was a decising factor for me and I have seen a video where the paper gets stuck in the Cinch. I do not care to pull my creation out and damage it.
Thank you for posting this. I was extremely helpful and I am going to order my BIA and just get it here to work on my projects I am putting aside.

Thank you

CraftyCathy
creativitybycatherine@yahoo.ca