Circa type hole puch for Classic size notebooks?

Is there a patent on the Circa, Rollabind, ARC sizing? I guess there's no market for it, but it'd be nice to have a hole punch that creates removable type holes for other size notebooks as well. It seems like Franklin Covey would have a nice accessory if they could make one of these.
Hmmm, now that I think about it, they do have a machine for it.... they use it to create the slots for their plastic "page finder" tab.
Are any of the Circa or Rollabind punches customizable (hackable)? For now, for my Classic size planner, I've been using the Franklin Covey hole puncher to create holes in 5x8 index cards and then use a scissors to cut the key hole slots which allows the cards to be moved in and out of the planner as needed. I use the cards, because they're easier to "snap in".

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Do you mean the paper size or the punch size/spacing? There's no patent on the smurfs or the punches that make them afaik..ygor was following the lawsuits on that a while back and I seem to recall the judge struck down the patent because of various issues..

Punch dies are very unique. To make different shaped holes, you need a different shaped die, and they are rather spendy to make. The desk punch I have is very much fixed in spacing, though you could probably take it apart and get the punches out if you really wanted to. It is not intended to be disassembled. You'd probably need to provide your own heavy-duty screws to get the pushing plate back on if you decided to reassemble later..

The desk punch has a slider for adjusting where the edge of the paper sits. I have marked mine for letter, classic, and quarter-letter. The slider itself has marks for adjustments of different paper sizes as well.

Anyway, I wouldn't want to disassemble mine. I don't think it would buy me anything to separate this into component parts.


To clarify

Sorry about my confusing post.
I just thought that there might be a market for an adjustable paper hole puncher that made Circa type holes. One that would be infinitely adjustable for any size, any # holed binder. Wouldn't all the non-Circa users out there enjoy the advantage of the Circa system and still be able to use their "standard" binders? Maybe the market is too small and maybe as you say, the cost of an adjustable Circa type puncher would be cost prohibitive for the average consumer. I figured there must be some patent infringement in designing a paper punch like that anyway. If it wasn't the age of smart phones, it would probably come into being though.

number of holes


I think the biggest issue with using a standard 3 ring or 2 ring binder with a circa style punch would be the stress on the individual holes. With the slot, any stress at all is going to make the paper fall right out. Thus you would need just a scissor cut, or a slit, rather than a gap like the circa/rolla stuff has (the mushroom stem). Circa/Rolla gets around the stress issue with a bunch more holes, to spread the stress.

The circa punch is $50 or so, yes? Partly that's because it has to be made like a sherman tank to punch all those holes at the same time, and partly for the special dies. A 3 hole would be less expensive to make and sell.

But honestly, for me it's redundant. You've got a binder, therefore you have the opening mechanism. I never really found it that inconvenient to take the paper out when I wanted it out, or move it around or whatever.

For me, the cool part about circa/rolla was the infinite sizing. The same punch punches any size paper, from micro pda (business card) on up to scrapbook paper (12x12). The stress issue is sort of automatic--smaller paper requires fewer holes to be secure, because it weighs less..

Anybody else want to weigh in? I am usually *not* representative of any entire population.. :)


To clarify a bit more

Part of what makes the punch system work is the spacing between the punches.
You have the 3-smurf punch and then the 11 or 12 smurf punch. I think a heavier variation of the 3-smurf punch might be interesting, but the initial problem remains of finding a manufacturer to do the job.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

Well, lets look at mine.

Well, lets look at mine. they are, i believe, 1-inch spacings. so you can remove every other punch die, for example, for 2-in spacings. 3, 4, etc. but of course, the thinner papers would just fall out at that point. i have thought about removing every other die from the middle, to save discs and make the smurfs less catch-worthy (as in, catch on each other, folders, everything), but too much work for me - would have to reconfigure for dif sizes. but if that floats your boat, have fun! i'd love to see what you do with larger spacings.
I don't know if any combo of the 1-in spacings will work for you though....

Smurfs are Metric

The spacing is 2.5 cm
An inch is 2.54 cm
Going across a long page edge, the difference will sneak up on you.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

*blink* who decided on

who decided on 2.5cm? Thanks for pointing that out, you seem to know everything about circa. aren't you the moderator or something?

I'm a volunteer admin...

nothing more, but I try to gather as much information as I can about things that interest me. The original idea for disc binding came out of Europe, so the fact that it is metric should not be a surprise.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

metric inch ;-)

2.5 cm is the "lazy inch", because it is easy to measure 25mm, rather than 25.4mm. I dare say that if you asked folks on the street what an inch is in mm, if they know at all, they'd tell you its 25, or 2.5cm. For most things, that's sufficient, but as you said, over 5 inches, you lose 2mm. On the other hand, pipes here (Poland), for instance, are called 2.5mm, but they are actually an inch, so it may be possible, if you haven't actually measured them, ygor, that the stated 2.5cm is actually an inch. AHA!!! I just did it with my calipers, and the smurfs _are_ 2.54cm apart! I tried it both ways--measuring, and then, setting the calipers at 2.54, and placing it over the smurfs, and the result is definitely 2.54cm... Please, someone else try it so we have some scientific example!


Exactly what are you measuring, Jon ?

Paper or punch ?
Rollabind, Circa, Atoma, or someone else's ?
It's been a while since I did my measuring, and I will have to revisit my equipment to see exactly where I got the measurements from.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

Punched smurfs

I started trying to measure the punch, (it's the 12 hole Rolla) but realized that's well nigh impossible, so measured a few punched smurfs instead. I have both Circa an Rolla paper (as well as some of that generic Staple or Office Depot stuff as well, and it all goes together, so I presume it must all be the same. In any case, using the caliper, which measures to .01mm, I repeatedly got 2.54. Oh wait. I used the caliper that only measures tenths of a mm.

But we need others' measurements to get a scientific sampling.


Measure 10 punches

Hi Jon.

Try measuring ten punches. It'll be easier to tell what's going on if you use the multiple.


I have an unbranded A5

I have an unbranded A5 notebook and refills I purchased sometime back that are punched Circa style with 8 discs. I also have a ruler in both inches and mm and when measured, the discs are 25 mm apart, not 25.4 mm or one inch.

To clarify the unbranded, you cannot get Circa or similar systems locally however some manufacturers have made up products that use the system and are marketed as "quick zip" or similar emphasising the ease of page removal and addition.

Bob H.