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Wood or Plastic Binding?

On a recent LMI social media post (you are following us, right? Always tons of great stuff going at Facebook and Instagram!) we asked whether people preferred plastic to wood binding. Some of the answers were surprising.

Gluing plastic to wood (which we covered in our last blog) requires special adhesives, each of which presents challenges. But one could say that those challenges were offset by the fact that plastic does not need to be bent like wood. It’s also less expensive and the pieces all match perfectly. Both materials seal the end grain nicely, but a case was made on Facebook that the guitar’s corners are better protected by the more flexible plastic binding in the unwelcome occasion of a bump or fall.

What looks better is fairly subjective, but clearly among high-end acoustics, wood is the norm. The exception is found in cases where a classic Martin or Gibson (or other) model is the starting place for the guitar’s designs. For some of the reasons above, the factories have always gravitated towards plastic. Now, because of the impression made by these beloved old instruments, some people prefer the contrasting look and clean framing of plastic trim.  But, be wary of this choice if you expect your instrument to command a high price. Best then to go with wood!