It seems like nowadays everything tends to go digital, which means less paper, less printing, less hard copies of anything. However, if you want to impress an old school client, simply love the feel of turning the pages, or want to try and get off the grid altogether, chances are, you’re still using a lot of paper that can sometimes get out of control and eventually flood your workspace.
Conquering that chaos might get tricky unless you have the right tools. In this article, there is everything you need to find them. Nearly 25 hours were spent to carefully select all the essential information on the subject and to present you with the best possible options here, at WoWPencils, that might help you navigate through a sea of choices on your journey to finding the best binder ever.
Top Rated Binders from Best to Worst
|8||Case It Mighty||3”||Ring||8.6|
Cardinal: Top 3-Ring Binder
This presentation binder from Cardinal is equipped with a set of back-mounted O-rings, and all of its three sides are easy to customize according to your needs and taste. The PVC-free cover doesn’t stick to the pages, which allows the binder to look clean longer and be reused for multiple projects.
It is very eco-friendly as well, as it is made from 100% recycled materials with at least 98% post-consumer fiber. At its capacity of 1 inch, the Cardinal item can hold up to 225 pages.
- Fully customizable
- A professional look
- A strong binding mechanism
- Not very durable
Filexec: Good Clamp Binder
Filexec is an obvious choice when it comes to punchless binders – light, neat, and easy to use. A large variety of colors allows you to color code its contents without additional labels or marks. The metal clamp can hold up to 1/2-3/4-inches of paper, and the cover is thick enough to serve as a replacement for a table when making notes on the go.
- No need to punch holes in the paper
- A large color assortment
- A sturdy cover
- A transparent cover (might not be suitable for sensitive content on the first page)
- No pocket for a label on the spine
- A fairly small capacity
Business Source: Fine for Presentations
This binder definitely knows what it’s about: that’s business, plain, and simple. The material of the cover is sturdy enough for this binder to serve as a self-standing display for flip-over presentations. Multiple clear slots – on the cover and on the spine – and an additional holder for a business card on the front serve for wider personalization and better identification. In addition, it comes with 10 top-loading sheet protectors already included.
- Highly customizable
- Sheet protectors included
- Not very portable
Wilson Jones: Good for College
This clear overlay view binder was made for college students and just generally for people who appreciate office supplies that are customizable, environmentally conscious and do exactly what they are meant to do – hold the paper in place and make it presentable.
- Customizable covers and spine
- A binding mechanism opens and shuts with ease
- Made from recycled material
- Has interior pockets
- Not suitable for heavy-duty use
All-Pro Software: Top Loose Leaf Binder
This All-Pro Software item comes from a family of loose-leaf binders, which might serve as a reference or a storage binder, but for specially sized documents. With a maximum capacity of about 100 sheets, this binder is made of vinyl with a rigid cardboard core. This gives it the durability necessary for it to serve as a telephone book filled with your partner business cards or an alternative for a wallet storing your credit or saver cards as well as keeping in check all the multiple coupons and receipts that are usually just floating around somewhere in the dark void of handbags and pockets.
- A compact, highly portable format
- Specialty paper
- Suitable for small card storage
- A small capacity
- Fits only very specifically sized paper (3¾ x 6¾ inches)
- No alphabet tabs included
Samsill: Best Professional Binder
The Samsill item comes from a category of executive presentation binders, and it shows. Its binding rings are made of brass, which adds the slick and classy appearance to this faux-leather binder, as do the hand-stitched edges and brass covered corners. This extra attention to the overall look of the binder coupled with its functional structure provides the Samsill product with a variety of usage – from storing your documents neatly on your desk to making an impression with your business presentation.
- An elegant design
- A 1-year warranty
- Extra durable
- Might come in a bad condition
- Can’t accommodate sheet protectors
Avery Durable: Best for School
A couple of the most common problems that you might find are the splitting of the top and bottom edges near the spine as well as tearing of the spine itself. These problems were addressed by the producers of Avery Durable by introducing the DuraHinge and DuraEdge technologies. These technologies basically increase the flexibility of the inner and outer seams of the binder, which makes them more reinforced and therefore more durable. In addition to the rigid cover, the slant D-rings that are mounted on the inside of the back cover instead of the spine make this binder perfectly suitable for heavy-duty usage such as storing and frequently referencing the contents at a maximum of about 600 sheets.
- DuraEdge and DuraHinge technologies making it highly durable
- Slant D-rings mounted on the back for larger capacity
- Made of nonstick material that prevents ink from transferring to the cover
- Secure locking mechanism
- Poor color selection
- Might come in bad quality
Case It Mighty: Ideal Zipper Binder
The Case It Mighty is one of those binders that were created to get a student through long paper-filled years of heavy studying. The Kraft board material of the cover – as opposed to the traditional PE board – is used to give Case It Mighty extra firmness and durability. A 5-color tabbed file allows for improved organization and easier referencing.
A reinforced O-ring binding mechanism is set with two metal “tabs” both at the top and at the bottom. And last, but not least – a gusseted zipper runs along the edge of the binder to make sure nothing important that you wouldn’t want to lose falls out when you hurriedly make your way down the halls to the next class.
A relatively large size might be a disadvantage since it is not an easy fit for a standard size backpack. However, this can be compensated by the fact that the binder features not only a handle on its spine, but a long and adjustable strap as well. This makes the item easier to carry, and, with great desire, it can become a substitute for the backpack altogether.
- A variety of colors
- High durability
- A zipper for maximum security
- Being equipped with a handle and a strap can be carried around on its own.
- Not fitting in most backpacks
Avery Heavy-Duty: Easiest to Open
The massive gap-free EZD binding rings are mounted on the rear of the binder, which leaves the spine free of any clutter and allows the pages to lay completely flat while turning. The rings are also equipped with a one-touch mechanism allowing an easier opening and closing of the binder.
A clear overlay on the front side gives the chance to create whichever cover you like.
There are four inside pockets as well, meant to store away all the unbound paper materials and other office supplies that you might need along the way.
- Extra durable
- A one-touch switch for opening and closing
- Spine labels easily inserted
- A large capacity of EZD rings (20% more than with slant D-rings)
- A massive size
- Low portability
Best Binders for Different Needs
|4||Ultra PRO Magic||3”||Ring||9.3|
Bellagio-Italia: Perfect for CD-DVD Storage
Whether you have an Amazon Prime subscription or not, if you’re over 25, chances are, you’re still going to have a lot of DVDs lying around in heaps of bulky plastic cases. That’s when the Bellagio-Italia binder comes in hand. Not only does it have a capacity of up to 80 discs and a customizable cover and spine, but the storage sheets made from acid-free materials keep your collection free from scratches and data loss. So, you can display your special editions of The Lord of the Rings proudly on the shelf, or you can hide that guilty pleasure of a rom-com – this one single binder is all you’ll need. Until you buy even more discs.
- Can be expanded with up to 8 additional sheets
- The material doesn’t damage the discs
- Allows cover art and labels to be inserted along with the discs
- A bit flimsy
- Colors are not quite like in the picture
Ultra PRO: Cool for Pokemon Trading Cards
The name of this binder is really what it is all about – it serves for storing away Pokemon cards or any trading cards really, like Yu-Gi-Oh! (if you don’t mind Pikachu on the cover). Intended primarily for children, the Ultra Pro item has strong metal 2” D-rings and a thick cover with colorful art. The D-shape of the ring makes it super easy to flip through one page at a time. At its maximum capacity, the binder can hold about 600 cards, which really allows you to catch them all.
- A large capacity
- Suitable for any standard 3-hole punched card sleeves
- No inner pockets
- Protector sheets bought separately
Brownlow Gifts: Fine for Recipes
When it comes to cooking, the first step would be organization and planning. The right recipe book tackles both of these aspects. The Brownlow Gifts binder has 20 clear and easy-to-clean acrylic sheets for 4×6-inch recipe cards, eliminating any worry about cooking messily.
Its cover is made of solid material featuring lovely art, making it as decorative as it is practical. The only downside might be having to buy additional cards and sheets, as the ones that are included originally with the purchase tend to be not enough.
- Category dividers included
- Splatter-proof page protectors
- Includes measurement conversion and ingredient substitution reference
- Nice design
- Additional recipe cards or sheet protectors might be hard to find
Ultra PRO Magic: Best for MTG
Designed specifically for the “Magic: the Gathering”, this Ultra Pro album for trading cards fits approximately 100 9-pocket pages and is equipped with a tight but smooth 3-ring clasp. The cover is made of the cold-resistant plastic sheet with a cardboard core and some additional foam padding for an extra soft feel. “Magic: the Gathering” stamp foil on the front cover, in addition to a clear slot on the outside of the binder’s backbone, allows for easy identification and indexing of the binder.
- A solid cushioned cover with an MTG logo
- A clear indexing slot for convenient organization
- A strong clasp
- Protector sheets not included
|Kleer Vu||1½ ”||Ring|
Kleer Vu: Best D-Ring Binder
PVC covers with clear pockets are great when you need to tailor your binder for a special subject or project. But if you just want a binder that looks elegant, doesn’t scream with colors, and sits on the shelf between your books as if it belongs there, then you might want to take a look at Kleer Vu. With a cover made of stitched simulated leather and holding up to 350 pages on its 1½ ” rings, this binder offers a classic external look going hand in hand with an internal capacity made for almost industrially heavy-duty use.
It is also worth mentioning that binding rings not having a one-touch mechanism can present a problem if they are intended to be opened and closed a lot, so you might want to take that into consideration.
- Can be used as a decorative piece
- Free standing
- A large variety of ring sizes
- Rings without a one-touch mechanism
- Not very durable
When purchasing a binder, it’s best to consider the following to really pick out something suitable for your needs:
Coming into the office supplies store – either brick-and-mortar or online – looking for such a simple item as a binder, more often than not, means being flooded with choices. Making this choice becomes even more difficult when you don’t really know what actually matters, but hopefully, now you have an idea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Of course, no article can cover all of the smallest aspects even of such a simple item as a binder. If there’s something left unclear, read these questions and answers typical for most customers. You may find a clarification below.
What Types of Binders 📁 Are There?
There are, of course, a lot of variations in the world (specialty binders, post binders, binders for trading cards or CDs/DVDs), but according to the most widespread usage, the binders are typically split into 3 types:
- Storage binder. It is used in archives for storing away valuable but rarely needed information. The key aspect of the storage binders is their shelf life and capacity, so they are generally made of durable materials, with the large ring diameter, and, typically, they have a feature that would allow them to be hanged.
- Presentation binder. Their main features are being presentable, customizable, easy to flip through, and portable rather than durable. Usually, presentation binders come with a clear overlay allowing a title page or any corporate design to be inserted on the cover.
- Reference binder. Those are general use binders and are used for constantly flipping through and referencing day-to-day documents like workbooks, manuals, and guidelines. They are durable, primarily on the spine and the edges, as well as the binding mechanisms. There are view and non-view types of these binders, for those who like customization, and those, who want a more strict, professional look.
These 3 types of binders, more often than not, cover all of the typical organizational needs.
What Is the Difference Between O-Ring and D-Ring Binders?
The O-ring – or the round ring – is the most widespread type of the binding ring ⭕. It is traditionally mounted on the spine of the binder, and its size is determined by the inner diameter of the ring. The D-shaped ring is a variation of the standard round ring. Binders featuring straight D-rings offer about 25% more storage capacity than the O-ring, and the slant or angled D-ring binders can hold up to 40% more sheets that the O-ring ones. The D-rings are typically placed on the back cover of the binder, which allows the bound pages to lie flat when opened. The D-ring diameter is determined by measuring the straight part of the “D” shape.
What Are Trapper Keeper Binders?
Trapper Keepers from Mead Corporation were invented back in the 1970s and got their name directly from the fact that they were meant for keeping “Trappers” – pocket folders produced by Mead. Trappers stood out among the other pockets folders because of their unique design: instead of connecting on bottom, outside, and spine edges, Trappers connected at the outside, bottom, and top 👆 edges, keeping the papers from falling out. The Trapper Keeper had sliding rings made of plastic instead of the traditional metal binding rings closed with a snap and a Velcro wrap-around closing flap. All of that, combined with funky and colorful covers featuring pop culture-themed designs, made Trapper Keepers very popular among school kids and students.
What Are Binders Made Of?
Nowadays, the mass-market binders are mostly made of such materials as plastic, polypropylene, PVC, or paper and cardboard. Which material you should choose depends mainly on the purpose of the binder. Thin covers made of paper or cardboard are better for thinner binders determined for lightweight tasks. Clear plastic covers or covers with a customizable opaque pocket in the front serve best for presentations. And as for the thick PVC covers with a chipboard core – those are perfectly suitable for heavy-duty use.
If you want to go fancier, you can also take a look at the fabric or leather-covered binders. The more environmentally 🌄 conscious customers can opt for materials that consist mostly or 100% of recycled and recyclable materials.
The other thing to keep in mind is that metal rings and clamps are always the stronger option when it comes to the holding mechanisms, compared to their plastic analogs.
How Binders Are Measured 📏?
One of the most common mistakes when it comes to choosing the capacity of the binder is the incorrect way of measuring them. Generally, the customers would measure the spine width and call it a day. However, the inches mentioned as the binder size are in fact referring to the inner diameter of the binding rings. The round rings diameter must be measured at the widest point of the ring, and with D-rings, the correct way would be to measure the perpendicular part that exits from the metal base of the binder right to the top half-circle part of the D-shape.
How Many Pages Do Binders Hold?
On average, the binders’ capacity is calculated based on the 20-pound bond paper.
|Round ring capacity approximately||D- Ring capacity approximately|
|½”||100 pages||1”||200 pages|
|¾”||150 pages||1 ½”||300 pages|
|1”||200 pages||2”||400 pages|
|1 ½”||300 pages||2 ½”||500 pages|
|2”||400 pages||3”||600 pages|
|2 ½”||500 pages||4”||800 pages|
When choosing the necessary ring size, you might want to keep in mind two things: the first one is to measure the rings correctly by their inner diameter but not by the width of the binder’s spine, and the second one – if you intend to use protector sheets, index tabs, or pocket sleeves in your binder. In case if you will be binding something other than plain sheets of paper 📃, the overall thickness of your contents will increase, reducing the factual capacity of the binder. So you should always add half an inch to your intended ring size, just in case.
Most people don’t often wonder about their office supplies. But even with seemingly boring stuff like binders, there are interesting facts about them, you might be surprised to hear. Did you know that:
- The inventor of the O-ring binder, Henry T. Sisson, worked on perfecting his binding design so scrupulously that even after the patent for his invention was filed somewhere around the middle of the 1850s, it wasn’t until 1899 that the ring binders became available for purchase.
- The size of the ring binder hasn’t changed almost at all since it was first invented.
- Even though the 3-ring binders became standard in the United States just a few years after coming to the mass market, the D-ring binders got their fame much, much later – around the 1950s.
- Japanese binders come with a unique binding system referred to as J-Binder. This system can be used for A4 and B5 paper, and it utilizes from 26 to 30 closely set rings. However, you can also find less widespread variations such as 20-ring mechanisms for A5 paper.
- World’s Largest Binder measured 44.5” wide and 61” high in the closed position.
Trying to keep in order your life and belongings can sometimes get overwhelming, especially when it comes to papers, files, and documents, which you’re not sure about whether or not they spark that much joy but still can’t throw them away altogether. However, a nice binder can at least keep all this clutter from annoying you, storing it away and out of your sight until later. The key thing to focus on when choosing such a practical piece of office supplies is what you intend to use it for. Once you decide on that, settling on particular features would be a breeze.
- Ring Binder – https://en.wikipedia.org/
- What Is the Difference Between Binders Types? – https://www.supplychimp.com/
- 6 Factors to Consider for Finding the Right Three Ring Binder – https://www.bindersinc.com/
- What Should I Know About Ring Binders? – https://www.mybinding.com/
- Trapper Keeper – https://en.wikipedia.org/
- How Are Ring Binders Measured?…with an Answer – https://www.youtube.com/