Monday, June 30, 2014

3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Binder

There is a wide selection of binders available for consumers to purchase today.  Just walk down any office store and you will notice all the different types of binders there are on the market today.  A regular consumer might be intimidated by the wide selection and will often just go for the cheapest one available, which is not always the best solution.  It is important to choose the right binder for the right purpose.  If you need a presentation binder you will want something  nice and thin, not a big heavy reference type binder.

When buying a binder, a smart consumer will understand their need and evaluate their options before simply picking the cheapest binder available.  When buying binders, there are 3 simple things you need to consider about - size, rings, and materials.


The size of the binder is important simply because it needs to match with the documents size you're working with.  If you're organizing letter size paper then you will want a letter size binder, or if it's legal size paper then a legal size binder, and so forth.  It's pretty simple, the right size binder will protect your papers.  You don't want something smaller because the papers won't fit, and you don't necessary want something bigger either because even though it will protect your paper, it will be hard to handle the binder and it can be a waste of space when you're shelving them.  It's important to have the right size binder for your paper.

There are all sorts of binders out there today for different paper sizes.  At Keepfiling we have standard types like the letter size, legal size and A4.  We also have smaller ones like the Mini Binders, as well as bigger and unique sizes like 9x12, 11x17, 14x17, etc.  You can check out all Keepfiling Binders on our website.

 - Keepfiling binders in different sizes; from large to small


Contrary to popular belief, the capacity of a binder depends on the rings that are used and not the width of the binder spine.  It's very common for consumers to think that the wider the binder spine then the more paper it will hold, but actually the capacity is based on how the ring size of the binder.  There are two types of rings - O-rings and D-rings, and their ring size are measured differently.  For O-rings, the ring size refers to the diameter of the ring.  The wider the diameter, the more it can hold.  For D-rings, the ring size refers to the height of the straight part of the ring.  The longer the straight part is, the more it can hold.  D-rings are sometimes offered in a slight angle, and they are called slanted D-rings. 

 - Different ring types and sizes

When comparing the two types of rings, apart from the obvious difference in shape, the main difference is that D-rings can hold up to 25% more than O-rings.  This is important because if you are looking for a binder to organize a lot of paper, like a manual, reference binder, or archive, then you will want a thicker binder with D-rings.  On the other hand, O-rings are usually found on presentation binders that are thinner and does not require a lot of capacity.

Another small difference between the two rings is that O-rings are mounted onto the binder spine, while D-rings are onto the back cover of the binder which allows paper to lie flat.  Some people prefer this as they think it looks nice and is more organized.  All Keepfiling binders are equipped with D-rings to offer a more uniform look for organizing papers. 

Here is a table showing roughly the capacity a binder can hold with different ring sizes.

Ring Size Sheet Capacity
1/2" 80 - 110
3/4" 100 - 130
1" 170 - 200
1-1/2" 240 - 300
2" 370 - 440
3" 560 - 600


The last thing to consider when choosing a binder is the material it's made from.  On the market today, manufacturers make binders from all sorts of materials to satisfy different needs and tastes from consumers.  There are binders made from cardboard, plastics like vinyl or polypropylene, metals, and even from fabrics. 

Most binders are made with a combination of some plastic like vinyl, and some cardboard.  Usually the cover of the binder is a cardboard cover with PVC plastic, while the rest is made from similar plastic. These are durable and will last you for a long time.  You can use them in the office, at home, or at school and they will be just fine.  They usually come in different solid colors like black, red, yellow or blue.

The binder's material becomes very important if you are planning to archive your documents for a long period of time.  The binder must be archival safe and even more durable than typical binders.  Therefore in contrast to typical vinyl binders, Keepfiling binders are all made from polypropylene - a type of archival safe material that is strong and rigid.  Instead of using a cardboard cover with PVC plastic, Keepfiling binder covers are made with 3 layers of polypropylene that is sandwiched together through a heating process. 

If you're looking for something more fancy like a presentation binder with more colors or patterns then maybe something of a cardboard binder is more suitable.  They are usually thinner and come with fancy designs.  Other materials like metals or fabrics are good as well for people who want something more stylish and will use them for things like portfolios or scrapbooks.
We hope with this information, next time when you're walking down the binder aisle at an office store or shopping online with us, that you will know what you're looking for and will spend your money on the right binder instead of getting the cheapest or more expensive binders that won't last you very long or is not suitable to your needs. 

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