Who doesn’t love a good binder? Aside from being a useful and practical way to organise your documents, binders and folders are a fun way to express your individuality and creativity at work. They can also add a much-needed splash of colour to your (let’s face it, sometimes dull) office space. However, it can seem like there are endless options when looking for the perfect folder. Leaf binders, loose-leaf binders, lever arch, ring binders, it can all be rather overwhelming.
We’ve put together a buying guide to help you out a little so that you can find the best binder or folder for the job.
Types of Binders and Folders
There are generally three different types of binders. They all have various uses and capacities.
- Ring Binders – These can have two, three or four rings down the spine, however three rings is the most common and most used in the workplace. The more rings, the more stability the paper will have in the binder. Rings can be D shapes or O shapes. Ring binders are a good all-rounder – use them for general-use tasks like storing documents that you use a lot, storing loose paper notes and creating training manuals.
- Lever Arch Binders – Unlike ring binders, these folders only ever come with two rings. They are, however, reinforced with a big metal clamp to hold all the papers in place. Papers can sometimes tear and snag in a ring binder – the clamp in the lever arch binder prevents this. They can also (usually) fit more pages than a standard three ring binder and can accommodate a standard holepunch. Their range of colours makes them perfect for colour-coordinating and storing long-term files, especially client and accounting files. See more quality binder books & folders at the best price with the price beat guaranteed.
- Insert Binders – Generally a style of ring binder, these folders have handy transparent sleeves on the covers and spines. This is great if you want to make your own spine labels and title pages, and helps in organising your binders on the office shelf in an orderly archive. Insert binders are also useful for organising documents for a meeting – you can display the schedule/agenda on the front cover.
To help you choose the right binder suited to your needs, refer to this handy list of binder types and capacities:
- 375 sheets – 70 mm (lever arch)
- 250 sheets – 50 mm (half lever arch)
- 400 sheets – 50 mm (D ring)
- 350 sheets – 50 mm (O ring)
- 300 sheets – 38 mm (D ring)
- 280 sheets – 38 mm (O ring)
- 250 sheets – 25 mm (D ring)
- 175 sheets – 25 mm (O ring)
Choosing the cover is also really important! The two main materials used in binders and folders are vinyl and plastic (also called poly). Vinyl covers are made from chipboard, then covered in vinyl material. Poly covers are made from plastic and have a lot more flexibility. If you need a sturdier binder, go with a vinyl cover. If you need a lightweight, flexible binder, go with the poly cover.
Don’t forget to pick a fun colour! There are countless options when it comes to colours and patterns. Decide whether you want to colour code and archive your documents, or whether you want to try some fun and funky patterns. Don’t be scared to get creative! Some binders also can be used as a display book, but not always suitable to use them, however, you can find out more about the difference between these two categories of products and the best brands display books on this website.