Buying Guide: Ring Binders

We get a lot of calls and questions about binders.  Many of you need help choosing the proper binder for your particular use and we're always happy to help answer your questions.  I thought I'd try to make it a little easier for everyone by posting this buying guide.  I'll walk you through it step-by-step so you know how to get the right binder for the job!

Step 1:  Identify the Application

Are you going to use the binder for presentations & proposals, manuals and files or for storage?  Your answer to that question will point you to the type of binder you need. There are basically three types of binders:  

Presentation Binders - these are more commonly referred to as view binders.  They have a clear plastic overlay on the front, spine and back so you can customize them.  Design a title page, a spine and a back cover, print them out and slide them behind the overlay.  Voila!  A beautiful presentation for your meeting.

Reference Binders - also called non-view binders.  These don't have a clear overlay and are normally used for frequently accessed documents like files or manuals.

Storage Binders - these are specialty binders that are designed for infrequently used documents like yearly records.  Many of them have retractable hooks that allow you to store them hanging.  Not all storage binders are ring binders though - some are post binders.  Post binders are commonly used for accounting documents.


Step 2:  Choose the Ring Style

There are four ring styles:  round, slant (also called D-ring), EZD, and gapless.

Round:  Most common style.  Standard capacity.

Slant (D-Ring):  Sturdier, better for larger size binders.  Holds up to 25% more than round rings.

EZD:  A modified slant ring, it holds even more than round or slant rings.

Gapless:  Has no gaps (I know - that's obvious).  Rings will not open if the binder is dropped.


Step 3:  Choose the Correct Binder Size

This seems to be the step that causes the most problems for everyone.  I want all of  you to come closer now so you can hear what I'm going to say next.  Come on...........move closer.

The binder size (1 inch, 1-1/2 inch,  inch, etc.) refers to the size of the RING - not the width of the spine.

I can't tell you how many calls I've taken over the years from people who need to return binders because the size isn't what they thought it would be.  Or people who said "I ordered a 1-1/2" binder and the one you sent is too big."  Do not measure the spine - measure the ring.

So, if you don't already have a binder that you're trying to match, how do you determine what size to buy for the contents?  I'm going to make it very easy for you.  Here's a chart that tells you approximately how many pages each ring style and ring size will hold:

So there you have it. You now have all the information you need to successfully choose the right binder for your job.!