Binder folders go by a variety of names like leaf binders, loose-leaf binders, or simply files. But, they serve an essential, shared purpose: to safeguard and store important documents securely. Besides that, they're also used for organising documents in a single place so that you can easily retrieve them later.
But as with most things, there are different types of binder folder you can buy. In this article, you'll learn how to select the best binder folders for your purpose.
Types of Binder Folders
You can find three different types of binder folders to choose from. They vary by the number of rings, ring size, the paper size they can hold, and usage.
The three types are:
Lever Arch Binders
The lever arch binders have two rings and a metal clamp. The clamp is used to hold the documents together securely. The ring size can be between 25 to 85 mm and are suitable for A4 and foolscap papers.
Ring binders can have two, three, or four rings. But in most cases, you'll find three rings. In countries like the US and Canada, three-ring binders are standardized across all industries.
In Australia, if you ask for binder folders without specifying the type, you'll receive three-ring binders. The ring shape can be either O or D. D shape ring folders have greater capacity than the O ring folders. You can also buy four-ring binders. The more the number of rings, the more stable the papers will be inside the folders.
Insert binders have plastic sleeves on both sides. You can insert your title pages and the spine labels. They can also have two, three, or four rings and work with A3, A4, and A5 paper sizes.
Define the Purpose
Not all binders are made for the same purpose (although you can use them interchangeably). To select the right one, you need to define the objective.
Do you need them to create organised archives? Then, look for stiff, durable covers. Furthermore, they should have identification tags that would make it easier to locate the documents without opening the folder. Insert binders are ideal for such scenarios since they let you customise everything from scratch.
Do you need to organise documents for a meeting? Then go for the ones with rigid covers that are made of vinyl. You can insert your title pages and other information you may want to display. There are specific binders called 'clearview binders' for meeting and presentation purposes.
Lastly, there are 'general-use binders'. These are used for storing frequently used documents like brochures, manuals, and workbooks. As opposed to presentation binders, these do not have a transparent view overlay at the top.
Check Binder Capacity
When selecting a binder folder, you should look at the binder capacity as well. Look at the ring size and correspond it with the following capacity:
- 70 mm (lever arch) - 375 sheets
- 50 mm (half lever arch) - 250 sheets
- 50 mm (D ring) - 400 sheets
- 50 mm (O ring) - 350 sheets
- 38 mm (D ring) - 300 sheets
- 38 mm (O ring) - 280 sheets
- 25 mm (D ring) - 250 sheets
- 25 mm (O ring) - 175 sheets
So, a lever arch binder folder with 77 mm rings can accommodate up to 375 sheets. Figure out how many sheets you need to handle within a binder and buy accordingly.
Type of Cover
You've already learned that there are different types of covers that binder folders come with. One is vinyl, and the other is poly or plastic.
Vinyl covers are transparent that allows you to insert printed sheets. The insert binders are provided with vinyl covers for this specific purpose. These binders are supported by clipboards both on the front and backside.
Poly covers offer more flexibility, and they don't have clipboards either. If you're frequently travelling with the binders in hand, you should go for the ones with plastic covers.
Size of Sheet
Finally, you should consider the size of the sheets you want to store. Most people have this notion that you can only use the 8½ X 11 size sheets, which is the standard for a three-ring binder folder. But other binders can accommodate sheets of different sizes.
Some mini-binders can accommodate half-sized sheets. Also, you can buy binders for large sheets measuring 11 X 17.
Keep things simple when purchasing a binder folder; be it for yourself or your company. Consider the purpose at hand and the size of the sheet you need to store. Other factors will fall into place.