What should I know about Ring Binders?
When it comes to three ring binders most people think the choices are pretty straight forward. You go to the office supply store and there are cheap ones and there are expensive ones. However, there is a lot more to choosing a three ring binder than just the price. In fact, it is important to understand a number of different factors when choosing a ring binder. This article is designed to identify the major things to look for when choosing a ring binder. Here they are:
- Ring style: There are two primary ring styles used with three ring binders. The most common style is round ring. For smaller documents and smaller binders these are ideal. For larger documents companies often prefer to use D-ring binders. The rings on these binders are shaped like the letter D and they are designed to make it easier to open and reference pages in thicker documents. In addition to these two styles there are a number of variations on these styles. EZload binders are a type of d-ring and some manufacturers claim to have easy open features that make it simple to add and remove pages. These two ring shapes are the most common and are used in most 3-ring binders.
- Thickness: Binders are available in sizes as small as 1/2″ and can be found as large as four inches in thickness. Generally thinner binders use round ring mechanisms and thicker binders use D ring binders. Sizes between 1” and 3” are usually available in both of the different ring styles.
- Covers: Some three ring binders come with a plain vinyl wrap on the front, back and spine. Others have a clear vinyl overlay that allows for printed sheets to be added for customization. These are sometimes called clear overlay or clearview binders. Both of these types of binders have a piece of chipboard inside the front back and spine. However, not all binders utilize chipboard. Some have a front, back and spine made of a poly or plastic material that is flexible.
- Size: Most ring binders are designed for binding letter sized documents. Some specialty binders are available for binding half letter sized sheets (sometimes called baby books), legal sized paper, 11” x 17 sheets and landscape documents. These ring-binders can be more difficult to find and are usually available with less options than standard letter ring-binders.
- Color: The most common colors for ring-binders are black and white. Depending on the style that you are looking for it is possible to find other colors.