Finding the right three-ring binder for the job is a little more involved than you may initially think. With the endless number of options out there, where do you begin?
It’s natural to think price is the most important factor – find the least expensive option to get the job done.
But price is just a small factor to consider though. Other factors like board thickness and ring-type must be considered to ensure you get the right three-ring binder for the task at hand. Considering price alone may lead you to buy a three-ring binder that ends up being a negative rather than a positive image of your brand.
If you’re using your binders for a presentation and giving them out to prospects, it will certainly be embarrassing to have one that isn’t suited for the task.
To ensure you have the right three-ring binder, you need to consider the following 6 factors. Continue reading for more insight into these factors and more.
The first item to consider is what will your three-ring binders be used for. If you’re giving a presentation for instance, your needs will be much different than if you’re simply looking to organize your office. A plain, or view binder, is best for organization.
But if you’re giving a presentation, you will need to consider a binder that has your branding printed or can at a minimum accommodate an insert on the front. On the other hand, a flexible or poly binder may need to be considered in you will be traveling a lot, have heavy usage and need something that’s durable AND easy to carry.
Next is the style of rings, with the two standard ones being an O-ring and a D-ring. An O-ring is more ideal for smaller documents (sheet number) and binders. Although O-rings are the most common, they do have a lower sheet capacity. For larger projects, you may need to consider a D-ring, which is offset to the back cover and can may using the binder easier to manage while reducing stress on individual pages.
Thickness (Ring size)
Next, you will need to think about the thickness you need, which is noted by the ring size and not the width or thickness of the spine. Sizes range from ½ inch to 4-inches. The thickness you need is really dependent on the number of sheets you’re trying to put in the binder. See our article on ring size and sheet capacity for more information on how many pages a particular ring size will accommodate.
After you figure out the thickness, you need to consider the type of cover. Some three-ring binders come with a plain vinyl wrap while others include a clear vinyl overlay to allow for insert of printed sheets (…which are referred to clear overlay or Clearview binders). Each of these binders is supported by a piece of chipboard on the front and back. Chipboard in less expensive models found at big-box stores will not be as durable.
The other type of cover is a poly or plastic material that’s more flexible and doesn’t have a piece of chipboard supporting the front and back. These binders are more flexible for traveling around and so forth.
Here’s one hint to consider – will the binder’s color need to match a corporate logo or promotional theme? There are in fact many colors to choose from besides the standard white, black and navy blue varieties. A variety of color options are available for three-ring binders, allowing you to choose a color that complements the message you’re trying to send.
Size of Sheets
Last but not least is the size of sheets. Most people think you can only use standard 8-1/2 x 11 size sheets in a three-ring binder. However, binders are also available to accommodate 11 x 17 size sheets and more. There are also binders available for half-sized sheets (mini-binders) too. However, most binders are made for standard 8-1/2 x 11 sized sheets but if your sheets are of a different size, you can find a three-ring binder to meet your needs.
As you can see, there are several important things to consider when choosing a three-ring binder. While these factors should be pretty easy to contemplate, consulting with a three-ring binder specialist at Binders, Inc. will help you find the perfect binder for the job.
Whatever you do, don’t just go to a big-box retailer and just grab whatever strikes your fancy. Simply grabbing the least expensive option may end up coming back to bite you. Get the right three-ring binder the first time around and avoid the headache of having a binder not suited for the task at hand.