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The Best Binder

Last updated on June 16, 2022
Best Binder

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Binders

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
  Top Pick

Esselte Customizable Scratch Resistant Binder, 2-Inch

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Customizable Scratch Resistant Binder, 2-Inch

With this binder, you'll have a choice between blue, white, black and red. The outer front, back and side panels have translucent pockets, allowing for customized covers and labels. Since these pockets are also scratch-resistant, they look great when used to give a presentation at school or work.

Overall Take

Multiple Color OptionsThis binder is capable of holding up to 280 sheets of paper at once.

  Runner Up

Yoobi Inside Pockets Easy Open Binder, 4-Pack


Inside Pockets Easy Open Binder, 4-Pack

This binder set is available in packs of four with the option to purchase the set in a variety of colors. Each measures 1.5 inches and features three strong rings that will keep your papers and assignments organized. In addition to being able to hold up to 375 sheets of paper, the binders also offer two inner pockets to hold everything from pens to...

Overall Take

Affordable Price TagThe budget-friendly price tag on this binder set allows for stocking up before the school year begins.

  We Also Like

Samsill Earth’s Choice Biobased 3-Ring Binder, 4-Pack


Earth’s Choice Biobased 3-Ring Binder, 4-Pack

This set of binders is a USDA Certified Biobased Product, thanks to at least 59% bio-based content such as recycled fiber and renewable plastic. These binders keep papers organized with archival-safe, PVC-free and non-stick materials.

Overall Take

Biobased and Environmentally FriendlyFor those concerned about the environment but unwilling to sacrifice style and functionality, this set works well.

  Strong Contender

Cardinal Economy Reinforced 3-Ring Binder, 12-Pack


Economy Reinforced 3-Ring Binder, 12-Pack

Get the school year started off right with this set of binders. Each of the 12 included binders are capable of holding up to 225 pages; however, sets with a large spine are available if you think you'll need to store more than that. Additional features that make this set of binders a top pick include two interior pockets, a durable spine and a rein...

Overall Take

Great for Teachers or Large FamiliesIf you're searching for a budget-friendly binder set, this lot has you covered.

  Also Great

Amazon Basics Transparent Overlay D-Ring Binder, 4-Pack

Amazon Basics

Transparent Overlay D-Ring Binder, 4-Pack

Thanks to the 2-inch spine on this binder, you'll be able to store up to 500 sheets of paper. The set includes a total of four binders, each of which is lightweight for easy transport. You can use the binders to keep track of your school work, or organize a presentation for work or to store your favorite family recipes.

Overall Take

Large CapacityThe front and back covers on this binder are customizable.

Buying Guide

Binders can be indispensable organization and storage tools for academic, office or business use. These practical items have been around for over 150 years, and their design has not varied much over the years.

Binders differ by ring style and number, width, number and type of pockets and color, as well as some smaller details. For example, some have a hole in the spine to make it easier to remove them from crowded shelves. The most common design features three round, evenly-spaced rings — but especially for larger binders, a D-shaped or slanted D-shaped ring design is common as well. This design makes it easier to turn to specific pages when the binder contains a large number of documents.

When selecting a binder, consider the materials, as well as what size and ring design is appropriate. Binders come in sizes ranging from half an inch thick to four inches and are commonly made of plastic. Some of these plastics may be plant-based or otherwise eco-friendly, which gives options to the environmentally conscious. Most binders also contain a chipboard inside the vinyl or plastic covers, though some are simply made of thick material.

Another consideration is the customizability of the binder. Many binders come with clear plastic pockets on the front, back and spine. These can be easily labeled or customized by inserting printed paper into the pockets. You may wish to color-code your binders, too.

What to Look For

  • Make sure the ring configuration matches the size, shape and position of the holes in your paper or the hole puncher you plan to use. While the standard three-ring binder is most common, there are a variety of other styles.
  • For additional organization, some binders include pockets, expanding files, or other storage solutions.
  • There are also binder inserts for sale that can hold your writing utensils, cards or other small items.
  • Look for acid-free non-stick materials that won’t imprint ink from the paper contained inside.

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