Facts on Binders

By Marcie Doyle

Updated September 26, 2017

Binders come in a variety of sizes, types and materials, and are customizable to accommodate various needs. The first ring binder was invented in 1886 in Bonn, Germany, by Friedrich Soennecken. Binders are generally available in two-, three- or four-ring options, as well as with posts. Sometimes, personal organizer binders or memorandum binders have as many as six or seven rings. Binders usually consist of three pieces: the front cover, the back cover and the spine.

View Binders

View binders allow for the insertion of personal covers and spines to create a custom look. These customizable covers can make a great impression for presentations and also can be used for identification purposes. A clear overlay allows for personalization of a removable cover sheet that can be easily changed so binders can be reused from presentation to presentation.

Non-view Binders

Non-view binders are general binders without a clear overlay on the cover to allow for personalization with a cover sheet. This type of binder is ideal for reference and storage of paperwork. Some non-view binders allow for the customization of spines through the use of label inserts.

Flexible Binders

These binders are perfect for smaller presentations and reports. They usually are compact to easily fit into briefcases. They are typically available with either view covers for customization or solid covers.

Other Binder Types

Catalog binders are heavy-duty binders that are able to hold large amounts of paper. Instead of using rings to hold the pages together, posts are used. Easel binders are ring binders made with covers that either fold back or are tent-shaped to create a free-standing binder for use in presentations or for reference. Expanding binders are binders made with a telescoping backbone and adjustable posts that can hold either a few sheets of paper or hundreds of pages.

Binder Rings

The number of rings used in most reference and presentation binders range from two to four. Available ring sizes are 1/2 inch, 1 inch, 1-1/2 inch, 2 inch, 3 inch, 4 inch and 5 inch. The different sizes allow for varied sheet capacities. A 1/2-inch ring size usually holds approximately 100 sheets of paper, while a 5-inch ring size can hold up to 1,050 sheets. There also are different types of rings, including round ring, D-ring and slant ring.

Extra Features

Some binders are available with a one-touch ring for easy, one-handed operation. There are rings that help prevent gaps and misalignment, so pages are kept secure and easy to turn. Other binders feature pockets or business-card holders located on the inside covers to secure loose documents or business cards. Commonly, binders are made of a nonstick material to prevent the transfer of ink from printed materials to pockets or covers. Rings that are back mounted allow pages to lie flat when the binder is open.