Friday, July 30, 2010

Staples Better Binder

I had been looking for a good binder (i.e., one that didn't fall apart) for some time, so I was excited to see the Staples Better Binder, which claims to be Staples' "most durable binder."  Its durability is because the spine is reinforced with rubber, which should prevent the cracking and splitting that usually occurs in binders with use.  The edges of the covers also have rubber on them - I assume to give the binder a more balanced appearance.

The covers themselves are made of solid plastic (latex free, if that's a concern), rather than cardboard with a vinyl covering, which seems to be the most common type.  (The vinyl and cardboard covers are not ideal as the vinyl usually begins to peel away from the cardboard after use.)  The front and back inside covers both have clear plastic pockets on them to hold miscellaneous papers.

Inside, the metal rings appear fairly standard.  They are D-ring, mounted on the back cover rather than on the cover - overall the best option to avoid pages curling.  There is only one tab (on the bottom) to open the rings, while I prefer two, but it is made of a textured black plastic for an easier grip, which I do like.

Another unique feature of this binder is the spine label.  Most binders that I have seen have clear plastic pockets on the outside of the spine that you slide a label into.  The pockets often catch on things and the label may even fall out if you hold the binder upside down by accident.  However, in the Better Binder, the label is inserted on the inside (shown in the above photo), and you can read it on the outside through a clear plastic window.  The label, if of the right size, fits snugly and does not feel as though it would fall out.  One blank spine label is included with the binder.

Finally, the Better Binder has a clear plastic pocket on the outside front cover so that you can insert whatever cover you like.  This appears to be fairly standard.  The Better Binder is available in many colours, and in sizes up to 3 inches.

Overall, the Staples Better Binder looks like an excellent choice, especially for those who carry their binders around with them.  I can't wait to start using mine when I return to university in the fall.  However, since this binder is pricier than the typical binder, if your binders spend most of their lives sitting on a shelf, an ordinary binder may be all you need.

Related reviews: Work Play Love, The Planted Trees.


  1. I've had several of these, ever since I was on the Staples Speak Easy tester group (they've not done it in a while, sadface!). The only thing I would say is a con: when you go to put it into or take out of a bookbag, the rubber tends to slow down the movement. It catches the fabric and kinda... sticks a little? It's not a bad thing, it's just a little annoying when it doesn't just slide right in with no resistance. Otherwise I LOVE these binders!! If you have a laserjet printer, you can take out the ad paper in the front, print something pretty on it, and reverse it after you're done coloring the picture you printed. Shiny paper FTW :)

  2. Thanks, Plum, for your comment. I hadn't considered the ease (or lack of it) of taking this binder in and out of a bag, but I can see that the rubber could be a problem. I won't find out how well this binder actually performs in daily use until I return to school in the fall - I'll try to have an update then. Hopefully, since my bag is not very full, it won't be too much of a problem for me.

  3. The Staples website did not describe the binder with enough detail, so this review was very helpful.

    1. There's more Reviews at Just click on the binder of your choice and go down to customer reviews!
      I hope this helps as I'm looking for a durable binder myself.

  4. I write this in hopes that a member of the Staples design team will read this. Please publish a template for the Staples Better Binder spine label. There's a need for this -- google suggested the search phrase to me, but returned no results for an Office template to print a label. Thanks, Staples!

  5. Staples better binder are extremely difficult to get in and out of bags and hard to slide on and off shelves.

    A colleague has shifted his shelves so the binders can be inserted (not slid) onto the shelf and lifted off.

    I have not tried it, but might be worth it is to try a spray of "silicone" spray. Not oil but silicone or the wax used for bicycle chains (candle wax might work too.)

    1. Hmm, that's interesting. I never had a problem like that when I carried this binder to class everyday in my backpack, but I guess it could become an issue if your bag was a bit small and/or packed very tightly.


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