You just ordered your custom 3-ring binders and you are ready to do your marketing – so why are your binders falling apart already?
Well, the durability of your binder depends on the way it is constructed. In a poorly made 3-ring binder, front board and spine board are held together by either a small piece of vinyl, paper or cloth. Other options we are going to explore involve using one piece of board for the whole binder and either routing the spine into the board or flexing the spine.
Vinyl binders: The weakest hinge
The reason vinyl binders break is simple. Even in the heavy duty vinyl binders the hinge, the part of the binder that gets the most stress, is a very small, thin piece of vinyl. With average weather conditions, this is a recipe for disaster; when it gets cold, your binder is left in the sun or in fluorescent light, vinyl gets brittle. Since most of you are not using your binders in a cave with stable humidity and temperature, the hinge of the binder is eventually going to fail.
If you get the regular vinyl binders it is good to know that, to save money in production, the vinyl material has been getting thinner and thinner – and therefore weaker and weaker. Any binder made this way is going to have problems. Whether the hinge is made of paper, vinyl or some sort of spine tape, these will fall apart at the seam.
Routed 3-ring binders: A bit better
A better construction is a single board binder. One version of this takes your board and routes out about half of the board so that the hinge flexes more easily. While stronger than a vinyl hinge, you are still counting on 1/16th of an inch of recycled paper to hold your cover. Eventually these hinges are going to fail as well – even if they are not so dependent on the weather.
Flexed single board construction: The strongest 3-ring binder
The best and strongest 3-ring binder is made from one piece of board and the hinge is flexed directly into the board – nothing is shaved off or cut, so there are no weaker parts of the binder. At Corporate Image we construct all of our binders this way to ensure sustainability. A binder that breaks before its useful life is over is a waste of resources, money and the time it takes to get another. We have lab tested our bare board binders to 250,000 openings without seeing any signs of wear or tear. That is 20 uses a day for 34 years. Not bad!
When you are looking for 3-ring binders for your marketing or in-house use, keep in mind how they are made. A well made 3-ring binder can save you money since you don’t have to replace them as often and, really, how does it reflect on your company if your marketing materials are held together by duct tape?
If you would like to feel our craftsmanship for first hand, please request a sample of our work.