Best 3-ring binder


Henry Tillinghast Sisson, a Union colonel during the Civil War, is credited with inventing the three-ring binder; he registered a patent in 1859.

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Which 3-ring binders are best? 

Three-ring binders have long been an essential accessory for students, but because they come in many different sizes and are designed with different features, they can be useful in the office and other settings as well. Before purchasing a three-ring binder, consider the size of the rings, the type of closure and how many compartments it features. 

If you are looking for a durable, spacious three-ring binder with many storage compartments, the Modileben Leather 3 Ring Padfolio Binder is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a 3-ring binder 

Ring size 

Before purchasing a three-ring binder, consider the size of the rings. The larger the rings, the more paper that the binder will be able to hold. However, that means less space for other items. If you are planning to use the binder to store office supplies and snacks, you will want to opt for one that features smaller rings or allows for the user to remove the spiral. If you plan to use the binder solely to carry paper and writing utensils, choose one with bigger rings. 


The best three-ring binders will be designed with secure closures. Larger binders made from fabric will likely feature either a zipper, snap or magnet to close the item. Zippers with tight stitching will be the most secure way to close a binder. Some items feature zipper closures in tandem with a magnet or a snap for added protection. 


Before purchasing a three-ring binder, make sure it has enough compartments to fit your needs. There will often be pockets of different sizes, made with different materials to house multiple items at a time. The best binders will feature straps for writing utensils and will come with a padded compartment to store a laptop or other electronics. 

What to look for in a quality 3-ring binder 


Quality three-ring binders will feature a lot of space so that users can fit in everything that is needed. Binders that feature space for stationery items and snacks while also featuring large rings to hold an abundance of paper will be particularly useful for a wide range of users. 


The best three-ring binders will feature a hand strap and a shoulder strap. A binder that is plastic and does not have some type of closure will likely not have a handle. Durable fabric binders should feature both styles of straps so that the user can choose the most comfortable way to carry the binder. A good shoulder strap will be padded and adjustable. 


A quality binder will be offered in many different colors. Binders that can be purchased in different colors allow the user to match the binder to their other supplies for greater organization. 

How much you can expect to spend on a 3-ring binder

The best three-ring binders will be priced anywhere from $11 to $35 depending on what the binder is made from and how many compartments it has. 

3-ring binder FAQ

How many pieces of paper can a binder hold? 

A. The amount of paper that a binder can hold will depend largely on the size of the binder’s rings: The taller the rings, the more paper will fit. Most one-inch binders can fit around 200 pieces of paper. 

Should I buy a three-ring binder or a four-ring binder? 

A. The number of rings in a binder determines how loosely the paper will be held. For example, a four-ring binder may hold paper more securely than a three-ring binder, but the three-ring binder will be less bulky to transport and manage. 

What are the best 3-ring binders to buy?

Top 3-ring binder

Modileben Leather 3 Ring Padfolio Binder 

Modileben Leather 3 Ring Padfolio Binder 

What you need to know: This binder comes in multiple colors and is made with different styles and sizes of compartments to fit, paper, pens, cards and more. The outside of the item zips for security, and it is compact. 

What you’ll love: The three rings on this binder are detachable. Aside from the zipper, this bag is made to magnetically close, and its artificial leather exterior is durable. This binder comes with its own calculator and can be easily packed and transported to various settings.  

What you should consider: Though the portfolio itself is a good size, the three rings used to hold stationery are not large, allowing for fewer items to be held inside. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top 3-ring binder for the money

AmazonBasics 3 Ring Binder

AmazonBasics 3 Ring Binder

What you need to know: This three-ring binder comes in two colors and is sold in a pack of four. 

What you’ll love: These binders feature plastic inserts inside to hold a few items, and the rings are large enough to hold a substantial amount of paper. This product is perfect for organizing a project, and each binder in the set can be used to organize different projects or portfolios. They are also lightweight.  

What you should consider: These binders are intended for simple everyday use and are not the most durable, secure or transportable.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Case-It Universal Three Ring Zipper Binder 

Case-It Universal Three Ring Zipper Binder 

What you need to know: This binder is large enough to carry anything from paper to books to food and more. It comes in many different colors and features a handle for convenient carrying. 

What you’ll love: This binder is made with a zipper for secure closing and features a cushioned laptop compartment to prevent damage to your electronics while on the go. This binder can hold up to 400 sheets of paper in the rings and also comes with a shoulder strap for optional ways to carry it. There are multiple pockets on the inside and outside of the item and straps to hold things in. It is durable and dependable for many purposes. 

What you should consider: When the paper metal rings unsnap, it causes the case to open, providing less security for your items. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Logan DeLoye writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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