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Don't you hate it when you have holed paper in your 3-ringed binder, and you act very careful to not shake the binder, but then on accident, you do? This causes a small tear in a lot of the pages, which may not seem like a big deal. However, close to the end of the school year, papers are going to start coming out because the paper keeping the pages around the rings have torn. Here's a picture enter image description here

As you can see, the rings can't keep the paper in the binder. I am aware of that extra strong paper with extra protection near the holes, but you guessed it, it still tears eventually. I am studying for a test and am taking lots of notes, so I want an easy and convenient way to keep my notes safe, thank you.

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The easiest hack for avoiding your particular issue with hole-punched paper is do not use that system to bind paper into a book block.

A Spring-Clamp Spine uses a system that works similar to a binder clip but is larger and easier to handle. Sheets do not require hole-punching.

spring clamp spine binderbinder clip

A Spring-Clamp Spine binder can securely hold from one page to over 250 without damage. You can mix punched and non-punched sheets without a problem. You can use your damaged pages without repairing the holes, too!

They can hold up to 250 pages

You use it by bending back the front and back cover to open the "clamp" to insert, remove, or rearrange the page order. Index tab pages work well, too.

These binders come in different formats from half-page to full-page and in different capacities. Both Imperial and European formats are available. The binders can hold up to 250 pages depending on the capacity; but, I find the weight of the paper beyond 150 sheets is too demanding for the spring tension. The cloth-bound binders are more expensive than plastic binders but hold up well. I have a couple that are working well that are over 50 years old. Different colours are available but the selection is limited.

While the binder does not lie flat when opened, you can write on a loose page and slide it easily into its proper place when you finish your work. It is easily read and edited.

Ask for them at your office-supply/stationery supply

Good luck.

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  • wow, this wouldve been very helpful if it werent for the fact that i write very close to the margins – Some Guy Mar 11 at 3:03
  • @SomeGuy You can write as close as you want. The edge is completely available. The page doesn't have to be in the binder as it's so easily removed for notes or revision and added for carry. Rings aren't that easy to work with at all. – Stan Mar 11 at 13:34
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Yes!! I hated it while in school. Luckily, there is a great solution, something called Reinforcement Labels, which come also in the form of small rings you stick on each hole of the paper.

There are many brands, e.g. you can buy this on Amazon:

image of reinforcement labels

It's lots of work to put on each hole, but worth it, in the long run. :)

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  • While better than nothing it is not always enough. You still have to be carefull. – Willeke Mar 9 at 11:16
  • also worth noting that this will increase the thickness of the page around the holes. Hence allowing the binder to contain less pages. – Laurent S. Mar 9 at 16:40
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    Or if you want to do this on the cheap (and don't really care what it looks like so long as it works), regular old scotch tape will do almost as well. Tape across each hole on both sides and use a hole punch to cut a nice circular hole in the tape. Almost as effective and a lot less expensive. (And tape is probably something you have already and can use for other things, whereas these are single-purpose.) – Darrel Hoffman Mar 9 at 17:35
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    @Darrel More widely available but doubtful about being less expensive. Where I live a roll of scotch tape costs about the same as one of these packs, more if it's any good, and getting 1000 separate reinforcers out of it might be hard. Not to mention the tedium of 1000 tears and hole punches. – Luke Sawczak Mar 12 at 0:39
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    (whoops, the cost I was thinking of is for about half of what's shown in your package. Oh well, still more or less holds for 500.) – Luke Sawczak Mar 28 at 18:00
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Always carry the binder either flat or with its spine downwards.

Then any force or shock to the paper where the rings pass through is not in the "weak" direction towards the edge of the paper.

The added benefit is that should any paper come loose, or not be punched and secured, it does not fall out.


When leafing through the binder contents, turn the pages in a block, with your fingers near the binder's rings, rather than turning them by holding their outer edge.

In other words, you lift the pages round the rings, instead of dragging them, and this too minimises any tearing possibility.

The more pages you turn in a single block, the less force there is on each page's holes.


Another dodge regarding page-turning, is that the greatest wear seems to be on the first and last page, so a sheet of thicker paper or card as the first and last page, protects the thinner paper ones. If that tears, you can replace it without losing any notes.

My last suggestion is to use thin film document pouches, which have much stronger ring holes, but the added thickness means the binder can't hold as many pages.

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Some binders have an extra metal part, which can be tightened to hold down the papers when the binder is not in use:

Binder mechanism

(Image source: Wikipedia / Jaques)

This does not help when the binder is in use, but when you are carrying it, the pressure on the papers spreads the force and avoids tearing the holes.

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