A vent about standard ring spacing across all paper sizes

I hope this is the correct place to post this vent. I searched the archives and did not find the same complaint topic, except in a vague way in comments to other topics. I want answers!

I am frustrated that the binder industry does not have standard ring spacing across all sizes.

What I seek is a classic-size binder (or smaller) using the same ring spacing as the letter-size binders. The classic binder would have two rings and the paper would be able to migrate from the smaller to larger binder without alteration. I just did a hole-punching experiment across three sizes of paper (letter, classic and 3x5). They were all long enough to hold at least two holes at the correct distance, and all fit in the large binder neatly.

So why do the manufacturers complicate things with differing ring-spaces? Is there something about the production process, or is it a plot to keep us buying product, or something else?

If I didn't mind carrying a letter-size binder around with me, my problem would be solved. Must I resort to cutting down salvaged ring mechanisms from letter-size binders, and building my own classic and pocket-sized binders from them?

Please do not remind me about Circa and Rolla type systems, because this post is about the *principle* of the thing, goshdangit!

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Vent away ! We hear you.

My first reaction: Have you asked someone in the binder industry ?


I know you said "Don't mention it", but this rant could be one reason behind the success of ring/disc binding - it transcends specific paper size. That's one big reason I like it.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

No, I have not...

How would I find the right person to ask?

Also, thank you for the links!

Edited: I used the Mead online comment page to explain what I was seeking to Mead. No response from them so far.

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"Perfection" is an imaginary concept.

goshdangit is RIGHT!

I am with you on this MizLiz! This has driven me nuts for years! I want to carry a 3X5, put that in my junior that I have in the car and then store it all in my main letter size binder at home! is that too much to ask?? I think not! :)

The only solution I have found is using index rings binders and punching your own paper - any size you want. But, it just isn't the same!!! And I really like some of my binders!

Index Rings: http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/351019/Office-Depot-Bi...

If anyone finds some wonderful company out there who has solved this problem, please let us know!!!

Oooooh, pretty colors!

I will go get some right now! (I was going to get loose rings anyway. Really.)
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"Perfection" is an imaginary concept.

You might have to settle with European standards sizes

A4/letter four ring binders and A5/junior 2 ring binders



Adjustable hole punch


I see that they removed the outer rings for the A5 size, the trouble is the picture is not close enough to see if it matches the spacing of the 2 inner A4 size rings.

That would be perfect

Thanks for the suggestion, A-S. The supplies compliant with ISO 838 and 216 are exactly what I wish was easily available where I live. I would love for the US to adopt those standards.

I know I could order them online, but they still would be much pricer than, and incompatible with, the standard office supplies I find around here.

Plus, I had a hankering to hack over the long weekend. I made sparks fly with the rotary tool! :)

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"Perfection" is an imaginary concept.

A3 A4 and A5 binders have standard spacing

In Australia we have a standard 2 hole punch which fits any 2 ring binder for A4 (close to letter size) and A5 (half A4) paper. It's an industry standard.

Also, A3 (size of 2 portrait A4s side by side) and A4 binders with 4 rings have holes spaced to use the 2 ring hole punch twice. So anyone in Australia and Europe can buy one 2 ring hole punch and use it for any binder except a 3 ring binder. Which is why it's hard to find 3 ring binders.

From a planning point of view, it means that I can buy a slim A5 binder to use as a planner and use any of the standard office hole punches at work or home.

It's a very sensible and useful way to go. I have to remember to give the Italian's a big hug for inventing the A-paper system.

Sadly, I doubt that the USA will get the A-system any time soon as it's based on the metric measuring system.

I have hacked.

HA! Now I can move the same punched page from compact to classic to a standard three ring letter-size binder. Take that, binder industry.

I made a classic-size (5.5"x8.5") "binder insert" that fits into a FranklinCovey wirebound cover (also called a "padfolio" by another company).

I removed the ring binding mechanism from one of those thin-covered, floppy letter-size binders, using a combination of rotary tool and pliers. Then, I cut the mechanism short with a pair of tin snips, leaving only the top two rings. I then attatched the mechanism to a sheet of stiff plastic, and slid it into the wirebound cover.

For my two Compact size binders (4.5"x6.75" (108mmx172mm)), I cut off all but the two compatible rings. My pages now have a much larger environment to migrate around in. :)

Let me know if you want better instructions with photos.

Did you know FC has a wirebound small size that is quarter-letter size (4.25"x5.5" or "clutch")? The pages are large enough that they could still be hole punched to fit the two rings of my modified binders, should I want to pursue this size and make a similar binder insert for the clutch size wirebound covers. But they are so close in size to 3x5 cards that it may not be worth the effort. Also, the covers they have for that size are fugly.

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"Perfection" is an imaginary concept.

I'm impressed

I don't think I have to tools to repeat your process so I don't need the instructions, but I'd love to see some pictures.

Me too.

Very impressed!