Papers and documents, both in the office and at home, are often a mess, either because you don't have a specific space where to put them, or a tool to help you organise them. Because of this, paper collectors can be your lifesaver. Learn about them through this article in ReviewBox Mexico! Having a designated object for the protection of your documents is, without a doubt, indispensable, because it is normal that when you need one of them the most, you don't know where to look for it or you have even lost it.
Without a doubt, the loss of a document can be extremely serious, and you can avoid it by using the right collector. Most probably, if this is a new product for you, you do not have a clear idea on how to buy it, as there are many different models available on the market, with features that you do not know how to compare. If this is your case, don't get too anxious, in this buying guide you will learn what you need to know.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important things to know
- 3 The Best collectors: Our Picks
- 4 Buying guide: what you need to know about collectors
- 5 Buying criteria
The most important things to know
- A compiler is, in short, a tool for organising documents, allowing them to be stored and protected from damage or loss. It usually allows categorical classification.
- Within the market there are many variants of collector models, each of which can be more or less beneficial. Two to look out for are the clamp collectors, which are easy to open; or the ring collectors, which are more secure.
- Before making your decision, it is important that you are aware of certain aspects that will allow you to compare different options in order to choose the best one for you. Factors such as size, material, pockets and security should be taken into account.
The Best collectors: Our Picks
Buying guide: what you need to know about collectors
After learning about the top three of the best collectors on the market today, your mind may be clearer, understanding the usefulness of the product and the standard of quality to which you should aspire. However, it is recommended that, before you make your purchase, you are aware of certain terms surrounding the product.
What are compilers?
A collator is basically a folder, filing cabinet or folio, which has the capacity to condense important documents and papers within itself, classifying them by category to make finding them easier, in case they are needed.
They prevent them from falling out, reducing the risk of loss considerably. They are rectangular in shape, with a relatively wide interior to hold large quantities of documents. They can be manufactured from a mixture of fabric and plastic. Some models contain fasteners or clasps for added security, as well as specially designed spaces for pens and erasers.
What are the advantages?
Among the many advantages of document collators is the organisation of your documents. They are designed to store and protect your most important and precious papers, preventing any external agents from damaging them directly, as well as preventing them from slipping out of place so they don't get lost. It probably seems to you by now that collators are the ideal product and, in truth, they are extremely useful and functional. However, just like any other product on the market, they have advantages and disadvantages, which you should be aware of, so that you know what you are really buying.
Clamp or ring collectors - what should you look out for?
When it comes time to buy, you are likely to be exposed to many different models of collectors. This can be confusing for you, and there are two sides to be aware of, both are very functional, but each is recommended for certain cases: clamp collectors and ring collectors.
- Clamp collectors: They are one of the most practical and easy to handle models. Their design is based on a clamp that is located on the left side of the edge where the documents are placed, inside the collator. This is responsible for pressing hard (without breaking) the document(s), preventing them from falling out of the interior. This type of design is excellent for documents that you constantly have to take out, as they are released by simply raising the clamp to release the pressure. While it is very secure, it is not the best choice for extremely important or confidential documents, due to the ease with which they can be removed.
- Ring binders: This design is most typical in offices or administrative areas. When we talk about ring binders, they are those that, in the part where the documents are located, have between two and three rings or security rings, which are opened with a lock, and there the papers are inserted. It is an extremely secure model, as the pressure with which the rings close is very strong, and the paper is inserted in them, so it is almost impossible for them to come out, unless you take them out voluntarily. They are perfect for very important documents, although one flaw is that the paper has to be punctured to insert it.
|Clamp collectors||Ring collectors|
|Security level||Medium-high||Very high.|
|Paper integrity||Not affected in any way||Affected as it must be punched|
|Resistance||Medium, the clamp loses strength over time||High, the ring lock lasts a long time|
|Amount of paper||Little, does not receive a full ream of sheets||A lot, up to more than a ream|
How much does a collator cost?
When purchasing a product, it is understandable that one of the things that most intrigues or worries you is the price. In the case of collators, the cost is very affordable, as it is an item that is needed almost everywhere, to keep order.
If you are thinking of buying a model with a clamp, simple to store some documents, you will find the price between 100 MXN and 200 MXN. If you want the ring or ring models, with a larger capacity, the price can go up to 400 MXN or even 600 MXN depending on the model.
By now you may have a pretty good idea of what a collector is, and you may even know which one is the most convenient. However, it is important that you take into account certain aspects that will allow you to compare various options, making the selection and purchase process easier.
Within the variety of models, there are also different materials in which the collectors are made, and therefore, it is good that you know the characteristics of each of them, so that you can make your decision.
- Fabric/leather: This type of material is the most common. It is soft and mouldable, very comfortable to handle and wear. It usually wears and gets dirty very easily, and can stain, making cleaning tedious. In the case of leather, it can start to peel. It is excellent for personal use.
- Plastic/cardboard: These are hard and tough, perfect for work or office environments. These models tend to have a high rate of durability, protecting documents against falls and water. They can be heavy and cumbersome to carry, but excellent for large quantities of documents.
While clamps or rings are one means of security, there are other methods that collectors employ to be even more secure, fully protecting your documents. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so one or the other may suit you better depending on what you need.
- Zip lock: In this case, in addition to the clamp or rings to secure the documents, the collector is completely closed with a zip, preventing any object inside the collector from getting out. The zip may damage the edges of the paper, but prevents loss. Excellent for personal documents.
- Snap lock: This type of security measure is a little less reliable, but easier to handle, as you only need to detach the snap to gain access to the documents. It does not damage the paper, as is usually the case with zips. It is perfect for frequently used documents.
Collectors have certain internal features, such as integrated pockets or slots for storing pencils, erasers or anything else that might be useful when using the papers inside. These types of models are excellent for school use. Pockets can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on how you use them. Overfilling them can make the compiler even heavier. However, they are very useful for storing equally or more important items separately. If you don't have pockets, you can make better use of the space, as well as preserve your documents.
Finally, the size of the collator is an important point, as it will determine the size at which the document can be stored. You should then consider what size is normally used for printouts that you use the most.
- Standard size: The most common size for collators is the letter size, as it is usually the most commonly used size for printing documents. If you want to store any type of personal or business paper, these should not be missing.
- Extreme sizes: When we refer to extreme sizes, we mean that they have no middle ground, they are either too small or too large. In the case of the small ones, you can find half-letter size compilers, perfect for notes. While in the case of the large ones, there is the legal and extra legal size, for all types of paper.
(Featured image photo: allexxandar/ 123rf.com)