Your choice of binder?

Hi all! Coming in with another question since there’s a tonne of conflicting information on Reddit and blog posts are riddled with sponsored products that I’m not sure what to believe.

I have ~10000 holos and promos which are raw and need to be stored in a beautiful, and protective binder. I have tonnes of the standard 3 ring binders that the JP Pokémon center sells, and lots of their refills. They are all top loaded but they do have protective flaps on the top so dust shouldn’t get in, though they are a little difficult to insert.

Blogs, Reddit etc seem to dislike the idea of the ring binders and suggest zippable binders which are side loading, etc. I agree they can look nicer and feel better in general, but I’m worried about cards deforming when they are full.

So my questions for the unbiased are, what do you prefer, and what method do you use for sleeves? I generally just penny sleeve but see lots of local shops double sleeving with perfect fits.

Interested to hear your opinions!

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I use VaultX premier 9 pocket binders, with regular penny sleeves. Does the job for me


Dragon Shield Resalable Perfect Fit Sleeves (this) + Vault X (this), zipped version.

I store them standing upright and not stack them on top of each other.

Considering I don’t have 10K holos+promos, these are some products that I would like to pay a premium to protect and store my cards well. Not sure how this will scale in terms of budgeting and pricing for so many cards. Hope you get some good advice and find what you are looking for.


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Would second the Vault X recommendation. Just be careful which penny sleeves you get as some can be annoying to fit in.

There is a certain vault X penny sleeve type that works perfectly but can’t remember the exact name (maybe someone can). If you’re not back in Japan yet, then WHSmith is a good place to grab them. I think Amazon have been out of stock for a while.

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I mainly use UltimateGuard’s Quadrow binders (4x3 cards per page) mostly – they’re all full and there’s no deformation at all. They are toploaded, though, but I definitely prefer the 4x3 format over 3x3.

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Quoting an older post of mine:


Mixed vault X and ultra pro 3x3 for main TCG sets and promo, with the vertical rubber band closing.
Even if this may seem dangerous, I’ve never seen my cards getting bent yet, so I’m not worring.
For non-tcg vault X 4x4 zipped.

Just use at least one sleeve before putting a card in the binder

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This is super detailed, thanks! Which refill pages do you buy? I love that it comes with the box which can protect the binder somewhat from dust. I do see in one of the pictures though that the bottom-left-most page does seem to be somewhat elevated/bending from the binder, but can’t tell how severe it is.

I would suggest sideload like ultrapro or vaultX, but for a person having 10k+ cards I think ring binders aren’t a bad idea to keep the cost down.
Just buy quality pages (I use ultrapro platinum), use a D-ring, don’t overload and be careful when you are quickly flipping through your collection. Also from time to time I like to swap card position, first pages → become the last, and vice versa.

Sleeving: Im biased towards ultrapro deck protector clear, they feel safer for a card to sleeve and forgot. Penny sleeves are perfectly fine though, especially if you want to grade them someday.
I don’t like double sleeving: I don’t feel confident enough to do it and I don’t see the benefits, so there are more cons than pro for me,


I use Ultra Pro Platinum. Make sure you get Platinum. Any non-Platinum pages from them are a lot worse.

As for the minor lift you’re referring to, highlight it on the pic for me and I’ll answer to it!

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Is there a reason you use clear ones over black ones?

This part!

I want to be able to see the back of the card. Certainly the front is more important, but as a condition-oriented collector the backs are just as important to me. With all the time I spend scrutinizing fronts and backs before purchasing, I don’t want to cover half the card!

What is the concern with what you’re seeing here? :thinking:

Not saying there isn’t any, I’m just not sure what it is. This is not something that stands out to me as a problem.

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In my experience this is normal, but cards can warp a little sometimes.
If you are paranoid like me, just periodically invert page position and orientation (like i said above), to rebalance the forces acting on the cards. I don’t notice problems anymore since I’m doing this.

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I sold all my zipper binders and went back to ring binders with pages once I realized I had to move cards around in the ENTIRE BINDER if I ever wanted to organize collections in any way. It’s just a huge pain. Plus, if the pages ever have any sort of damage or get scratched you’re SOL and can’t replace em.

But also I wanted something that keeps the dust out, and they don’t make good zipper binders with D-rings, so I bought these Lighthouse binders meant for coin collections and put individual pages in it. Plus it looks fancy as hell on the shelf. (Ignore the 2 on the end, they’re photo albums for my stickers / postcards and I needed some sort of ghetto dust cover lol).


I have an ultra pro 12 slot for my favorite cards. I have a vault x 9 slot too thats pretty good. I prefer zipper binders over the ones with the strap. The zipper ones feel more secure. I use ultra pro sleeves/kmc perfect fits, but I’ve heard only good things about Dragonshield sleeves.

If you do Vaultx, the pokemontcg subreddit discord has a discount code POKEMONTCGVX that gets you 10% off your first order (not sure if you can somehow reuse the code :eyes:). For EU people you can use their main site. For NA you have to buy from their Amazon store and make sure its sold by Vault X, but the code still works.

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Binder rings can be deadly. Most long term collectors have seen the dreaded binder ring indent on cards they have purchased. I know I have seen my fair share!

I go with zipfolios for any cards that I care about. Ultrapro and Quadrow Zipfolio binders I think are some of the best out there. I’m sure there are more, but I like keeping dust and debris out with a zipper seal.

VaultX 12-pocket side-loading binders.


Has anyone ever tried Strictly Sealed Guardna binders? Thinking of giving one a shot but can’t find any reviews from pokemon collectors. They’re pricey but they look quality and I appreciate the design.

Here’s a link, not shilling this product:

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Would also like to know if anyone has tried these and liked them. I love the walnut color and the Kisara Blue isn’t bad either. Too bad there isn’t a zipperless option though.