Key Features to Look for in Hanging Classification Folders

Posted on November 30, 2017 by Alyssa Ochs

Are you tired of searching through mountains of paperwork to find the one single document you need? Have you had enough of flimsy file folders ripping and tearing? Or are you admittedly a bit clumsy and frequently cut your fingers on sharp fasteners and hooks sticking out?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, hanging classification folders could be the organizational solution you've been searching for. These are advanced specialty folders with some really unique features to keep your documents organized and your hands safe. They're also perfect for quickly grabbing folders of documents from a drawer or filing cabinet and heading straight into a meeting.

Let's take a look at the key features of hanging classification folders that you should know about before you buy a set of them for your office.

Topics Covered in this Buying Guide

1. Fold-Down Hangers

What sets hanging classification folders apart from other types of folders is that you can quickly and easily convert them from one folder type to another. Look for hanging classification folders that have fold-down hangers to take advantage of this feature. The hangers on these folders pivot for carry-along convenience. When you're done using the folder, then you can flip around the hangers to convert it back for storage use.

2. Coated Fasteners

Coated fasteners, like the ones made with Smead SafeSHIELD® Coated Fastener Technology, help to reduce cuts and scratches caused by standard hanging folders. The fasteners are located on both sides of the folder dividers and inside the pressboard covers. Rather than metal fasteners that can pose office safety risks, coated fasteners are a safe choice for busy office environments. If you've ever battled fastener issues with folders, you'll appreciate how well hanging classification folders reduce paper crinkling and paper tears as well.

3. Number of Dividers

Different brands and styles of hanging classification folders have different numbers of dividers, so you'll need to think about how many sections you'd like yours to have. Some of them only have one divider, while others have two or more dividers. The most popular types of these folders have four or six sections for extra organizational capacity.

4. Built-In Tab

Since hanging classification folders are often kept in filing cabinets or banker's boxes a majority of the time, it is important that they can be labeled for easy access. Fortunately, many of these types of folders have built-in heavy-duty reinforced tabs that are permanently attached to them. You can write your identifying information on the tab by hand or apply a self-adhesive label to quickly locate them in a drawer or box.

5. Expansion Size

Another consideration to keep in mind is how wide your hanging classification folders expand out to. Many of these products expand out two inches, but you'll want to make sure that is an appropriate size for the documents you're placing inside.

6. Tab Cut

Just like standard file folders and hanging folders, hanging classification folders also come with various tab cut options. Tab cut styles are largely up to personal preference, but consistency is key. One popular option for this type of folder is the 2/5 cut, right of center position. Divider tabs with a 1/3 cut are also a popular option.

7. Pressboard Stock Material

Pressboard stock is a very strong and durable paper material that is ideal for hanging classification folders. We recommend hanging classification folders that are made with 23 pt. or 25 pt. pressboard stock for the cover materials, 17 pt. or 20 pt. pressboard for the interior dividers, and that have matching color Tyvek tape. This is a reinforced and rip-proof tape that improves the strength and longevity of your folder. Hanging classification folders often come in a light blue color, which is aesthetically pleasing and stands out among other color-coded folders you are likely using.

8. No Assembly Required

The primary goal of perfecting your file folder system is to make your work as efficient and organized as possible. Therefore, you'll want to choose hanging classification folders that are ready to use right out of the box and that don't require any assembly. Who has time to put together pieces of a puzzle just to use a folder, right?

9. Sustainably Sourced Materials

Something else great about hanging classification folders is that many of them are made with recyclable materials. If environmental sustainability is important to you and your business, look for hanging classification folders that meet SFI standards and that were sourced from a certified managed forest. Many styles of these folders contain at least 50 percent total recycled content and 30 percent post-consumer recycled content.

10. Recommended Hanging Classification Folders

Hanging classification folders are a very specific type of folder, but professionals in many different industries find them useful for various purposes. Straight from the office supply experts here at On Time Supplies, here are our top picks for six-section and four-section hanging classification folders for you to choose from.


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Document printed / saved on 08/18/2018. Prices subject to change.