From dollar store ring-binders and card sheets to leather-bound premium options, finding the perfect binder for your Magic the Gathering cards can be daunting. (Or for Pokemon cards and Yu-Gi-Oh for that matter).
In this article I will discuss the 5 best binders currently out there, taking into account:
Note that all the binders we discuss are PVA and acid free for the long-term health of your cards. They’re also side-loading, because top-loaders tend to collect dust and are generally more frustrating to deal with.
So let’s dive into the top 5 MTG binders – you can check their prices on Amazon by clicking on their names on images.
Best Bang for Your Buck – Dex Protection Zip Binder
The Dex Protection Zip Binder has a fantastic feel to it. Built with a thick, high-quality cover and interior, a tough zipper, and some added protective covers, it is very resistant to damage. The cover has an interesting texture, and it has a variety of colors to choose from. It’s available in 4-pocket and 9-pocket options, as well as a four-column 12-pocket option to hold your playsets.
While the Dex Protection binders are great, they don’t come without their faults. When the binder is full, the pages tend not to sit flat. This can cause a bulge that could cause some serious damage to your cards, bending and potentially creasing them. If not for this fatal issue, the Dex Protection binders would rank far higher on this list.
Budget and Versatility – Ultimate Guard FlexXfolio
The FlexXfolio is a fantastic option if you’re looking for something cheaper or if you want a range of colours and sizes. You can pick it up in 2, 4, and 9-pocket sizes, and in a variety of colours and art options. You can also buy the FlexXfolio with Ultimate Guard’s XenoSkin cover, giving you some added protection.
While the flexibility might make them easier to transport, binders without hard covers run the risk of damage to your cards. The non-XenoSkin FlexXfolios also tend to damage easily, not in terms of integrity, but the art quickly becomes scratched and unappealing.
Finally, there is no four-column option so it’s not a great binder in which to store your playsets. If you’re just looking store parts of your collection, though, it’s a great budget option.
Best Mid-Range Binder – Ultra Pro Deckbuilder’s Premium PRO-Binder
The Deckbuilder’s Premium PRO-Binder is a fantastic option for storing playsets or your collections. It features 4-columns, and with some distance between columns and rows to frame each card, your playsets never feel squished in like they do in some other 4-column binders. The pages sit flat even when full of sleeved cards, and a zipper provides an added layer of protection.
While it’s made with sturdy materials, the PRO-Binder isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as other binders, and it’s only available in black. It also only has the one size and it is huge. That’s fine if you’re leaving it on a shelf, but it’ll be near impossible to fit multiple or even one of these in your backpack. Nevertheless, if you want a good-quality, simple binder in black for your collection at home, this is a great option.
Highest Quality – Dragon Shield Card Codex Portfolios
You can’t go wrong with the Dragon Shield Card Codex Portfolios. Offered with 2, 4, 9, and 12-pocket sheets, they can be used for any purpose. No matter what you use them for you can be sure your cards will stay safe. The covers are very tough, and each sheet has a firm backing to keep cards flat and undamaged.
The matte sleeves make it easy to see the cards but provide great protection against scratching. Each Portfolio comes with a sturdy plastic spine pocket and an index card to label your binders on the shelf. This is a great feature few binders seem to have (no more painter’s tape!).
While the drawbacks to this binder are few, it is notable that they come without a zipper, so they won’t be as good for transporting as some other options. They aren’t as expensive as some other binders, but they can be a lot tougher to find online. Additionally, the black option features a large Dragon Shield emblem on the front which you may not want; the only other options are art covers which I’m personally not a fan of.
So, if you’re fine with black (or if you like the art), this is a fantastic option for any at-home collection you have.
Best MTG Binder All-Around – Ultimate Guard Zipfolio
The Ultimate Guard Zipfolio is my personal favorite. It comes in 4, 8, 9, and 12-pocket sizes, in a wide variety of colors. It features Ultimate Guard’s protective XenoSkin material in addition to a zipper for card safety during transport. Its cover is firm, but the lack of hard edges makes it easy to fit into any bag. Great quality, especially for the price.
I don’t have many negatives about the Zipfolio. I will note that it isn’t a true hardcover, so you do risk some bending, but it’s firm enough to negate most of your fears. The pockets also tend to be a little loose, but if you sleeve your cards in at least perfect-fit sleeves, you should be fine. This is the best all-purpose binder you can buy.
If you want to check its price on Amazon here are the links to the different sizes:
We’ve listed the top 5 MTG binders, but what’s most important is finding out what works best for you. I suggest going to your local game store and trying these options out to see if you like them. If you do, make sure to support your LGS and purchase your items there.
If you want to know the best options for other magic accessories, check out the following articles:
May your new binder serve you well for a very long time!