Vinyl Binders vs Turned Edge Binders – Which is Best for Your Print Project?

 February 3, 2016

You’ve spent a lot of time and resources getting your pages just right. Now, you need the perfect way to combine them all into book form. You’ve already decided a binder is the way you want to go about it, but what type of binder is the best for your print project? There are several binder options to choose from, but we’ll narrow it down to the two that tend to duke it out the most – vinyl binders and turned edge binders.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between vinyl binders and turned edge binders to find out which is the best option for your print project!

1.      How They’re Made

A big difference between vinyl binders and turned edge binders is how they’re made. This process is the foundation for the other differences we’ll review in this post.

Vinyl Binders

In order to make a vinyl binder, you start with two pieces of high-quality vinyl. These two pieces are then sealed around rigid chipboard to create the sturdy, non-flexible cover.

French Calf and Suedene are common finishes. Most printers also offer a higher-end line of vinyl materials that include different leather finishes, patterns, and textures.

Turned Edge Binders

For turned edge binders, sometimes referred to as casebound binders, it’s a higher-end treatment.

Different materials, like paper, cloth, linen, or vinyl (sometimes referred to as simulated leather), are wrapped around chipboard, much like a book is made. In most cases, it is a sheet that has been printed and laminated. Because of this process, you can choose to use a matching liner or a contrasting liner.

When full color or precise graphic reproduction is needed, offset printing and lamination and digital printing are used. Offset printed and laminated litho wraps are better-suited for larger production runs as they tend to be less expensive than 4-color vinyl. For smaller production runs, digitally printed wraps are a good fit.

The spines are creased into place after the boards are wrapped and lined. Because of this, you can choose to have a flat-backed spine or a rounded, multi-scored spine (also known as Euro-hinge) for your binder. Upgrades like perimeter stitching, foam padding, or even brass corners and metal label plates are available for turned edge binders.

2.      Look and Feel

Vinyl binders are a visually pleasing option.

A wide range of decorating options is available in order to customize your vinyl binder. These include: debossing an image, digital print, the entrapment method, applique, offset 4-color process, screen print, and more.

Turned edge binders offer a more prestigious look and feel.

As such, they tend to be the preferred option when it comes to promoting an organization’s professional image. Basically, when it comes to branding, turned edge binders are the way to go.

Both the exterior and the interior of turned edge binders can be printed with full-color graphics, so there are no seams and a full bleed is automatic. These binders can also be enhanced with special features, like metallic foil stamping or embossing.

Turned edge binders can be custom-assembled, which allows for shorter runs and unique sizes, like self-standing easel binders, presentation and catalog covers, slipcases, and more.

3.      Durability

There are two major factors you need to consider when assessing the type of binder that will be durable enough for your print project: usage and environment.


If your print project will be used moderately or lightly, perhaps in an office setting, vinyl binders will be able to handle it.

However, if your print project will be used heavily from day-to-day, turned edge binders will pass the test and last much, much longer than vinyl binders.

Because they are more durable, turned edge binders are also built to hold much more weight than vinyl binders – we’re looking at you 800+-page training manual.


What environmental conditions will your print project be subject to? Consider the environment your customer will be in as well as the environmental conditions across your shipping routes.

Vinyl binders will fare fine in moderate conditions. However, the vinyl material can crack in very cold conditions. It also softens in the heat, so you may see the vinyl material take on a sagging look in very hot conditions.

Turned edge binders are well-constructed and made to be extremely durable, so they can withstand more extreme environmental conditions than vinyl binders. Even so, it’s still likely not a good idea to leave it in your car during the peak of summer or winter.

4.      Cost

Vinyl binders are an economical option. Because of the materials and the less complicated manufacturing process, vinyl binders cost less than turned edge binders.

Turned edge binders use higher-end materials and have a more involved production process. As such, they tend to be more expensive than vinyl binders.

So, if cost and timeline are a concern for you, vinyl binders may be the better option.

However, if your completed project will be used heavily in a variety of conditions and you want your print project to have a high-end, extremely professional look, then turned edge binders are for you.


Whether your print project is a sales presentation, training class, seminar, or business meeting, choosing the right binder for your manuals or pages gives it a strong finish.

After taking a look at each of these areas and identifying the needs for your print project, you’ll know which binder is the best fit for you.

Want to see turned edge binders in action? Check out our case study on Sandler Training’s President’s Club.

Still have questions? Want to get started on your next print project?

Reach out to the VIG team for a chat!