The 8 Best Hanging File Folders of 2021

One of the most difficult things to do in an office keeps files organized and easy to navigate, and it only gets more troublesome the more files you have. However, a hanging file folder offers an easy way to do just that. In this article, you will see some of the best hanging file folders to keep your office organized and easy to navigate.


If you’re in a hurry, here are our top 3 quick picks for the best Hanging File Folders of 2021


Criteria for Choosing the Hanging File Folders

There are plenty of hanging file folders out there, but not all of them are high quality. Although they are usually quite simple, there are many different designs. They also have a high requirement for quality since they can be used quite often. Here are the things that were considered when choosing the hanging file folders on this list:

  • Hooks: The hooks are one of the most important parts of a hanging file folder, and it is what differentiates them from normal file folders. The hooks need to be high-quality and sturdy because they are what keep the folders on the rails. You want them to move smoothly. You also do not want them or the rods to bend.
  • Folders: The folder portion of hanging file folders is also vital. The material should be of decent quality and not tear easily. Moreover, depending on the design, it might need to be reinforced or changed to hold more.
  • Tabs: While not every file folder has tabs, those with easy-to-use tabs were given priority. After all, the goal of using hanging file folders is organization and convenience, and being able to quickly find the files you need is imperative to those things.

File folders come with various tab cuts and in different kinds of material. However, no matter which hanging file folders you end up getting, the above things will always be important.


The 8 of Best Hanging File Folders of 2021

Finding the perfect hanging file folder can be tough, especially if you do not know all the different types out there. Down below are a number of different file folders, from the ordinary to those with more specialized uses. You should have a better idea of what suits your needs after taking a look.

Universal Hanging File Folders, Legal Size

When it comes to hanging file folders, sometimes you only need something basic and reliable, and that is what you get with these Universal folders. They are 11-point stock, which means that they have a thickness of around 0.011 inches, and that is more than enough to keep things organized without having to worry about the folders tearing.

They are also acid-free, which means that you do not have to worry about them breaking down over time. Additionally, they come with a few fantastic features, such as a lighter interior color to prevent misfiling. There are also 1/3-cut index tabs and inserts to keep everything as organized and neat as possible. They also come in letter size.

PROS
  • The folders are reliable 11-point stock
  • They will last longer since they are acid-free
  • The interior is lighter, which helps prevent misfiling
  • The index tabs are staggered in sets of three
  • They contain recycled material

CONS
  • Getting the inserts into the tabs can be troublesome
  • There are more durable options

Pendaflex SureHook Hanging Folders, Letter Size

If you are looking for high-quality hanging file holders, you should turn your attention to Pendaflex. They are heavy-duty folders that have sturdy rods and hooks that can hold a good deal of weight without bending. Their SureHook technology means that they have built-in tension springs, and they are meant to slide along rails with ease.

When it comes to the folder material, you can expect a reliable 11-point stock. The tops and bottoms are also reinforced with polylaminate, pushing their reliability even further. The Pendaflex hanging file folders focus on the organization as well, having lighter interiors and easy-to-use plastic tabs and inserts. The folders featured here have 1/5-cut tabs.

PROS
  • The hooks and rods are sturdy and reliable
  • They do not bend easily
  • The top and bottom are reinforced with polylaminate
  • The interiors are lighter to prevent misfiling
  • The 1/5-cut tabs and inserts make organizing files easier

CONS
  • The reinforcement makes them more rigid than other file folders
  • If you do not need the reinforcement, they are not worth the increased price

AbilityOne SKILCRAFT Polypropylene Hanging File Folders

While there are many hanging file folders out there, these polypropylene folders from AbilityOne stand out. Actually, each order is only a single folder, but the folder has 12 tabbed pockets inside that allow you to keep multiple related files together. Moreover, since it is expanding, it is capable of holding quite a few pages with ease.

Aside from having plenty of room, these hanging file folders are also quite durable, utilizing polypropylene. Additionally, while the exterior of the folder is black for privacy, the inside pockets are clear, so you will not have any problem seeing what is inside. There are also preprinted tabs that let you organize things however you want.

PROS
  • The exterior preserves privacy, while the interior makes navigation easy
  • This hanging file folder has 12 internal pockets
  • Each of the pockets has its own tab
  • The polypropylene material is durable
  • It is great for grouping material

CONS
  • The price is high for what is, essentially, a single hanging file folder
  • Each of the tabs is quite small

Smead Colored Hanging File Folders, Letter Size

While all file folders help keep your workspace organized, these colored hanging file folders from Smead are an ideal choice if you want to have a few different ways to organize your files. Not only do they have 1/5-cut tabs and include inserts, but they come in five different colors, which are blue, green, red, orange, and yellow.

Even if you do not want to use the colors to keep things organized, the extra touch of color is always a nice addition. The folders are 11-point stock, making them the same thickness as other standard hanging file folders. The material also contains recycled material, and it comes from wood from a certified managed forest.

PROS
  • Tabs and multiple colors offer two ways to organize your workspace
  • The tabs can be positioned how you want them
  • The folders are the standard 11-point stock
  • The folders are made out of recycled material

CONS
  • They will bend rather easily if you are not careful
  • The interior is the same shade as the exterior

AbilityOne SKILCRAFT 6 Section 2/5 ROC Tab Hanging Folders

There are a lot of hanging file folders to choose from, but if you are looking for a heavy-duty option that can handle anything you throw at it, there are not many options as reliable as the AbilityOne folders featured here. In fact, just for starters, the material used is a 25-point pressboard, which is more than double the standard thickness.

Additionally, these file folders have two dividers inside and a two-inch expansion gusset bottom, giving you plenty of room and separation to organize multiple files in a single folder. There are even bonded fasteners for further, detailed organization. Plus, if you need to take files with you, the hangers fold down to turn them into classification folders.

PROS
  • The folder and internal dividers are made out of thick, durable material
  • There are two dividers and bonded fasteners for superior organization
  • The bottom expands to give more room as needed
  • The hangers can fold down to make the folders portable
  • There are built-in tabs for easy labeling

CONS
  • They come at a much higher cost than ordinary file folders
  • The added thickness causes them to be bulky

Smead 100% Recycled Hanging Pockets with Full-Height Gusset

When you need a lot of storage space, you can turn to these Smead hanging pockets, which are designed with a wide, flat bottom to hold more than traditional file folders. Aside from that, they function the same way as any other hanging file folder, from the hangers to the material used to make them. Though, the sides are closed off.

Due to the expanding folder, which reaches 3.5 inches, these are great for handling files that are frequently taken out. There are also die-cut handles that allow you to reach in and lift the entire pocket out with ease. Moreover, because of the full-height gussets, you will not have to worry about the pocket getting caught when you try to get it out.

PROS
  • There is a lot of storage space
  • The sides are closed off to keep what is inside secure
  • The folder can expand up to 3.5 inches
  • There are die-cut handles for easy lifting and transporting
  • The full-height gussets stop it from getting caught on anything

CONS
  • The price per pocket is high
  • The hooks cannot bear heavy burdens
  • There are no tabs

Pendaflex 2-in-1 Colored Poly Folders with Built-in Tabs, Letter Size

If you are looking for something versatile, then you can go with the Pendaflex 2-in-1 colored poly hanging file folders. These folders are made from polypropylene, so they will not tear or rip easily. Moreover, they function as both a hanging file folder and a regular file folder, with retractable hooks that can tuck away with one easy step.

These hanging file folders are also a great choice for organizations. Not only do they have 1/3-cut tabs, but there are three different colors in the set, including red, blue, and yellow. Moreover, the labels are adhesive, getting rid of the struggle of inserting small inserts into difficult tabs.

PROS
  • They function as hanging file folders and normal file folders
  • The polypropylene material is durable and resistant to moisture
  • The tabs and different colors are great for organizing
  • The labels are adhesive

CONS
  • The retractable hooks tend to be a bit weaker than normal hooks
  • The design means the tabs are smaller than the usual 1/3-cut tabs

Pendaflex Ready-Tab Colored Reinforced Hanging Folders

The final hanging file folders on this list also come from Pendaflex, and they are a great choice for customization. If you get these file folders, you will be getting five colors and the ability to easily lift the built-in tabs to arrange and label each folder however you like. You are not limited to a single tab, either, allowing for some creative uses.

Additionally, these file folders have polylaminate at the top and bottom, reinforcing the file folders to make them more durable. While they do not have room for more files than other standard file folders, they are made to last longer and get the job done.

PROS
  • There are five different colors
  • The tabs can be lifted and arranged however you like
  • There is polylaminate reinforcing the top and bottom of each folder
  • You can write on the tabs or use the included adhesive labels

CONS
  • The tabs are not as secure and stable as static ones

How to Shop for a Hanging File Folder

Since there are so many types of hanging file folders, you might have a difficult time picking the best ones, especially if you are looking for something specialized or have not bought any before. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Size: You might notice that hanging file folders primarily come in two different sizes, which are letter and legal. The only difference is the height, with legal-size file folders having an extra three inches. There are a few reasons for this, but if you like more space, they are a great option. Moreover, most come in both sizes.
  • Tabs: You should also consider the tabs. Most hanging file folders will come with tabs, and there are two types you will often see, which are 1/3-cut and 1/5-cut. These refer to how many tabs are staggered in each set, with 1/3-cut having three and the 1/5-cut having five.
  • Material Durability: There are a few things to look out for here, with the first being how thick the material of the folder is, which you can find by looking for the stock. For instance, 14-point stock is thicker than 11-point stock. Additionally, you can look for reinforced material and metal over plastic when it comes to hooks.

There are plenty of other factors to consider when it comes to hanging file folders, especially if you are looking for something specific. However, the above things are the best place to start when you are shopping.


In Conclusion 

Hanging file folders are incredible organizational tools that can help you safely store and navigate files. Moreover, there are a lot of different choices, so you can almost certainly find something that suits your needs. Just make sure to pick folders that are large enough and durable enough to keep up with what you are asking of them.


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