You have decided you need a really strong folder and you want to use pressboard folders for your files. This is the easy step. Now you have to decide what “type” of pressboard folder to choose.

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Pressboard Paper Explanation:

Pressboard paper stock is the kind of paper that these folders are made out of and is available in an array of colors and styles. FiberMark is one of the premier manufacturers of pressboard paper. Basically they take recycled pulp board and press it together (multi-ply construction) to form pressboard paper. You can tell a folder is made out of pressboard when it kind of resembles thick cardboard. A lesser weight folder is usually made out of Manila or Kraft paper.

Type and Point of Pressboard Paper:

Pressboard paper uses two measurements to help determine the durability and thickness of the paper. The first measurement is the Type of paper. The highest paper quality has the lowest “Type” number. Paper quality is determined by the the ingrediaents used for the paper along with how the paper is manufactured.  The second measurement is the weight which is called “point”. The thickest paper measures the highest “point”. (Paper you use in a copier, printer, etc. is measured in “pound”.)

-Pressboard manufactured to be used for folders is available in Type III, Type II, or Type I.

A) Type III (25 point)

-Type III pressboard is the least expensive of the pressboard Types. It is considered low density and has a slightly rough appearance. This is the most commonly used Type of pressboard folder because you get the advantages of superior durability over Manila or Kraft folders along a lower cost than Type II and I.

-Another advantage is that type III is available in over 9 colors. If you are trying to have the color of the folder designate something the additional color choices would be helpful.

-A disadvantage of Type III over Manila or Kraft is  pressboard folders are thicker they do take up additional filing inches.

B) Type II (25 point)

-Type II pressboard is more expensive than Type III. It is considered medium density and has a smoother appearance than Type III.

-It is difficult to tell the difference between the two types by just looking at the folder. I personally have not seen much difference with durability when comparing Type II and III.

-Another disadvantage of Type II other than the cost is that it only is available in 4 colors (Pearl, Red, Gray, and Green). To add to the confusion the grey is really a shade of green and the pearl also has a greenish tinge and the red is really brownish (since this has been a standard with the manufacturers for years no one seems to want to change what they call the colors). You have to be really careful when choosing a color.

C) Type I (20 point)

-Type I pressboard is more expensive than Type II and III. It is considered high density and has a very smooth, mottled appearance in addition to being stiffer than the other Types.

-It is very easy to tell when a folder is Type I by looking at the folder. The folder has a finished look and is extremely durable.

-Type I is a good choice if the folders will be stored and handled for a long time.

-These folders will take up less filing inches than Type II and III because the folder is denser (thinner).

-Type I paper is available in 18 colors so they can be used to designate all kinds of things.

-The biggest disadvantage of Type I over Type II and II is that they cost more.

D) Type I Pressguard

– Type I PressGuard is even more expensive than Type I pressboard. In addition to the characteristics of Type I pressboard, PressGuard has an embossed leather look and a high gloss acrylic coating for resistance to staining and moisture.

-This type of folder presents a very professional look if files will be viewed by prospect, customers, board members, etc.

-The extra cost may be justified if image is very important or the folders need to be able to withstand excessive wear and tear.

-These folders are also available in 18 colors.

So now you know the differences between the Types of pressboard folders. If you are trying to decide which Type of folder would work best for your needs, you can weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each Type and make a decision.

Read my article “Classification Folders-Explanation of Specifications”for information regarding the actual construction of a pressboard folder.

>Add your experiences with using these different Types of folders.

3 Responses to “Pressboard Folder Type-What Does This Mean?”

  • Gary Lau says:

    Do you know any pressboard manufacturers or suppliers outside USA. I have been checking, couldn’t find.

    • Teresa says:


      I am not aware of any pressboard manufacturers or suppliers outside the US. As a pressboard folder dealer I deal with the manufacturers of the folders. They have to deal with finding the pressboard material to make the folders. Also, for the folders themselves I only deal with US companies.

      Thank you for the question!


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