We have never reviewed loose leaf refill paper before, mostly because its usually such a generic item without any special features. In this case though, the Staples Reinforced Filler Paper with Graph Ruling and 3 Hole Punches (via Staples, obviously) has a pretty cool feature that sets it apart from most loose leaf refill paper. Oh and on top of this, we have also had requests for more reviews of graph paper, so for those that have asked hopefully this is a good start.
As you can see above, the Staples Reinforced Filler Paper has a clear plastic strip that is similar to what you think of when you see a laminated sheet of paper except it only covers the front page and it only measures .75 inches across the page. Obviously this plastic layer is what reinforces the holes so that they don’t rip out of the binder easily, and surprisingly they really don’t add a ton of extra thickness to the pages. I was worried that having all 100 sheets in the binder it would create a thick layer on the left side near the clear coating that would make writing awkward, but that definitely did not happen to my surprise. Its also worth noting that this coating can not be written on as each type of pen I tried wiped right off. Personally I didn’t see this as a problem though as the margin of the paper like this isn’t where I’d typically be writing. As a side note, the three ring binder I’m using here is the Trio Binder which we reviewed here previously. Its pretty cool as it has a three ring binder and accordion folder combined into one unit.
When it comes to the actual performance and strength of the reinforced filler paper, I was pretty impressed when I ran a pretty simple test. The picture above shows the Trio Three Ring Binder with 99 sheets (minus the one I used for the writing sample) of the reinforced filler paper in it and nothing else. The total weight of the binder with the paper in it comes in at 1.8 pounds and all of this weight is impressively being held up by one sheet of paper. I was honestly shocked to see how strong the reinforced holes were. I even held the entire binder up like this for over a minute and it didn’t appear that the holes were showing any signs of weakening. This is some strong paper.
For the sake of comparison, the above picture shows what happened when I attempted the same experiment with one sheet of standard non-reinforced filler paper. The standard paper didn’t stand a chance and the weight of the binder ripped the holes almost instantly as I expected it might do.
Staples Reinforced Filler Paper, Graph Ruled Writing Performance:
When it comes to the writing performance of this paper I found that it worked pretty nicely with most of what I tested on it. All items tested performed well including fountain pens. The fountain pens showed no noticeable spread or feathering on the paper which could also be accredited to the properties of the ink as well. The only shortcoming of the paper when it came to fountain pens was that the inks and nibs that I tested did show through on the back a bit. These were pretty fine point pens with light colored inks so anything wider or darker would probably show through a bit more.
The writing sample above shows the papers performance when written on with pencil and then erased. I have used some papers where the paper itself is removed when erasing but this paper holds up well to the eraser test. The eraser test above was done with a Uniball Kuru Toga .5mm HB and I went with a light pressure, medium pressure, and hard pressure scribble that I then erased. I think that the eraser test went well because even with the darker scribble, the eraser performed pretty well without damaging the paper. Its also worth noting that I did highlight the line that says “-Uniball Kuru Toga .5mm” just to see how highlighter ink performed on the paper, but I forgot that it doesn’t show up in a scanned image. The paper did handle the highlighter ink pretty well though and it didn’t bleed through at all on the back.
The next writing sample just shows you some of the technical details of the paper. Each of the graph paper squares are .25 inches by .25 inches meaning that a 4 x 4 grid of the squares makes a one square inch box. Also, the horizontal red lines that you see to the left there show the boundaries of the laminated reinforcement strip. It measures almost .75 inches as you can see since it covers almost 3 squares in width.
Overall I think the Staples Reinforced Filler Paper is really a great alternative to standard filler paper for your three ring binder. I know I’ve had experiences with paper just ripping out of my three ring binders after a period of time, especially the top or bottom pages of my binder so this paper is definitely the solution to that problem. I never would have expected to write almost a 1000 word post about some loose leaf paper but this stuff does an awesome job, and if I was still using a three ring binder this would be my first and only choice for filler paper for it. Oh, and of course they offer both college ruled and wide ruled versions of this paper as well if that is your preference