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Material Gauge for Sheet Protectors

A detailed guide about material gauge and what to look out for before buying. For the savvy buyer.

The truth is that a some manufactures and dealers sell polypropylene sheet protectors under the pre-text that they are HEAVY WEIGHT when they in reality upon receiving the ordered sheet protectors or page protectors the shopper find what they got was a thinner gauge more like a STANDARD WEIGHT sheet protectors or less.

Now there does not exist a "higher council" for determination of weight definition for sheet protectors or pages protectors. However with the following we have set a standard based upon many years of experience working in this field at a professional level. We can only emphasize to look for or request the material gauge from your supplier before you make your purchase.
If material gauge is not displayed one easy way to compare is to look at the actual shipping weight per 100 pages. It should NOT be less than what has been written below:

Weight Name:
Gauge in Mil
Gauge in Micron
Weight per 100 pages*
Super Heavy Weight
4.33 Mil
110 micron
3.65 Lb / 110 micron
Heavy Weight
2.76 - 3.54 Mil
70 - 90 micron
2.46 Lb / 80 micron
Standard Weight
1.97 - 2.36 Mil
50 - 60 micron
1.66 Lb / 55 micron
Light Weight
1.30 - 1.93 Mil
33 - 49 micron
0.85 Lb / 40 micron

The above is our set standards, we display with every single item the products thickness in micron as well as Mil (see Quality listing under each item).

It should also be noticed that manufacture or re-sellers display the products thickness in Mil with only one digit and then round the numbers up. Mil being a fairly rough unit of measurement for something as thin as sheet protectors can easily be rounded up to display a more favorable material thickness. Where micron being 10.000 parts per centimeter or app. 2-1/2 time smaller than 1 inch is a much more accurate term for measurement but being a metric term we have never had a tradition for using this measurement in the United States perhaps with the exception of within certain industries and within the NASA space program where metric was not easy to implement, which is a different story. However to make it simply we have listed both terms of measurements as to highlight the differences in the following.

The above standards in the table are used more or less by most major manufactures with in +/- 5 micron or so. However for a super heavy weight sheet protector 5 micron is so little that most people can not feel the difference. However 5 microns difference between a standard weight and economy weight model makes a lot more difference as the products stiffness is lost and the sheet protector becomes less handy to work with.

In short, as the gauge increases (either in Mil or Micron), the weight increases:


Look at the product shipping weight. If it say 1.66Lb per 100 sheets you have a good Standard Weight sheet protector but is the weight listed as 1.70 Lb for 100 Heavy Weight sheet protectors and perhaps listed as a "special polypropylene mix" or similar "salesy" words we would recommend that you check twice and get an actual measurement of the material thickness before you make your purchase.

If you want to know more also in reference to what quality of holder or protector you are about to choose then take a look at the linked page below it feature our recommended usage for the 4 major categories as initially listed in this article above:

In today competitive world where even the biggest brand name manufactures fights to "get the sale" the consumer is easily forgotten and the old ethics of selling a good descent product at a fair price. As always there are a connection between price and quality and if the deal look too good to be true you may be better off in the long run to take your business somewhere else. Remember: Only serious manufactures and dealers list material thickness.

* Weight for 100 pages in a cardboard box. The above is only our personal point of view and is not target at any particular company or organization. Only for general recommendation.