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How to Remove the Metal Ring From Binders

Clara Chavez

Before you customize your binder, there are some important things to realize about the three metal rings inside. They are connected within a metal frame to an apparatus that causes them to open and close in unison. Since they are so secure, an attempt to force them loose with pliers will damage the assembly. To successfully remove a metal ring from the assembly, you will need to cut off each arm individually with metal snips or bolt cutters.

A traditional binder

Farewell Metal Rings

  1. Decide which ring you want to remove. The holes and their position on the sheets determine which ring to remove.

  2. Open the ring assembly. Put on safety glasses since the metal of the rings could bounce in your direction when they are snipped.

  3. Place the cutting edge of the tin-snips at the base of the ring. Hold the assembly in one hand, and then squeeze the handles of the tin-snips together with the other. Apply pressure until the arms snap off.

  4. Change tools if you cannot apply enough pressure. Place the cutting edge of the bolt cutters at the base of the ring. Squeeze the handles of the bolt cutters together. Apply pressure until the arms snap off.

  5. File down any ragged metal remaining around the edges to keep from nicking a finger on it later. Use a single cut flat file that is designed for finishing type work.

  6. Tip

    If you're having trouble keeping the binder assembly steady as you cut it with the bolt cutters, secure it in a vise first.


    Wear gloves if you have sensitive hands.