Five Star Poly Binders Review

23 Nov

Product Description:

Avery is probably the most common brand of binders available.  But Five Star is undoubtedly the coolest (the fact that I identified school supplies as “cool” probably explains a lot about what I was like growing up).  Nonetheless, when I was in middle school and high school, Five-Star supplied all of my binders and all of my notebooks.

Five Star is actually a sub-brand for Mead, which was originally part of the Mead Corporation, which traces its roots all the way to a paper company in 1846.  Over those 150 years, the company expanded, diversified, and acquired a number of other companies, including creating Mead Data Central, which developed and later sold off LexisNexis.  Mead also acquired (1986) and sold (1992) Ampad to Bain Capital, a transaction which was featured in an episode of NPR’s Planet Money titled “How Mitt Romney’s Firm Tried – And Failed – To Build a Paper Empire”.  In 2002, Mead merged with Westvaco to form MeadWestvaco, but in 2012 the company sold its office supply brands, including Mead, Trapper (the 90’s-tastic originator of the Trapper Keeper), and Five Star to ACCO Brands, an umbrella company based in Lincolnshire, IL (outside Chicago).

Five Star offers a number of binders, but its basic binder is the Five Star Poly Binder, which comes features a traditional metal O-ring binding, and a durable polypropylene outer shell.  Each binder should also come with one plastic divider with pockets.  To spice things up, you can get Poly binders in multiple colors and patterns or with a windowed cover.  They come in 1”, 1.5”, and 2” sizes.

American Alternative Review:

I first came across these binders at my local bookstore, and as you can see by these incredibly poorly executed camera-phone shots, they are made in China.

At least both Mead and Acco are headquartered in the US.  And the Five Star Poly Binders do get a few points for having their colors selected and graphics designed here (but not many).

1/5 stars

You can check out the some of the solid color ones here and the windowed ones here.  If you look around, you can also find some of the graphic ones.  If you’re not looking for one of the “cool binders” though, we’d recommend either Naked Binders or the Guided Product ReBinders instead.


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