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Read Before You Buy Retractable ID Badge Holders

Assorted retractable badge holders

Before you dive in and buy whatever retractable ID badge holders you think look good, you need to know 4 things.

Here at, we pride ourselves with specializing in retractable badge reels. That means we know them more than anyone and we live or die by the quality of products we send our customers. Hint: We only sell the best.


1) The Use Case

Different use cases and environments require different equipment. Consider how the retractable badge holders will be used. For example, Ashley Bills working in Accounting isn’t going to need the same badge reel as Joe Hardhat on the construction site.

In all our product descriptions we include which industries the badge reel is recommended for.


2) The Materials

What matters to you: price, durability, size, weight, etc.? There is no one badge reel that’s perfect for everyone, so you need to consider what pain point you’re trying to solve. Generally, metal body badge reels offer the best durability while plastic offers better pricing. There are some exceptions but again, that’s because everyone is going to have different priorities and needs.


3) Cord Type

Nylon – This is the basic and most cost-effective cord type. It works perfectly for holding an ID badge or proximity cards/fobs, but the tradeoff is that it is the easiest to break. It will hold up for a long time during regular use but if you close it in your car door, like we do in our stress test, it has a higher chance of breaking.

Shop Basic Nylon Badge Reels

 Translucent retractable id badge reel holders

Metal Wire – These pull out and retract smooth like the typical nylon but withstand more rigorous environments and accidents. These are also good for holding more weight like keys. The downside is that depending on the usage, if you get the wire dirty, it doesn’t retract as smoothly as it did new.

Shop Steal Wire ID Badge Reels


Metal Chain – Chains are the best at holding more weight, but they don’t retract in and out that well. They also don’t have the same extending length as wire or nylon. Honestly, unless you need to hold a lot of weight, I would encourage you buy nylon or wire cords.

Shop Metal Chain Badge Reels


4) Custom Badge Reels

Do you want to add your logo or tagline? Pairing a custom badge reel with your company badge is a great way to reinforce your brand and unique selling propositions (USPs). And if you have a hard time encouraging employees to wear their badge, making it custom tends to increase buy-in and engagement.


Shop Badge Reels

Shop Badge Reel Basics

Shop Heavy-Duty Badge Reels

Shop Medical Badge Reel

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