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Can Card Sleeves Damage Cards?

can card sleeves damage cards

Card sleeves are made of plastic and intended to protect playing cards such as Pokemon cards, Magic the Gathering Cards, Yugioh cards, and other similar collectable cards. While intended to protect valuable cards, card sleeves can damage cards. Card sleeves can damage cards when they are the wrong size or when they are used improperly.

You may be wondering why you would purchase card sleeves for your cards if they can damage the cards. In the end, it comes down to the fact that even if the card is damaged by the card sleeve it will still be less damaged than if it had been without a sleeve. Every time you play a card game you riffle through and shuffle your cards.

Every shuffle can damage cards. Sleeve can help prevent that. Most sleeves are made of archival quality soft plastic, this means they can be bent. The only way to prevent any damage to your cards is to properly store them and never use them. Since you probably want to use them here are some tips on how to keep them in as good of condition as possible.

How Do You Sleeve Cards Without Damaging Them?

The first thing to do when sleeving cards is make sure the sleeve is the right size for your card. A sleeve that is too big will be loose. Cards may fall out of loose sleeves, and even if they don’t fall out a loose sleeve leaves room for dust to get in. Dust can scratch the surface of a card.

Once you have found a good fit sleeve, you want to slide the card in top up if you are using a single sleeve. If you are going to double sleeve, then slide your card in top down.

Carefully slide the two sides of the sleeve to make a gap. Insert one corner of the card and then align the bottom (or top) so that it is parallel to the bottom of the sleeve. Carefully slide the card in.

If you are double sleeving, you will now take your sleeve and slide it into the second sleeve. The second sleeve should be a bit bigger.

There is also a triple sleeve option. For this option you use another slightly bigger sleeve. If you are doing a triple sleeve. Start your first sleeve top up. It will then go into the second sleeve top down. That way it will be top up again for the third sleeve.

The reason to sleeve this way is that the openings in the first sleeve go at the bottom of the second sleeve helping to prevent dust. The third sleeve adds an extra layer of protection against dust and bending.

Does Double Sleeving Damage Cards?

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Double sleeving is less likely to damage cards than single sleeving. However, the same principle applies to double-sleeving. If you sleeve the card incorrectly, you can damage the card. If you sleeve the card in something that is too big or too small you can damage the card.

We recommend using Perfect FIT sleeves by Pro Support if you are looking to double sleeve your Pokemon cards. Click our link here to check the current price on Amazon.

A good test for card sleeve sizes is to use a cheaper card that is the same size to test card sleeves. Once you find the right size of sleeves, you can then double sleeve your more valuable cards.

  • For the first sleeve, the best options are the completely clear and most flexible card sleeves.
  • For the second sleeve, you want the soft ultra pro sleeve.
  • For the third sleeve you can do the KMC card sleeves.
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The KMC Hyper Mattes are the sleeve of choice due to their awesome buttery feel and durability. The only drawback with KMC sleeves is that they can leave your cards looking a little dull to to the type of plastic used.

  • If you are looking for something less flexible, try the Ultra Pro Super Thick sleeves. These sleeves will not work well in a deck but are good if you are just collecting.

Are Tight Sleeves Bad For Pokemon Cards?

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Sleeves that fit like a good glove are not bad for cards. However, sleeves that are so tight it is hard to get the card in, are too tight and can damage your cards.

You are looking for a snug fit, but you want the card to be able to enter the sleeve easily. While tight sleeves will prevent dust, they can cause bending in the cars while you are trying to get them in. Dragon Shield Sleeves do a great job when it comes to protecting your cards with a snug fit.

You can expect Dragon Shield sleeves to last the longest out of all the other sleeves currently on the market. They are regarded as one of the best card sleeves on the market by trading card enthusiasts worldwide.

Do Card Sleeves Bend Cards?

Card sleeves that are too small will bend cards. Cards can bend from the pressure of a too tight sleeve. They can also get bent while you are struggling to get the card in the sleeve.

Card sleeves that are too large can also bend cards. Cards can bend when they move around within the card sleeve. They can also get bent if the card slips out of the sleeve.

Can I use a Card Binder?

Cards can be stored in a binder between games. If you choose a binder for card storage, make sure it is a D-Ring binder or a Zipper binder with built in card sleeve pages.. Round ring binders can damage cards because the rings will press into the first and last couple pages.

Binders are a good option for cards you rarely use or cards you do not use in games as well. Removing and replacing cards in the binder can damage them so make sure that you are either leaving them in the binder or sleeving them to protect from binder wear.

Fixed Sleeve Binders are a great option because you don’t have to worry about turning your binder upside down. If you can get one with a zipper, then you can give even more protection from card slippage. Remember not to turn an open Fixed Sleeve Binder on its side because the cards can slide out that way.

Other things to consider with binders are the size of the binder and the size of the pockets. If you are using a binder to store cards you use in play, you will want large pockets so that you can fit your single, double, or triple sleeve protected cards inside.

A large binder is not much fun to carry around. A smaller binder is better if you are using a binder to store playing cards. If you are not storing your deck but other cards, or extra cards, you can use a larger binder.

Final Thoughts

How you protect your playing cards will depend a great deal on their value both in money terms as well as personal, emotional terms. Playing card protection also depends on how often you play or use your cards and whether you travel to games or only play at home.

Some people may think that triple-sleeving is too much but that will depend entirely on how you feel about damage to your cards. If you find it upsetting to find even the smallest bend or scratch, then you should consider getting the hard card sleeves for the outer sleeve. This will make your deck seem very thick and it will be harder to shuffle.

You now have all the information you need to make an informed decision. Whether you want a single-sleeve, double-sleeve, triple-sleeve, or to store your cards in binders, make the decision that is right for you.

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