Top loaders are a classic means of protecting your cards that you are surely familiar with. Designed to keep your cards safe and snug, they’ve been around a long time and it’s only natural to wonder. Are they safe? Do Top Loaders bend cards?
Well, the good news is that they won’t… provided that you use them correctly. With the addition of a thin sleeve, Top Loaders perform admirably when it comes to protecting your cards if you go with a good brand and load them up properly.
Today we’ll address the most common questions regarding top loaders and give you the scoop on the dos and don’ts to ensure that Top loaders won’t bend your cards. Let’s get started with the most common questions.
Are Top Loaders Bad For Cards?
Top loaders are not bad for your cards, provided that you use a thin sleeve. The reason for this is that Top loaders can sometimes collect a little dust inside that you might not notice at first. This dust, in turn, can scratch up your cards over time and this damage certainly affects their overall value.
This is easily avoided by applying a thin sleeve immediately upon obtaining a new card and then loading them into the Top loader with the sleeve provided extra protection against this.
When Should I Use Top Loader?
If you are a collector, then you should use a Top loader any time that you acquire a new card that you want to protect. It’s a good habit to keep plenty on hand with some extra sleeves in reserve so that you can instantly protect your investment as new cards arrive.
Waiting to sleeve and Top load your cards is not a habit that you want to get in, as accidents can and DO happen, so by keeping a Top loader and sleeve reserve you are prepared to use your Top loader when it’s necessary… which is right away!
What Are the Best Top Loaders for Cards?
When it comes to selecting Top loaders, BCW has achieved some well-earned word of mouth by many a satisfied customer. They offer Top loaders of varying size and thicknesses so that you can protect a wide variety of cards for many years to come.
Let’s take a look at 3 of our favorite Top loader brands so that you can see what we mean.
BCW Tobacco T-206 10-pack (with sleeves)
The BCW Tobacco T-206 pack is a great set for protecting your cards. You can get a 10 pack which includes 10 sleeves as well as 10 Top loaders ready to accept and protect your new cards as you acquire them.
These Top loaders are made of high-quality PVC and as a result, they are quite rigid but also clear so that you’ve got protection for your cards and also proper clarity so that you may still enjoy looking at them or showing them off as you please.
These Top loaders incorporate polypropylene in their construction so they are extra nice and clear and they are designed to fit dimensions of 1 15/32” x 2 11/16”.
Click here to check the current price and availability of the BCW Tobacco Top Loaders on Amazon.
BCW 3×4 mm Premiums (25 count)
One of the most rigid Top loaders that you can buy, BCW’s 3×4 mm provide interior dimensions of 2” x 3 7/16” x 1/32” which you can fill with a number of different cards, such as football, hockey, Magic the Gathering, and more!
They give you a good amount of protection from a reputable brand and your cards look great in them. They are made of PVC materials which are considered to be of high-impact grade, so these BCW Top loaders are the real deal.
As-advertised, you get the protection that you need without sacrificing the look of your priced and valuable cards.
Click here to check the current price and availability of the BCW 3×4 mm Premium Top Loaders on Amazon.
BCW 3 x 4 mm Standards (25 count)
Finally, we have the BCW Standards and these durable Top loaders are actually the best sellers of the 3 in this article. Like the Premiums, the Standard Top loaders are designed with interior dimensions of 2” x 3 7/16” x 1/32” so that they will fit most common collectible cards.
Examples include Dragonball Z, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and most sports collectible cards. They are made with 12-mil PVC materials which are rigid and stearate free as well as plasticizer free and they’ll protect your cards while still providing a nice, clear view of them.
How Do You Properly Put a Card in a Top Loader?
Properly loading your cards into a Top loader is actually a piece of cake. Simply sleeve the card first in a thin, protective sleeve and then holding the Top loader between your thumb and forefinger, give it a pinch so that the mouth of the Top loader opens wide.
Carefully slide your sleeved card inside, ensuring that it is properly centered and snug. Should your card not be centered, carefully and slowly pinch the Top loader so that you may gently tug the card out and start the process over.
You want to make sure that it is properly centered or you could eventually bend your cards, so be sure to do it right. After a bit of practice it comes completely natural but you’ll have to do it a few times to get the hang of it.
Top loaders are an excellent way to protect your cards that has stood the test of time. You want to make sure that you are loading them properly and apply additional protection by the means of a thin sleeve on your card for best results.
Provided that you always follow this protocol, your cards should remain free of bends and scratches for many years to come. Just be sure that you go with a brand that you trust and on the off chance that you notice that wear is starting to show on your Top Loader that you replace it post-haste.
Take good care of your cards with this simple sleeve and Top loader combination and store them in a nice, dry space and you’re sure to keep them in mint condition for many years to come. Just sleeve, load carefully, and play or store away. It’s that simple!