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Buyers Guides & Videos - Suspension Files



What are suspension files?

Suspension files make up a convenient filing system within the drawers of a filing cabinet. They’re called suspension files because folder style files are suspended by hooks from two parallel runners in each filing cabinet drawer. Suspension filing systems are extremely flexible as multiple files can be used within one drawer which will allow you to increase your storage capacity without having to purchase an additional filing cabinet. Suspension files also give you quick access to your documents and with plastic tabs at the top of each file you can easily label and organise your documents too. 


What's the difference between A4 suspension files and foolscap suspension files?

A4 suspension files and foolscap suspension files are different sizes of files.

While both sizes of file will easily take A4 documents, foolscap files are slightly larger than A4 files and are designed to provide extra spacing around the documents within the file. Typically small desk high units and filing cabinets from high street retailers take A4 suspension files. Office filing cabinets and larger pedestals from office suppliers like Euroffice tend to take foolscap suspension files.


To find the right suspension file size for your cabinet we recommend you check the instructions that originally came with your filing cabinet. Alternatively check the existing suspension files in your filing cabinet. They will usually specify whether they’re A4 or foolscap on the front of the file. If they don’t give the file size you can measure the file and compare its dimensions to the ones given below.


Dimensions for each type of file are as follows:

A4 Suspension Files

  • Width of whole file and bar: 350mm
  • Width of manilla paper, plastic or kraft paper: 300mm
  • Height of whole file and bar: 240mm
  • Height of manilla paper, plastic or kraft paper: 230mm

Foolscap Suspension Files

  • Width of whole file and bar: 407mm
  • Width of manilla paper, plastic or kraft paper: 360mm
  • Height of whole file and bar: 240mm
  • Height of manilla paper, plastic or kraft paper: 230mm

What material are suspension files made from?

Suspension files are usually made from either manilla paper, plastic or kraft paper.


Manilla Suspension Files

Manilla suspension files are common in most offices as they offer a high quality yet cost effective filing solution. Made from heavyweight paper, these manilla files are strong enough to hold multiple documents at once and are designed to be durable. Available in packs of 25 or 50 files, they usually include tabs and card inserts to allow you to easily identify each file’s contents.


Plastic Suspension Files

Manufactured from polypropylene, plastic suspension files are extremely strong and will generally last longer than manilla suspension files. They can be used in most filing cabinets with a suspension filing system and are available in a wide range of colours to help you colour code your documents. Plastic suspension files also come in v-base or square base styles and come in packs of 25 files.


Kraft Suspension Files

Kraft paper suspension files are similar to manilla files but are made with enhanced strength kraft paper. This card-quality material is extremely difficult to rip and feature a laminated reinforced base to provide extra strength and durability. As with manilla suspension files, premium quality kraft files are usually supplied with tabs and card inserts for labelling. They also have a wrap-over bar design to protect fingers and are available in different colours in v-base or square base styles.


Recycled Suspension Files

Suspension files made from a percentage of recycled materials are eco-friendly but still provide the same high quality and durable filing solution as standard manilla suspension files.  

How many documents will each suspension file hold?

Suspension files are available in different capacities so the amount of documents each file can hold will depend on what type of file you’re using. V-base suspension files are compact files that can hold a maximum thickness of 15mm of documents per file. These files can be used in filing cabinets that use a suspension filing system and are great for short contracts or small brochures.


Square base suspension files are designed to hold more documents per file and come in 30mm and 50mm capacity sizes. The bottom of these files is strong, and sometimes reinforced with tape, so thicker and heavier documents can be filed securely. They’ll fit into most suspension filling systems and if needed you could also use a combination of both v-base and square base files.

How many suspension files will I be able to fit into my filing cabinet?

The amount of suspension files you can have within a filing cabinet will depend on the depth of your filing cabinet, how many documents you store in each file and whether you’re using V-base or square base suspension files. We recommend you check the instructions that originally came with your filing cabinet as they will usually provide the number of suspension files each drawer can fit.


Typically filing cabinets with a depth of 622mm will fit between 35 – 40 V-base suspension files in each drawer while cabinets with a depth of 400mm will fit between 25 – 30 files in each drawer.

Do I need vertical or lateral suspension files?

Vertical suspension files, also known as standard suspension files, hang down from the runners and will usually have tabs or labels at the top of each file. This type of suspension file is common in most office filing cabinets, desk pedestals and filing trolleys. Check to see how existing files are suspended and if documents are accessed from the top then you’ll need standard suspension files.


For larger filing cabinets where documents are accessed from the side you’ll need to purchase lateral suspension files. These files will usually have tabs or labels that sit on the side too for easy reference.

Which brands of suspension files do you stock?

We stock suspension files from brands like 5 Star, Rexel, Elba, Esselte, Snopake and Leitz in a wide variety of sizes, materials, colours and styles. Typically 5 Star suspension files are made from manilla and are available in foolscap sizes with V-bases. Rexel and Elba files are offered in both manilla and plastic with a good selection of both A4 and foolscap sizes. For kraft paper suspension files, Esselte or Bantex have good colour options in different sizes and bases.

What suspension files accessories do I need?

Suspension file tabs are small plastic tabs that clip or slide onto the top of suspension files while tab inserts are the bits of card you label your files with and insert into the plastic tabs.


Suspension files are usually supplied with tabs and inserts but additional ones are available if you need to replace the tabs or inserts that originally came with the file or if you require more than one tab on each file. Creating a new insert is also a low cost way to re-organise and re-label your files.


Different brands of suspension files use different types of tabs and inserts so we recommend you check the product description of your suspension file before purchasing new tabs or inserts. At Euroffice we have suspension file accessories from 5 Star, Rexel, Esselte, Elba and Leitz so you’ll be able to find the right accessories for your files and easily find the documents you need.


Suspension files are used predominately within filing cabinets but if you require a standalone option that can be transported easily or can put into a cabinet with no suspension filing system look for desktop or drawer organisers and plastic or metal file boxes. Organisers and file boxes are available in either A4 or foolscap sizes so you’ll be able to use your existing suspensions files in them too.


Plastic or metal file boxes offer a complete in-built filing solution as they usually include a set of suspension files, tabs and dividers. The boxes also have the file channels in-built but you can fold them out if you need to use the box for other purposes. Perfect for office moves or just for general storage, boxes can also be stacked with the lids on if you’re short on space.