Flat files are essential for artists, architects, engineers, and anyone else who creates work on paper. Sheets of paper are easily damaged, and flat files protect them from wrinkles, folds, tears, dirt, and smudges. They are available in a wide range of sizes, from smaller cabinets which store 9” x 12” and 12” x 18” paper to larger ones which store 46” x 35” works. Most also stack, allowing for efficient use of space.
1. Sandusky Flat File Storage Cabinet
Do you create large-scale artwork, drawings, or blueprints? Sandusky’s flat files hold and protect large works on paper within welded-steel drawers. Each of the five drawers holds up to 33 pounds and glides open and closed on case-hardened ball-bearing slides. Front depressors and back hoods keep paper from curling, and a single lock secures all five drawers. Several cabinets can be stacked, and levelers ensure that they will sit level on all types of floors. This product is a great value and hold the largest-scale works of the options reviewed here.
2. Scranton & Co Metal Flat Files
This flat file is a fortress for works on paper. Constructed of 22-gauge steel, the cabinet won’t get dented, and the five drawers will hold up to 50 pounds each. Drawers slide open and closed quietly on extra-strength rails with heavy side-roller assemblies featuring case-hardened steel ball bearings. Stops ensure that drawers remain in place when open, and rear hoods and hinged front depressors keep paper flat and clean. The museum-grade/archival paint finish protects works on paper for long term storage. GREENGUARD Gold certified, this cabinet is safe for home, studio, and office use. It is stackable but does not lock.
3. Childcraft Construction Paper Holder
Student artists are prolific, and educators need a reliable way to organize and store a lot of paper. Childcraft’s paper holder is constructed from birch, a hardwood known for its strength and durability. Compact and efficient, its open shelving holds 9-by-12-inch and 12-by-18-inch sheets. The sturdy shelves are spaced at 1.5-inch intervals and are removable. The cabinet’s stain-resistant finish is perfect for children’s messy art sessions. With GREENGUARD Gold certification, it is safe for use in schools and art centers.
4. Safco Products Art and Drawing Portfolio
Do you need a flat file storage option that is lightweight and portable? These art portfolios, sold in a group of five, are heavy-duty corrugated cardboard file boxes, reinforced with wooden frames and outfitted with durable plastic handles and metal turnbuckle closures. Each one holds approximately 75 sheets of paper as large as 42 by 30 inches. Grab the file you need for class or a meeting, leaving the others neatly stacked. The portfolios’ cardboard is not archival, so this product is not ideal for long-term storage.
5. Safco Products Flat File
This flat file cabinet offers premium steel construction and a powder-coat finish, in any of 20 available colors, including basic black. Each drawer slides on nylon rollers designed with a quiet ball-bearing system, and stops keep the drawers in place. Up to 1,000 works on paper are protected from dirt and creases by a rear hood and a hinged steel flap in the front. The unit is modular, and up to five can be stacked. GREENGUARD certified, this cabinet is safe for classrooms, offices, studios, and homes.