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How to Select the Best Badge Reel

How to Select the Best Badge Reel

When it comes to shopping for a good badge reel, it may seem like an easy task…until you discover how many options are available to you! Then the problem turns into trying to narrow down the options by examining the details of each badge reel, not to mention the cost. This is a task that can take up a considerable amount of time without the proper resources. We’ve done the work of narrowing your choices down to certain categories that the rest will fall into.


The Carabiner Badge Reel stands in a class of its own because of its popularity. This is the badge reel that many buyers prefer due to the versatility and reliability of the clip and reduced wear on the cord helping it last for tons of pulls. It easily clips on to your belt buckle, purse strap, and even lanyards. The Carabiner reel is durable enough to withstand an approximate 100,000 pulls. It also comes in a selection of 5 different colors: black, translucent black, translucent blue, translucent red, and clear white. Its metal clip at the top allows it to stay securely in place during the numerous pulls throughout the day.

With or Without a Swivel Clip

You can narrow down your options significantly by simply knowing if you prefer a badge reel with a swivel clip or without. For some, the easier choice may seem to be the badge reel with the swivel clip, but if you want to save a few cents, the 2120-303X badge reel with the belt clip might work for you.

The 2120-303X badge reel with the belt clip also slips easily onto clothing, but the drawback here is that its static feature may cause the cord to wear out quicker because of its resistance, if you are frequently swiping a reader that is higher than the reel. Since a swivel clip reel will swivel towards the direction of the pull, it will result in less wear on the cord. While the belt clip will have the stronger grip, the swivel clip moves more easily in the direction you’re pulling.

Key-Back Reel

The Key-Bak Reels are considered the top quality badge reels, and they are made right here in the United States. If you are looking for strong badge reel, this is the one you want to select. The KEY-BAK reels have been tested to over 400,000 pulls and include a lifetime manufacturer’s service policy (details here). KEY-BAK reels have the strongest cords in the industry, being made of either Kevlar (the same material used to make bullet-proof vests) or very strong nylon paracord (They are one of the largest buyers of paracord right after the US military).

Heavy-Duty Reel

The term Heavy-Duty Badge Reels can be misleading, because they often times actually rate for less pulls than standard reels. Yet, because of the heavier springs, this badge reel can hold more weight, and has a stronger retention force. This is usually the preferred reel when holding multiple IDs and up to 6 keys. If more retention force is needed, or a longer lasting design, the larger Key-Bak reels will hold even more keys or weight.

Where to Order Your Badge Reels

Don’t worry about going to your office supply store to stock your badge reels. Specialist ID has an unlimited supply of badge reels and other ID accessories available at your fingertips. Order now, and we’ll ship your badge reels out to you in 24 hours provided that it isn’t a custom order. For more information on ID badges and accessories, contact Specialist ID online or call toll free at 1-800-380-6726.