Prong fasteners typically have a metal bar with two prongs that extend at 90 degree angles from the bar. The bar is positioned along the backside of a stack of documents, and the prongs fold down to secure the top of the stack. Prong fasteners are handy for securing medical records and tax documents because they allow you to add additional documents to a file easily. This type of fastener is also frequently used in the binding of doctoral dissertations.

Punch holes in the documents you want to store. Most prong fasteners have two prongs spaced 2.75, 4.25 or 8.5 inches apart. Check your prong fastener to determine the correct distance between holes.

Remove the compressor, if your prong fastener comes equipped with one. A compressor is a metal bar that runs between the two prongs, squeezing your documents.

Lay the prong fastener on a flat surface with the prongs facing up.

Slide the prongs through the holes on your documents.

Slip the compressor over your documents, if your prong fastener has a compressor.

Fold the prongs towards the outer edges of your documents so that the prongs lay flat. This step ensures that the edges of your documents do not get folded when you store your documents.


Using prong fasteners with file folders provides extra stability for your documents. Folders made of heavier materials are more stable than flimsy folders.