Types of Badge Reels

Badge reels are an important part of many workplace dress codes and security plans. They are excellent for displaying employee ID badges, proximity cards, electronic keys, and more. The retractable cord keeps the cards close to the body, which protects the cards from snagging on machinery while offering pull-out convenience for card swiping and identity verification. There are a wide variety of badge reel designs, each with a distinctive look and unique, practical features. The badge reels that are right for you and your employees depends on personal preference and workplace environment.

no twist badge reel

No-twist Badge Reels

No-twist badge reels are ideal for employees that pull out their ID badge for swiping several times a day. The reel contains a specialized piece of plastic which keeps the cord flat as it enters the reel, preventing it from twisting or allowing the badge to flip over backwards. This is an important feature for areas where badges need to remain visible at all times.

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swivel clip badge reel

Swiveling Badge Reels

A standard badge reel always points down; you cannot turn the main reel to change the badges orientation. A swiveling badge reel has a clip on the back of the reel which allows the reel to rotate 360 degrees. These reels are ideal for those who hang the clip from their pants pocket or collar. The badge reel will right itself so that is lays vertically, rather than sticking out at odd angles.

heavy duty badge reel

Heavy Duty Reels

Heavy duty badge reels are high quality reels designed to withstand a rugged industrial or outdoors setting. Rather than using a vinyl cord to attach the badge to the reel, heavy duty reels have options like wire or chain-link retractable cords, and fiber-reinforced straps. They typically have an 18 to 24 inch cord length.

Badge Reel Shapes

The most common shapes for badge reels are round, and square. When trying to decide which shape is best for an organization, consider what, if any, design will be placed on the reels outer shell. Many businesses select the badge reel shape based on the shape of their logo. If the badge reel will have no embellishment or added design, then shape is purely a matter of personal preference.


Badge reels are available in almost every color imaginable. Select a color that coordinates with employee uniforms. Those who wear professional attire typically prefer white, black, or metallic reels, while those who work in a casual setting can use a bright colored badge reel that coordinates with the business's logo or uniform color theme. Organizations can also use promotional badge reels for a specific idea or cause. For example, if handing the badge reels out as a reward for donating blood, red badge reels would be most appropriate. Pink badge reels are commonly given out as a means of spreading breast cancer awareness.

Which badge reel is right for the job depends on workplace environment, personal fashion sense, and personal needs. Keep each of the distinct badge reel features and design options in mind when selecting a reel type for your company.


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