A Breakdown on Bins

July 19, 2022 3 min read

Bin storage… what a wide and diverse topic!  At Diamond, we like to debate, what’s more important:  the bin or the racking solution?  And, of course, there’s no one good answer and like most things, it DEPENDS.  

But, when it comes to determining what type of bin you need, it’s critical to understand the function needed and consider:

  • application and environment
  • size, layout and intended use of storage space and/or racking or wall systems
  • safety and regulatory requirements
  • loss prevention needs
  • temperature control
  • mobility or transporting needs
  • visibility of supplies, color coding, visual management
  • types of supplies to be stored and durability needs for various weights and sizes
  • the length of time to be stored

For instance:

  • If you’re in healthcare, you may be concerned with rapid response portable supply storage or Joint Commission regulations around dirt contamination, autoclaving, or securing and protecting critical supplies from tampering or theft.
  • If you’re a mobile technician with a service vehicle or fleet, you may be seeking organizational solutions that offer quick and easy retrieval with smart carrying options to limit the number of trips from the job site to the van.
  • If you’re in the pharmaceutical space, you may be seeking various materials or colored storage options to differentiate hazardous, infectious, or radioactive types of waste.
  • If you’re in the hardware space, you may be seeking small parts storage, easy visual identification, or carousel storage options.
  • If you’re trying to limit the spread of germs, you may be seeking antimicrobial properties or materials that can withstand high frequency of cleaning and harsh chemicals.
  • Regardless of industry, the realities of a post-pandemic world, together with an unbelievable surge in e-commerce trends, has required storage options to be flexible, fast, efficient, and mobile.

Once you understand your specific needs, you can choose the appropriate material for your bin storage solution.  A high-level overview of the various material options are outlined below; however, this list is not all-inclusive and we invite you to call us to discuss your specific needs. 

  1. Cardboard. Ahhh, the cheapest and most flexible option providing a huge variety of sizes and strengths.  However, cardboard is difficult to clean, can get worn out quickly, and is vulnerable to dirt, pests, humidity, and water damage. 

  2. Plastic. A popular, well known, economical option.  Plastic is lightweight, relatively inexpensive for sizes that currently exist in the marketplace, and bins are offered in multiple colors for organization and color coding.  However, temperature extremes can degrade bins, they are not fireproof, and there’s a very high cost for molds when a custom size or dimension is needed for your unique space.  We find a lot of customers are just “settling” for what’s out there because there are no better-known alternatives. 

  3. Steel. Our favorite and a Diamond exclusive!  Steel bins have a higher tensile strength than plastic making them strong, secure, and more durable.  They are attractive, easy to clean, low maintenance, and can be used for both dry and wet storage.  They are temperature resistant, autoclavable, and fireproof.  However, they are heavier and a bit more expensive than plastic (but cheaper than wire mesh bins).  But … what we feel makes it such an attractive option is the easy and less expensive customization since there’s no high mold investment!  If you need a specific size, a more enhanced labeling surface area, a taller front lip … our engineers will be on it!

  4. Wire Mesh Bins. The most expensive of the bin options outlined here, wire mesh bins provide ventilation, visibility, and airflow.  Made of nickel chrome plating, they are intended for dry storage only.  And… some designs may have sharp edges, so select carefully.  Safety first!


Regardless of material, be sure your bin has the appropriate accessories to match your needs, such as labeling surface and horizontal or vertical divider options.  And consider if you need the bin to hang on a wall panel, stack on a shelf, roll down the hall, or nest in a warehouse. 

Of course, we are always here to help, answer your questions, or brainstorm a new solution with you!  Give us a call at 1-800-931-7594 or email us at info@diamondstoragesolutions.com.  We love helping our customers!