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Best PDF merger tool of 2021: Free and paid, for Windows, Mac, Android and online

A computer user merging PDF files on their laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best PDF merger tool makes it simple and easy to merge multiple PDF files into a single PDF file, or an otherwise smaller number of files.

There are many situations in which you need to combine multiple PDFs into a single file. Maybe you’re sending multiple invoices to accounting and want to keep them bundled together. Maybe you’re collating several reports to send to a colleague. Or maybe you’ve printed multiple web pages to PDFs and need to join them together.

Whatever your reason, having the best PDF merger can make it straightforward to combine these files. The good news is that there are many free and paid options that you can turn to for help. The bad news is that sorting through them can be time-consuming when all you want to do is merge PDFs quickly. 

In this guide, we’ll help you sort the top apps from the rest by highlighting five of the best PDF merger apps you can use for Mac and Windows. Note that our list doesn’t include Apple’s Preview tool, which comes built into the macOS operating system.

Here then are the best PDF merger tools currently available.

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Soda PDF merge PDF

(Image credit: Soda PDF)

1. Soda PDF

Free online PDF merging

Reasons to buy
+All-in-one PDF software+Available for web and desktop+Limited free version available+Connects to cloud storage
Reasons to avoid
-No page reordering in free version-Doesn’t include PDF encryption

Soda PDF is another all-in-one PDF handling software program with a capable merger tool. What’s particularly nice about this platform is that it’s available both on the web and as desktop software for Windows and Mac. 

Both versions of the platform connect to Dropbox and Google Drive so you can quickly access your files in the cloud. You can also email merged PDFs right from the software. 

You can use Soda PDF for free, but this version is somewhat limited. You can’t reorder individual pages or convert between file types. Paid subscriptions are available as an annual fee, or as a one-time license fee and comes with customer support.

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(Image credit: ILovePDF)

2. ILovePDF

Offers numerous tools for PDFs, including a merge tool

Reasons to buy
+Connects to Google Drive and Dropbox+Drag and drop to rearrange+Free up to 25 files+Includes other PDF tools
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey to merge more than 25 files-Ads when using free version

ILovePDF is a one-stop-shop for working with PDFs and includes a simple tool for merging files. You have to upload your PDFs to the online platform to start the merge process, but this process is made easy thanks to a drag and drop option. You can also connect ILovePDF to your Google Drive or Dropbox accounts. 

Once your files are online, you can rotate pages or drag and drop PDFs to rearrange the merge order. The platform displays thumbnails of each page to make working with your files easier. When you’re ready, just click ‘Merge PDF’ and your new document will download automatically. 

ILovePDF is free for merging up to 25 PDFs and 100 MB in total. A Premium account is available for a small monthly fee and enables you to merge up to 200 files or up to 1 GB of data.

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(Image credit: SmallPDF)

3. SmallPDF

A paid option with an intuitive PDF merger

Reasons to buy
+Includes document conversion tools+Delete individual pages during merge+Save merged PDFs to Drive or Dropbox+Free 14-day trial
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive for PDF merging-Files are deleted after one hour-Batch upload doesn’t always work

If you’re going to shell out money for a PDF merger, SmallPDF is one of your best options. In addition to merging an unlimited number of files, this platform includes tools for converting between document formats, signing PDFs, and securing files. You can merge PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and JPGs seamlessly. 

SmallPDF shows you thumbnails of your PDFs and enables you to easily drag and drop files to reorder them. You can also delete individual pages while merging documents, which is nice if you need to eliminate cover pages or other extraneous sheets. Once you merge your PDFs, you can download the new file or save it directly to Dropbox or Google Drive. 

You can try SmallPDF free for 7 days, and after that you can subscribe either monthly or annually. It’s a bit of an investment, but it can be well worth it if you work with PDFs often.

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(Image credit: PDF Converter)

4. PDF Converter

Lets you do one free merge per hour

Reasons to buy
+Seamless document conversion+Drag and drop files to reorder them+All uploads secured with 256-bit encryption+Premium subscription comes with support
Reasons to avoid
-Only one free merge per hour-Doesn’t integrate with cloud storage-Files removed after three hours

PDF Converter is a reliable PDF merger that can handle most of your file needs. You can merge PDFs, Word documents, images, and more through seamless conversion. The web-based merge tool is easy to use and enables you to drag and drop files to reorder them. When you’re done, you can compress your new PDF to save space on your hard drive. 

The catch to this tool is that its name is misleading. PDF Converter allows you to conduct just one merge for free per hour. So, once you merge files, you’ll need to wait 60 minutes before you can merge any more unless you purchase a Premium subscription. Subscription options include monthly, yearly, or a one-time life-time license that comes with priority account support.

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(Image credit: PDFSam)

5. PDFSam Basic

Desktop-based PDF software with merge function

Reasons to buy
+Desktop-based PDF merger+Works for Windows, Mac, and Linux+No file limits+Easily reorder individual pages
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t connect to cloud storage-No customer support

PDFSam Basic is a desktop-based PDF merging software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. In contrast to many of its competitors, PDFSam doesn’t impose any limits on how many files you can merge or how often you can use the tool. 

Of course, you get what you pay for. This software can merge and split PDFs and enables you to quickly reorder pages, but that’s about it. You cannot connect to your cloud storage or automatically email or share merged PDFs from the tool. It also doesn’t include file conversion, so you’ll need another tool or PDFSam Enhanced if you want to mix and match file types.