Lamination is used to protect documents, photos and any other flat objects by sealing them in plastic film.Laminating machines can be categorized into three different types: Heated roll laminators, pouch laminators, and cold laminators.
Heated roll laminators: Heated roll laminators uses heated rollers to melt the glue and apply it to the lamination film. They vary in sizes.
Pouch laminators: Pouch laminators are also one kind of heated roll laminators designed for office and home uses. They use laminating pouches. These pouches are sealed on one side and open on another side. The inside is made from a heat-activated material that adheres to the surface of the document while passing through the laminator.
Pouches are available in different thickness. Normally, the thickness is measured in mil. The most common thicknesses are 3 and 5 mil. 5 mil pouches are costlier than 3 mils.
Cold laminators: Cold laminators use films which directly stick to documents. Heat is not required for it. Cold lamination is used for heat sensitive documents and other materials like a metallic sheet. Some laminators have both of these hot and cold lamination options.
Lamination not only provides protection from water and heat, they also improve the appearance of a document.
Guide and few points to remember :
1. Read the manual before use. The warm-up time is different for the different model. It may not be the exact time mentioned in the manual.
2. Few laminators produce odors during the first several time. It should be removed by itself.
3. Children should use laminators only under adult supervision.
4. Don’t place the laminator in direct sunlight or in wet environments.
5. Test it always before laminating important documents.
6. Avoid hot lamination on metal objects.
7. If you are using it for hot lamination and want to use it for cold lamination next, wait for at least half an hour to cool it down first.
8. If any document jammed, turn the switch off if the anti-jam button doesn’t work.
9. Always laminate one document at a time, otherwise multiple documents may stick together.
10. INTEY Thermal Laminator A4 with Two Roller System :
INTEY thermal laminator works with all types of documents with a maximum width up to 9 inches width and the maximum thickness of 0.02 inch. Two LED lights are on top to indicate when the warm-up is completed. It takes around 3 – 5 minutes to warm up and works with a laminating speed of 9.84 inches per minute. You can use this laminator for both Hot and cold lamination. To change this setting, one side switch is available. It also has one Jam release button on back to remove any jammed documents.
9. Apache AL13 13″ Thermal Laminator and 20 Laminator Pouches :
Designed for home or small office uses, AL13 can laminate documents up to 13 inches width. This sleek, compact style laminator weighs only 3.7 pounds. This laminator features a full-heat dual silicone roller system to provide output in less than one minute. Two indicators are on top to indicate power and ready mode. Also, one ABS release button is on the side for fixing jammed documents. AL13 comes with 20 pack of 5 and 3 mil laminator pouches.
8.Scotch PRO TL1306E Laminator :
Scoth PRO TL1306E is 4 roller laminator with a warm-up time of less than one minute! Scotch PRO TL1306E is an excellent choice for your office or home. This device is very user-friendly. It has one touch panel that allows you to select from three different settings for 3-mil, 5-mil, and 6-mil pouches. This panel also includes one power button to power on/off the device and one ready light to indicate when the machine is ready. One cord storage is on the back side to keep the cords away if not in use. This machine is designed with patented “Never Jam technology” that makes it efficient to work preventing damage or Jam to the machine. You will get one starter kit with TL1306E Laminator that includes 5 3-mil, 4 5-mil, and 3 5-mil pouches.
7.Marigold 9 inch Thermal Laminator LM401 :
LM401 Laminator features a lightweight, ultra slim design with a quick warm-up time. You can get bubble free, smooth finish lamination using this laminator with a single touch. It doesn’t require any carrier to laminate. Only insert the document, laminating pouch and it will automatically do the rest. The warm-up time of this laminator is just 3 or 4 minutes. In case of any Jammed or misfeed pouch, it has one built in Jam release lever. Press it down and pull out the pouch. One more important feature of LM401 laminator is its Cold lamination capability, that can be used mainly for heat sensitive materials.
6. Swingline Inspire Plus Thermal Laminator :
Swingline Inspire plus thermal laminator can produce high quality laminating for documents up to 9 inches width size. This laminator is really very easy to use. It has two indicators on top: one to indicate the power and the other one to indicate if it is ready to use. The warm-up time of inspire plus laminator is 4 minutes and it can work at a speed of 9 inches per minute. This laminator features a cold setting for heat-sensitive materials and hot setting for both 3 mil and 5 mil pouches. If any materials got stuck, it has one Jam release lever to fix. With the package, you will get one starter pack of 5 letter size pouches.
5. Fellowes Laminator Saturn3i Laminating machine :
Saturn3i is one of the best laminators to have in office if you want a quick start time and a slim design that will fit perfectly on any desk. This machine uses instant-heat technology that warms it up in less than a minute. It is suitable for different sized documents. The throat width is 12.5 inch. It has two settings: hot lamination for normal use and cold lamination for heat sensitive materials and it can handle Thermal laminating pouches for hot lamination and self-adhesive pouches for cold lamination.To prevent overheating and to save energy, Saturn3i comes with an auto shut-off timer that automatically turns it off while not in use. For hot lamination, you can use 3 mil or 5 mil pouches. The package comes with ten 3-mil letter sized pouches to get you started.
4. Purple Cows Hot and Cold 9″ Laminator :
Purple cows laminator is one of the cheapest laminators that offers cold lamination.This laminator is designed with an energy saving technology that uses up to 50 percent less electricity than any other laminators. You can use 3-5 mil pouches for hot lamination and 10 mils for cold lamination. It features automatic adjustment for different pouches means no need to manually adjust the machine if you are switching to a different pouch.The heating time of the laminator is 3 to 5 minutes and it is equipped with an anti-blocking system for removing jammed pouches.
3. 3 in 1 Blusmart BL01 Laminator Set Machine :
Blue smart BL01 laminator is a three in one product including one laminator, rotary paper trimmer, and one corner rounder. The weight of the product is only 1.98 pounds. Don’t think that this 3 in 1 machine has a ton of functions. It is incredibly easy to use. Connect it to the power and keep 3-5 minutes for preheating. One indicator light is on top to notify you when the preheating is completed. You can use it for both hot and cold lamination. It uses two roller system to remove bubbles and provides one smooth finishing. The cutter can be used to give different cutting patterns straight,perforated and wave as finishing edge. It also includes one Jam release button to make it easier to resolve jamming.
2. Bonsaii L307-A A3 Document Photo Thermal Laminator :
L307-A laminator from Bonsaii is one of the best compact-sized laminator that can laminate documents up to 13 inches wide .You can use both 3 mil (80 mic) and 5 mil(125 mic) pouches with this laminator. One switch is on top to change the pouch type. Warm up time is only 3 to 5 minutes like any other laminators we have mentioned here and two indicator lights are there to notify whenever the warm-up is completed. Additionally, you can use it with heat sensitive materials using the cold lamination mode. If you have not used laminator before, the package comes with 2 adhesive laminating pouches,3 normal laminating pouches, and one guidebook to start with. For clearing Jammed documents, it has one Jam release lever.
1. AmazonBasics Thermal laminator :
AmazonBasics Thermal laminator is a small and portable thermal laminator with a quick 4-minute warm-up time. It has one indicator light to let you know when the laminator is ready to use or warm-up is completed. You can use both 3 mil and 5 mil pouches with this laminator. Two different settings are available, 3 mil settings will warm it up faster than 5 mil settings. Maximum width of the document that can be used is 9 inches. Always use the correct settings (3 mils or 5 mils) before starting the lamination, otherwise, the documents may get stuck inside. To handle such situations, it features a Jam release lever. Turn it off and use the Jam release lever to pull the document and pouch from the machine.
Buying Guide :
1. Usage : Where you are going to use the laminator machine and how often you will use it ? Always check the machine is adequate for your daily needs or not.
2. Maximum width of the laminated document : Larger documents requires machine with large entry width. The marked width on the machine is the maximum document width it can handle.
3. Pouch size : Thick laminating pouches can provide more protection than thin pouches. Make sure the machine can handle thick pouches if you are going to use.
4. Hot or cold lamination: Cold lamination is used for heat-sensitive documents. It is better to choose laminator with both options available.
5. Roller numbers, warm-up time and other features: Laminators with a higher number of rollers can produce a better result than single roller laminators. If you laminate regularly, look for a laminator with quick warm-up time. Also always check for other features like energy consumption, auto shut-off, Jam-release button etc. before placing an order.