How to Choose the Best Laminator – Reviews & Detailed Buying Guide
There are many factors to consider when it comes to buying the best laminator. As with any equipment, the most important thing to consider is how you intend to use it. You also need to think about the type of materials that you plan on laminating and how often you’re going to use the machine. A simple search on laminators online will yield numerous results.
But do you know which of these laminators will work best for you?
In this article, we’re going to talk more about the laminator machine to help you make the right decision, whether you are buying a laminator for home, office, or school use. We’ve also included laminator reviews in the end so you will know which of the laminators online are truly the best.
Things to Consider When Shopping for the Best Laminator Machine
Laminator machines come in different shapes and sizes. There are a hundred different models that you can find in the market so you need to spend some time getting to know some of them before you can figure out what suits you best.
To make it easier for you to choose, we’ve provided a list of the most important things to consider when buying the best laminator machine.
Purpose of Use
It’s important to consider the type of materials that you’re going to laminate. For instance, if you need to laminate materials that are sensitive to high temperatures, then a cold laminator would work best for you. Otherwise, a hot laminator should be fine.
If you will mostly be laminating photographs, a laminating machine that has at least four rollers will be more applicable. The more rollers the machine has, the better the results will be.
The size of the substrates is a very important factor to consider when it comes to your laminator. If you get a pouch laminator, this will only allow you to laminate substrates, which is either fabric or paper, up to a width of only 14 inches.
Therefore, you won’t be able to laminate posters, banners, or other bigger documents. It is best to choose a roll laminator because this allows you to laminate documents with a width of 12 to 70 inches.
The thickness of the film is another important consideration, and the thicker the film, the better it can provide protection. However, thicker films have less flexibility and are more difficult to fold. It’s also worth noting that different laminators require a different film thickness.
For instance, pouch laminators would prefer to work with films that are up to 10 mils in thickness. On the other hand, roll laminators might work best with thinner films. Keep in mind that a mil is equivalent to one-thousandth of an inch.
Different models of laminators produce different outputs. Pouch laminators are only capable of producing small or medium volumes of laminated products. Small volumes mean a few dozen laminated items only while medium volumes are a few hundred items every single day.
On the other hand, roll laminators are more suitable for those that want to laminate several substrates. They are more applicable for medium or high output volumes. With the roll laminator, you’ll be able to laminate thousands of items in a given day.
For most of us, money is an important factor when buying things. Therefore, consider your budget when shopping for a laminator. These machines are being sold at different prices, depending on the functionalities, size of the machine, and other factors.
Generally, it should cost you around $50-$100. If you are going to laminate regular sized papers in your home or office, you should choose something that costs somewhere between $50 and $400. Remember that cold laminators are usually more expensive compared to hot laminators.
Types of Lamination Machines
When you search for laminators online, you’ll find that these machines are available in different types. To give you an idea on what each of this lamination machine can do, check the following:
The pouch laminator is a bit smaller and is, therefore, more portable. This type of laminator needs to use a particular size of the plastic liner and has an adhesive, where the substrate is encased. These plastics are what they call the pouches, which is where the name of this laminator comes from.
To use this laminator, take the substrate that you need to laminate and place it inside the pouch before placing it in the protective carrier before it is processed by the laminator. While in the laminator, the machine heats the adhesive up in order to attach the plastics together.
The thickness of the pouches used for this lamination is 10 mils. If you want the final product to be sturdy, then you should use the thicker pouch. Compared to laminating films, pouches are much thicker. Thus, pouch laminators are a much better option when it comes to laminating important documents.
When it comes to the best laminator for home use, you should choose something that’s safe for the kids to use, especially if you expect your little ones to use the device in your absence. The cold laminators are the best option when it comes to a child-safe laminator. This device doesn’t use heat to bind the films. What it does is to apply pressure on the adhesive in order to laminate the documents.
One of the biggest benefits of cold laminators is that they ensure water tightness and they are the only type of laminator that can make this possible. But unlike hot laminators such as the roll and pouch laminators, it doesn’t require any power source.
For those that are planning to host an outdoor festival and need to laminate certain documents, the cold laminator would be the perfect machine to use.
However, cold laminators are not as rigid as hot laminators. Nevertheless, they are much safer to use since no heat is involved. Thus, it can work well for homes with small kids.
The roll laminators are the best laminator for teachers. In fact, this is common in schools and other commercial settings that require professional-grade laminating machines. But this does not mean that roll laminators can’t be used at home. They can also work well for individual or personal use. The roll laminator has great functionalities that are beneficial for all kinds of users.
The roll laminator relies on huge film rolls to laminate substrates of different sizes, which is usually from 12 to 70 inches in width. The device will also trim the document after the lamination is over. For this laminator, the substrate is placed in a plastic sheet that has adhesive.
It is the top roller that will hold the laminate and once the switch is flipped, the substrate will be pressed in between the film layers. The heat will be spread all over the film and the document will permanently be glued into the film.
As the name suggests, carrier-free laminators don’t come with any carriers. However, this type of laminator is not recommended. The carrier is an important component since it helps to make sure that the glue of the film won’t accumulate on the rollers. This can help increase the machine’s longevity as it prevents it from failure.
Top Laminator Brands
When looking for the best laminator, here are some of the best brands to consider:
BluSmart is one of the latest brands of laminating machines. Yet, it is fast becoming one of the best brands in the market due to its great quality products. That’s because they have a team of researchers and testers to ensure that they only produce the best laminator machines. If you need something for personal use, this brand is highly recommended.
Scotch has partnered with big brands like 3M in offering the best quality tape dispensers and adhesive tapes. Their laminating machines are a favorite among DIY enthusiasts because they are capable of laminating documents in seconds! Furthermore, Scotch brand laminators are known for being long-lasting and durable.
Fellowes is a US-based brand that has been around for more than a century. They are known for producing storage systems and eventually expanded their operations into producing a wide range of products, including laminating machines. The Fellowes laminating machines are among the most sophisticated models in the market and are often the top choice when it comes to the best home laminator.
3M is another popular brand that’s widely recognized for producing some of the best adhesive tapes on the market. They also have a good range of laminating machines that are favored by professionals and DIYers. What’s great about their laminating kits is that they are durable and are able to deliver excellent results.
Best Laminator that Can Be Used at Home, Office or Schools
What is the best laminator for teachers? Below, we have narrowed down a list of the best laminator in the market and included a review of each of them.
Take time to read these laminating machine reviews to help you find the right laminating machine. Below are the top laminating machine brands with outstanding reviews from current users.
When looking at the Fellowes Saturn 3i, one would immediately notice its unusual design. And although it does not come cheap, it’s one of those laminating machines that are truly worth the price. The Fellowes 5736601 Laminator has a hot option that works by using the thermal laminating pouches. It’s also capable of doing cold laminating with the use of self-adhesive pouches.
When you need to switch from cold to hot laminating or vice versa, you just have to press a button, which is very convenient. This machine could laminate anything with a maximum size of 12.5 inches. Thus, it can work on several different kinds of documents.
One of the best features of this machine is the “1-minute warm-up”, which means that you’ll be able to use it a minute after you switch it on. Furthermore, there’s a green light that turns on to indicate that it’s already ready for use. It also makes a beeping sound.
But the only downside of this machine is that it doesn’t come with a jam-free technology. What it has, instead, is a lever that will immediately release the document you’re laminating in the event of a jam. If you’ll purchase this laminating machine, you’ll get 10 laminating pouches as a sample.
This device is also equipped with the auto-shutdown feature that prevents overheating and helps you save energy. Above all, it’s covered under a 2-year warranty, which proves that the manufacturer is very confident about this product.
Covered with a 2-year warranty
Easy-to-use laminator machine
Equipped with auto-shutdown feature
Hot and cold options for lamination
One-minute warm-up time
Quick jam release lever
Doesn’t have any built-in cord storage area
When looking for the best home laminator, you should choose a machine that’s equipped with everything that you’ll need, such as this Blusmart OL288 5 in 1 Laminator set. This laminating machine is equipped with great features like the ABS button, corner rounder, paper trimmer, and temperature control.
Yet this machine is extremely easy to use. All you need to do to produce remarkable results is to plug it in and allow the machine to warm up for a little bit. This should take around 3-5 minutes. After the warm-up, you can start the process of laminating at a speed of 250 mm per minute.
The Blusmart OL288 laminating machine has a jam-free technology, which prevents wraps or tears as the document is being laminated. Furthermore, this device operates at an average temperature although it still depends on the type of document that’s being laminated.
In addition, if there are any stuck pouches and papers during the lamination, you simply have to press the ABS button and that should take care of the problem. When buying this laminating machine, you’ll get a laminator, corner rounder, photo frames, paper trimmer, and laminating pouches.
Easy to use
Prevents tearing and wrapping
Easy lamination sheet cutting
Produces high-quality lamination
Teachers who need an efficient laminator that can produce high-quality results will surely be pleased with the Scotch PRO Thermal Laminator. Considered as the best laminator for teachers, this machine has everything that one would need in order to create high-quality outputs.
The Scotch PRO Thermal Laminator has straightforward controls, which is easy enough for everyone to use. Plus, it measures only 4 pounds and has dimensions of 6.2 x 6.1 x 17 inches, which means that it’s not too bulky to move from one place to another.
It’s also equipped with a handle, which adds to the portability. Furthermore, this laminating machine has an LED touch panel that will notify you once the machine is ready for use. One of the best features of this machine is the folding tray that’s capable of receiving and holding laminated products.
This laminating machine can process documents with a maximum width of 9 inches. Although it’s recommended for school use, it can also be used in homes and offices. It can run for 3 hours straight, which is great for those who need to laminate numerous documents.
Comes with a hidden storage
Features jam prevention technology
Equipped with a handle for portability
Has green light indication signals
Minimal carbon footprint
It only has two heat control settings
Can’t handle documents more than 9 inches wide
The best office laminator is one that allows you to enjoy a thorough and well-organized laminating process. When it comes to this, the Blusmart Multiple Function A3 Laminator is highly recommended.
This laminating machine has 3 to 5 minutes warming up time and operates at a speed of 250 mm per minute. It allows you to laminate in both hot and cold modes, which is very useful for laminating different types of office documents.
In the event of a jam, simply press the ABS button and that should resolve the issue. This laminating machine is equipped with a corner rounder as well as a hole puncher. It’s easy to use and produces a nice and beautiful cut.
Although it’s recommended for office use, this machine is also a great choice for those who are looking for the best personal laminator that they can use for DIY home projects and crafts. When getting this laminating machine, you will enjoy a 12-month warranty plus lifetime customer support.
5-in-1 lamination set
Comes with a 12-month warranty
Exclusive corner rounder feature
Wider inlet ideal for multiple sizes
Works fast and produce smooth laminating results
If you want a laminating machine that’s easy to use, this Eficentline Laminator Machine is a great choice. What’s great about this laminator is that it can handle large documents. Plus, it’s compatible with different types and sizes of laminating pouches, from business cards to A3 papers!
The Eficentline YE381 Laminator Machine has a fast warm-up time and operates at a very fast speed. This machine keeps your documents fully protected while preserving important memorabilia like photos. It’s very versatile and can be used in home, office, or school settings.
In addition, this laminating machine has a corner round feature and allows you to produce three different patterns of lamination. You can choose from straight, waving design, or perforated. It works very fast and produces a smooth lamination result.
When you buy this laminating machine, you’ll get 20 laminating pouches. It operates at a speed of 250 mm per minute. What’s more, it doesn’t make any noise when working so it’s the ideal machine for those who want to work in a quiet environment. In case of a jam, there’s an ABS button to press in order to address the problem.
2-roller heating system
Doesn’t make any noise
No paper jam
The best laminator for home use is one that’s capable of cutting paper and producing round corners during lamination, such as the ABOX 13″ Thermal Laminator machine. This laminator has a paper cutter capable of cutting up to 50 mm of documents in one go.
Plus, it has a lock seal feature that prevents kids from getting injured. The ABOX Thermal laminator machine comes with a dual lamination system, which is hot and cold and operates at an incredible speed of 250 mm per minute.
What’s great about this machine is that it doesn’t make too much noise, so it can laminate documents without causing too much distraction. Not only that, this machine features a 3-min heating system that means you can immediately get to work and don’t have to wait a long time for it to warm up.
When you purchase this laminating machine, you’ll get 16 lamination pouches in different sizes that can support documents with a maximum width of 13 mm. The auto shut down system helps to ensure that the device remains shut down after 30 minutes of no activity.
Not only that but it’s equipped with a built-in heating mechanism that results in enhanced performance and excellent results.
Can be used for a wide range of applications
Doesn’t make a lot of noise
Easy to use
Equipped with an innovative heating system
Features an advanced double roller design
The Crenova Laminator is the best laminating machine for teachers who would prefer a user-friendly laminating machine. This device is equipped with several useful tools.
Aside from the laminator, it also has a corner rounder, paper trimmer, as well as 20 pieces of laminating pouches. Offering an optimized and extremely easy operation, this laminator can work for all types of users, including students and kids who need to use a laminator for school projects.
Customers who have tried this machine were impressed with its fast warming-up time, which takes only 3-5 minutes. Plus, it delivers a remarkable laminating speed of 250 mm per minute while producing excellent results. The machine also comes with an ABS lever, which is very useful in the event of a paper jam.
With its lightweight and compact size, this machine is very convenient to use and can be easily moved from one place to another. Furthermore, its compact size also means that you can place this machine wherever you want to, from desktop, office tables, to study tables and cabinets.
Comes with 20 laminating pouches
Ideal for school, home, and office use
No paper jam
Portable and lightweight
Another versatile laminating machine that’s definitely worth checking out is the Parateck A3 Laminator Machine. It can be used for different types and sizes of laminating pouches, from business cards to A3 papers. Boasting a fast warm-up time and laminating speed, this machine can help boost laminating efficiency and productivity.
This laminator machine operates at a speed of 250 mm per minute, which is truly impressive. Furthermore, the double roller design feature ensures a faster and smoother lamination process without producing any noise during lamination. It’s very easy to operate and can be used by all kinds of users.
If in the event that the documents that are being processed get stuck, all you need to do is to press the ABS button and this should take care of the stuck papers or pouches. This laminator also comes with a corner rounder that allows you to produce three different patterns of lamination. Plus, it has a paper trimmer and 20 lamination pouches.
1-year service guarantee
3-in-1 beauty cutting
Doesn’t make any noise when in use
An excellent temperature control system
The JZBRAIN 13” Laminator Machine is a high-performance laminator that comes with a built-in cutter as well as a corner rounder. This machine is compatible with almost all kinds of paper including A3, A4, and A6.
When it comes to speed, this laminating machine will not disappoint. It works pretty fast and will only take 5 minutes to warm up. The machine can process 9.8 inches per minute and it’s capable of processing documents with a maximum width of 210 mm and a thickness of 0.5 mm.
This laminating machine has a dual hot and cold functionality that’s useful for all kinds of lamination needs. Furthermore, it features a jam release mechanism that can easily clear paper jams and help you to easily get back on track.
With its built-in cutting system, this machine will be able to laminate all kinds of documents nicely. There’s also a safe locking system that helps to ensure that kids will not get hurt if they ever get close to it.
4-in-1 laminating machine
Fast speed of 250 mm per minute
Helps to keep kids safe
It can process more documents in less time
Works very fast
Do not buy the refurbished version – go for a brand new unit
Incorporating the latest technology in lamination, the GoGo Gadgets Heavy Duty Lamination Machine is the answer to all your lamination needs. It features a double roller technology and has a fast warm-up speed that will get you started in only a few minutes. Simply turn on the switch, pop the sheet, and get rolling!
You’ll get everything you need for this laminator kit. It can be used for all kinds of projects, both large and small and can work for various settings, from school, home, or office. Furthermore, it’s equipped with both hot and cold lamination functionalities and comes with a paper cutter that can produce different kinds of patterns. This compact-sized laminator system definitely packs a punch!
This is the best thermal laminator and will rarely jam. But if in the event that it does, there’s an anti-blocking switch that you can press and it will immediately release the paper and pouch for easy removal. Furthermore, it’s equipped with a paper cutter and corner rounder that minimizes exposure to the blade and prevents injuries.
3-in-1 paper cutter
Covered with a 1-year warranty
Equipped with built-in safety features
How to Clean a Laminator
Before you decide to buy a laminator, make sure you know exactly how to clean and maintain it. Thankfully, cleaning these machines is not really too complicated. You just have to run some cleaning sheets into the machine in the same way that you would in a document.
The cleaning sheets will only cost you $10 for a pack of 10. If you notice that the laminated documents being produced by the laminator have wrinkles and unwanted residues, then consider that a sign that it’s time to clean the device.
Unlike with cleaning other types of laminators, cleaning the roll laminator is a bit more complicated. Each time you laminate a document, some adhesives will leak out and get into the rollers. This is why experts recommend wiping the adhesives off the roller.
Sometimes, papers could get stuck into the roller. In this case, soak the paper with water using a sponge. Then gently scrub the roller in order to take the wet paper off. Make sure you avoid using sharp objects like razor blades or knives when removing the adhesives and paper off the rollers.
With a high rating score, there’s no doubt that the Fellowes 5736601 Laminator Saturn3i is truly the best laminator in the market. Customers love this laminating machine for many reasons.
First, it features an advanced thermal laminator and only takes one minute to warm up. In addition, it has an auto shut off feature that helps saves energy while also preventing any incidences of overheating.
While it may not have a jam-free technology, it does come with a jam release lever that will immediately disengage the pouch in the event of a paper jam.
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