GBC Laminating Films
Choosing the Right Laminating Roll Film for Your Laminator
Looking for film for your new roll laminator? You’ve come to the right place! Roll laminators are great machines that get the job done but it can be confusing as to which supplies are right for your device. That is exactly why we are here to help.
With all the different kinds of roll laminators out there, knowing what size you need for your machine is critical. Specifically, you’ll need to know your machine’s width and purchase film that is compatible. Be sure that the film you’re purchasing is slightly larger than the materials you’ll be laminating. For instance, to laminate a standard 11-inch page, you’ll want to use film that is at least 12 inches wide. Length isn’t an important factor here, as it will keep unrolling until it runs out. The main thing is to not buy film that is too wide for your machine.
Thickness is another important factor. Again, the manual for your machine will tell you what mil it can handle and you don’t want to buy film thicker than that. Laminating film comes in thicknesses ranging from 1.5mil up to 10mil. The higher the number, the more rigid your finished product will be. Don’t assume your machine can handle it all; many school laminators are only designed to accommodate thinner films, such as 1.5mil and 3mil.
You may have seen or heard the term “core” in association with roll laminators and film. This refers to the center tube around which the film is wrapped, often a cardboard tube. This is another important measurement to have when shopping for film because it determines what film can be loaded onto your machine. Most roll laminators have a one inch or 2.25 inch core. Anything larger, such as a three inch core, is found more on wide-format laminators used for coating large banners. Again, this is another situation where you may want to refer to your owner’s manual to be sure of the core size. Alternately, you can also measure the core currently on your machine to get an accurate size.
Once you’ve figured out the answers to the size questions, you can begin to think about what texture you’d like to have on your finished items. Matte and glossy are the two most common finishes. Matte will result in a duller finish but often produces materials that are easier to read. As you can imagine, a glossy finish makes your final product shiny and often is less expensive than the matte finish films. Besides just matte or glossy, you can also choose from films that are UV protected, biodegradable, designed to lie flat, and more.
Another option for use with roll laminators is a mounting board. These offer an easy way to put together presentation materials. Kraft Paper can also be used in conjunction with a single roll of film. If you plan to laminate digitally printed items, you might consider using specific digital laminating film. This is designed to preserve the integrity of your printed document while also protecting it with laminate. Cold laminators require the use of pressure sensitive film, which are also available in a variety of finishes.
Once you’ve determined the right size and look for your projects, you can buy your film and get started! Be sure to give us a call if you have more questions on which laminating film is right for you.