What should I look for in a Laminator?
The first thing you will want to consider when you are thinking about purchasing a laminator is the type of documents you are going to want to laminate on a regular basis. There are two main types of laminators: pouch and roll laminators.
If you are going to be laminating smaller items such as ID cards, business cards, tags or badges, you will most likely be looking at a pouch laminator. These machines come in sizes from the aforementioned ID card size (four inches) to medium sized machines that are capable of laminating letter and legal sized sheets such as you might use for a list of rules or instructions that you plan on posting somewhere. There are also larger pouch laminators that are capable of handling larger sheet sizes such as you might use for a restaurant menu or a small poster.
Pouch laminators, as the name suggests, use plastic pouches in which you place your documents. The pouches are then run through the laminating machine where the adhesive in the pouches is heated and the document is forever sealed in a plastic casing.
Depending on the size and capabilities you require, you can find pouch laminators in two, four, or six roller configurations. Some of the main manufacturers of pouch laminators include GBC, Fellowes, Akiles, Tamerica and Lamitek.
When you purchase your pouch laminator, you will also want to pick up some laminating pouches. Read the instructions on your machine for guidance on what size and thickness you will need.
Roll laminators are larger machines that employ – you guessed it – rolls of laminating film. Usually used in schools and other larger business service settings such as commercial print shops and the like. Roll laminators are designed to be able to handle any size job, but they excel most when they are being used for larger jobs such as big posters, etc.Whatever size you choose to get, try to make sure that it can at least handle the size of the average document.
For various reasons, roll laminators are generally more expensive than pouch laminators, so you should be sure that you wouldneed the added capabilities before you make your purchase.
Relatively new on the market, the cold laminating process uses adhesives that are pressure activated rather than using heat. Some cold laminators do not even require power in order to work, meaning that you can use them anywhere you might need to. These machines – as the name suggests – do not use heat, so they are safer than heated laminators as well.
There are a couple features you might want to be on the lookout for when you are purchasing a laminator. One thing to consider is whether your machine has a reverse function, which will allow you to extract documents that have been laminated if you find you need to. Also, it may be wise to pay some attention to how long the manufacturer’s warranty lasts. The laminator industry is not known for handing out particularly long warranties, so if you can fond a machine that is covered for even ninety days, you are doing pretty well.