MyBinding Knowledge Base
Frequently Asked Questions About Laminators
Laminators are a popular office machine and they offer a great way of protecting treasured and important documents. The world of lamination can be a bit confusing, however, with the all the different types of laminators available. Hopefully this FAQ will help demystify lamination for you and maybe even make you want a laminator for yourself!
- What’s the difference between hot and cold lamination? When you think of lamination, perhaps the first thing you think of is hot lamination. Hot lamination occurs when a document is sheathed with laminate (often in the form of a laminating pouch) and is then fed through a machine that melts the adhesive on the film, thus bonding the laminate to the object. On the other hand, cold lamination is lamination that occurs without heat. The laminate used is already sticky, so no heat is required to melt the glue.
- What’s a pouch laminator? A pouch laminator is a very popular kind of laminator and one of the easiest kinds of laminators to use. A pouch laminator can laminate all sizes of documents, including tiny ones (such as business cards) and large, poster-sized items. A laminating pouch is simply a piece of laminate folded in half. You slide your document in, put it through your laminator, and you’re done. Pouches are available in many different sizes and some are clear and others are colored, so you can get creative when laminating, depending on your desired end result.
- What’s a roll laminator? Roll laminators are often found in high-volume professional operations, such as copy centers, and places that laminate lots of large items. (Your elementary school may have had one.) This type of laminator uses two rolls to quickly laminate large items such as posters, blueprints, and maps. Using a roll laminator is a good choice when you need to quickly laminate a large number of big items.
- What kind of things can I laminate? The main purpose of lamination is to protect your documents and make them sturdier. That said, almost any item can be laminated. Some obvious choices would be important personal documents (such as birth certificates), ID cards, signs, menus, and photographs.
- I have some fragile things I need to laminate. What kind of laminator should I use? If you need to protect a fragile document, especially one that could be damaged by the heat produced by a pouch laminator, cold lamination is the way to go. While you can use a machine for this, you can also do it manually by using self-adhesive laminating film.
- What’s a carrier? A carrier is a vital tool to have on hand when you use a pouch laminator. It kind of looks like an envelope and it surrounds your document while you’re laminating. A carrier prevents the glue from seeping out of the laminating pouch, which protects your document and keeps your machine clean. Carriers are usually included with every box of pouches you buy, so you can always have one handy.
- I keep seeing the term “mil.” What’s that? When buying laminating pouches, you’ll need to think about how rigid you want your items to be once they’re laminated. This where the term “mil” comes in. “Mil” refers to the thickness of a pouch in thousandths of an inch. Pouches are available in the following thicknesses: 3 mil, 5 mil, 7 mil, and 10 mil. Essentially, the higher the number, the thicker the pouch, and the stiffer the end result.
- What are some features I should look for in a laminator? One of the most important features to seek out when buying a laminator is a reverse button. Jams are bound to happen when laminating and a reverse button can help you remove the document before it gets wrapped up in the machine’s rollers and possibly damaging the unit. Another feature that’s nice to have is a variable temperature setting so you can perform both hot and cold lamination with the same machine. You might also want to look for a laminator that fits in with your home or office decor, or one that’s easily portable. Whatever your needs, there’s a laminator out there for you!
< Over the years, a number of customers have asked me whether they can use twin loop wire with their plastic comb binding machine. These customers often don’t want to have to buy a brand new machine but like the look and feel of twin loop wire binding. However, the answer to their question isn’t as simple as it seems. You see, they actually do make twin loop wire that is designed to work with the plastic comb binding hole pattern. With that said, if you want to use these wires you are going to need a way to close the wires. What is Spiral-O Wire?Let me explain a little bit more…There is a product that we carry called Spiral-O Wire. This wire has 19 loops and is designed to work with the hole pattern from a plastic comb binding machine. Spiral-O Wire is sometimes called Wire Combs or Ibico Wire and was originally designed for use with some of the older Ibico binding machines. A number of the older Ibico plastic comb binding machines also included a twin loop wire closer on the front of them to allow users to use both plastic combs and wire. This 19 loop wire was designed for this purpose.What Equipment is Needed? As the Ibico brand has been phased out by GBC and all of the older Ibico plastic binding machines have been replaced with new models, they no longer have the twin loop wire closer on the front of them. This presents a problem in trying to use these spiral-o wires since you can’t use the wires without a way to close them.One of the only options left is to purchase a Twin Loop wire closer. However, since twin loop wire closers are not incredibly cheap this option usually only appeals to users who have larger electric plastic comb binding machines. Otherwise, it is often advisable to simply buy a low end 3:1 pitch twin loop wire binding machine (the supplies are cheaper). This being said, if you have one of the older Ibico binding machines that has a wire closer included you are in luck. The Spiral-O binding supplies that we carry will work perfectly with your machine and you will be able to use both plastic combs and wire depending on your needs. These Spiral-O binding supplies are available in Black, Silver, White, Blue and Red and in sizes up to 1″ in diameter.If you aren’t sure what type of wire binding supplies that you need to work with your machine simply give us a call. Our trained sales representatives will be glad to help you find the correct supplies for use with your machine.(Read More)