How do I choose a laminator for my home?

posted this on Jul 23, 2015

A laminator can be a great addition to your home. Just think of all the times you’ve wanted to preserve a precious photograph, protect important documents, or even help your child out with a craft or school project. Having one of these devices can help you out in all of those circumstances, but you might be wondering what to look for when buying one. This is brief guide will help you determine what to consider when buying a laminator for your home.

  1. What will you be laminating? The first thing to ponder is what you’ll be laminating. If you anticipate working with smaller items such as snapshots, luggage tags, and cards, a small device such as the GBC HeatSeal 110 would be a great choice. It’s affordable and capable of laminating all of your small treasures. If you want to protect something a bit larger, you’ll need a bigger machine, obviously. A couple of options are the GBC Heatseal H212 and the Fellowes Mars ML-95, both of which were designed with home use in mind.
  2. Turn the heat up or keep it cool? One important thing to keep in mind is if the machine you choose can run hot, cold, or both. Hot lamination is good for a variety of items, but having a hot machine can be hazardous if there are kids or pets around. (You’ll definitely want to be careful if that’s the case.) Also, the heat can damage some items including pictures, older documents, and anything that you print with an ink-jet printer. To laminate those things, you need a machine with a cold setting, such as the Fellowes Cosmic CL-95. You could also use self-adhesive laminate sheets. The best thing to do is to get a machine with both hot and cold settings. That way you’ll have the best of both worlds.
  3. What safety features do you need? As mentioned above, hot machines can be dangerous in homes in which children or critters are present. These types of devices can even be hazardous to the user due to the possibility of burns. Therefore, you need a machine with adequate safety features. One feature to look for is an automatic shut-off, which will cause the device to power off after a period of non-use. This cuts down on the risk of fire and injury, plus it means the laminator’s motor won’t overheat. You could also get a machine with double-insulated walls that will trap heat inside to eliminate the risk of burns. Fellowes laminators, such as the Cosmic CL-125, often have this feature. Alternately, you could choose a non-electric crafting device with laminating capabilities, such as the Xyron Creatopia.
  4. What else do you want the machine to do? Finally, if you’re a really creative person, you may want to get a device that can do more than just laminate. If so, you need to consider getting a Xyron product. These devices offer an easy, safe way to laminate in the home. Xyron has several machines available including the aforementioned Creatopia and the Creative Station series. All of these products are manually operated so even kids can use them, plus they can be used to create stickers, scrapbook pages, magnets, and more. So not only will you be able to laminate your important documents, your creative side can come through as well.
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