MyBinding Knowledge Base
How I choose between a Hot or Cold Laminator?
When it comes down to choosing between a hot and cold laminator, there are many things to think about. While both of these types of machines will provide you with durable, preserved documents, there are differences between the two of them in regards to available supplies, cost, and so on. So here’s what you need to think about when shopping for a laminator so you can choose the right one.
- What supplies are available. One of the most important considerations when deciding what type of laminator to get is the availability and selection of supplies. Thermal pouches are pretty easy to find and there are a lot of different sizes to choose from. (You’ll be able to laminate small items like business cards and larger ones such as maps and menus.) There aren’t as many sizes available when it comes to cold laminating supplies. This won’t be too much of a problem if you’re working with a roll laminator but it could be an issue with a device that handles pouches.
- How much time you want to save. You’re probably a very busy person and are looking for a device that can provide you with quick results. If that’s the case, a cold device would be a particularly good choice because it wouldn’t require any warm-up time. There are some thermal machines that can take in excess of ten minutes to heat up which can be really inconvenient when you’re trying to get things done in a short amount of time.
- The cost of the device. Of course, cost is going to be an issue whether you’re buying a car, a computer, or a laminator. Laminators are available at all price points but you should keep in mind that you do get what you pay for. That said, thermal machines are usually a bit more expensive than cold ones simply because they cost more to produce. (The difference in price isn’t too great but it is there.) However, you will find that the supplies need for cold lamination are more expensive than what you need for thermal processing. So going with the cold machine could end up costing you a bit more in the long run.
- What you’re going to be laminating. Something you absolutely must think about before getting a laminator is what you plan on laminating. The size of your materials will play a part because you’ll need a roll laminator to process large items such as posters. Also, there are some materials that shouldn’t be processed by a hot machine including documents and photos that have been printed with water-based ink. These items can be damaged when exposed to heat so if you’re going to be working with a lot of them, a cold device might be best. Or you may want to go with a laminator that can do both hot and cold lamination. It’s up to 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)