MyBinding Knowledge Base
What should I look for in a Pouch Laminating Machine?
If you’ve never bought a pouch laminator before, you might be overwhelmed by all the choices and not know what you should be looking for. If so, continue reading so that you’ll discover when to look for when buying one.
- An adequate feed opening. The first thing to take a look at is the machine’s feed opening. How wide is it? Will it accommodate your documents? Laminators have feed openings that measure as little as 4.5 inches or as much as 13.5 inches. Obviously, if you’re going to be working with larger items (i.e. maps, menus), you’ll need a machine with a large enough feed opening. Likewise, if you just need to laminate business cards and I.D. tags, a machine with a 4.5-inch throat would be perfect.
- The ability to accept a variety of pouches. Laminating pouches come in thicknesses ranging from 3 to 10 mil. “Mil” refers to 1/1000th of an inch, so the more mils a pouch has, the more rigid it will be. Most laminators, even the lower-end ones, can accommodate 3 and 5 mil pouches. If you want to use the thicker supplies, you’ll probably have to splurge on a more expensive device.
- Hot and cold settings. Most of the inexpensive laminators will only offer hot settings. However, if you want to laminate items such as photographs, ink-jet printouts, and color copies, look for a device that has a cold setting. These items can be severely damaged by heat and running them through a heated cycle will be disastrous. So look for a device with both hot and cold settings.
- How easy it is to use. Many of the entry-level laminators are extremely use to use. Often then have a knob you can turn to select your desired temperature setting. (Note: there may also be a switch or buttons.) If you’re feeling adventurous or you want total control over your laminating experience, you can choose a machine with an LED display and controls that allow you to fine-tune the heat and speed settings. Get the device you feel with which you feel the most comfortable. If you’re new to laminating, an entry-level machine is probably the way to go.
- A good brand name, fair price, and helpful warranty. Finally, choose a machine from a brand name you can trust such as GBC, Fellowes, or Lamitek. These manufacturers are famous in the document finishing world because they make very high-quality products. Most of their machines come with great warranties so you’re covered in case your new device gives you any grief. Also, make sure you buy the best machine you can afford. Buying the cheapest device usually means you’ll be replacing it rather quickly, so spend a little extra cash so you can get a better device.
< 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)