What should I look for in a pouch laminator for my home?

posted this on Jul 8, 2015

At some point in your life, you’ve probably encountered a laminator in either a school or office. Laminators are used to protect important items so they can be handled again and again, which is why they’re used to process name badges, menus, and so on. However, laminators can be used in the home as well, especially pouch laminators since these machines tend to be reasonably sized. Here’s some advice on how to choose one of these for your home.

1.) Think about what you want to laminate. One of the first steps in choosing the right device for your needs is to think about what you to laminate. Do you want to work with small items such as recipe cards and wallet-sized photographs? Or how about larger items such as your kids’ artwork and school assignments? Or maybe a bit of both? This is important to think about because you need to choose a device that is large enough to accommodate your materials.

2.) Do you prefer cold lamination or thermal? The vast majority of pouch laminators you can choose from are thermal devices. These machines melt the adhesive in laminating pouches in order to encapsulate your document. If you think you’re going to want to process items that could be damaged by heat – old photographs, for example – be sure you pick a laminator that has a cold setting. That way, you can place your fragile items in a pressure-sensitive pouch (as opposed to a thermal one) and they won’t become damaged.

3.) Seek out good safety features. Safety features are definitely something you should look for, especially if you have kids. (Or animals, even.) Since pouch laminators use heat to complete the process, there’s chance that you or someone else could be burned while using it. Luckily, there are some devices that are designed to trap the heat safely inside the unit so burns are unlikely to happen. Also, some pouch laminators will shut off automatically when you’re done using them. This helps prevent a fire from starting and it also conserves power.

4.) Look for a low price and a good warranty. The cost of your laminator is definitely an important consideration. Luckily, these machines aren’t too cost-prohibitive, especially if you get one that’s on the small side. You should be able to find one that’s just right for your budget. A good warranty is also important, so try to get a machine with one that lasts for a year or so.

5.) Brand names to look for. And finally, you need to choose a laminator from a reputable manufacturer so that you know you’re getting a good machine. Some brand names to seek out include GBC, Fellowes, Lamitek, and Tamerica.

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