MyBinding Knowledge Base
What should I know about laminating film?
Roll laminators are awesome machines, but sometimes it can be difficult to know what supplies you need to use with your new laminating system. The most important supply you need is laminating film. Although you might be mystified and maybe even a little intimidated by all the different kinds of film available, buying laminating film doesn’t need to be hard. This article will give you some idea of what you need to look for when purchasing film for your roll laminator.
Obviously, size is an important consideration when buying laminating film. You will need to know how wide your machine is and then buy film that’s compatible with that width. You will also need to think about the size of the document you plan on laminating. For example, if you’re laminating letter-sized items, you can use film that’s 12 inches or wider and trim away the excess. The length of the roll isn’t as important as the width, so you don’t need to worry too much about that. Just make sure the roll isn’t too long for your laminator.
Thickness is an important factor when choosing laminating film. If you read your machine’s instructions, it will tell you what thickness the laminator can handle, whether it’s something on the lower end of the scale such as 1.5 mil film or something thicker, like 10 mil laminate. The higher the mil number, the more rigid your laminated document will be. Keep in mind that a lot of school laminators can only handle the thinner films, such as 1.5 and 3.0 mil film.
You might have seen the term “core” used when people talk about roll laminators and wondered what the term meant. It’s simple: the core is the cardboard tube that the laminating film is wrapped around. You will need to know what size core is compatible with your laminator. For example, most roll laminators need rolls with a 1-inch or 2.25-inch core. Anything larger than that is more commonly found on wide-format laminators. If you have any questions, consult your machine’s instruction book to find out what size core it can handle. Or, you can measure the core of the film that is currently mounted on your laminator to determine the correct core size.
Now that we’ve got the size considerations out of the way, we can focus on more interesting aspects such as the finish of the film. Do you want a matte look? Or maybe you prefer glossy. Both of these finishes are readily available, although glossy film tends to be used more frequently than the matte laminate just because it looks good (hey, it’s shiny!) and it’s less expensive than matte film. There are other finishes available, but matte and glossy tend to be the most common. The finish you choose depends on how you want your document to look, so have fun with it.
< 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)