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Buy HP OEM TonerOffice Supplies Buying Guides and Knowledge Base

A guide to office laminators

Need to display notices or sale info? Protect files and reference documents? Enhance a presentation? Laminators do all that and more. This guide will help you sort through the options to find the best laminator for your home or office. We define some terms and show you which features will work best in your office.

There are three factors to consider choosing an office laminator:

Style: laminators come in four basic styles that suit different needs. 
Capacity: your laminator must be able to accommodate laminator rolls and pouches thick enough for your project.  
Width: your laminator must also be wide enough for your projects.
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Which laminator styles will work best in your office? 

 

Laminators are available in four basic styles, each best suited for different applications.

Hot Laminators vs. Cold Laminators

Hot Laminators

Hot Laminators

Hot, or thermal, laminators work by melting the adhesive backing, not the plastic coating. However, laminators can melt too-thin laminating rolls and pouches. This causes less-than crystal clear laminations and, in severe cases, can ruin your machine. Invest in 3-ply laminator mediums (such as GBC brand), and a laminator with adjustable temperature settings. Most laminators shut off automatically to prevent overheating. Still, don't leave your laminator unattended -- treat it just like a curling iron or other electrical appliance. You should also keep your laminator clean. Laminator jams are cause by old glue gumming up the rollers. Run a cleaning sheet through your machine at the end of days use.

Cold Laminators

Cold Laminators

Cold lamination is best for best for heat-sensitive materials. It requires self-adhesive laminator rolls and pouches that can be applied with or without a machine. Using a laminator removes air bubbles and gives your projects a smooth finish. It's also more convenient to laminate large projects, such as banners and maps, with a machine. 

Cold lamination also allow for temporary laminations. Just use repositionable sheets that can be removed without destroying the underlying material. 

Roll Laminators vs. Pouch Laminators

Roll Laminators

Roll Laminators

Most versatile laminator. Laminate maps, banners, and  large projects with ease. Perfect for schools and businesses with heavy laminating needs.

Pouch Laminators

Pouch Laminators

Most economical laminator, but more limited applications. Must feed each document individually and use pre-sized pouches. Lamination pouches available in fixed, standard sizes: business card, luggage tag, photo, letter, legal & menu.

Recommended Laminators

Ultima 35 Ezload Heatseal Laminating System, 12" Wide Maximum Document Size
Ultima 35 Ezload Heatseal Laminating System, 12" Wide Maximum Document Size

HeatSeal Ultima 65 Laminating System, 27" Wide Maximum Document Size
Pro 13" Laminator, 3-5 mil Document Thickness
Heat Free Laminator, 8-1/2" Wide, 1/10" Maximium Document Thickness
Heat Free Laminator, 8-1/2" Wide, 1/10" Maximium Document Thickness
ezLaminator Cold Seal Manual Laminator, 9" Wide Maximum Document Size
ezLaminator Cold Seal Manual Laminator, 9" Wide Maximum Document Size
       

Laminator Capacity

Different laminators accommodate laminating rolls and pouches of different gauges, or thicknesses. Roll and pouch gauge is measured in mils, and the higher the mil, the thicker and more rigid the laminations. 

For occasional filing, handling or posting of menus, photos or other items where pouch flexibility is acceptable.

5 mil Laminators

For moderate handling, filing or posting of items such as photos, legal files or recipe cards.

 

7 mil Laminators

For daily handling, filing or posting of items such as sales materials, calendars, luggage and ID cards.

 

10 Mil Laminators

For intensive daily handling or usage of items such as reference documents, displays, easels, posters, signs and more.

Laminator Width 

Laminators are also available in a range of widths. The wider the laminator, the more versatile the machine. 

Photo Laminators
Maximum Lamination Width 4"

Document Laminators
Maximum Lamination Width 9"

Wide Format Laminators
Maximum Lamination Width 13"

Extra-Wide Format Laminators
Maximum Lamination Width 27"

Recommended Laminators

Fellowes® Jupiter™ 2 125 Laminator
Fellowes® Jupiter™ 2 125 Laminator

GBC® Ultima 35 EZload™ Roll Laminator
GBC® Ultima 35 EZload™ Roll Laminator
Scotch™ Heat-Free 12" Laminating Machine
Scotch™ Heat-Free 12" Laminating Machine
Fellowes® Cosmic™ CL Series Laminators
Fellowes® Cosmic™ CL Series Laminators
       

Additional Laminator Features

Safety Features

Auto Shutoff: Prevents overheating when laminator is not in use.

Heat Guard Technology: Double-walled insulation keeps heat inside laminating machine so it remains cool to the touch. Perfect for classrooms or crafting with kids.
Anti-Jamming Features

 
Jam Release Button: Releases the tension between the rollers so you can remove the pouch.
Reverse Function: Reverses rollers to disengage pouch for removal or re-centering.
Easy Access Function: Opens laminator to provide easy access for cleaning and maintenance, as well as to remove mis-feeds.

Laminators Coupon Code

Related articles & buying guides:

A guide to multimedia projectors
A guide to multimedia projectors
How to choose sheet protectors
How to choose sheet protectors
How to choose a printer
How to choose a printer

 

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