What laminator should I buy? This is a question that many laminator buyers ask manufacturers and sellers. If it’s your first time to buy a laminator, you may also be in the same situation. Keep reading! We went out of our way to put together the most important information that will help you select the best laminator for home use, school, office, or business premises.
What Laminator Should I Buy?
Laminator machines come in many different sizes, automation levels, and other differences. Depending on your lamination need, you will want to buy a laminator that meets your expectation. So what laminator machine should you buy? Let’s take a look at the important considerations when buying the device, whether it’s a laminator for home use or professional laminator for commercial purposes.
Laminators are sold in 4 major types today: pouch laminators, roll laminators, hot laminators, and cold laminators. Just like when buying any other machine, your needs and personal choices will determine with laminator type to purchase. Here’s more information to help you decide from an expert viewpoint.
Pouch Laminator vs. Roll Laminator
A major choice when searching for the best laminator for your business or application is deciding between a pouch laminator vs. roll laminator. Again, your choice will depend on what you plan to use the machine for as well as the types of materials you’ll be handling.
Pouch laminators use pre-set pouches. As a result, they only fit for specific applications based. Choose these laminators for small scale applications such as laminating IDs, business cards, and various items at home. They also make the best laminator for teachers or restaurant owners.
Roll laminators fit large scale lamination projects or applications that require wide-format lamination. They are also high-speed laminators since the laminating sheet is feels into the device continuously and suitable for busy businesses.
Hot vs. Cold laminator
The best laminator machine for your project will always be a choice between a hot and cold laminator. As such, it would help if you understand the upside and downsides of each option. So, which type should you go for? Your choice will depend on your intended use of the machine.
Hot laminators can fit many different uses. They make an excellent choice if looking for a commercial laminator to use in a laminating shop. Hot laminators also produce more durable and higher-quality laminations. The only major downside of these laminator types is their cost, which is usually higher than that of the cold types.
Cold laminators are more preferable if you want a device to laminate sensitive items such as photographs and digital print outs that heat may damage. A cold laminator is also usually a cheaper option. These laminators do not require a lot of maintenance too, and are easy to use. They do not produce very strong laminations, though, when compared to the hot types.
Laminator machines are distinguished by the type of features they come with. One type will be a low-rate laminator for home use, another fast and suitable for commercial places. Differences can also be in the number of rollers, mechanisms to ensure safe lamination or even in the wattage or amount of power required to run the machine. The most important laminator features to consider are.
When buying a laminator, you usually get to choose between a compact or large size depending on your intended use. It may be a small, desktop laminator that you can place on a table, or it can be a standalone machine capable of large format lamination.
Different laminator machine sizes suit different laminating jobs. For example, if planning to laminate a wide range of items including the large type, an a3 laminator is your best choice. It will accommodate all items. For smaller laminations such as a laminator for ID cards, an a4 laminator will usually suffice.
A fast laminator is critical if you operate a busy print shop or industrial lamination firm, but not so if looking for a laminator for home use. A high-speed laminator to use for personal laminations would mean paying for premium features that will not benefit you.
Depending on your needs, select a machine that will serve you well without regrets. You may also go for laminator machine that offers a variable speed option. Such a laminator allows you great flexibility in your lamination jobs.
Laminator rollers are typically rubber or silicone. It’s crucial to determine how many rollers you will want your laminator to have. Laminator rollers help with heating and sealing during the lamination process and are an important part of the machine.
A laminator may come with 2, 4, 6 or more rollers. More laminator rollers mean higher pressure and tension or proper distribution of heat. That in, turn, translates to better quality laminations that also look more professional. Such a laminator is also less likely to jam.
There are instances where you do not need more rollers, though. For example, a home laminator can use 2 or 4 rollers without issues. For larger, sophisticated laminators for school or office use, the number of rollers plays a part in the how laminating happens as well as the end results. You may want to choose a 6-rller laminator and higher if it’s a commercial laminator or industrial application type.
Jam Free laminator
A laminator will not jam when used correctly and following the instructions provided by the manufacturer. That said, it helps to have a laminating machine that’s built with an anti-jamming feature. A jam-free laminator can use many different mechanisms for the feature.
The most common anti-jam mechanisms include a reverse button to remove a stuck item, a button to release it, or even a lid that you can open to access the stuck material. All these help to make the lamination process more convenient.
Laminator Safety Features
Some laminator machines are built with features to increase the safety of the user and features to protect the machine from damage. Examples of laminator safety features include a way to reduce the temperature of the device’s surface. This allows users to touch the machine safely.
Most thermal laminators will also automatically switch off if they remain inactive for around 30 minutes. This helps to prevent overheating. Another crucial safety feature is the emergency stop that stops the lamination process if a problem comes up unexpectedly.
The laminator wattage indicates the amount of power needed to operate the device during lamination. If looking for a machine to use consistently, energy efficiency is a crucial concern as you do not want a machine that proves to be power-hungry.
In order to conserve power, additional features such as automatic shut-off or auto-sleep may be necessary. Theses help to conserve power if you happen to accidentally leave the machine unattended for some time. It also mostly applies to large, industrial laminators that use a lot of power.
Laminator machines come in different sizes, automation levels, and other design and construction features. Depending on your application, you will want to buy a laminator that suits your specific use. The information in this section is meant to help you find the best laminator for your budget, application, and other selection requirements.