It’s a good piece of general advice to investigate anything you plan on investing your money into, and a laminator is no different. This article details a number of things to consider when looking to buy a laminator.
What Is Your Budget?
Laminators can range widely in price depending on features and the size of the machine. Make sure you have your budget in mind before you start looking at specific machines.
What Will You Be Using It For?
If you plan on working with a material that’s sensitive to temperatures, you may want to look into a cold laminator. If you plan on working on photos, look into a quad-roller. The more rollers a laminator has, the more professional the results will be.
What is the Largest Size Document You’ll Ever Laminate?
Pouch and roll models are useful for handling different documents. However, it’s important to know that pouch models cap out at 14 inches of width, so anything wider than 14 inches like a banner, map or a poster would best be served by a roll model. Roll laminators can laminate items ranging from 12 to 70 inches in width.
How Much Material Will You Laminate?
Pouch models are best suited to small and medium volumes, somewhere between a few dozen to a few hundred objects. Roll models are best for medium or high volumes, such as when you need to work with a few hundred to a few thousand objects in a day.
How Thick Does Your Film Need to Be?
Laminate film is gauged in mils, with one mil equal to 1/1000th of an inch. Common film thicknesses are 1.5, 3, 5 (most common among pouch models), 7 and 10 mils. Roll models regularly make use of 1.5 and 3 mil film.
Who Will Be Doing the Lamination?
While it’s a good idea to have a mature adult operate the laminator, pouch models are safe for children to use provided that the child is supervised. Roll models should be avoided by children, as they contain heating components.
Where Do You Plan on Storing It?
While space is always an issue with these sorts of machines, roll models require far less space than pouch models.
Will Your Laminated Materials Ever Be Outside?
This question is more pertinent to the quality of your machine’s film than the laminator itself. When laminating documents that will ever be outside, it’s important to use UV film that has been specially treated to deflect UV rays that would otherwise drain and fade the colouration from coloured prints.
Will You Be Mounting Pictures on Foam Core Board?
When it comes to mounting documents like maps, photos and posters, foam core board is necessary. When your documents require foam core board, they will need to be roll laminated. Fortunately for consumers, most machines clarify if they can mount documents and will also state their maximum thickness for mounting various document types.
Does the Machine Have a Reverse Function?
When it comes to important documents, you want to make sure that you’ve done everything properly. Sometimes you learn that a mistake has been made at some point, and a reverse function is perfect for when these mistakes are known and need to be corrected. Any laminating machine that allows reverse lamination can “undo” the sealing and allow you to easily extract the document.