Last Updated on January 11, 2021 by Righteous Daddy (Rehan)
Disclosure: My content contains affiliate links, meaning “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”
If you’re looking for the best laminator, you’ve arrived at the right forum. In this article, I have not targeted specific-purpose laminators. I have covered all-purpose laminators, including office, school, and home use. I searched for different markets, tested, and chose the top three laminators for you.
While choosing the best laminator, there are certain factors to account for, such as speed, size, pouch/sheet thickness, and of course, the price tag. The list doesn’t end here. There are many other elements to look for in a laminator. I have discussed all of these factors below in the buyer’s guide.
I guarantee you’ll find this article informative and enlightening.
Let’s get started without wasting any time.
Why Trust me?
I am a solopreneur, a father, and a husband. The reason to trust me is that I am a family man. And I do not want junk products for my family. I consider you (my readers) part of my family too. So, I only recommend the products that I used and will use. The items that I love for myself and my family.
You will never ever see me promoting products just for the sake of commission. As you can clearly see that I am transparent about being an associate (affiliate) of amazon. You can find disclosure on top of every post and in my blog’s footer, also on the advertiser disclosure page.
What is the purpose of a laminator?
No doubts, you know what a laminator is. That’s why you have searched for it.
But if by any chance, someone is new to this term, this section is for you.
A laminator is a machine (big or small) that adds a shiny, glossy, and transparent covering to your documents, photographs, certificates, etc. The thickness of the covering and speed of lamination varies in different laminators.
How is lamination beneficial?
The process of lamination is beneficial in several ways:
- It adds a shiny, glossy look to your documents.
- It protects essential documents from wear and tear.
- It increases their durability and life-expectancy.
- It also enhances the text and color of the paper.
- If you’re using a laminator for office or school purposes, it increases your productivity.
What are the types of Laminators?
There are various different types of laminators:
- Hot Pouch Laminators
These laminators use heat-activated film to coat the documents. Such a type of lamination is free from bubbles and creates a tight seal. It uses a pouch with two connected sides to laminate the item.
- Cold Pouch Laminators
Instead of hot lamination, cold pouch laminators provide UV protection to the documents. They are usually used for heat-sensitive items such as photos and printed copies. In this lamination process, pouches use pressure-activated adhesive to coat the paper(s).
- Cold Roll Feed Laminators
Such laminators use vinyl and adhesive films to coat the documents. These laminators are commonly found in commercial printers.
- Single Hot Roll Feed Laminators
As the name suggests, these laminators use heat-activated thermal film on one side of the document. The film thickness ranges from 42-250 microns in single hot roll feed lamination.
- Double Hot Roll Feed Laminators
These laminators also use heat-activated thermal film. Unlike single hot roll feed laminators, these apply the film on both sides of the document. The film thickness range is the same as in the single hot roll feed laminators.
- Cold Basic Roll Feed Laminators
These are heavy-duty laminators used for high-quality documents. Such laminators use 2 cold and large diameter rollers in the lamination process. Cold basic roll feed laminators are often used by graphic designers or sign creators.
What are Some of the best laminators?
In the following table. I have listed some of the best laminators.
Let’s comprehensively discuss all of these laminators one by one.
Amazon Basics 9-Inch Thermal Laminator Machine
This is the very first laminator on my list.
Amazon Basics 9-Inch thermal laminator machine is budget-friendly and exceptionally easy to use. This little device has great potential. It is compatible with various different kinds of paper.
Let’s elaborately discuss all of its features.
Compatibility: This little device is capable of laminating up to 9 inches wide documents. A letter, legal, business-card, and photo-size papers are appropriate kinds of paper to laminate using Amazon Basics 9-Inch thermal laminator machine.
Laminating Pouches: It includes 2 laminating pouches measuring 3-mil-thick and 8.9×11.4-inch. This machine works with both 2 mils and 5 mil laminating pouches.
Heat Settings: You can choose either of the two heat settings. The first heat setting adds a 3 mil laminating pouch to the document. It is best suitable for standard documents such as photos and card stocks. Another heat setting adds a 5 mil laminating pouch to the documents. This setting is best for laminating thin documents.
Warming Up: This machine gets warm up quickly in just 4 minutes. You’ll know it is ready to use when you see the ready indicator light.
Jam Release Lever: To prevent jam and ensure smooth working, there is a jam release lever present in this laminator machine.
This is all about its features.
Let’s have a quick review of its design.
Dimensions: Amazon Basics 9-Inch thermal laminator machine measures 13.38 x 4.84 x 2.44 inches.
Weight: It weighs 2.64 pounds.
Color: It is available in decent white color.
The laminator machine has a basic, functional, and elegant design. It features two indicator lights: On and Ready, on the top right of the machine. At the back of the laminator, jam release lever and pouching options are available.
This is all about its design.
After trying and testing this laminator machine, I found out the following defects:
- Inefficient to laminate multiple papers at once: For occasional use, this laminator machine is perfect. But suppose you’re trying to laminate multiple documents or papers at once. In that case, you’ll experience unsatisfactory results after the third or fourth sheet. You may encounter bubbles, warp, or it may completely stop laminating. You need to wait for the machine to heat back up. This adds more to your workload and consumes a lot of your time.
The only solution to this problem is – give a break in between laminating multiple sheets. Once you’re convinced that the machine cannot produce efficient results now, wait for a while. Give the machine some time to heat back up and then feed the sheet.
All things considered, I have come to the conclusion that Amazon Basics 9-Inch thermal laminator machine is a perfect buy at this price.
With two heat settings, you can add a laminating pouch following the kind of paper. It quickly warms up and shows an indication when it is ready to laminate documents. For occasional use, this laminator is the best choice. But if you want a machine for daily use, then you should opt for other options.
Scotch Brand Pro Thermal Laminator
This is the second laminator machine on my list.
Scotch Brand Pro is a 9-inch thermal laminator machine. It warms up instantly, and use two heat settings to laminate your documents, papers, cards, etc.
Let’s have a comprehensive look at all of its features.
Instant Warm-Up: This laminator machine warms up instantly in just five minutes. The light signals indicate that the machine is ready to use.
Lamination Speed: It laminates documents at a blazing speed of 15 in/minute.
Compatibility: This compact device is compatible with a legal, letter, photos, ID badges, and business cards.
Heat Settings: Like the first laminator machine in our list, this little device also uses two heat settings to laminate documents. In the first one, the machine used a 3 mil laminating pouch to coat the documents. In the other setting, it uses 5 mil pouches to cover papers.
Auto Shut-off: The laminator machine automatically shuts off after 1 hour of no use. It is an energy-saving device.
Anti-Jam: It features anti-jam technology, which prevents items from damage and ensures smooth functioning.
This is all about its features.
It is now time to review its design.
Dimensions: Scotch Brand Pro Thermal Laminator measures 17.44 x 6.22 x 6.14 inches.
Weight: It weighs 3.2 pounds.
Color: This laminator machine is available in two attractive colors: White and Green.
Design: It uses LED touch controls. At the front left of the laminator, heat settings and power operations are present. A release lever is present at the front right of the machine.
This is all about its design.
After observing, trying, and testing this laminator machine, I disclosed the following downsides of it:
- Flimsy Design: The only major defect in the Scotch Brand Pro thermal laminator machine is its delicate design. It is made up of cheap and easily breakable parts. Only after a few weeks of use it will die out.
Well, there is no solution to this problem. There’s nothing you can possibly do to enhance the build quality of this laminator machine. If you’re seeking something solid, look for other options I have mentioned.
It would not be untrue to say that Scotch Brand Pro thermal laminator machine, at this price, is a perfect buy. Considering all the factors, I have concluded that no other laminator provides professional-quality lamination at this price. However, it is made with cheap, flimsy material that can expire at any time. If you’re seeking something more durable and dependable, look for other options available.
Crenova 13 Inches Laminator (Best for Teacher’s Use)
This is the third and final laminator machine on my list.
Crenova 13 Inches Laminator is ideal for teacher’s use. It is a 13-inch machine with two roller design. Besides the laminator machine, it also comes with many other useful accessories.
Let’s comprehensively discuss its features.
Instant Warm-up: This laminator machine warms up more instantly, i.e., in 2 minutes, compared to the other two devices we have previously mentioned.
Compatibility: It is compatible with up to 13 inches of paper, i.e., A3 size. It works smoothly with cards, pictures, menus, bookmarks, tags, artworks, etc.
Anti-Jam Design: By moving the ABS lever, the machine quickly discards jammed papers.
Lamination Options: You can laminate in either one of the two options; hot or cold. This little device is compatible with both 3 and 5 mil laminating pouches.
These are all the features present in this laminator.
Let’s have a quick analysis of its exterior.
Dimensions: Crenova 13 Inches laminator machine measures 19.5 x 7 x 4.5 inches.
Weight: It weighs 4.69 pounds.
Color: This device has a decent white color.
Design: It has ready and power indications at the right bottom on the front. On the right side of the machine, lamination options are present.
This is all about its design.
It comes with various useful accessories. These are the following:
- One paper trimmer
- One corner rounder
- 25 laminating pouches (Five A3, five A4, and ten A6)
Below enlisted are the downsides which I found in Crenova 13 Inches laminator machine upon testing it.
- Bubbles’ appearance: While laminating, you will encounter bubbles in most of the documents’ lamination.
Laminate the paper twice to remove all of the bubbles and lines in the lamination.
Following are the things I liked and disliked in Crenova 13 Inches Laminator machine.
After processing all of the elements and facts into my mind, I can satisfactorily say that Crenova 13 inches are the BEST laminator machine against the two devices I have mentioned in this article. It warms up in just 2 minutes, laminates in two different options, hot or cold, and produces high-quality laminated documents. It is a compact, light-weight, and efficient device.
How to Operate these Laminators?
In case you overlook how to operate these laminators, this section serves as a guide. By following the enlisted steps, you can easily manage these machines and laminate your documents without any trouble.
- Switch on your machine and choose the pouch set.
- Once it is hot enough, it will tell you with the help of the READY indicator.
- Place your document inside the pouch and make sure it is well-centered.
- Always place the SEALED END in the machine first, with the open end following it.
- Do not pull the pouch as it feeds through the laminator.
- Once it is done, do not touch or pull it instantly as it will be hot. Let it rest for some time to cool down. Or use caution while handling it.
Handling and operating a laminator is as simple as a piece of cake.
How to Choose the Best Laminator?
How do you know which laminator is THE BEST?
How do you know which laminator you should choose and which one you should refrain from buying?
To answer your questions, I have constructed this small yet informative buyers guide containing all of the factors that help you choose the right laminator.
Let’s get started.
No matter if you are laminating documents for a classroom, for office use, or for home purposes, the paper’s width varies. Sometimes you may want to laminate small-sized papers. Sometimes, you will have to laminate large-sized documents, including maps, banners, or signs. Ensure that the laminator you’re planning to buy should be efficient enough to handle both small and large-sized papers. While most of the machines handle A4 paper size, you should look for a laminator to handle A3 paper size.
There are laminator machines out there in the market that can laminate a minimum of 1.5 mils thick and a maximum of 10 mils thick. But frankly, these are too flimsy and too thick. The ideal thickness is 3 mil and 5 mils. Choose your laminator machine accordingly.
The speed at which the laminator machine laminates the document counts a lot. If you are short of time, look for a fast-moving machine. However, if you have a lot of time and don’t have duration issues, a normal-paced machine would be sufficient for you.
Some laminator machines are equipped with some other unique features such as a built-in paper cutter, corner cutter, hot and cold lamination options, indicator signs, etc. The absence of these features in a laminator machine doesn’t make much difference; however, their presence makes your tasks easier and saves you a lot of time.
It is essential to determine the right amount of heat temperature for your document. If the temperature is too low, the end result will be bubbles on the document. If the temperature is too high, the end result will be lines on the document. To avoid either of the two situations, test some papers, determine the right amount of temperature, and adjust your machine according to it.
Furthermore, suppose you don’t want to test the papers and want to save that time instead. In that case, some laminator machines in the market can automatically adjust the temperature according to the pouch’s thickness. So you don’t have to make any effort.
The time a laminator machine takes to warm up is also significant. The standard warm-up time is 5 minutes. Most of the laminator machines in the market take five minutes to heat up. However, some take only 1-2 minutes to warm-up. Such machines are time-saving and more efficient.
No matter how careful you are, 1-2 pages will always jam when you are laminating documents. The real problem is not the jamming of the papers. The real struggle is the release of that jam. How to do so? The expert machines feature a jam release lever that quickly releases the jam and ensures the machine’s smooth working. This saves a lot of time and effort.
Good for you. In this article, we have mentioned all of the compactly-sized and light-weight laminator machines. Size and weight matter too when it comes to storing the device or moving it from one place to another.
Personal Tips for Laminating Documents
Below, I have listed a few of my personal recommendations that you should follow for smooth, crystal-clear, and bubble-free lamination of the document.
- While laminating multiple papers, always give a short break in between. This allows the laminator to heat back up. The end result will always be crystal-clear, adequately sealed, bubble-free laminated documents.
- If you’re laminating thin papers, always laminate at a thick pouch setting, i.e., 5 mils thick in most laminators. When you are laminating dense documents such as cards, photos, etc., always choose the thin laminating pouch, i.e., 3 mils thick.
- If laminating the document only at once doesn’t give satisfactory output, laminate the same document twice or thrice times until you are satisfied with the production.
- Clean your machine regularly, so the glue doesn’t build up on the rollers.
These are a few tips that might help solve the problems you face while laminating your documents.
Wrapping It Up…
And here we are at the very last section of our article. In conclusion, I would like to say that it is fun and creative to laminate cards, banners, photos, and essential documents. But what is most important is using high-quality lamination that can last long. For this purpose,
I have personally searched and analyzed various high-quality laminators, out of which 3 became my top favorite, which I have mentioned in this article, along with their complete detail. Besides the laminators, I have shared a few other information related to the laminator. Such as tips for laminating documents, steps to operate laminators, and lastly, an easy guideline that will make you choose THE BEST laminator under your needs and budget.
I hope you will find this article informative.
Keep visiting my blog for more amazing articles.