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The Best Laminator

Last updated on April 11, 2023

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Laminators

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Scotch Professional Quality Dual Roller System Thermal Laminator

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Scotch

Professional Quality Dual Roller System Thermal Laminator

This high-quality laminator offers a professional finish. It can accommodate items up to nine inches wide. The laminator is safe to use on precious documents like photographs.

Overall Take

Great ResultsThis laminator offers a professional-quality finish.

 Runner Up

Eficentline Thermal Laminating Machine With Paper Trimmer

Eficentline

Thermal Laminating Machine With Paper Trimmer

This laminator comes with advanced features such as a paper cutter and corner rounder. It also has grid lines for more accurate cutting. The laminator uses a double-roller design for faster results.

Overall Take

Advanced FeaturesThis laminator has a paper cutter and corner rounder.

 We Also Like

SINOPUREN 3-in-1 Desktop Thermal Laminator

SINOPUREN

3-in-1 Desktop Thermal Laminator

This laminator has professional features such as a hole punch, paper trimmer and corner rounder. It comes with laminating pouches. The laminator can accommodate documents up to nine inches wide.

Overall Take

Professional TouchesThis laminator has a hole punch, trimmer and more.

 Strong Contender

BONSEN Personal 4-in-1 A4 Hot Cold Laminator

BONSEN

Personal 4-in-1 A4 Hot Cold Laminator

This versatile laminator supports both hot and cold processes. It has a double-roller design to make lamination faster. The machine is ideal for home, office or school use.

Overall Take

Versatile ChoiceThis laminator supports hot and cold processes.

Buying Guide

For many professions, such as teachers, a laminator is an essential piece of equipment. It’s also a necessity for many homes, especially for those people who like to preserve certain documents or photographs. When choosing a laminator, first consider which type you would like to get: pouch or roll.

A pouch laminator is ideal for laminating items such as business cards, badges, tags, ID cards and more. There are different sizes of pouch laminators, and the one you need will depend on the type of documents you need to laminate. The sizes can range from business card size all the way to legal paper size. Some special varieties are even larger and can be used to laminate items like restaurant menus.

As the name suggests, pouch laminators have plastic pouches where you place the documents, and then the pouch is run through the machine where it is heated. The adhesive within the pouch fuses together to laminate the document inside.

The other type of laminator is the roll laminator, which use rolls of laminating film instead of pouches. These types of laminators are on the commercial end and designed for heavy-duty use, typically found in printing shops or schools. They can handle documents of any size, though they work best for large documents.

While new and not very common, there is a lesser-known third type of laminator, known as the cold laminator. These use pressure instead of heat to laminate documents. Some of these types of laminators can also work without electrical power, which pouch and roll laminators require.

What to Look For

  • If time is of the essence, keep warm-up and preheat speeds in mind when choosing a laminator. Typically, most laminators require at least five minutes to heat up before they can be used. Some take a little bit longer, while newer models can heat up in about a minute. For most people, waiting five minutes isn’t a big deal. However, if you laminate often, then that waiting time can add up.
  • In terms of lamination speed, the process is going to be slow no matter what type of laminator you get. Going slow and steady is what results in a smooth and even lamination that doesn’t have any creases or air bubbles. Keep in mind that the industry standard is about twelve inches per minute, but some newer models can go up to fifteen inches per minute.
  • In order to work effectively, pouch and roll laminators run very hot. Unfortunately, this means they cannot run for a long time because they need to be able to cool down – otherwise they may shut off or stop functioning. Typically, you should only run a laminator for about 20 minutes before turning it off for a break. If you sense the laminator is about to overheat, be sure to turn it off right away.
  • Some laminators have a tendency to get jammed, especially those that use pouches. Taking out a jam isn’t easy, since the pouch can be sticky and hot. Always opt for a laminator that has quick jam release. This is typically a lever that enables you to separate the rollers and pull out the jam. Jams can lead to fires, so this is an important feature to have.

More to Explore

If you’re looking for laminators with additional useful features, having a paper cutter is a good feature to have. Some laminators come with different patterns of paper cutters, such as straight, wave, and perforated. Some also have grid lines to help you position the paper correctly.

Another cutting-related feature is a corner rounder, which helps you get smooth, round corners instead of sharp ones – which is particularly helpful if you’re laminating paper for children or the elderly. These features are typically added to the top of the laminator unit, so everything is contained in one place.

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