Laminators can be of great help and can serve a lot of purposes at home, schools, and offices. The basic aim is to help preserve and protect your documents from getting damaged by offering it long-lasting protection.
When you are looking for a laminating machine to buy or if you are planning to purchase one, then it is smart to take your time in exploring the list of multiple options you have since there are a lot of different brands of laminating machines in the market today and finding the right one for you can prove difficult and you can get overwhelmed with the product to choose.
Just the way it is important to carefully choose the computers, scanners, and printers we work with, you also need to be careful when choosing a laminating machine; there are different products with different features. You should look at what you need in a laminator and your proposed budget for it.
There are a lot of laminators that are quite affordable and will perform its functions greatly, so you don’t need to spend all your cash just to get one.
In this guide, I have carefully listed and reviewed the top 10 best laminating machines you can find in the market today, the pros and cons of each machine have been highlighted to guide you as you choose.
1. GBC Thermal Roll Laminator – HeatSeal Pinnacle 27
For people that work with a larger document, the GBC Thermal Roll Laminator is the one to go for. It is large with its maximum document capacity of 27 inches that enables it to take on large prints and posters. It is built with the EZload technology which avoids jamming and makes sure the film is loaded to the machine in the correct and right way.
It has a great feature of a button that initiates a motorized reversed as a backup for jammed files. Although the laminator takes up to about 10 minutes to warm up, it works well and can laminate about 10 inches every minute.
The GBC Thermal Roll Laminator has buttons that allow you to set the laminator’s heating element temperature. This will help you cut down the setting to the type of item you want to laminate and also, the type of film you are using will determine it.
If you want thick laminations, then this might not be the product for you, t is compatible with films that are up to 3mm thick. It can also help you cut down on energy bills with its automatic shut off after hours of inactivity. All these features make it ideal for a busy place like a school.
- Jam-prevention technology
- Laminates 10inches per minute
- Saves electricity with Automatic shut-off
- Maximum pouch thickness is 3mm
- Takes time to warm up
2. Fellowes Laminator Neptune 3 125
The Fellowes Neptune 3 125 laminator is an ideal choice for a cold laminator. It uses some kind of pressure technology to help seal cold lamination pouches. It helps protect important documents to deliver a standard and performance. It can serve you well in schools, office, and home as it will easily create quick and professional laminations.
Its thermal technology uses heat to seal up files perfectly. Although it is quite expensive it offers great features for a laminator, it auto-detects the size of a pouch that enters. It is great for making signs, menus, calendar, photos, business cards, posters, certificates, picture cards, bookmarks, and flash cards.
Fellowes Laminator Neptune 3 125 has a strong roller system that gives a high quality, consistent, quick output at a high speed, giving a quality laminating results. Although it doesn’t feature the jam-prevention technology, it has a reverse feature that’s useful in cases of a misfeed.
It also helps to cut down on unnecessarily energy bills and prevents overheating with its auto-shutoff safety feature. Very fast to get things done with just about a minute to heat up.
- Auto detects pouch thickness
- Auto-off safety feature
- Missing jam prevention technology
3. Scotch Thermal Laminator Pro1306
With a very fast warm-up time, the Scotch Thermal Laminator Pro1306 is a good choice of a laminator. Although it isn’t meant for very large documents like a poster but works perfectly well when dealing with midsize documents. It has pouches that are 3mm, 5mm, and 6mm thick which makes it a good one with varieties that can handle documents that is as wide as 12.3 inches.
As a laminator with a fast warm up, it only takes about a minute for it to get warmed up and ready to put to use, with its light indicator showing you when it is ready. It can also laminate up to 18 inches per minute, making its why it’s in our top ten picks for the best laminator. It also helps save energy and cut down cost of electricity as it automatically shuts off when it stays idle for about an hour.
With this laminator, jamming and damaging documents can be avoided, it is specially built to prevent misfeeding. Also, it features two heated rollers that bond the film to the document, and the last two rollers press the document and film together to give you an excellent lamination.
- Fast start up and warm up
- Prevents jams automatically
- Laminates very fast
- No warranty
- Laminate smaller files
4. The Amazon Basics Laminating Machine
Being a laminator which price isn’t too on the high side, the Amazon Basics has very helpful and compatible features of a laminator. It is portable in size with a weight of 2.6 pounds. Though it is small in size and can only laminate smaller documents, it is a great laminator to work with. It’s heating up time is about four minutes with an indicator light that turns on when it is ready to be put to use.
If your laminations are rigid, then this is also not the laminator to go for as it only uses about 3mm and 5mm pouches.
The Amazon Basics is simple laminator that doesn’t have a monitor, but it has a switch you can flip to indicate whether you are using a 3mm or 5mm pouches.
The jam release lever helps you remove papers when jammed, the lever is a great feature that makes it easy to resolve jam issues when it occurs. Although it doesn’t have a jam prevention technology like others, it does serve its purpose greatly. You should get an outlet ready when you want to use the laminator since it uses an electric cord for power.
- One-year warranty
- A jam release lever
- Maximum pouch thickness it can handle is 5mm
- Must be plugged before use
- No automatic jam prevention technology
5. Business Source Document & Photo Laminator
For those that love a portable laminator with good features of a laminator, the Business Source Document 4.4” & Photo Laminator is a good choice that has few specifics. It works well for laminating photos and badges. It comes with two rollers since it is a small one, and can only seal documents that are about four inches wide. It can do well with standard sized document pages.
The Business Source Document 4.4” & Photo Laminator uses both thermal and cold laminating. Though it doesn’t have a jam prevention technology, and you also cannot reverse your document in any case of a loading problem, it is a versatile machine that can handle few different pouches that range from about 3mm to 5mm.
If you will be laminating small documents and you want something that would do it efficiently, then Business Source 4.4 is a good choice to make.
- Makes use of both thermal and cold laminating
- No jam prevention technology
- Can’t work with larger document
6. Abwei Thermal Laminator Machine
The Abwei Thermal Laminator Machine is a 6 in 1 multifunctional machine that is specifically designed with integration functions like corner rounder, hot and cold lamination, rotary paper trimmer, and jam release.
This product can make life easier for you by saving you lots of time with about 3 to 5 minutes of warm-up time. Your fingers won’t get hurt from pressing since it has a built-in unique cutter to protect your fingers. Its features a three style cutting modes of a straight, wave, and perforation. Its two article cutting mats protects the machine.
This machine is a hot and cold laminator with an amazing speed of 250mm/min. The cold setting is for the self-adhesive pouches while the hot lamination is for 3-mil or 5mil.
Lamination is always smooth and faster with the feature of a 2roller system. This is a good choice for busy places like a school or other offices. It has an automatic shutdown to cut down on your energy bills and also avoid overheating. Misfeeds can be avoided or cleared with the jam release lever making it easy to press just a button to solve your jam issues.
- Heats up fast
- Automatic shutdown
- Jam prevention technology
7. Eficentline YE381 Thermal Laminating Machine
The easy to operate Efficentline YE381 Thermal Laminating Machine is a machine that can handle larger documents. It is compatible with laminating pouches ranging from the size of a business card to that of A3 paper.
It has a quick warm-up and the laminating speed is fast enough to shoot up your speed and efficiency when working. It helps to protect and preserve the durability of some documents like photos, presentation materials, and cards. A very good choice for home use, office use and school use.
With a corner rounder and three different patterns of paper trimmers that can give a straight, perforated and a waving design, it ensures a very fast and smooth lamination.
The Eficentline has 20 pouches (10 for A4, 10 for A6) with a fast speed of 250mm per minute for the laminating system. It gives you a low noise when laminating, giving you a quiet environment as you work.
An ABS button that removes the paper from the laminator when jammed. Not forgetting the great feature of a 2-roller heating system that supports both thermal and cold lamination, making it one of the reason it’s in our top pick.
- Low noise
- 2-roller heating system
8. 4 in 1 Blusmart OL288 Laminator
One of the laminators that pride itself in getting things done with a remarkable output is the 4 in 1 Blusmart OL288 Laminator. The laminator machine has a 4 in 1 feature, hence the name. The features include a corner rounder, an ABS button that helps to release papers in a situation when they are jammed, a temperature control, and a rotary trimmer lamination.
It is simple and easy to you; what is required of you is to plug in the machine and wait for about 3 to 5 minutes for the warm-up process to complete. After the warm-up process, the machine is ready to use.
The 4 in1 Blusmart OL288 Laminator can be of help to you and can manage to keep up when used in a bus environment. It laminating speed is about 250mm per minute. Depending on the kind of document you are laminating, the laminator does work on average temperature. Its jam-free technology help to prevent wraps or tears during the process of laminating. It fits into schools, work place and home
- Easy lamination sheet cutting
- Easy to use
- Quality lamination
- Prevent papers from tearing or wrapping
- Quite expensive
9. Apache AL9 Thermal Laminator
A very good laminator that is capable of laminating items that are up to 9” wide is the Apache AL9W laminator that is an A4 class laminator.it gives a bubble-free, clear and quick result when used.
Its design is stylish and sleek with the feature of an ultra-compact design with a height of 3.3”. It is of high quality and grade, giving it durability/ it has a premium grade motor, 2 silicone rollers, and a premium grade heating rollers. This product is specifically designed for home or office use.
When looking for a good laminator that will help preserve and protect your documents from liquids, humidity, and tear, then the Apache AL9 9” Thermal Laminator is a good choice. It also helps to preserve and enhance your presentation documents. It comes with a 20 pack of 5 and 3 mil laminator pouches with a 6-month manufacturer warranty to guarantee you of quality.
If you will be dealing with larger documents, then this is not the ideal laminator for you since it can only take 9” but it does its job perfectly and works completely well with the mid-sized document.
- 6 months warranty
- Laminates 9”
10. Jieze Thermal Laminator Machine
This easy to use Laminating machine is a good choice for home, office and the school environment. It warms up fast enough and saves you time while laminating, taking about 3-5 minutes to warm up and get ready to be used. It has a hot and cold 2-roller laminating system that help to satisfy different pressure requirement with an amazing speed of 10.2 inches/min.
The Jieze thermal laminator machine comes with different pouch thickness settings and a single operation switch that makes it very easy to operate. Even a beginner will find it easy to use.
This Jieze product provides a perfect function with speed of about 10.2 inches per minute and supports thickness of laminating items of up to 0.02 inches. The glue speed is 314mm per minute and its maximum width it can take is the size of an A3 paper or 12. Inches. You can apply it to laminations of commercial papers cover, greeting card, posters, advertising presentation drawings, diagram, and others.
It has 3 temperature settings for the cold pouch, 3 mil, 5 mil with LED Indicators, and a single operation switch that avails you with the status of the machine. This is surely a good value of the price.
- Easy to use
- Hot and cold 2-roller
- Doesn’t always produce the desired heat
Laminator Buying Guide
After lots of research, we have carefully reviewed the top ten best laminators you can find in the market. In the process of our researched, we looked the rating users gave, their feedback, and reviews to know which of the laminators is the best and works according to the way the manufacturer portrayed it to be.
Our selected laminators are of different sizes, the way they work and price, but they all do one thing in common- laminate and they give an excellent result.
During our research and comparing of products, we got to know the product that is the easiest to use by looking for the features that are helpful. If you noticed, some of the models that were reviewed had a jam release button or a motorised reverse button to enable release of documents when jammed, while some models don’t have that.
Also, for laminators that use heat to seal up the document, we checked how long it normally takes for the heating element to get warmed up. Then, we checked for speed to know which laminator is the fastest. We checked for the sizes since the size of the laminator will determine the size of the document you can laminate.
What is Lamination?
It is a technique in which a composite of materials is produced in layers to give it an increase in durability, strength, and look better. Going through this process is referred to as to laminate. It works with heat, adhesives and pressure.
Laminating materials normally varies, it depends on the object you are laminating. In a case of laminating a poster, the materials that will be used are sheets of plastic film on the side of the poster, it will increase the durability and strength of the poster, and will also keep it from getting damaged. A car windshield can also be laminated with a heavy plastic film sandwiched between two layers of glass.
The lamination helps the driver by protecting the windshield from shattering in the case of an accident.
A laminator machine is either a hot or a cold one, it uses different sized pouches that are made from the plastic film with a special adhesive that binds the materials placed in them. The most common laminators are the hot laminators that are with heated plates or rollers in which the pouches are fed.
A cold laminator is the right one to go for when dealing with materials that are prone to damage when it comes in come in contact with heat. A cold pouch laminator usually leverages the pressure from their rollers in order to initiate the adhesive that’s inside the pouch. You wouldn’t need to use electricity with this when you use a turn-style crank in feeding the pouch and material.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Laminator
The Type of Laminator
There are majorly two different types of laminator; they are the thermal and the cold laminators which all offers both sealing methods. A cold lamination is also referred to as a pressure lamination which applies pressure to a sticky but transparent sheet to laminate documents, unlike the thermal that uses a clear paper for lamination.
However, people use both ways but the thermal lamination is more widely used. The thermal laminators are usually more expensive as they create a better result and are hassle-free, although the films are less expensive than that of the cold laminator.
Choosing a laminator typically depends on the items you are laminating. So if you are dealing with items that are temperature sensitive, it will be best to go for a cold laminator, and if not a thermal laminator is also very good.
Warm-Up Time & Laminating Speed
All thermal laminator do need some time to warm up before doing their job. Well, it all boils down to the machine and model; warm-up time varies and can be from 1 to 20 minutes. After it gets warmed up, the laminating speed also varies depending on the machine. If you would be needing a laminator in a busy environment that would require you to do your job in a hurry, then go for a laminator that laminates fast.
The film and pouch thickness always needs to be compatible with the laminating machine you are using it with. For instance, a 10-millimetre film or pouch is very difficult to bend and the most protective, but a 3-millimetre film bends easily and also gives the document a protective coating. The thickness needed all depends on the task but it is important to note that laminators are mostly compatible with three film thickness.
Number of Rollers
The quality of the laminated documents is determined by the numbers of rollers and functions. Basically, about two rollers are enough to press your document and the film together, so it is better if the documents are placed slowly into the machine.