Laminators – Hot/Cold, Roll/Pouch Lamination

Laminators are the ideal way to preserve your photos, documents, business cards, posters, and more.  Without lamination your precious photos, or important business cards, or essential documents could loose their luster, their professionalism, or their credibility.  You can achieve this level of security so very easily with either your own pouch laminator, or roll laminator available in hot or cold lamination.

How do laminators work? A laminator utilizes rollers to apply a protective film to a document or other item that requires protection. The film forms a protective seal across the item using heat and/or pressure.

Laminator Types

Hot Laminators – hot lamination is the most common and durable lamination method and is generally preferred over its cold counterpart.  Hot laminators use a heat-activated adhesive that is heated (from 200-300 F) as it passes through the device.  The heat required for lamination varies depending on the thickness of the laminating pouch or sheet.  Some hot laminators have adjustable temperature settings.  The downside to laminators that use heat is that some items (for example, some photographs) can not handle the temperatures required to apply the lamination.

Hot laminators use rollers to move the materials through the machine.  The rollers also help distribute heat evenly, so a typical, high end laminator will have more rollers.  A laminator with more rollers will provide a smoother, more professional look without defects.  The least expensive laminators have two rollers, while professional ones have four. Photo quality laminators can have up to six rollers.

Features to look for when choosing:

  • Maximum laminating width
  • Maximum laminating thickness
  • Maximum film thickness
  • Speed
  • Number of rollers
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Hot/cold lamination

Cold Laminators – use a pressure-sensitive adhesive that does not need to be heated.  The laminator uses rollers that push the sheets of lamination together.  Cold laminators are faster and easier to use than hot laminators, and they are safe for nearly all flat items.  Some laminating machines have adjustable settings and are able to handle hot or cold lamination.

Features to look for when choosing a cold laminator:

  • Maximum laminating width
  • Maximum laminating thickness
  • Maximum film thickness
  • Speed

Lets check out the difference between the two:

Pouch Laminators

  • The most simple and easy to use laminators.
  • Cost Effective
  • Available for office and production use!
  • Precut pouches are available for a quicker laminating job.
  • Smaller pouches come in thickness of 5, 7, and 10 mil.
  • Larger pouches come in thickness of 3, 5, 7, and 10 mil.
  • You can laminate up to 11” x 17” sheets.

Roll Laminators

  • AKA wide format laminators
  • Ideal for posters, signs, and for any odd-shaped material.
  • Allows for a high production rate.
  • Buying film in bulk proves cost effective.
  • You can laminate up to 60” wide.
  • Common film width range from 12” to 60”.
  • Machines can require some training for film loading and setup
  • Come in both hot and cold varieties

A solid coat provided by a laminating machine is key in the preservation of your most important documents.  Whether your needs are large business, small office, or even home use, laminators are the efficient, and cost saving tool you need.  TheOfficeGuide has a list of recommended suppliers that are some of the best in the business to help you find the Laminator that’s right for you.

And don’t forget your supplies and accessories:

  • Pouches
  • Clear Film
  • Clips/Pins
  • Badge Holders
  • Badge Reels
  • Glue on Badge Clips
  • Protective Carriers
  • Luggage Tags