When it comes to lamination, the reasons for doing it are somewhat obvious. We laminate to extend the life of a document. When you laminate a personal document, you protect it from elements such as water and oxidation. You make the document more rigid and more difficult to be ripped off or bent over. For papers that experience frequent handling like flashcards for your kids or memos from work, laminators can extend the life of the paper way beyond what you can imagine. Forget about having your documents being smudged or spilled with coffee or water damaged.
Factors to Consider when searching for the best Laminators for Personal Use
When you’re searching for a great laminator to purchase, there are a couple of factors that should be considered such as the type.
Laminators come in three main types namely the Thermal, Pressure sensitive and those who have a combination of both. Thermal Laminators use heat to bond the paper with the laminate film.
This type of laminator is quite common and it uses laminating rolls or pouches coated on a side with thermally activated glue. Once heat is applied, the glue melts and acts like a hot glue gun.
The heat along with pressure coats the laminating film to the documents. Thermal laminators are more commonly used on photos, signs, posters, and banners.
Cold Laminators, on the other hand, also called pressure sensitive laminators due to the tacky adhesive it comes with and it relies on pressure to laminate printed materials. This tacky adhesive works like a scotch tape and is more popular for making stickers and crafts and other temperature sensitive documents.
2. Quality and Thickness
One way of knowing a good laminator is by looking at the smoothness and pressure across the entire surface of the paper being laminated.
You should stay away from any laminator that produces laminated copies at the speed of a draft printer as the quality will probably be poor. The standard time needed by a good laminator to produce laminated copies should be less than 20 seconds.
Another indicator of the quality of a laminator is the number of rollers and the temperature consistency. For entry-level machines, they come with two rollers that are used to either heat or press the laminant and the print material together.
This is where it gets tricky as you need to be able to tell the consistency of the temperature of the machine through its rollers, by actually using the product.
Another indicator of the quality of a laminator is the level of protection it offers. Laminators that produce a thicker lamination will last longer.
The thickness of a lamination will also be affected by what is being laminated. Folded cards and photos can handle the thickest possible lamination, while a document that needs to be folded should not go through the same process as it might not be bendable afterward.
3. Waiting Period.
With laminators, there are two waiting periods, the warm-up time and the laminating speed. You need to pick a laminator with a quick warm-up time and fast laminating speed. For those who love laminating on an impulse, a slower warm up time could be frustrating and annoying even when laminating a single document.
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