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Laminators Buying Guide

Laminating is an excellent way to preserve and protect your important documents and classroom materials. While laminating seems like an easy enough process, there are a few important things you'll want to consider while you shop for laminating equipment:

Features & Safety
Most roll laminators come with one or more built-in features to ensure safe operation and quality laminating.

Adjustable temperature/speed control – Some laminators have adjustable temperature/speed controls, so you can choose how hot the rollers get and how fast your documents move through the laminator, preventing curling and bubbling.

Safety shield – The safety shield on your laminator prevents injuries by covering the heated areas of the machine.

Reverse switch – This convenient switch makes it easy to remove your document from the laminator and prevents jams.

Auto shut-off – This safety feature protects your laminator from overheating by shutting it off when it gets too hot.

Digital/LCD display – Laminators with a digital keypad and LCD display are simple to operate and display temperature, laminating speed and amount of film that has been used. Some laminators with digital displays also feature a security key to protect against unauthorized use.

Safety cutters – Use the attached or included safety cutters to trim your documents after laminating.

Throat Width
The most important thing you'll want to consider when choosing the right throat width is the size of documents you're laminating.

We recommend adding one to two inches to the maximum width of documents you need to laminate. This means if you're laminating a 25-inch poster, you should consider at least a 27-inch laminator. If you will be laminating a standard 8 1/2-inch x 11-inch paper, you can use that same 27-inch laminator to laminate three papers at a time.

It's important to make sure you choose a laminator that will accommodate the largest item you will be laminating. You'll find laminators with throat widths anywhere from 13 inches to 27 inches.

Film thickness determines how well documents will be protected. The most common film is 1.5 or 3 mil thick, but some laminators accept 5 mil film and higher. The higher the mil number, the thicker the film.

Some laminators are restricted as to how thick a film they can use, so check the specifications and make sure you are using film that will work with your laminator.

Laminator film either comes in four packs or must be ordered in multiples of four or eight.

Before you purchase a laminator, you'll want to take into consideration how many items you will be laminating and how often. Some laminators will laminate faster than others.

Standard laminators measure speeds in feet per minute. You'll find speeds of three feet per minute all the way up to nine feet per minute. Some laminators with digital displays even come with preset speed settings.

If you will be laminating documents of many different sizes, a laminator with adjustable speed is your best option. You can find laminators with up to nine adjustable speeds.

To get started laminating your documents, you'll need a supply of laminating film. You can also get a mobile laminating stand with plenty of storage for your laminator, film rolls and pre-laminated documents.

Laminating systems come with everything you need – laminator, cart, laminating film, cleaning kit and instructional DVD.

Click here to check out our selection of laminators.

If you want help figuring out which laminator is best for you, don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-260-2776. Our friendly sales team is always happy to give advice and answer questions.


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