By Peter J. Mason
Laminating equipment has many uses in the office and the home.
Laminating documents or pictures protects them from tearing,
smudges or other damage. Machines come in small sizes to
laminate identification cards or single pictures all the way
to large, wide format machines for bigger projects. The
you should choose depends on several factors.
An Overview of Lamination Equipment
Pouch laminators use film pouches to cover documents. They are
compact and easy to operate. You can find this machine in
ranging from an ID tag up to 20 inches wide. These are
in hot, cold or combination machines.
Roll laminators are larger and require space to operate. These
are also available in both hot and cold formats. Rolls are
for bulk work or for larger projects that won’t fit in a pouch
machine. These laminators (
www.laminating-guide.com/laminators.html ) are often
found in schools, offices and print shops.
Wide format machines are used for larger projects. These are
very expensive, with some priced at nearly $40,000. This type
of machine is most often found in print shops. They are great
for custom lamination. If you do a lot of laminating, this
machine is a great investment. If you only have the occasional
need for wide format, it is more economical to buy a smaller
machine and send larger projects to a printer for lamination.
Before you start shopping for a laminator, there are some
questions you should ask yourself.
1. How much will the laminator get used? If you will laminate
under 50 pages each day, a pouch laminator will be sufficient.
For bulk work, a larger, roll model is needed.
2. Do you want a hot or cool machine? A hot laminating machine
uses heat to seal the document inside the pouch. A cold
uses adhesive inside the pouch, similar to contact paper to
secure the document.
3. What will you be laminating? If you will be working with a
lot of photographs or graphics, you may not want a heated
machine. High temperatures can damage the images.
4. How large are the documents you will cover? If you will be
doing mostly smaller projects, a pouch laminator is
For larger projects you will need a machine built to handle
size. Pouch machines are labelled to show their capacity. An 8
X10 machine can handle paper up to 8 X 10. Most pouch
laminating equipment doesn’t exceed 11 X 17, but a few go to
5. How thick are your projects? If they are very thick, you
will need laminating equipment that is built to handle it.
includes projects that are mounted on a mounting board and
laminated. Look for a spring loaded roller that can
automatically adjust for the thickness of the project.
6. Where will you store the machine? A smaller pouch machine
can be stored on a desk, in the office supply closet or under
the copy machine. A large roll machine is a big piece of
equipment that is more difficult to store. You will need to
purchase a laminating stand to hold it. If your office is full
of furniture with little empty space, this may not be
7. Do you need any extra features? Some machines come with
features like a cutter to trim documents or a combined
laminator/binding machine to bind projects in book form.
Film for Laminating Equipment
A variety of finishes are available in laminating film. You
choose different films for each project. Most machines can
handle any finish, but check to be sure the film you are using
is compatible for your machine. For a high gloss look, chose a
clear film. This is the most commonly used film. For a
less glossy finish, a satin film is the best choice.
Other films are available, but are less commonly used. A matte
film has a surface that is slightly opaque. These are a good
choice for photographs. Scratch resistant film is great for
projects that will need to stand up to heavy use. Crystal film
has a granular texture. The film you choose will depend on the
document you are laminating.
About The Author: Peter Mason publishes very often for
www.laminating-guide.com . Peter is working on topics
and provides information on laminators.