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How to Buy a Laminating Machine

How to Buy a Laminating Machine
Issue Time:2009-03-15

It can be confusing to know which laminating machine to go for because there are many different models. Laminating machines come in various sizes, have different prices and they have different features too. You might like to get a new laminating machine. Alternatively it is possible to find some great deals on used laminating machines, which are in a great condition and might come with unused laminating film or pouches too.

Pouch Laminators

One of the most common types of household or small business laminating machines is the pouch laminator. This type of laminating machine is highly effective without being pricey. With a pouch laminator, you use plastic lamination pouches which are sealed on the short or long edge. The pouch is coated with film and this film sticks to the paper you are laminating when exposed to heat. The pouch gets rolled through the laminating machine on a set of pressurized, heated rollers.

Roll Laminators

A heated roll laminator uses heated rollers to melt glue on to lamination film, which is then applied to paper or card by the rollers. The use of rollers means that the adhesive spreads better, minimizing the risk of tiny air bubbles inside the laminate.

Roll laminators can come in large sizes and are used frequently in the print industry, to laminate posters, magazines, postcards and books. This type of laminator is quick to use and roll laminators are found in plenty of homes, offices and schools.

If you are going to be laminating delicate items which might be damaged by heat, such as antique papers or photographs, you might want to use a cold roll laminator. These laminators use a sticky-backed, glossy film that does not adhere to glue. When you remove the backing, the adhesive sticks to whatever you want to laminate. You can get everything from basic, two-roller machines right up to huge, motor-driven cold roll laminators.

ID Laminating Machines

These machines are for laminating ID cards. Before the birth of ID laminating machines, ID cards had to be laminated with laminate sheets which would pucker with air bubbles and make the contents very difficult to read. Laminating machines make short work of ID card lamination and give great results.

An ID laminating machine might also punch holes in the ID cards so you can wear them on a lanyard or string around your neck, wrist or clipped to your clothing. Some ID laminating machines feature laser visible imaging, ultraviolet colors, nano text and micro text for security purposes, to prevent forgery. The lamination ID sheets also serves to protect the the ID card from getting wet and dirty.

Cheap Laminating Machines

If you are on a tight budget, you might like to think about a used laminating machine. Sometimes people buy an A4 machine, for example, and then realize after a few weeks that it will not laminate an A3 document. If you are lucky, you might find a bargain used laminating machine which is just the kind you were after. GBC, 3M, Fellowes, Ibico and HeatSeal are all good brands to look out for.

Alternatively, you might want to try self laminators. These are A4 pouches which work without the need for a machine. These are usually matte and non-reflective. You can use self laminating pouches for making signs or posters. These are all right for making the occasional lamination but if you plan to laminate more, you should consider buying a laminating machine.