Looking for the best thermal laminator machine 2020? Here are the top 5 best thermal laminators tested reviews with their pros, cons, and thermal laminator buying guide. Read this post till the end and rest assured that you will be buying the best one today with The Keen Hunter.
Laminating machines work well in protecting relevant documents. They are also useful for paper items that are prone to repeated use. In reality, a laminator is primarily for office and academic purposes, although you can also use them for other creative reasons.
What Are Laminators – The Thermal Laminators?
Laminators are machines that encase paper and similar items in a protective layer of materials. Meanwhile, there are several techniques of laminations, including liquid and pressure lamination. However, the more common type of laminators is the thermal laminators.
The basic idea of lamination is to seal an item in a film. Moreover, wide thermal laminators use the heat to dissolve a thin adhesive in the laminating pouch, to seal in the document. Furthermore, these laminators use rollers to stick the glue around the paper materials.
Some laminating machines have multiple heat rollers. The more rollers a laminator has, the higher chance that the adhesive sticks in one go. Usually, the minimum number of rollers in a laminator machine is two.
Thermal laminator machines use pouches of varying thickness. We measure laminating pouches in “mil,” which is around a thousandth of an inch. The typical pouch thicknesses are 3mil, 5mil, and 7mil. A laminator machine requires different temperatures for the various pouch thicknesses. Specifically, the temperature increases as the laminating pouch thicken.
Several laminators are also capable of “cold roll” lamination, in addition to thermal lamination. Also, they have a switch that changes the mode whenever the operator needs it.
So, that’s all with the basics. Let’s now start exploring the top 5 best thermal laminators tested reviews with their pros, cons, and thermal laminator buying guide. Also, to read the thermal laminator buying guide first, please skip the reviews section.
Top 5 Best Thermal Laminators 2020 Tested Reviews With Their Pros And Cons
Best Thermal Laminator Buying Guide
There are several considerations at play when buying a thermal laminating machine. The heating system is essential, as it is the main component of the device. For example, multiple roller systems and variable heat settings can be crucial when making a wide thermal laminator purchase. This article acts as an extensive guide to aid your thermal laminator purchases.
Types Of Laminators
The most common types of laminators are:
- Cold Roll Laminators
- Heated Roll Laminators
- Pouch Laminators
Let’s discuss each of these types one by one in detail.
Cold Roll Laminators
Cold roll laminators use only pressure to seal the document in a film. The film itself is an adhesive layer with a glossy outer part. Furthermore, the operator can take the smooth part off, leaving the adhesive layer to stick to the paper item. In addition, cold roll laminating machines typically use rollers, which can be hand-driven or motor-driven.
These kinds of laminators have the advantage of successfully laminating items that can be destroyed by heat. Also, they are marginally less expensive than heat roll laminators.
Heated Roll Laminator
A Heated Roll laminator applies heat on the adhesive on the insides of a laminating layer. It melts the glue and then makes it stick to the item placed in it, through a pressure rolling process. Moreover, the machine has the benefit of laminating documents much faster than other types.
Heated roll laminators can also work on laminating layers on varying thickness, as the user can easily change their temperatures. They range in sizes, from small-sized ones for the office to large-sized industrial ones.
A pouch laminator is a derivative of heated roll laminators. Besides, they use laminating pouches that have seals on one end. Also, the adhesive is on its insides and melts upon the application of heat. The user can pass it together with the item through a set of heated rollers.
How To Use A Laminator?
Laminators generally don’t require a high level of technical operation. The steps necessary to operate a laminator machine aren’t many. However, practice and visual learning could help more effectively. Some steps to running an office laminator include:
Step 1: Connect the machine to a power source, and the laminator begins to warm up. For some specific laminator models, you can set the temperature levels.
Step 2: Switch on the motor on the laminator. The rollers begin to turn at this point.
Step 3: Affix the paper item into the laminating pouch, then place it into a folder. A pouch folder might not be necessary with newer laminators, due to their better temperature control.
Step 4: Put the pouch on the laminator’s front end, allowing the roller to pick it up. Use the feed guide (if the laminating machine has it) to ensure perfect alignment. Leave the document to roll through, guiding only when necessary.
Step 5: Remove the laminated document gently. Check to see if the adhesive stuck perfectly, otherwise pass it through the machine a second time.
What Are Thermal Laminators?
Thermal Laminators are laminating machines that work on thermally-activated films to seal in items and documents. A thermal laminator is often referred to as a pouch laminator as well. Thermal Laminating Machines are of varying sizes and can work on different sizes of papers.
Why Thermal Laminators? What Are The Benefits?
The most apparent advantage of thermal laminators is that they are easy to use. It is because there is little or no preparations needed before use; it is a simple “plug and play” scenario. There is also no need to dry the adhesive after use, as the layer of glue is heat-activated; it fuses and dries instantly. Overall, it saves time in the long term.
Furthermore, thermal laminators don’t use harmful chemicals, and neither does it emit toxic substances. The only by-product of its operations is hot air, which makes them suitable for the environment.
Thermal laminators also don’t need too much power, in comparison with other types of laminators. Since they do not need the electricity to dry the laminated items after the operation, they use power much less power than machines that need to. It makes them suitable for light office, classroom, and personal use.
You can generally use thermal laminators for materials other than paper. They can laminate items containing metal, fabric, and so on. This is because the applied heat is only high enough to activate the glue, and doesn’t burn most items. Also, the adhesives are inert and do not react with other substances negatively.
How To Buy Best Thermal Laminators, What Factors To Consider?
Portability sits on the top of the list of factors to consider when getting a thermal laminator. Some of the best thermal laminators keep a small footprint. This allows them to fit into a broader range of workspaces. Portability also will enable you to carry the machine from one point to another, which increases the value and use for multiple use cases.
A hot/cold roll switch is also essential in a thermal laminator. It is especially so if the items you want to laminate often vary from paper. Hot rolling can mar some sensitive things, and it is crucial to have a cold roll laminator to work on them. If the thermal Laminator has a switch that allows you to choose between hot or cold, you get more by saving from buying a separate laminator type.
The ability to laminate multiple paper sizes makes a thermal laminating machine one of the best you can buy. Most good thermal laminators have a range of within 9 inches in width, which means they can handle any document as long as it doesn’t exceed 9 inches.
How Do Thermal Laminators Work?
Thermal Laminators draw in the laminating pouch through one end of the roller. It does it slowly, to fuse the glue to the paper or item correctly. Plus, the process is complete when the document exits the other end.
The laminating pouches themselves have the adhesive on the inside, which is melted by a specific temperature. Moreover, the activated glue then sticks to the paper to seal it up.
Some of the thermal Laminators have variable rollers and safety levers. While in operation, the laminator reviews the pouch’s thickness for complete lamination. Also, in an event where there is a jam, the operator can have laminator reviews, releasing the rollers so that he can fix it.
At the start, electrical power brings the machine up to heat. Then, the operator can specify the temperature (most thermal laminators have 3/5 mil options) for the type of laminating pouch they are about to use. However, using a higher temperature setting for a thinner film could burn it. Alternatively, a low-temperature setting would not allow a thicker pouch to set in one pass.
How To Use a Thermal Laminator?
The following are the steps to using a thermal laminator:
Step 1: Power up the laminating machine. Adjust the temperature setting based on the kind of laminating pouch you’re using. For small, thick films, you can use higher heat settings such as 5mil or 6mil.
On the other hand, A4 and larger-sized films can make do with a lower three mil temperature. However, you can make changes to the settings if the resulting quality is not satisfactory.
Step 2: Place the papers or items in the laminating pouch. Align and send the films through the machine, starting with the tight end. Let it roll out untouched, and sit on a flat top afterwards.
Step 3: Trim if necessary. However, ensure that you let it cool down.
What Is The Best Laminator For Home Use?
The scotch thermal laminator comes pretty close to being the best laminator for teachers who might be working from home due to the pandemic. It packs functionality in a small form factor, which makes it useful for home use. Also, the machine handles multiple consecutive laminations. In addition, it is the best laminator for teachers who might set up a mini-workstation at home.
Scotch thermal laminator has an intake that allows anything up to 9 inches wide and 5mil thick. The dual temperature settings mean you can switch between 3mil and 5mil where necessary. When not in use, you can store away the power cable with the included cord storage unit.
Best Thermal Laminators FAQs
Which is better? Hot or Cold Laminator?
Although Hot and Cold Laminators have their advantages and disadvantages, Hot Laminators have slightly more use cases. Hot laminating machines are suitable for most documents, and other paper items that do not have texts in them.
Cold laminators are only necessary when the item is likely to damage under heat. Also, with the advent of newer wide format printers, there are prints that heat destroys quickly. It means that a wide format laminator is a more suitable option in that case.
What’s the difference between hot and cold laminating?
Hot Laminating involves the use of rollers, brought to a high temperature to melt the adhesive onto and around the laminating layer. In comparison, cold laminating uses pressure to seal in the laminating film without heat. Besides, cold laminating requires less equipment but is slower. Hot laminating is marginally faster; however, it can burn fragile paper items.
Which is thicker 3mil or 5mil?
Going by the fact that 1mil is equal to 1/1000 of an inch, it follows that the higher the mil count is, the thicker the material is. In other words, 5mil is wider than 3mil.
What is the difference between laminating pouches and sheets?
One of the more apparent reasons between a laminating sheet and a pouch is that the former is one piece of laminating film. It does not have any of its ends sealed as well. On the other hand, laminating pouches are a result of two laminating sheets sealed together on one end, so that a paper or item can go in between them for lamination.
What is the thickness of laminating pouches best?
For smaller item sizes, a thicker laminating pouch is best: preferably 5 or 7 mil. 3mil works best for Standard letter, A4, and larger items.
What is 10ml lamination?
10mil laminations use 10mil laminating pouches, which makes the finished laminated item to be around 20ml thick. It is useful if you need the finished piece to be stiff, and you don’t plan on folding it.
What is the difference between 3mil and 5mil laminating pouches?
The difference is in the thickness. 3mil pouches are thinner and are suitable for items that you plan to fold at some point. 5mil layers, on the other hand, are stiffer and thicker. They also do not bend easily or fold.
So, that’s all with the best thermal laminators reviews and buying guides. We hope you enjoyed reading it and found the best one from the above reviewed best thermal laminators to buy. Stay tuned with The Keen Hunter for more such product reviews and buying guides.