best laminators

The 10 Best Laminators 2020 For Teachers Home use and Small offices [+Buyer’s Guide]

Whether it’s for your school, home, or office, a laminator is a handy tool that will help preserve and protect all your important documents.
Finding the right laminator is finding a balance between speed, size, thickness capacity, and of course, the price tag. Which can be an overwhelming task to do. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, you will find the best laminators in the market. So, sit tight and let us guide you.

TOP 10 Best Laminators 2020

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Product

Price

Scotch Pro
Best Value
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AmazonBasics
Best Price
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Fellowes
Best For Speed
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Crenova A4
User-Friendly
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Swingline GBC
Best Heavy Duty
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ABOX
Paper Cutter+Safety Lock
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YE381
Paper Trimmer
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GBC Foton 30
Automated Pouch-Free
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Blusmart
5 in 1
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Brainstorm ID
For Teslin ID Cards
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  • Product Dimensions: 17.44 x 6.22 x 6.14 inches
  • Product Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Heat Technology: Hot
  • Maximum Input Width: 9 inches

Scotch Pro Thermal laminator is one of the best laminators for home use.

After 5 minutes warm-up, an indicator turns on to let you know that it’s ready to go.

It laminates documents at a speed of 15 inches per minute, working with two thermal rollers that prevent wrinkles and bubbles and provide excellent quality.

You can choose either a 3 mil or 5 mil pouch setting depending on the thickness of the pouch you are working with.

What we like about it the most is “Never Jam Technology”. And what it does mean is that it automatically prevents misfed items.

Another feature is safety. If not in use after 1 hour, the laminator shuts off. Which is great to keep the kids safe, and conserve energy.

And finally, the laminator is lightweight, easy to use with a slim and attractive design. It includes a folding tray, hidden cord storage, as well as a carry handle for easy portability.

All in all, Scotch Pro Thermal laminator is worth inspecting further if you want something great, and won’t bust your budget.

  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 4.8 x 2.4 inches (L x W x H)
  • Product Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Heat Technology: Hot
  • Maximum Input Width: 9 inches

AmazonBasics is our winner for the best cheap laminator.

After 4 minutes of warm-up time, an indicator light turns on allowing you to know that it’s ready to start laminating.

It can laminate documents up to 9 inches wide, like letters, business cards, and photos, using two heat settings. It doesn’t have a monitor but it does have a switch you can flip to indicate whether you are using a 3 mil or 5 mil pouches.

Lightweight -2.6 pounds- and portable, its compact design is ideal for home office or classroom use.

Amazonbasics laminator includes a jam release lever that helps you remove papers in case they are jammed. Although it can’t prevent it, the results are still worth a go.

  • Product Dimensions: 5.06 x 21.25 x 8.19 inches (H x W x D)
  • Product Weight: 15 pounds
  • Heat Technology: Hot and Cold
  • Maximum Input Width: 12.5 inches

With InstaHeat technology, Fellowes Laminator Jupiter 2 125 rapidly warms up in 60 seconds. Not only that, but it has a 47 inches per minute speed. So, you won’t waste any time during the process of laminating your documents.

Another great feature about this laminator is the AutoSense system that can detect the thickness and self-adjusts to the best laminating setting for your documents. No extra effort from your side.

To ensure the best laminating quality, Fellowes laminator is composed of 6 strong rollers, laminating hot pouches up to 10 mil thick and cold pouches. It has also an Anti-Jam Protection System that can detect misfed pages and automatically reverses to clear out jams without any intervention from you.

And finally, it has an auto shut-off that saves energy and prevents overheating when not in use.

  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 5.8 x 4.3 inches
  • Product Weight: 2.89 pounds
  • Heat Technology: Hot and Cold
  • Maximum Input Width: 9 inches

The special thing about Crenova laminator is that the pack comes with a couple of handy tools: a paper trimmer, a corner rounder, and 20 laminating pouches. Which makes it a great solution for people on a budget, or people just starting their laminating adventure.

Crenova is a basic laminating machine for smaller projects. It warms up within 3 to 5 minutes, and laminates with a speed of 250 mm per minute, using two heating roller system. This means that you will be able to laminate 50 sheets per hour.

In case of a paper jam incident, the laminator has an ABS lever included. All you need to do is to push the lever to release all the stuck papers or pouches, and then remove them from the laminator.

Compact, lightweight, and easy to use, Crenova can fit any desktop, it’s the most user-friendly choice.

  • Product Dimensions: 17.91 x 5.32 x 6.18 inches
  • Product Weight: 5.29 pounds
  • Heat Technology: Hot and Cold
  • Maximum Input Width: 9 inches, 12 inches is also available (link to amazon)

Swingline GBC Fusion 3000L needs only 60 seconds to warm up. With a laminating speed of 19 inches per minute, the machine can laminate up to 17 documents in 10 minutes using either the 3 or 5 mil laminating pouches.

It has a Jam Alert System that warns you once documents are stuck inside the machine, and an auto shut off system for safety and energy conservation.

It has a sleek design and is very easy to use. The manufacturer provides a 3-year warranty and 30 pouches that you can start with. You can choose to laminate with a hot or cold lamination mode, cold lamination doesn’t require electricity.

We think that Swingline GBC Fusion 3000L is a perfect laminator machine for office use, especially for mid-sized offices.

  • Product Dimensions: 17.12 x 5.9 x 3.19 inches
  • Product Weight: 6.44 pounds
  • Heat Technology: Hot and Cold
  • Maximum Input Width: 13 inches

ABOX OL381 isn’t only a laminator, but also a paper cutter and a corner rounder.

Using either cold or holt laminating system, you can laminate A6, A4, and even A3 documents. After 3 to 5 minutes of warming up, it will start its smooth laminating process at a 250 mm per minute speed, without creating any crinkling, blistering and curling thanks to its bubble heating system. In case your document gets stuck inside, click on the ABS button and remove the jam right away.

With the paper cutter function, you can cut eight A3 sheets at once, using three different cutting patterns, straight, perforated, and wave. Not only that, but you can also use the corner rounder to protect your kids, or yourself from paper cuts.

If you have kids, you might be worried about their safety because of the paper trimmer. No worries, ABOX OL381 has a safety lock button that you can use to prevent any accidental cuts.

  • Product Dimensions: 16.54 x 5.71 x 3.15 inches
  • Product Weight: 5.39 pounds
  • Heat Technology: Hot and Cold
  • Maximum Input Width: 13 inches

Eficentline YE381 is similar to ABOX OL381 except that it has a built-in cutter and offers extra 50 pouches (25 for A4, 25 for A6) with the package. With a 250 mil per min speed and two rollers, you can laminate business cards, A4, and A3 documents.

YE381 has two switches on the side, one for “ON/OFF” state, and the other for “COLD/HOT” laminating. It comes with a corner rounder that you can store in the bottom of the laminator, and features an easy to use a paper trimmer. So, after cutting your pouch the way you want (straight, perforated, or waved), you can cut the sharp edges to prevent any accidental paper cut.

If the papers or pouches are stuck inside, press the ABS button, and remove the stuck papers or pouches from the laminator.

All in all, we think that Eficentline YE381 is a great laminator for office and home use.

  • Product Dimensions: 15.35 x 22.44 x 27.56 inches
  • Product Weight: 32 pounds
  • Heat Technology: Hot and Cold
  • Maximum Input Width: 11 inches

GBC Foton 30 is a fully automated laminating machine, different than the rest of the laminators in this article.

All you have to do is to place the documents you want to laminate in it; press run and then move on to the rest of your tasks.

It can laminate letter-size pages, oversize documents, and even odd shapes at a speed up to 29.1 inches per minute. You can load up to 30 letter-size sheets in the auto-feeder and let it handle the rest for you.

It’s a smart laminator:

  • It has a sensor controlling and measuring space to minimize film waste and prevent jams.
  • It corrects messy stacks, saving you time and effort from doing it on your own.
  • It includes Auto-Shut Off to save energy.
  • It features mil thickness detection.

The manufacturer offers a 2-year or 5000 laminate warranty. 

We consider GBC Foton 30 one of the best laminators for schools and middle-size offices, very suitable for heavy-duty laminating.

It’s a bit pricey, but the features listed above totally worth it: it’s hands-free, quick, easy to use, pouch free, and uses smart technology (thickness detection, auto shut off, stacks correcting).

  • Product Dimensions: 14.17 x 5.91 x 2.56 inches
  • Product Weight: 3.46 pounds
  • Heat Technology: Hot and Cold
  • Maximum Input Width: 9 inches

We’ve picked TOPELEC as a featured product because first, it fulfills the main criteria of a good laminator and second because of all the things that come along with it.

5 in 1 TOPELEC Laminator Set includes:

  • 1 x TOPELEK Laminator
  • 1 x Paper Trimmer
  • 1 x Corner Rounder
  • 1 x Paper Photo Frame Set
  • 30 x Laminator Pouch

It warms up after 2 minutes, laminates with a 400 mm/min (9 inches per min), and includes hot and cold laminating modes.

Like most laminators we’ve mentioned in this article, you can quickly solve paper jam incidents using the jam release button.

  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 3.5 x 3 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Heat Technology: Hot
  • Input Width: 4.5 inches

Brainstorm laminator was designed specifically for making Teslin ID cards.

It’s large enough for all standard ID card sizes; the maximum width is 4.5 inches (11.5 cm).

Unlike most laminators that only support much thinner 3 and 5 mil laminating pouches, Brainstorm ID works best with the 7 and 10 mil butterfly pouches. After 5 minutes warm-up time, a green light turns on warning you that the laminator is heated and is ready to laminate using its two rollers.

We should mention though that it heats up quickly (Based on customers’ reviews).

Types Of Laminators

  • Pouch Laminators

Pouch laminators are the most commonly used laminator type worldwide, and probably the best if you are willing to laminate business and ID cards, tags, or small posters.

You take your document, put it in a pouch, run it through the laminator and the machine does the rest. How does it work?

Pouch laminators use heat to melt the glue within laminating pouches, and the fusing of the two sides seals the paper document.

They are generally smaller, portable, and easy to use. They are widely available, most of the laminators featured in our reviews are pouches laminators.

  • Roll Laminators

Roll laminators, also known as film laminators, use rollers to seal the laminate.

Unlike pouches laminators, they are more flexible when it comes to size. That’s why they are most found in larger organizations such as schools and workplaces.

With roll laminators, not only you can print just about any size (A4 and above), but you can even laminate many documents consecutively and trim them when you are finished.

And that is one of the reasons that roll laminators are more expensive than pouches laminators.

best laminators
  • Cold Laminators

Most of the laminators mentioned in this article use heat to activate the glue inside the pouches or film and stick to the paper (or card), giving a firm seal.

Cold laminators are new, less-common technology. But instead of heat, they use pressure to do the job. Therefore, if you think that heat could damage the item you want to print, you can use this lamination kind.

One of the features that make cold laminators special is that they can sometimes function without power, which makes them safer and portable.

Some laminators use both technologies; heat and pressure.

Pouch Laminator Vs Roll Laminator

They are the most used thermal lamination technologies.

Pouch laminationRoll lamination
Smaller sizeLarger size
Lightweight,PortableHeavy
Limited widthLarger width
Print Speed measured in inchesPrint Speed measured in feet
Print defined sizesPrint any size
Usually less than $1000Usually more than $1000

How Do I Choose A Laminator?

Selecting an office laminator or home laminator can be overwhelming. To help you achieve this task, we’ve gathered a few important factors to consider when browsing through laminators, which will help you narrow down to the perfect machine for your needs.

  • Document Size

If you need your laminator for small or medium sized documents such as ID tags, recipe cards, or letter-sized laminates, then a smaller entry width is all that is required (example A4 and A6 documents).

Much larger documents will require a laminator machine with a larger entry width (example A3).

  • Thickness

Laminating film is measured in “mil“. The larger the mil number, the thicker the laminate will be. Smaller mils retain more flexibility, while larger mils are rigid.

For laminating pouches, the film ranges from 3 to 10 mm and covers all paper sizes, which gives you a wide range of thickness options.

For roll laminators, the film ranges from 1.5 to 3mm, a very convenient choice for standard projects.

Make sure your laminating machine is designed to handle the right laminating pouch thickness.

As a general rule, the more the document is handled, the thicker the laminate should be.

  • Usage Frequency

How often do you laminate? And how many documents you need to run at a time?

If you will be using your laminator for small projects, once or twice a week, a pouch laminator is probably the best for you. On the other hand, if you laminate great quantities of larger documents, a roll laminator is perfect for you.

  • Users’ Number

Are you going to be the only user of the laminator or will it be shared with other users, family, or team members?

The answer to this question will significantly impact your choice.

Pouch machines are small and fit on desktops, perfect for personal use, or small and medium-sized offices.

If it’s for a large company with multiple users, a roll laminator is an excellent choice. These machines are larger and can be set up in a shared workspace for everyone to use.

  • Ease of Use

Pouch laminators are known for being easier and simpler to use. Manufacturers are working to make roll laminators a quick and painless process for customers. It doesn’t mean that it’s a nightmare, but with pouch laminators, it’s simpler.

  • Cost

Whether it’s for a home office or a company, laminators are considered an investment.

Therefore, it’s very important to know how you want your laminator to be and what purpose you want it to serve.

The market offers a wide range of machines and supplies to fit nearly any budget.

Pouch laminators are small and portable, able to consistently finish smaller projects for only a few hundred dollars. While roll laminators do have greater size variations, this larger output needs a far larger machine to complete the job, which can end up costing thousands of dollars.

FAQ

What Are The Best Laminator Brands?

Some of the leading brands are Fellowes (since 1917), GBC General Binding Corporation (since 1947), Scotch Brand (since 1930), Texet (since 1959), and others…

Laminators market is a huge market. Most of these companies offer a wide range of office products, laminators are one of them.

Who May Need To Use A Laminator?

  • In the office, laminators are useful in protecting important documents, informative posters, or make some ID tags…
  • If you are a teacher, you can use a laminator to laminate posters, certificates, or protect handouts if you will be reusing them. You can even use a laminator to make whiteboards if the right laminating pouch is used, of course. You can benefit from these laminating hacks
  • If you like labeling items and keeping things organized, if you want to save some papers for a long time, laminators can be handy to have around.
  • If you like photography, or you do crafts and need laminating.
  • If you like labelling items, and keeping things organized. If you want to save some papers for a long time, laminators can be handy to have around.
  • If you like photography, or you do crafts and need laminating.

How Do I Get The Best Results When Laminating?

You’ll see the best results if you give the laminating machine the time it requires to warm up. Sometimes it’s 60 seconds, and sometimes it’s 5 minutes or more. It all depends on the machine’s quality.

Can You Laminate More Than One Sheet At A Time?

You can lay printed material side by side in one larger pouch, and trim them after laminating. However, loading too many documents into one enormous pouch could lead to some problems.

Final Thoughts - Best Laminators

We made sure to create a balance of speed, size, thickness, smart features, and price in each product of our list. Our picks are perfectly suitable for office, home, and classroom use. So, don’t hesitate to trust our laminating machine reviews, we chose the highly rated ones on Amazon.

Did We Miss Something? In case you think we missed a good laminator, let us know in the comment section below.

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