Selecting an office laminator or home laminator depends are various factors. How often you laminate and what specific laminating tasks you perform determine what machine is best for you.
While a thermal laminator designed for heavy use may be best for a busy office, a less expensive machine for home may be the best choice for occasional use.
Occasional Use - Home, school or office use a few times a month - Recommended Laminators
Moderate Use - School or office use a few times a week - Recommended Laminators
Frequent Use - Daily school or office use - Recommended Laminators
If you mostly use your pouch laminator for small or medium sized documents such as recipe cards, ID tags or letter-sized laminates, then a smaller entry width is all that is required. Much larger documents will require a laminator machine with a larger entry width.
Small-medium - up to 8.5” documents - Recommended Laminators
Small/medium/large - up to 12” documents - Recommended Laminators
Because laminating pouches are designed to protect documents, the more frequently documents are handled, the thicker the laminating sheets required. Make sure your laminating machine is designed to handle the right laminating pouch thickness.
Minimal handling - 3 mil - Recommended Laminators
Moderate handling - 5 mil - Recommended Laminators
Frequent handling - 7-10 mil - Recommended Laminators
A thermal laminator can, in many cases, be used for cold laminating as well, if the machine has that feature option. Cold laminating is sometimes used for sensitive documents, such as photos. If cold laminating is all you do, use self adhesive laminating sheets without a laminating machine. However laminators, even for the cold process deliver the best quality. Hot laminating is the most common temperature usage as it provides the greatest durability and clarity. If you use both hot and cold, look for a laminating machine that offers both temperature settings.
Hot - Greatest durability and clarity - Recommended Laminators