A laminator machine is a device that is used to encase important or frequently used documents in a plastic often transparent or translucent cover. These machines are available in large sizes that are optimal for schools or businesses as well as smaller and even portable versions for use at home and in small offices. In fact, a laminator machine is one of the best tools when it comes to creating paper based documents that are frequently used or that need to be retained for a long time.
There are two types of laminators. The first is the hot laminator. These are normally the larger type and have the ability to produce poster size products all the way down to small VIP pass-sized products. Hot laminators work by the insertion of the target paper document into the machine and the slow rolling of the paper through the machine using heat and pressure to apply the plastic covering. While specific machine models may operate differently, most hot laminators require a minimum of ten minutes to heat up.
In addition, the length of time it takes to process each item by a hot laminator is determined by the size of the document itself. Notebook sized paper can be processed fairly quickly while the larger, poster size projects require more time to ensure the entire surface area is covered and the lamination holds fast all around. Hot laminators are also available in smaller portable sizes which ironically sometimes take slightly longer to heat up than the larger machines. The portable machines will usually require that the paper to be laminated is slipped in the pocket shaped lamination and is placed in the machine and subsequently laminated.
The other type of commonly used laminator and the one that is smaller than the hot laminator, is the cold laminating machine. This type is the one preferred for both the office and the home because of its ease of use. Cold laminators are much more efficient because they do not require the waiting time to heat up. As opposed to heating the plastic coating in order to adhere it onto the document, cold laminators use pressure sensitive plastic envelopes.
There are several benefits to using the cold laminator. First, cold laminators are easier to use for someone that has never used a laminator before. Secondly, they are much safer in a home or office because there is no risk of being burnt by the hot laminate or other dangers that often come with the use of hot appliances. Unlike hot laminators, which require frequent cleaning of the roll to ensure optimal coverage of an item, cold laminators require much less maintenance.
Cold laminators usually provide projects that are free of bubbles and creases, something that can take place when hot laminators are used. It is important to note that once a document has been laminated whether by a hot or cold laminator, you cannot remove the lamination without damaging the paper. The better accuracy and lower error rate of the cold laminator makes it the better alternative in this regard.
Lamination has numerous practical uses. Cold laminators are ideal for small home or office tasks. Laminating a handout for a class presentation not only helps bring out the importance of the document, but also ensures the recipient will have it for some time and make reference to it time and again with insignificant risk of wear and tear.
Laminators may also be useful for creating regular sized signs like "Out of Order" signs, signs advertising a garage sale, or other items that may be posted outside or in areas of high traffic. Laminating a sign will prevent tearing, fading, smudging and deterioration. Other ways lamination can be put to use at home include creating flash cards for home study or the use of a laminated card as a wipe board for jotting down weekly to-do or grocery lists.
The use of hot laminators is more appropriate for larger, industrial tasks. This type of laminator is useful for covering poster size items or anything larger than a standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch sized notepaper. A larger hot laminator unit will be useful for creating menus for restaurants or multiple VIP passes or ID cards for larger businesses or marketing firms. These units require frequent cleaning to ensure consistently good results.
If your use extends to larger items, you will be best served by a wide format laminator. These units will be on the upper end of the price range and are therefore more suited for larger businesses or schools that have sufficient demand for the machine to justify the cost.
In a children's classroom setting, you may prefer a cold laminator that is safer for use around small children. These units are ideal for covering name tags and small student projects. Many of these smaller units are also portable which makes it easy to move from one class to the other as required. Some laminators feature dual functions with the option of hot or cold lamination.
Before you go out to buy a laminator machine, it is a good idea to set your budget. Doing this ensures you define a pricepoint in which the laminators you can afford fall under. This will save you the difficulty of selecting a laminator from too wide a range. Go for brands that have a good reputation for reliability. Check for online reviews of each brand and model that meets your price and functional specifications in order to select the best laminating system. Doing this will help you avoid picking a model that will give you problems in the future.