Best Laminator Reviews 2018

Choosing a laminating machine can be a daunting task. With so many options in the market, getting to know the features of various laminators to help choose the best can take time and a lot of effort. To help you bridge this gap faster, we have done extensive research on the best laminator brands in the market to find out what products they have. We also went ahead and hand-picked five different types of laminating machines from these trusted brands and we hope that you’ll find them relevant to your needs.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Max Width
Speed
Colors
Size
Our Top Choice
Scotch Thermal Laminator
For over 100 years, the 3M Company has been in the forefront of supplying consumers with innovative office equipment such as the Scotch Thermal Laminator.
Compact design. Easy to operate. Reliable.
Cannot laminate items more than 9” wide. Not suitable for a busy working environment.
Thermal laminator
9 inches
11.8 Inches per minute
Silver/black
15.5” x 6.75” x 3.75”; 1 lb.
Best Value
Purple Cows Hot and Cold Laminator
Best known for craft accessories, the Purple Cows brand continues to wow clients with skillfully designed products such as the Purple Cows 3016c Laminator.
Elegant design. Easy to use controls. Durable. Cost efficient.
Jams too often.
Hot and cold laminator
9 inches
9 inches per minute
White/purple
11.6” x 3.6” x 15.6”; 5 lbs.
Xyron Pro Cold Laminator
Since its establishment in1997, the Xyron brand has been keen on supporting professionals in the art industry.
Environment friendly. Easy to operate. Does not depend on electricity to operate.
Does not come with a lamination cartridge, it is sourced separately.
Cold laminator
11.75 inches
11 inches per minute
Grey
15” x 10.5” x 13”; 13 lbs
Fellowes Saturn™3i Laminator
The Fellowes brand is globally renowned for its relentless efforts to build products such as the Fellowes Saturn™3i 125 Laminator that make operations lighter.
Comes in an elegant design. Highly versatile. Durable. Fast lamination speed.
Highly challenging to laminate cards with it. You must be precise to center-feed documents to prevent them from jamming.
Hot and cold laminator
12.5 inches
11 inches per minute
Silver/black
5.8” x 20.9” x 4.1”; 5.1 lbs.
Swingline Inspire™ Plus Laminator
Since 1925, the Swingline Company has been at the forefront of providing office equipment such as the Swingline Inspire™ Plus Thermal Pouch Laminator.
Sleek design. Easy to operate. Comes in 4 color options to pick from.
Does not have a tray to support lamination pouches.
Thermal laminator
9 inches
9 inches per minute
Blue/grey/pink/red
11” x 11.7” x 13.2”; 2.9 lbs.

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Laminator?

Do you have important documents you’ll love to use in decades to come? Oh, and those important photos with your loved ones you’ll cherish for a lifetime! Would you like to preserve and protect them from oxidization, water, or wear and tear related to regular handling? If your answer is yes, then a laminator is what you need. This device helps you extend the life of your critical documents for years and gives them an attractive look.

Laminating machines come in two types, namely cold and thermal. Each of these machine types has their unique advantages that allow them to be used on specific documents. However, it’s important to mention that the beauty of your end-product is dependent on the quality of the initial document. Therefore, if you’re the one producing the original documents, it’s wise to invest in a high-quality computer and printer. This is because a computer allows you to manipulate documents and images creatively for a better outcome. You’ll also need quality printer paper that gives you irresistible prints whether you’re printing photos or brochures.
Price
The price of a laminating machine depends on its size and other design features that make it efficient. For example, a small laminator that can handle documents of up to 9 inches in width at a speed of 9 inches per minute can cost about $30. On the other hand, a commercial-grade cold laminator that can accommodate up to 11.75-inch-wide documents at speeds of 11 inches per minute can cost up to about $300.

You may also come across cheap laminators in the market, but don’t fall for them blindly as they can disappoint you. Their poor workmanship and low-quality material cannot guarantee excellent, long service. However, you don’t have to worry as we haven’t featured such laminating machines in our review.
Features
As you shop for a laminator, it’s wise to consider a device that will not only protect your document but also match your work load. This is critical especially if you’re in business and have tons of work on a daily basis. Remember, your turn-around time is critical to the satisfaction of your clients, and therefore you need extremely efficient devices to get your work done.

Here are the important features to look for when shopping for a laminator:
  • Type of laminating machine
  • Maximum document width it can accommodate
  • Laminating speed
  • Its dimensions and weight
  • Color varieties
  • Accompanying accessories (e.g. laminating pouches)
Depending on your needs and budget, these features will help you pick a laminating machine that works for you.
Construction and Design
While some laminators are built specially for thermal or cold lamination, we’re featuring designs that combine both functionalities in one device. Here are the two main types:
  • Thermal Laminators - These laminating machines usually feature rollers that heat up and melt the adhesive on plastic pouches for a strong bond. Most brands allow you to heat the rollers to varying temperatures in order to accommodate laminating pouches with varying thicknesses. They also feature an auto power shutoff mechanism that controls how hot the heating elements get. Just like any machine, laminators can jam while in use. A reverse mechanism comes in handy to salvage such situations.
  • Cold laminators These kinds are meant to laminate documents that are made of heat-sensitive materials. They are designed to work with pouches that have adhesive on either side to provide safe but temporary protection for your documents. Such machines are used to drive out air bubbles from the laminating pouches. They feature a manual cranking mechanism that doesn’t require electricity to operate.
It’s also important to mention that laminating machines come in varying widths. This determines the size of documents a machine can handle. This requires you to estimate the largest size of documents you’re likely to handle and pick a machine with corresponding laminating width, thus allowing you to comfortably laminate smaller documents.
Performance and Ease of Use
When selecting a laminator to use in a busy shop, it’s wise to go for one with a high laminating speed. If you’re going to do thermal laminating, then you need a machine that warms up fast. This gives you fast and efficient action, which in turn improves your performance.

Machines that provide you with a wide range of laminating temperatures give you the flexibility of using pouches of varied thicknesses to suit a wide range of needs. This flexibility allows you to set the right temperature for any of the plastic pouches thus preventing them from burning and consequently prolonging the life of your machine.

Everyone has their own taste and style. Brands that offer multiple colored laminators allow you to choose a machine that fits well with your style. So, as you go out shopping for functionality, think about the aesthetic appeal of the item that you take home, now that you’re likely to use it every day for years to come.

What is the Best Laminator?

Armed with helpful tips on how to choose laminating machines, let’s examine the features of the selected laminators from five leading brands in the market. We hope that you’ll find each laminator special in terms of design and operation, but above all, you’ll now have an easier time identifying one that suits your needs.
Our Top Choice
The Scotch TL901 Portable Laminator is built for domestic or small office use. If you are looking for an option to use in a busy working environment, we highly recommend the Scotch TL901C-T Thermal Laminator. This laminator warms up in 3 to 4 minutes and can laminate a letter-sized page in one minute.
Scotch 2 Roller System Laminator

Scotch Laminator TL901


Features
The 3M Company has come a long way since the invention of their transparent tape. Today, the company offers a wide variety of products such as gas masks and other safety equipment. Also, under the Scotch brand, the company manufactures various tapes and adhesives with a wide range of applications.

Their Scotch TL901 Laminator is built to offer you the convenience of laminating your items at home. Retailing at only $80.49, this laminator will help you protect frequently held items and personal documents from wearing out.

Designed to seal up items of up to 9 inches wide, the TL901 comes with two temperature settings for a wider range of applications. This enables you to work with either 3 mil or 5 mil thick pouches.

The laminator warms up in 5 to 7 minutes and has a built-in jam-release lever to help you manage misfed items.

If this laminator is not what you are looking for, check out the whole range of Scotch Laminators for an option that suits you.
Best Value
The Purple Cows 3016c Laminator is able to seal documents up to 9 inches wide. If you are looking for machine that can laminate wider items, get the Purple Cows 3027 Hot and Cold Laminator. This machine is capable of handling 13” wide documents and artwork without any problem.
Purple Cows Hot and Cold Portable Laminator – Available in 2 Colors

Purple Cows Laminator 3016c - Purple


Features
If you are in the art industry, you will find Purple Cows’ products very handy. Besides laminators, this brand is renowned for products such as Wind It Wire, Pattern Punching Tools and Cutting Blades among others. Each of their products is ergonomically designed for easy use.

The Purple Cows 3016c Laminator is specially designed to help you save on energy, conserving up to 5% of electricity used by normal laminators. Costing only $39.95, this machine is built to last, thus guaranteeing you value for your money.

This German-made laminator is built to work on both 3 and 5 mil-thick pouches without the need to adjust its temperature. With a short warm up time of 3-5 minutes, this laminator is sure to offer you fast service.

Not sure this color is what you want? Do not panic. Purple Cows also offers a white variation of this product.
The Xyron XM1255 Laminator is a piece of professional-grade equipment designed to laminate works with a maximum width of 11.75 inches. If you are looking for a cheaper option for domestic use, consider the Xyron ezLaminator Laminating Machine. Retailing at only $41.21, this machine is easy to use and comes with a lamination cartridge to start you off.
Xyron Pro Cold Laminator and Adhesive Applicator

Xyron Laminator XM1255


Features
With a strategy to support creative professionals with highly innovative tools that make their work easier, the Xyron brand has gained popularity among education and fine arts experts. Their products are elegantly designed for a classy look.

The Xyron Pro XM1255 Cold Laminator is designed to work without electricity. It comes with a hand crank handle connected to high pressure rollers. With simple turning, you get your work sealed in seconds.
Its cartridges come with an aggressive adhesive for fast and firm action. Retailing at only $299.00, this machine can give your business an instant boost.

With this laminator, you can seal extremely long items. Its refillable cartridges come with a 15-foot long lamination film with a glossy finish. You can also choose to use single or double sided film with adhesive for your lamination.

Are you working on heat-sensitive materials for your art work and need a cold lamination tool? Look no further that Xyron Laminators.
The Fellowes Saturn™3i Laminator is highly efficient and warms up in one minute. For even faster warming time, we highly recommend the Fellowes Venus 2 Laminator. Built to offer you 41 inches of laminated material per minute, this laminating machine warms up in 30-40 seconds.
Fellowes Saturn3i Laminating Machine – Available in 2 Sizes

Fellowes Laminator 5736601 – 12.5 Inches


Features
With a wide range of expertise in manufacturing, the Fellowes Company prides itself in employing technology to innovatively design and build solutions with both consumer and commercial applications. To achieve this, this firm uses six brands, namely Fellowes, Bankers Box, Aara Max, Body Glove, OPtrix and ExoLens.

The Fellowes brand specializes in equipment with both office and home applications. Their Fellowes Saturn™3i Laminator is one of such products. Costing only $96.83, this laminating machining is built to offer both thermal and cold sealing operations.

In addition, here are the features that make this product a great catch:
  • Can accommodate items with a maximum width of 12.5 inches
  • It has an energy-saving feature which shuts off the machine when not in use
  • Has a disengaging lever that helps you interrupt the lamination process and remove your item in case of malfunction
  • Accepts both 3 and 5 mil thick lamination pouches
  • Suitable for small office use
  • Comes with a 2-year manufacturer limited warranty
If this laminator is not what you are looking for, do not panic. The Fellowes 3i Laminator is also available in a 9.5-inch version.
The Swingline Inspire™ Plus Thermal Pouch Laminator is built to accept items that are 9” wide or less. If you are laminating photos, we highly recommend the Swingline GBC Inspire Thermal Laminator. This machine is an ideal option for home use and offers you lamination speed of 10 inches per minute.
Swingline Thermal Inspire Plus Lamination Machine – Available in 2 Sizes and 4 Colors

Swingline Laminator 1701857ECR - 9" Max width Gray


Features
In addition to making high quality laminators, the Swingline brand is known for manufacturing dependable office tools such as staplers, punches, binding, shredders and trimming machines.

Their Swingline Inspire™ Plus Thermal Pouch Laminator offers you a lamination speed of 9” per minute. With only $24.97, you can be the proud owner of this workhorse.

Moreover, here are the features that attract many to this machine:
  • It takes only 4 minutes to warm up
  • Comes in a variety of colors to offer you an option to choose what best suits you
  • Works well with both 3 and 5 mil pouches for lamination
  • Can be used without heating for cold lamination
  • Comes with a lever to release jammed items
  • Comes with a 90-day limited warranty
Treat yourself to the various office tools at Swingline as you shop for a laminator.

Get the Best Laminator of 2018!

We’re glad that you’ve taken time to read our review on the best laminator and hope that you’ve come across one that tickles your fancy. If you wish to sample more options from these trusted brands before you make up your mind, feel free to click on the links provided in this review for more awesome laminators.

Our Top Choice
Scotch Thermal Laminator
Best Value
Purple Cows Hot and Cold Laminator
Xyron Pro Cold Laminator
Fellowes Saturn™3i Laminator
Swingline Inspire™ Plus Laminator