Laminators: All You Need to Know

Laminating is a method of preserving important documents and papers such as report covers, certificates, checklists & safety instructions, ID & business cards, photographs, posters, signage, and more. In this context, laminatior typically involves attaching a plastic cover over a piece of paper, usually for the purpose of guarding it against damage and ensuring it stays in good condition for as long as possible. The plastic coating also helps enhance color and presentability, in addition to providing a wipe-clean surface allowing you to mark the surface with dry-erase pens.

There is a broad range of laminating machines available today. These range from small, inexpensive desktop varieties for home and office use to large, costly industrial versions. Industrial laminators usually accommodate a wider range of actuator temperature settings and document sizes, and also feature multiple sets of rollers that help achieve a cleaner finish in more demanding applications. Generally speaking, laminating machines come in three main types: film laminators, pouch laminators, and cold laminators. Let’s take a look at each.

Film laminators use two separate layers of laminating film, incorporating the top layer into the laminator mechanism itself. In film laminators, items are placed on a bottom layer of film and fed into the machine. From here, hot rollers align and press down a separate layer as the items are being passed through. This is the most flexible type of laminator and is commonly used in large-scale production environments.

The next type of laminator is the pouch laminator. These are the most common desktop laminating machines you are likely to encounter in day-to-day scenarios. These are used both at home and in the office for a broad range of standard laminating projects. These laminators must be allowed to heat up to optimal temperature before use. Then, the document is fed through a clear plastic pouch lined with adhesive, which is then pressed together under hot rollers to form a sealed cover.

The third type of laminator, cold laminators, are non-heating laminators used to handle documents or items that may be sensitive to high temperatures or prone to damage during the standard hot lamination process. Examples of these include items made with types of vinyl or adhesives, carbon copies, types of inkjet printing, and certain kinds of photographs. As their name suggests, cold laminators use pressure only (no heat) to seal an adhesive plastic pouch or film around the item being laminated.  These are most commonly configured as small laminating machines for short-run projects or occasional document preparation. Cold laminators also have the benefit of being cheaper to buy and run, but the pouches used in these are often more expensive than others.

Regardless of whether you want an inexpensive, personal, home-use laminator, or a heavy duty laminator designed for industrial or large-office use, there is a broad scope of options available to you. Keep in mind that for large-scale lamination projects, there are myriad considerations and features you’ll need to bear in mind when choosing the proper laminator and associated accessories.

For laminator products of all types and much more, look no further than NSN Target. We are owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor and therefore have access to laminators of all types in addition to a broad range of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense, electronics, industrial, and IT hardware markets. Dedicated account managers are always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-714-705-4780. Let us show you why we consider ourselves the future of purchasing.


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