Protecting valuable or re-usable documents from damage is a must for many businesses and professionals alike. Of course, we can copy and save them on computers and portable hard drives, but that can be inconvenient. Laminating allows the document to be stored, carried around, or shown at a moment’s notice, without damaging the document.
There are many different types of laminating machines, and in this article, we are going to look at seven of the very best currently on the market. We will be covering the construction and capabilities of each one and find out which is the best thermal laminator machine for your needs…
- 1 Top 7 Best Thermal Laminator Machine In 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 AmazonBasics 9-Inch Thermal Laminator Machine – Best Basic Thermal Laminator Machine
- 1.2 2 Scotch Brand Pro Thermal Laminator – Best Affordable Thermal Laminator Machine
- 1.3 3 Swingline GBC Thermal Laminator Machine – Best Small Office Thermal Laminator Machine
- 1.4 4 Scotch Thermal Laminator – Best Personal Thermal Laminator Machine
- 1.5 5 Laminator, Crenova A4 Laminator – Fastest Personal Thermal Laminator Machine
- 1.6 6 Fellowes Laminator Jupiter 2 125 – Best ETSY Thermal Laminator Machine
- 1.7 7 GBC Thermal Laminator Machine – Best Office Thermal Laminator Machine
- 2 Best Thermal Laminator Machine Buyers Guide
- 3 What Are The Benefits Of Having The Best Thermal Laminator Machine?
- 4 Top Brand Thermal Laminators
- 5 Are You Looking For More High Quality Technology?
- 6 So, What Is The Best Thermal Laminator Machine?
Top 7 Best Thermal Laminator Machine In 2021 Reviews
1 AmazonBasics 9-Inch Thermal Laminator Machine – Best Basic Thermal Laminator Machine
Sleek and simple in its design, the AmazonBasics 9-inch thermal laminator works quietly to protect your favorite recipes and photos. It is a very basic laminating machine that simply does its job and does it very well.
On the back of the machine, you will find your settings and jam release toggle. Two indicator lights sit on top, telling you when it is on and when it is ready to accept a document. It isn’t a fast machine, but it is a solid workhorse and can be used for small to medium sized jobs. So, let’s review some of the finer details of this machine.
Using the AmazonBasics…
To use the AmazonBasics, simply select the size (thickness in millimeters) of the lamination pouch that you are using and push either 3 or 5. It warms up at around four minutes and is ready to start laminating. A lamination pouch runs through the rollers at around 10-inches a minute, so you may have to set aside some time if doing a big job.
On the front panel of the AmazonBasics are nice standard size indicators for A4 documents, photos, and cards. These will help you align your projects so that they run smoothly through the machine without error.
Works at its own pace…
To prevent errors, do not push your document into the machine; you should be able to feel when the rollers grab onto the document and then let it go. Pulling your document from the back of the machine is bad for the rollers, and the lamination may not be set. If a jam occurs, just use the release toggle, and it will allow you to remove the document.
- Dimensions: 13.38 by 4.84 by 2.44 inches
- Document: A4
- Very quiet.
- Ready to laminate fairly quick.
- Not very fast.
2 Scotch Brand Pro Thermal Laminator – Best Affordable Thermal Laminator Machine
Providing you with smooth crinkle-free lamination to protect your photos and important documents, the Scotch Brand Pro thermal laminator sits nicely on the corner of your desk. Elegant in its design, there are just a couple of buttons along the top to select your heat level and a release toggle for document jams. Helping to keep everything looking tidy, hidden in the back is a compartment that you can store the electrical cable.
Some automation and design elements give this Scotch Brand laminator its ‘pro’ designation and make it more than just a basic laminator. So, let’s look to see why it deserves this.
Why it’s called a Pro…
Most laminators listed with having a 9-inch document opening can only work with A4 width-sized documents, and anything bigger may cause a problem. Even though the Scotch Brand Pro is listed with an A4 capacity, the mouth opening is slightly larger and will allow you to laminate US letterhead sized papers without the worry of bent corners or creating a jam.
The machine works using Never Jam Technology. This prevents misaligned documents from running through the rollers. The two rollers are synced to make sure that your document runs smoothly and evenly through the machine so that there are no crinkles in the laminate or jams.
Some like it hot…
It is important to keep checking the temperature of the surface of the machine, as it will get very hot with prolonged use. If that happens, run a cleaning board through the rollers and shut down the machine for it to cool down.
- Dimensions: 17.44 by 6.22 by 6.14 inches
- Document: A4 +
- Rollers: two
- NeverJam technology.
- Easy controls.
- Gets hot.
- Takes a long time to warm up.
3 Swingline GBC Thermal Laminator Machine – Best Small Office Thermal Laminator Machine
A very user-friendly and relatively fast laminating machine, the GBC Fusion 3000L is a moderate workhorse and able to meet the needs of home to medium-sized businesses. It is very well designed, not only to look good on your desk but in its functionality. The focus of this laminator is to be simple, productive, and safe for the user.
The Fusion 3000L is able to protect all of your projects, even heat-sensitive work, using 3 to 5 mil. hot or cold laminate pouches. Not only does it protect your work, but it also helps you do it error-free.
Quick as a flash….
The GBC Fusion 3000L heats up in just over a minute and is ready to accept a document to a maximum width of A4 paper. It works relatively fast, allowing you to laminate up to 17 documents in about 10 minutes.
Two rollers press the laminate and keep the document aligned and running smoothly through the machine. To help, the 3000L has movable guide brackets at the mouth that you can set to make sure your work is always aligned correctly. It also features clearly marked measurements along the mouth for standard sizes.
Safety is a big feature of the Fusion 3000L. The machine is built to keep heat away from the surfaces to prevent burns. If there is a jammed document, you simply have to press the release button, and the laminator stops and shuts down for your safety. Wait a couple of minutes, remove the jammed document and restart the machine.
- Dimensions: 17.91 by 5.32 by 6.18 inches
- Document: A4
- Rollers: two
- Has movable guides for alignment.
- Safety features.
- Comes with laminating pouches.
4 Scotch Thermal Laminator – Best Personal Thermal Laminator Machine
Next in our Best Thermal Laminator Machine review, we have the Scotch Thermal Laminator. This is a basic no thrills machine that provides a protective laminate coating for your documents up to 5 millimeters. Ready to go in under 10 minutes, it accepts paper and photos as big as A4 paper. It is a machine meant for light use and best used with flat non-layered items.
Stylish with its arched design and textured slate color, the Scotch TL901X has just a couple of flush push buttons and a release knob along the top.
Operating the laminator…
The Scotch TL901X thermal laminator is a two roller system that evenly heats and presses laminate to protect your documents and photographs. Simply select the heat level of 3 or 5, which is also the thickness of the laminate pouch that you are using, and wait for it to heat up. This generally takes between 8 and 10 minutes. This will give you ample time to set your documents properly in the laminate pouch.
When inserting documents, it is very important to have them aligned correctly so that there is no crinkling of the laminate or jamming of the machine. If the machine jams, simply push the release button on top, and you should be able to clear the machine easily.
Keep an eye on it…
Always check the machine, as it tends to heat up during operation and may overheat, causing damage to your documents. It is also important to pass a cleaning board through the machine to keep the rollers free of laminate residue after each job.
- Dimensions: 6.75 by 15.5 by 3.75 inches
- Document: A4
- Rollers: two
- Two temperature settings.
- Overheats, limiting production.
5 Laminator, Crenova A4 Laminator – Fastest Personal Thermal Laminator Machine
Light, portable, and small enough to fit on any desktop, the Crenova A4 Laminator is perfect for anyone needing to protect often used documents or save photos. Only able to use thinner laminate envelopes and sizes up to A4 paper, it is geared more for personal use than heavy office work.
The Crenova A4 is fast, efficient, and very easy to use. It also comes with a paper trimmer and corner rounder to remove the excess laminate and take away the sharp corners. It heats to temperature in just a few minutes and can produce a good amount of work in a short time.
The Crenova A4 is a two roller system that heats up in under five minutes. It is recommended to only use thinner laminate envelopes between 2.5-4.5 mil. However, you can use up to 5mil. with no problems. The rollers work fast, and you can produce around 50 A4 sized documents in an hour.
If a document gets jammed, the machine has an ABS release button, which will allow you to pull the document back toward you to remove it. The mouth of the machine is only 9 inches and will not process a regular-sized letter without bending corners. It is strictly made for A4 size paper or smaller.
- Dimensions: 13.9 by 5.9 by 4.2 inches
- Document: A4
- Rollers: two
- Surprisingly quick.
- Small dimensions.
- Comes with cutting tools and pouches.
- The top gets warm.
6 Fellowes Laminator Jupiter 2 125 – Best ETSY Thermal Laminator Machine
Designed for speed and productivity, the Fellowes Laminator Jupiter 2 125 warms-up in just one minute and is ready to begin working. Able to laminate sizes up to 12 x 18 inches, it is perfect for a busy office or home Etsy business. Not only does it heat up fast, but the Jupiter 2 125 keeps heat away from its exterior surfaces, making it safe to work within smaller areas.
The system has automation and a high number of rollers that help you to work fast and efficiently, as well as help to prevent errors. It also accepts a wide range of pouch thicknesses, giving versatility to your projects.
How it is different…
The Fellowes Jupiter 2 125 has an auto-detection system that works in two different ways. It will automatically detect the thickness of the laminating pouch, between three and ten millimeters, and make adjustments to create the perfect seal. Also, the system detects the alignment of the envelope and will automatically reverse the process if there is a problem.
The six rollers are synced to keep the envelope straight and moving smoothly through the machine. They rotate at a speed that allows you to laminate 47” per minute. They do need to be kept clean, so running a cleaning board through periodically on a big job, and after all jobs, is recommended.
The machine is also able to cold laminate for inkjet graphics that may be sensitive to heat.
- Dimensions: 21.25 by 8.19 by 5.13 inches
- Document: up to 12 x 18 inches
- Rollers: Six
- External surfaces do not get hot.
- Auto adjustments.
- Hot/Cold laminating.
7 GBC Thermal Laminator Machine – Best Office Thermal Laminator Machine
The GBC Fusion 7000L thermal laminator machine is ideal for the busy office that can work with documents up to 12” in size. It is not a small machine and is quite heavy, so you will need some extra space for it. It warms up quickly and works very fast, laminating up to 45 letter-sized documents in ten minutes.
Beyond just being fast, the Fusion 7000 has some automation that helps you work faster when doing many projects at one time.
Built to work…
Inside the GBC Fusion 7000L are six rollers that keep your document or photograph moving smoothly and evenly through the machine while being laminated. The rollers move at a speed of 55 inches per minute, allowing you to accomplish your work in a short time.
Also, to help speed things along, the laminator has a system that reads the thickness of the laminating pouch and will automatically adjust the settings for a perfect seal. The seal is performed on the long side of the laminate pouch, which improves the operating speed by 22%.
Versatile and practical…
The GBC 7000L has a wider range of laminating pouch thicknesses that it can work with compared to other laminators. Able to use pouches that range from 3 to 10 millimeters thick allows you the flexibility to work on a variety of projects.
There is a reverse button for when a document gets jammed; simply push the button and gently pull the document back toward you. To avoid this, make sure that you have the document aligned correctly and be sure to run the provided cleaning board after every job or every 10 to 20 documents.
- Dimensions: 26 by 8.7 by 12.6 inches
- Document: 12 inches
- Rollers: Six
- Warms up in one minute.
- Fast and efficient.
- Comes with laminating pouches.
- Needs constant cleaning.
- Difficult to remove jammed paper.
Best Thermal Laminator Machine Buyers Guide
There are a few factors that need to be considered before making a decision on which thermal laminator to buy. They range in price in each category, and that is usually a good indicator of the machine’s capabilities and construction. However, this doesn’t mean that the most expensive is the best option for what you may need.
Most important is the type and size of documents that you will be laminating. This is important, not just for the width of the opening you need, but for what type of laminating needs to be done. Some documents/projects may be created using heat sensitive inks and require cold lamination.
Another main consideration is the use. Some machines are built to work fast and be able to do large volumes of laminating in a short time. These machines are best suited to busy office environments. Other machines work slower and are meant for smaller work volumes, which makes them great for smaller offices and personal use.
You should also need to consider the thickness of lamination pouches that you will be using for your documents. All laminators work with the standard 3 to 5 mil. pouches, while others can use pouches that are up to 10 mil.
Considering that thermal laminators produce heat, it is important that you have enough space available on your desktop or counter to use the laminator safely. Some machines are designed to keep heat away from the surface, but many will have surfaces that heat up or even get hot to the touch.
Many people believe that the number of rollers makes a difference in the final outcome of the lamination. However, this is not actually true; it is simply due to the construction of the machine. Not all rollers are heated and may simply be there for keeping larger documents running smoothly through the laminator.
- A final note
All laminators require regular cleaning. Running a cleaning board after every job and periodically during a big job is crucial for it to work properly.
Manufacturers may also add a couple of bells and whistles to entertain personal preferences, such as; automatic shut-off, push-button release, or auto-reverse for jammed documents and fast warm-up times.
So, think seriously about what you are using it for and that you have the appropriate space available. And the very best of luck with finding the best thermal laminator for your needs.
What Are The Benefits Of Having The Best Thermal Laminator Machine?
It is often time-consuming and difficult to replace important documents, IDs, and other significant records. Lamination is a great way to protect these items from the elements, folds, and tears. They are also good for things like teacher’s lesson plans, display sheets, or office notices, giving them longer life and usability.
Many thermal laminator machines have both hot and cold settings and are able to protect heat-sensitive colors/inks. This allows Etsy creators and artists to protect their display products or portfolio items. Scrapbookers will also enjoy that all of their photos and other paper memories can be protected for generations to see.
Beyond protecting documents and other paper creations, having your own thermal laminator is a financial benefit. If you use the laminator occasionally or even more often, it quickly pays for itself. No more paying for pick-up/delivery and laminating services.
Top Brand Thermal Laminators
There are many different brands of thermal laminators, and they cover everything from personal to small, medium, and large business uses. Not all brands cover all areas, nor do they have the same capabilities, so we will look at the popularity of the brands in each area.
Scotch 3M and AmazonBasics are the brands most often used by someone with a need to occasionally laminate documents, photos, or business cards. Both are very capable and handle small jobs well.
Personal/Small Business or Office
Crenova A4 and GBC (lower number designations) are capable of doing more substantial amounts of lamination and at a quicker pace. They are popular among teachers and small businesses that don’t handle documents over the size of A4 width paper.
The GBC is also very popular among the crafts and artist community as it offers hot and cold laminating options.
Medium to Large Business/Office
Fellowes and GBC (higher number designations) thermal laminators top the list when it comes to doing heavy workloads. Each of these laminators is built to warm-up and work fast. They have wider access mouths to allow for larger documents and are capable of working with thicker lamentation pouches of up to 10 millimeters.
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So, What Is The Best Thermal Laminator Machine?
With the many different brands available and each having different machines to cover a range of tasks, it is difficult to make a selection. So, with all of the options, we looked for the thermal laminating machine that covers most aspects of the market. Our choice for the best thermal laminating machine is the…GBC Fusion 3000L
This is the most capable and productive for the personal to medium-sized business/office market. It is geared to heat quickly and work at a relatively fast pace. Also, it has hot/cold laminating options and is loaded with safety features, making it the best option for a vast number of users.