A lamination machine is an essential item that decides how well your essential documents will be protected. Hence, you must buy it only after considering if its feature suits your needs. Here are some of the important features of a lamination machine that you must consider before buying it:
What Size of Lamination machine do you Need?
The size of a laminator decides the width of documents it can laminate. Most lamination machines can laminate any size of documents up to A4 size sheets, which is good enough for most ID cards and documents.
However, if you have a need for laminating pictures, charts, or diagrams, then it is good to get a machine that supports A3 sheet lamination. In case you want to laminate large sheets, you can always settle for an A2 size laminator.
In our opinion, it is always better to settle for laminating machines that can laminate bigger size documents. Because, you can always laminate a paper of A4 size with an A3 size laminator, but the reverse cannot be done.
Frequency of use: How Many Sheets Would you Laminate Per day?
If you are getting the lamination machine for daily use, then it is best to get a professional quality machine that can laminate over 50 sheets a day. However, if you want to use it less frequently, it is best to invest in a lamination machine ideal for home purposes.
These machines do not cost as much and give decent performance. By buying a lamination machine for home use, you will be taking care of your needs and your pocket at the same time.
The Thickness of Laminating Pouches Decides the Level of Protection
Typically, a lamination machine that can support a width of 160 microns, i.e., 80microns film on each side is good enough for personal documents. Actually, 160 microns thickness is fine for any document that is not handled as frequently.
However, if you want to laminate commercial documents or restaurant menu-cards, then 160 microns might not suffice. In those cases, reach out for a laminator that has a capacity of laminating documents of up to 250 (125×2)microns.
Hot and Cold Lamination: A Little Versatility is Always Good
- Hot lamination—In this type of lamination, heated rollers melt the glue that works as adhesive to stick the laminating films with one another.
- Cold Lamination— This type of lamination is done when a document is heat sensitive. In cold lamination, pressure is used to make the adhesive coat on the films stick to each other.
It is better to go for a laminator that offers both these settings. While hot lamination is mostly needed, but you might as well need to use the cold setting once in a while. So, a little versatility is always good.
Speed of the Lamination machine: How Quick Can it Work?
In today’s world, time is very precious, and so, speed matters a lot. When it concerns a laminator, there are two kinds of speeds;
- Warm-up speed— A good lamination machine should not take a long time to warm-up. Any time between 2 to 5 minutes is considered quick. If you have to wait for 6 to 10 minutes, then your machine has average speed. A laminator that makes you wait over 10 minutes should be replaced.
- Laminating Speed— A speed of 250mm/min to 350mm/min is okay for a lamination machine. However, if a machine offers over 400mm/min, then it is a speedy one that is designed to save your time.
Temperature Control: Manual or Automatic?
Many lamination machines come with automatic temperature control, while some have manual settings. If you are a pro at lamination or want to have more control over the process, it is better to buy a lamination machine that has manual control. With this type of laminator, you will have to set the temperature using a setting knob depending on the thickness of the pouch.
Automatic control is more suited to novices and persons who want the process to be hassle-free. With a machine that has an automatic-temperature setting, all you have to do is place the document inside a foil and insert it in the machine. Your lamination machine will take care of the rest. Below is a table that shows the ideal temperature for different thickness of pouches:
|Ideal Temperature (in Celsius)||Thickness of the Pouch|
|110 degrees||80 microns|
|140 degrees||125 microns|
|160 degrees||200 microns|
|180 degrees||250 microns|
Other Important Features of Lamination machines
The best lamination machines go the extra mile in satisfying users’ needs with its features. Here are some of the mechanisms that are hallmarks of a good laminator:
- Rollers: The More the Neater
Lamination machines have rollers that press one plastic film with the other. It makes sure that there are no air bubbles left. A Good machine has a minimum of four rollers to give out neat, bubble-free and wave-free laminated documents that are sealed well from end to end.
- Safety Feature: Auto Heat Protection
If you keep using a lamination machine continuously without giving it a break, it can get heated up. Overheating can damage your document and the machine itself. Hence, auto turn-off in case of overheating stands to be an essential safety feature that you must look out for buying a lamination machine.
- Warm-up Indicator
All heat lamination machine requires you to wait for a certain time before it is heated enough and ready to laminate documents. A warm-up indicator is a small light that lets you know when your machine is ready. It cuts the guesswork and saves time.
Warranty is a factor that you must not overlook, especially if in the cases of electronics. It can save quite some money if your laminator malfunctions. Hence, a minimum of 1-year warranty is a must. Few high-end brands provide two years of warranty. But one year is a good time to notice whether your machine has any manufacturing defects.
How to Use a Lamination machine?
Using a lamination machine is pretty simple. All you have to do is follow the steps, and in no time, you will start laminating documents flawlessly.
Step 1: Power on the lamination machine.
Step 2: Turn the temperature knob to set your preferred temperature. This step is optional for those who have a machine with a manual temperature setting.
Step 3: Wait for it to heat up. After your machine is heated, the indicator (if your machine has one) will let you know.
Step 4: While waiting, take your document and place it in the laminating pouch. Make sure that all the sides of the document are within the pouch.
Step 5: Place the document in a way such that it touches the mouth of the lamination machine.
Step 6: Wait while the machine takes time to encase your document in a plastic pouch.
Step 7: Once that laminator has done its job, check for errors. Once you are satisfied, switch off the machine.
Benefits of Owning a Lamination machine
A decent quality lamination machine does not cost much, and so, it can be owned by all. Here are some of the benefits of owning a lamination machine.
- Saves money: Laminating a document in India can cost anything between INR 10 to INR 100 depending on the size of the paper. Buying a laminator is a one-time investment that will save money in the long run. With this machine, you can laminate documents in your home at a much lower price.
- Saves Time: You will not have to run to a shop and wait for the shop keeper to finish his business and do your work. With a laminator in your home or office, you can do it at your own sweet time.
- Protects Your Documents: If you own a lamination machine in your house, you are more likely to laminate all your important documents, than you would have done otherwise.
- Lets you Decide quality of lamination: While laminating a document outside, you will hardly have a say on the quality of pouch a shop-keeper will use. However, you can decide the quality of the film if you own a laminator at your place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Laminating your document will protect it from water, dust, dirt and keep it new. However, it will not protect a paper from fire and you must be careful while handling fire around your documents.
Yes, you can trim the edges of a document that has undergone the process of thermal lamination. It is so because heat lamination completely seals the edges. However, cold laminations have adhesive on the sides, and cutting them open can result in peeling. NOTE: Make sure that you do not cut a pouch before lamination, else it can jam the machine.
The following are the best lamination machines in India *STok ST-L11A A4 Lamination machine *JD9 Lamination Machine *Texet A4 Lamination Machine *TECHBITE Rugged Lamination machine *VMS Professional LM Lamination machine
It is best to own a machine that can perform both. However, a thermal lamination is better as it is more permanent as compared to cold lamination. The latter setting is used in cases when the paper or the ink on the document is heat sensitive.
Some of the common causes of jamming are; *Improper temperature setting *Lamination pouch is thicker than the permissible thickness *The actual document is too small in comparison with the plastic pouch.
It will turn off only if your machine is equipped with the overheating protection feature. If not, then your machine will heat up and potentially damage itself.
If your document is thicker than the maximum thickness, then it will jam the lamination machine. So, it is best to take note of the thickness allowed before you place a document.