If you want to preserve documents and photos for as long as possible, it’s wise to laminate them. Laminating documents and photos gives them a protective shell — similar to how to vacuum sealers provide food with a protective cover. While you always have the option to get your documents laminated at a printing shop, having a laminating machine of your own can make things much easier. Below, we’re not only going to discuss how to buy the best laminating machine, but we’re also sharing our list of the 10 best laminators currently on the market.
Of every machine that made our list, our overall favorite was the Blusmart Laminator Machine. It’s an easy-to-use 7-in-1 laminator set that comes with everything you need to get started and is meant to fit most people’s needs. If you’re looking for a laminator for a more specialized use case, our list contains a number of the best options at a wide range of prices. Let’s check them out.
Our Top Picks: Best Laminating Machines
There are all kinds of laminating machines on the market today, each of which provides something a little different in the way of functionality. For the list below, we chose laminators at various price points. Regardless of your budget, one of these laminating machines should be suitable for you.
- Best Overall: Blusmart Laminator Machine. With a decent price point, high ratings, and a significant amount of extras, this machine is our favorite on the list. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for the best A3 laminator machine with all the extras.
- Best Eco-Friendly: VEVOR Cold Roll Laminator. Being a manually operated machine, the energy consumption of this laminator is precisely zero. If you’re looking for a cold lamination machine that can handle large projects, this is a fantastic choice.
- Best Budget: Swingline Laminator. The Swingline is a reliable option if you’re on a budget, but you still want a machine that comes with everything you need to get started.
- Best for Crafts: Eficentline Thermal Laminating Machine. Feeling crafty? The Eficentline is an excellent laminator with enough features to work with most of your crafting needs.
- Best for the Money: ABOX 13-Inch Lamination Machine. The ABOX is a laminator with the kind of versatility that usually comes with a higher price tag.
- Best for Speed: Fellowes Saturn3i Laminating Machine. If you’re looking for a laminator built for speed, this might be the one for you.
- Best for Home Use: JZBRAIN Laminator Machine. Equipt with many features, this might be the best home laminating machine if you want something that works quickly, and you don’t need to laminate anything over 9 inches wide.
- Best for Small Business: Crenova 13 Inch Laminator. If you’re looking for the best laminating machine for teachers or a small business, the Crenova is an excellent choice.
- Best Laminator Brand: Scotch Thermal Laminator. This machine comes from a great brand known for its stickiness — what’s not to love?
- Best Cheap Laminator: AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator. This is a no-frills machine that gets the job done.
1. Blusmart Laminator Machine
The best laminating machine overall
Brand: Blusmart | Heat Settings: Hot and Cold | Size: 13″ | Warm-Up Time: 3-5 Minutes | Cutter: Yes | Price: 💰💰
This laminating machine from Blusmart is one of the best-reviewed laminators at a reasonably affordable price. It offers a rotary trimmer and a corner rounder, allowing it to make all necessary cuts. Capable of heating up in 3 to 5 minutes, it’s designed for A3-A6 laminations and can cover a document width of 13 inches. If you’re looking for a dependable machine with a ton of extra features and accessories, then the Blusmart laminator is a great option.
- Easy to use
- Amazing customer service
- Cutter is challenging to use
- Doesn’t work as well on the cold lamination setting
2. VEVOR 25 Inch Manual Cold Roll Laminator
The best eco-friendly laminating machine
Brand: VEVOR | Heat Settings: Cold Only | Size: 25″ | Warm-Up Time: None | Cutter: No | Price: 💰💰💰
If you’re looking for the best eco-friendly laminator and your projects don’t require heat, this is a great option. The VEVOR Cold Roll Laminator is also our pick for the best cold laminator machine. Not only is this laminator highly reviewed, but it can also be used on projects up to 1 inch thick and 25 inches in width. This unit has non-slip feet to keep it from moving around when you’re rolling out your projects, and it folds for easy storage. However, you might call this model the best desktop laminator because, at a little over 32 pounds, this unit isn’t known for its easy portability.
One of the great things about cold laminators is that there’s no warm-up time at all. You can start rolling whenever you’re ready and never worry about it overheating.
- Safe and simple to use
- Adjustable roller thickness
- Poorly packaged
- Not as good as the professional, expensive models
3. Swingline Laminator
The best budget laminator machine
Brand: Swingline | Heat Settings: Hot and Cold | Size: 9″ or 12″ | Warm-Up Time: 4 Minutes | Cutter: No | Price: 💰
Another solid trimming laminator is the thermal laminator from Swingline. Available in a variety of colors and multiple sizes, it’s a terrific option for those who make crafts. The Swingline is compatible with 3 and 5 mil laminating pouches. It can cover most conventional documents with a lamination range of 9 or 12 inches (depending on the model you pick). It also comes with a 90-day warranty, so you’ll feel comfortable getting to work right away.
- Easy to use
- Compact size
- Great for the price
- Some issues with overheating
- Doesn’t work well for smaller projects
4. Eficentline Thermal Laminating Machine
The best laminating machine for crafts
Brand: Eficentline | Heat Settings: Hot and Cold | Size: 13″ | Warm-Up Time: 3-5 Minutes | Cutter: Yes | Price: 💰💰
Possessing a double roller system, this laminator from Eficentline creates both A4 and A6 laminates with astonishing speed. Equipped with straight and patterned cutting mechanisms, it’s one of the best laminating machines for crafts.
The lamination range of this machine is around 13 inches. This unit comes equipped with an ABS button that allows you to do away with jams easily, and it takes between 3 and 5 minutes to heat up. While it’s bigger and bulkier than many laminator machines (and more expensive), it’s also more functional than comparable models. For this reason, it’s a terrific buy.
- Easy to use
- Fast to heat up
- Lots of features
- Occasionally jams
- Cutter isn’t very reliable
5. ABOX 13-Inch Lamination Machine
The best laminating machine for the money
Brand: ABOX | Heat Settings: Hot and Cold | Size: 13″ | Warm-Up Time: 3-5 Minutes | Cutter: Yes | Price: 💰💰
Designed for A3, A4, and A6 laminations, this laminator machine from ABOX offers a great deal of bang for its buck. Similar to other Eficentline machines, it only falls behind only in the fact that it can’t make patterned cuts. Apart from this, it has all of the cutting mechanisms necessary, including a corner rounder and a cutting grid.
Capable of laminations up to 13 inches wide, this laminator heats up in a range of 3 to 5 minutes. With its ABS jam removal, it’s also effortless to care for and maintain.
- Easy to use
- Powerful cutter
- Great customer service
- Gets pretty hot
- Occasionally jams
6. Fellowes Saturn3i Laminating Machine
The best laminating machine for speed
Brand: Fellowes | Heat Settings: Hot and Cold | Size: 12.5″ | Warm-Up Time: 1 Minute | Cutter: No | Price: 💰💰💰
Arguably one of the best laminating machine brands, Fellowes has put out a wide variety of great products. Perhaps their best laminator is the Saturn3i, a high-speed laminator with only 1 minute of warm-up time.
This machine has heat settings for both 3 mil and 5 mil and can handle a lamination width of 12.5 inches. These features allow it to accommodate virtually any type of lamination pouch that you throw at it. The only knock against it is that it doesn’t come with any cutting mechanisms. Not to mention, it’s a little expensive.
- Easy to use
- Good quality
- Some breakage issues with heavy use
- Can be difficult to guide projects through
7. JZBRAIN Laminator Machine
The best laminating machine for home use
Brand: JZBRAIN | Heat Settings: Hot and Cold | Size: 9″ | Warm-Up Time: 2 Minutes | Cutter: Yes | Price: 💰💰
This laminator machine from JZBRAIN has a detachable cutter and corner rounder that stow easily in the bottom of the unit and allow you to make a range of different cuts. With a lamination range of up to 9 inches and a warm-up time of 2 minutes, we think this is the best A4 laminator when it comes to speed. It’s an appropriate machine for the vast majority of documents and photographs you want to finish quickly.
In terms of safety, the machine’s detachable cutter is a great feature to keep kids protected, and it allows multiple people to work on projects together. For home use, this is arguably the best small laminator.
- Easy to use
- Fast to heat up
- Portable and stores easily
- Not the best for heavy use
- Could come with better directions
8. Crenova 13 Inch Laminator
The best laminating machine for small business
Brand: Crenova | Heat Settings: Hot and Cold | Size: 13″ | Warm-Up Time: 2 Minutes | Cutter: Yes | Price: 💰💰
We believe this is the best laminating machine for office use because it’s quick, compact, and seems to hold up over time. This laminating machine has an ABS release for jams and comes with laminating pouches, a separate paper cutter, and a corner rounder. The separate accessories that come with this unit make this the best laminator for schools because it’s easy for people to work on a project together without getting in each other’s way.
If you’re looking for a machine that will stand up to heavy use and comes with a decent amount of features, this is an ideal choice. The Crenova laminator might also be the best laminating machine for preschool or homeschool teachers who expect their device to see a lot of regular use.
- Well made
- Good quality laminations
- Comes with everything you need and lots of useful accessories
- The corner rounder only works well on certain projects
- Some initially received broken units, but they were swiftly replaced
9. Scotch Thermal Laminator
The best laminating machine brand
Brand: Scotch | Heat Settings: Hot Only | Size: 9″ | Warm-Up Time: 5 Minutes | Cutter: No | Price: 💰💰
Next on our list is this thermal laminator from Scotch. While not the best laminating machine around, it serves its purpose well, covering documents up to 9 inches in width. Possessing both 3 mil and 5 mil heat settings, it can accommodate a range of laminate thicknesses. Compact and easy to store, it will never get in the way.
- Easy to use
- Great for light-duty
- Difficult to feed projects through the machine
- Some quality control issues with overheating and burning
10. AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator
The best cheap laminator
Brand: AmazonBasics / Heat Settings: Hot Only / Size: 9” / Warm-Up Time: 4 Minutes / Cutter: No / Price: 💰
Simple, effective, easy to use, and affordable, this laminator from AmazonBasics quite simply does its job. It doesn’t come with a trimmer or a corner rounder, but it can laminate items up to 9 inches in width. With a 4-minute warm-up time, it makes easy work of all laminations.
The best part? Despite its bargain price, it can still cover a range of laminate thicknesses thanks to both 3 mil and 5 mil heat settings.
- Good for school projects
- Works well for foil crafting
- Great machine for the price
- No guiding tray
- Slow and some projects have to be run through twice to seal fully
7 Things to Look for Before Buying a Laminator Machine
What is the best laminating machine? Well, that depends on what you want to use it for. When trying to choose a laminating machine, there are several different things to consider. Carefully making these considerations will ensure you choose the right laminator for your particular purposes.
1. Lamination Capabilities
The fact of the matter is that some laminating machines can laminate more area at a time than others. For instance, while basic machines will generally cover around 9 inches of width at once, higher-end machines will cover around 13 inches of width or more. If you’re looking for a device that can laminate items that are wider than 25 inches, you may want to consider using a printing shop unless you’re willing to make a significant investment. The best wide format laminators are typically priced in the thousands of dollars.
When choosing your laminating machine, you need to be mindful of the differences in width capabilities. Make sure the laminator you buy is capable of accommodating your specific documents.
2. Heating Settings
The process of lamination usually works through the generation of heat. The temperature you want will depend on the project you want to laminate. Different types of documents and laminates require certain temperature levels. While some laminators possess a range of heat settings and can accommodate all kinds of documents, other laminators are limited in terms of heat settings.
There are also lots of machines that have both hot and cold lamination settings. However, different devices might work best for only doing one or the other. For instance, the best thermal laminator might not be as good at doing cold laminations even if it has the setting for both.
Before making your purchase, ensure your prospective laminator can provide the heat needed to suit your needs.
Another thing you’ll want to consider when choosing a laminating machine is its size. These machines come in a wide range of shapes and sizes — some are big and bulky, and others are small and narrow.
The size of a laminating machine won’t necessarily affect its capabilities. However, it might make it difficult to store. Ensure you’re aware of its measurements before laying down any money.
4. Warm-Up Time
As was noted above, most laminating machines make use of heat to carry out their function. Unfortunately, as you might expect, this heat is not produced in the blink of an eye. In fact, it usually takes a few minutes for a laminator to produce adequate heat.
Note, though, that not all laminators are created equally in this regard. While some laminators can warm themselves up within 2 minutes, others require up to 5 minutes and beyond. All other things being equal, you should choose the laminator with the quicker warm-up time.
5. Ease of Use
Most laminators are relatively easy to use. You simply take documents, feed them into their entry trays, and wait for them to come out laminated on the other side. There’s very little brain work involved.
However, this is not true for all laminating machines. Just because most laminators are easy to use doesn’t mean they all are. Make sure the model you purchase is fairly user-intuitive.
You can find laminating machines at a wide range of prices. While one machine might be available for $20, another machine might cost as much as $150.
As you could probably guess, the more expensive machines are generally of higher quality. However, the budget-priced machines usually do a good enough job to perform basic laminating tasks. Remember, though; you often get what you pay for.
7. Special Features
The simplest of laminating machines are just that: laminating machines. However, the more expensive versions generally possess an array of special features, including laminate cutters, measuring grids, and corner rounders.
While none of these features are absolutely necessary, they can be beneficial for particular projects.
For this guide on laminating machines, our team spent 8 hours researching the most popular options from over 15 brands and manufacturers, big and small. We then read about one hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each unit. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 10 laminating machines on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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