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What Should I Consider When Buying a Laminator?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Laminators are great tools that give all sorts of graphics an additional touch of professional appearance as well as protecting the graphics from harm. Many businesses use laminators to produce such items as posters, screens for use in exhibits, and placards for conventions. Because of the wide range of lamination projects, it may be somewhat difficult to choose the right laminator for your needs. Here are some suggestions on how to buy a laminator that will provide excellent service.

Your first consideration when buying a laminator is to determine the type of laminating projects you regularly take on. One of the more basic models will work nicely if you tend to produce posters or other simple flat graphics. However, if you plan on producing banners, screens, and other higher end projects, you will need to consider a laminator that includes the features you need to create a superior product.

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Along with the applications you have in mind, there is also the question of how much usage your laminator will see on a regular basis. Generally speaking, if you plan on producing no more than twenty prints in a given day, and none of the projects involve sensitive materials, one of the more basic models will do nicely. However, if the plan is to mass-produce different products each day, it is a good idea to invest your money in a laminator that is constructed to stand up to a lot of wear and tear. While the cost will be higher on the front end, these more powerful laminators will easily last longer than two and possibly three of the cheaper versions.

You will also want to consider whether a hot or a cold laminator is the best option for the projects you have in mind. Hot laminators allow for a wider range of temperatures, making them ideal if you plan on working with all sorts of laminating materials. While a cold laminator has a more limited range, it will do just as well if you only plan on working with specific materials that are constructed to work with a cold machine. Plus, you will save money with the cold laminator, as this type tends to cost less than the more versatile hot laminator.

Assessing the type of applications you have in mind will also dictate your choice of a laminator. For example, if you plan on being able to create projects requiring encapsulation, you will need to go with a hot laminator for the best results.

After you have determined what you need in a laminator and have identified a few machines that appear to have everything you require, it is time to check into consumer opinions about those machines. Check with consumer agencies and online consumer advocate sites to find out how buyers of those machines feel about their purchase. Keep in mind that one or two bad ratings do not necessarily mean the machine is a bad option. But if you see a recurring theme related to such matters as operation, quality, and life expectancy that is not positive, scratch that model off your list and keep looking.

As with any major purchase, it is important to define your needs and expectations and then begin a methodical search for the right product. Don’t allow yourself to pick the first viable laminator you come across. Bookmark that information and keep searching. If the first one does turn out to be the best option, fine. However, there is a good chance you will come across another option that costs less, has a better warranty, or is a better buy for some reason. Keep in mind that your purchase will be something you must live with for a long time. Make it a wise one.

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