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If you want to preserve documents and photos for as long as possible, you would be wise to laminate them. Laminating documents and photos includes giving them a protective shell, similar to the way that vacuum sealers provide food with a protective cover. Below, we’re not only going to discuss how to buy the best laminating machine, but we’re also going to provide you with a compilation of the 10 best laminators currently on the market. 

While you have the option to get your documents laminated at a printing shop, you might be better suited with a laminating machine of your own. Available at a wide range of prices, there’s almost sure to be one which fits your budget.

Interested in buying a laminator? Need a little help doing so? Then read on! Up first are our Smart Home picks. 

The 10 Best Laminating Machines of 2019

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 different price points. Regardless of your budget, one of these laminating machines should be suitable for you.

1. SOONye Thermal Laminating Machine

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Our pick for the best laminating machine for crafts

Possessing a double roller system, this laminator from Eficentline creates both A4 and A6 laminates with great speed. Equipped with both 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. Taking between 3 and 5 minutes to start up, it’s equipped with an ABS button that allows you to easily do away with jams.  While it’s bigger and bulkier than many laminator machines (and more expensive as well), it’s also more functional than many laminator machines. For this reason, it’s a terrific buy.

2. ABOX 13-Inch Lamination Machine

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Our pick for the best laminating machine for the money

Designed for A3, A4, and A6 laminations, this laminator machine from ABOX offers a great deal of bang for its buck. Similar to the Eficentline machine reviewed above, it 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. Possessing ABS jam removal, it’s extremely easy to care for and maintain.

3. Fellowes Saturn3i Laminating Machine

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Our pick for the best laminating machine for speed

Arguably the best laminating machine brand there is, Fellows 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. 

Possessing a lamination width of 12.5 inches, this machine has heat settings of both 3mil and 5mil. This allows it to accommodate essentially 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.

4. Swingline Laminator

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Our pick for the best budget laminating machine of 2019

Another solid trimming laminator is 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. With a lamination range of 9 or 12.5 inches, it can cover most conventional documents. It’s accompanied by a 90 day warranty, so you’ll feel comfortable getting to work right away.

5. JZBRAIN Laminator Machine

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Our pick for the best laminating machine for home use

This laminator machine from JZBRAIN is on part with the Abweii machine reviewed above. Possessing both a rotary cutter and a corner rounder, it allows you to make a range of different cuts. Heating up in 3 to 5 minutes, it covers a lamination range of 13 inches. This makes it an appropriate machine for the vast majority of documents and photographs. 

For safety purposes, its trimming blade is equipped with a lock. This will prevent children from getting into it and hurting themselves. It also makes this arguably the best laminating machine for home use.

6. MATCC Thermal Laminator

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Our pick for the best laminating machine for office use

If you’re just looking for a standard laminator to cover legal documents or pieces of paper in your office, you might consider this one from MATCC. Possessing a coverage range of 9 inches, it’s available for a very reasonable price. It also comes with a separate trimmer and corner rounder. 

The warm-up time for this trimmer is between 3 and 5 minutes. Once warmed up, it spits laminates in and out with great speed and ease. While it’s not the top laminating machine around, it gets the job done.

7. AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator

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Our pick for the best simple laminator

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 is capable of laminating items up to 9 inches in width. With a 4-minute warm-up time, it makes easy work of all laminations. With both 3mil and 5mil heat settings, it can cover a range of laminate thicknesses.

8. SAACHSO Thermal Laminator

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Our pick for the best affordable laminating machine

Similar to the AmazonBasics laminator above, this laminator from SAACHSO does its job and at a very affordable price. Capable of 9-inch-wide laminates, it covers most legal documents thrown its direction.  Warming up in 3 to 5 minutes, it allows for both hot and cold lamination. Equipped with a jam release button, it can be easily cleared up excess scrap at any time.

9. Scotch Thermal Laminator

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Our pick for the best laminating machine brand

Rounding out 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 3mil and 5mil heat settings, it can accommodate a range of laminate thicknesses. Compact and easy to store, it will never get in the way.

10. Blusmart 4 in 1 Laminator Machine

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Our pick for the best small laminating machine

This laminating machine from Blusmart is in the same class as the ones reviewed above and at a fairly affordable price. It offers a rotary trimmer as well as a corner rounder, allowing it to make all necessary cuts.  Capable of heating up in 3 to 5 minutes, it’s designed for A4 laminations and will cover a document width of 9 inches. If you don’t have a need for laminating large documents, this is the laminating machine for you.

Things to Consider When Buying a Laminating Machine

When trying to choose a laminating machine, there are a number of different things you’ll want to consider. Making these considerations carefully will ensure you choose the right laminator for your particular purposes.

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Lamination Capabilities 

The fact of the matter is some laminating machines are capable of laminating more area at one time than are others. For instance, while basic machines will generally cover around 9 inches of length at once, higher-end machines will cover around 13 inches of length. 

When choosing your laminating machine, you need to be cognizant of the differences in length. Make sure the laminator you buy is capable of accommodating your specific documents.

Heating Settings 

The process of lamination requires the generation of heat with different types of documents requiring different levels of said heat. While some laminators possess a range of heat settings and can accommodate all types of documents, other laminators are limited in terms of heat settings. 

Before making your purchase, ensure your prospective laminator can provide the heat needed to suits your needs. 

Size 

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 with some being big and bulky, and others being 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. 

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Warm-Up Time 

As was noted above, laminating machines make use of heat in order 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 will warm themselves up within 2 minutes, others will require 5 minutes. All other things being equal, you should choose the laminator with the quicker warm-up time.

Ease of Use 

Most laminators are fairly 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. 

Cost 

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 $75. 

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 get what you pay for. 

Special Features 

The simplest of laminating machines are just that: laminating machines. However, the more expensive versions will 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 very helpful when it comes to certain projects. 

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