Though they might rival the most boring of classroom items, laminators are a necessity for both teachers and schools – they ensure documents stay protected while also ensuring any artwork is preserved for students’ parents. If you’re reading this then it’s likely you’re wondering where to start in your hunt for the best laminator for your purpose – we’ve done our best to provide a variety of choices based on price & function – good luck!
Looking to find a laminator ASAP? Here are our 3 favorites:
Fellowes Laminator Saturn3i 125
Leading off is not only one of the best laminators for teachers, but also one of the most stylish. Manufactured by Fellowes, its proprietary InstaHeat technology allows it to get ready for lamination within just one minute. It works well with both hot lamination with common pouch sizes and cold lamination using self-adhesive pouches. The Saturn3i laminator is perfect for classrooms and teachers with its useful energy-saving features that ensure that it never gets overheated. In the event of pouches jamming inside, there’s a useful release lever that can help you get back to work within minutes.
Each package includes a starter pack of ten 3-mil letter-sized laminating pouches which should get you going till you need more. We love this machine for its clean, smooth lamination without vertical impressions or bubbles + near instant warm up!
Scotch Thermal Laminator
From office supply powerhouse Scotch, the Thermal Laminator is designed to work with documents as large as 9 inches in width, so it should work with most school and classroom materials for teachers. Because of its size, you can easily carry it around (check out our recommended rolling carts for teachers) and set up conveniently in any space. For your menus, letters, postcards and other materials, the Scotch Thermal Laminator is up to the task with its fast-warming capacity. This means that you can bring it out from the box and start laminating within a few minutes of plugging it in.
There are also two convenient lines on the bed that help you (and your students) make sure that the laminating pouch is properly aligned before slipping it into the laminator. It comes with two pre-set levels of heat where you can choose between 3 mil sheets or 5 mil sheets when laminating. The Scotch Thermal Laminator has one of the most precise roller systems and few teachers report jamming.
Scotch PRO Thermal Laminator
Basic version just not curring it? The PRO version of arguably the best laminator for teachers has all the features that make it the laminator of choice for a classroom or staffroom. It allows teachers to make professional-grade laminations without stressing over complicated controls. The Scotch PRO Thermal Laminator is equipped with Never Jam technology which guarantees that your lamination always comes out smooth and crisp every time.
It also comes with a folding tray for easy capture of finished laminations, a port for storing the electric cord out of sight, a fast warming time of around five minutes and a convenient handle that makes it easy to move from one location to another. The Scotch Pro Laminator can also accept any document up to 9 inches in width making it the perfect addition to your classroom or teacher’s office.
AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator
It’s hard to beat AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator if you’re a teacher or admin – its many attractive features provide you top-quality and consistent laminations across different document sizes while helping you save on energy usage. Perfect for use in classrooms, the two-roller system helps to deliver fast and reliable laminations at all times.
To quote another reviewer, “It simply just works” whether you are using 3 mil or 5 mil laminating pouches (both of which Amazon sells cheaply). The size makes it suitable for small spaces and easy storage in a drawer whenever not in use. Amazon also ensures that your laminating supplies are as cheap as they get while providing excellent after-sales warranty and support if you ever need it.
Swingline Inspire Plus Laminator
The Swingline Thermal laminator allows documents up to a maximum of 9 inches in width within 4 minutes of turning it on. The Inspire Plus laminator comes in a lovely blue color and has two indicator lights that help you know when it’s ready for use. For 3 mil and 5 mil laminating pouches, there’s only one power setting and it works just fine. You can also use the Inspire Plus for self-adhesive or pressure-sensitive laminations and there’s a built-in lever to help clear any jammed lamination. You also get five laminating pouches to start with after which you can buy any brand to use with it.
While it can be slower than some of the other laminators for teachers, it rarely jams, and the laminates come out clean without bubbles or creases. You can also use it for prolonged periods of time without worrying about it getting overheated or destroying your documents. If you don’t care about speed, it is one of the best laminators for classrooms when durability and consistency is concerned.
Apache AL9 9″ Thermal Laminator
This Thermal Laminator is perfect for teachers and home business owners who want a laminator that can deliver fast, easy results without worrying about settings or space. The Apache AL9 measures just 3.3 inches in height and is made from high-quality heating elements with two rollers made of silicone and light enough to be moved and stored without stress. The 9-inch document is sufficient for most class and office documents.
Included is a free pack of 20 laminating pouches and Apache also provides up to six months of manufacturer’s warranty protection in case your laminator develops an issue after purchase. The laminator’s ‘ready’ light comes up within a few minutes of being switched on and can roll out perfect laminations for you on short notice without bubbles or partial seals. The Apache AL9 is also fast and more reliable compared to other similar laminators in the market.
Apache AL18P2 18″ Professional Laminator
The AL18P laminator is a significant upgrade from the AL9 home series in that it can laminate materials as wide as 18 inches. This makes it suitable for most schools and offices with large documents (like artwork). One advantage that the AL18P2 offers over the home series is that it is more versatile than the smaller series and can do both self-adhesive and cold press laminations.
The Apache AL18P2 laminator makes use of four rollers instead of two and also offers a forward and reverse switch to prevent jams. It has a digital display that shows temperature and other settings as well as two LED lights (green for ready to use and red when still pre-heating). Because of its size and the number of rollers, it takes a longer time to heat and get ready which may not make it ideal for classrooms where you may need to make a lamination urgently. However, it is very reliable, allows temperature control and its four roller ensures that most laminations are done perfectly the first time without a need to roll again.
Which laminator is right for you?
Did we miss any? Let us know if you have any follow up questions – we know how important it is to find the right tools for your classroom or office.