There are never enough hours in the day, especially for teachers, and a little convenience can make a big difference. Having access to your own laminator machine can be the best way to avoid lines, waiting for laminators to heat all of the way or the horror of realizing the there is no film or the entire laminator machine is jammed. Luckily, there is a long list of some of the best laminators for teachers. It even includes a cheap laminator that won't break a teacher's budget.
While the laminators listed here may not be a full-size thermal laminator, they do use heat settings that will seal the laminating pouches or sheets to protect any documents you choose to laminate. Of course, there are some pouches that come with adhesive that only needs pressure to seal around your document. Those kinds of pouches use a process called cold lamination. The pouch is run between two rollers that apply pressure to seal the adhesive.
Most of the best laminator machines listed are affordable, even on a teacher's salary, so don't shy away from being able to laminate documents at your convenience. This list should help you consider which laminator will best suit your needs in your classroom. The best laminators should give you the flexibility to use a range of pouches.
Pouches or Sheets
One of the first things to consider when looking at a laminating machine to purchase for yourself is the type of film that it will use. Laminating sheets are similar to the film found in larger laminators. The biggest difference that teachers will notice when laminating with pouches instead of sheets is the thickness of the lamination. A laminating sheet creates a thin, flimsy cover to protect the paper. A laminating pouch is a much thicker and sturdier cover over the paper.
Laminating pouches are similar to the kind of lamination used on ID cards and other heavy-duty documents. Even an AmazonBasics thermal laminator can create a very sturdy lamination when using a laminating pouch instead of sheets. This allows teachers to choose a cheap laminator while still getting high-quality protection for their documents. Since the pouches are thicker, it does mean that those sharp corners can do serious damage, so the best laminators include corner rounders.
1. AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator Machine
When you want a small laminator with will be easy to store and easy to use, the AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator Machine may be the best laminator for you. It has two heat settings and can heat up in just 4 minutes. For most documents, the 3 mil setting for heat will be perfect. If you happen to laminate cardstock, you can easily shift the heat setting to 5 mil.
This machine uses laminator sheets, but can also work with any 3 mil or 5 mil pouches. It has an entry feed space that is 9 inches wide so that you won't need to worry about fitting in a normal size paper or printout. The laminator includes a release level to make clearing any jams that may happen a quick and easy task.
2. Crenova A4 Laminator
User-friendly settings make this 4 in 1 thermal laminator by Crenova a great choice for a small portable laminator. It even comes with 20 laminating pouches. The 9-inch opening will make it easy to protect normal papers with good thermal lamination. It even has a corner rounder, so that you won't have pokey, sharp corners.
This laminator has a will warm up quickly and it laminates at a crazy 2500 mm/min speed. This will make it easy for teachers to get their laminating done quickly without wasting any time. Combine the quick heat time with the rapid lamination and the ABS level to stop jams as they happen, and you end up with a great thermal laminator for teachers.
3. Blusmart Multiple Function A3 Laminator
While most teachers will find that a laminator that is 9 inches wide meets most of their needs, some teachers frequently use wider and larger paper. The 13-inch laminator from Blusmart may be the best laminator for teachers who want the option to feed through larges pages. It is still convenient and portable but has extra capabilities.
It has a satisfyingly fast warm-up time of just 3-5 minutes and offers both a hot and cold mode to allow teachers to use different laminating pouches and sheets with ease. It also can round off corners and even includes a hold punch. This can make it easy to make flashcards. Even better, this laminator comes with a 12-month warranty.
4. Apache AL13 13" Thermal Laminator
The Apache 13 inch laminator is another great option for laminating larger pages. It comes with 20 pouches and has high-quality parts that keep working for a long time. There are two silicone rollers to keep the pouches moving through the laminating machine and it has a power and ready LED light to make it easy to use.
This laminator is lightweight and allows you to use 3 mil or 5 mil laminator pouches, so you 'll be able to choose the right laminator pouch for your project. It's a convenient and easy-to-use thermal laminator that will exceed the expectations of most teachers.
5. Scotch Brand Pro Thermal Laminator
The name Scotch means that you are getting a good quality office product, and this thermal laminator is no exception. The Scotch Pro Thermal Laminator is one of the best thermal laminators for teachers because it is affordable, easy to use, and does a great job laminating your papers.
It will warm up in less than 5 minutes and shut off automatically after 1 hour. It can handle papers that are 9 inches wide and will let you use 3 mil or 5 mil thermal pouches. It even has a system that prevents it from jamming, so that you won't have to worry about the mess that comes with partially laminated papers getting jammed in the laminator.
6. UALAU Laminator Machine
Like many portable thermal laminating machines, the UALAU Laminator is 9 inches wide and comes with a paper trimmer and corner rounder. The long use time makes this one of the best laminators for teachers because it is prepared to run for 30 minutes without needing a break. This will allow teachers to laminate everything for the class without needing to take a break.
It uses not one, but two rollers to keep things moving and includes an ABS button that will allow you to clear out paper jams with missing a blink. It runs at a quick 250 mm/min rate and will get hot in just 3-5 minutes. This is a great thermal laminator for teachers who want to avoid the hassle of the laminator in the teacher's lounge.
7. Swingline Laminator
Much like Scotch, Swingline is a name brand that you know you can trust to provide the best office supplies. Their Swingline Thermal Laminator is just as awesome as their heavy metal staplers. It heats up quickly and is designed to work with standard, letter-size paper that is no more than 9 inches wide. After as little as four minutes, you will be ready to seal 3 or 5 mil pouches at a rate of 9 inches per minute!
It has a cold setting in addition to the normal heat setting so that it can be used with pouches that have adhesive and just need the pressure to seal. This laminator is very easy to use since it has just one setting. The laminator can still handle different kinds of lamination pouches, and you can quickly and easily clear any jams that may happen by using the jam release lever.
8. 5 in 1 Blusmart Laminator Set
This laminator from Blusmart is simple and easy to use. The set comes with a corner rounder, 20 lamination pouches, and even several frames. It will heat up quickly and tell you when it's ready with an easy to read indicator light. You'll have the flexibility to use it for hot or cold lamination, too.
This is a great laminator for teachers who want the best without having to learn how to operate a complicated thermal laminator. It's one of the best laminators for those who want to get the job done quickly without a lot of fuss. Blusmart also offers some of the best customer support.
While there are many portable thermal laminators available for teachers, you will want to consider a few things before selecting the one that is right for you. Be sure to consider the size of documents that you usually laminate as you choose between a 9 inch and 13-inch wide model. You'll also want to consider the kinds of pouches you want to use. Sometimes you may prefer pouches that use cold lamination, while other times thermal lamination will be the order of the day.