Teachers – and parents of younger children – LOVE to laminate. Why? It’s simple – kids tend to destroy unprotected paper items.
While some schools have a communal laminator, many teachers want to have one for their own classroom – for a variety of reasons. We’ve spent over twenty hours researching the best laminators for teachers on the market today. Our conclusion: the best overall classroom laminator is the 5 in 1 Bluesmart Laminator Set. The built-in paper-trimmer and hole punch are super-useful in the classroom and the wide variety of other supplies will get you laminating straight out of the box. It’s used in a lot of classrooms and it’s a great balanced choice.
There are other great laminators that might fit your classroom needs better. Whether you are interested in an affordable fast laminator or a laminator that won’t jam, we’ve got you covered. We did the legwork for you and compiled a list of the best laminator for teachers for home use and in the classroom.
Top Laminators For The Classroom
AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator Machine
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Scotch Brand Pro Thermal Laminator
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Fellowes Laminator Saturn3i
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Swingline GBC Thermal Laminator Machine
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Scotch Thermal Laminator TL901X
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Crenova A4 Laminator 4 in 1 Thermal
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Bonsaii 13 Inches Thermal Laminator
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Individual Reviews of Laminating Machines
Best All-In-One: 5 in 1 Blusmart Laminator Set
One of the best laminators for teachers is the 5-in-1 Blusmart Laminator set. The set includes a laminator with essential tools and laminating supplies teachers often use with laminated items. Included in the collection are the paper trimmer, hole corner rounder, 10 photo frames, and 20 laminating pouches.
A quick 3-5-minute warm-up readies the laminator quickly. The laminator is fast; it has a remarkable laminating speed of 250mm per minute (9.8 inches per minute). It laminates up to 50 sheets per hour, which means it will laminate 10 more pieces in the same time frame than many of its competitors.
The laminator features hot and cold lamination for different types of laminating pouches. It gives teachers the versatility for cold laminating of arts and crafts items or waiting for the laminator to heat up for hot laminations.
The enhanced design has improved jamming prevention technology from 0.3% to 0.1%. The ABS button releases stuck lamination pouches or papers with ease if misfed. The laminating machine works quietly and won’t disturb students.
The paper cutter is sharp but safe to use for cutting the pieces. Gridlines help for precise straight cutting results. The hole punch allows teachers to punch holes in flashcards or photos to create a set with the three rings included in the package. A corner rounder, stored in the side pocket of the laminator, finishes the corners correctly, saving teachers time and effort in cutting it with scissors.
Best Value: AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator Machine
The AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator Machine is one of the best value-for-money laminators for teachers. It meets the laminating needs of a teacher with the ability to laminate documents up to 9 inches wide and 3-mil and 5-mil laminating pouch thickness.
A laminating pouch setting allows for laminating items according to the right thickness. The 3-mil thickness setting enables laminating photos, card stocks, and documents and the 5-mil lamination film for thinner paper. The 9 inches wide laminator is compatible with papers of various sizes, including legal-size, letter-size, photo-size, and business cards.
Should your item cause a jam, the jam release lever may solve the issue fast. This versatile laminator machine warms up for use within 4-minutes and has ready indicator lights. The two heat settings ensure your items laminate fast despite the thickness.
The AmazonBasics thermal laminating machine’s compact design makes it portable for transporting from the classroom to the teacher’s home office.
Best For No Jamming: Scotch Brand Pro Thermal Laminator
The never-jam technology of the Scotch Brand Pro Thermal Laminator automatically prevents misfeeding items that may cause a jam. A retractable pouch feed tray aligns your laminating pouch input, which also prevents damaging of articles due to jamming of misfed things. The two roller system laminates at a speed of 15 inches per minute, which means a 9 inches wide document may laminate within 45 seconds.
An easy-to-use LED touch controls clearly indicate the various buttons to press, including two heat settings for laminating 3 and 5 mil laminating pouches. The ready light illuminates when the machine is ready for use; warming up takes between 1-6 minutes with an average of 5 minutes. The auto-shutoff after one hour of inactivity helps conserve energy.
Teachers will appreciate the carry-handle for easy portability when transporting from home to school or different classrooms. The Scotch Pro laminator also comes with hidden cord storage and a folding tray for convenient portability and storage.
Best Instant Use: Fellowes Laminator Saturn3i
The stylish Fellowes Laminator Saturn3i takes under 60 seconds to warm up with its InstaHeat technology. It is one of the best laminators for teachers who don’t have time to waste and are in a hurry f before a meeting or the lesson starts.
The laminator takes almost the same time to warm-up as it takes to prepare the laminating pouches. A green light with a beep tells the teacher the laminator is ready for use, and the auto shut off prevents overheating and saves energy by shutting the idle laminating machine off.
Teachers who need a greater versatility than offered by 9 inches wide laminators, may find the Saturn3i’s 12.5 inches wide entry width provide them the flexibility they need. Sometimes that extra width makes the difference when a teacher laminates office documents or articles for classroom use.
It also comes with hot and cold settings, which makes the laminating machine one of the best laminators for versatility, instant and frequent use. The advanced thermal laminator rapidly warms up in one minute and laminates up to 5 mil thermal pouches with the hot setting. It also has a cold setting for self-adhesive pouches. The purchase includes ten sample laminating pouches.
Best Frequent Use: Swingline GBC Thermal Laminator Machine
The Swingline GBC Thermal Laminator Fusion 3000L is one of the best laminators for teachers who laminate items every week. With a 3-year limited warranty, the longest in the industry, teachers won’t stress when using the laminating machine frequently.
A teacher who laminates documents regularly may appreciate the quick warm-up of 60 seconds compared to other laminators that may take longer. The sleek modern design reflects its smooth, laminating features. At a laminating speed of 9 inches per minute, teachers may laminate up to 17 documents within ten minutes. The full 12 inches laminating width allows for lamination of variety document sizes. The Fusion 3000L is compatible with 3-mil and 5-mil laminating pouches.
If time is of the essence, the EZUse Premium Speed pouches save laminating time. Thirty of these letter-size pouches are included in the purchase. These EZUse Premium Speed pouches seal on the longer side reducing processing time by 22%.
Laminating machines may jam when laminating sheets or pouches are misfed. The Fusion 3000L comes with auto jam detection. By pressing the auto release button, the jammed pouches are released. After being idle for 30 minutes, the auto shut off feature activates to conserve energy and prevent overheating.
GBC SelfSeal pouches that work with the cold lamination settings are sold separately.
Best Budget: Scotch Thermal Laminator TL901X
The Scotch Thermal Laminator is one of the best laminators for teachers on a tight budget but is looking for a laminator that works. Don’t let the price fool you; it’s not going to break down after the first few times, a teacher laminates items for class projects. It is also one of the best laminators for beginners who haven’t mastered the laminating process.
The thermal laminator, with its two-roller system, improves the finishing quality of the laminated articles. Rollers help push out air from the pockets preventing sealing the pouches with air bubbles inside. With two temperature settings and the updated color and finish, the Scotch TL901X is suitable for photos and other colored items. The heat setting enables the laminating of pouches up to 5-mil in thickness.
The indicator light shows when the laminator has warmed up and ready for use. The release button frees up laminating sheets and pouches that were fed incorrectly. Even experienced users have times that they misfeed a pouch causing a jam.
Scotch is a brand name that is known for manufacturing some of the best laminators, laminating materials, and products. Each model has the Scotch brand quality and unique set of features for school, office, or home use.
Best User-Friendly: Crenova A4 Laminator 4 in 1 Thermal
The Crenova A4 Laminator is designed with simplified operations. Laminators can be tricky to operate, especially if you are new to using one. The on/off switch is colored red for easy identification. On top of the laminator is the ready light that indicates when the laminator is available for use. It takes only 3-5 minutes to warm up. An ABS button releases stuck papers or laminating pouches. If you switch off the power, you can still effortlessly pull the laminated sheet without pushing the ABS release button.
The starter pack includes useful tools and laminating accessories, making it one of the best laminators for beginners and user-friendly. The set consists of a laminator, paper trimmer, corner rounder, and 20 laminating pouches. The pouches vary in size (5 A4, 5 A5, and 10 A6), allowing for the versatility of laminating from printer paper-sized documents to photos and card stacks for a school project.
The laminating speed of 250mm per minute (9,8 inches per minute) allows for laminating up to 50 A4 sheets per hour. The thermal laminator is 9 inches wide, which should be efficient for most items preschool to high school teachers may want to laminate. Schools have laminators that may accommodate larger sized laminations that require laminating film.
Best Large Sheets: Bonsaii 13 Inches Thermal Laminator
If you need a laminator that can laminate A3 sheets too, then the Bonsaii Thermal Laminator is the best product to use. The 13 inches entry width gives a teacher a choice to laminate smaller items like photos up to the large A3 sized sheets double the size of an A4.
The laminator warms up in less than three minutes, and the ready light indicator shows when it is ready. Its laminating speed reaches 12 inches per minute, which makes it an efficient and fast laminator. The hot and cold thermal settings add to the versatility by giving teachers the option to laminate 3-mil or 5-mil thickness.
The laminator isn’t noisy; it functions at a low decibel, which makes it ideal for schools, offices, and other quiet environments. Should a paper accidentally jam, the ABS release feature helps. You should be able to pull out the jammed pouch with one hand.
What is the Best Laminator for a Teacher?
The best laminator for a teacher is the machine that has the features the teacher needs. Teachers are busy and spend lots of time in preparation. Part of that preparation is laminating items. Their laminating needs are specific regarding the sizes, thickness, and speed of the laminator.
Laminators should also be portable because teachers use the laminator at home and in the classroom. Money also plays a role in what the teacher can afford.
Why should I use a laminator?
One word: protection.
Laminator machines are vital tools for teachers to preserve and protect articles like certificates, signs, and posters. The items stay clean and reusable in multiple classroom activities and lessons by laminating flashcards, stickers, name tags, worksheets, or photos.
Parents may appreciate a teacher who laminates items like their child’s precious artwork. School projects, homework sheets, and cards that travel from school to the home and back last longer when laminated.
Why would I want a personal laminator?
Many teachers purchase a personal lamination machine for their own convenience. They tend to take work home that requires laminating. Often the laminator machine at school is occupied when they need to overlay an item. School laminator machines are generally roll-laminators for laminating higher volumes and more significant sized documents. The convenience of having a pouch laminator saves them time and effort.
What should I look for in a laminator?
Some features to look for are:
- Quick warm-up of the laminator
- The entry width of the machine determines the size of the lamination sheets.
- Release buttons for effortlessly releasing jammed pouches
- Thermal laminators have hot and cold settings for versatility in pouch thickness and usage.
- Lightweight and portability make it easy to transport from home to school.
What is your experience with laminators? Which features do you think are essential for a laminator have?