Lamination gives your documents a protective plastic covering to enhance their durability. Be it your certificates, books, invoices, reports, photos, etc. Seals make them less vulnerable to disasters like scratches, moisture, and stains.
Since there are two alternatives- hot and cold laminators, you might need to opt for either. There are various factors to consider, especially because both are unique but provide the same purpose.
Read on to know more about the peculiarities of hot and cold laminating equipment.
What Is a Hot Laminator?
Hot laminators are common in homes, classrooms, and offices. And they operate using the heat of about 180 to 360°F to press plastics around documents. Under this temperature, the laminate adhesive melts to fasten it to the paper.
Their thermal laminating pouches have varying sizes and two layersꟷ an adhesive resin layer and a polyester-based layer.
- The product is more resistant to wear and tear.
- It offers better seal quality.
- It includes other material applications like vinyl with the option of heat configurations.
- You need electricity to power it.
- It requires high maintenance that involves regular cleaning.
- Pre-heat time hinders you from instant use.
- It’s a bit costlier than cold laminators. Although with a minimal difference.
- Increased heat can damage some ink colors.
- It’s complex to use for a starter. Experience and skill are necessary for the desired result.
What Is a Cold Laminator?
A cold laminator’s function depends on pressure and is a viable choice for heat-sensitive documents. The adhesive sticks to the laminated paper from a steady assertion of force. For files written with water-based inks, hot machines will smear the imprints.
Here the laminate is applied via brush-on, spray, or roller methods.
- It retains the quality and prints of documents.
- It requires less set-up time.
- Sufficient pressure removes bubbles to give a smooth surface.
- It’s mostly less expensive.
- No electricity is needed.
- Outcomes are straight with no occurrence of blisters.
- Insufficient pressure makes mounting less sticky.
- Bubbles may surface in framed paintings.
- White spots may appear after mounting a file.
Things To Consider Before Opting for a Laminator
Below are what dictates your choice of laminators.
- The nature of what you intend to laminate. This includes the material type and size. For more oversized items like posters and banners, you will need a roll laminator or industrial-sized types.
- The amount of time you’d like to save. For hot terminators, the warm-up time might not sit well with you if you’re in haste. Sometimes, it takes up to 15 minutes to heat up.
- The cost of the device. Similar to whenever you try procuring any equipment whatsoever, price is an essential consideration. Thermal laminators are a little more expensive than the cold types. However, the supplies needed with cold laminating machines, in the long run, are pricier.
- Your available space. Industrial laminators will fit best in a large room. If you need one for your home office, you’ll need to pick smaller types with lesser accessory requirements.
From what you’ve learned above, neither a hot nor cold laminator is better off. Your needs and budget guide your choice. But in making your purchase decision, ensure you go for a cost-effective one.