Looking for the best laminator? Then you've come to the right place. Below I've chosen the best laminators for keeping your documents, photos and recipe cards clean and dust-free. The ones below are suitable for all uses, from the home to the office and even in school.
Because let's face it: when we have paperwork that's either important for your work, or holds sentimental value, sod's law dictates that it will get damaged. It might, for example, get stained, be ripped, have tea spilled on it, get covered in grease or fingermarks, be dripped on by candlewax... the possibilities are endless.
Luckily, by owning the best laminator you can easily keep your item safe from any unruly accidents. Laminating your documents permanently seals it between 2 sheets of plastic. This laminating pouch means that if there are any accidents, you can easily just wipe the plastic clean without any damage to what's inside.
Much like the best Cricut machines and best heat press machines, there are many uses for laminators in both your general every-day use and craft projects. They're also great additions to your household if you have kids as they can provide a lot of fun, both in an educational setting or for family activities.
If you're looking for more heavy-duty use, certain laminators offer the option for producing commercial goods for businesses, just like the best laser cutters. And, of course, a good laminator is perfect for keeping your art prints safe; read our guide to the best art printers to know more.
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The Fellowes Saturn 3i Laminator sits comfortably at the top of my list of the best laminators because it's not only one of the fastest to warm up to use (one minute) but also quickly laminates (under a minute for an A4 document). The bonus is this large laminator can handle A3 documents, making it an ideal laminator for creatives looking to keep their photos and art prints safe and clean.
Jams can be irritating and while other good laminators on this list have unjam switches and levers the Fellowes Saturn 3i Laminator features a more unique 'jam free' system; its auto reverse mechanism means misaligned docs are reversed and realigned automatically. The downside is this works best with Fellowes' own lamination pouches.
Not only is the Fellowes Saturn 3i Laminator a great machine but out of the box it's a bit of a money saver – you get a pack of 10 lamination pouches to get you started, the machine also has an auto shut-off to save energy and it comes with a two year guarantee.
The Buyounger 4 in 1 Thermal Laminator is a great machine for doing pretty much everything you'd need; it can laminate A4 and makes use of both 3 mil and 5 mil (though it lacks a manual switch to swap between the two sizes). The Buyounger also heats up under two minutes and can handle both hot and cold lamination for heat sensitive documents.
This is a quiet laminator and has a speed of 340mm/min, making it a speedy device to use if you're a teacher or office worker needing to get through large bundles of documents. Just as importantly, the Buyounger 4 in 1 Thermal Laminator features an ABS jam release button for quickly unsticking documents, which in turn should extend the life of this laminator.
The Buyounger 4 in 1 Thermal Laminator also comes with a round-corner trimmer and paper cutter to enable you to tidy up your laminated documents for a smarter finish.
The Crenova A4 Laminator is a nice all-rounder and an affordable laminator. It comes with all of the tools to get you up and running at home, including a paper cutter, round corner trimmer and hole punch, as well as 15 laminating pouches (A4, A5 and A6).
While results are good the Crenova takes a little longer to heat up than our laminator at No.1, this device reaches temperature after five minutes. This isn't terrible but makes it better for home use where time isn't such a pressure. It's a little slower than the Buyounger too, running at a 250mm/min laminating speed.
The Crenova works with pouches between 120 – 200 micrometres in weight, which is ideal for laminating bookmarks, photos and recipes. Like the Buyounger this laminator has an ABS unjammer for removing stuck documents, which is always useful.
The Scotch Brand PRO Thermal Laminator is a neat little laminator that weighs less than most on this list. When it comes to classroom use, you want a laminator that will keep going without overheating or malfunctioning. After all, the whole student body's going to want a go at some point, and you don't want to let them down.
For a high level of reliability, we’d recommend the Scotch Pro Thermal Laminator. A real workhouse, this laminator takes about three to five minutes to warm up and uses two heated rollers to laminate material up to 9 inches wide. The results are bubble and wrinkle free, and jams are pretty rare.
It’s also very easy to use, and it automatically shuts off after one hour of inactivity. As such this is the best laminator for arts and crafts projects, photos, recipe cards, and other educational activities in the classroom.
If you need a laminator that's suitable for business use, then you're going to have to step up in price. In which case, we recommend the 7000L. It isn’t cheap, but it does deliver up to 45 documents in 10 minutes, the equivalent of 55 inches per minute, so is a great choice for heavy-duty use.
This laminator warms up in just one minute, and has six rollers for smooth, high-quality results. And there’s a clever feature called advanced auto pouch thickness detection, which identifies the thickness of your pouch and document and adjusts to the optimal settings for the perfect seal.
It comes with 50 letter size EZUse Premium Speed Pouches, which seal on the longer side to reduce processing time by 22%. In short, this is the Rolls Royce of laminators, both in terms of price and what it delivers.
Want a laminator for your home, but don't want to spend too much money? The LMA4-V from Texet does a great job despite its low cost. It takes just three to five minutes to warm up, and it offers lamination speeds of 300mm per minute, which works out about 60 sheets an hour.
It comes with five free A4 pouches, and while it doesn’t have any particularly clever features, it does what it needs to, for a good value price. So we reckon that makes it the best laminator for homeschooling, and for home use in general.
If you're running a business, and looking for the best laminator for commercial use, this professional-grade device from Swordfish will deliver. With an entry width of 335mm, you can laminate anything from business card size up to A2, and its four roller system delivers excellent results.
Speeds are impressive, at 32 seconds per A4 sheet. There’s a cold lamination option, allowing you to laminate heat sensitive content. Jams are auto-detected, sending the laminator in reverse to solve misfeeds. In short, if you use it a lot, the extra cost of this device will more than pay for itself in the long run.
How do you choose a laminator?
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a laminator. First, think about the size of items you'll be laminating. Will they be standard A4 size, or will you need to laminate either larger items, or smaller ones such as business cards? Check the laminating width, as we've highlighted in our choices above, to make sure the laminator will accommodate your needs.
You also need to consider cost: not just the price of the laminator, but the ongoing cost of the sheets you need to feed it. That said, when it comes to valuable documents and precious memories, you should also think about the cost of not laminating them!
Finally, think about how often you'll need to use your laminator. If it's just going to be the occassional job, pretty much any basic laminator will do. But if you're going to be laminating lots of things in one session, or sharing the laminator in a busy workplace or classroom, you'll need something a bit more powerful and expensive, as some of the cheaper options may be less reliable.
What's the best laminator?
The best laminator for personal use is the Fellowes Laminator Saturn3i (opens in new tab). It can laminate up to A3, it warms quickly (just 60 seconds) and its 9.5 entry width accommodates multiple document sizes. It accepts pouches up to 5mm in thickness and can handle both thermal laminating pouches and self-adhesive pouches.