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HOME » Pouch Laminators » Pouch Laminator Guide

Pouch Laminator Guide

Learn how to choose the best pouch laminator!


Pouch laminators provide an easy and practical way to preserve documents such as signs, menus, business cards and much more. Most pouch laminators can easily fit on a desk or table, weigh very little and can be used by just about anyone. Modern laminators are very safe to use and there is little to no risk of being burned.

Pouch lamination film, over the years, has dramatically dropped in price, making it possible for just about anyone to afford and use a laminator. This guide will go into detail regarding the various components that make up a pouch laminator and will answer some common questions we get from customers. Enjoy!

What is the mil thickness of film?


The thickness of lamination film is measured in mil. A mil is one thousandth of an inch. Most pouch lamination film is available in 5, 7 and 10 mil. Most laminators can handle 5 mil thick film, but not all can handle 7 or 10. Be sure to check your manual to determine the thickness range of your pouch laminator.

The thickness labeled on the film is for just one side of the pouch. This means a 10 mil pouch consists of two 10 mil sheets (front and back) for a combined thickness of 20 mil. To get an idea on how thick 20 mil is, a credit card is 30 mil thick.

What is the difference between a two and four roller laminator?

Pouch Laminators
Typically the more rollers there are in a laminator, the better quality the end results are. Most entry-level pouch laminators are two roller models. The four roller models are better at dispersing heat throughout the lamination film. Two roller laminators sometimes require the item to be run through twice. This is not the case with four roller pouch laminators. This isn’t to say that two-roller laminators are bad, but they are not designed for medium to high-volume use.

My laminated product turns out cloudy. What can be done to fix this?


Cloudy lamination film is an indication of too little heat. The cloudy portion of the film is un-melted glue. Turn up the heat and try running the pouch through the laminator one more time.

My lamination film turns out wavy or has bubbles in it. What can be done to fix this?


Pouch Laminators Lamination film with bubbles or waves is an indication that the laminator is running too hot. Because the laminator is too hot, the film becomes unstable and the glue can boil. Turn down the laminator and try laminating again.

Can all pouch laminators be used with photographs?


Almost any laminator can be used to laminate photographs, but this can be very difficult with an entry-level two-roller laminator. This is because the heat is not as evenly distributed and can cause damage to the photograph. Most four roller and all six-roller laminators can handle photographs.

What is the maximum size pouch I can run through my laminator?


Most laminators can laminate documents up to a specific width. For example, the PL-12A pouch laminator can handle pouches up to 12-inches wide. It is recommended, however, not to use the maximum width as it can jam your laminator.

Because there is little wiggle room with a maximum size pouch, if the pouch is fed through even slightly crooked, the pouch will jam the laminator. It is recommended to allow at least ˝ to 1-inch of play for a pouch. The length of a pouch or document should not be an issue. You can use smaller pouches with a larger laminator. In fact, you can laminate several smaller pouches at once in a larger width laminator.



Do all laminators feature a variable temperature control?


Not all pouch laminators feature a variable temperature control. Some offer a switch that will allow the user to toggle between 5, 7 or 10 mil pouches. Other laminators feature an actual dial that will allow the user to specify an exact temperature. A dial is especially nice when the film being used, or the object being laminated, requires a specific temperature. Even better, some laminators feature digital controls that allow the required temperature to be typed in.

Is a reverse button a necessity?


A reverse button is not a necessity, but it is very nice when faced with a jam. If lamination film becomes jammed, or it enters crooked, a reverse button makes it easy to clear things out.

Do I have to use a carrier with my pouch laminator?


Some of the newer laminators do not require a carrier, but it is still recommended. Protection lamination carriers not only prevent film from becoming wrapped up in the rollers, but also help prevent hot glue, squeezed out from the rollers, from gumming up the machine.

Can lamination film be cut down with scissors?


Contrary to what many people think, scissors can be used to cut down film, right into the paper itself, without losing integrity. Be aware, however, that cutting into the paper itself will ruin the waterproof properties of the laminate as water can seep in from the edges.

What is the best brand of pouch laminator?

There is no best brand. The pouch laminator you use will depend entirely on what your needs are. We have, however, had very good luck with Akiles and Banner American brand laminators.