Posted by: James on July 26th, 2011
If you laminate photos, business cards, signs and other material, you’re going to need a reliable and durable laminating machine. One key quality you will want in your laminator is a well-built metal design. Few laminators in the $100 offer this feature. One laminator that provides excellent build quality along with a great price is the Intelli-Lam IL300 pouch laminating machine. This is my review.
To begin with, I have personally used a variety of different Intelli-Lam pouch laminators, which includes the IL300. Few laminators, including Akiles, Banner American, Fellowes an GBC come close to offering the amount of features you get with Intelli-Lam for the price. Intelli-Zone, the manufacturer of Intelli-Lam, also makes Intelli-Bind, Intelli-Fold and Intelli-Shred office machines.
Upon first glance, the IL300 looks like a solid piece of equipment. Looks aren’t everything though, so I decided to pick it up and get a feel for the machine. The IL300 has some heft to it. This is due in part to the fact that a good portion of the materials used in the IL300’s construction are metal. Even the housing is metal. It reminded me a lot of the Akiles ProLam series of laminators.
Another important feature you want in a good office laminator is multiple rollers. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Intelli-Lam IL300 has 4 rollers. These rollers help evenly distribute pressure and heat for excellent results. Have you ever had to re-feed a pouch through a laminator because you didn’t get good results the first time? This is not the case with the IL300. Results look great the first time.
Using the laminator is easy. Simply plug it in and turn it on. It about 10 minutes or so the laminator is completely warmed up and ready to go. A green indicator light will let you know when it is ready to be used.
An adjustable temperature dial makes it easy for even the biggest laminating enthusiast to get great results. Unlike most laminators in the $100 range (the IL300 at the time of this article is $102), the IL300 can be used with film as thick as 10 mils!
In case you’re not familiar with laminating pouches, they come in 3, 5, 7 and 10 mil thicknesses. A mil is a thousandth of an inch (0.001″). The higher the mil thickness, the thicker the pouch. Most $100 laminators cannot handle anything thicker than 5 mils.
Another huge plus on the IL300 is the reverse switch. In the even that you feed a pouch in crooked, or a jam occurs, you can flip the motor into reverse and back the pouch back out. If for any reason the reverse motor cannot release the jam, four screws can easily be removed on the cover to allow easy access to the inner components.
One concern I have heard from customers is that the power light is on all the time. There is no need to be alarmed. When the laminator is plugged in, an LED does light up, but the heat and motor are off. It is essentially in standby mode until you flip the laminator switch to “on.”
The motor in the IL300 is so quiet barely even notice it is on. This is ideal for office laminating situations. A person can easily use this laminator on their desk without annoying fellow employees.
This laminator is affordable enough for home use, yet durable enough for office use. I see no reason why you cannot use this laminator all day long. It is a solid piece of machinery and I had a great experience using it.
You can find the Intelli-Lam IL300 pouch laminating machine here and our entire selection of pouch laminators here.
Posted by: James on June 1st, 2011
Have you been searching far and wide for the right pouch laminator? If so, I’m sure you’ve encountered a giant selection. If you’re looking for a mid-volume machine for your church, office, or home, a great model to consider is the Jupiter JL-125 pouch laminator from Fellowes. This review will help you decide if it’s the right machine for you.
Whether or not you’re familiar with Fellowes, chances are you have owned or do own a product of theirs. Selling an extremely wide range of products from shredders, laminators, and binding machines to mouse pads, storage boxes, and various other equipment, Fellowes has been around the block. Out of all of these machines, I’d say their laminators is one area in which their quality comes out.
The Fellowes Jupiter JL-125 pouch laminator sports an impressive 12.5″ throat size, making it easy to laminator anything from business cards to 11″ X 17″ size paper. It also accommodates up to 7 mil thickness, which is usually more than enough for the majority of your laminating needs.
One of the great things about this model is the sleek, modern design. It fits well in any office setting and screams, “Use me, I’m awesome looking!” Well, it may actually only whisper that, to be honest.
What sets this apart from other similar models is the variable temperature control. This makes it very easy to get the right setting of heat if you’re laminating a variety of materials. Sometimes your product will not come out just right if you don’t have the correct setting for what you’re laminating. This is easily eliminated with the JL-125 model.
Another great feature that puts this model above the rest is the optional cold setting. This is used for pressure sensitive material, as well as self-adhesive pouches.
A couple other things I like about this machine is the 2 year warranty. This is considerably longer than most pouch laminators. It also has 4 rollers instead of your typical 2 roller models. Extra rollers means fewer jams and a better lamination. A reverse feature comes in handy in case you do get that rare jam. Warm-up time on this model is also extremely quick, only taking about 4 minutes. I’ve been around machines that take over 10 minutes!
Have you had it with never finding carriers for your laminator when you need it? The JL-125 does not requires carriers at all! This is my favorite feature with this machine, probably because I’ve gone around the office looking for that one lost carrier I know exists but can’t be found.
The last thing I’ll mention that is excellent with this model is the HeatGuard Technology. This feature keeps the heat inside the laminator and leaves the outside cool to the touch. No more worrying about accidentally burning yourself.
Overall, the Fellowes Jupiter JL-125 pouch laminator is an easy choice. You can find the Fellowes Jupiter JL-125 pouch laminator here. If you need to purchase one, or if you have any questions about them, contact Office Zone at 800-543-5454 or place an order via our secure shopping cart.
Posted by: James on May 10th, 2011
Have you been looking at roll laminators for days and days, not quite sure which one to go with? Let me make the decision a little easier for you with this review on the GBC Pinnacle 27″ Roll Laminator.
GBC is one of the most well-known office companies around, with roots stemming all the way back to the 1800s. They have offered a wide variety of machines since then and, to be fair, I’ve seen some good ones and some bad ones. Out of all those many machines, I will have to rank the Pinnacle 27″ roll laminator as one of their best ever.
What makes the GBC 27″ Pinnacle one of the best?
Here are some of the many reasons that this machine ranks among the best GBC has ever produced:
- – The EZ Load laminating film. If you’ve ever worked with roll laminators in the past, you’re experienced with the difficulties (often annoying and tedious) of changing the film rolls. With an innovative design, the Pinnacle makes changing the film foolproof, making the process a matter of seconds instead of minutes. The EZ load is an option, but since the price is the same, there really is no reason to go with the regular version. Unless, of course, you have a stock pile of lamination film from your previous laminator.
- – Built-in trimmer. Most laminators do not come with this feature, making the constant search for the zippy cutter, or yet another long search for a separate paper cutter even more laborious. You will also avoid the possibility of cutting into your laminated material. I’ve done this on older models and, trust me, it’s not fun.
- – Variable speed and temperature settings. With 10 different settings, and speeds up to 12 feet per minute, this laminator will get the job done quickly and efficiently. It also adds versatility to what you can laminate by giving you the option to adjust how hot the temperature is.
- – Footage counter. This is another option not seen with most laminators, allowing you to always know how much you’ve laminated.
- – Auto shut-off. Believe it or not, a laminator has burned down a building or two . . . or three. This will not be an issue with this model, though. Not only will it save your building from going up in flames, but it will also save you money on your power bill. Additionally, it will prolong the life of your laminator.
- – Modern design. The sleek appearance of the Pinnacle fits perfectly in any setting. The one-touch key pad makes changing all the settings quick and easy. It also features a fast warm-up time (less than 10 minutes), a reverse switch, and a ready indicator.
Whether you’re a school, a church, a local print shop, or anyone else needing to laminate your precious materials up to 27″ long, the Pinnacle 27″ from GBC is a great choice.
If you want to end your search for the right laminator and need to make a purchase, be sure to visit Officezone.com. You can find more information on the GBC Pinnacle 27″ roll laminator here.
Posted by: Morgan on February 19th, 2009
Five Laminators We Recommend
When you read most product reviews, laminator reviews in particular, you’re typically reading promotional material straight from the manufacturer. We tried to take a different approach here with the following laminator review. We chose four laminators, both pouch and roll varieties, we’ve personally tried and tested — some for over five years.
Your results may vary, but we have been quite pleased with the overall performance of the following laminators. If you happen to own any of these models, feel free to let us know if your experience has been the same as ours.
Banner American ValueLam 4500
When you walk through the front doors of our Office Zone home office location, the first thing to greet you is an enormous, wide-format ValueLam 4500 laminator. But don’t let its intimidating looks deceive you; this is actually a low-priced, low-maintenance machine. Its high-capacity dimensions let you perform laminating and mounting jobs up to 44-inches wide.
We’ve experienced nothing but clean, professional results with our ValueLam 4500. In fact, we recently laminated a ¼-inch foam-board mounted full-color poster with the ValueLam and the results were impressive. The colors on the poster became significantly more vibrant and made an overall more eye-catching image.
GBC Pinnacle 27 EZ Load
The thing we like best about the GBC Pinnacle 27 EZ Load is the simple fact that it’s easy to load! That’s a common complaint or hassle with roll laminators — it’s so darned tricky to load the film. The Pinnacle 27 is capable of laminating things up to 27-inches wide. This easy-to-operate roll laminator features unique roll lamination cartridges that are easy to put on and take off the machine. This laminator quickly warms up in about 10 minutes.
Sircle Corp. SircleLam LA-330
The SircleLam LA-330 is a relatively new pouch laminator on the market. It uses both hot shoe and heating plate technology and a total of four-rollers. What does this mean? It means that this laminator may be used with photographs and other temperature-sensitive documents. This can be used in a school, the office or at home. The LA-330 features a back-to-front feeding style.
This laminator takes hardly any time to warm up, approximately three-minutes. It has an LED indicator that lets you know when it’s fully heated. It also has a feature that most pouch laminators to not have – a reverse button. This does not un-laminate your document, but it will help you back out a mis-fed item or prevent a possible jam.
Banner American PL12A
We decided to leave the best for last. The PL12A is simply a high-quality, high-volume, industrial-strength pouch laminator. Its independent heat and motor control system lets you leave the machine on stand-by (heat ready) for hours at a time without hurting the motor. This means you can instantly re-start laminating at any time.
The PL12A pouch laminator has a 12″ mouth — ideal for most jobs. Over the years, our customers have used the PL12A laminator to laminate: restaurant menus, maps, promotional signs, legal-sized documents, certificates, photo ID’s, luggage tags, photographs, scrapbook items and more.
The PL12A was constructed with long-lasting metal gears and a powerful motor that extends the laminator’s life. Its four-roller lamination system provides a clear, professional finish. The machine also has a temperature-control knob on the bottom of the chassis. This helps you fine-tune your lamination to achieve the best-looking laminated result possible.
Be sure to contact Office Zone for all of your laminator needs.