(Image credit: GBC)
The best laminator allows you to protect your documents, photos, menus, recipe cards, ID cards, children's artwork and other precious items by sealing them permanently between two sheets of plastic, known as a laminating pouch. This preserves their life immeasurably, protecting them against water, grease, finger-marks and other forms of damage. If there's an accident, you simply wipe the plastic clean.
Like the best Cricut machines and best Cricut alternatives, laminators are also used in all kinds of arts and crafts projects, and can provide a lot of fun for kids, either in an educational setting or just as a family activity. At the other end of the spectrum, heavy-duty laminators are essential purchases for many commercial businesses, just like the best laser cutters.
In this article, we've identified the best laminator for a range of uses. We'll start with the best laminator in the US, but if you're on the other side of the Atlantic, you can skip ahead to the best laminator in the UK.Discover the best pencils available todayThe best laminator in 2021: USSkip to the best laminator in 2021: UK(Image credit: Fellowes)01. Fellowes Laminator Saturn3i 95The best laminator overallSpecificationsLaminating width: 9.5inDimensions: 5.5 x 17.19 x 4.13inWeight: 4.3lbsReasons to buy+1 min warmup+Cold setting+3 thickness buttonsReasons to avoid-Not fast enough for commercial use
The Fellowes Laminator Saturn3i 95 is our pick as the best laminator overall. It’s nice and compact, so it won’t take up much space on your desk, and the maxim ‘good things come in small packages’, certainly applies here. This is a powerful and feature-rich device.
For a start, you don’t have to wait around for ages for it to warm up: its InstaHeat Technology means it’s ready to go in just 60 seconds. And it’s very versatile, too. The 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, via its Cold setting.
There are buttons to select three different thicknesses of lamination: 3mm, 4mm and 5mm. There are handy guides for feeding in A4 paper and photos, and a release button in case your material has been fed in incorrectly (an LED light will start flashing if this happens). At around 12 inches per minute, it’s not the fastest, but as long as you don’t need it for commercial use, this will be fine for most people.
The Auto Shut off features helps save energy and prevent overheating. The power cord is a generous 62 inches long, and inside the box, you get 10 free, 3mm pouches, along with a printed instruction manual.(Image credit: Amazon )02. Amazon Basics 9-Inch Thermal Laminator Machine The best laminator for home useSpecificationsLaminating width: 9inDimensions: 13.38 x 4.84 x 2.44inWeight: 2.6lbsTODAY'S BEST DEALSVisit SiteReasons to buy+Lightweight and compact+Performs the basics well+Affordable priceReasons to avoid-Lacks advanced features
As the name suggests, this laminator is all about performing the basics well, at an affordable price. For that reason, it’s our pick as the best laminator for home use, especially for children and family activities, as well as being the best laminator for homeschooling.
The lightest model on our list at just 2.6lbs, it’s very portable, yet is still capable of laminating material up to 9 inches wide. It warms up in about four minutes, and comes with two 3mm-thick pouches. There’s a switch for selecting either 3mm or 5mm paper, and a jam release lever. And well, that’s about it. But for most people, that’s going to be all you need, and for a low cost indeed. If you want to spend a little more, there’s also a 12-inch version.(Image credit: Scotch)03. Scotch Pro Thermal Laminator The best laminator for teachersSpecificationsLaminating width: 9inDimensions: 17.44 x 6.22 x 6.14inWeight: 3.20lbsTODAY'S BEST DEALSVisit SiteReasons to buy+Reliable workhorse+Jams relatively rare+Easy to useReasons to avoid-Not the lightest
If you’re using a laminator in a busy classroom, it’s probably going to get used quite a lot, and you’ll want a device that will keep going without overheating or malfunctioning. For a high level of reliability, we’d recommend the Scotch Pro Thermal Laminator.
A real workhouse that won’t let you down, 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 a great choice for arts and crafts projects, photos, recipe cards, and other educational activities in the classroom.(Image credit: GBC)04. GBC Thermal Laminator Machine Fusion 7000LThe best laminator for commercial useSpecificationsLaminating width: 12inDimensions: 26 x 8.7 x 12.6inWeight: 22lbsTODAY'S BEST DEALSVisit SiteReasons to buy+Very fast lamination+1 min warmup+Auto-thickness featureReasons to avoid-Overkill for home use
Need to do a lot of lamination as quickly as possible? The 7000L 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 professional and business use.
It 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%. All in all, then, this is the Rolls Royce of laminators, both in terms of price and what it delivers.The best laminator in 2021: UK(Image credit: Fellowes)01. Fellowes Laminator Saturn3i 95 The best laminator overallSpecificationsLaminating width: 320mmDimensions: 14 x 43.7 x 10.5cmWeight: 1.95kgReasons to buy+1 min warmup +Cold setting +3 thickness buttonsReasons to avoid-Not fast enough for business use
Looking for a solid, all-round laminator that does everything you need at a reasonable price? Our top pick is the Fellowes Laminator Saturn3i 95. You only have to wait one minute for it to warm up. It accommodates multiple document sizes, thanks to a generous 9.5-inch width. There are buttons to select three different thicknesses of lamination: 3mm, 4mm and 5mm, as well as a Cold setting for self-adhesive pouches.
If you feed in paper incorrectly, an LED starts flashing, and there’s a release button to stop everything and correctly align it. There’s an Auto Shut off feature to save energy and prevent overheating. You get 10 free, 3mm pouches, and the power cord is a healthy 62 inches. All in all, this represents excellent value and delivers great results, time after time.(Image credit: Crenova)02. Crenova A4 Laminator The best laminator for teachersSpecificationsLaminating width: 230mmDimensions: 35 x 15 x 7cmWeight: 1.37kgTODAY'S BEST DEALSVisit SiteReasons to buy+Reliable over long periods+Compact space saver+20 free pouchesReasons to avoid-Not the lightest
The Crenova A4 Laminator is a great choice for classroom use. Based on a two-roller system, it produces high quality laminates for long periods of time without overheating. It’s a fast worker too, heating up in just three to five minutes, and maintaining a 250mm (10 inches) per min laminating speed, or 50 A4 sheets per hour.
There’s also a lever to free you from paper jams, although note that you have to turn the machine off first. This laminator is compact enough to fit on a small desk, and comes with a corner rounder and 20 free pouches: five A4, five A5, and 10 A6.(Image credit: Texet)03. Texet A4 Laminator The best laminator for home useSpecificationsLaminating width: 229mmDimensions: 33 x 11.8 x 8.8cmWeight: 1.12kgTODAY'S BEST DEALSVisit SiteReasons to buy+Does the basics well+Good lamination speeds+Reasonable priceReasons to avoid-Not the fastest warmup
If you’re looking for a cheap and capable laminator for your home, you won’t go far wrong with the LMA4-V from Texet. Despite its low price, it does a good job overall, with a three to five minute warmup time, and a lamination speed of 300mm per minute, or 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, reliably and consistently. And in our eyes, that makes it the best laminator for homeschooling, and for home use in general.(Image credit: Swordfish)04. Swordfish 40351 A2 Armoured660 Laminator The best laminator for commercial useSpecificationsLaminating width: A2Dimensions: 21.5 x 63 x 10.2cmWeight: 10.45kgTODAY'S BEST DEALSVisit SiteReasons to buy+Laminates A2+High speeds+Auto-detects jamsReasons to avoid-Overkill for business use
Got money to spend? Then the best laminator you can get at a premium price is this professional-grade device from Swordfish. With an entry width of 335mm, it’s capable of laminating 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, making this a great pick for commercial use. 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 lamination is important to your business, the extra cost of this device will more than pay for itself in the long run.
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