Pouch & Roll Laminators – Hot or Cold?

SircleLam Pouch LaminatorsIf you are in the initial phases of looking for a laminator, you have probably noticed that there are two primary different types of laminators. One type is referred to as a cold laminator and the other as a hot (thermal) laminator. So which style should you go with?

Cold and hot laminators each have their own benefits and disadvantages. About 90 plus percent of the laminators used today are thermal roll laminators. That doesn’t mean that cold laminators are bad, they are just less common. I will go into more detail on the advantages of each format in this article.

(view our cold laminators)

Cold laminators are primarily used for laminating material that is temperature sensitive. This may involve laminating paper with wax-based ink, thermally activated properties or special types of art prints and photographs.

Xyron Cold Roll LaminatorsCold laminators have come a long way over the past few years. Xyron is a great example of a cold laminator manufacturer that makes products capable of producing professional results. One of the biggest disadvantages of cold laminators, in my opinion, is that the film tends to cost more than a hot thermal laminator.

There is a huge range of quality among cold laminators. I have seen some machines that pretty much applied scotch tape to the document with the end results looking pretty sad. Xyron, as far as I’m concerned, gets the job done right the first time.

As a general rule, cold laminated documents will not last as long as hot laminated documents. This is due to the soft nature of the glue used during the cold laminating process.

(view our hot laminators)

Hot laminators, as previously mentioned, are far more common than cold roll laminators. This method of laminating documents has managed to iron out many of the issues associated with thermal laminating. Previous issues used to include cloudy results, bubbles and waves.

Thermal Hot Roll LaminatorsHot laminators are available from literally dozens of different manufacturers and come in hundreds of different designs. This includes both pouch and roll laminators. These laminators, in general, are very easy to set up and use.

If you aren’t laminating temperature sensitive items, I would personally recommend going with a hot laminator. This is due to the availability of machines and the fact that the film is pretty cheap to buy.


Ultimately the machine you get will depend on what you’re laminating, how much you’re laminating and your own personal preference. You can find our entire selection of laminators here. Feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 to speak with one of our laminator specialists.

Keith Barlow

Keith is a third generation office equipment expert. ABC Office was started by his grandfather back in 1980 and he is proud to be caring on the values that made ABC Office what it is today… unsurpassed selection, detailed information, low prices, and courteous support.

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