Hot or Cold Laminating Machine?

Pouch Laminators / Laminating MachinesIf you are shopping around for a laminator, you may have noticed that there are two primary methods used for laminating documents and pictures. These two methods are cold and hold lamination. Both laminating techniques have their benefits, but which style of laminator should you use?

Both hot and cold laminating is still commonly used today, however, hot thermal laminating is by far the most popular. Each of these laminating styles has unique features that make them ideal for certain laminating jobs. I’ll explain the differences between the two.

Cold Laminating – Cold laminating is often referred to as pressure laminating. That is because cold laminating film has a tacky adhesive on one side that sticks to documents when pressure is applied, much like scotch tape. This laminating method is popular for making stickers (Xyron), arts & crafts and for laminating temperature sensitive documents.

Hot Laminating – Hot laminating, often called thermal laminating, is very common. This laminating method uses laminating rolls or pouches that are coated on one side with thermally activated glue. Once heat is applied, the glue melts, much like a hot glue gun. Heat, along with pressure, coats the laminating film to documents, pictures and more. This laminating style is extremely common for laminating photos, signs, posters, banners, business cards, restaurant menus and much more.

Multi-Format Laminating – Some pouch and roll laminators are capable of being used with hot or cold laminating film. Most of these laminators are designed for hot lamination by default, but offer the option of turning off the heat for cold lamination.

If I had to pick between the two formats, I would personally go with a hot laminator. This is mostly because hot laminated documents tend to last longer and the film is generally less expensive. Both laminating styles produce professional results.

You can find our entire selection of laminating machines here.

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