Roll Versus Pouch Laminators – Which to Use

If you are looking for a reliable way to laminate material on a daily basis, you may be wondering which type of laminator to buy. While several different models exist today, thermal roll and pouch laminators (found here) continue to be the two most popular formats used. These laminators are used to laminate everything from business cards and signs to restaurant menus and banners. So which of these two laminator styles should you consider using?

There are two major things to consider when purchasing a pouch or roll laminator. You need to look at the volume of what you are laminating and the size of what you are laminating. Here is a brief description of how the two types of laminators work:

Pouch Laminators (found here) – Pouch laminators are tabletop units that use pouches of lamination film to laminate documents, literature and other material. These pouches open up much like a file folder, with one edge sealed shut. This can be the long or short side, but it is usually the short side. Once the pouch is opened, the item being laminated can be placed inside. This means there is a layer of lamination film on both the top and the bottom of the object.

Prior to being run through a laminator, the lamination pouch is typically placed in a protective carrier. This carrier is designed to take the lamination pouch through the machine. It provides added rigidity, preventing jams, and helps keep hot glue from squeezing out and getting on the rubber rollers inside the machine. Not all laminators require the laminating pouch to be put in a carrier prior to use. These laminators come in sizes typically ranging from 4” up to 13” wide.

Here is a video of a pouch laminator in use:

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Roll Laminators (found here) – Roll laminators don’t use laminating pouches, but rather lamination rolls. There is a top and a bottom roll, which work together to completely encapsulate the item being laminated. No carrier is required. Simply turn the laminator on, set the temperature, insert the item you are laminating and let the machine do the rest. The end results look great and are equally comparable to the results found in a pouch laminator. These types of laminators rang in sizes anywhere from 12” up to 65” in width.

Here is a video of a roll laminator in use:

Here are the biggest advantages between the two formats:

  • Pouch Laminators – These laminators are much more affordable than roll laminators, although the price of film (per square foot) is slightly higher. These laminators are also extremely portable and very easy to use.
  • Roll Laminators – These laminators are excellent for laminating larger items or several smaller items at the same time. Roll laminators are also extremely fast, making them ideal over pouch laminators for volume and speed.

Where are these laminators typically used? You will usually find pouch laminators in locations such as small businesses, homes, photography studios, schools and churches. You will find roll laminators in copy centers, print shops, schools and other locations where a lot of laminating is required on a daily basis.

So is one format better than the other? I would have to say no. It is really a situation where you really need the right tool for the job. Both formats have their place in business and both produce clean and clear professional results.

Both of these laminators share several features in common. They both use heat to melt glue found on the inside of the lamination film. Both also produce results that are very comparable with each other. These can both be used to laminate photos, cards, menus, business cards and much more.

Do you still have questions about pouch or roll laminators? Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-658-8788. We would love to help answer questions and have decades of experience to help point you in the right direction. You can find our entire selection of laminators here.

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