In this article, you will find the best laminators for teachers. Although teaching online becomes more common, paper remains the gold standard that digital media cannot replace entirely.
Where there is paper, there also lies the need to protect it. Hot and cold laminators have been doing that work for the last five decades.
Here we provide a list of the five best laminators for teachers. You may also like our tips guide on how to laminate paper and cards.
5 Best Laminators for Teachers at a Glance
- Overall Best: AmazonBasics Hot Laminators
- Newest in Technology: Scotch PRO Thermal Laminator
- Best for Hot and Cold Laminating: Fellowes Jupiter 2 125
- Great in Budget: Apache AL9 9″ Thermal Laminator
- Best in Style: Swingline GBC Thermal Laminator
1. AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator
The AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator is one of the best hot laminators for teachers overall.
With a weight of 2.6 pounds, you can easily put the AmazonBasics thermal laminator in a drawer or a cabinet after use.
Teachers can comfortably laminate various documents with different sizes due to the thermal laminator’s 9-inch wide feed size. Almost all other laminators are near the 4-pound weight.
Nothing can disrupt a teaching session than a jammed laminator. Paper materials tend to catch moisture, and Amazon’s jam release lever helps you clear out the jam easily and quickly. Amazon has come up with an excellent option to use a heat setting for laminating normal and thinner documents.
Classroom posters, photos, maps, or other foldable documents can be laminated with the 3mm laminating pouch, while manuals, charts, diagrams, etc., frequently handled during classroom sessions can be laminated using the 5mm laminating pouch.
A disadvantage with the Amazon basics in a wireless world is that it needs to be plugged into an outlet to use.
With 4 minutes, the Amazon Thermal Laminator is slow in heating up than Fellowes Saturn3i, which heats up in 1 minute.
While the 9-inch width is an attractive feature, other laminators like the Swingline Inspire Plus and the Fellowes Saturn3i provide a maximum width of 12 inches.
An auto-shutoff function would have helped teachers who use the laminators for long hours in their classrooms.
2. Scotch PRO Thermal Laminator
The Scotch Thermal Laminator is the best laminator with the newest technology.
Rushing to school while leaving the gadgets on is a common problem plaguing us all. If all our gadgets had an auto-shutoff feature after a certain time of inactivity, it would have made life much simpler. This thermal laminator takes care of this need with its auto-shutoff feature that helps teachers who are super-busy in multi-tasking their way in life.
The Scotch advanced thermal laminator comes with two heat settings -a 3mil setting for standard printing paper and a 5mil setting for photos and business cards. Teachers who are heavily into printing stuff for their classes can use it irrespective of document-printed.
The dimensions of the Scotch thermal laminator allow it to look sleek and sophisticated. With the LED sensor panel, teachers can readily know when it is ready to use, while the folding tray comes in handy to store finished documents.
With the hidden cord storage facility, teachers can easily carry it around.
The thermal laminator’s roller feed system ensures that pages fed into the printer come out wrinkle-free without creases.
The Scotch laminator produces little noise during the feeding process, considering that the laminating speed is up to 15 inches per minute.
Teachers who struggle to use laminators and other such gadgets will find the non-jam technology of the Scotch PRO thermal laminator useful as it automatically prevents misfed items, compared to other laminators that require manual intervention to release the jammed paper.
While it seems negligible, AmazonBasics take around 4 minutes to heat up, while Scotch Pro takes about 5-6 minutes.
At 4.27 pounds, the laminating machine is quite heavy than the 2.6 pounds Amazon Basics. With a 9-inch wide feeder system, the Scotch PRO thermal laminator won’t be applicable to laminate documents and posters in larger sizes.
3. Fellowes Laminator Jupiter 2 125
This is the best laminator for teachers in innovation.
It is a cold laminator and thermal laminator in one. A heavy workload can pull us out of our lives. How happy we are to have gadgets that have innovative mechanisms to make life easier by bits-and-pieces.
With all its wonderful features, the Fellowes Jupiter 2 125 ensures that you spend lesser time setting up the device – and lesser it means!
Like the Fellowes laminating machine, this laminator uses the innovative InstaHeat technology to heat any conducive liquid to the desired temperature.
It helps the laminator to be on the job within 1 minute warm-up time. Teachers who are in a permanent rush to get things done quickly will be pleased with this laminating machine. A second saved is a second earned!
The laminator buttons are clean and large enough to be located easily, even through strained eyes. As soon as the laminator is ready to use, beep signals are given. After a short period, the laminator will go on standby mode, thus helping in power consumption.
The capacity allows teachers to laminate a wide variety of documents, including posters, drawings, chart papers, etc. Considering large laminate sizes of documents, Fellowes has also installed a release lever that can allow the user to release the pressure between the rollers and adjust the documents if needed.
Compared to other laminators in our list, Fellowes Saturn wins in terms of the document width. Teachers who double as supervisors in their schools or colleges won’t need to hunt for other laminators to laminate big-sized degrees and report cards.
The one-minute warm-up time is another great feature compared to all other laminators that take up to a maximum of 4-6 minutes to get ready for use. Great features translate into higher prices. Fellowes is not suitable for budget-constrained teachers.
No need to buy additional cold laminators. Teachers who use thermal printed documents can benefit from the cold lamination setting (with self-adhesives). The cold lamination feature is not available with AmazonBasics and the Scotch PRO.
A feature that may deter people from looking for portability is the absence of cord storage (available with the Scotch PRO laminator).
4. Apache AL9 9″ Thermal Laminator with Free Laminating Pouches
This is the best for teachers with the best budget.
It even comes with 20 free laminating pouches. Wherever you decide to spend, a laminator should be the least of your worries cause the market is brimming with devices like the Apache AL9 9” Thermal Laminator that provides excellent features at the best possible price.
The four-roller system ensures that proper adhesive is applied to the paper while it passes through the feeder. The teacher will find themselves less frustrated as most of their documents will pass through successfully on the first go.
Apache uses premium quality motor and heating elements with two silicon rollers that give a perfectly laminated output. Teachers can rely upon the laminator’s dependability and durability due to its superior build.
The thermal laminator comes with 2 LED indicators to help the teacher know whether it is ready to use. Like the AmazonBasics, it also comes with an ABS jam release button that removes laminating sheets stuck in the feeder.
Teaching is a job of small beginnings. You are forced to begin with a modest budget and hope to invest your hard-earned money in the correct venture.
At 2 pounds, the Apache AL9 is a winner on our list of the best laminators for teachers in terms of weight. It weighs slightly lower than the 2.6 pounds AmazonBasics and way lower than other laminators that weigh around 4-5 pounds.
The all-black design looks sleek and sophisticated compared to other laminators that use light shades to discolor over time. It is 9 inches wide, making it a common-use budget laminator, not with the 12.5 inches wide Fellowes Saturn, high-priced.
It takes 2.5 minutes to get ready – better than Scotch Pro and Amazon Basics, which take around 4-5 minutes to get set for use.
The lack of a user guide may put off teachers who are not gadget-savvy. Separate switches for heating elements and motors (like the Amazon Basics) would have been useful for new users.
The Apache certainly qualifies as the best budget laminator that includes 20 laminating pouches. Besides, it offers better features than others in the same price range.
5. Swingline Inspire Plus Laminating Machine
This is the best laminator for teachers in style.
Continuing our list of the best laminators for teachers, we have another laminator that combines the two most important parameters each of wants – budget and style. With the Swingline Inspire Plus, you are assured that your money is well spent.
The laminator is easy to use due to its single power setting, with no need to switch. With a standard thickness for laminating pouches, teachers can use it for 3 or 5 mil laminating pouches depending upon the laminate documents’ size – making it a versatile laminator.
The four-color option of the laminator gives it an attractive and sleek look. It adds a dash of style and flair to your workstation. It also has a curve on top of it with a logo on it in a handwritten font.
The laminator has a superior quality heating coil, which can laminate more documents without waiting to let it warm up again. So while it takes 5 minutes to warm-up time, it also saves the break time and the lamination time.
Compared to Apache, AL9’s 20 free laminating pouches, Swingline Inspire only provides five free lamination pouches.
The laminating speed is 9 inches per minute, much less than other laminators like the Scotch PRO, which gives a laminating speed of 15 inches in a minute.
It doesn’t come with an exit tray, so the document needs to stay flat to avoid folds or creases. While the Swingline comes at a 9-inch Swingline, it also comes in a 12-inch model to help teachers with differing needs.
Some reviewers complained that the LED indicator light is deep in the panel and may not be visible in bright lights.