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245 of 247 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2010
This is the best laminator I have ever used....and it's the only one I have ever used. Based on other reviews, I bought it, and am very pleased. I will include instructions, as mine were written by an ESL person and was in degrees C (every temp # I list below, will be in degrees F, since that's what the machine displays). Also, I will include some tips I found, as I'm new to this. And finally, I will actually do a review at the bottom.

First off, the device is easy to use, so there will not be many instructions. Temp adjust buttons to adjust the temp up and down, and a slot to insert the laminate pouch.

I've seen a lot of reviews give temps, but the instructions I have worked well, even if higher than others peoples temp settings. I would suggest maybe starting 30 degrees lower than the instructions, and work up in 10deg increments for your first few laminations. The final product will be warm to the touch and should be clear. If not, then the temp needs to be raised. If it buckles, then the temp should be lowered.

The instructions list:
1.5mil 230deg
3mil 266deg
5mil 302deg
7mil 328deg
10mil 356deg

Allow about 5min after reaching temp, before laminating.

When finished with the unit, adjust temp down to less than 200deg (I do 100deg), and allow to run for 2min. The instructions say shutting down at high temp can harm the rollers. Hold the button down, and the numbers change quickly.

A carrier for the laminate is not needed, and I'm guessing using one may change the temp setting.

Aside from that, that's about it.

Tips:
As the laminate comes out warm, be careful on how you handle it for about 30s to allow it to cool. I find, the warm laminate will form a slight permanent buckle if you grab it with thumb and fingers, like one might naturally do. I pick them up with the flat of my hand, and avoid using my thumb. Additionally, while the unit will hold onto the laminate so it does not drop to the floor, I suggest placing something about the same height at the exit - being careful not to block the fan ports. This way it does not form a slight bend as it cools (but it is only slight - I am a little picky)

When laminating two sheets of paper placed back to back, I use a stick glue to bond the paper to each other. The laminate will bond to the surface, but the glue will help in making the paper sheets not feel odd when they separate naturally inside the laminate...I but a glue stripe ever couple inches.

The laminate of course, seals all the way around, which is a water tight seal, but if one is not concerned about that, and only a single sheet of the paper was laminated, the laminate with paper can be cut that will produce a clean durable laminated sheet on both sides. (my wife is a teacher, so we laminate the paper, then cut out the flashcards for use in class - rather than cutting first and laminating the pieces.)

Review:
Ok, as I said, this is the best laminator I have used. It heats up quickly, does an excellent job, and works like a charm. Yeah, the instructions are odd at best, such as 'Strictly prohibit to repair the machine with electricity'. :-)

Also, this thing weights a ton, shipping weight is 18 pounds. Its very well made, all metal, all of which gets warm, but the only hot area is that dark grey removable section - and I don't think it's really that hot...but it is possibly a safety concern for higher temps.

I have only used 5mil pouches so far, and a 300deg setting works very well...so did 290, but I figure I might as well go by the directions. I am getting some different thickness pouches, and if something changes, I will update this.

All in all, I'm very pleased with this product....given that it's at least half or a fourth of other products, that's just all bonus for a teacher.

1 YEAR update
The unit is still running strong. I have put through maybe at least 300 sheets or so. Of 5, 7, 10mil, and also in standard and legal size pouches - to laminate nearly full sheets of newspaper. Handles everything. I did have one sheet jam up in the unit, to which I think was my fault. I paniced and yanked it back out (yeah I know there is a reverse, but that's after I had a few seconds to think). I thought maybe I damaged something...but it still working strong.

2 YEAR update
Just thought I would leave a tip. I did get a pretty good jam a second time, still my fault I think as they both occurred when I wasn't really paying attention to what I was doing. At any rate, I didn't stop it for long, as I heard the number one way to damage the rollers is to let the glue in the packets to get on the rollers and cool. Well, in the end, one side of my rollers left marks on the laminate if I used that side. In the end a combination of careful scraping of the bigger stuff (so not to ruin the rollers), and the use of a laminate and later just pieces of paper run through without laminate, it eventually came clean. Obviously, each time I run one through it had to be new, to not redeposit the stuff I removed. A little bit of cost, but much better than buying a new unit. Oh, and still running great, though we don't do near as mush, as my wifes dept now has a larger unit for doing more laminate faster.
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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2010
I purchased the Apache AL13P after looking over the $125+ laminators sold by Staples. I'm sure the Saturn is a great laminator but it's twice as expensive and feels like a cheap piece of plastic consumer crap. The Apache, by contrast, is a solid metal beast (I immediately nicknamed it THE TANK), and harkens back to an era when quality items were always made of metal and felt industrial and unbreakable. Add to this the adjustable temperature feature which, now that I've used it, can't imagine not having.

So what's there not to love? Well... Apache doesn't exactly have a huge Web presence. Indeed, they don't seem to have any Web presence at all. No Web site. No online PDF manual. No parts replacement. Nothing. The unit did not ship with a manual per se, but rather a sheet of paper upon which the instructions were clear enough--but also clearly written by someone who does't speak the King's English. Reputation?--no idea. Long term performance?--no idea. Support?--no idea.

Basically, if you can get around the fact that the Apache is a mystery product produced by a mystery company, then you won't believe how much metal you're getting for your money. It works and it works well--so far...

UPDATE...

Sadly, this laminator will not handle 10mil tabloid-sized pouches. It simply doesn't get (or stay) hot enough to create a proper seal even at the highest heat setting. It will handle 10mil in smaller sizes. For this I have removed one star.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2010
Ordered the Apache AL13P Laminator thru Amazon and it came well packed by UPS promptly. There were no instructions with the unit so after some digging I did find contact info and Brook was happy to email me the 4 page instruction manual.
Laminator is simple to use, built like a tank and I was told by customer service that you do not need to use a sleeve when using this laminator. Heats up fast, and has a reverse switch in case of a jam. I have laminated some 10 mil badges and used the heat setting at about 275; it did the trick.
If you need to contact the company call Cheetah Mounts @ 877-300-2951... They are the distributor of this product and will happy to help you! I am deeply impressed with this machine!
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122 of 138 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2011
I purchased this laminator in the hope it would work well for the price being paid,
I received it and it was very heavy duty and seemed good quality,

However, the first time I used the laminator, at some point in time during the warm up period it caught fire.
I contacted the seller, and it seemed they were willing to replace it, they sent me a RMA UPS label, and I sent the laminator back,

It has been over a month and I have heard nothing since I sent it,
According to UPS it got there just fine,
All emails since I sent it back have been ignored,
All phone calls to their number during business hours have gone to an answering machine/voicemail box,
I have gotten no response to any of my messages or emails,

They have my money and the "broken" laminator with no sign of any response,
I find this behavior absurd, and I am following up through Amazon,

Be warned if you purchase this product,
It may be good, or bad, but I will never work with that company again and I am going to take the time to warn others of them and the situation,
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2011
THIS IS A GREAT LAMINATOR. HEATS UP FAST, CREATES A FANTASTIC, SMOOTH LAMINATION. IT IS BUILT LIKE A SHERMAN TANK AND IS WELL DESIGNED. I FOUND THE FOLLOWING TEMPERATURES TO WORK THE BEST:
3 MIL - 255 DEGREES
5 MIL - 300 DEGREES
7 MIL - 325 DEGREES
10 MIL - 350 DEGREES
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2010
The "Beast" has arrived!!!
The Apache AL13P Pro 13" A3 Laminator is in a class of it's own. It is a SOLID machine. So does it work well?
I opened the machine and set the adjustable temp and ran through a 10mil sheet with ease. It came out extra smooth and crisp. I highly advise buying this machine over the cheap plastic alternatives.
The only "con" I can think of is that it lacks any sort of manual or website. So here is what you need to know:
1. open the box
2. remove plastic covering
3. plug in
4. adjust temp
5. send one through
6. sit back, sip on some lemonade and put on some 80's music because you just stepped back in time with..."The Beast"

UPDATE: 1/14/11

I'm still very impressed with this machine. It has consistently performed very well. I have laminated all thicknesses but mostly 5 and 10mil. 275 degrees seams to do the trick for 10mil. I wish my car was made this well.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2008
I use it to seal 10 mil lamination sheets, and it seals evenly. It's a lot cheaper than other alternatives that can seal thick lamination sheets, no protector is needed, and there are settings such as cold laminating.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2010
This laminator is one of the best I have purchased. My daughter made some thanksgiving table placemats the other day, using 5mil 11x17 lamination pouches with the carrier and temp set at 375. The temp lowers to about 355. The placemats came out beautiful no bubbles, clear. I really like the reverse option this laminator offers in case something gets stuck. The laminator heats up very quickly only took 3 min from 100 to 350.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2010
I work at a school and every year we do an awards ceremony where we give the students certificates of achievement. In years past I would run up to our library and pay them to use their laminator. It broke and I was left with the option of taking our certificates (63) to a local print business. At the price of $1.65 apiece, the total would have been over $100. I ordered the Apache AL13P expedited (and still saved money) and received it in record time. We cranked out the certificates. Everyone was perfect. I love that it has adjustable temp. settings and that at 230 degrees you can put a 3mil laminating pouch with card stock in it through the laminator without a protector. It comes out fully laminated and only warm to the touch. I also love that this product is made of metal and not plastic. Built to last. Make sure you get the instructions (a 2 page double sided PDF that Cheetah Mounts customer service will email to you if it's not in the box).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2010
I give this a 5-star rating, because if you use it as instructed it will always do the job. However, if you try to "wing it" without following instructions, you can get into trouble. If you get a jam and don't immediately reverse the machine, cleaning the burnt plastic may require taking the machine apart, and painstakingly getting the residue from the rubber rollers. Use patience and caution, and the machine will serve you well.
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