Most helpful positive review
245 of 247 people found the following review helpful
Great laminator: Instructions, Tips, & a Review
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:
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.
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.)
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.