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46 Reviews
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92 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ***** A Solid 5 Stars for the Apache AL18P Professional Laminator!
Being the primary user of this laminator which was purchased last November and used HUNDREDS of times already, here is what I have found:
PROS
- HEAVY DUTY - we have used it hours on end, different temps, 100's of laminations - works great!
- VERSATILE - Have used 3, 5 and 7 mil pouches in it with no trouble; all different sizes as well and carriers...
Published on April 15, 2011 by rural md transplant

versus
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Make sure you have a fire blanket handy...
This laminator burst into flames. After extinguishing the fire with a fire blanket, we took a look at it. The fuse didn't work. It is not UL-listed. Be careful!
Published on January 10, 2011 by elliegator78


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92 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ***** A Solid 5 Stars for the Apache AL18P Professional Laminator!, April 15, 2011
This review is from: Apache AL18P 18" Professional Laminator (Office Product)
Being the primary user of this laminator which was purchased last November and used HUNDREDS of times already, here is what I have found:
PROS
- HEAVY DUTY - we have used it hours on end, different temps, 100's of laminations - works great!
- VERSATILE - Have used 3, 5 and 7 mil pouches in it with no trouble; all different sizes as well and carriers are not needed - EVER, even though every box of laminating pouches puts one in.
- WIDTH - can laminate 18" wide (and any length) but works much better slightly narrower, since lining up your stock for the initial feed into the rollers can be difficult to keep square. You would be more frustrated than pleased if your kept it 18" wide.
- HEATS QUICKLY - from room temp to very hot - 379 degrees. Start cooler since you can always run an item through again at a hotter temp.
- REVERSE BUTTON - not used very often, but so very helpful when it is needed.
- CUSTOMER SERVICE - CheetMounts at 1-877-300-2951 - call them and they will email you a link for REAL INSTRUCTIONS on this model. Print a few copies for the other users too.
- PRICE - pleased because we purchased before the price increase (~$110) and even had free shipping!
But even now, it is still a good value compared to other large laminators - check out the prices.

CONS (nothing too problematic)
- COOLING DOWN - takes quite a while, so laminate your own safety sign to keep with the machine when heating up or cooling down if others are going to be nearby.
- HEAVY - a little bulky to move around, so find a home for it on a large counter with enough work space around it in order to feed material in and out.

* BEST TIP *
- For those few odd sized pockets needed for laminating, make your own by purchasing a ROLL of laminate and cut your own to size. Cut two identical pieces, place laminate facing inside and seam by sealing only 1/4" with a heated iron on one entire side/edge. Finally round off the leading corners that will feed into the laminator with scissors.

ODDS & ENDS
- One time the machine did not work and we found that the fuse just needed to be tightened.
- When done running laminate through, don't forget to run a few plain paper sheets through to pick up any excess residue.
- Keep the rollers RUNNING for at least 5 mins with the temperatures back to room temp BEFORE turning the machine off; that will help keep the rollers round and smooth.
- General maintenance - Now that we have run so many pockets through, it is time for a major roller cleaning since in certain areas,residue seems to get on runs (even with the normal plain paper run through routine).

I will have to update later after attempting that roller cleaning procedure...

Thanks for your interest - hope it helps!
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use; I rewrote instructions, January 12, 2011
By 
AMH (Smyrna, Georgia United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Apache AL18P 18" Professional Laminator (Office Product)
My husband bought me this for Christmas. It is easy to use and doesn't take up too much space. I rewrote my own instructions as follows:
Apache AL18P laminator instructions
*Turn on switch in back of machine; blue temperature light will glow on front of machine.
*Turn up or down temperature depending on pouch thickness (see chart) using ^ up or down buttons.
*Wait until green ready light is on (very small above READY on machine.
*If pouch gets stuck or jammed, push REV button to reverse.
*If temperature is too high for pouch, the entire project may disappear and get jammed inside machine. Then you have to unscrew cover from the bottom to get out jam after machine has cooled. Immediately turn off machine if jam occurs and machine starts to smoke and wait for it to cool.

Pouch film thickness* temperature degrees F
3 mil 266
5 mil 302
7 mil 356
10 mil 356

* Used pouches 8 ˝" x 11" from Universal and Lamination Depot
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Great, September 15, 2010
This review is from: Apache AL18P 18" Professional Laminator (Office Product)
This is my first laminator. I had no idea how the "pouch" worked, but this was a pretty self explanatory laminator. It warms up really quickly (about 3 mins), and then you put the sheet you need in the pouch, place it in the carrier, and then slip it through the laminator. It is very heavy duty, it is made entirely of steel. Pretty sturdy. The only reason I am giving it 4 stars, is that when I turn on the machine, as the machine is warming up, it gives off this weird chemical smell. I think it's starting to fade as I use it more, but it was really strong at first. All in all, for the price, and the size, this is a great investment for my classroom. I do wish I can find pouches big enough to fit chart paper.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Laminator I've Ever Owned, November 12, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apache AL18P 18" Professional Laminator (Office Product)
This is by far the best laminator I've ever owned. I have my own business and I do a lot of laminating for our patients, i.e. flyers, cards, signs, decor, etc. I've owned a lot of laminators over the years and this the only one that has: kept working for more than one year, wasn't ridiculously expensive, and worked properly! In other words, this laminator has exceeded my expectations by a lot. It was inexpensive to purchase, has been working now for several years, and does a brilliant job of laminating -- even thick materials like photos and thicker lamination films. The other positive, which could even be seen as a negative, is that it's built like a tank. It is VERY heavy, but hey, these things were not meant to be moved around. So 100% standing ovation, bravo, keep up the good work! (Don't bother even considering anything else--especially anything you find at Office Depot or Staples--I've owned them all and they just don't work even 1/10th as well as this bad boy!)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY pleased!, March 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apache AL18P 18" Professional Laminator (Office Product)
After actually shopping at various products on display in various printing supply and office supply stores, I'm happy I found this at Amazon. The reviews on this Apache laminator and it's smaller version helped make my decision for me! And I am not disappointed at all. The unit itself is extremely sturdy, the temperature panel is clearly visible, and the unit comes to temperature rapidly. I agree with others, however, that the instructions are completely useless. So, forget them! My first job used 5-mil pockets. I tested at 260, 275, and 300, finally settling on 290 as the best temperature. The lower temps left "foggy" spots of unsealed areas; the higher temps crinkled a bit, but 290 was just right!!! It fed better lengthwise than widthwise, my husband thinking the roller pressure is tighter at one end than the other making it feed slightly crooked. All-in-all, we're extremely satisfied. Sturdy product at a good price.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Laminator, January 30, 2011
By 
Richard Wagoner (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apache AL18P 18" Professional Laminator (Office Product)
This laminator is an amazing product for the price and far above others at the same price point. It heats fast, is quiet, and has given me no issues. I believe this is very similar to models that cost two or three times more, and certainly is much much better than the average inexpensive laminator.

I use it with pouches as well as rolls that I cut to fit (yes, that's a little bit of a pain but large pouches are so darn expensive).

There is not much to using it. The speed is constant, so it is the temperature that makes the difference with various thicknesses of laminating material. Happen to have one go wrong where the material wants to wrap around one of the rollers? That happens occasionally (OK, twice in three months) ... Just press the reverse button.

I bet someone could easily mount this on a board and figure out a way to use two rolls of bulk material at once. I may try that myself. In the meantime, other than buying used, you won't find a better laminator of this size within $100 of this model.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid equipment! Works great!, October 14, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apache AL18P 18" Professional Laminator (Office Product)
The instructions are crazy ... barely english... but the only instructions you need are to turn it on, let it warm up and set it for the appropriate temp. The temperatures are correct (although listed in degrees centigrade and needed to be converted to the Farenheit reading of the machine). The equipment is solid and heats and runs very well. I never had a concern about something not coming out okay on the other side. I did not use a cover sheet... no problem. I didn't know squat about laminating... no problem. I had a lot of laminating to do... no problem. I feel that I got a great value for my money. I have run 3 mil and 5 mil sheets with great results. I am surprised that the public/industry doesn't know the name Apache by now... but happy because that allowed me to be able to afford this slick stud of a machine!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, May 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apache AL18P 18" Professional Laminator (Office Product)
Purchased as a gift for my mom who is a teacher. At first, she was a little intimidated by it, but she quickly learned how to use it and she now loves it. It doesn't take up as much space as she anticipated (we usually put it right on top of the ironing board so she can use it in whichever room she wants). Ann Hombordy's review really encouraged and helped her. She's also admitted that the bigger laminator was probably a good idea in case she wants to laminate posters and she can laminate more items in fewer time.

She had never used the laminator pouches before, but just used them the same way they had at Staples (where she bought them). She makes 1"X2" go fish cards with the laminator usually putting 4-5 across and 6 down the pouch (try to keep cards about an inch or more apart). Feeding the pouch into the laminator off a piece of cardboard helps all the cards stay in their proper place.

Now, a month later, she is still really excited about her ability to learn how to use this new machine and loves showing it off to everyone. She no longer has to spend all night at Staples creating go fish cards. My sisters and I often help her create the cards at home so it allows us to spend more time together, too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laminator, April 1, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apache AL18P 18" Professional Laminator (Office Product)
This laminator is the only one I've used, so unfortunately my review does not help for comparisons, but it worked wonderfully on some 10 mil sheets I used to make heavy-duty membership cards. I would recommend this product.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Make sure you have a fire blanket handy..., January 10, 2011
This review is from: Apache AL18P 18" Professional Laminator (Office Product)
This laminator burst into flames. After extinguishing the fire with a fire blanket, we took a look at it. The fuse didn't work. It is not UL-listed. Be careful!
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Apache AL18P 18" Professional Laminator
$139.69
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