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on September 12, 2012
No one, not this site or the manufacture's site, warns you about the blinking red light. So I'll tell you. If you plug this in and the light starts to blink... it's broken! Send it back! Amazon.com was very good about replacing it. Once we received a new laminator that worked, it worked well. Very simple to use and we have had good results. Why wouldn't anyone explain about the blinking red light?
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on September 9, 2014
I have had this laminator for one year.

I use this laminator "occassionally", not "commercially".

My primary use for this laminator is for 8.5 X 11.0 sheets for large-print recipes printed on them for use in the kitchen and "no parking" signs in my alley.

After one year I can report the following:

- I fully recommend this Scotch product for non-commercial use (although I noticed my neighborhood pack-n-mail store uses the same product for their lamination for a dollar a sheet - so at 30 sheets I have paid for the unit!).
- I have had no mechanical or electrical problems after one year use - light use.
- I have had no problems laminating, say, 12 items one after the other. I have not tried to laminate 100 sheets in succession. Someone else reported overheating at 40 sheets.
- You have to wait a few minutes for the unit to heat up before starting but it is just a couple of minutes, no problem.
- It is for general/residential use/volume. It is not for commercial or high volume use. For instance, 500 laminated sheets would be an all day project to do (slow speeds and probably some "cool down" periods).
- Yes, it has a slight smell from the heat as it "melts" the sheets into place.
- I have had no problems with the sheets coming apart (just be sure to wait for the unit to reach full temperature before starting - the "ready" light comes on).
- If you let the items sag as they come out then it will be permanently curved down. If you lift up on the item as it comes out it will be permanently curved up. If you hold it perfectly level as it comes out it will lay perfectly flat. If you allow it to come out on the desk/counter it will curve up slightly. I place it at the edge of my desk and hold the item perfectly straight as it comes out and it remains perfectly flat once it cools within seconds. It retains whatever curl it has or doesn't have as it cools within seconds.
- The laminated sheets are impervious to water and soap (for instance, I use the recipe sheets in the kitchen and then wash them afterwards with zero problems, I also use them for "no parking" signs in the alley in the rain with no problem - perfectly tight lamination). I have not left them in the sun for extended periods of time to see what the sun would do to the lamination.
- See the other reviews for class room use: apparently highly recommend for classrooms by the teachers and that seems very reasonable to me from my home use. I could see laminating 30 items for 30 students - great price for non-commercial use like this. I looked at commercial laminator units - I could buy and wear out 10 of these for the price of one commercial laminator.
- Amazon has the best price I found after seeing this unit on Amazon and two or three brick stores.
- I have had no problems with the sheets provided with the unit or with Scotch sheets purchased afterwards. I don't understand how others have had any problems with the Scotch brand products made for this Scotch brand unit. Am I missing something here?
- Yes you can laminate thin or thick paper (say 18 to 24 pound paper and photographs easily). I have not tried poster board thickness but I wouldn't hesitate to do so - maybe give poster board a little extra room at the edges is all.
- Yes you can trim it down. For instance, 5X7" pictures laminated for 8.5" X 11.0" paper then trimmed with scissors. I have had zero problems with the seal after trimming these down. Let the unit fully heat up before you laminate and then let it fully cool down before you trim it. It only takes seconds, not minutes, for it to completely cool down before you can trim it as you like. An extra 5 seconds of patience makes all the difference.
- Read the little manual for hassle free usage. (duh!)
- Warm up: I just tested it. It took 6 minutes to warm up in a 70 degree room with 3ml lamination selected. In that time I still haven't found my lamination sheets. I have never never found the warm up time to be a problem. I walk into the office to laminate, I hit the on button, and before I find my sheets and carefully insert my item the unit is ready for lamination. After that, I just leave the unit on until I am finished with my laminations for the day. It smells a bit like hot electrical wires - especially at the 3 minute mark after months of being turned off.
- I would never leave the unit turned "on" for any length of time for safety reasons - I only turn it on when I need the unit. I basically turn the unit off when I', done with the job and leave my den.
- The unit handles 3 ml sheets and 5 ml sheets. The 3 ml sheets seem plenty thick for everyday use. I have not used 5ml sheets yet. Not sure why I would ever need 5ml sheets - heavy duty garage usage maybe? I would probably let it warm up a little longer for 5ml just to make sure it is hot enough to melt the sheets together.
- I have never really needed the "release" lever - when it drops the sheet it's done and ready for the next sheet. Wait, now I remember, I have used the "release" lever when I insert the item completely and utterly cock-eyed and I just want to pull the whole thing out and start over because it is going in at such a weird angle that it will soon jam at one edge or the other...duh! This is a human problem - not a product problem. Oh, by the way, I like the little "flip-down" entry door on the back with guide bars. Close it and it saves space. Open it (and use the guide bars!) and it works just fine to line up the sheets perfectly for entry.
- Make sure you have your paper lined up inside the lamination sheets just as you want it before you insert the item for lamination - once you start, let it finish. If you have some "rare" item you are laminating I would practice first before laminating it. You could always cut it loose if you don't like the results such as placing your item in crooked or something. I have done this and all you do is cut it out and just toss one lamination sheet - no big deal, easy to do.
- The cord is 5'3" long. It is not retractable but there is a place to wrap any extra length you may have. I just discovered this and wrapped up about a foot and half of extra cord length off my desktop.
- Standard USA 120v two-plug, no 3rd ground plug required.
- Made in China.
- United Labs listed.
- Off white color.
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on March 9, 2014
I normally don't review the things I buy on amazon, but after buying this and using it extensively for a classroom, I absolutely had to review this for anyone still doubting. Working with students in the 6 - 7 yr range, anything you're using over and over again absolutely must be laminated, or it will be destroyed. The things I laminated using this held up amazingly well - far better than the paper I had laminated onsite by the school.

Pros:
Good quality plastic, very thick, holds up to bending and heavy use
Can be cut to make bookmarks or other shapes without peeling
Simple and easy to use

Cons:
Slow!
Over heats after laminating about 40 consecutive sheets

If you have the time and are looking for a laminator that's affordable, I would recommend getting this.
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on July 1, 2012
Great product! I'm a second grade teacher and I'll be using it for my classroom. The quality is great, no bubbles! It is also light weight and stores easily. This will save me time!
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on August 6, 2012
I had researched for a laminator over a period of time and ultimately selected the Scotch based on price and other reviews of similar Scotch machines. This one is an updated "new" model. It heats-up in a reasonable amount of time and completes the task in one pass through the machine. I like the ability to laminate up to the 8 1/2" size, although, I initially was making replacement luggage tags. All laminated perfectly on the first pass. I initially tried a second pass and it does not appear to further improve anything. Worth the price for an occasional, personal user.
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The Swingline GBC Fusion 3100L Swingline GBC Fusion 3100L 12-Inch Laminator, 1 Minute Warm-Up (1703076) is a nice upgrade to my existing Scotch laminator Scotch Thermal Laminator Combo Pack, Includes 20 Letter-Size Laminating Pouches, Holds Sheets up to 8.5" x 11(TL902VP)

There is a significant price difference between these two laminators. The Scotch is around $39 and the Swingline is around $179 at the time of this review.

Advantages of the Swingline include;
- A significantly shorter warm up time. The Scotch laminator takes about 10 minutes to warm up and the Swingline takes only a minute. This makes for quick work of small laminating projects. If you do a lot of laminating , this is a real significant advantage, especially if your laminator is operated by multiple employees who will be standing around waiting for "warm up" before they complete their task.
- The swingline also handles 3, 5 and 7ml pouches whereas the Scotch can only do 3 and 5ml.
- Laminating time is also shorter with the Swingline. It pulls a document through about twice as fast as the Scotch.
- Lastly, the Swingline can laminate documents up to 12' wide. The Scotch can do up to 8' wide.

The disadvantages of the Swingline;
- If you have a small document to laminate, but use a large pouch, the Swingline gets stuck once it hits "empty pouch" (using a 3 ml pouch). The rollers just spin in place and you have to forcefully/ manually remove the pouch from the laminator. This can result in "stretched" or "buckled" looking results. This is not a problem with the Scotch laminator.

Advatages of the Scotch:
- Smaller footprint. It is several inches smaller in every dimension, thus fits better in small workspaces and is easier to store when not in use.
- Significantly less costly. If you don't laminate very often, this little laminator is a great reliable option for standard size documents and smaller.

Disadvantages of the Scotch:
- Long warm up time.
- limited to 3 and 5 ml laminating.
- Limited to 8" wide documents.

Despite the problem with laminating smaller documents in the Swingline, there are enough advantages that I will keep the Swingline and retire the Scotch. However, I think the price point of the Swingline should translate to a high quality machine that does not have the "spinning" problem with 3 ml pouches.

Thanks for reading, I hope this review is helpful!
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on October 5, 2012
I needed a laminator for my classroom and bought this one based on the price and reviews. I have to say I am NOT disappointed! It is ideal for my general classroom use. So easy to use, so compact and lightweight, too. I can laminate up to 8 1/2x 11 AND I can even cut through the laminating without it peeling. Perfect for my needs.
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on November 27, 2012
After printing out Dora maps every week for my daughter I decided to get this and laminate the print so it stops getting tore up. After a month I have not had to reprint a single map and she is happily exploring.
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on February 14, 2013
I bought this item for my wife who is an arts and crafts person by nature. I am simply surprised at what she produces and this product was extremely helpful in her last project which was creating her own Christmas cards for family this past Christmas. I happened to be watching her do a project for one of our nieces or nephews and indicated that I was so impressed that I though she should do Christmas cards. To my surprise, she took up the challenge but indicated she needed a thermal laminator. I did the research and found that this product fit the bill she was looking for and ordered it. When she completed one sample I was really impressed at what she could do with this laminator. It is compact and does not take up a lot of space and comes with ltter-size pouches which if bought separately are somewhat expensive. But since she is a member of Michael's and A.C. Moore, she is one of those people who shops for the sales with her coupons.
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on May 21, 2014
I love this Laminator, I had never had one and decided to get one and I definitely chose the right one for me! Very easy to ease, great instructions with diagram so you can't go wrong. Works great every time. There is a gauge for different sizes so it is very easy. I have been having a blast with this ! Thanks
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