Laminators are made in a wide range of sizes and with a variety of features. Between the different brands, widths, materials used, and features offered, the choices are numerous. But the way they work boils down to either hot or cold lamination. Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses and the better choice often depends on your needs. here is a discussion of the major differences between the two types.
Heat. Obviously the major difference is in the use of heat. as with anything using heat, there is always the risk of accidental burn injuries when using a hot laminator. the outside surfaces can heat up enough to cause damage to sensitive skin. many heated machines offer insulation and other preventative features to counteract this risk. Cold lamination doesn’t come with this risk and may be better for use around children.
Materials. Heat also affects what can be laminated. While many items work fine with hot lamination, cold is better for others. Heat sensitive items, including vinyl, most photos, and thermally sensitive materials (like those used for ultrasound images) should use cold lamination to avoid heat damage due to their low melting temperatures. Cold laminators use pressure sensitive adhesive to coat items. before you choose a laminator for your office, be sure you know what materials you will be laminating so you can get the right machine for your specific needs.
Speed. Actual processing speed tends to run about the same with both machines. However, because cold laminators don’t need to warm up and are ready to use instantly, they complete the job faster. Hot laminators require anywhere from two to fifteen minutes to heat up before they even begin to process anything.
Power requirements. Because cold laminators don’t need to heat up, many smaller models don’t even need to be plugged in. This gives them the advantage of being transported for use anywhere. Hot laminators will always need an electrical outlet in order to be used.
Supplies. Heat laminators have the advantage when it comes to pouch size variety. there is a large selection of laminating pouches for heated machines while cold laminators have limited options. However, cold laminators have the edge in adhesion methods. Cold machines have the option to laminate and apply adhesive, apply adhesive only, or laminate with matte adhesive. the supplies available for heat laminating with these options are severely limited, especially in petite sizes.
Cost. one final difference is the cost. overall, these machines generally run similarly in price. But the cost of supplies can have a wide variation. Supplies for cold lamination are more expensive than their hot counterparts. For many offices, the advantages of cold lamination may outweigh the extra cost of the supplies needed.
Overall, the choice between cold and hot lamination depends entirely on what is best for your office. Both methods have their own advantages and weak points. the important thing is to be aware of the differences so you can make an informed decision. Now that you know, you can get out there and pick your perfect laminator today!
About the Author
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