Accessories

7 Best Laminators For Teachers (At Home & Classroom Use)

Making durable, informative, and good-looking displays and activities for kids is a regular challenge for school teachers around the world.

Classrooms can get messy, and materials can become damaged or go missing over time – having a laminator ensures that commonly used items like hall passes and ID tags can withstand regular use and the odd juice or coffee spill. If you are looking to up your classroom game, read about our best laminators for teachers, and see which one works for you.

Image

Model

Max Width

Foil Thickness

Laminating Speed

Warm-Up Time

Check Price

Scotch Thermal Laminator, 2 Roller System for...

9 inches

Up to 5 mm

~

5-8 min

Fellowes Laminator Jupiter 2 125, Rapid 1...

~

10 mm

47 inches per minute

1 minute

ABOX Laminator, 13 Inch Thermal Laminator...

13 inch

10 mm

250 mm a min

3 min

Mead Laminator, Thermal, HeatSeal PRO...

12.5 inch

3 and 5 mm

12 inch per min

3 minutes

AmazonBasics 9-Inch Thermal Laminator Machine

9 inches

3 and 5 mm

~

4 Minutes

Laminator, 2 Roller System 9' Wide Thermal...

9.45 inches

3 and 5 mm

~

3-5 Minutes

Fellowes Laminator Venus 2 125, Rapid 30-60...

A3

10 mm

53 inches per minute

30-60 seconds


Why Every Teacher Should Have A Laminator

Having a personal laminator for teachers on hand in the classroom or at your homeschool can help with both everyday projects and classroom décor. Some benefits of having the perfect laminating machine include:

  • Added durability to hall passes, schedules, folders, labels, and more.
  • A wider range of projects and activities to choose from – the only limit is your imagination and number of pouches.
  • Slicker look for added style points with co-workers and parents.

Looking for inspiration? Here are some fabulous project suggestions to get you started:

  • Name tags and labels
  • Homework tracker
  • Bookmarks
  • International flags
  • Spelling and letter practice boards
  • Birthday chart
  • Multiplication tables

How to Choose a Good Laminator For Teachers

Usage

Think carefully and realistically about how often you would use your laminator; would it be daily, weekly, or occasionally? What kind of projects do you have in mind? What size documents will be needed for those projects. Answering these questions beforehand can narrow the search for a good laminator for teachers and speed up the selection process.

Laminator Type

There are a few types of laminators that can be used in the classroom. These are:

  • Heated roll
    With heated rolls, melted glue is applied to a film using two hot rollers. This glue is heated and then cooled to give the sealed effect. While heated roll laminators are cheaper than cold ones and are perfect for photos and printed materials, they are quite large and can jam easily.
  • Pouch 
    Pouch laminators use pouches with a heat-activated film inside. The rollers heat the film and cause it to melt and seal the pouch internally. This type of laminator is common in homes and offices due to its simple and compact nature, but the cost of pouches can add up if you are not careful.
  • Cold
    Cold rollers work by activating the adhesive layer on the film. Cold rollers are excellent for those working with glass, steel, signs, and other similar materials. However, these rollers are uncommon in classrooms and use smaller rollers than other models. While we do not see cold laminators as being necessary for a classroom, they may be perfect for you.

Size/Footprint

Along with limited budgets, teachers also have limited space to work with. Kids’ projects, your work tools, and other items take up all the classroom space, making it crucial to find a functional and compact model.

Look carefully are the model and document size to get an accurate picture of the laminator’s footprint and see if it fits in your ideal spot. It is also worth considering if the model is portable and whether it is on the sleek or bulky side; a bulky and difficult to move laminator will be a chore to use for many.

Laminating Pouches

Once you know what size documents you will be laminating regularly, it is best to find a pouch that is a little larger than what you have in mind. A pouch's thickness is also crucial to know; most laminators can use 3mm or 5mm pouches but read the product description or manual to see which thickness is suitable.

Finally, there are a variety of pouch finishes to consider, with each one bringing its own style to a project – we recommend picking a couple you like and trying them out.

Warm-Up Time

In between wrangling kids, planning class schedules, and teaching, we know that teachers do not have the luxury of waiting around. Laminators require a certain amount of warm-up time before they are ready to use, so it is best to pick one that heats up quickly to avoid hanging around. Typically, three minutes or less is a good warm-up time for a laminator.

Extra Features

While laminators are relatively simple to use, they can come with a wide range of features to save you time, effort, and money. Some great features to consider include a jam release lever, safety locks, auto shut off, energy-efficient modes, a high number of rollers, and various thickness modes.

Knowing that type of project you want to do as well as your teaching routine will tell you which is best for you.

Price & Warranty

We know that many teachers are on a limited budget, so getting the best value for money is key. Most laminators can cost anywhere from $15 to $300, with most sitting at $50 or less.

Set yourself a budget, find your perfect laminator in that budget, and snag it in a sale for bonus savings. In terms of warranties, most laminator warranties last anywhere from 30 days to five years; two years plus is the average.


7 Best Laminators For Teachers Reviewed

1. Scotch TL901X

On Sale Today
Scotch Thermal Laminator, 2 Roller System for...
  • Laminates Items up to 9 inches wide
  • Two roller system with two temperature...
  • Suitable for use with photos
  • Will laminate pouches up to 5 mm thick

Our Top Pick!

Max Laminating Width

9 inches

Foil Thickness

Up to 5 mm

Laminating Speed

N/A

Warm-Up Time

5-8 min

Warranty

30 days

In our opinion, the best laminator for teachers is the Scotch TL901X. Featured on Amazon's Choice list, this basic and easy to use thermal laminator can laminate both 3mm and 5mm pouches of up to 9 inches with ease.

This model features cord wrap storage for clean and simple storage and a tidier desk footprint in the classroom; no need to worry about animals or kids messing with electrics. The price is affordable, and there is a pouch bundle option for added convenience.

Two rollers mean that this machine is lightweight and compact but also means that it can be jammed easily if not treated correctly.

It is worth noting that the warm-up time is on the longer side for a laminator and that the warranty only lasts thirty days; put it on your calendar so that you do not forget. The Scotch TL901X is perfect for laminating photos and other projects like classroom displays.

Overall, it is a great model that comes with high praise and reliable performance and is our top pick for the best thermal laminator for teachers.

Good
  • 3 & 5 mm pouches
  • Amazon’s choice
  • Cord wrap storage
  • Basic
  • Easy to use
Bad
  • Slower warm-up
  • Short warranty

2. Fellowes Jupiter 2 125

On Sale Today
Fellowes Laminator Jupiter 2 125, Rapid 1...
  • Unique AutoSense system detects pouch...
  • Rapid warm up in 60 seconds with InstaHeat...
  • Rapid laminating speed of 47" per minute,...
  • Robust 6-roller system for superior...

Runner Up

Max Laminating Width

N/A

Foil Thickness

10 mm

Laminating Speed

47 inches per minute

Warm-Up Time

1 minute

Warranty

2-year

Our runner up for the top spot position, Fellowes Jupiter 2 125 is the best laminator for 10 mm pouches. The Jupiter 2 125 is a sleek six roller laminator that both warms up and laminates in a flash. Using InstaHeat technology, the Jupiter warms up in less than a minute, making getting projects done a quick and easy process.

The AutoSense feature senses how thick your pouch is and tailors its laminating process to that thickness. Worried about stepping away while the laminator is on? You can simply turn it off or let the Auto Shutoff feature will activate after a certain period of time to prevent accidents and overheating.

Pouch tracking technology works for both hot and cold pouches, keeping an eye on the internal process and automatically reversing the pouch if a problem occurs to prevent misfeeds.

Plus, a two-year warranty comes with the Jupiter 2 125 which can be a relief if a malfunction occurs. It is worth noting that some customers say that the Fellowes Jupiter 2 125 last for around two years maximum of regular use.

Good
  • Amazon’s choice
  • Autosense
  • InstaHeat
  • Auto shutoff
  • Fast
Bad
  • Not durable

3. ABOX OL381

ABOX Laminator, 13 Inch Thermal Laminator...
  • Incredible 4 in 1 Versatile: Perfect...
  • Advanced Double Roller Design and No Noise:...
  • Innovative Heating System: The ABOX Laminator...
  • Wider Range Application: Free 16 Thermal...

Best Laminator For Classroom Use

Max Laminating Width

13 inch

Foil Thickness

10 mm

Laminating Speed

250 mm a min

Warm-Up Time

3 min

Warranty

N/A

The best laminator for schools, the ABOX OL381 has everything you need to blow your project out of the park. Versatile and compact, this laminator can laminate 10 mm documents at a rate of 150 mm a minute, which is a great speed.

The double aluminum pipes heat the pouch evenly to avoid imperfections and are part of an effective anti-block system. A three-minute warm-up is decent, especially considering that thicker pouches often need higher temperatures.

When in use, the ABOX OL381 makes little to no noise, so it will not disturb naptime or reading time. A pack of pouches is included in your order, which is perfect for getting you started. An ABD button is designed to release any jams to protect your documents from getting damaged.

The trimmer and corner rounder will help you finish your projects to perfection while saving you money, time, and space in the classroom. Having a trimmer and corner rounder is not suitable for everyone, and we wish that the corner rounder was built in but, overall, we love this product and think that you crafty teachers will too.

Good
  • Versatile all in one machine
  • Low noise
  • Anti-blocking system
  • Free pouches included
  • Aluminum pipes for even heat
Bad
  • Corner rounder not built-in – can be lost if not careful

4. Mead M1701875

Mead Laminator, Thermal, HeatSeal PRO...
  • VERSATILE LAMINATION – Ideal for homes and...
  • FAST RESULTS –Warms up in 3 minutes and...
  • THREE TEMPERATURE SETTINGS –Simply adjust...
  • CONVENIENT JAM RELEASE LEVER – Features a...

Best Home Laminator For Teachers

Max Laminating Width

12.5 inch

Foil Thickness

3 and 5 mm

Laminating Speed

12 inch per min

Warm-Up Time

3 minutes

Warranty

2-year warranty

Our pick for best at home laminator for teachers, the Mead M1701875 is another sleek and simple to use laminator that can be used in the office or the classroom. Able to laminate documents up to 12.5 inches wide and 3- or 5-mm thickness at a rate of 12 inches per minute.

While the speed could be better, the three-minute warm-up time is decent, and the extended warranty is a great help if a malfunction occurs. The jam release lever helps protect your documents and photos from damage while the EZAlign pouches make laminating less of a hassle.

A ready light and alert sound let you know when the laminator is ready to go for all three settings – 3mm, 5mm, and cold lamination. Three different line guides are on the feed side to help you keep your documents straight and avoid jamming or damage.

Overall, this is a great tool to add to your classroom equipment and is perfect for leaving in the classroom or taking home for any persona DIY projects.

Good
  • Long warranty
  • Jam release lever
  • EZAlign pouches
  • Ready light and alert sound
Bad
  • Speed could be better

5. AmazonBasics Thermal

AmazonBasics 9-Inch Thermal Laminator Machine
  • Laminates documents up to 9 inches wide;...
  • Works with any 3 mil or 5 mil laminating...
  • 2 heat settings: 3mil (best for normal...
  • Quick 4-minute warm up with Ready indicator...

Best Personal Laminator For Teachers

Max Laminating Width

9 inches

Foil Thickness

3 and 5 mm

Laminating Speed

N/A

Warm-Up Time

4 Minutes

Warranty

1 year limited

One of the best personal laminators for teachers, the AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator is a durable and reliable tool that can keep up with others on the market for an affordable price. Aesthetic, and simple to use, this laminator warms up in four minutes and can laminate pouches that are up to 9 inches wide and 3 to 5 mm thick.

There is a jam release lever to prevent and help fix internal jams, and there is a ready light indicator to let you know when the laminator is ready. A one-year warranty has you covered in the case of a machine malfunction, and users love the reliable and straightforward nature of this classroom laminator.

Using the line guides on the front can help you get the perfect lamination. Overall, this is perfect for teachers who want a simple laminator for a reasonable price – hopefully, more colors and more compact models will come in the future. 

Good
  • Affordable
  • Reliable and trusted
  • Compact
  • Jam release lever
  • Ready light indicator
Bad
  • Slightly large footprint

6. Tacklife

Laminator, 2 Roller System 9" Wide Thermal...
  • ▲Easy Operation with 9" Wide - Quicker 3...
  • ▲2 Roller System for 3mil and 5mil- Send...
  • ▲ High-quality Laminating with Multiple...
  • ▲Versatile Application - An ideal tool for...

Best Cheap Laminator For Teachers

Max Laminating Width

9.45 inches

Foil Thickness

3 and 5 mm

Laminating Speed

N/A

Warm-Up Time

3-5 Minutes

Warranty

N/A

The best cheap laminator for teachers, the Tacklife Laminator is another compact and simple to use model that can kick off your classroom crafts. It has a max laminating width of 9.45 inches and a maximum pouch thickness of 5 mm, which is perfect for most projects.

A ready light will appear after the three to five-minute warm-up time to help you know when it is time to get started. Ten quality pouches are included with your purchase to help you when you need them.

As with others on this list, there is a jam release lever in case of a jam or blockage and line guides to help you line up your document while feeding. If you do order this laminator, it will arrive in certified frustration-free packaging, which is always a bonus.

While we do wish that the Tacklife Laminator had a faster warm-up time and an alert noise, we do think that this is a great product overall. If you want a compact and clean looking laminator, this is an excellent option to consider.

Good
  • Jam release lever
  • Pouches are included with purchase
  • Guides
  • Ready light
  • Compact and simple
Bad
  • Slower warm-up
  • No alert noise

7. Fellowes Venus 2 125

On Sale Today
Fellowes Laminator Venus 2 125, Rapid 30-60...
  • Unique AutoSense system detects pouch...
  • Rapid warm up in 30-60 seconds with InstaHeat...
  • Quick laminating speed up to 31" per minute....
  • Robust 6-roller system for superior...

Best Rated For Warm Up & Laminating Speed

Max Laminating Width

A3

Foil Thickness

10 mm

Laminating Speed

53 inches per minute

Warm-Up Time

30-60 seconds

Warranty

2 year limited

Last but not least, the Fellowes Venus 2 125 comes with all the fantastic features of our top pick including its InstaHeat warm-up time, large size and thickness document lamination, intuitive AutoSense technology, and its six roller lamination system to create excellent and stylishly laminated documents for you and your students.

One key difference is that this system’s laminating speed is substantially higher, laminating at 53 inches per minute rather than 47 inches per minute. The other main difference is that the Venus can laminate A3 size documents as well as standard letters and documents.

While we love this model as well, it is important to note that it is heavier than others on this list and that faster laminators can sometimes sacrifice quality for speed. A two-year limited warranty has you covered in case any errors occur, which is excellent.

Overall, this is an excellent product for people looking to do a lot of lamination projects quickly and regularly. Whether you want to make large educational displays or show off your students' talents, it is worth considering adding the Venus to your classroom.

Good
  • Autosense
  • InstaHeat
  • Long warranty
  • Fast lamination
  • Large documents allowed
Bad
  • Heavy

A Quick Guide On Using a Laminator

While we recommend reading your laminator’s manual for specific instructions, here is a quick guide on using your laminator to get you started.

  1. 1
    Plug the laminator in and set your desired temperature and thickness function.
  2. 2
    Turn the laminator on.
  3. 3
    Wait the specified warm up time.
  4. 4
    Place your document or project into the recommended pouch, completely flattening it as you do.
  5. 5
    Line up the document using the line guides or as straight and even as possible. Gently and slowly feed the document into the laminator sealed side first.
  6. 6
    Let the laminator do its thing and gently pull the document out when it is done.

Tips

  • Always run a couple of test laminates first. If things look faded or cloudy the first couple of times, that is okay.
  • Always line the document up as straight and flat as possible to avoid jamming the laminator.
  • Always use the right pouch size – go a little larger than you think.
  • Trim the project after laminating it not before.

Office Max Laminating For Teachers

For those who do not laminate often or with no space for a personal laminator, finding a suitable office supply store or external laminating store can be a big help. Office Max offers free laminating services for teachers as well as a variety of rewards, including savings, recycling rewards, added sale discounts, reward points, and more.

They can even repair your laminator or troubleshoot other issues. Office Max laminating for teachers is easy and affordable, so give it a try for yourself; find a store near you that applies and get laminating.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How much does it normally cost to laminate documents?

This depends on the type and scale of the project, but typically it can be anywhere from free to $50.

What are the essential accessories for laminating machines?

Getting a laminator and the pouches are the bare necessities of laminating. Some extra tools that we recommend picking up include:

What are the proper care and maintenance steps to keep my laminator running smoothly?

While we recommend reading your manual for specific instructions catering to your model, we recommend

  • Always turn the laminator off right after use.
  • Clean with a damp clean sponge when it is cool every month and not using alcohol or harsh chemicals during cleaning.
  • Put your lamination pouches in a pouch carrier to minimize internal dirt.
  • Don’t laminate metallic or glitter projects.
  • Don’t open the machine yourself – get a professional to do it.

Where is the best place to buy a laminating machine for teachers and other necessary lamination accessories?

While it is possible to get good deals from local office stores or online, we recommend picking one up on Amazon.

Not only can you find a wide range of models with plenty of helpful user reviews, but you can also get your new laminator delivered the next day. Amazon regularly has sales and other discounts, which can help you bag some significant savings and get better value for money.


Conclusion

We love all the models on this list, but our top pick for the best laminator for teachers goes to the Scotch TL901X; its handy features, reliability, and affordable price won out against the other contenders.

Need more information or inspiration? Check out our website for more how-tos, informational articles, and product reviews to help you around the classroom.