Laminating is a fairly common method of document preservation/protection.
Pouch laminators are perfect for small offices, home schoolers, small stores, even small restaurants—basically, anyone that needs to laminate on a fairly regular basis but doesn’t need to laminate large items or a high volume of items. Pouch laminators are pretty easy to use and moderately inexpensive. Pouch laminators can accommodate documents as small as small bookmarks, badges, or ID cards to as large as menu-sized pages (12” x 18”). The largest size you can laminate really is determined by your particular machine’s capacity, so take that into consideration when choosing your pouch laminator.
Heated Roll Laminating. Heated roll laminating is designed for larger documents and/or larger volume usage; as such, operating costs for roll laminators are higher than those of pouch laminators. Roll laminators are perfect for print shops, corporate offices, and large schools, as they would create the volume needed to make roll laminating cost effective. The benefits of roll laminating are that there are no real size constraints (again, other than what your machine/roll size can handle), and you can laminate a large volume of items fairly quickly.
Cold Roll Laminating. Cold roll laminating uses the same basic premise as heated roll laminating, except that the laminating film has an adhesive on it that is already activated—no heat necessary. It is then rolled through two rollers which apply pressure to seal the adhesive onto the document. Cold roll laminators come in a variety of styles—from basic manual rollers that don’t require any electric power to more complex machines that allow for individual adjustments of pressure, etc. Cold roll laminating is used for items that may be damaged by heat, but it’s not quite as durable as heated laminating, so it’s not right for all applications—consider what your main projects are before choosing a cold roll laminator.
Note: Cold Laminating cartridges are more expensive than that of a heat laminate.