The laminator I bought for my classroom is the ABOX OL145 A4 Laminator.
I’m pretty happy with this purchase. I got it because it’s got paper cutters and corner rounders that come with the laminator. It was also super affordable, and that definitely was part of my purchase decision.
If I were buying one again, I’d either get this same one all over again, or step up to one that allows you to do A3 lamination.
So in this review article, I’ll go over the laminators I considered, the pros and cons of each, and reasons why you might want to buy one or the other.
The best laminators for teachers are:
- ABOX OL145 A4 Laminator
- Scotch TL906 A4 Thermal Laminator
- Scotch TL1302VP A3 Thermal Laminator
- Bonsaii A3 Laminator
- AmazonBasics A4 Laminator
The Best Laminators for Teachers
Top Classroom Laminators
|1.||ABOX OL145 A4 Laminator||A great little laminator with all the features you’d want. The included corner rounder and paper cutter are a great bonus and I’ve used them a lot. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)||
|2.||Scotch TL906 A4 Thermal Laminator||Get this one if you believe in buying from respectable brands. It’s also faster than most of its competitors. You can’t really go wrong here. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)||
|3.||Scotch TL1302VP A3 Thermal Laminator||Probably the best quality laminator on this list but you pay a little more. It laminates A3 paper for those teachers looking to create posters. It also comes with a cool carry handle. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)||
|4.||Bonsaii 13-inch Laminator||This is a quality little machine that hits all the requirements I’d expect. I love that it comes with a 12-month warranty, which shows me they back their product. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)||
|5.||AmazonBasics 12-Inch Laminator||This is a standard A4 laminator which meets most industry averages with the exception of the lamination speed which is a bit slow. The 20 included laminating pouches and quick jam release levers are good additions to the package. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)||
1. ABOX OL145 A4 Laminator
My favorite thing about the ABOX A4 Laminator is the included corner rounder and paper cutter. They’re so handy to have while laminating!
The rest of this laminator is pretty standard: max. size is A4, it runs at the regular 12 inch per minute speed and runs for about 30 minutes. The preheat speed is a little above average and it’s nice that it comes with some laminating pouches included so you can get started laminating right away.
- Preheat time of 3-4 minutes, meaning you’ll need to wait that long before you can start laminating.
- Comes with corner rounder and paper cutter.
- The paper cutter has a built-in lock to make it child safe.
- Comes with 12 laminating pouches.
- The speed of 12 inches of lamination per minute is within the normal range.
- The maximum lamination size is A4. If you want to do A3 laminations, consider upgrading to the ABOX A3 OL381.
- Work Time: 30 minutes. After that, you’ll need to let the laminator cool down. This is pretty standard, though.
2. Scotch TL906 A4 Thermal Laminator
This entry-level laminator from Scotch gets the job done if you’re after a simple A4 thermal laminator for the classroom.
It’s got an industry average preheat time of 5 minutes, but once it’s heated up, you’ll get an impressive 15 inches per minute laminating speed.
I’d recommend this one for a teacher who wants just a basic model, but if you want to laminate A3 and are serious about preheat time, I’d recommend taking a step up to the Scotch TL1302VP which is only moderately more costly (see price of the TL1302VP here).
- The lamination speed of 15 inches per minute is the quickest I found in my research.
- You’re getting a laminator from a quality brand.
- The preheat time of 5 minutes is higher than the TL1302VP.
- The maximum paper size is A4. If you want to do A3 laminations, consider the TL1302VP below.
3. Scotch TL1302VP A3 Thermal Laminator
The Scotch TL1302VP is a step up from the TL906 listed above and is for the teacher who loves to laminate!
The most valuable part about this laminator is that it has a 13 inch mouth that should be able to handle A3 laminations for those posters you want to put on your walls!
It boasts an impressive preheat speed of just one minute which is a huge step up from most laminators. However, the speed drops to the industry average of 12 inches per minute which is slower than the TL906.
I also love that you’ll also get an added carry handle for ease of use!
- Preheat time: 1 minute
- Comes with carry handle.
- Thermal pouch width: 3 – 5 mm
- Max Size: Can handle A3 and A4 sheets
- A speed of 12 inches per minute is slower than the TL906.
- A little more expensive than the TL906, but comes packed with better features.
4. Bonsaii 13-inch Laminator
The Bonsaii 13-inch Laminator is a stylish machine that hits some of the best specs within the market. The 12-month warranty gives you a lot of peace of mind that they’re backing their product 100%.
I also like the easy jam release as I’m always jamming my laminators!
- The 3 minute warmup speed is fast compared to some other laminators.
- The 12 inch per minute laminating speed is right within the industry average.
- Can laminate A3 sheets which is great for posters!
- Quick release switch for jams is a great addition.
- Doesn’t come with a paper cutter or corner rounder like some other laminators.
- No carry handle.
- At 4.85 pounds, it’s heavier than some competitors.
5. AmazonBasics 12-Inch Laminator
The AmazonBasics laminator is an Amazon brand laminator which is an affordable addition to the market. It meets most industry averages for laminators, including its warm up speed of 4 minutes and compatibility with A4 lamination sheets.
- Comes with two heat settings, one for 3mm and one for 5mm lamination pouches.
- Quick jam release lever.
- Comes with 20 x 3 millimeter laminating pouches so you can get started right away.
- Speed: 10.5 inches per minute is below the industry average.
- At 3.42 pounds, it’s heavier than some competitors.
What to Look for in a Classroom Laminator
The key factors that you need to look at when buying a laminator are:
- Input Size: Most laminators will take paper up to A4 size. If you want larger laminations, consider the great quality Bonsaii 13-inch Laminator (reviewed above) which can handle A3 paper.
- Warm Up / Preheat Speed: Industry standard is about 5 minutes. Less than that is pretty good. The 1 minute warm up speed for the Scotch Thermal Laminator TL1302VP (reviewed above) is the best I’ve seen.
- Lamination Speed: Industry standard is 12 inches per minute (300mm per minute). I would expect that in any laminator I look for. The fastest lamination speed I found was 15 inches per minute for the Scotch Thermal Laminator TL906 (reviewed above).
- Run Time: Laminators run very hot so they can only run for a while before shutting down to cool off. An industry standard run time is 30 minutes, but always keep an eye on your own laminator and make sure it doesn’t get too hot to prevent any accidental fires.
- Brand: In my opinion, Scotch is the premium brand in the lamination category.
You could also look out for great bonuses that you might want, including:
- Corner rounders and paper cutters: Every teacher knows that these stationary items come in very handy when laminating. Some models, such as the ABOX A4 Laminator (my top pick!), come with these included.
- Carry handles: Thinking you’ll carry it to and from school regularly? Consider getting one with a carry handle, such as the Scotch TL1302VP (reviewed above).
- Included lamination pouches: To laminate paper, you need lamination pouches (3 mil(limeter) or 5 mil sizes). You can get them from Amazon or your local stationery store. Some laminators also include a sample pack in the box.
- Quick Jam Release: Let’s face it: lamination pouches jam all the time. A quick jam release will save you tons of frustration! The Bonsaii 13-inch laminator reviewed above appears to have a great jam release system.
As a teacher, I use laminators all the time. I use them for flash cards, posters around the room, and to ensure my handouts are reusable year-on-year.
There are a lot of great laminators out there for classroom use. I’ve listed the 5 best laminators for teachers here, based on my own research. But, I do recommend the ABOX A4 Laminator because it’s served me well since I bought it.
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