The mental image that is frequently associated with laminating involves a large machine loaded with rolls of laminating film, into which a project is loaded and exits encapsulated. These roll laminating machines are commonly found in schools and commercial print shops. However, laminating can also be done on a much smaller scale using what are called laminating pouches: pre-cut sheets of laminating film that are sealed on one edge that are then run through a small machine about the size of a household toaster.
When it comes to projects with 13" as the shorter dimension, one must decide to use either a pouch or roll laminator. Here is how project aspects of laminating using either pouches or rolls compare:
Pouch laminating is convenient and portable. Pouch laminators often accommodate projects as small as an ID badge or as large as 11" x 17", so long as the shorter dimension can fit within the throat of the machine; pouch laminator prices range within hundreds of dollars. Roll laminators can be as small as 12" or as large as 60"; their prices range within thousands of dollars.
For a project with a minimum dimension of 13", pouches with the closest shorter dimension would either be too small (12") or too big (15"). Pouches can be custom made, but do cost a bit more than popular pre-made sizes. Roll laminating film, however, is sold in 27" widths, which fit two 13" projects side by side. The total project cost would fluctuate depending on the number of items being laminated at a time and which thickness or texture of film is chosen.
Due to their compact nature, pouch laminators have smaller rollers. In order to increase laminating speed, one must select a machine with multiple sets of rollers. For example, a 6-roller machine is much faster than a 2-roller machine. The diameter of a roll laminator's rollers is much larger than that of a pouch laminator and can laminate feet per minute as opposed to inches.
The Final Touches
Laminating sheets are precisely cut to desired dimensions and the corners are rounded; the only trimming necessary for a project is for whatever is inserted into the pouches; once an item is laminated, it’s finished. Roll film projects not only require trimming, but they also require the corners to be rounded if desired.
If you would still like more information to help you decide which process is more suitable for your project needs, please ask us within the comment section.