Machineless Lamination: The Benefits of Self-Adhesive Laminating Pouches

Also called self-laminating, self-sealing, or cold laminating pouches, self-adhesive laminating pouches are made with specialized laminating film that does not use thermally-activated adhesive. Because they do not require the use of heat, self-laminating pouches can be sealed without a machine, making them an ideal choice for small laminating projects or for laminating documents in the field (without access to electricity). In this post, we’ll take a closer look at self-sealing laminating pouches and learn more about the unique benefits they offer.

The Basics

Unlike thermal laminating pouches, self-adhesive pouches do not need to be run through a pouch laminator in order to achieve a proper seal (although some machines feature a cold lamination setting that can aid in sealing the pouch, which is useful but not required). They do have a few similarities to thermal pouches, in that they require a border around the outer edge of the document to create a seal and that once the film is applied to the document it cannot be removed.

To apply a self-laminating pouch to your document, begin by placing your document face down in the pouch with the adhesive side on the top. Once the document is positioned properly, slowly roll the adhesive side onto the insert document, peeling the paper backing off as you go. Press the air bubbles out of the pouch using your finger tips, then press firmly around all edges to create a seal.

Benefits of Self-Adhesive Laminating Pouches

Laminating is an extremely popular and versatile way to protect and preserve documents of all types, but not every laminating project is worth investing in a laminator. If you’re only laminating a small number of items and don’t already own a thermal pouch laminator, then you’ll probably find that cold laminating pouches are the most economical option for your needs. In addition to being a machineless method of lamination, they are often sold in smaller quantites than thermal pouches, so they’re ideal for short runs. The per-pouch cost of self-sealing pouches is considerably more than that of standard pouches, but they’re still very reasonably priced (especially when compared to the cost of a laminator).

Another benefit of self-laminating pouches is that they’re easy to use and safe for all ages. They don’t rely on heat, so they’re an excellent choice for classroom use or other projects with children. They’re also great for on-site laminating, since transporting a pouch laminator is not always possible. Field representatives can laminate membership cards, product literature, or other business materials just about anywhere, without having to find an outlet or wait for the machine to warm up. Finally, cold pouches work well with heat-sensitive items (such as photographs) that could be damaged during the thermal laminating process.

In Review

Self-sealing pouches are a simple and effective way to laminate your documents without a laminator. Although they cost a bit more than standard pouches, they are an excellent option for small laminating projects because they don’t require the additional investment of a laminating machine. They’re also more portable than thermal pouches and safe for all ages, since there’s no heat or electricity involved in the laminating process. If you’re looking for a way to preserve and protect a few of your most important documents and photographs, create a set of personalized luggage tags, make identification badges to help represent your company at an upcoming event, or any other short run laminating project, then be sure to take a look at self-adhesive laminating pouches.

iCoil Binding Machine Review: Compact Coil Binding Machines with Robust Features

Many offices have transitioned their document binding in-house, but finding a binding machine that offers the right combination of features in an office-friendly size can be tricky. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the iCoil-41 binding machine series, which pairs essential binding functions with an attractive and compact design.

The Basics

Coil binding utilizes a 4:1 pitch hole pattern (four holes per inch) in conjunction with plastic coils to create bound documents. Depending on the binding machine used, the punch is either operated manually or electrically, with most small office machines utilizing manual operation. Though the coils can be inserted by hand (by simply twisting the coil through the holes in the document), organizations that bind frequently generally prefer to use an electric coil inserter to speed up production time and increase efficiency. Electric coil inserters are built in to a number of coil binding machines, but can also be purchased as stand-alone units. In order to complete the bind, it is necessary to trim the excess coil and crimp the ends so that the coil will be secured within the document. This is most commonly done with a pair of hand-held cutting and crimping pliers, though some high-volume production environments use electric coil cutting and crimping units.

Benefits of the iCoil-41 Binding Machine Series

The iCoil-41 coil binding machine series from Akiles has two models – the iCoil-41 and the iCoil-41+. Both offer the same general features, including a 15-sheet manual punch capacity, a compact electric coil inserter, and a free pair of manual coil crimpers, but the plus model also has oval holes instead of round holes (for easier coil insertion) and a letter 4:1 pitch hole pattern instead of standard 4:1 pitch (which eliminates partially punched holes at the edges of the paper). The iCoil binding machines have a streamlined design, which includes a hinged cover that keeps the machine clean and protected when not in use. The electric coil inserter is operated with a convenient foot pedal, and is capable of inserting coils up to 7/8″ (coils up to 2″ can be inserted manually). As with all Akiles binding machines, the iCoil coil binders have a 1-year warranty and are built with the utmost care and precision.

In Review

To help cut costs and increase productivity, many businesses are bringing their document binding in-house. With coil binding being one of the most popular and cost-effective binding styles, coil binding machines are especially well-liked within the office environment. The Akiles iCoil binding machine series is packed with features usually found in more costly machines, including an electric coil inserter, but a much more attractive price point. If your organization has been considering an investment in a binding machine, then be sure to take a closer look at the iCoil binding machine series.

Perpetual Dry Erase Calendar Board Review

Dry erase calendars are a dynamic and cost-effective tool for getting organized. The only downside to these versatile boards is the time that it takes to update the grid with the dates each month – a process which has led some users to stick with traditional paper calendars. However, the new 13868UA-1 Perpetual Dry Erase Calendar Board by Board Dudes changes everything. With an innovative design, this calendar features built-in month and date information that is controlled by two convenient knobs, eliminating the need to manually write dates onto the calendar. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at this popular new dry erase board model.

The Basics

The 13868UA-1 Perpetual Calendar Board measures 17″ x 23″ and has an attractive and durable aluminum frame. The calendar design features six rows with seven columns to accommodate all possible date configurations. It also includes a handy “Notes” section as well as a cork strip to help you stay organized. The month and date information is located behind a protective, dry erase surface, and is controlled by two knobs located on the right side of the board. To change the month, simply twist the upper knob until you reach the desired month. Turn the lower knob to update the dates, which are configured in a way that enables them to fill all possible month length and starting day combinations.

In Review

Dry erase calendars are a budget-friendly alternative to traditional wall or desk calendars, since they can be used and reused for many years. The new 13868UA-1 Perpetual Dry Erase Calendar Board by Board Dudes eliminates the need to manually write in the month and dates with a unique design that pre-fills the information by simply twisting two convenient knobs. If you’ve found yourself deterred from dry erase calendars in the past because of the tedious process of writing in the dates each month, then you’ll definitely want to take a second look at the 13868UA-1 Perpetual Dry Erase Calendar.

SmartLoad 12 Review: A Compact, Easy-to-Load Roll Laminator

Roll laminators are great for laminating large posters and display materials or bulk runs of documents, but what about users that just run documents 12″ wide or smaller? In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the SmartLoad 12, which is the perfect size for laminating letter-sized documents and costs about half as much as other comparable roll laminators.

The Basics

Nearly all roll laminators are thermal, which means that they utilize heat to seal the edges of the laminate film and fuse the layers together. Depending on the machine, the heat is applied by either heated rollers or heat shoes, which are long, flat, aluminum plates. Regardless of the type of heating element, all laminating machines utilize rollers to help ensure secure adhesion, eliminate air bubbles and move documents through the machine.

Benefits of the SmartLoad 12

The SmartLoad 12 laminator has three primary benefits – cost, size, and ease of use. With many roll laminators costing in the thousands, the SmartLoad 12 has a reasonable price point of less than $400. The SmartLoad 12 laminator is designed to be compact, so it is small enough to fit in any environment (and it weighs only 30 lbs.). Loading and threading film onto most roll laminators can be somewhat difficult, but the SmartLoad 12 has an innovative “smart load” design that significantly reduces the film loading time while preventing the user from loading the film upside down. There’s no mandrel to load the roll onto – just snap the SmartLoad film roll into the machine and thread the film through the rollers.

The SmartLoad 12 has a maximum laminating width of 12″, which makes it a perfect choice for individuals and organizations that laminated letter-, legal-, and menu-sized documents. It has a fixed laminating speed of 3′ per minute, and a quick warm-up time of only one minute. It uses a heat shoe, and features an adjustable temperature that enables it to laminate films ranging from 1.7 mils thick to 10 mils thick. The SmartLoad 12 also includes a convenient built-in horizontal trimmer and feed alignment guide, as well as a one-year warranty.

In Review

The SmartLoad 12 roll laminator is a small machine that’s packed with big features. It may be limited to laminating documents 12″ wide or less, but with a fast warm-up time, built-in trimmer, innovative film loading system, affordable price point, and one-year warranty, it’s one of the most attractive small format roll laminators on the market. If you frequently laminate letter-, legal-, or menu-sized documents, then be sure to take a look at the SmartLoad 12.

Custom Slot Punching Now Available!

Have you ever shopped for pre-punched laminating pouches, only to find that the size that you need is not available with a slot punch? Or do you have specialty punching needs, such as multiple slots or unusual slot placement, but don’t have the time or slot-punching equipment to do the punching yourself? Then you’ll love Lamination Depot’s new slot punching service! We’ll punch any size pouch with a 9/16″ x 1/8″ (14mm x 3mm) slot for only $10 per hundred, with a turnaround time of five business days. This convenient service is available by calling us at 1-800-925-0054.

Custom Slot Punching from Lamination Depot

56 New Reasons to Bind with Screw Posts!

In our post “Getting to Know Screw Posts: A Binding Solution with a Twist,” we introduced you to screw posts (also called “Chicago screws”) – versatile, inexpensive, and popular binding posts that are reusable and easy-to-edit. Now, we’d like to share the newest additions to our collection of screw posts. Lamination Depot now carries 56 new varieties, including black-, antique brass-, and gold-finished aluminum posts as well as multi-function plastic posts in black and white. In this post, we’ll recap some of the benefits of this unique binding style and take a look at the new screw posts that are now available.

Screw Posts from Lamination Depot

The Basics

A screw post is made up of two separate pieces – a threaded post attached to a head and a cylinder attached to a matching head. To create a bound item, a hole is first punched through the documents to be bound. The cylinder is inserted into the hole, and then the threaded post is inserted into the cylinder and tightened. Because the heads are of a larger diameter than the hole, the documents remain securely bound between them. To make changes within the bound document, simply unscrew the threaded post from the cylinder, insert your revised documents, and reassemble the screw post.

New Styles

In addition to our popular, silver-finished aluminum Chicago screws, we now carry aluminum posts in goldblack, and antique brass finishes. All of our aluminum screw posts have the following specifications:

Outside Post Diameter: 3/16″
Screw Head Diameter: 7/16″
Screw Head Height: 1/16″ (top and bottom heads will add a combined 1/8″ to post length)
Screw Posts 3/8″ & Smaller: Post is threaded all the way through
Screw Posts 1/2″ & Larger: Post is threaded on one side
Recommended Hole Size: 1/4″-5/16″

Our new plastic screw posts, which are available in black and white, offer the same features of our aluminum binding posts as well as a special permanent binding capability not available on other screw posts. To create a standard, removable bind, slowly twist the screw into the post, threading it into position. For those projects that require a more secure, permanent bind, simply snap the screw directly into the post (without twisting), which locks the post into position. The threads have barbs that lock the post into place when inserted by pushing as opposed to twisting.

In Review

Screw posts are a great way to quickly and easily bind documents of all sizes, without needing a machine or other specialized equipment. With 56 new binding posts now available, there is a post style for every application, from elegant menus and eye-catching swatch books to oversized blueprints and thick manuscripts. In addition to standard, reusable aluminum posts that are available in four finishes, new plastic binding posts give users the option to create permanent binds by snapping the posts into place instead of twisting them. If you have the need to bind something, but don’t have the budget to invest in new equipment, then you should definitely give screw posts a try.

Get Organized with Dry Erase Boards, Corkboards & Chalkboards!

From schools and offices to kitchens and dorm rooms, almost everyone has some sort of memo or bulletin board to help them share ideas and stay organized. In this post, we’ll discuss the three most common styles of boards, along with the unique characteristics of each.

Display Boards by Board Dudes

Dry Erase Boards

Also referred to as “whiteboards,” dry erase boards have slick, coated surfaces that enable the user to write non-permanent messages with specialized markers. They are frequently used for presentation purposes in schools and offices, but they have been gaining popularity with home users, especially since the release of decorative and specialized models (such as calendars and “chore charts”). Whiteboards are surprisingly versatile, with large boards doubling as projection surfaces for digital and traditional projectors. Markings made on dry erase boards are more resistant to environmental factors (such as water) than messages written on chalkboards, and they do not generate dust like chalk does, which allows them to be used in dust-sensitive atmospheres.

In addition to standard dry erase board styles, Lamination Depot stocks a number of specialty boards, including magnetic boards, calendars, combo boards (which have both cork and dry erase sections), designer boards with decorative frames, and unframed “tile” boards.


Chalkboards (also called “blackboards”) have been present in classrooms around the world for many years. They were originally crafted from slabs of slate, but modern chalkboards can be made from steel covered in porcelain enamel or a board covered in a dark paint that has a matte finish. Sticks of calcium sulphate (commonly referred to as “chalk”) are used to make non-permanent markings on the boards, which are easily removed using soft felt erasers. Though many schools have started transitioning from chalkboards to dry erase boards, they are increasingly popular in homes, where they are often used to jot down notes and lists. Chalkboards tend to generate some dust when used regularly, however they are odor-free (unlike the markers used on dry erase boards, which can have a strong odor).

Cork Boards

Cork boards (also called “bulletin boards”) are made of soft, spongy cork that allows the user to pin and remove papers, photos, and other items. Unlike dry erase and chalkboards, cork boards do not allow the user to write and erase messages, but the ease of adding and removing documents has made them a regular fixture in many community centers and universities. Many chalkboard and dry erase board styles are now incorporating cork sections to allow users to have the ability to write non-permanent messages and pin items up side-by-side. No specialized supplies are required to use a cork board – any small tack, pin, or even staple can be used to secure documents.


Dry erase markers and erasers are the most widely used board accessories, due to the popularity of dry erase boards. The markers themselves possess a number of qualities that make them preferable over chalk, including that they do not aggravate allergies and asthma in the way that chalk does and are available in a much larger color palette. Like other types of markers, they are offered in a variety of tip sizes and styles, including point and chisel. Dry erasers are similar in look and function to chalk erasers, but they have a softer surface to help prevent scratches. There are also many creative accessories on the market, such as decorative magnets, magnetic document clips, eraser-topped markers, and markers with magnetic tassels.

In Review

Whether you’re looking to enhance your conference room presentations, make classroom lessons come to life, help your college-bound teen stay organized, or simply have a place to jot down occasional notes and lists, you’ll find that a dry erase board, chalkboard, or cork board will fit your needs. They’re versatile, inexpensive, and available in a wide range of features and styles.

Lamination Depot carries more than 35 dry erase boardschalkboardscorkboards, and accessories from Board Dudes, one of the leading manufacturers in the presentation industry.

New Laminating Pouch Sizes are Now Available!

We are excited to announce the release of 30 brand new thermal laminating pouch varieties! We’ve heard your feedback, and we’ve created seven additional pouch sizes to help fill all of your laminating needs. Among these new sizes are two pouches designed to accommodate ISO standard paper sizes A3 (297mm × 420mm/11.7″ × 16.5″) and A4 (210mm × 297mm/8.3″ × 11.7″), both offered in 3, 5, 7, and 10 mil. thicknesses. You’ll also find five pouch sizes that are exclusive to Lamination Depot in this new collection (listed in bold in the chart below).

New Thermal Laminating Pouches
Pouch NamePouch Size3 Mil5 Mil7 Mil10 Mil
Wallet2-3/8″ x 3-5/8″ 
ID Badge*2-9/16″ x 3-3/4″ 
Credential2-3/4″ x 5-1/16″ 
Giant Card4-1/2″ x 6″ 
Mini Photo4-3/8″ x 6 1/2″ 
A48-3/4″ x 12-1/4″
A312-1/4″ x 17″

*Also available in self-adhesive “cold” version

In addition to the new sizes now being offered, we’ve also added even more thicknesses to existing pouch sizes (highlighted in red in the chart below).

New Thicknesses of Existing Pouch Sizes
Pouch NamePouch Size3 Mil5 Mil7 Mil10 Mil
Bookmark – Small2-1/8″ x 6″ 
Bookmark – Large2-3/8″ x 9″ 
Special3-1/8″ x 4-1/2″ 
Recipe Card3-3/16″ x 4-3/8″ 
Extra Circulation3-15/16″ x 6-7/8″ 

Still don’t see the pouch you’re looking for? Be sure to contact us to learn about our affordable custom pouch manufacturing option!

All of our laminating pouches are of the highest quality, and pass a 21 point inspection before we offer them for sale. Learn more about what makes our laminating pouches the best here.