Getting to Know Screw Posts: A Binding Solution with a Twist

Screw posts, also known as Chicago screws or binding posts, are extremely versatile binding devices that allow loose documents of practically any shape or size to be securely bound together. These low-cost, reusable screws enable the user to easily change out bound documents, making them a great choice for price books, menus, swatch guides, and much more.


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.

Another popular usage for screw posts is in conjunction with specially-designed portfolios or binders. These portfolios combine the protection and durability of a hard-bound book with the ease of updates provided by screw posts. Generally, screw post binders have hinged covers and pre-drilled holes to accommodate the posts. The user inserts their documents into special sheet protectors that have a hole pattern that matches the cover, and then threads the post through the cover and sheet protectors, tightening it to secure the documents. Since the portfolio is expandable, the user is free to add or remove sheets based on their needs.

Screw posts are sold based upon post length, and they are available in lengths ranging from 1/8″ to 4″. Screw post extensions, which allow users to add length to a post in order to securely bind additional documents, are available in lengths ranging from 1/4″ x 3/4″. All screw posts sold by Lamination Depot are made of aluminum, and 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″


Unlike most binding styles, screw posts require no special equipment (with the exception of a hole punch) and can easily accommodate frequent updates. As a result, they are commonly-used for menus, wine lists, swatch books, portfolios, architectural drawings, price lists, and any other application that requires regular updates. Their low price point also makes them a great option for anyone looking to bind on a budget without having to invest in specialized machinery, such as crafters or hobbyists, schools, small offices, or even restaurants.

In Review

Keeping documents attractively and securely organized can be a challenge, whether you’re working with a lengthy manuscript or a handful of paper swatches. Screw posts provide a versatile and easy-to-use alternative to other binding methods at an exceptionally low price point. Their two-piece construction allows for no-fuss updates, making them an ideal choice for many applications. They are also easy to expand, with a number of extension lengths readily available. If you’re in need of a quick and inexpensive way to organize your documents, you’ll definitely want to give screw posts a try.

Selecting the Best Pouch Laminator for Your Needs

A pouch laminator can make a great addition to your home, office, school, or professional print shop; however it can be difficult knowing which machine will fill your unique needs.

Taking the time to review the features of the available pouch laminating machines will help to ensure that you get the best laminator for your purposes. Below we will break down the differences between the various styles of pouch laminators to help you make an informed decision about which laminating machine to purchase.

The Basics

When selecting a pouch laminator, you’ll need to evaluate the features that are the most important to your specific needs:

  • Width: Those who only laminate IDs or badges may be content with a model that has a maximum document width of 4 in., while those looking to laminate signs or displays will likely want a machine that offers a larger width.
  • Temperature Range: Nearly all pouch laminators are thermal machines, which means that they utilize heat to seal the pouch and fuse the layers together. Depending on the machine, the heat is applied by either heated plates or heated rollers. Most machines offer variable temperature control to allow users to adjust the heat level based on the thickness of the laminating pouch. If you regularly use thick laminating pouches (7 Mil or 10 Mil), then you’ll need to ensure that your selected machine can handle thick pouches.
  • Rollers: All machines utilize rollers to help ensure secure adhesion, eliminate air bubbles and move the laminated documents through the machine. Low volume machines (primarily for home use) are equipped with two rollers, mid-level laminators (for offices or schools) contain 2-6 rollers and professional laminating machines (for high volume users or copy shops) include between 4-10 rollers.
  • Reverse Function: Many pouch laminators also include a reverse feature, which makes it easier to clear jammed or misfed documents.
  • Volume: If you will be producing a high volume of laminated documents, you may want to look for a machine that has a high maximum laminating speed. Speed is often increased by additional sets of rollers.

Other popular features include a stand-by mode (preserves power while the machine is not laminating), the ability to laminate without a carrier sheet (used to prevent adhesive from oozing out from the edges of the laminating pouch and onto the rollers), cool rollers (help to reduce curling of laminated documents), and the ability to laminate photos.

Office Pouch Laminators (for Low to Moderate Usage)

Pouch laminating machines for office use offer a greater range of features than those designed for home use, and can handle a medium-to-high volume of usage. These laminators are available in widths ranging up to 13-1/2 in., and can laminate pouches from 3 Mil and 10 Mil thick. In addition to being able to stand up to more frequent usage than home laminators, office pouch laminators also laminate much more quickly (in some cases, more than three times as fast as the home machines).

Two popular models of office pouch laminators are the Tamerica SM330 13 in. Economy Laminator and the TruLam TL-320B 12 in. Pouch Laminator. Below is a comparison of their features:

ModelTamerica SM-330
Economy Pouch Laminator
TruLam TL-320B
Pouch Laminator
Max. Speed13 in./min.25.6 in./min.
Max. Width13 in.12 in.
Max. Pouch Thickness10 Mil10 Mil
Temperature AdjustmentDialDigital
Reverse Function?YesYes
Number of Rollers4
(2 Hot, 2 Cold)
(2 Hot, 2 Cold)
Warranty90 Days1 Year

Depending on your requirements, either of these machines would be a productive and beneficial addition to an office setting.

Professional Pouch Laminators (for High Volume Usage)

Pouch laminating machines for professional settings are the most robust machines on the market, and offer the most features.

These laminators are available in widths ranging up to 44 in. and can laminate pouches from 3 Mil to 10 Mil thick (with select machines having the ability to mount and laminate simultaneously). Professional pouch laminators also have the highest maximum laminating speed, with some machines laminating 12 ft. per minute.

Nearly all industrial machines come housed within metal casings for added durability.

Compare the Akiles ProLam Ultra 13 in. Professional Laminator and the James Burn USA SpeedyLam Pouch Laminator:

ModelAkiles ProLam Ultra
Photo Pouch Laminator
James Burn USA
Pouch Laminator
Max. Speed53 in./min.
(4 ft./min.)
144 in./min.
(12 ft./min.)
Max. Width13 in.13 in.
Max. Pouch Thickness14 Mil14 Mil
Temperature AdjustmentDigitalDigital
Memory Settings?YesYes
Reverse Function?YesYes
Number of Rollers6
(4 Hot, 2 Cold)
(6 Hot, 4 Cold)
Warranty1 Year1 Year

Both of these machines are equipped to handle high-volume, professional use, with the primary differences relating to the number of rollers and overall speed. Depending on your requirements and resources, either of these machines are capable of producing a high volume of laminated documents.

In Review

Whether you are looking to preserve family photos, enhance company ID cards or provide lamination services at your print shop, pouch laminators are cost-effective and user-friendly with numerous models to fit practically any need.

There are many pouch laminators on the market, and you can learn to distinguish quality laminators by evaluating key features. Investing the time to research the capabilities of the available machines will not only help you find the best machine for your application, but will also help you make the most of your budget.

Remember: what works best for someone else may not be a fit for your unique needs, so performing your own research is a crucial step in the process of purchasing a pouch laminator.

Lamination Depot is one of the leading sources for laminating equipment and pouches in the industry, with more than 300 pouch varieties available. Visit our collection of pouch laminating machines to learn more about these laminators or other available models.