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Hot vs. cold laminator

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by James Chrimes, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. James Chrimes

    James Chrimes Very Active Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Not sure what section this should have gone in. The search function is acting funny also. Any ways, I am in the market for a laminator 54", and would like your opinion on which is better hot or cold and why and brands you like. Thanks Jim
  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Simple question. What will you be laminating ??

    For the most part, that will determine which route you need to follow.
  3. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    We're very happy with our GFP 54" with heat assist.
    The bit of heat it adds makes the laminate go on so smoothly.
  4. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    What Gino said, what will you be laminating, or what kind of printer do you have (solvent/latex or aqueous)? If you're using a solvent or latex printer you can do just fine with a cold laminator or a cold unit with heat assist. I'd recommend a Royal Sovereign if this is the case, we owned one for years and regret not getting another one. For the money I found it hard to beat.

    If you have an aqueous printer, you'll probably need a hot laminator. I can't be of much help there though.

    One thing I'd highly recommend is go ahead and spend the extra money now on a 60" or 64" laminator vs. a 54" machine. Even if your printer is only 54" being able to run 5' substrates through it will prove valuable, and if you ever upgrade to a 5' printer in the future you won't have to worry about upgrading the laminator too.
  5. James Chrimes

    James Chrimes Very Active Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Thanks for the help. We are looking at getting a Roland and would be laminating vinyl for wraps on 3m.
  6. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

    Sep 10, 2010
    You want a Cold Lam with Heat Assist. Takes away silvering.
  7. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Agreed but if the price is right and it's a good machine (GBC, Seal, etc) just cold only will be just fine. We have both a cold and a hot laminator, very rare that we use the hot one. Both are GBC and near identical in function too. Just have found that other than hot laminating prints of the Epson water based printer we have really not had any need to use the hot machine. Even just turning the heaters on for an "assist". We use it a lot for cold laminating though. Only thing your really MUST have a hot machine for is if you are going to be sometimes using hot melt laminates which in general are not used in any way with solvent, eco/lite solvent, latex/resin, prints. Only used on water based ink prints, mostly for full encapsulation laminating.
  8. ironchef

    ironchef Very Active Member

    May 1, 2012
    Miami, FL
    James, do your customers ask for 3m to be used? Dont rule out oracal and avery.

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