For those who’ve used a laminating machine, you’ll know that once you get started, you’ll want to laminate everything! Often underrated, it’s probably accurate to say that most of us don’t have one of these gadgets at home. When you consider the possibilities with one however, you’ll start to wonder why exactly you don’t.
For those who are unfamiliar with the device, laminators use heat, pressure or adhesives to place a clear layer of protective material over a flat surface. For example, some individuals choose to laminate photos as a means of increasing its durability (surely, we’ve all dealt with photos that have faded with time). Others, such as teachers, use it to protect their teaching materials from the rough hands on young children.
What else can you laminate?
- Trading cards
One way or another, laminators are highly useful- perhaps more so than you’ve ever imagined.
Different Types of Laminators
As briefly mentioned above, there are a few different types of laminating machines. For example, there’s the Roll Laminator- the ones that you often find in organizations such as schools, as well as Pouch Laminators. Let’s take a look at them below.
Heated Roll Laminator
Often used for things such as book covers and posters, Hot Roll Laminators utilizes a heated element to melt glue, which is then released onto the lamination film. Due to the heat involved, caution is required when operating the machine.
Pros: You can easily process documents of all sizes, can easily laminate a series of prints at a same time
Cold Roll Laminator
As its name implies, the cold laminator does not require the use of heat. Instead, it uses adhesive and pressure to sandwich print materials betweens two sheets of protective, plastic film. More often than not, the pressure comes from rolling the items through a set of heavy rollers. In doing so, the product comes out with minimal flaws such as air bubbles.
Pros: Convenient when there’s no power source around (as no heat is required), the only type of machine that ensures water-tightness
Perhaps the most popular type of laminator, it uses “pouches”- that is, adhesive-lined plastic, to encase printed materials. Much smaller than its roll counterparts, the plastic is heated along two sides, which causes the document to then be encased in plastic. Depending on your desired result, you can choose from 3 mil to 10 mil pouches.
Pros: The smallest and most compact, different “pouches” can be purchased with varying levels of thickness
What Type of Laminator Should I Use?
There are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing a laminator- first off, what will you be using it for? For instance, cold lamination systems are typically used when there’s a concern of the print being damaged by heat. Another important thing to consider is size- are you looking for something that you can store away when it’s not in use? If so, you’ll probably want to go for a pouch laminator.
What Brand Should I Buy?
As with most products, laminators are made and manufactured by a number of companies. Some of the more popular brands include Sotch, Zoomyo, and Blusmart. On this particular page however, we will be taking a closer look at the Blusmart.
More About Blusmart
Founded in 2015, Blusmart is currently based in Shenzhen, China. In addition to manufacturing electronics, they also sell a variety of auto parts, home improvement tools, as well as outdoor products. Striving for quality, each of their products are meticulously tested by their QC and R&D team.
The 3-in-1 Blusmart OL288 Laminator
Among their electronics is the 3-in-1 Blusmart OL288 Laminator. As its name implies, it does more than just laminating- it also functions as a corner rounder and paper trimmer.
Built-in Paper Cutter
Tired of struggling to cut straight lines? You won’t have this problem with the laminator’s built-in cutter- convenient and easy to use, it even offers three different cutting patterns, Wave, Perforated, and Straight. Can cut up to three sheets of A4 paper at one time.
For those who’d like you avoid sharp edges, the corner rounder comes in incredibly handy. Detachable, simply pull it out from the back, insert your item, and round away!
A pouch laminator, it utilizes two roller systems (both heated and cold can be used) to laminate your printed materials. Compatible with a variety of pouch sizes (up to A4), it boasts a laminating speed of 250mm per minute. Paper jam? No problem- simply press the ABS button and you can easily pull the items out.
Step-by-Step Directions on How to Use the BluSmart Laminator
1.) Press the “on” button after plugging the machine into a power source. You’ll notice that a red light will switch on at the right-hand side.
2.) Place your printed materials (e.g. paper, photo) into your laminating pouch*. With this laminator, pouches up to the A4 size can be used.
* The machine comes with some to get you started
3.) Wait for the laminator to heat up- this can take a couple of months. Once it’s ready, the green light will light up.
4.) Carefully place your materials into the machine, it will quickly go through, being laminating in the process.
5.) Once the job is done, you can use the paper cutter and corner rounder (the latter is detachable form the back) to cut it down your desired size
3-in-1 Blusmart OL288 Laminator Pros and Cons
As efficient as it is however, surely there are some drawbacks (as with most products)? What are some of the machine’s advantages and disadvantages? Let’s go ahead and take a look at its pros and cons.
Blusmart Laminator Pros
- Conveniently comes with a paper trimmer and corner rounder
- Small, compact, and easy-to-use
- Heats up quickly
- Comes with some laminating pouches to get you started
- Efficient, very little air bubbles if any
- ABS button is handy when there’s a paper jam
- Can be used both as a cold and heated laminator
Blusmart Laminator Cons
- Cutting blade could be better
- Laminator does not cool down quickly after getting very hot
- Comes with limited instructions (though it’s easy to figure out)
What do Users Have To Say About the Blusmart 3-in-1 Laminator on Amazon?
Like most products that are available for purchase on Amazon, there are a number of reviews that you can read through, from users that have bought and used the item, before checking out. At the time of this writing, the Blusmart 3-in-1 Laminator has a 4.5 star rating on the site (from over 240 reviews).
For your convenience, we’ve listed some of the major points that the users have raved about:
- The lamination machine despite being small, is extremely easy to use
- The paper trimmer and corner rounder add-ons come in extremely handy for when you have to cut the printed materials to size
- Laminating process is relatively fast
- Quality is good for the price range
As far as negatives go, these are some of things that the users had to say about the machine:
- The quality of the paper trimmer blade could be better
- Jams from time to time
- Laminator takes a while to cool down
Regarding paper jams, several users have reported that it becomes more of an issue over time. Due to the way its designed, the machine also cannot be opened to physically remove the jam, which might be an issue. Having said all that, more people than not, have reported a flawless laminating experience.
Blusmart 3-in-1 Laminator vs Other Laminators
The one thing that sets the Blusmart 3-in-1 Laminator apart from the rest is the fact that it comes with two add-ons, the paper trimmer and the corner rounder. Typically, you’d have to buy the tools separately- with the Blusmart however, it’s all included!
As far as the actual laminating process, the machine can be used for both as a cold or a heated lamination. That is, you can use it with heat to seal the pouches, or you can simply apply pressure using the two rollers.
Blusmart 3-in-1 Laminator: Our Verdict
At its price range, the Blusmarts 3-in-1 Laminator is a solid buy. Not only does it do a good job of laminating your printed materials, but it also comes with a couple of extras that prove to be handy- a tool to round off corners, and a paper trimmer (the latter of which comes with three different cutting patterns).
Like all electronics however, it’s not perfect- there are some flaws. For instance, you might be faced with jams from time to time. Luckily for us though, it comes with a ABS button, which you can then press to release the materials from the machine.
Small and compact, it’s a good option for those who are looking for a laminator that won’t be taking up much space on the work table.
So, Should I Get the Blusmart 3-in-1 Laminator?
Depending on what you’ll be using the laminator for, the one from Blusmart might be a good fit.
The Blusmart 3-in-1 Laminator is a good choice if…
- You want something that’s affordable and small, but practical
- You’d prefer not having to buy a paper trimmer/corner rounder separately
- You don’t want something that will take up a lot of room on your desk
You might want to go for a different type of laminator if…
- You will be laminating prints that are bigger than the A4 size
- You want to be able to laminate large amounts of materials (e.g. over 20 sheets) at a time
- You want a laminator that you can easily be opened up (for jams, etc.)
Where Can I Buy the Blusmart 3-in-1 Laminator?
For those who are interested in trying out the Blusmart 3-in-1 Laminator, it can be purchased from the company through Amazon. At the time of this writing, the machine is selling for $45.99 plus tax.
That said there is currently a 30% discount available that runs through June 30th!
To activate the 30% off coupon use code Q2BVELOP
This will drop the price to $32.19
Worried about whether or not it will suit your needs? Don’t be- if at any point you change your mind, you can easily send it back to Amazon for a full refund. With that in mind, why not give it a try?