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If you love crafting or have a DIY attitude, you can probably think of at least a few uses for a laminator. From placemats, chore charts, flashcards, and bookmarks to puzzles, dry-erase surfaces, Christmas ornaments, and calendars, the possibilities are endless. You can keep your arts, crafts, and memorabilia preserved, clean, and organized.
If you're ready to dive into the world of lamination, here are the best laminating machines for crafts.
Best Overall: Scotch Thermal Laminator Combo Pack
The Scotch Thermal Laminator is our pick for best overall because it's affordable, reliable, and efficient. Plus, this combo pack comes with 20 letter-size laminating pouches, so you can get started as soon as it arrives on your doorstep! This laminating machine can seal a broad range of items up to 9 inches wide and 5 millimeters thick. The overall dimensions are 16.3 x 5.6 x 5.8 inches.
Weighing just 3.85 pounds, this sleek white laminator is relatively lightweight. The built-in cord storage and handle make it portable and easy to store. It plugs into a standard outlet and operates using a dual-roller system with two temperature settings. Whether you have DIY playing cards, a homemade puzzle, seasonal decorations, or a scrapbooking project in mind, the Scotch Thermal Laminator is up for the task.
Best Budget: AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator Machine
If you're on a budget, the AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator Machine is an excellent pick. The most affordable size is the 9-inch option, but it's also available in a reasonably priced 12-inch size, as well as combo packs with laminator sheets. With the smaller laminating machine, you can laminate papers, photos, cut-outs, and cards up to 9 inches wide. You can even run full letter-size sheets through, and the jam-release lever makes it easy to fix paper jams.
This laminator has two heat settings: "3 mil" for papers up to 3 millimeters thick and "5 mil" for sheets up to 5 millimeters thick. It works with any 3-millimeter and 5-millimeter laminating pouches—though you can get budget-friendly ones from AmazonBasics—and takes four minutes to warm up. Weighing just over 2.5 pounds and measuring 13.4 x 4.8 x 2.4 inches overall, it's a notably light and compact product.
Best Splurge: Fellowes Saturn 3i 95 Laminator with Pouch Starter Kit
Willing to spend a little more on a high-quality laminator? Check out the Fellowes Saturn 3i 95, an advanced and versatile thermal laminating machine. Thanks to its built-in InstaHeat technology, this laminator heats up in just one minute. With a 12.5-inch entry width, it's also wider than most options and can accommodate a multitude of large and small papers.
The Saturn has two heat settings as well as a cold mode for sealing self-adhesive pouches. It also has an automatic shut-off feature to preserve energy and prevent overheating. If you run into any jams, the lever releases the laminating pouch so you can recenter it or take it out and start over. At 5.1 pounds, it's slightly heavier than other laminating machines, but the Saturn makes up for it in durability and capacity.
Best Small: Swingline Inspire Plus Laminator
The smallest entry width on laminating machines is typically 9 inches. However, some are more lightweight and compact than others, like this one from Swingline. The Inspire Plus weighs just 2.6 pounds and measures roughly 11 x 5.5 x 2.5 inches, which is smaller than the AmazonBasics option. It's compatible with any 3-millimeter and 5-millimeter pouches, and since it has only one heat setting, you can quickly switch between sizes. It also has a cold mode for sealing pressure-sensitive adhesive pouches.
This laminator has smooth rollers to keep your projects wrinkle- and bubble-free. A ready light will tell you when it's heated and ready to use (about four minutes), and the jam lever makes it easy to clear jammed pouches. It comes with five letter-size pouches and a 90-day manufacturer warranty.
Best Large: Scotch Advanced Thermal Laminator
The best large laminating machine for crafts is the Scotch Advanced Thermal Laminator. Most options are limited to a 12-inch entry, but this one has an extra-wide 13-inch input. So, whether you need to laminate 2-inch Christmas tree ornaments or a 13-inch chore chart, you can do it all on the same machine.
This laminator warms up in under a minute and has two heated rollers for a high-quality, professional-looking finish. You can count on your project being free of wrinkles and bubbles, no matter how large the sheets are. The Advanced Thermal Laminator weighs 3.65 pounds and is 19.6 x 6 x 3.1 inches overall. Like the standard laminating machine from Scotch, it has a carrying handle, cord storage, and two heat settings, which work with 3-millimeter and 5-millimeter laminating pouches.
Most Versatile: Crenova A4 Laminator
When it comes to versatility, the Crenova A4 stands out from the competition. This user-friendly laminating machine can accommodate sheets up to 9 inches wide and comes with a few handy crafting supplies. You'll get a paper trimmer, a corner rounder, and 20 laminating pouches.
The laminator itself warms up in three to five minutes and can seal up to 50 sheets per hour. While it's technically only compatible with Crenova pouches, reviewers have noted that most 3-millimeter and 5-millimeter laminating pouches work just fine. At 2.7 pounds and 13.9 x 5.9 x 4.2 inches in size, the A4 is conveniently light and small. You can set it on a desk, table, workbench, or bring it with you for on-the-go craft projects.
The best overall laminating machine for crafts is the Scotch Thermal Laminator (view at Amazon). It’s an affordable and reliable product that comes with 20 letter-size laminating pouches. If you’re looking for something with more bells and whistles, the Fellowes Saturn 3i 95 Laminator (view at Amazon) is a great option. It heats up in under a minute and has an auto shut-off feature to prevent overheating.