It’s the season of laminating! Schools are back, and new displays are being put up in classrooms, hallways and workplaces up and down the country.However, that also means that it can often be the season of jammed laminators, chewed up work and a lot of frustrations. No need to panic though, here’s our handy top-tips for keeping your laminator jam-free and running smoothly.
1. Make sure you have a top-quality, purpose-built laminator
Your laminator’s purpose (other than to laminate!) might be more important than you think. One that has been designed for your environment will always be the best. A personal, home-use laminator wouldn’t handle a day’s worth of use in a busy school office and, similarly, a heavy-duty laminator may only over complicate your arts and crafts habit.
2. Keep your laminator on a flat and stable surface…
3. …and make sure there’s room behind your laminator for documents to exit
Unsurprisingly enough, shaking your laminator about and giving it a rocky surface to sit on won’t do it any good, but neither will putting it up against the wall. Leaving enough room behind your laminator for documents to exit with plenty of space will minimise the chance of your laminator jamming, and your documents being ruined.
4. Consider a quality Pouch Jacket
Not only will a pouch jacket protect your documents from being lost inside the laminator, but they’ll protect the machine at the same time, too. Laminating pouches can often lose a little of their adhesive in the machine and, over time, this can build up and cause malfunctions, poor-quality lamination and ultimately, untimely jams!
Pouch Jackets are also extremely useful when laminating small pieces of paper and partially filled pouches – they’ll stop any ‘wraparounds’ which will jam your laminator and often result in pricey repairs.
We recommend using pouches made from long-lasting materials such as Teflon.
5. Always check your laminator’s operating instructions for recommended temperatures
There are always guides online to guide you as to what temperature to use based on what you’re laminating, but it’s always worth following the guidance of your laminator’s instruction booklet as temperatures may change from make to make.
Make sure you’re aware of the weight of your paper, the thickness of your laminating pouch, and any instructions that also come with your Pouch Jacket, as it’s often recommended you increase the temperature by anywhere between 15° and 30° when using one.
6. Always insert your documents sealed end first…
7. …and never force documents into the laminator, or try to insert them at an angle
Taking a few extra seconds every time you laminate can save frustrating damage to your documents and your laminator. Inserting your documents at angles or with the open end first will often end up with folded and/or creased documents, or may cause a jam.
8. Let your laminator cool down before you turn it off
It’s tempting, especially when you’re busy, to switch your laminator off at the wall and run away with your nicely presented documents, but it’s not always good for your laminator’s rollers. Good quality laminators will have a cold option on the temperature dial, allowing you to help your laminator cool down.
We recommend leaving your laminator to run on ‘cool’ for about 15 minutes to keep it running smoothly. Remember, you should always refer to your laminator’s individual operating instructions before you start laminating as every machine may differ slightly and will often come with a set of solid ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’ that you should follow.