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GBC Laminator and Binding Buying Guide

Useful information to help find the best laminator for you.

Which Laminator Should I Choose?

This guide provides useful information and key considerations to help you make an informed decision and find the best laminator for you. Laminators come in a wide range of designs and sizes with various features and capabilities. Therefore, it’s important to find the right type of laminator for your needs. If looked after properly, a laminating machine is also a great investment as they can last up to 30 years!

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What Is Lamination?

Lamination is a simple process using a machine that allows you to protect, preserve and enhance documents with a long lasting, durable plastic coating.

Lamination is an effective technique used to make documents look professional, and to safeguard them against creases, tears, spills, fingerprints and everyday use.

There are three key types of laminating machines; pouch laminators, a fully automatic laminator and roll laminators.

Roll laminators are more suited to commercial environments as they are intended for high-volume laminating; often for larger items such as banners and posters.

laminator graphic
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Pouch Laminators

Pouch laminating machines use plastic pouches; you simply place your document inside the pouch, then heat is used to fuse the pouch together and seal the document.

Laminating pouches are available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. Pouch laminators are most commonly available in A4 and A3 sizes which suit most users.

Key benefits:
  • Ideal for light to moderate use
  • Portable and easy to store
  • Easy to use and operate
pouch laminator

Automatic Laminators

An automatic laminator is a fully automated machine that significantly improves productivity compared to using a traditional laminator.

The Foton 30 delivers innovative, industry leading technology. Users can automatically laminate up to 30 A4 or A3 documents in one go, or switch to manual mode for ad hoc sized pieces. It uses a dual-sided roll film cartridge so there's no need for pouches.

Key benefits:
  • Ideal for high volume day-to-day lamination
  • Easy load gloss roll film cartridge
  • High quality professional results, every time
automatic laminator

Laminating Pouches

Slip in, seal, and that’s it. And the silver lining? No cloudy look. Whatever you’re laminating, GBC pouches and sheets give it brilliant color, superior protection and clear, professional results. Available in a range of gloss and matt finishes.

Laminating Film

When you’re on a roll, you don’t want to stop or slow down! Laminating film lets you run several documents through your laminator without needing to stop the machine. This makes for the ideal way to speed up larger laminating tasks.

laminating film and pouches
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Key Benefits of Laminating


Lamination protects documents from wear and tear and from damage caused by frequent handling, liquid spillages, finger prints, dirt and so on. It keeps documents in excellent condition by sealing them in a watertight plastic coating.


Laminating is a great way to preserve your documents by improving the quality and keeping them in excellent condition, for frequent handling now and in the future.


Lamination is long-lasting as it prolongs the life of any document and extends its usefulness. A laminated document can be easily wiped clean, helping to maintain a pristine appearance and legibility of text.

Professional Appearance:

Any printed materials that you produce and distribute reflect your business and your brand, such as brochures, presentation materials, restaurant menus or signage. Laminating these documents helps to build a respectable and professional brand image.

Perfectly Enhances:

Lamination perfectly enhances any printed material, amplifying the depth and richness of the ink to improve colour contrast, which results in an all-over better quality and brightness of print.

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Home Office & Personal Use

Although used frequently for professional reasons, a laminator is handy in the home too; such as for protecting important paperwork or photos.

Pouch laminators are the perfect choice for desktops, small offices or home offices. They are portable so can be easily stored away or kept on a desk.

If you want to laminate small to medium-sized documents such as photo's, menus or ID cards, then an A4 laminating machine should meet your requirements.

home and office laminators

Daily Office Use

For larger documents or more frequent day-to-day use, the GBC Foton 30 automatic laminator or our Fusion range of A3 laminators are ideal.

The Foton 30 can laminate up to 30 sheets in one go, and uses a unique gloss roll film cartridge. One cartridge can laminate up to 250 A4 sheets; taking the hassle out of loading and feeding pouches manually.

Also for larger documents up to A3 size, a wider pouch laminator such as the Fusion 7000L is suitable.

office automatic laminators

Questions to consider before purchasing a laminator:

Understanding where you will be using the laminator is essentail. If it's for desktop use in a home office or small workplace, you’ll be looking for something durable, not too big and easy to store such as the Fusion 1000L A4 Laminator.

Or perhaps you need a laminator for general office use, and it will be located in a large shared workspace with multiple users for day-to-day laminating. If so, you may need to consider a heavy duty A3 pouch laminator such as the Fusion 6000L, or an automatic laminator such as the Foton 30 would best suit your requirements.

Considering the amount of users will help to determine the type of laminator that you need.

An A4 pouch laminator is ideal to keep at your desk or at reception for ad hoc use, while an A3 automatic laminator or A3 pouch laminator is best suited in a shared work space for frequent use and access for multiple users.

Another key factor when choosing a laminator is to understand how frequently it will be used; to ensure that it's designed to cope with your requirements.

Moderate Use - Ad-hoc requirements a few times a month for a single user: A4 pouch laminating machines are designed primarily for infrequent or low volume laminating requirements.

Regular Use - Several times a week for 1 to 3 users: pouch laminating machines up to A3 size are perfect for most small to medium sized offices.

Heavy Use - used regularly throughout the day for 3+ users: heavy duty laminating machines, such as the GBC Foton 30 automatic laminator, cater for larger organisations that require an efficient solution for higher volumes.

Laminating machines vary in the different sizes and thicknesses of document that they can laminate, so it’s important to get the right one.

An A3 laminator will probably cover most people’s requirements as they can also laminate anything smaller than A3 as well. If you are only laminating smaller items such as A5 sheets, A4 office signs or ID cards, then an A4 compact pouch laminator will meet your requirements.

If you need to laminate items that are A2 size and above, then a heavy duty roll laminator would be more suitable.

Laminating pouch and film thickness is measured in microns (1 micron = 1000th of a millimetre). The thicker the laminating pouch or roll film, the more rigid the result. Most laminating pouches and film are available from 80 to 250 microns.

The more frequently documents are handled, the thicker the laminating sheets required to ensure adequate protection.

Before buying, make sure that your laminating machine is suitable for the desired laminating pouch thickness.

Consider what additional features are important to you and would help you to achieve the best results from your laminating projects.

Considerations for key features when purchasing a quality laminator:

  • The laminating accessories required such as pouches or roll film
  • The speed of a laminating machine and warm-up times
  • Is an automated or manual design more suitable
  • Sheet capacity required
  • Energy efficiency (auto shutoff/sleep mode)
  • The number of rollers; generally the higher the number of rollers that the machine has, the better the quality of lamination

Add a professional finish to your next big project with our wide selection of binding equipment and supplies.

GBC Binding makes an impression

Whether you’re creating handouts for a meeting or organizing your personal documents, GBC’s binding machines will help you create documents that will leave a lasting impression.

Choose from our selection of binding punches, binding inserters and all-in-one machines.

binding machine
Benefits Comb Bind Wire Bind Velo Bind
Document Lay Flat (photocopying)
360 Degree Page Turning
Add/Remove Pages (editable)
Best for Mailing
Most Secure
Ease of use
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Create a great looking document in 3 easy steps!

Step 1 - Choose Your Spine
comb bind

Comb Bind

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Comb Binder

Often called “plastic binding” or “spiral comb binding,” comb binding is the most recognizable choice in binding. First, documents are punched. Then they’re bound together using a spine with tabs that roll into the spine itself.

Comb Binding Benefits

  • Pages can be added or removed with relative ease
  • Bind up to 425 sheets of paper
  • Cost effective option
  • Readily available – the most popular binding system
  • Combs are re-usable
Common Uses

  • Reference guides
  • Instructional materials
  • Workbooks
  • Kids craft books
  • School handouts

wire bind

Wire Bind

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Wire Bind

Wire binding take a C-shaped binding spine and closes around your punched papers. This style is similar in concept to the wire bound notebook or notepads that are essential on college campuses.

Wire Binding Benefits

  • Full 360-degree movement, allowing work to lie flat for photocopying
  • Professional finish to documents
  • Element join is hidden from view
  • Strong and flexible
  • Can be removed if required
  • Maximum capacity of 110 sheets for 3:1 wires
  • Maximum capacity of 250 sheets for 2:1 wires

velo bind

Velo Bind

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Velo Bind

Also known as “strip binding” – is the professional way to bind large volumes of documents up to 750 sheets. VeloBind strips secure documents fast and are cut and welded to the element on the underside, creating a tamper-proof seal. VeloBind provides the highest security of all binding styles, preventing the removal or insertion of pages.

VeloBind/Strip Binding Benefits

  • Large volume capability
  • Secure and welded fast (only adjustable with some models)
  • Easily mailed or filed
  • Highested sheet capacity
  • Our most durable binding
  • Upscale, professinoal look

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Step 2 – Choose Your Machine

Now that you know what binding style(s) you’re going to be using, you can choose your equipment to punch and finish your documents.

On the following tabs, we’ve broken out our equipment options based on their compatibility with binding style. If you’ve got low or high volume, use one binding style or multiple, we’ve got the machine for you.

comb binder machine

Comb Binder


Comb Binder

  • GBC CombBind C210E - Electric System (Punch 20 sheets, binds up to 330 sheets)
  • GBC CombBind C340 - Manual System (Punch 25 sheets, binds up to 500 sheets)
wire bind machine

Wire Binder


Wire Binder

  • GBC W15 - Manual Wire Bind machine (punch 15 sheets, binds 125 sheets)
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covers and binds
Step 3 - Choose Your Cover

Put Your Projects On Display, allow your projects to shine through. Covers are an excellent choice when you want to add an extra professional touch.

High-quality covers protect your hard work and provide an attractive display, helping you create your perfect look.

selection of covers


Find out more

Covers for all applications

Available Cover Types:
  • Clear
  • Frost
  • Solid
  • Regency
  • Linen
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