Determining the Right Laminating Film for Your Needs

When it comes to choosing the appropriate laminating film, it is essential to take into account the nature of your project and the specifications of your laminating machine. Different laminators come with varying requirements, and the use of incorrect laminating supplies can lead to damage both to your project and your machine.

 The options in the world of laminating film and laminators are numerous, and depending on your specific requirements—such as the finish you desire, the thickness, and the quantity to be laminated—you may find that a different type of film is necessary.

To prevent potential mishaps, we will delve into the distinct types of laminating film and the appropriate scenarios for their use.

Thermal, Hot Laminating Film

Thermal laminators, also known as heat shoe or hot roll laminators, are a common feature in office settings. These machines utilize thermal laminating film , which employs a heat-activated adhesive to seal your projects, resulting in a clear and polished finish. This is the standard laminating film that you are likely familiar with. (For pouch laminators, thermal laminating pouches can still be used for smaller projects.) Hot laminators are available in a wide range of sizes, enabling you to laminate items ranging from business cards to wide-format posters.

Applications for Thermal Laminating Film 

The uses for thermal laminating film are diverse, given that many projects can withstand the high temperatures associated with hot roll laminators. Consider employing thermal laminating film for projects such as:

Documents (letter-size and larger)


ID cards and business cards

Restaurant menus

Legal documents

Paper box/bag


Low Temperature Laminating Film


Low melt laminating film occupies a middle-ground position between thermal laminating and cold laminating. It is a form of thermal laminating, but with a lower melting point. The lower melting point makes this type of laminating film ideal for digital prints, commercial artwork, and certain ink jet media.

Cold Pressure-Sensitive Roll Laminating Film

Cold roll laminators, also referred to as pressure-sensitive laminators, are designed to be used with laminating roll film made of pressure-sensitive adhesive. These laminators are particularly suitable for projects involving temperature-sensitive inks. Cold laminators and roll laminating film are available in various sizes.

Applications for Cold Pressure-Sensitive Laminating Film

Given that pressure-sensitive laminators do not rely on thermal lamination, they are well-suited for items that are susceptible to distortion, melting, or have a coating. These include:

Glossy photo media

Digital and ink jet prints


Banners and signage

Outdoor graphics requiring UV protection

Considerations for Laminating Film

While laminating film is a crucial office supply for numerous organizations, determining what to look for can be challenging. Temperature is not the only consideration when it comes to laminating film. The finish, thickness, and roll length are all significant factors in selecting the appropriate laminating film.


There are a variety of finishes available in laminating film. 

Matte laminating film does not result in glare and is resistant to fingerprints, but it does possess a somewhat grainy texture. This type of film is well-suited for posters, artwork, and displays. On the other hand, standard glossy laminating film is shiny and imparts sharper detail and brighter colors. It is a cost-effective choice for menus, ID cards, reports, and more.

For an option that falls between these two, consider adding a satin or luster film to your laminating repertoire. It ensures sharp images and text whilst minimizing glare.


The thickness of lamination film is measured in microns(mic/μm), with one mic equivalent to 1/1000ths of a mm, making it extremely thin. Despite their thinness, lamination films of varying mic thicknesses have different applications.

For example, a 20 mic film (equal to 0.02 mm) is extremely thin and is ideal for items printed on heavy cardstock, such as business cards. It is an affordable laminating film option.

On the other hand, a 100 mic film is extremely rigid and difficult to bend, typically used for ID badges, reference sheets, and menus that do not require folding. If using roll film, remember to round the edges of your final piece, as this laminate can be quite sharp.

There are various mic thicknesses in between these two, with the key point being that the higher the mic count, the sturdier (and consequently less bendable) your final document will be.

Width, Core Size, and Length

These three factors are primarily related to the type of laminator you possess. Many laminators have the capability to handle varying widths and core sizes of lamination film, so ensuring that the film roll you purchase is compatible with your laminator is crucial.

In terms of length, most films come in standard lengths. For rolls that offer a wider range of options, be cautious not to purchase a roll that is excessively long, as it may be too large to fit in your machine!

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the right laminating film to protect and enhance your projects.

Post time: Dec-19-2023