Surely I’m not the only teacher wondering which laminator is best! Is the Amazon Laminator as good as the Scotch Laminator? It looks pretty similar, but it is much cheaper.
I’ve compared all of the things I care most about in a personal teacher laminator. So which one is truly the best? You’ll have to decide! 🤨
It’s no secret that teachers love to laminate. Some would call it an addiction. I like to say I am being economical. It just makes sense to laminate something I want to use again! 🤓
It saves paper, ink, and time. Really, laminating is a gift to my future self. 🎁 😉
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I have had my Scotch Brand Laminator for years. I have had is so long, in fact, that they don’t even sell it anymore! However, my best friend has this one and we confirmed that any updates to the machine are very minimal and almost impossible to notice.
There was no difference in time to heat up, laminate or quality. The biggest difference is the laminator’s appearance.
I do lament the fact that they have done away with a tray as I think that it’s very handy for lining up the paper and letting it go but the machine is much more sleek and portable without it.
Ten dollars is a big difference when you’re on a teacher’s budget. (Just think, you could get this pack of Flair Pens with your savings! Again, so economical! ?)
Is the Scotch Laminator worth more than the Amazon Laminator?
I decided to compare the two laminators side-by-side.
The first thing I noticed when the AmazonBasics Laminator box came in was that it was so small. It was absolutely TINY compared to my old Scotch Laminator. Looking at them side-by-side was almost comical. It just looks so sleek compared to my old one.
Comparing it to the new one, though, it looks about the same. The Scotch Laminator is a little larger and a little bit heavier. If I had to choose one for my back counter and easy transporting between home and school, I would choose the Amazon Laminator.
Both of these personal sized laminators are equipped to use a laminating pouch that has a closed end. Both can handle 3 mil and 5 mil thick sheets. The Scotch Laminator has a 5 foot long cord. The Amazon Laminator’s cord is about 4 inches shorter.
Both machines have a “release” feature in case there are any jams. I have never experienced a laminator jam (knock-on-wood) so I can’t say which one works better. But, it’s nice to have.
Laminator Warm Up Time
Laminators have to warm up before they are ready to go. I turned both the laminators on at the same time. The Scotch Laminator was ready to go in just under 6 minutes. (The green light turned on at 5.58.)
Are you ready for this?
The Amazon Laminator was ready to go in THREE MINUTES.
HALF the time of the Scotch. ??
Why does three minutes matter to me? Because it’s usually in the morning before school or on my (already short) plan time that I’m plugging it in to run a few papers through. Three minutes extra is a long time to wait for it to warm up!
Now this is where things get dicey for the Amazon Laminator. The paper I sent through the Scotch Laminator took about 48 seconds to laminate from start to finish. The AmazonBasics Laminator took 1 minute.
That times seems pretty significant if you’re sitting there, waiting to add another page. That time could really add up if you were laminating a ton of things.
If you would rather wait longer for warm up to have shorter laminating time, the Scotch Laminator may be your better bet.
If you don’t mind waiting 12 extra seconds for each sheet to finish laminating as a trade off for cheaper price and shorter warm up time, then the Amazon Laminator may be right for you.
Both laminators did an excellent job laminating both regular paper and cardstock. The lamination held together, even when cut, bent, twisted and folded. (I did all of that, just for you! ?)
The AmazonBasics Letter Size Laminating Sheets and the Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches are almost exactly the same. They are high quality, sturdy and cut really nicely. I did not notice any difference in the two, except that the Amazon brand sheets are about half the price!
Unfortunately, technology has not advanced enough to make glare-proof laminating sheets. 😂
A Teacher’s Final Verdict on the Best Teacher Laminator
After all of that testing, comparing, and laminating, which machine would I choose? Both machines performed well, so it really comes down to personal preference. For my needs, I would definitely choose…
I love the size, weight and aesthetic. It’s easy to slip into my teacher bag if I want to take it home for the weekend as it’s so light and doesn’t take up hardly any space.
A shorter warm up time is really important to me as I often only need to laminate a few pages, especially on my plan time. If I am ever going to be laminating a lot at once, I will usually put on a movie or a show while I do it. In that case, I wouldn’t notice a few extra seconds for each sheet to finish.
The Scotch Laminator is really great, too! There really wasn’t a huge difference. It came down to the warm up time and the cost. I love that the AmazonBasics Laminator costs a little less so my teaching budget can go a little further.
Are you looking to get a new laminator or update yours? Which one would you choose: the Scotch Brand Laminator or the AmazonBasics Laminator? Or do you have another laminator that you love? Let me know below! 👇