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The only consistent way to preserve any type of paper document while retaining a thin profile is by using a laminator. Enveloping school projects, photos, menus, and tags in a thin, clear sheet of firm plastic offers protection from warping, enhances the look and feel of the item, and grants full immunity to grease, oil, grime and water damage. Whether you’re cataloging precious kids’ drawings or giving the whole staff new ID cards, a laminator is a simple and affordable solution to getting long-term durability out of otherwise fragile paper items.

Here are a few of our favorite laminators currently available.

Compact cold and hot choice. Amazon

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This Swingline Laminator is light, compact, and performs both hot and cold laminating, making it as perfect an option for on-the-go teachers, artists, and office administrators as it is for someone with limited space. Despite being compact, it supports items up to nine inches in width, warms up in just four minutes and laminates at a rate of nine inches per minute. It comes with five clear, glossy finish letter size pouches and also works with adhesive cold lamination products for flexibility.

Easy to carry and easy to store. Amazon

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This mindfully-designed laminator from Scotch is robust and versatile enough for demanding office work and features a range of thoughtful touches to make the user’s life easier. It supports items up to 11 inches wide, heats up in one minute, and sports a carrying handle as well as cord storage.

A high-volume powerhouse. Amazon

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For a robust office and classroom essential, check out the Saturn 3i 125 from Fellowes. Its 12.5-inch opening, one minute warmup time, and hot and cold compatibility will ensure that your documents and projects are protected in as little time as possible. It also comes with ten letter-sized, 3-mil pouches to get you started. If you’re sharing a laminator with staff or using it on a regular basis, this should be your go-to.

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