How to Choose the Right Laminating Film & Supplies

This information is designed to help you choose the best laminating pouches and laminating film for your specific needs. Review this information - then when you are ready to purchase, visit our laminating supplies to make your selection.

Laminating pouches come pre-cut and are available in many sizes allowing you to easily laminate popular items such as photos, luggage tags, letters, menus and signs. Pouch laminators are sized based on their maximum laminating width, also known as the throat size of the laminator. Therefore, the shortest side of the laminating pouch should not exceed the throat size of your laminator. See pouch selection.

As their name implies, roll laminators use rolls of laminating film instead of pre-cut sheets. The rolls come in fixed widths and the width of the roll of film cannot exceed the width of the rollers on your laminator. Choosing the right size laminating film roll is a little trickier than just knowing the maximum laminating width of your laminator, you also need to know the diameter of the rollers on your laminator; this diameter corresponds to the "core size" of the laminating film roll. Most personal and school-use laminators use laminating film with a 1" core size; while larger production laminators often use film with a 2.25" or 3" core size (please refer to your owner's manual for laminator specifications). See Laminating Film Selection.

The question to ask is "How much exposure and/or handling will the laminated material receive?" The thickness of the film has a direct relationship to the rigidity of the finished product and to the degree of protection that the lamination process provides:

1.5 mil to 3 mil film
Preserves and protects important documents from spills, wear and tear and makes clean up of smears and smudges a breeze. Provides a light covering that allows for a lot of flexibility in the finished product; minimal rigidity. Used extensively by schools.

5 mil film
Provides long-term protection from water, wind, or sun; prevents papers from creasing and tearing. Medium weight coverage has a good degree of rigidity but still has some flexibility. This mil is ideal for photos and business cards.

7 mil to 10 mil film
Heavy weight coverage that provides maximum rigidity and maximum protection. Great for menus, luggage tags, ID cards and items that are handled on a regular basis. Standard thickness for laminating pouches are 3 mil*, 5 mil, 7 mil and 10mil. Roll film can normally be found in 1.5 mil, 3 mil, 5 mil and 10 mil. Other mil sizes may be available by special request.

*A mil is a unit of measurement that is equal to 1/1000 of an inch (0.0254 mm)