“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Laminator „
=Tesco Value Laminator=
Since my daughter was little she's had certificates for different things from her ballet and tap through to headmaster awards for best behaviour, and first drawing, the memories that you keep in a box. Looking through them one day, I didn't want them hid away, but there is she wanted to look at them without the worry of sticky fingers.
=Tesco Value Laminator to the rescue=
I purchased mine in store for about £15, it is a Tesco own brand product and is available in store as well as from Tesco direct.
There was no laminator pouches included, I brought a box of 25 x A4 pouches and these were in the region of £2, again these were also a Value product.
=Using the Laminator=
The laminator runs from electricity, and has the cord built in, I found the cord to be quite short, and this can be a problem as I end up having to sit with the laminator on the bed.
From when you switch the laminator on it takes about 5 minutes to heat up, to identify this, this is when the light changes to green. If you do not wait for it to heat up it does not seal the document.
You put the item you want to laminate in the pouch, ensuring that the item is completely covered, if you have a piece of A4 paper, this gives a mm or two space around the edges. By leaving this border this is where the sealant sticks together.
You need to make sure that there are no wrinkles or creases in the paper before you insert it in to the laminator,
The laminator works slowly, it feels like it is only taking your document at a centimetre at a time, and when it comes through the other side, the document has been laminated and ready for use.
=Simple to use=
The laminator is simple to use but you do need to be careful as it gets hot, I have never had it overheat on me, but as generally the maximum items that I laminate at once is five items.
Once finished, the laminator needs to be cool before you can put it back into storage, (mine gets stored in the draw in the bed), I usually give it about 30 minutes for it to cool down.
This is a perfect introduction into the world of laminating, it is good value, simple to use and excellent value.
It comes with a 12 month guarantee.
I am required to use a laminator at work for various reasons and one problem I was having was, seeing as I had to leave the laminating until the end of the day for certificates etc, I was often staying 45 minutes late every night. So I decided to avoid this an investment in a laminator would be a good idea. I was asking around friends who worked in offices for recommendations and a colleague, who I trust to some degree, suggested the Tesco Value Laminator. After doing some additional research on the good old world wide web it seemed to be sensible purchase and paying £15 I have been happy with this.
The laminator is well constructed and is made of more solid materials than I would have thought for the money. Obviously what you are getting here is a very very basic design so do not expect something that will look expensive in your home/office. It is as basic as it gets. But does it do the job?
In terms of the quality of lamination and consistency it is good, providing a solid and firm lamination. I have complaints with the quality of this and have no issues in the way it has produced my laminated certificates and cards. In essence it has performed well.
The Laminator takes a while to get warm, I found around 4 minutes at first to warm up and now after months of use anywhere up to 7. It thus isn't as efficient as other brands but for the price it's a small price to pay. It will also only laminate A4 sheets which means anything else you need to laminate, anything bigger it wont do. Obviously you can cut the A4 if you desire smaller. It will handle most laminate card and I have used above the recommended 80 rank paper and it has worked fine!
It is slow to laminate which means if I was using this at work it would add to my day but seeing as how I bought this to be able to laminate at home I have no worries or issues with it. It takes an age but usually I am doing something else at the same time so its not too worrying. For business needs though and if working to deadlines this slow pace, so slow it grinds to a halt almost is really an issue you need to consider.
All in all for the price I cannot really complain as it provides a fine, tight and reliable coating of lamination to the paper, it works well gives a great added prestige to the document but works at a slow pace.
Also on CIAO
As a voracious reader and something of a bookaholic I buy a lot of books and even though I'm now the proud possessor of a Kindle, I still buy far too many. In order to feed my habit, once read I sell on many of them through various auction sites as well as Amazon Marketplace, Play. In order to encourage buyers to keep coming back for more and check out what else I have on offer, I always enclose a laminated bookmark which details on which sites I sell and my auction ID, as well as a contact email address. Originally I sent out a simple card bookmark but having received laminated compliments slips from other sellers, I decided to do something similar and started to look around for a cheap laminator. The one I eventually chose, mainly for its cheapness rather than its technical specification or abilities was the Tesco Value Laminator.
One of my Mum's favourite sayings was 'Buy cheap, buy twice' but that has certainly not been the case with this little gadget.
Price and availability
I bought my laminator a couple of years ago for around £8 and although they've risen considerably in price since then, at £14.97, plus Tesco Clubcard points, it's still something of a bargain. The laminator is available from out of town Tesco Superstores and also through Tesco Direct. There is a delivery charge for orders from Tesco Direct but there is also the option to 'Click and Collect' whereby you buy your item on line and then collect from a specified local Tesco store for free.
As a seasoned office worker, I'm pretty familiar with the workings of a laminator, albeit much larger and faster models than this one and as you'd expect, the Tesco machine doesn't come with all the bells and whistles that even the most basic office standard model possesses but it has certainly proved up to the job for which I bought it.
The technical specifications for this machine are blessedly short and relatively unscientific.
Maximum paper size: A4
Maximum pouch thickness: 80 microns
Warm up time: 3 minutes
Laminating time: 30 seconds
~ Appearance ~
As this is just about the most basic model of laminator it's possible to buy, it is a fairly unprepossessing looking piece of equipment. It's just over 12" wide and 4½" in depth with the on/off switch located at the side. On the front of the laminator are two lights, the power light and the ready light.
In front and underneath the feeder slot are markings denoting against which to line up each size of paper.
~ Extras ~
Of course, like all laminators of this type, there is the added expenditure of buying the laminating pouches and although the Tesco Value range no longer includes pouches suitable for use with this machine, they do sell packs of 25 Fellowes' 80 micron thickness pouches at a very reasonable £3.97 per pack. I should perhaps explain about microns. This is a unit of measurement used to gauge paper, or more correctly card, thickness; a micron being a millionth part of a metre. This machine is capable of laminating paper or card up to a thickness of 80 microns. I have laminated slightly thicker card than that and although the machine managed it eventually, it has to be said, it struggled slightly and laminating anything above the recommended thickness may result in the machine overheating and burning out.
~ Operation ~
Operating this machine is very simple. It's just a case of plug in, switch on, warm up, feed in, job done.
Describing the process is, in fact, a lot faster to type than the time it actually takes to do. This machine is pretty slow but for a home model, I've found it to be plenty fast enough.
As soon as the machine is plugged in and switched on, the red power light is activated and the machine begins to emit a low humming sound and there is also a very faint smell of hot plastic.
Once you have your paper or card to laminate, you will need to place this into a laminating pouch. These actually aren't pouches but double thickness plastic folded over on itself which can be fully opened up and the item to be laminated inserted. This can sometimes be more difficult than it seems because there is a certain amount of static in the plastic which makes getting things to sit squarely inside the pouch not as easy as one would expect. However, the machine takes 3 minutes to warm up which should give you plenty of time to get things right. If you intend to laminate items which are smaller than A4 size, such as compliments slips, it's advisable to cut this to size and then arrange within the pouch so that the laminator will create a seal around each item.
Once the green ready light comes on, it's time to feed your laminating pouch into the machine. Although this laminator is recommended for up to A4 paper, there is an additional marking 'LTR', which I assume stands for letter size and which takes up the entire feeder slot. I'm sure most people these days use only A4 paper but this additional width does at least allow some margin of error when feeding into the laminator slot.
Most high-end office laminators come with a feeder bed which allows the pouch to be lined up and fed in easily but not so this machine. It's necessary to hold the pouch and feed in carefully to ensure that the short end being fed in first is absolutely straight otherwise there is a strong possibility of the laminator running out of feeder space which will result in crumpling and mean all your efforts have been for nothing. Once the laminating process has begun, the pouch still needs to be held until a good third of it has been fed through and laminated, after which it's fine to let go and leave the machine to finish the process.
If everything has been done correctly, the results will be a neatly laminated piece of work.
I'm unsure of the amount of electricity that this equipment uses but as it gets very hot, I'm guessing the output is something like that produced by an iron so I strongly suggest preparing everything you need to laminate before hand and as soon as you've completed the task, switch off.
Since buying this laminator, I've found lots of other uses for it besides making bookmarks. It's ideal for covering my recipe cards because the laminated surface makes them wipe-clean, (a necessity when you're as messy a cook as me!) and I've also found it invaluable for making up plant labels for the garden as the laminate makes them far more durable and weatherproof. Parents of young children would also get plenty of use from this piece of equipment and would be able to immortalise their children's art work either to display at home or send to proud grandparents. I should add here, though it's probably unnecessary to do so, that children will be bound to want to have a go at this themselves and although I doubt they could trap their fingers or burn themselves badly on this laminator, they shouldn't be allowed to use this unsupervised.
All in all, I've found this cheap and cheerful laminator to be a very useful little gadget. It's myriad uses, coupled with the low price for both the laminator and suitable pouches, definitely make this a good investment.