A GBC laminator is a device made by the General Binding Corporation that's used to coat a document or piece of fabric in plastic, on one side or both. Laminators can also be used to mount a document on a piece of wood or metal through a process called overlaminating. There are a wide variety of laminators on the market, which range in price from around $100 to about $10,000.
In order to identify which of the GBC laminators is best suited to a task, there are a couple of key questions that must be answered. The first is the question of what sort of material needs to be laminated. If the intention is to overlaminate on a thicker material such as wood, a laminator large enough to handle the job must be purchased.
The second question relates to the size of the objects to be laminated. GBC laminators can be used for a variety of sizes, from the size of a credit card to that of a large poster. Different types of laminators are appropriate for different jobs. For bigger jobs, a GBC roll laminator is probably the best choice, as large items won't fit into pouch-style laminators.
The third issue to consider is how often the laminator will be used. If it will be used to laminate several times per day, it's important to get a laminator that will last a long time. If the laminator is intended for home office use only once or twice a day, then many of the more basic GBC laminators should suffice.
There are two primary types of GBC laminators most commonly used. Pouch laminators are the smallest types, suited for use on a desk or table for laminating ID cards, documents or small signs. They can laminate documents up to 20 inches on a side. GBC roll laminators are made for use with larger articles, up to 60 inches long. Some high-end roll laminators are in a constant state of motion, laminating up to 20 feet of material a minute. Roll laminators work by feeding a document into a tray, where the pre-heated laminate is rolled over it.