Before I begin, I'd like to clarify a few points about which Ciao seems to (as usual) be slightly confused. This is a LAMINATOR not a PRINTER,
and as such, the specific criteria regarding Printing speed, Colour sensitivity,
and Picture quality
are probably irrelevant. I have rated these as average and satisfactory merely for convenience. I have never had a problem since purchase in 2004, so I have not contacted the Manufacturer for support. I have no reason to mistrust their support, and the enclosed instructions were clear and straightforward (I laminated the single A4 sheet for reference, of course!).
Rexel LV-250HS A4 Laminator
Reasons for Purchase
I have often wanted to preserve individual pictures and pieces of artwork: both my own, and my children's original faltering efforts. You could buy clear sticky plastic film (such as we used to buy to cover textbooks), or go to somewhere where they will laminate a single A4 sheet (for a price!) such as a stationers shop or a library. Obviously, laminating was both more permanent and more attractive. It was expensive, however. I seem to remember paying 30p - 50p per sheet at the library or £1 at a specialised shop.
- Project work for college needed to be durable for display, and projected costs were mounting.
- I was designing some display work for the Redditch Branch of the Talking News. Laminating the display sheets would make the display look much more professional.
- There was an offer in the (2004) Viking Direct Catalogue for this Rexel LV-250HS A4 Laminator free with the purchase of 3 packs of A4 Laminating Pockets.
The Free Offer was the Deciding Point
I could anticipate laminating between 50 to 100 A4 sheets with my current projects. At between £55 - £60 for three packs of laminating pockets (including VAT) you could re-adjust the cost thus:
- One Rexel LV-250HS A4 Laminator (RRP £89.99) for £60
- 300 A4 gloss laminating pockets ~ 150 micron (75+75) FREE
- At £1 / laminated document laminated elsewhere, after laminating 60 sheets your laminator has paid for itself.
- You can laminate anything you want without having to make a specific journey to have it done.
I ordered from Viking Direct, and it arrived the next day, a 'signed for' delivery.
The Main delivery box contained three boxes of laminating pockets and the laminator, It was packed in a firm glossy box with a picture of the laminator on the outside with instructions for use on a single A4 sheet (which I promptly laminated! once it was set up) which were clear and included illustrations which were self-explanatory. I had no difficulties in setting up the machine for the first time, and I subsequently purchased a plastic stand with drawers/sliding shelves on eBay in order to store laminating pockets and badges of different sizes and types under the laminator, and have the laminator in a stable level position at the right height for use.
Easy to Use
There is a dial which you set to the correct heat setting according to the thickness of the laminating pouch (in microns) with a slightly higher setting if you are laminating thicker material or slightly lower for very thin items. If you are merely enclosing something in adhesive and wish to exclude air bubbles, there is a cold setting for which you need only turn the laminator on using the rocker on-off switch at the front on the top of the machine at the right hand side. There are two lights: a little red light which indicates power on, and a little light which is green when the machine has come up to the correct heat setting. It takes about 5-7 minutes for the laminator to reach an appropriate temperature for most laminating.
It is better to start at a slightly lower temperature if you are uncertain than to risk damaging your document.
I have only used 'glossy' laminating pouches, although you can get pouches which have a Matte
finish or which have a differently coloured backing sheet (red/green/silver/blue etcetera) depending on the effect you desire. When I have used a temperature which is insufficient (usually because I am laminating a slightly heavier grade of paper than usual), the finished product is slightly cloudy looking, as the plastic has not properly melted into the laminated object. It does not take much time to gradually move the dial to a higher heat setting; the green light comes back on almost immediately. Putting the item back through the laminator at a slightly higher heat should give you a clear shiny professional looking result.
I recently laminated a thin piece of material cut into the shape of my hand and similarly thin material spelling out my name. Although the heat setting was technically correct, the thinness of the material meant that the finished lamination had ripples due to being too hot. Were the laminator a 'single heat' model such as the Fellowes Mars A4, you would need to use a 'carrier' (a thin piece of card on which you place the laminating pocket) to ensure you did not overheat such a 'project' when laminating. Because this Rexel LV-250HS A4 laminator has variable heat settings, there should be no need for a 'carrier' sheet when laminating, and it is easier to control your results with the heat penetrating evenly.
A laminated sheet can have a slight tendency to curl upwards due to the action of the rollers which propel it through the heating unit. This can be minimised or remedied by putting it through upside down either afterwards or in the first place, thus reversing any curl.
What I Thought
I have regularly laminated hundreds of items over the last six years, and have been thoroughly satisfied. It is still working very well, and the items laminated look as good as when they were first laminated. I particularly appreciate the variable heat settings, and occasionally pre-heat an item which I intend to laminate by putting it through the laminator (eliminating any wrinkles); this gives a better effect.
I can certainly recommend this laminator to anyone who is interested as it is still giving me good service.
Thanks for Reading!
© August 2010 . . . ♥jesi ♥
-------------------------------------------------------------- The current VikingDirect offer is for a Fellowes Mars A4 ~ an inferior machine.