“ Brand: WHSmith / Type: Laminator „
I had been looking for a laminating machine for a while as I needed it for some items I was using for a study as part of a college assignment, but they seemed to be far too expensive for my liking, luckily I came across this product quite cheap.
I had a few doubts about purchasing the WH Smith product as I previously had the same machine but A3 which did not work from the off, the paper in the laminating pouch went into the machine, but never came out again.
I'm glad I took the risk. The machine takes only a few minutes to warm up, and is soon ready to go, quickly sealing documents perfectly without marks and bubbles which could ruin the documents.
I was very pleased with the results of the machine especially for the price it had cost.
Thankfully The machine was easy to use,with clear instructions and lights that indicate when the machine is ready for use which helped.
I remember a time when such gadgets as laminators would have been far too expensive for me to have even thought of buying. I had always wanted one, ever since I had had to use one at my very first job in an office and I remember always volunteering to be the one to operate the machine, I was completely amazed at the machine and how it worked and the end result it provided. Granted, the machine we used was an industrial sized one, big noisy and used a lot, and probably cost mega bucks, but it just goes to show how times change and these are now readily available in shops on the High Street for anyone to buy at rock bottom prices.
Years went by, I left that job and had many others in between, but I had never lost my secret yearning for my very own laminator which I would be able to keep in my own house and use whenever the fancy took me. They were stil very expensie thoug, at least the decent ones were, but over the past few years I have seen more and more being produced and some of them have been really affordable. LIke everything else I suppose, really.
I thoroughly researched different sorts, makes and models before I decided which one I was going to go for. Regular readers of my reviews will know that I do love my gadgets and am almost a hoarder of them, you could say, but I like to make sure I get very good value for money before I part with my hard earned cash. This WHSmith A4 Laminator was retailing for around £15 for quite a considerable amount of time before I decided to buy it, but once I had made the decision, after careful consideration and much discussion with my other half, I went to buy it and found that it had actually been reduced in price by less than half of its original price and it was now selling at just £7. At this price I was certainly not going to be put off and I grabbed it with both hands and eagerly took it home to try it out.
I was actually so excited by the whole thing that I opened the cardboard box in the multi storey car park and had to read the excellent instruction manual from start to finish before I had even started the car to drive home with it. It does have a very good instruction manual actually and I do like to read the instructions of all of my gadgets very thoroughly before I start to use them. I also keep them safe in my special place just in case the gadget does not live up to my expectations and I decide to sell it on later - as they always sell better if you hang onto the intructions - and the gurantee of course!
The WHSmith A4 Laminator was very well pacakged and neatly stored in a very sturdy pale blue cardboard box with a picture of the exact same lamintor on the front and the familiar WH Smith logo. I got home and plugged it into the wall straight away even though I had nothing in mind I particularly wanted to laminate at the time - I was just wanting to see how long it took to heat up and be ready for use. I had read some very good reviews on this particular laminator before I bought it and I wanted to see if it lived up to my expectations.
As soon as I plugged it into the wall I could see a bright red LED light on the front which told me that the power was switched on. I had to flick the black switch on at the side of the laminator before hand though and after plugging it into the wall. This button is situated on the right hand side of the gadget and easily switches both on and off. After a very impressively short period of time, I would say less than half a minute, another red LED light became apparent beside the original one. This indicated that the laminator was now fully heated and ready for use - exactly as the instructions had said would happen - I was very pleased.
I was also very pleased with the fact that the WHSmith A4 Laminator is so lightweight and compact and did not appear to be bulky or at all cumbersome in any way. Although it is extremely lightweight and compact it is still incredibely sturdy and you can really tell it is a high quality machine that wis obviously made to last a long time and do a good job. Both me and my othe rhalf love the fact that it looks so stylish and sleek and because it is not too big it does not take up too much space on the worksurface (or the computer table in my basement in my case, as that is where it is currently stored). It is also very easy to just pop into a cupboard or place onto a shelf after you have finished using it as it is not at all bulky and does not need a great deal of storage space.
Anway, I digress, I could talk about this WHSmith A4 Laminator for hours I just love it so much and it is very easy to wander off the point and talk about how good looking and stylish it is when in fact what you really want and need to know is just how well it works, right?
The first thing I decided I would laminate was a drawing our little lad had brought back from school earlier in the week and we had stuck to the fridge door. It was his pride and joy and I was a little bit worried that I might damage it seeing as it was the first thing I was laminating. However, as I have used laminators in the past and I knew I had read the good instruction manual properly, I was fairly confident that I couldn't really do anything too wrong with his drawing.
I then realised that the laminator did not actually come with any of the plastic pouches which you need to use - daft as I was, I had been so excited about buying the WHSmith A4 Laminator I had completely forgotten that I would need some. Off I went back to WH Smiths to buy some (very expensive, I have to say) plastic pouches and brought them back home and started all over again at switching the machine on and waiting for it to start to heat up.
It took only thirty seconds again and I was ready to go! The little lad's drawing went in through the laminating rollers and slowly but sureley came out the back of the machine in one perfectly laminated piece. I was very impressed that as this was my first go there was not even one bubble. I have laminated several things since this day and on the odd occasion I have actually got bubbles (usually if I am in a hurry) but I find this is usually very easily remedied by simply inserting a fine needle or pin into the centre of the bubble and then it just pops out and disappears - simple as that!
When the little lad got back home that night after schhol he immediately noticed his picture had gone fro the fridge and he asked me where it was. I proudly showed him what I had done with it and he squealed in delight! He was especially impressed because I explained to him that he could not use his picture as a placemat and put his plate on it at tea time and other meal times at the table with me and his mum. He was so excited at this iidea and insisted he drew another load of (very hurried drawings) and we could use them as placemats for me and his mum - he also wanted o make coasters but we still haven't got around to this yet!
I was impressed that the sides were so well sealed and did not come apart even after using his placemat religiously at every single meal time he sits at our kitchen table. he has shown his friends to and we have spent many a happy half hour making them for his friends to take home with them when they hae been around to play after school.
We have not stopped at placemats - we have since progressed to bookmarks - we have more of them than I can count and he likes to make them as presents for his grandma after he has drawn them onto his paper. The only downside of this gadget, I think, and even then it is not the gadget at fault, is the high price of the plastic puches that you have to use. I would very strongly advise that if you need to buy some that you do not buy them from WH Smith as they are so incredibly expensive from there and you ca find them much cheaper elsewher if you take the time to just have a look around. I bought mine from Ebay on Buy I Now and I got some decent quality ones for less than five pounds for two hundred of them, which is a hell of a lot cheaper than you would fork out if you went to WH Smith's for them!
Most weekends if it is raining I will be seen sitting in my basement (sometimes with my little lad) laminating all our stuff, just for the fun of it and tosee what it looks like when it comes out. Me and my other half think it is a fantastic way of preserving things the little lad has drawn as they will not get polits and can be easily kept clean, ulike normal sheets of paper which tend to go brown and just deteriorate over time. I have also made signs for around the house - such as BATHROOM on the loo door and NO SMOKING signs for inside the car in case I give a work mate a lift home one night and it saves me the embarrasment of having to ask them not to smoke inside my car.
There is nothing really more positive I can say about this little gadget except that it is exceptionally good value for money. It is obviously long lasting and it looks black sleek and stylish as it stands by my computer waorkstation and looks impressive and as though it cost a lot more money than it actually did. I am so pleased we decided to buy it and I think it is a great little tool for keeping and preserving things - even treasured photographs of family and friends.
Certainly has to be recommended.
When you want to keep hold of something you've printed on paper - perhaps something you have to refer to often, or something you photocopy a lot, so you need a master copy that doesn't get damaged, a laminator is ideal - and you can get some really convenient, portable ones that are easy to use and do a good job without taking up too much space. This is one of those products, and I was surprised by how effective it is - it's so small and thin it doesn't look like it has enough to do the job, but it's actually very effective, and is an ideal office tool. You also need laminator pouches to go with it, which can be bought separately.
-ooo- The Product -ooo-
The design of the laminator from WH Smith is very simple - it is just one beam with a space for feeding in documents, which are heated as they pass through. You plug it in and switch it on, then wait for it to heat up enough before you pass the paper through inside a plastic pocket. It does get very hot, which is good for the job you want it to do, but it does mean you also have to be quite careful when you use it, and you have to make sure it's turned off after using it.
When you're not using it, the laminator can be put away in the box it comes with. It also comes with the cable you need to connect it to the plug and instructions.
-ooo- Would I Recommend? -ooo-
I think this is a really useful tool, and a must-have for every office. What is really impressive is how it does the job so well despite its size. It really does produce good quality documents - the plastic sticks really well to the paper, and the heat creates something really solid and strong that you can re-use again and again. It's also easy to cut the laminated paper to the right size afterwards.
It's not difficult to feed the paper in - if you hold it at the gap, it will take it in and move the paper through, binding it to the plastic. I think this is a safe product as long as you don't leave it plugged in, as the heat is produced inside the machine. It also looks good, and is quite stylish, so looks good on the side or on the desk.
Overall, I think this is a well designed product at a reasonable price - you can really get some good use from the product. I don't know how long lasting it is, as I've only had it for a while, but at the price I think it's still good value.
==WH Smiths A4 Laminator==
I have to admit to having a slight fetish when it comes to stationary and the like. It has always been the case ever since school and I find there is nothing more exciting than buying a brand new notepad or a nice new fountain pen. This is quite a common fetish apparently although I have yet to meet anyone who actually admits to it.
This laminator was really something that was bought on a spur of the moment rather than needing it for a purpose. Of course now that I have had it a good while I really couldn't' see how I ever did without it!
At the time I bought it, it was on a special offer at half price meaning that the RRP which was £14.99p was reduced down to a brilliant price of just £7.49p and this was the main reason for me snapping it up as I was perusing all the shelves of WHSmith in a lusty state.
The laminator didn't actually come with any of the plastic pocket sheets which you do need to create the laminated A$ page and they were way too expensive in WHSmith to buy them from there so at first I "borrowed" a few from the works laminator to a few items which I know would benefit forma plastic covering and then I eventually found a cheap site online where I picked up a job lot of the sheets for a little bit under £10. This is a great deal when the WHSmith version was a little under £10 but only had 50 of the plastic pockets in!
The WHSmith laminator works quickly, efficiently and effectively. The item looks very sleek with its all black design and the fact that it is fairly small too is brilliant because it means that it doesn't take up too much space in my storage cupboard and is easily unpacked and then packed away again.
Once plugged in to the mains and turned on, the laminator needs switching on with a little flip button at the right hand side of the machine. This is easily flicked but feels nice and sturdy and will last a good deal of time. Once the machine is one there will be a little LED light on the front of the laminator which glows red to indicate that the power is on and that it is heating up. After around 3 minutes or so the laminator will be at the right temperature to use and this red LED will be joined by a second LED light which shows that the product is ready for use.
The workings of the machine are all held inside the machine and although the top of the laminator will get slightly hot this is not overly dangerous and still acceptable to touch with bare hands. There are rollers inside the laminator which suck the A4 paper (covered with the plastic pocket covering) into the laminator and slowly heat it up and pass the sheet out through the back all neatly pressed and encased tightly within the plastic casing.
The machine works very fast and exceptionally well. It will do a whole host of things as long as they are in this plastic sheet. I have been doing a lot of dried pressed flowers in the plastic coverings and this makes for nice bookmarks and great gifts that Jack really likes helping me with and all in all this really was an item that I can't see myself living without now that we have had it for such a good amount of time.
Not only is it small and easy to store but the affordable price tag and the fact that it is a great little household item make it a great purchase for anyone!
I think a top score of 5 out of 5 stars and a very high recommendation is well deserved!
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you.
This WHSmith laminator retails for around £25 online and in larger WHSmith stores, though recently it has been on offer for close to £14. We bought it to replace our previous model which managed to 'eat' a small item that was being laminated, and therefore jam the system. We had to throw it and buy a new one as there was no way to open the laminator up and remove the jam! It was our fault though, as the item we'd fed into the machine was far too small. As we'd been happy with the item prior to this, and had used it a lot during the eighteen months in which we'd owned it, we decided we'd just go with another WHSmith one - and so we purchased this updated version last month.
Getting this set up was easy and there wasn't a lot to do besides take it out of the box, unwind the plug cord, and plug it in. There was no assembly required and no fiddly bits to insert here and there. The laminator is plain black colour, despite the photo showing it as being white! It looks smart sat alongside other items of office equipment, though we tend to keep it in a drawer when not in use as this ensures it remains dust-free and doesn't fall victim to enquiring little hands...
To use the lamintor, you need to purchase some laminating pouches (sold seperately) in A4 size or smaller. Don't make the mistake we did and try to laminate a very tiny item - it could get jammed! Stick to A4 and A5. Place the item to be laminated (paper or thin card) into the pouch, turn the laminator on at the front using the on/off switch, and when the green light signals to say that the machine is warm enough, gently feed the item to be laminated into the laminator. It takes around three or four minutes to warm up, and you can just flick the switch on and wander off to get a cup of tea, or start putting your items into pouches while you wait. Once it's warmed up, it'll keep re-warming between items fairly quickly (about thirty seconds each time) so you can get lots of items laminated fairly quickly in a single session.
There's a smooth, slow moving roller inside which will carry the item through and laminate it with internal heat as it goes. You need to hover while the machine is working and keep the item straight when it first goes in, and catch it to keep it straight when it comes out the other side. There's no tray attached to this to keep it straight for you, and if you let the machine feed it through without supporting it on the other side, you may find your item sets floppy. You'd think that for an extra few quid they could have put a tray on it really! In fairness though, this is clearly designed to be used at home for light use. If you want to churn out a high volume of items, I would think you'd invest in something higher up the price range. We use this for visual aids for our autistic grandson, and it's also good for kid's crafts like placemats, coasters and badges.
Most importantly, this is a very effective laminator. Items tend to only need to be fed through the machine once, though some thicker items may need to go through again. Items remain sealed and we've got visual aids that we laminated over a year ago using the previous model that are still going strong. This newer model looks a little different but works in exactly the same way, so I'm confident we will get the same long-lasting results with this one - time will tell. So far, items have come out looking good and feeling solid, providing we support them as they exit the machine.
All in all this is a four star item taking the offer price into account (I've never actually seen it sold for the full price). It's cheap, effective, fairly quick and very easy to use. It gives good results and my only gripe is a lack of a tray to receive the laminated items on as they exit the machine. Though our last one jammed after about a year and a half of use, this was down to user fault! I have faith that when properly used, our replacement will live and work well for years to come.