Thursday, July 2, 2015

Perfect Gold Foil! Minc Vs. Laminator

If you know me, you'll know that I can be a little obsessive. I have been wanting to start foiling for a while now and I was torn about whether or not I should buy Heidi Swapp's Minc machine, or go with a "cheaper" lamination machine, which supposedly works just as well. After lots of video watching I decided to try to save some money.
I am already used to messing around with toner from working with my Gocco. I think people should know that it's not exactly easy to just find a copier that uses toner these days. I know that my local copy place does not use toner anymore, just FYI. For me buying a laser printer is a no brainer because I will be using it for multiple things. I actually had an old one is storage but the ink is no longer made, so I decided to upgrade to a Brother laser printer.
I started out ordering a Swingline laminator, and the results were not great. Anything that is worth showing for this test was laminated after I let the thing heat up for at least an hour. It still definitely worked, I just wanted it to be perfect, the black spots sticking out really bugged me. 
Why aren't you solid???
It seemed like there was a lot of room for error, and I couldn't help obsessing over pinterest pictures where the gold foil was perfect. Running it through the laminator 3-4 times, waiting that long for it to heat up all for mediocre results just wasn't good enough, and it looked like all laminators pretty much worked the same, unless they were expensive. After watching lots of Youtube videos, I decided to run out and buy a Minc machine, and after seeing that there were a couple at my local Joanns. And guess what, it was on clearance for $89.99!
Since the Minc came with some sample foil, I was able to test my results with both the Minc foil, and the art deco foil. Overall I think both foils are pretty much the same in terms of quality. It seems like the red has better coverage than the blue for some reason, the red was able to adhere much more while the blue had a good amount of problems.
Using the Swingline, after letting it heat up for an hour.
 The red looks all right, but...
The trouble with the blue really stood out for me.
 They're still cute, just not perfect.
 Another using Kraft paper and the Laminator. I just can't stand the spots. 

And here is the first attempt with the Minc! Not bad fpr a first try.
 Results with Minc, same foil and paper.
Still one tiny flaw, not sure why, but looks way smoother! This was on setting 3, I think if you're using card stock, just go ahead and go up to 5.
After only spending 10 minutes with the Minc, it was clear who the winner was. The Minc had results that were infinitely superior to what the laminator could do. I tried making a few pages for my planner (planner accessories coming soon!), and wanted to try a bunch of different papers besides plain white. I was most excited to try to foil kraft paper, in my head it looked so neat.
Success!! It came out perfectly, with minimal effort! No waiting for it to heat up for hours, no sending it through multiple times.
 Look how pretty the red is!
 From my coral collection :)
So pretty!
I am just amazed at how different the results are from the laminator, the pictures really don't do it justice.
Considering the Laminator was around $30 (which is getting returned), I feel like the Minc is worth the extra money. The time and foil that will be saved from eliminating errors with the Minc is definitely worth it, especially if you want to make high volumes of prints, like I want to do. It was also nice that some foil came with the Minc so that I could test it out without buying more products.

Tips/Verdict:

Use the smoothest paper you can find
Make sure your settings on your printer output the most toner possible (highest dpi/quality)
Minc: Worth it
"Cheap" Laminator: Worth it if you're not a perfectionist
Art Deco Foil: just as good as Heidi Swapp foil
Minc Foil: Wonderful!

Here is my list of materials:
White Paper
Kraft paper (on sale for super cheap at Michaels right now):

Black paper
Deco Foil 
and the winner: MINC
If you want to make any of my posters with foil, you can buy them from my shop in high resolution:
Peacock Feather Poster
 My peacock Feather design came from my Silhouette store
The Wild & Free Poster 
The Coral print design was used from my coral collection here

But since I'm sure y'all would like to try this without buying MORE stuff, I'm posting my designs that I used for the coral print and the Wild & Free print, the size of the artwork is about 2 x 2', perfect for a small print, and you can get 2 on one 8.5 x 11 page.


Print them out in black, and foil them up! Have fun! Hope this helps with some decision making. :)

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting. Definitely been debating between laminator and minc and this has helped me make my mind up that I'll go with the Minc. Any analysis on how well the MINC laminates?

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    Replies
    1. Hello Erica...don't be fooled, the Minc is a "pretty" laminator and nothing more...it is more appealing to they eye than conventional laminators but at the end of the day it is a laminator... I am a foils specialist been involved in the industry for over 35 years, I recently bought a Minc to evaluate it....I stripped it down and found the inner working components are no different to other MADE IN CHINA laminators - plastic drive gears, small motor - standard stuff...the only advantage the Minc may have is that it has the ability to adjust temperature which many entry level machines don't have {like purple cows}....I have the same laminator MADE IN CHINA, same body, same workings inside but it is not branded Purle cows brand worked perfectly...check out my facebook page Specialised Printing Products & Techniques {Specialised with an S NOT A z}

      Hope this helps
      Dr G - THE FOIL SPECIALIST {OVER 35 YEARS EXPERIENCE}

      Delete
    2. Hello Erica...don't be fooled, the Minc is a "pretty" laminator and nothing more...it is more appealing to they eye than conventional laminators but at the end of the day it is a laminator... I am a foils specialist been involved in the industry for over 35 years, I recently bought a Minc to evaluate it....I stripped it down and found the inner working components are no different to other MADE IN CHINA laminators - plastic drive gears, small motor - standard stuff...the only advantage the Minc may have is that it has the ability to adjust temperature which many entry level machines don't have {like purple cows}....I have the same laminator MADE IN CHINA, same body, same workings inside but it is not branded Purle cows brand worked perfectly...check out my facebook page Specialised Printing Products & Techniques {Specialised with an S NOT A z}

      Hope this helps
      Dr G - THE FOIL SPECIALIST {OVER 35 YEARS EXPERIENCE}

      Delete
  2. How are you printing on black paper? I don't own printer so I went to my local print shop and they said they can't print on black paper because the printer won't 'see' the paper. I want to print on black paper with toner so I can laminate foil onto it at home myself. Hope you can hep!

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    Replies
    1. Use a laser printer at home. I print on black paper all the time. I think the reason why they don't print black ink on black paper for you is because it would be too hard to quality check.

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  3. Well I can tell you now the reason why you had less than stellar results with a regular laminator is because of the paper you used. I would NOT recommend Recollections paper for foiling. It is just barely a step above using construction paper in my opinion. I would use SMOOTH cover stock paper like Hammerhill Color Copy and possibly WorldWin Paper Colormates. I have a $20 laminator from Amazon that works perfectly with the right paper. I am sure Minc is amazing, however you can still achieve great results if you cannot afford the high-end machine or if you don't plan on doing enough projects to justify the cost.

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  4. Hi!! I was wondering if the minc foil would work on a laminator that wasn't minc? On my minc foil case it says it needs to be used with the minc laminator?? Does anyone know if this is necessarily true?

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  5. Hi there,

    Thanks so much for this review and all the info. I started foiling a few months ago and am experiencing the exact same issues you had with the swingline as that is the same laminator I have. Since Im starting to laminate more, I think its probably worth it for me to invest in the mind laminator since its prolonged the process for me a lot when I need to let the laminator heat up and run it through multiple times. Thanks again!

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  6. Thank you for your post and excellent comparison. I was wondering of the Minc might be worth the extra dough. I have a cheepo laminator and wasn't thrilled with the results. A Minc may be in my future

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  7. I'm curious about the foil itself. Does anyone know if you can use the Minc foil with a thermal laminator? Also, can you use Minc foil with adhesives without the laminator? Thanks.

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  8. Wow, the designs are very unique and beautiful. I love the color choices and the different prints that the artists have used. I wish the author could have included the stores from which the designs can be bought. Nevertheless, we appreciate for sharing the amazing designs with us and if you need article and content writing services don not hesitate to hire our professional US Dissertation Writers.

    ReplyDelete