The reason for this blog post is to familiarise you with the type of printer, paper and laminator I use for our printable activities. I have had a number of people asking me the above and I thought I may as well put all the details together in one post. I hope this proves useful and the devices and materials are easily accessible to you all.
For as long as I can remember i have used HP as my choice of printer. The ink is reasonable and fairly economical. The printer setup is easy and user-friendly and troubleshooting is a breeze. I have changed my printer 3 times in the past 11 years. But i have always opted for HP each and every time I needed to replace my printer.
The 1st model i purchased was the HP4500 Officejet series around 10 years ago, with multiple functions: print, copy, scan and fax. It worked wonderfully until the introduction of Windows 10. Unfortunately the software was not compatible for this HP printer. However i have still kept the unit and i use it to do all our photocopying.
The 2nd model i purchased in 2015 when i upgraded my version of windows to Windows 10 was the HP4624 Officejet. This model also offered printing, copying, scanning and faxing and in addition to that could be wifi enabled for wireless printing(i didnt use this feature much but on the odd occasion it was useful). This printer was by far an absolutely worth it investment for me. The print quality was great on both normal and photo paper. To my disadvantage i had forgotten to unplug my printer and it was struck by lightning causing the hardware to fry become useless. However i would definitely recommend this model to anyone for home use. (Please remember to turn off your main switch though and unplug if possible)
The most recent model i purchased (to replace my lightning-struck model) is the HP2135 which offers print, copy and scan features. I hardly ever used the fax in previous models so it wasn’t an absolute must for me. I have found this printer to be the most ink-economical and has printed a number of great quality prints exceeding the expected amount per cartridge. Wonderful for home use. The only downfall is that it does not have a number grid so only one photocopy can be made at a time and not multiple. For us this hasn’t been too much of a problem since we do have an alternate copier but for those of you who may need to make multiple copies, you will find yourself standing longer than normal in front of your machine and pressing the copy button each time you need a copy printed. It is also not wifi enabled for those of you preferring wireless printing or printing directly from tablet or smartphone. Otherwise a great purchase. I got ours from Dionwired. Also available from Game stores nationwide. HP ink is available at great deals from HP Shop
The paper / cardstock i use varies depending on what i am printing. There are 4 main thickness i use 80gsm, 160gsm, 200gsm and 240gsm as follows.
80gsm for general day-to-day printing i use Typek all purpose paper. Our day-to-day printing includes: essays, school assignments, speeches, origami patterns, coloring pages etc
160gsm for certificates, to print out cutting pictures for my toddler(this is normal everyday cardboard and offers easier handling for tiny hands to cut) and speech cards.
200gsm can also be used for certificates, printable playdough mats(which are then laminated, using a thicker cardstock will make it nice and sturdy), gift tags, painting esp for watercolours which tends to turn thinner cardboard or paper into mush.
240gsm i started using this thuckness more recently for some of my toddler printable activities. After being laminated it is extremely sturdy and works really well for printed puzzles,wipe clean board activities, playdough mats, and generally anythin that requires a more sturdy board.
All the above paper types are available at Waltons
My choice of laminator is the Fellowes Mars A4 Laminator. This brand also has the A3 Laminator and is best used with Fellowes Laminating Pouches.
Both the laminator and pouches are available online Takealot or instore at PNA stores nationwide.
There are varieties of pouches available in different brands and thickness depending on the use you require it for. Because i adjust the thickness of my paper/cardboard i have come to notice that i can use the 80gsm pouches to do all my laminating . If however you print on everyday 80gsm paper only then i suggest using a thicker laminating pouch to increase sturdiness.
I also have tested a number of brands of pouches and i still prefer Fellowes.
The A4 size laminator accepts all sizes of pouches A4 and smaller.