Printing stickers for your brand is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and one of the fastest ways to gain cost-efficient exposure. However, clever marketing tactics require efficient cost-effective tools, and here’s everything you need to know before launching your new sticker selection.
Best standard printers that make stickers
Using a standard PC printer to print your stickers is only helpful if printing 10 to 20 stickers that include little detail. In other words, if your design is colorful and complicated, printing stickers will almost instantly drain your toner supply.
The Canon Primax Pro-200 inkjet printer offers high-resolution fast printing with a wide format design targeted towards those seeking the best output for graphic and artistic purposes. It features large-capacity ink tanks suitable for printing A3 and A4 portrait posters.
It can print sheets up to 44 inches wide and differentiates from other printers with its slim, compact design.
Despite its large ink tanks, its cartridges are still considered expensive compared to other industrial options, costing around $200 per set.
With regular office use, you can expect to replace ink cartridges every 4 to 6 months and more frequently if only printing high-quality stickers and photos.
A standard printer will consume abnormal amounts of ink, making the Epson Eco Tank ET-2750 one of the best economical options with excellent color accuracy, supporting ports for all major USB and SD cards, and a built-in scanner.
Unlike the Pixma Pro, the Epson Eco tank uses one divided cartridge-free tank that visually displays ink levels, enabling you to refill each of the 3 primary colors separately when needed.
Comparing both printers, the Cannon Pixma offers better quality, yet the Eco Tank ET-2750 produces stickers and high-resolution photos much faster.
When used for daily office use this printer can produce up to 6500 colored pages before needing a refill, generally lasting up to 18 to 24 months. The average cost per ink set ranges from $20.00 to $40.00.
Desktop Sticker printers
Desktop or All-in-one Sticker printers are the most convenient way to print stickers effortlessly. These machines lean more toward the crafty side of things than they are professional printers. Made for personal use and not optimal for mass production, here are some of the most popular unique Sticker Printers:
Beginner friendly and fast in printing and cutting out desired patterns; the whole process can take up to 2 to 5 minutes per design.
Its computer-aided trimming mechanism can cut through up to 4mm of paper and print up to 50 sheets of stickers or labels simultaneously before cooling down. With many moving parts and accessories, you can purchase the Cricut Explore Air 2 in a bundle or as a separate device.
The downsides of the Explorer Air 2 are its excessive noise and its use of infusible ink that inconveniences users seeking high-resolution, detailed results.
Famous for its cutting capabilities, this all-in-one machine is more expensive than the Explore air but has 10x the ability to cut and produce efficiently. Cricut claims this machine is designed for Pro-level DIY purposes, with commercial cutting-grade technology.
The Cricut Maker 3 can cut through over 300 different materials ranging from regular A4 paper to leather and cardboard.
Although it’s a better alternative to the Cricut Air 2, it utilizes the same graphic printing methods and is also sold in bundles of various materials.
The all-in-one printer is compatible with all smartphones and computers and prints graphic files such as (svg .jpg .png, .bmp .gif) through computer imports or external USBs and hard drives attachment.
Industrial Vinyl Sticker printers
Depending on the type of material used, you may need to invest in an external cutting unit if the device does not support a built-in mechanism.
Roland VersaStudio BN-20
The Roland BN-20 is an economical printer with long-lasting CMKY ink and a built-in auto pattern detector cutting mechanism.
The maximum printing size of the VersaStudio BN-20 is an A2 sheet or 480 mm wide and cutting blades that can cut through over 30cm of cardboard.
Overall, the Roland BN-20 is your best economic option. Still, it is relatively slow, taking almost x3 times the time of the Mutoh VJ628 to perform the same task. Check out the video for a detailed comparison of both printers.
Mutoh ValueJet 628
The Mutoh VJ628 is the fastest all-in-1 sticker printing machine on this list and will produce up to 423 sqft of stickers per hour and automatically cut them following your commands.
At the same cost as the Roland BN20, the Mutoh ValueJet 628 is one of the most popular options for professional vinyl printing shops.
Able to produce everything from regular black and white paper prints to backlight lit signage, this is your overall best option for printing all kinds of detailed stickers at the least cost possible.
Priced at $6700, it can print sheets up to 680 mm wide and 1.3 mm thick at the high quality of 720 x 1080 HD pixels. Although it is a hefty investment, ink cartridges for the printer cost less than $50.00 and are replaced only once to twice a year.
Industrial VS Desktop Printer
You can find the best sticker printer depending on the number of stickers and how often you want to print. Industrial printers are more cost-efficient and will save you the hassle of paying more long-term, but they require an up-front investment of at least $5000.
On the other hand, desktop printers are compact devices that offer an all-in-one convenience and print anywhere from 100 to 200 stickers before replacing ink tanks. Everything from printing to cutting tools is provided in a bundle you can purchase through Amazon or the company’s official site, but it will require separate purchases later.
Expect to buy cutting sheets, lamination sheets, blades, and more when choosing the all-in-one desktop option.
What to look for in the best printer for making Stickers?
The materials used are the most critical aspect of choosing the right printer.
All-in-one and desktop printers are more efficient if you create stickers for personal use, while mass production and business/branding require an industrial printer.
To sum everything up, when investing in a sticker printer, you will either purchase a cheap printer with expensive ink or a costly printer with cheap ink.
Additionally, if you want to print stickers only once or twice a year, head to your local printing shop and save yourself the money and time spent on inevitable learning curves. A high-quality vinyl sticker costs anywhere from $0.10 to $0.25 per piece.