Whether you’re printing promotional stickers or flyers or just trying to brighten up a space, stickers are a quick, easy and smart way of getting the job done. From printing labels to flyers to glow-in-the-dark stars for your walls, you can put your creativity to good use and design some cool stickers.
However, sometimes the colors we work so hard on to perfect on the computer screen end up looking totally different once they are printed. Despite countless different printer being available on the market, the best ones will be those that will print pretty much any kind of sticker and provide excellent print quality (or decent quality if your budget doesn’t allow for excellence).
You also need to consider some other factors like how often you’ll be printing stickers, what kind of paper you want to print on (such as a glossy or matte one) and whether the majority of your prints will be in color or black and white.
Depending on the nature of your work, if time is an issue, you’ll need to consider the ppm (pages per minute) of the printer- some printers can be as slow as to take more than a minute for a single page.
We’ve made the selection process easy for you by providing a review of the best printer for sticker printing and a few others that are almost just as good. We’ll cover all the basics including any negatives in the product so that you know exactly what you’re in for.
Stick around till the end where we cover all the essentials about printer buying and answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding printers for sticker printing.
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Best Printer for Sticker Printing - Reviews
The HP Officejet 3830 is a 4-in-1 printer, scanner, fax machine and photocopier that is used to produce high quality printouts on a budget.
This wireless printer can be synced with any smart device and print professional quality printouts in no time. A major standout feature in this printer is that it has a quiet mode in which it makes practically no noise at all making it ideal for office use and for home use if you don’t want to disturb anyone.
Apart from providing a high quality output, this printer is also compact and sleek looking and is a great addition to your work space.
Like pretty much all HP printers, this one also has the Dash replenishment feature where the printer keeps track of the ink level and will reorder it for you automatically. The scanner has ADF for up to 35 pages. The print speed varies based on the material being used and the complexity of the graphics being printed- 8.5 ppm for black and white printouts and 6 ppm for color print.
This silent printer is great if you need high quality printouts in a small amount. It is also alright for bulk printing because unlike other printers, this one has the option of signing up for the HP Instant Ink program which reduces ink wastage and the number of times you need to get refills.
Let us start off by pointing out that this printer is not specially designed for sticker printing but it is a very versatile printer that can help you print images and other graphics on a budget.
One of the main standout features about this printer, is that unlike most printers that use a combination of 4 cartridges (3 colored ones and a black one), this one uses 5 cartridges with an extra cartridge of black ink. This allows for greater color diversity.
Given the price point, this printer has a print speed of 15 imp (impressions per minute) for black and white and 10 imp for color printouts. It has a resolution of 4800x1200 dpi which is great for both text and graphics.
Another important aspect is the built-in wireless connectivity. Through the Bluetooth feature, you can print directly through the printer or through apps on your smart devices such as your mobile phone.
Combine this speed of printing with the built-in scanner and copier and you can perform all your tasks on a single device. The scanner has a resolution of 1200x2400 dpi which is pretty decent for personal use.
Probably the major drawback with this printer is that printing can be quite costly. Printing a single page can cost anywhere up to 5-15 cents (depending on whether you are using black or white sheets).
This printer is best suited for low volume, high quality sticker printouts. It is not ideal for large scale printing on a budget.
Like most printers with a continuous ink supply system, the Epson ET-2750 is designed for mass scale printing. It might not offer the best quality printouts but the printing costs is significantly lower than for some of the other models on this list that offer a sharper printout.
A black and white printout costs around 0.3 cents and a color print is a little less than a dollar. If you intend to print a large volume of stickers (such as for posters or labels), this is a great option.
You can buy bulk ink bottles to refill the tanks in the printer and print thousands of pages in just a few dollars. The print speed is somewhat slow- 4.8 ppm for color print. While we’re on the issues with this printer, the print and color quality is not the best, but remember, this printer is not designed for professional use.
Despite the low printing cost, the initial purchase cost is high so only get this one if you have to do a lot of bulk printing.
While it does have a built-in scanner, it doesn’t have ADF (automatic document feeder) and each page that needs to be scanned has to be fed manually. It does have Wi-Fi connectivity which is a plus.
This printer is great if you are printing labels and stickers on a large scale. Since the print quality isn’t anything to rave about, it is better suited for printing text and simpler, less detailed graphics.
This HP printer combines the 2 most important things you’re looking for- affordably and high-quality print. Within a matter of minutes, you can print multiple sheets and speed up your job.
The printer has 10ppm for black and white printouts and 7 ppm for color print. A major plus point is that any graphics you print will be very detailed and vibrant. There won’t be any smudging during printing.
The printer has a touch screen display to make your printing job even faster. It has wireless Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity so you can send print commands from your phone or laptop any time. Through the HP smart app, you can print pictures directly off of your Google Drive or iCloud storage.
This 4-in-1 device combines a printer, scanner, fax machine and a photocopier and can print pages on both sides. The scanner has built-in ADF for up to 35 pages at a time.
It comes with the Dash Replacement feature which, if enabled, will automatically detect when your printer is low on ink and will order refills without you having to do a thing.
As with all HP printers, this one can also be connected to the HP Smart App and the HP ePrint App making it quick and easy for you to customize print commands.
This printer is ideal if you want to print in large volumes, especially if the printouts are image-heavy. Not only does it have a fast printing speed, but ink refills aren’t too expensive (even though they’re not the cheapest either).
Consider this to be one of the more premium options on our list, but with a higher price come some high quality printouts. Its unique color printing system will lead to a vibrant sticker perfect for a passionate DIY-er or a professional.
It has an incredible ink system that uses 8 different dyes to match the colors as closely as possible to those displayed on screen. It is somewhat difficult to get a per page cost of printing with this one since different dyes are activated for printing different graphics. However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell that the cost will be high making this printer a good choice for small scale printing.
The color print has a resolution of 4800x2400 dpi. Adding to its plus points, this printer has Wi-Fi connectivity and a USB port. It also has Ethernet and is compatible with cameras so you can directly connect your camera to your printer without adding your PC to the mix.
This diverse printer doesn’t just print on all different types of paper, you can also use it to print on CDs. This is particularly useful because you won’t have to print, trim and paste any stickers onto your CDs since you can get the color on them directly.
The printing speed is quite slow- 1 minute and 17 seconds, but a high quality printout generally does take some time.
Overall, the Canon Pixma Pro-100 is both expensive to purchase and to print with and is certainly not meant for those on a tight budget. It does produce professional level printouts and is ideal for both corporate use and personal passion projects that require a small amount of printing.
Best Printer for Sticker Printing - Buyers Guide
When buying a printer for sticker printing, you don’t just look at how sleek and fancy the device is, you consider a range of important features such as:
Probably the most important thing about a printer is ensuring that you get a detailed, high quality image printout. Ideally, for black and white printing, laser printers are better, both in terms of speed and the quality of the image.
However, many people find that inkjet printers produce a higher quality color image. This is because inkjet printers use liquid ink to transfer the print onto the sheet whereas laser printers rely on toner powders to transfer color onto the page.
However, the quality of the print is highly dependent on the brand and model off the printer you choose.
This includes two things- the cost of buying the printer, and the cost or replacing the ink cartridges in the printer. Although a laser printer is more expensive than an inkjet one, the cost of replacing cartridges is significantly less. A laser printer uses ink more efficiently and doesn’t require frequent replacements- the same cannot be said about inkjet printers.
If you don’t have to print very frequently, an inkjet printer will end up being the more reasonable option.
A slow printer not only has a tendency to affect the overall print quality, but it can also be a waste of time. Let’s look at this statistically- a laser printer can print up to a hundred pages per minute as opposed to an inkjet which has an average of around 15-16 pages a minute.
Most modern printers offer Wi-Fi and even Bluetooth connectivity which is great because you don’t need to connect your printer to any one device and keep it in a specific place.
Many of these printers are compatible with any software and some even offer connectivity to tablets so you can send a print command from pretty much any electronic or smart device that you are using.
This feature is particularly ideal if multiple people need to print at the same time and don’t want to wait too long.
Some printers also have memory card slots so you can print pictures without needing a computer at all. Just insert the memory card, add in the print command and get your images printed with no hassle at all.
Some printers use a lot of power, even when they’re on standby. The worst part is that you can’t just turn your printer off entirely when not in use.
This is why many people are switching to printers that have built-in functions for multiple tasks such as scanning, printing and reading memory cards. Without the need to send a command through your PC, you can significantly lower the amount of power consumed during printing.
Availability of Parts & Refills
While you might find a printer from an unknown brand to be great, you may find that the inks used in it are not available anywhere. Always choose a printer for which you can find parts in case it gets damaged. If it uses particular types of ink and paper, ensure that they are readily available so that you don’t have to stop your work due to lack of supplies.
When printing stickers, you may either opt for a matte or glossy finish. A matte finish is ideal if you’re putting up outdoor signs (since the text will be legible even under the glare of the sun) and you can handle the pages immediately after printing. Matte printed stickers also tend to be more long lasting than glossy ones.
Matte stickers are commonly used on billboards, dumper stickers, and so on. They add a more natural and classic look.
Glossy stickers are more vibrant, but are not ideal for outdoor use. They are preferable for indoor signs, etc. You will also need permanent ink for these stickers to actually allow the ink to gel to the page.
A third option is to get uncoated sticker sheets- these are neither glossy or matte and are ideal if you want to add your own custom finish such as UV gloss.
Apart from the finish, you can also choose the size of the sticker- if you’re printing labels or name tags, you can get pre-cut shapes to make the job easier. However, if you want to customize your stickers, you can buy whole sheets and cut them once they’re printed.
Another important factor to consider when buying printers is to see the kind of paper it can support. This includes the type of paper (vinyl, glossy sticker, etc.) and the thickness. If you a particular project in mind, check the thickness of the paper you’ll be using for it and ensure that the printer you are buying can print sheets that thick.
Generally, the higher end personal use printers can support a paper thickness of around 1.3 mm.
Can inkjet sticker paper be used in a laser printer?
Unlike printing on regular paper, sticker printing is quite different. If you use inkjet sticker paper in a laser printer, it will start to melt. When buying the sticker sheets, check which printer they are compatible with- some sheets are universal and can work with any kind of printer while others can only work with a particular kind.
Can you get white printouts on clear sticker sheets?
When a printer registers the color white, it identifies that area as a blank space, so when you print it, those areas will be clear.
However, if you are involved in the kind of work which involves a lot of high quality printing, you can obtain a specialist printer that has its own slot for white ink.
If this option doesn’t fit your price range, you can stick a white sheet under the clear one before sticking it anywhere.
Can you use Pantone colors for printing at home?
For home and personal printing, the CMYK colors are the most common ones. This involves adding 4 different colored cartridges to your printer which can be combined to provide the shade in your image. However, there will be some slight variations in the colors you see in print and those on-screen.
Is RGB and CMYK the same thing?
If you’re buying printer ink, don’t get confused. RGB is basically the digital color system, which on paper translates into the CMYK color system. Note that with the CMYK dyes, you will lose up 10% of the color accuracy so if the quality of the color is important for you, then you might want to get commercial printouts through a device that uses Pantone colors.
Pantone colors provided almost a hundred percent accuracy, but they can be quite expensive and may not be supported by your home printer. They are most commonly used in commercial printers for large-scale printing.
What is the difference between an IPM and a PPM of a printer?
While both are an indicator of the pages a printer can print per minute, IPM measures the number of dots per inch whereas PPM is by the page. This makes a huge difference since IPM can help you gauge the amount of ink transferred onto the page.
Does the number of ink tanks in a printer affect image quality?
Basically, the fewer the ink tanks in your printer, the more color variations there will be in the printed image. With fewer ink tanks, there is also a higher probability of color-bleeding. This is why printers with 8 or 12 tanks are ideal for printing high quality graphics (be warned that this high resolution printout will cost you quite a bit).
Are dye and pigment based-inks interchangeable?
The main difference between dye and pigment based inks is that the former is sharper in color and less expensive (but it also fades away quickly). However, you don’t necessarily get to choose which one you want for your printer- most printers are only compatible with a certain type of ink so choose wisely.
Is paper better for sticker printing or vinyl?
Although vinyl is the more expensive option, it makes the colors on your stickers more vibrant and is a more long lasting medium. It is great for wall and window stickers and any other places where the sticker is likely to stay for a long time.
Paper stickers are cheaper but have a shorter lifespan and are used for posters, jar labels, etc.
Are label printers good for sticker printing?
As the name suggests, label printers are good for, well, printing labels. They have a very limited paper capacity and are not ideal for any other purpose. They are only worth investing in if your job require bulk printing label stickers.
Buying the best printer for sticker printing can be a tricky decision. You might be fooled by a low purchase cost into buying a printer that can cost you a few hundred dollars for bulk printing!
The ideal sticker printer should be compatible with most types of paper, have a decent print speed and a sharp color printout. If you want bulk printouts at a reasonable price, you may have to compromise on the quality of the printed graphics. This decision will be based on whether you are printing stickers for professional and public use or for a personal project.
Unlike in the past when laser printers were restricted for only professional use, you can find some great models that are suitable for personal use as well. However, with an inkjet printer, not only do you save money in the buying stage, but the quality of the graphics is also considered to be better.
Perhaps the most important driving force is whether you are printing text or graphics on your stickers. With text, you’ll probably choose cost-saving over quality and vice versa.