How do I choose the right ID card printer?

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How do I choose the right ID card printer?

How do I choose the right ID card printer?

We often get this question from customers: “How do ID choose the right ID Card Printer?“. Most of those customers have not purchased an ID card printer and want to understand how to choose the right printer. There are a couple of items we need to consider before being able to make an informed decision:

  1. Volume of production

    You need to know if you’re in a high- or low volume production environment. Intend to have an area dedicated to the production of cards, and wish to print throughout the day? Better to choose a printer that can handle this workload. If you want to print a few cards every other day, you can choose a low volume printer instead.

  2. Production quality

    The quality of prints varies between printer models and brands, that doesn’t mean that low-end printers will produce bad cards.  When printing just a few bits of information select an entry level printer to do the job. For example if you just print a name, employee or student number, and perhaps a barcode. If you want edge-to-edge, high-quality prints, look at a more high-end printer instead. In general, you will see a major difference between dye-sublimation printers and retransfer printers. The latter will generally produce the highest quality print, but is more likely to cost more as well.

  3. Production speed

    Most people ignore production speed selecting their card printer, but the speed of production is a major factor to consider. Some printers will produce a card in under 30 seconds, while other printers take almost double that time. Of course this greatly depends on weither you print on both sides of the card or just one, and if you apply any encoding such as Magstripe or Contactless encoding. There are fast printers on the low-end of the spectrum, and there are slow printers on the high-end of the spectrum. This is definitely a factor to consider carefully.

  4. Footprint

    A printer needs to be practical as well, and sometimes even good looking! Are you printing your cards in a designated room or space, or will the printer be on your desk throughout the day? Some printers are much larger than others, so the footprint is definitely a factor to consider when you make your decision.


To make things easier, we have created an overview of four of our most popular printers. We’re starting with the entry level SC2500 ID Card Printer, and we’ll go all the way to the top of the line SC7000, listing all of their properties in a single chart:


SC2500 SC4500 SC6500 SC7000
Price X X X X
Single-sided  Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual-sided No Yes Yes Yes
Print method Dye-sublimation Dye-sublimation Dye-sublimation Retransfer
Edge-to-edge No No No Yes
Fastest print 15 seconds 7 seconds 6 seconds 30 seconds
Volume per hour 60 cards 125 cards 150 cards 45 cards
Security options HoloKote HoloKote Multiple Multiple
Footprint Small Medium Medium Large
Weight 4.4kg (9.7 lbs) 5.5kg (12 lbs) 4.9kg (10.8 lbs) 15.5kg (34 lbs)
Best suited for Low volume Medium volume High volume Continuous production


Choosing the right ID Card Printer for your organization can still be a difficult task. If you feel you need any further assistance making the right choice, or if you want a tailor-made advice on what we think would be the right choice for you, feel free to reach out to us on email or social media, and we will provide you with a quote within 24 hours.

  • Jun 28 2017
  • ID Kaartprinter
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