Customers often ask us for advice about printers - here are our top recommendations!
While we aren’t printer experts (labels are our specialist subject after all), we do have a few key tips that we like to share with our customers.
1. Recommended Brands
Some customers have an outline of what their printer requirements are, but want to know if we recommend any particular brands. We generally recommend OKI printers and HP printers, as both of these are capable of producing high quality print on labels – which is obviously a key criteria for us! In fact, we have our very own OKI printer here in the office, which we use on a daily basis for a number of our printing needs – including our product labels, school information packs, mailers, letters, and our gold and silver packing labels.
2. Laser Or Inkjet
We get some customers who aren’t sure whether they need to be looking at laser or inkjet printers. The answer to this question depends on what they need the printer for. Desktop inkjet printers have tended to have an edge in the past, particularly if there was a need for colour print. Indeed, many people still consider laser printers as being expensive and only suitable for basic black and white, day to day printing. However, in recent years, laser printers have become far more cost effective to run, and are capable of producing great quality print results.
There are a few key differences, however, that can influence whether we suggest an inkjet or a laser printer.
- WATERPROOF PRINT: if a customer is printing labels that need to be waterproof they will need to use a laser printer. The inks used in inkjet printers are water based and are liable to smudge when wet; the toner used in laser printers, however, is bonded to the sheet via heat, and so produces a waterproof finish.
- MATERIAL CHOICE: when it comes to the range of materials we have available, there are far more options for laser printers as opposed to inkjet printers. So, if a customer wants a particular material or to have their choice of materials, they may be better off choosing a laser printer.
- PRINTING IMAGES: while laser printers can produce excellent print results, sometimes inkjet printers are the better choice for printing high resolution images. For example, we have a photo quality gloss material for use with inkjet printers that produces a fantastic result when printing photographs.
3. Extra Tips
We also have two general tips that we like to pass on to our customers who are looking at buying a printer. Firstly, it is always worth looking at the “duty cycle” of a printer. This is usually given as a monthly duty cycle and is an estimate of how many pages the printer SHOULD be able to (i.e. that it has been designed to) handle printing over a period of a month. We recommend that customers choose a printer with a higher duty cycle where possible. Secondly, while customers may be looking closely at the price of printers themselves, it is also worth researching the consumables that go with the machine. Many companies will offset the price of a printer with the price of the consumables (ink cartridges, toner cartridges, image drums etc) that will be needed to maintain the machine – with some locking customers in to their own particular brand of consumables, which may be quite costly to replace.
We have more tips and advice available on our website here.