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Best ID Card Printer, Top 5 Questions you Need Answered Before you Shop

Posted by Heath McDonald on 15-Mar-2014 09:00:00

C50-angl-rOk it is time to get serious, your boss has given you the task of hunting around for the best possible ID card printer and to report back to them with features and prices. What the? Where do you start? What is an ID card printer anyway? Can't they print cards, Christmas or otherwise, down at the local printer?

Without a doubt the best tip I can give you, is to look for a card printer that will suit your needs. Yes I know that seems obvious, but you will be surprised by the number of enquires that we receive from people who aren't clear on this.

Once you have clearly made a list of your needs you will be amazed at how much simpler the task becomes. If you are not yet clear on this list, I've included a pretty comprehensive list of what to look for at the end of this article. Feel free to print it out and use it when shopping for a printer.

Here are my top 5 tips to help you find the best ID card printer:

#1 What is your budget?

The answer to this can be a pretty open one, if you have not purchased a printer before and have no idea of the cost. Otherwise if you need to work within a clear budget you may be limited on some high end features. The table below will give you a broad idea.

#2 What platform will you be using?

I have already covered this question in the table below but I have listed it here because even though it is a simple question. I have seen many people getting caught out on it because they just assume that the printer is compatible with their computer. There is nothing worse than buying a printer to discover after you unpack it, that it does not work with your computer.

#3 How many cards will you be printing?

Next to platform this is the next biggest question you need to ask yourself. The number of cards that you intend to print monthly or yearly, is designed to determine just how heavy of a user you are going to be, so you can then buy appropriately.

#4 Do you need single or double sided printing?

This question can be a real time saver if you are a moderate user.

#5 What security features do you need?

Refer to the table below.

Once you know the answers to the above questions and checked the below table you're ready to go shopping.

I have been in the ID card industry for almost 7 years, I have a great deal of knowledge when it comes to shopping for ID card printers. You can call me now on 1800 33 00 99 regarding any of your questions about ID card printers or simply Email Us with your questions or Click Here to Visit Our Site!

 

Feature

Definition Check
Security    
Proximity A proximity card is a card that uses a radio signalfrom the card and is read by an electronic reader. It is used to access a secure room. It is held near the reader next to the access point (usually a door) for a moment. The reader then produces a beep to indicate the card has been read and lets the person in.  
Photo Typically a head shot of the person whom the id card belongs to.  
Magnetic Stripe A magnetic stripe is usually on the back of the card running the length of it, and is encoded with access information.  
Signature Panel A Signature panel is usually on the back of the card running the length of it, and allows for a signature of the person it belongs to.  
Holographic Watermark A Holographic Watermark is typically an Holographic overlay that sits on top of an ID card once printed. It's purpose is to provide an extra level of security against those whom attempt to duplicate ID cards.  
Bar Code Similar to those found in a supermarket  
Print Type    
Near to Edge This term classifies the cheapest type of printing. These printers print up to 5mm from the edge.  
Direct to Card

Also known as Edge to Edge Printing.

Direct to Card is where the print-head comes in direct contact with the card. This printing type is the most popular today. Mostly because of the cost factor. The majority of ID card printers out there today are Direct to Card.

 
Reverse Transfer

Also known as: High Definition Printing or Over the Edge Printing.

Reverse transfer print-head prints to a transfer film backwards (hence the reverse) and then the printed film is rolled onto the card with intense heat (hence the transfer). Over the edge is because when the printer prints onto the film it has a bleed, so when rolled onto the card it's completely over the edge leaving no boarder.

 
Budget    
  Typically you can find ID card printers with varying quality and features from $1600 to $20,000.  
Platform    
  PC or Mac  

Topics: Photo ID Card, ID Card Printers, Identity Australia