How to select your best ID card printer

Do you have any idea which kind of ID card printer will best suit your needs? Imagine you’ve been assigned to find the best ID card printer for your company. What’s the best ID card printer available? The short answer: there isn’t a “best” printer. But the following highlighted points may make it simple to compare for your selection.


Decision Flow:

  1. Printer type: whether it is direct card printing or reverse transfer card printing
  2. Volume / print speed / print sides
  3. Operating system / software / encoding techniques
  4. Brand Evaluation


1/ Printer Type

  • Direct card printer (Low Equipment Cost, Low Printing Cost): 

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 of the printer.

  • Reverse transfer card printer (High Quality but High Cost):

also known as High Definition Printing or Over the Edge Printing. Reverse transfer print-head prints to a transfer film backward (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 border. It can be used for outstanding visual quality and durability.

2/  Volume / print speed / print sides

Choose the right model to handle your specific requirements. If you need to print on both sides, do not choose a single side printer. It will take you more than double the effort because a misprint or misarrangement will cause you the cost of the card.

3/ Operating system / software / encoding techniques

If there is a particular encoding technique requirement and the printing quantity is large, make your chosen printer has incorporated this function. 

4/ Branding Evaluation

There are really a lot of brands out there in the market. Take your time to study the reviews on the Internet based on your requirements.


Check out AliExpress for Quality ID Card Printers