Infographic showing a selection of Bodno printers with a question mark on top

When it comes to printing ID cards, what matters the most is the capability of the card printer itself. This determines the quality of the finished cards, as well as the other important parameters. Below are some of the factors that you need to bear in mind before choosing a card printer.

Complexity and Portability

Consider the requirements of your prints before you set out to buy a card printer. If you are looking to print basic identity cards with text and pictures, you could choose just about any entry-level printer that prints on one side of a PVC card. The Evolis Badgy may be a good choice due to its economy price tag and small modest size and performance. These would work okay for cards which do not need to be scanned using a card reader. If you want to print higher-level cards though, you should go in for a better quality printer depending on your needs. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ve got the Magicard 600 which is one of the most premium printers on the market and can handle all manner of card reading, chip payments, and magnet readers.

Another factor that matters to some people is portability. Companies that require cards from time to time should choose small-sized printers. There are devices which can easily be carried around to different venues. Like the Evolis Badgy, these are a bit slow on the printing side but work fine if the number of cards required is relatively low.

Image Quality

Image quality is typically uniform across the majority of the printers coming out these days. However, thermal transfer printers yield better results if you want vivid imagery on your cards. The resolution of the image on the print is expressed as dots per inch, or dpi. The higher the DPI, the better the quality of the images on print. Even low-cost ID card printers produce decent quality images. Depending upon your purpose, you can choose to go in for a higher profile printer. Besides that, you can also get printers which can print both front and back if your needs are such. Depending on the tier of printer, many printers offer complex overlays that add security and authentication to your ID Cards.

Durability

Cards for different purposes require different types of printers. For instance, if you want to print on all types of PVC cards, you have to look for something like high-end Evolis printers, which can handle different kinds of thickness. If you want additional protection for your cards, you can look for printers that print on the thermal transfer film. If you are looking for cards that will last a long time in different kinds of harsh environments, you can look for printers that have laminating capabilities.

Factory warranties usually last for one, two, or three years depending on the manufacturer. See our popular printer comparisons for exact time frames There are also companies which issue an extended warranty. The durability of your printer ultimately comes down to how you treat it. If you are looking for a printer that you would use extensively, make sure you do not buy one made for smaller scale use.