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This is our official list of the best printers for stickers on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product.
5 Highest Reviewed Printers for Printing Stickers
The first thing the word “stickers” likely brings to mind is an elementary teacher’s award for a spelling test that colorfully indicates “Way to Go!”
However, the practical and artistic uses of adhesive-backed paper or vinyl are varied and new technologies can put customized stickers in hand in mere moments. Whatever the need – nametags, bumper stickers, full-color photographs to cover an ugly dorm wall, mailing labels, scrapbook materials, business warning signs, price tags – there is a specialized sticker printer to fill your needs.
Printing Stickers with a Standard Printer?
A standard ink jet or laser printer can print stickers, of course. But there are downsides to this approach. One big downside is the use of ink or toner. Colors in a CMYK color system, which most color printers use, require a mix of up to four colors.
That means printing color both uses a lot of ink, requiring frequent replacement of expensive ink cartridges, and the resulting color may never be a quality match, according to the blog at LD Products. Most stickers printers are thermal printers, which apply heat instead of ink on specially treated paper.
Aside from cost, another downside of a standard printer is that labels and stickers use thicker paper, which is more likely to jam, according to Techwalla, so they must be loaded one at a time. Also, because of the smooth texture of label pages and amount of ink that is used, care must be taken not to smear fresh ink jet prints.
Sending a sticker print job to a professional printer may make sense if exact colors are important so that Pantone color-matching can be used. However, the time and expense required must justify choosing this route.
Why Go with a Sticker Printer
Finding a custom printer specifically for the type of stickers needed is often a better solution. Sticker printers come in several varieties and vary widely in price. Below are five of the best printer for stickers (correct to printers) that can address different needs and avoid the downsides of printing stickers on a standard printer.
Whether you need a sticker printer that is portable or prints small photographs quickly or creates prints to last or even to make stickers out of ribbons and leaves, there is a good option available.
Rather than printing stickers, the Create-a-Sticker Machine turns paper or other flat materials (like ribbons) into stickers by applying a thin even layer of dry adhesive. With only the twist of a knob – no electricity, batteries or heat is needed – the material rolls through and is ready use immediately.
The adhesive is available in either permanent or repositionable, and you can easily switch back and forth for different projects. Works for papers or materials up to 5 inches wide and it is possible to do multiple narrow objects at one time. Starting price is around $20 with adhesive refills about $10.
- Makes stickers out of any printed or flat material, so not limited to available label materials
- Inexpensive option
- Permanent or repositionable adhesive options
- Up to 5 inches wide and unlimited length
- Will need to use another printer (plus ink) to create printed items like photographs or name tags
ZINK has created the printer to turn a smartphone or tablet into an upscale photo booth. Using photo apps available for iOS or Android, the user can do basic edits, and add frames, fonts and backgrounds, then wirelessly download to the printer.
The printer uses ZINK zRolls, available in five widths from 3/8 to 2 inches to print the full-color photos. Paper rolls are 19 feet 5 inches and each print can be up to 17 inches long. For larger pictures, the photograph can be printed in pieces and assembled.
The ZINK has a built-in hotspot to connect with a tablet or smartphone but printer is not compatible with laptops. Price of printer starts around $99.99 and refill rolls run $10-25 depending on width.
- Full-color photos in a variety of sizeso Every zRoll contains sticker paper
- Built-in cutter
- Inability to print directly from a computer means that more advanced editing of photos may require multiple steps before printing
From a well-known printer brand, this high-speed label printer can serve a variety of needs. Using thermal technology, there is no ink to refill. A wide variety of pre-cut labels rolls are available from 0.5 to 2.4 inches wide. It is ideal for high-volume work, printing 93 labels per minute.
Continuous rolls are available that can be printed up to 36 inches long. Printer can also print postage and with the accompanying CD some art is available. It must be plugged into a computer as it does not allow networking (although once it is connected to a computer, other computers could network with that one). Starts around $49.99. Refill rolls vary in price.
- Variety of label refill options means a variety of uses
- Inexpensive refills are available from Brother and other companies
- Black and white only, no color or grayscale
This industrial printer is one of several from LabelTac. Designed to print on rolls of vinyl tape from 1 to 4 inches wide, it can create a final product up to 40 inches long. Although it can only print one color, the tapes are available in several colors and with pre-printed bars and symbols, so the final product can still be colorful. Tapes are also available with magnetic backing.
The stickers produced from this printer are resistant to UV, chemical, weather, water and wear, making them perfect for outdoor uses, like bumper stickers, or high-traffic indoor areas. The printer has an Ethernet port and is not wireless. It comes with software but is also compatible with many common software programs. It starts at $999. The cost of tape rolls varies with the size but expect to spend about $100.
- Creates long-lasting stickers
- Perfect stickers for outdoor use
- Limited lifetime guarantee from manufacturer
- Works with variety of software programs
- High initial cost, this is for specialized printing needs
This mini printer from Kodak is designed to print photographs while on the go. It is pocket-sized and uses wireless technology to create quality full-color prints. It uses a single replaceable cartridge that holds 10 pages of either photo paper or stickers in a 54 mm x 86 mm size.
As it is printed, the image is covered with an overlay that promises to protect the color for up to 10 years. It comes with an app that gives options to embellish the photos before printing. The printer starts around $99 and comes in three colors. Cartridges are sold in multi-packs of two, three or five. Five-packs (with 50 pages) start around $35.
- High-quality photographs
- Refill cartridges are widely available online (although the sticker cartridges are harder to find)
- Size of prints is limited to about 2.25 x 3.5 inches or smaller (if you cut them by hand)
Matching your needs with the best printer for stickers may not only save time and ink costs, but also earn another well-deserved “Way to Go!”