Advice on buying a printer for printing on cardstock (i.e. paper over 270gm or 100lb thick)

Started Oct 11, 2012 | Questions
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ryanhunt
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Advice on buying a printer for printing on cardstock (i.e. paper over 270gm or 100lb thick)
Oct 11, 2012

Hello Dpreviewers,

I'm trying to track down a suitable printer for my wife's card making business. It's a 'home business' so we cannot afford a huge multi-function printer. We were after a printer that's relatively small (i..e can fit on a desk) but can handle thick paper - card stock or bond. Think of card that is over 250gsm, 260gsm or 270gsm. (100 lb stock I've seen it referred to in the US)

I understand some printers have a manual feed input, which is more suited to thicker media - but even the printers that do support this rarely claim to support any media higher than 160gsm.

Any advice/tips? I checked out the Canon Pixma Pro 9000, but it really seems an overkill for what we need - mostly black printing, and occasional colour.

Thanks

Ryan.

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jeffsw6
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Re: Advice on buying a printer for printing on cardstock (i.e. paper over 270gm or 100lb thick)
In reply to ryanhunt, Oct 11, 2012

I'm a novice, but I'd think you just want a printer with a straight feed path that is intended for printing on photographic paper or card stock.  The Epson photo papers, Red River, and most others I've seen, are generally in the 200gsm to 300gsm range and are certainly compatible with most printers intended for this kind of duty.

I think you should consider the availability of third-party ink supplies, or the cost of OEM ink, in your printer choice.  This was the most important thing to me in choosing a printer, after the maximum paper size.  I was first considering an Epson R2880, but upon receiving some good advice on this forum, bought a 3880 instead.  It did not take much time in Excel for me to figure out the (slightly) more expensive printer was a better investment.  Also, a mail-in rebate made the price difference quite small.

So in my novice opinion, you should be okay with most printers intended to print on heavy photographic paper from the rear input tray; but you may wish to consider consumables cost carefully before finalizing your decision.

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Hugowolf
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Re: Advice on buying a printer for printing on cardstock (i.e. paper over 270gm or 100lb thick)
In reply to ryanhunt, Oct 12, 2012

ryanhunt wrote:

Hello Dpreviewers,

I'm trying to track down a suitable printer for my wife's card making business. It's a 'home business' so we cannot afford a huge multi-function printer. We were after a printer that's relatively small (i..e can fit on a desk) but can handle thick paper - card stock or bond. Think of card that is over 250gsm, 260gsm or 270gsm. (100 lb stock I've seen it referred to in the US)

I understand some printers have a manual feed input, which is more suited to thicker media - but even the printers that do support this rarely claim to support any media higher than 160gsm.

Any advice/tips? I checked out the Canon Pixma Pro 9000, but it really seems an overkill for what we need - mostly black printing, and occasional colour.

The problem with small printers is the small cartridge capacity, and hence very expensive ink. I would look seriously cartridge sze when buying your printer - or even consider outsourcing the printing if you are printing many with the same image.

I think for paper greater than 270 g/m², you will have to be looking at A3 (13 inch) or wider format. A4 printers are mostly designed for office paper and perhaps the occasional index card.

For Canon 9000 II and 9500 II, at least in the US, these can sometimes by picked up on Craigslist or eBay for a fraction of their retail price, because they were bundled with Canon dSLR cameras and buyers would often already have a printer or no need for one and then would immediately resell.

I would also consider the Epson 2880 and r3000 13 inch printers.

While printers like the Epson 3880 may seem like overkill for your needs, the 3880 comes with 80 ml cartridges, perhaps as much as half the initial cost of the printer is in the ink. Although the Epson 3880 is the smallest A2 printer on the market, your profile doesn't show your location, but it sounds like you are in Europe where household space is at a much greater premium than in the US, and an A2 printer might be out of the question.

You should also consider whether you want pigment or dye based ink. On most papers, pigment inks have a greater longevity and fade resistance than dye based inks, but this may not be a concern for your primary usage. Dye based inks tend to produce greater contrast and more vibrant colors.

What sort of paper are you thinking of printing on? Fine art smooth mat, textured, watercolour; photo glossy, lustre/satin/pearl?

Brian A

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Steve Bingham
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Re: Advice on buying a printer for printing on cardstock (i.e. paper over 270gm or 100lb thick)
In reply to Hugowolf, Oct 12, 2012

The Epson 3880 has an adjustable platen that is adjustable for thicker papers. I believe the 2880 also has this capability. Either can easily print 400 gm, 500 gm, or even thicker!

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Bryant T
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Re: Advice on buying a printer for printing on cardstock (i.e. paper over 270gm or 100lb thick)
In reply to Steve Bingham, 3 months ago

Thanks Steve. I been doing research for a month trying to figure out what printer will print on  nice thick paper for business cards. I was to told to buy an Epson work force 7620 and it cant handle the thick stuff , its very loud and it has a fragile feel to it. I feel like i'm going to break the thing.lol

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Elandie01
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Re: Advice on buying a printer for printing on cardstock (i.e. paper over 270gm or 100lb thick)
In reply to Steve Bingham, 2 months ago

Thanks everyone. I'm new to the forum. We run a small home-based printing business and have a range of needs.
With regard to cardstock the weight is one thing but the surface is another. I really need advice on a good fast printer that wo t break the bank that will pri t on hear card stock 200 to 300gsm but do well equally with photographic paper as well as other coated papers.
I find that pearlescent type cards are one of the worst.
Any ideas?

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Marty Megapixel
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Re: Advice on buying a printer for printing on cardstock (i.e. paper over 270gm or 100lb thick)
In reply to Elandie01, 2 months ago

Elandie01 wrote:

Thanks everyone. I'm new to the forum. We run a small home-based printing business and have a range of needs.
With regard to cardstock the weight is one thing but the surface is another. I really need advice on a good fast printer that wo t break the bank that will pri t on hear card stock 200 to 300gsm but do well equally with photographic paper as well as other coated papers.
I find that pearlescent type cards are one of the worst.
Any ideas?

For years I ran a couture envelope and card business. I was unable to produce what we needed with an inkjet printer. I had a budget of 5k for the printer. I ended up with a Ricoh 820 color laserjet. The quality was outstanding, especially in light of our need to use a variety of heavy cardstock. You cannot print on photo paper, but you wouldn't want to. The laser gave us the ability to go to paper warehouses and test a myriad amount of paper. Unless you go to a huge paper show, you can't believe the variety and quality of paper out there.

I know people cringe at the thought of using a laserjet, but if you need high quantity and low cost, it seems to be the only way to go. We printed over 30 pages a minute. We were contracted by many foundations and organizations to produce their event invitations. Since everyone of our jobs was custom we needed the printing aspect to be as inexpensive as possible. One job usually ran about 7,000 sheets of 8.5x11 paper. We never had one quality issue and the feel and texture of the paper made each item seem as though it was hand made, yet all our customers thought their jobs were printed by an offset printer. Also, each piece we made, including the envelopes, were full bleed. No borders.

I hope you find this information helpful. It is worth a bit of time to see if this is a good way to go. One thing, 300gsm is very heavy.

M.

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Hugowolf
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Re: Advice on buying a printer for printing on cardstock (i.e. paper over 270gm or 100lb thick)
In reply to Elandie01, 2 months ago

Elandie01 wrote:

Thanks everyone. I'm new to the forum. We run a small home-based printing business and have a range of needs.
With regard to cardstock the weight is one thing but the surface is another. I really need advice on a good fast printer that wo t break the bank that will pri t on hear card stock 200 to 300gsm but do well equally with photographic paper as well as other coated papers.
I find that pearlescent type cards are one of the worst.
Any ideas?

You have a few things that make it difficult to make recommendations: your profile doesn't mention a location, you don't mention what paper sizes or roll paper width you require, and you don't mention a budget (what does 'won't break the back actual imply?).

As already mentioned, printing on uncoated stock is much less expensive than printing on inkjet coated stock. It is by no means archival, but for large volume limited lifespan work, a color laser is the way to go.

Brian A

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