TLDR; If you are a on a budget and print sticker only occasionally, we recommend theEpson XP-7100. If you print stickers A LOT then we recommend theEpson Expression ET-2750 due to its ECO Tank and Continuous Ink Supply System. If you are a professional who wants to create long lasting stickers for the clients, we recommend theCanon Pixma Pro 100 due to its 8 dye-ink based system.
Sticker printing is not the same as conventional document printing. Therefore, the printer that you choose have to be specialized especially if you are looking at the professional spectrum.
List of Best Printers for Stickers in 2019
We have selected the following as the top choice for sticker printers.
Noting the Differences Between Laserjet and Inkjet
Printing stickers is not the same as normal printing. The sticker papers used for Laserjet are NOT the same as those for InkJets!
If you use an Inkjet sticker paper on a laserjet, it will melt!
It is crucial that you read the labels and specifications of the sticker paper before purchasing them. Some stickers papers are used exclusively on Inkjets, some on Laserjets, while there are some that can be used on both.
Type of Printing Material to Use? – Vinyl vs Paper Stickers
There are two types of printing materiasl that you can use with the best printers for stickers.
Paper Sticker Sheet
Paper Stickers – Great for Indoor Product Labeling
These are cheap and easy for creating photo stickers, name tags and in many other creative ways.
They are preferred for product labels used indoor.
The disadvantage of using paper stickers is that they are not all weather.
They are also easy to tear. In fact, one of the way to identify whether the sticker is vinyl or paper is that the a paper sticker would have a clear film when ripped.
Vinyl Sticker Sheet
Vinyl sticker is generally the most preferred choice for most uses. While they are much more expensive. They are great for outdoors use and also last much longer.
Since they are made up of PVC Vinyl, it is a material that cannot be easily torn.
Vinyl (Left) vs Paper (Right) [Courtesy: Youth.sg]
What are Paper Finishing (Surface Finishing)
There are many types of finishing that you can get for sticker sheets like matte, glossy, or simply uncoated. Here is a simple run down of the finishing.
Paper and Vinyl sheets can be both be coated with matte finishing. Matte finishing does not glare upon sunlight. It is also textured and finger print proof. They also tend to last longer. however, the color may not seem too vibrant.
Matte is generally chosen for outdoors to withstand exposure to different weather conditions. Billboards, outdoor decals, bumper stickers etc can benefit from matte finishing.
They are also chosen for labels that require a more natural look, and subtlety.
As the name suggests, this finishing shows vibrant colors and glares upon sunlight. You need a permanent marker to write on glossy surfaces.
When printing banners, glossy is chosen for indoor applications. They look polished, and are chosen due to their eye catching attributes.
The are generally paper stickers that neither have glossy nor matte finish. These are great as temporary seals, or if you want a certain look on your labels or stickers.
Also, if you want a custom laminate on your stickers post printing such as UV Gloss, Reflective surface etc, then uncoated stickers are the way to go.
These are also the most safe option for labeling fruits such as apples.
White vs Clear Stickers
Clear Sticker – Transparent, allows light to pass through
Basically, this is a personal choice. Clear stickers are transparent whereas white stickers are opaque.
You would use clear stickers generally on containers, windows, glass, etc to easily blend in. Clear stickers work great as decals.
Can you Print White on Clear Stickers?
The simple answer is NO! you cannot. When a printer registers to print something white, it leaves that area blank. Therefore, a blank area on a clear paper would be transparent, not white.
This is one of the main concern when printing on clear stickers. There are many ways that you can get around this issue. Firstly, you can get a specialist printer that has a slot for white ink.
Secondly, you can add a white opaque surface before sticking the clear sticker on it.
Short Reviews of Selected Printers
1. Canon PIXMA TS6220 Inkjet – Cheapest Printer for Stickers for Low Printing Volume – All in One
For starters, this isn’t a specialized printer for stickers. It is simply a versatile budget printer best known for photos and graphic designs.
Note that this printer has a low upfront cost but a high print cost per page.
Unlike the conventional printers that use 4 ink cartridges (3 color and 1 black), this printer has 5 cartridges with 3 dye based color ink cartridges and 2 black pigment ink cartridges. This versatility allows it to have a great tonal range. For a budget printer, that is simply a lot more you can ask for.
The printer has a decent print speed of 15 ipm for black and 10 ipm for color prints. Furthermore, it can print at a resolution of 4800×1200 dpi, which is, again, quite decent for hobbyists and small business owners.
Another great aspect of this printer is that despite being a budget printer, it offers wireless connectivity. With the built in Bluetooth, you can directly print via your tablet or smartphone using apps like Mopria and Apple AirPrint.
To top that all up, this printer is an all in one machine. Meaning, it also has a scanner and a copier. The scanner has a DPI of 1200×2400. While this is no way close to professional level of scanning, it is decent enough for normal use.
One of the biggest drawback of this printer is that its per page printing is expensive! It can cost anywhere between 4 – 6 cents for black pages and 13-16 cents for white pages.
Compare this to an Epson’s EcoTank printer that prints at the fraction of the cost, but costs a lot more upfront.
Therefore, if you ave a low printing volume and you are looking for terrific quality in your prints, this is one of the best printers for stickers hands down. However, if you want massive printing at a budget, then Epson’s EcoTank printers are a better option.
5 cartridge system for high tonal variation on stickers
Bluetooth for Airprint and Mopria
All in One Printer
High operating costs (compared to others)
No 3rd Party Ink purchasing options
2. Epson XP-7100 Expression All in One Printer – Entry Level Premium Printer for Productivity
While the print quality of this printer is as terrific as the Canon PIXMA TS6220 above, this does have better productivity features.
Unfortunately it suffers from the same issues, print cost per page is still quite high.
For starters, this printer has exception print quality. You don’t have to take my word for it, a simple search for reviews on Google would reveal its printing prowess. Therefore, as far as the quality for the best printers for stickers goes, this sits somewhere on top.
Like the Canon Pixma above, this printer offers 5 ink cartridges instead of the normal four. Which means that along with a regular black ink, it also comes with photo black ink for a great tonal range. .
Now I mentioned earlier that this printer is great for productivity. This is because it is loaded with features. One of the most coveted feature for an AIO is the Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). This basically enables auto scanning.
This AIO printer has 30 page single pass ADF. Meaning it can scan 30 pages (dual sided) automatically once placed on the feeder.
The printer has a speed of about 15 ppm monochrome and 11 ppm color. This is fair for a printer with 5 ink cartridges with spectacular print quality.
Connectivity wise, this printer also excels. Unlike the Canon Pixma above, it also offers WiFi, and Ethernet connectivity along with the conventional USB. WiFi Direct is also available for printing using tablets and smartphones.
Lastly, it also has an option for a USB drive and and has an SD card slot. Therefore, as far as the connectivity goes, this printer hangs out with the best in the market.
As far as the cost of printing goes, it costs about 5 cents for black and white pages and 13 cents for color pages. Therefore, while this printer does have a budget upfront cost, it is built for low volume printing due to the cost.
Epson EcoTank printers, or any printer with continuous ink supply system, are built for bulk and high volume printing.
Unlike the the color perfect printers like the rest mentioned here, these do not have the best quality, but their cost of printing is merely a fraction.
This printer can print a monochrome page for a mere 0.3 cents and a color page for a mere 0.8 cents. Therefore, if you are going to be printing stickers in high volume, then this certainly is one of the best printers for stickers.
The EcoTank inks can be refilled fairly easily. You get dedicated ink bottles that you use to replenish the tanks. For example a black ink bottle that has the capacity to print 7500 monochrome pages can be bought for just $19.99.
As far as the speed goes, this is slower than the the average printer. It prints a page with graphics at 4.8 ppm.
Quality wise, you should not expect these printers to excel. They are NOT designed for professional levels of color fidelity. However, for average use such as for printing labels for a lot of products, this would do just fine.
Note that while this printer does have a very low printing cost, the upfront cost of this printer is fairly high comparatively. Therefore, investing in this printer would only make sense if you are sure you have a very high printing volume.
There are a few drawbacks. It lacks an ADF for the scanner and also lacks an Ethernet port. However, connectivity should not be an issue as it offers WiFi Direct and WiFi over network.
If you are a hobbyist who prints a lot of stickers, then this is certainly among the best printers for stickers – that is IF you don’t mind lower color quality.
One of the Cheapest Operating cost of 0.8 cents per color print
EcoTank that prints thousands of pages and can be replaced at a fraction of the normal cost.
All in One Printer with WiFi and WiFi Direct capability
High upfront Cost
4 Cartridge system – not great for photos
Quality of the prints is lacking compared to the rest.
4. Canon PIXMA Pro-100 – Professional Printer With Eight Dye-Based Inks
While this is an expensive printer, it is one of the cheapest printer for high end professional use.
This is a printer that is almost entirely dedicated for color enthusiasts, crafts and photos.
As such, if you want to make a statement with your stickers, then this is worth looking into.
It uses a whopping 8 dye based ink system and it is the cheaper sibling of the more expensive Canon Pixma Pro-1 that uses 12 Pigment Based inks.
The Canon PIXMA Pro-100 Printer is an advanced printer no doubt and there is really no way to measure the cost of printing with a printer that uses 8 ink cartridges that activate in different scenarios.
However, just know that a printer like this would have an extremely expensive printing cost per page.
Also, note that this is not an AIO printer. It is a dedicated printer for high fidelity color printing.
Connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Ethernet as well as a USB port.
Furthermore, it also has the capacity to print onto CDs, and DVDs.
It is also worth noting that the average speed of this printer is about 1 minute and 17 seconds. This is excruciatingly slow, however, quality printing demands time.
Overall, the Canon PIXMA Pro-100 is one of the best printers for stickers. But just be warned, this is an expensive machine not just to procure but also to operate. You must have a really high standard for you work to justify printing on this machine.
8 ink system for ultimate tonal variation and gradient capture
High upfront AND operating cost
Very slow printing speeds
Lacks All In One feature
5. Epson Stylus Photo R2000 – For Absolute Professionals – Highly Expensive – Wide Format
Epson Stylus Photo R2000 is in a league of its own. You will need to be a serious graphic artists to consider this printer for stickers.
Of course, this would be a justifiable purchase if you are running an art studio. For simple product label printing, this wouldn’t make sense.
However, for an unparalleled sticker and graphics printing, this is recommended.
Not only can it print on normal papers, but also on cut sheets with a 13 by 19 inches size, 44 inches long roll paper, CD DVD, Epson fine art papers, and even 1.3 mm thick paper. All in all, this printer is an absolute beast when it comes to paper support.
Furthermore, instead of dye-based inks, this printer uses Epson’s Hi Gloss Pigment Inks for highly vibrant prints. It uses 8 ink cartridges. In other words along with CMYK, it also includes photo black, red, orange and gloss optimizer.
The speed of the prints, as expected, is slow. A full A3 print takes about 4 minutes. The upfront cost for a printer like this also supremely expensive. You can read more about this printer here. However, the printing cost is surprisingly low at about 0.7 cents per A4 color page.
This isn’t a printer for everyone, however, if you are a perfectionist, then this is one of the best printers for stickers.
Versatile paper support including Wide Format and 44 inch roll paper
8 ink system for ultimate tonal variation and gradient capture
CD DVD sticker printing capabilities
High upfront AND operating cost
Very slow printing speeds
Print heads cannot be replaced if damaged
Cleaning the printer heads using software can be an issue
How to Print Vinyl on Inkjets?
Vinyl printing machines can get super expensive. However, if you are small studio or if you like to craft/print as a hobby, you can easily do so with excellent quality using Inkjets. This guy shows it how.
Before Buying a Printer, There are Factors That Should be Considered That Include
This is the key factor. Some printers will be cheap to purchase but have expensive operational costs.
Therefore, you need to make sure the nature of your sticker printing. Are you going to be printing labels for your products? If that is the case then just get a normal sticker printer with low printing cost per page. Epson EcoTank or the Epson XP-7100 Expression would be good in that case.
On the other hand, if you are a graphics studio that prints professional sticker logos, then professional grade printers like Canon Pixma 100 should be considered. They are expensive to procure, but the stickers printer can be sold for a lot more.
Quality of Print
Again this boils down to the amount of money you are willing to spend on your stickers. High quality stickers would cost more.
Speed of the Printer
This is also a highly important consideration. If you have a high print volume on a daily basis, then a slow printer wouldn’t make sense. Professional printers are slow.
A high speed printer would save time but at the cost of print quality.
Availability of supplies
When choosing a printer to buy, ensure that you can easily get the supplies. For instance, some printers do not support third party inks while others used specialized inks that cannot be replaced with common inks.
Make sure what you are getting into.
Be cautious about the type of paper, the size of paper and the amount of paper that the printer can support.
Also when looking at paper size support, you should also look consider the supported thickness. For example, the Epson Stylus R2000 can support 1.3 mm thick paper, the rest cant.
Understanding the Color System for Sticker Printing
Depending upon how perfect you aim to be with your art and crafts, you would most certainly want to read up on the different color profiles.
RGB basically stands for Red, Green and Blue respectivly. This is basically the color profile used by the display devices such as TV, monitors, phones etc.
The idea here is that a combination of varying intensities of Red, Green and Blue color can effectively create any color that you want. Each pixel in the screen has the ability to Red, Green and Blue color in varying hues and tones.
An RGB color is essentially translated to CMYK when printing.
CMYK stands for Cyan, Megenta, Yellow and Key (Black).
This essentially creates the color profile for a 4 ink cartridge system. A printer with more ink cartridges basically has additional lighter or darker shades of the CMYK color profile.
This is basically the STANDARD used for all printers.
PMS stands for Pantone Matching System
Pantone colors are expensive. However, they are by far the best of capturing the color gradient and producing the most color consistent stickers.
These are basically used for highly customizable prints as there are about 1,114 colors represented by a specific number. Each customized print would use a specific combination of the different colors.
Printing with PMS can get expensive, but for decal printing, logo printing, custom name plate printing and other personalized jobs, this system is great.
Choosing Monitor with Adobe RGB Color Space
Not all monitors and displays are created equally. There is a significant difference between a conventional monitor that costs about a $100 and professionals monitors that cost nearly $1,000.
The main difference between a normal and a professional monitor is its bit depth (the amount of colors it can show) and the color spaces that it can cover.
There are many different color spaces for various industries. For example, if you are creating digital media solely to be used on the Internet and on digital devices, you need a monitor that can cover 100% of the sRGB color space.
Similarly, if you creating a film to be displayed on projectiondevices like in a Cinema, you need a monitor that can cover DCI-P3 color spaces (American Standard).
Likewise, when we deal with Print Media such as sticker printing, you need a monitor that cover Adobe RGB color space.
Adobe RGB represents almost the same amount of colors that are represented in CMYK color profile of a printer. Therefore, the colors that you see on the monitor before printing, will be exactly how they will appear when printed.
What is Die Cutting?
DIY Die Cutter
Die cutting is one the most fun and creative ways to make your stickers stand out.
Essentially, die cutting allows you to make custom shapes for your stickers. Die cut allows you pop out different shaped stickers right out of the paper.
You need a DIY Die cutting machine as well as compatible dies in order to create custom designed stickers.
There are many different set of features that you can get on your chosen best printer for stickers. For example, if you want cheap printing, then the Epson EcoTank printers are the way to go.