Which Printer do I need for Crafting
Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Hi my lovelies,
You would think this was a easy enough question with a equally easy answer but I’m afraid not. It entirely depends on your main purpose. For now I have split the printers into three categories.
The first is for good ole print and cut with a Cricut or other digital die cut machine.
The second is for print and cut and for tasks such as creating your own patterned Cardstock and for large prints and artwork.
The third is for hot foiling with a mono laser Printer and either a minc machine or a laminator.
I could actually add more catergories but we will keep it simple!
Before we dive in it is important to understand the types of materials you may find yourself working with with your Cricut or other digital die cut machine.
It is handy to know the weights of printable materials so that you can make an informed decision on the best printer for you based on your usage and materials
-Cricut Printable vinyl is approximately 150gsm.
-Cricut Sticker Paper is 240gsm
-My favourite sticker paper comes in two forms. The matte is 160 gsm whilst the glossy is 200gsm.
-Waterslide can be anywhere from 150gsm all the way to 300gsm
-Cricut Clear printable Sticker paper - I have really struggled to find a weight for this but other clear printable sticker papers can vary from 140gsm to around about 280 gsm.
You can find some of my favourite Printables for inkjet and laser -
Plus you have photo papers and Cardstock to think about. Realistically you are looking at a printer with a minimum of 200gsm for stickers and 300gsm if you want to expand your material selection.
Best printers for Print and Cut
So realistically you don’t need anything super special for print and cut. But there are a few things you want to really ensure your printer delivers.
The first is that it takes different media’s. A printer that will only take paper isn’t really a huge amount of good. With so many printable materials out there, you do need a printer that handles a wide range of material weights for items such as those above.
The second is that you get a half decent print. You don’t need a super duper photo printer but if you are going to be making stickers and framed prints but you do want a clear clean print.
The third is it’s running costs. Not all of us are a business. We can’t all offset our costs and so we do have to be financially practical. Ink costs can vary dramatically and so I’ve factored these into my recommendations.
It is so hard to get decent printers at the moment!! I will keep updating this post every month. I’ve tried to choose printers that are currently available that meet the requirements and as others become available I will add those. Some I have tried and some I have not but as with all things, I have done my research and I am confident in these reccomendations ❤️
For print and cut you do not need anything larger than an A4 printer.
HP ENVY Photo 7134
This is a great all rounder printer and scanner and comes with 9 months, yes 9 months free trial of HP instant ink from Currys. 5 months from Argos. It has automatic double sided printing which can come in handy if your going to print your own A4 patterned paper / card and importantly takes up to 300gsm so is perfect for Printables.
What I love about this is the printing capabilities. It prints at a resolution of up to 4,800 x 1,200 dpi which is very impressive for its price range and is more than adequate for stickers and other printable projects. DPI - Dots per inch. In very simple terms the higher the number, theoretically the sharper the print although this can also be ink and paper dependent as well as the programme you are printing in.
HP instant ink is based on the amount of printing you do. 100 pages a month for example costs you £3.49 which makes it super affordable to run. It is something silly like 3p to print a sheet. Whilst it doesn’t specify in the promotion the amount of pages per month with your trial, It’s usually 100 pages a month for the duration of your free trial.
This is a great all rounder and the printing resolution capabilities makes it perfect for both personal and commercial use. The ink costs are low compared with standard ink cartridges and so this is a great printer to consider.
Canon Pixmas are fantastic machines. They really are. However trying to get hold of one at the moment is virtually impossible! I will check regularly and I will update this but whilst these are not currently available I have included one because when they do come back in stock they are well worth considering
Canon Pixma TS5151
Available in some stores - https://tidd.ly/3pruNp9
Again this is a great all rounder. It can handle up to 300gsm which makes it great for many printables and its resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi makes it on par with other printers available in its price range.
This does use cartridges but only two which has its positives and negatives. I prefer individual cartridges as it’s means your only replacing a colour once it’s run out whereas with combined colour cartridges they do tend to need replacing more often. The two genuine cartridges can be replaced for aprox £30 and you get about 180 colour pages from each change. This makes it about 16p per sheet to print. What I do like about these is that they are the fine range which means the colours are clear and bright when compared with other inks and depending on the printing material used they are longer lasting so won’t fade as quickly as some others.
Canon Pixma TS5352
https://tidd.ly/3pHz203 - Available in some stores
This is pretty much the same exact spec as the one above. In fact alot of the pixma range are very similar. Except this one is pink! A pink Printer. That is all but it could not be ignored!
Canon Pixma G3501 Mega Tank
https://tidd.ly/3bk9qks - Available in some stores
So this one is a bit pricier but these mega tanks are becoming very popular as they are similar to the epson ecotank range. With a DPI of 4800 x 1200 its more than capable for what is needed for print and cut.
This only handles media up to 275 gsm though so may be slightly to restrictive.
The ink system is where this stands out. Rather than cartridges it has tanks. Tanks which you fill from colour bottles. First off its better for the environment so if thats something you are super passionate about then tank printers are the way forward. They are more economical than cartridges and you can find the colour match can be better than some cartridges, especially the all in ones. Genuine 4 pack ink bottles cost £42.26 and can yield up to 7000 colour pages!
So my next printer is going to be an A3. For the last 7 years I have been incredibly loyal to the Canon pixma range in A4 but I’m ready to start going larger. Firstly I want to start printing my own 12x12 patterned Cardstock because there are so many digital paper patterns available out there especially from sites like here - https://bit.ly/3qtcmBZ
and here - https://bit.ly/3s6NbFH
I can then hand pick my patterns for certain projects rather than depending on paper packs. Does anyone else find they have lots of patterned packs but they only like certain designs? Not only that but you normally only get 2 or 3 sheets of the same design which means if you are creating a large 3D project you many not be able to use the same pattern throughout. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t and you can be left feeling lacklustre with your finished item. So I am super excited to start printing my own. Ofcourse I won’t be able to do these in print and cut but they are easy enough to print through several different programmes and ofcourse just straight from the computer printer settings.
I also want to start printing larger watercolour art prints as well as word art and other prints to frame. As well as continuing to use print and cut. For me an A3 printer will give me so much more freedom.
Now, these are not all cheap and the inks are not cheap either but they can be economical even if the initial outlay is high. You really don’t need an A3 printer unless your going to start selling prints and art work or your going to create lots of your own pattern Cardstock larger than A4.
Again these are so hard to get hold of at the moment and I will keep updating this post but here are my favourites!
Canon Pixma TS9550
https://amzn.to/3brEy1F - In stock but with a european plug, easily fixed though with an adapter
This printer is actually described as the crafters printer. It comes with 45 in built paper patterns! It is also marketed as a nail sticker printer as well and has 200 nail sticker designs!
With a DPI of up to 4800 x 1200 it will handle print and cut images easily and will give crisp pattern prints.
It can handle up to 300gsm and whilst it's maximum print size is A3 it has a dedicated 12x12 size setting as well as A4 and smaller popular sizes. It also has automatic double sided printing so again brilliant for printing cardstock.
It uses 5 chromalife 100 Ink cartridges which produce highly detailed images and depending on the material you are printing on, can last up to 100 years in an album.
It has the footprint of around an A4 printer although it is higher than most A4 printers so worth measuring the dimensions if it is going inbetween shelves.
A pack of genuine 5 high yield cartridges on the canon site will set you back aprox £56.99.
Canon Pixma IX6850
https://amzn.to/3aFuB1v - In Stock
For the price this is super impressive. It boasts an amazing DPI of up to 9600 x 2400 but I think realistically based on the materials most crafters will be using its likely to be on par with the printer above. Even then its still a great output. Again it can take up to 300gsm. As well as A3 it will print A4, A5 and other standard material sizes below A3. It takes 5 cartridges and again uses the chromalife100 inks.
Epson Eco tank 7750
https://bit.ly/3s5hwnM - Awaiting Stock
Currently out of stock everywhere but keep an eye out as this is a fantastic printer and it’s sister printer in A4 the 7700 is also worth keeping an eye on. Depending on the package the 7750 can come with up to 10 bottles of ink! That’s a lot of ink and makes it very economical for the price. It can handle up to 300gsm and has a printing resolution of 5,760 x 1,440 DPI making it more than capable for photo and pattern printing. The eco tank range does not take cartridges. Instead it has tanks which you can fill up using epson ink bottles. It’s a very economic form of printing and also great for the earths health. A pack of genuine 5 colour bottles will set you back aprox £65. A 75ml colour bottle is between £9.99 and £13 depending on where you purchase it from. Each bottle can produce up to 1900 photos - colour depending obviously. So technically an all black image would set you back less than 1p a sheet.
Any A3 printer is a long term investment and this one certainly is but after the initial setup costs it does become very economical to run.
Canon Pro 200
https://bit.ly/3bbtqWF - Due to be released in the next few weeks
Due in stores at the end of the March. Again this is a A3 printer and it has a print resolution of 4800 x 2400 DPI making it a hell of a professional printer.
It takes a whopping 380gsm! This is a serious printer and really is not what the home crafter is looking for. If however you are going to create art prints and print your own Cardstock patterns then this is a printer that is well worth considering.
It has 8 Seperate cartridges! This means the colour capabilities are second to none and ofcourse you only need to replace a cartridge at a time. It’s got steep running costs though. A set of genuine catridges will set you back aprox £125! The lowest output is yellow which will give you 295 pages per cartridge and the highest is light grey which will give you 965 pages. I'm putting in here because if you are a bussiness and you are looking at creating artwork prints then you need them to be of fantastic quality and this certainly achieves that.
Mono Laser printers
Choosing a laser printer for hot foiling is hard. Many do not take more than copy paper which isn’t always ideal for what you want to do. There are a few however that do offer greater capabilities. You want to print in black for hot foiling and so mono printers are ideal.
You will need a laser printer and either a Minc Machine - https://tidd.ly/3kgYVmb or a laminator, although it can be hit and miss with a laminator - https://amzn.to/2ZEXMeN
Kyocera Ecosys P2235dn Mono
I absolutely love this. I have had it about 3 weeks now and I am super impressed. I thought my old laser printer was great but this is fantastic and it takes more than copy paper.
It’s big though. There is nothing compact about this beauty so if space is an issue then this is not the laser printer for you. But, it takes up to 220gsm without issue. Which is great because not only can I use Cardstock in it to create cards and other items I can also use some laser printables as well as use my minc Foiler with them.
It also heats up in 15 seconds which is super fast! I would have liked something that could take more but then ofcourse the price and for some reason the size was increasing. I’m so happy with this though. With a print resolution of 1,200 dpi it's more than capable of printing mono text and images ready for foiling. A genuine cartridge sets you back aprox £65 so each printed page works out at 2.2p.
I’m finding the print quality to be fantastic which in turn means I’m getting a great foil transfer. I have used several different materials and with all, I've had a lovely print and foil transfer using my minc. The cardstock is just as important as the printer though. I used different foil brands with this print and where they have been patchy before with the same cardstock, I had no issues and so the printer as well as the card does make a difference.
Xerox B210 Mono Laser Printer
This is a very similar spec to the one above and does also take up to 220 gsm.
Great news is it’s more compact than the one above and whilst it’s not what I would call a compact printer it does have a smaller footprint so will be better for you if space is an issue.
A genuine Cartridge sets you back aprox £58, so thats about 1.9p per mono page.
Colour Laser Printers
Colour laser printers used to be a no go. The outlay was expensive as were the running costs but they are becoming more affordable. If you want a foil print with colour you either need to use both a mono laser and a inkjet which can take some setting up and can sometimes be a bit of a mare or you want a colour laser so you can print both mono and colour at the same time and ofcourse the foil will only transfer to the mono print areas.
Xerox Phaser 6510dn A4 Colour Laser
Again if you are short on space then this is not for you but I have also purchased a great “printer shelf unit” for my printers which I find invaluable. I love it because the shelves can be adjusted to any configuration you like - https://amzn.to/2NKbtGw
This has a decent resolution at 2,400 x 1200 dpi so you know that the colour printing is going to be pretty sharp and the colour match is pretty good. This also takes up to 220gsm so is great for thicker Cardstock projects that need foiling such as birthday cards and you can colour print all at the same time so no messing about with two printers and lining everything up. More and more printables are being made for laser printers but obviously the weight of the printables need to be considered.
This takes four Toner cartridges which will set you back aprox £279 for genuine Toner. Having said that each colour cartridge gives you 1000 pages and you will get 2500 from the black. Ofcourse you can purchase them seperatly as needed. It works out about 28p per colour print.
So there we go! I will update every month and if you have a really great printer then let me know. We never want anyone wasting their precious craft pennies or materials so we always want to know what you are all using.
See you soon my lovelies xxx
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