Best ID card printers for 2020

Are you looking to buy the best ID card printer of 2020?

In collaboration with our team of card printer experts, we’ve collated 10 of the best printers currently available, that suit a range of different needs and organisations.

We’ve taken things such as print volume, price point and versatility into account and have considered some key reasons you’d pick one printer over another.

You can read more about choosing the correct type for you in our ID card printer buying guide. 

List of the best ID card printers for 2020

1. Magicard 600

The Magicard 600 is one of the newest direct-to-card printers on the market and offers a great combination of high-resolution printing and impressive printing speeds.

Being a Magicard means it offers extra security: they all come with HoloKote as standard.

This prints a transparent image into the overcoat panel, resulting in a secure watermark that can only be seen under special UV lights.

Magicard’s One Tree Planted scheme also means it’s a great option if you’re looking for an environmentally sustainable printer to buy. 

The 600 also benefits from a function that scrambles sensitive information. This means it’s impossible for the Magicard 600 to cause a data breach; an important consideration for many organisations as data protection becomes a top priority.

It’s covered by a three-year manufacturer warranty and, with these numerous security options, it’ll still be ahead of the game in 2023.

The best bit? A special offer currently means all Magicard 600s will come with a dual-sided printing add-on.

The option, which usually costs buyers extra, will be automatically added to your order. This will give you more flexibility should your needs change over the coming year.

Key printer features

  • Digital shredding function
  • Three-year ultracover warranty
  • HoloKote advanced card security
  • Prints 190 full colour cards per hour
  • Set-up in under ten minutes

All in all, this machine is a great fit for those who are looking for a medium to high-volume print solution, eco-conscious buyers or current Magicard users potentially upgrading from a previous Rio pro model or the Enduro3e.

2. IDP Smart 51 GDPR Secure

The IDP Smart 51 is already a capable card printer. It can print monochrome and full-colour cards, is available with a range of encoding options and is one of the simplest ID card printers to use. 

A 10% increase in printing speed compared to its predecessor makes it a good choice for high-volume needs too. Based on a seven-hour working day, you’ll be able to produce approximately 5,000 monochrome cards or 1,475 full-colour cards. So, how do you improve what is already a very sound machine?

By making it more secure of course! The IDP Smart 51 GDPR Secure adds several security features that aren’t currently found on the majority of other printers. For example, it’s got a lockable top lid. It’s a simple modification, but it makes all the difference.

If a printer is being used in an environment where stopping unauthorised people accessing cards and printer ribbons is paramount. Ribbons contain sensitive data and the 51 secure GDPR reduces the risk of a data breach significantly. It also comes with a secure Kensington Lock which ensures the machine itself can’t go on a walkabout with a light-handed thief too.

SmartMark technology also adds a visual layer of security to the cards themselves thanks to a watermark on a transparent overlay panel.

3. Fargo HDP5000 retransfer printer

The clue is in the name: HDP stands for High Definition Printing, and the 5000 is the Fargo printer of choice for those that want class-leading card quality without paying too much. The high-definition cards this printer is capable of printing comes courtesy of its retransfer technology.. 

Retransfer ID card printers are best for those that need to produce high-security ID cards that will last. This is because they can print on smart cards’ uneven surfaces. Fargo’s superb reliability score and life-time print head warranty means that you needn’t worry about potential issues and, thanks to the HDP5000’s design, changing the printer ribbon and carrying out a cleaning cycle is a doddle too. 

Fargo printers are great for those looking for security. Additional encoding modules are available that allow you to use the HDP5000 to encode cards including HID proximity, iClass and Indala. among others. A full-colour card takes 29 seconds to print, making this a machine that will suit medium-to-high print runs. 

4. Magicard Pronto

Magicard Pronto

The Magicard Pronto isn’t the newest or most impressive ID printer on the market, but it is lightweight, compact, and still more than capable of meeting the needs of small businesses in 2020. Its attractive sub £500 price makes it even more appealing to those that need to create simple, non-technology cards on an adhoc basis. 

We’d recommend this as an option for ID card printing beginners, who are maybe looking to print membership, loyality or discount cards. You can of course produce ID cards, but the lack of input and output hoppers will make things difficult if you’re producing lots of cards on a regular basis. 

Magicard’s HoloKote visual security feature is available across its range, the Prono being no exception. You can pick one of four watermark designs that can be printed onto your cards on an overlay panel, helping you to easily identify fraudulent copies. 

5. Zebra ZC300

Best ID card printers 2020

The Zebra ZC300 is an affordable and extremely versatile ID card printer that has been designed to be as easy to use as possible. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking to print high volumes of cards: 200 full-colour cards can be printed per hour, while an impressive 900 can be produced if they are monochrome. Despite being a traditional direct-to-card printer, card quality is vivid and bright.

It’s one of the few ID card printers to feature a full colour display too, making tasks such as cleaning cycles and changing the ribbon extremely easy thanks to intuitive instructions. The ZC300 also features a clever data feature that allows the user to encrypt sensitive data such as account numbers and names during printing. 

Able to print on both CR80 and CR79-size cards, the Zebra ZC300 weighs in at 4kg, making it exceptionally practical to transport too, should you need a portable machine. 

6. Datacard CD815

Datacard CD815

The Datacard CD815 is the latest generation of direct-to-card machines following on from the popular SD range. It is one of the fastest DTC badge printers on the market and is able to produce 210 full-colour cards per hour. 

A durable and sturdy construction means it’s able to put up with lots of wear and tear too, although in the unlikely event of an issue, the printer features a 36-month warranty and the print head is covered for 30 months. 

7. Matica XID8100

Matica XID8100

Want a better the quality of your ID cards in 2020? The Matica range of retransfer printers is up to the job. Rather than direct-to-card machines – that all leave a small white border around a card – the XID8100 provides excellent over-the-edge covering, resulting in a classy looking card.

It’s a reliable, capable machine that can print on all sorts of card materials including PVC, ABS, hybrid cards and polycarbonate too. Capable of printing up to 120 cards per hour, it remains compact but features an extremely solid base, ensuring all prints are as precise as possible.

Other options include in-line lamination, a dual-sided printing add-on and a host of magnetic chip and encoding options. Because it’s a modular unit, it’s extremely simple to upgrade down the line too, should the needs of your business or organisation change.

8. Evolis Primacy

An increasingly popular choice for printing staff and student ID cards, the Evolis Primacy is able to print 225 full-colour cards per hour. This makes it a great choice if you will require a printer capable of high volumes. That means that based on a 35-hour working week, you can print up to 7,000 cards if you opt for a single-sided printer, or 4,900 cards for the dual-sided option.

With its 300×600 dpi customisable resolution, it also printers cards to high quality standards too. Evolis offers the Primacy with a three-year warranty on both the printer itself and its print head, meaning should you encounter a problem, you’ll be covered for quite a while. 

As a manufacturer, Evolis takes its commitment to the environment very seriously, as does Digital ID. As a result, the Primacy is an “eco-design” and the consumables such as ribbons have been carefully produced using as many sustainably sourced products as possible. 

9. Fargo DTC1250e

Fargo DTC1250e

The Fargo DTC1250e might not be able to produce the same quality of card the HDP5000 retransfer printer we mention above can, but it is still a most excellent choice for small businesses, clubs and organisations that have a relatively low-volume card printing requirement. 

DTC stands for direct-to-card, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on print quality. It can still create vibrant, photo-like images and crisp and clear text. 

It takes just 16 seconds to print a full-colour card and, like all ID card printers, it is set to print on CR80-sized cards. That said, it is also capable of printing on CR79-sized cards too and, being a HID Fargo product, can be equipped with a range of encoding modules including magstripe, MIFARE and Proximity. 

10. IDP Smart 70

IDP Smart 70

Do you need a card printer that is adaptable? Are you expecting your print-volume to increase, or maybe additional security needs in the future? The IDP Smart 70 might be the answer you’re looking for. It’s a modular design, meaning you can add various options on in the future should you need to. 

Even in its most basic form, the IDP Smart 70 is an incredibly versatile printer capable of producing large volumes in a small amount of time. Full colour cards are completed in just 18 seconds, while its large input hopper ensures minimal interruptions during print runs.  

Ready to buy?

The printers above should have all things covered in terms of print volume, price point and security options.

However, we appreciate buying an ID card printer is something you’ll want to get right.

That’s why we’ve got a team of experts ready to advise and assist you.

If this post and our printer buying guide wasn’t enough, click on the link below to book your free discovery call with one of our print experts.

The call allows us to understand your requiremnts that suits your needs best. 

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