Yes–almost any regular printer can print on vinyl sticker paper! Of course, there are some printers that do a better job than others, and there are a few that you should definitely not experiment with.
In this post, we'll check out the details of printers that are compatible with vinyl sticker papers as well as some best practices for sticker printing.
What Is Vinyl Printing?
Vinyl printing refers to the printing of images or graphics on vinyl sheets (like 3M and Avery Vinyl) using a toner or ink. The sheets comprise a combination of choline and ethylene, which makes them smooth, slightly flexible in nature, and waterproof. There are several different types of vinyl sheets, including the following:
- White glossy removable vinyl
- White matte removable vinyl
- White glossy permanent vinyl
- Clear removable vinyl
Compared to paper stickers, each type of vinyl sheet is much more durable and suitable for outdoor use. If you print stickers on vinyl sheets and stick them outdoors, they would last up to three years. When it comes to indoor use, they can last up to seven years.
On the contrary, paper stickers would wear off as soon as they come in contact with water, or they may fade within a month under bright daylight.
What Types of Printers Can Print on Vinyl Sticker Paper?
The most common type of printer used in domestic and professional vinyl printing is none other than inkjet printers. You might need to adjust printing settings and use the correct toner or ink for the job, but overall, inkjet printers will produce high-quality sticker printers with vibrant colors.
Other than that, you can use laser printers and specialized printers. Laser printers are typically more expensive than inkjet printers, but they also deliver sharper prints.
Specialized printers include digital label printers, wide-format printers, UV printers, and dye-sublimation printers. These are commercial-grade printers and are thus more expensive as well as complex to handle.
Out of all printers that are compatible with vinyl sticker sheets, specialized printers deliver the most professional and accurate results. However, we do not recommend investing in a specialized printer unless you're starting out a large-scale sticker printing business.
What Types of Printers Cannot Print on Vinyl Sticker Paper?
There are also some types of printers that are not recommended for vinyl sticker printing. These include:
- Dot matrix printers: These printers basically use pins to transfer ink on paper. The pins can damage the vinyl material and produce distorted results.
- Older printers: Because a vinyl sheet is thicker than an average sticker paper, it might jam old printers or cause mechanical issues.
It's also best to avoid low-quality inkjet printers–these may not be able to handle the weight of vinyl sticker papers or may result in poor print quality. So, always check the specs of the printer and confirm if it's recommended for vinyl sheets by the manufacturer. If the manual of the printer or online website gives no information in this regard, it’s a good idea to contact the customer support.