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What Type Of Printer Is Best For Printable Vinyl Stickers?

After testing dozens of printable vinyl brands and samples with various printers we can confidently say that the best type of printer for printable vinyl stickers is an inkjet printer that uses dye-based ink.

Pigment based inkjet printers and laser printers are also compatible with many printable vinyl sticker sheets but produce a lower quality and less vibrant print.

We wrote a blog post about the best printable vinyl sticker paper for both inkjet and laser printers that may help you make a final purchasing decision.

Best Inkjet Printers For Printable Vinyl

The best type inkjet printer for printable vinyl is one that uses dye-based ink and that fits your budget.

You want to find a printer that can print photo-quality prints, has a rear feeding tray (makes jamming less likely with thick vinyl), and that is easy to use and set up.

Here at Royal Elements we have used a variety of inkjet and laser printers and are currently using an HP Deskjet 3755.

Best Laser Printers For Printable Vinyl

The best laser printers for printable vinyl are color laser printers with a rear feeding tray.

Laser printers are used less often than inkjet printers for printable vinyl due to the higher initial cost of the printer and toner.

Laser toner uses heat when printing and depending on the laser printer it can get as hot as 400 degrees Fahrenheit (around 204 Celsius).

Because of this you will want to make sure the printable vinyl packaging says “for laser printers” or “for inkjet and laser printers”.

Here at Royal Elements we have used an HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479FDW for a number of years and have seen great results with printable vinyl.

What Is The Best Printer Setting For Printable Vinyl?

The best printer settings for printable vinyl is to set your quality setting to “High Quality,” “Best” or “Photo Glossy Paper” under the Media & Quality section of the printer interface.

Glossy and clear printable vinyl are best suited to a “Photo Glossy Paper” setting or the closest available option, whereas matte printable vinyl would be better suited to “Plain Paper” or the auto select feature.

You may find that your ink smears during the printing process. If that’s the case we recommend checking out this article that explains how to prevent or stop your ink from smearing on your printable vinyl stickers.

What Type of Vinyl Is Used For Printing?

Products marked as “printable vinyl” are the only suitable vinyl that is compatible with home inkjet and laser printers. 

Printable vinyl is commonly made from a PVC material which is then coated with a special material that accepts and locks in inkjet or laser ink and can often be water-resistant or waterproof. 

Printable Vinyl Sticker Paper VS Printable Heat Transfer Vinyl

There are two main types of printable vinyl which are used for two very different applications.

  • Printable vinyl sticker paper is used to make DIY custom printed stickers and are placed on hard surfaces such as mugs, car bumpers, laptops, or similar objects.
  • Printable heat transfer vinyl, also called printable HTV or iron-on vinyl is used to make custom graphic T-shirts or other cotton-based apparel.

Click here to read our in depth article on the differences between printable vinyl sticker paper and printable HTV 

Non-Printable Vinyl Types Explained

There are many varieties of vinyl that are not printable.

Adhesive vinyl, vinyl laminating sheets, and solid colors of heat transfer vinyl not marked as “printable” on the packaging are not meant for printing.

If you try to print on these vinyl materials you run the risk of damaging your printer or print heads and the ink will rub right off because there is no specialized coating on top to lock the ink or laser toner in place.

We offer a variety of printable vinyl sticker paper, laminating sheets and more at Royal Elements – you can check out our shop page to browse all of our options.

Happy crafting!

Michael from Royal Elements

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