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Which badge printer is the most economical for ink costs

By administrator

May 7, 2022

When it comes to planning an event, having the right equipment is at the top of the checklist. One of the most convenient tools is hands down a conference badge printer. However, it can be somewhat overwhelming to choose out of all the options on the market, which is why it’s important to know the specifics of each model.

Before choosing a conference badge printing machine, ask yourself which qualities you would like them to have according to your event’s needs. Maybe your goal is to print badges as fast as possible or perhaps you’re looking for a name badge printer that is economical when it comes to ink use (in that case, go with a thermal printer).

It can also be a matter of durability, so depending on the nature and duration of your event, you may need to decide between a name badge printer machine for paper labels and a plastic name badge printer, which can provide PVC cards.

Here’s a list of some great conference badge printing options depending on your specific needs.

Paper name badge printer models

If you’ve decided that you want to go with paper name badges, you’ll come across high-speed thermal printers and inkjet models. These are some of the most outstanding options:

  •         Zebra ZD420: Sometimes what you need is a practical, user-friendly printer, especially when you’re planning a smaller event on a budget. This printer can be used with blank or pre-printed custom color badges, providing high-speed black prints via direct thermal printing.
  • Zebra ZD620: Similar to the ZD420 printer, this printer prints direct thermal badges on blank or pre-printed badge stock. However, this printer does provide a badge cutter and there is no need to tear off a badge. 
  • Zebra ZD621: This printer is our most advanced printer. It prints Direct Thermal badges just like the other Zebra printers, but on top of it it has a built- in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module and can be used entirely wireless.
  •         Epson Colorworks C3500: For full-color badges printed on-site, your best bet will be to get an inkjet printer such as this one, but keep in mind that you will need ink cartridges. Its compact and robust design is best for commercial use.

Plastic name badge printer models

A plastic (PVC) card is definitely the most durable option when it comes to badges. It adds a professional appearance and may even be stored as a keepsake by attendees, making it apt for important events. Here are our recommendations:

  •         Zebra ZC10L: With this plastic name badge printer, you’ll be able to provide premium full-color badges on-site in a matter of seconds. Plus, it can print in high resolution (300dpi), which is perfect for photos. You can also add a single or double lanyard slot if needed. This model is especially ideal for large badges (approximately 3.5″ x 5.5″).
  •         Primacy Card Printer: If you’re looking for an extremely fast and efficient option, this model is the answer. It can print edge-to-edge credit card size (3.37" x 2.125") plastic badges in full color. One of its pros is that it can make PCV cards in a wide array of colors. This option is best suited for ID cards, student cards, or employee badges.
  •         2XL Card Printer: For a small to medium event, you may want to go with a lightweight and efficient machine such as this one. Although this model requires preprinted PVC cards, it can print up to 180 full-color cards per hour. Cards are available in 3.46" x 4.88" and 3.46" x 5.51".

Adhesive Badge Printers

There’s nothing more practical than an adhesive badge, and thermal printers such as the Zebra ZD420 and Zebra GK420 are great models, but these are some other options you may want to consider:

  •     Brother QL-820NWB: This ultra-flexible label printer comes with multiple connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth. It uses a direct thermal printing method, and it can be used with a variety of Brother labels for small to medium events.

RFID/UHF Encoder and Wristband Printers

For your RFID needs, look no further than the Zebra ZD500R. Though it’s small in size, this printer comes with an integrated badge cutter and RFID encoder. Able to print and encode with just one touch, this is an ideal choice for applications where technical support staff might not be available.

As for wristbands, the Zebra ZD620, ZD240, and GK420 models described above can all be used with wristbands in different colors. The Zebra ZD500 boasts similar features and is also a great option for this kind of event ID.

How to Make the Right Choice

Deciding between the varieties of printers on the market can be overwhelming, so if you still need help, make sure to reach out to professional service providers such as Choose 2 Rent. All the models mentioned above – as well as other top-notch options – are available for rental with Choose 2 Rent. Contact us and we will gladly help you make the best decision for your event.


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