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Best Printer for Cardstock 2024: Top InkJet Printers for Cardstock

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Last Updated on April 15, 2024
Best Printer for Cardstock

Looking for the best cardstock printer? You’ve come to the right place. Printing high-quality materials has become a necessity for various personal and professional purposes. Whether creating invitations, business cards, or crafting projects, having a reliable printer is essential to bring your designs to life. But the best printers aren’t necessarily all rated for cardstock.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide, breaking down the top printers for cardstock on the market. Across a range of budgets and quality standards, we’ve picked five top printers for all of your printing needs!

Products at a Glance

How We Picked the Best Cardstock Printer

Cardstock printers, like many other printers for crafting, are not limited exclusively to cardstock. The best cardstock printers will perform as well with heavy cardstock as they will other materials aside from standard paper, like glossy photo paper and envelopes. This adds a layer of versatility to your printing, so whilst cardstock was the main focus, a range of other media options is always appreciated!

Additionally, we considered the type of printer (more on that below), print quality, and print speed. We also considered a range of budget tiers, so that nobody will come away from this list without a printer that suits their needs!

InkJet vs Laser Printers

When looking for a new or replacement printer, you will have to choose whether you’re after an InkJet printer or a laser printer. Both have pros and cons: InkJet printers tend to have a better depth of color but are more expensive to run, whereas laser printers are cheaper to run but have limited coloring capacities. Although laser printers excel at printing text on regular paper, InkJet printers generally outperform them when it comes to printing on specialist media like cardstock.

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Product Reviews

  • Highly efficient
  • Great print quality
  • Cloud-based wireless printing
  • Slower than average print speeds
  • Lacks scanning and faxing features

For the ultimate cardstock print solution, look no further than the Canon PIXMA iX6820. Designed for high-quality prints, its compact and stylish design hides the great quality under the hood.

The iX6820 has a print volume of up to 13″ x 19″, ideal for large-format printing. An exceptional five-color ink system makes it super-efficient for conventional use. The InkJet printer supports a range of media, from cardstock to stickers, and prints to a great resolution of 9600 x 2400 dots per inch (DPI).

It’s not all good news, however: we found that the iX6820 is slower than average to accommodate this quality. The average 4″ x 6″ photo takes approximately 36 seconds to print, which can majorly slow down a commercial-grade print process. But for those with a little more time on their hands who need unmatched quality, the PIXMA iX6820 is the ideal cardstock printer!

  • Supports borderless printing
  • Affordable
  • Good print quality and color accuracy
  • High cost per print due to exclusive ink
  • Design oversight

We made mention of the HP Envy 6055e as our budget choice in our best printers for greeting cards list, and we highly rate it as a cardstock printer too!

This versatile all-in-one printer can handle cardstock printing effectively and affordably. Having a high print quality with a maximum resolution of 1200 x 1200 DPI, the printer ensures sharp and detailed prints on cardstock, resulting in vibrant colors and clear text. The 6055e has a sturdy paper handling mechanism, ideal for cardstock printing.

What it isn’t ideal for, however, is those working with limited space or wanting low ongoing costs. The printer has an obnoxiously bright front light that can’t be turned off – so you’ll have no chance of sleeping in the same room as this printer. Additionally, HP limits the 6055e exclusively to their premium brand of ink, which makes for a low upfront cost and high ongoing expenses – the “razor and blades” model that printers have used for years. However, for a versatile budget printer for cardstock among other media, the 6055e is a top choice!

  • Wide-format printing
  • Great ink economy
  • Slow print speeds

Those wishing to avoid high ongoing ink costs should consider the Epson Expression XP-15000. Its innovative six-cartridge ink system makes for highly economic printing, as mentioned in our ranking of the best printers for graphic design.

With wireless connectivity optionality and a great maximum print size of 13″ x 19″, the XP-15000 has a lot of great functions – but the keyword here is “efficiency”. The Epson high-yield cartridges are rated for up to 800 prints apiece, making it great for high quantities of printing – especially on cardstock. The quality is standout as well, with the Claria Photo ink creating a great color gamut and smooth gradients.

However, with a print speed of only 9 pages per minute, the XP-15000 saves ink by expending time. The overall print resolution is also lesser than our top choice – though still high for such a printer. Save money in the long term by investing in the XP-15000!

  • Compact
  • Great color quality
  • Expensive for home use
  • Slow

Consider the Canon Pixma PRO-200, another top-notch InkJet printer from Canon. Featuring an 8-color dye-based ink system for accurate color reproduction, this printer is ideal for detailed and vivid cardstock printing.

The PRO-200 is a top-rated graphic-printing machine, with a high print resolution of 4800 x 2400 DPI. It also has a wide print size, albeit not as much as dedicated large-format printers. With a rear tray that can accommodate cardstock and other thick media, the PRO-200 is great for high-quality designs on any surface!

So why isn’t this the best cardstock printer? Though it’s not bank-breakingly expensive, the PRO-200 is quite pricey for a home printing solution, which may alienate some. Additionally, the slow print speeds can make for tedious waiting on high-quantity print jobs. These are easily overcome, however, and we still recommend the PRO-200 for all of your graphic design needs!

  • Designed for cardstock
  • Wide-format options
  • Slow
  • Bulky

Our last printer on today’s list is another of our best printers for crafting: the Canon TS9521C is a top-notch InkJet printer specially designed to handle cardstock. With an array of other media options available, too, this is definitely great value for those who need to create vibrant cards!

Alongside wired and wireless connectivity options, the TS9521C comes with a dedicated SD card slot for easy uploading of designs. This makes it an ideal choice for photos, especially with the option to print up to 12″ x 12″ in size. The rear tray is tailor-made for cardstock printing, however, which is where the advantage of this printer lies.

Where the disadvantages lie, however, is in other aspects of the design: this is a cumbersome cardstock printer, and one that can be very slow to print. Those working with limited time and space should avoid this model. If those aren’t obstacles, then the TS9521C is an ideal choice for printing detailed, colorful designs onto cardstock!

Features and Considerations

We’ve talked (or written) in broad strokes here about finding the cardstock printer for any and all needs, but the only person who can truly tailor your printer requirements is you. Here’s what to consider if you are unsure of where to start on your printer search:

Print Quality

Print quality is of course important, especially if you’re printing on card for commercial use, aim for a higher resolution on your printer. Resolution is measured in dots per inch (DPI).

Print Size

Depending on what you plan to print, make sure to read up on the dimensions. Greeting cards and invitations all have different standard sizes, so make sure that your printer can not only accommodate them, but that the cardstock you purchase fits!

Print Speed

Quicker isn’t necessarily better: some fast printers aren’t as efficient overall. However, commercial-grade cardstock printing requires a little speed, so factor in the average print speed – generally measured in pages-per-minute – when considering a cardstock printer.

Ink Type

There is no one set type of ink for printers: different brands use a variety of different ink types, with even edible ink printers being a popular market. Ink can vary in longevity and color depth, so consider that when checking compatible ink systems with your printer.

Ink Efficiency

We’ve mentioned “ink economy” a few times in this buyer’s guide, which is a catch-all term for how well a printer uses the supplied ink. Though it’s harder to quantify, especially for cardstock printers, manufacturers often list an average “cost per print”. This figure should be measured in cents rather than dollars, meaning that the printer makes the most of the ink supplied. The most economic printers tend to be large Ink Tank printers that house large reservoirs of ink for printing.

Can my home printer print cards?

No: Generally speaking, laser printers and general-purpose units aren’t suited for specialist media such as cardstock. You’d need to invest in an InkJet Printer in order to print efficiently and to a high standard for cards.

Do I need Photoshop to print cards?

Whilst it’s not a hard requirement – there are plenty of graphics software options out there – Adobe’s suite of software is among the best. Easily adjust elements such as resolution, dimensions, and with new their new Generative Fill technology you can even use AI to power your designs.

Our Verdict

The ultimate solution for printing cardstock, the Canon Pixma iX6820 is a tremendous printer that manages to marry high quality and high-efficiency. Though speed isn’t quite as high as we’d like, this printer is ideal for the best quality prints on cardstock!

That said, any and all of our choices today should reliably accommodate cardstock printing needs, so consider your needs and invest in whichever one suits you!

For larger artworks, consider investing in a Canvas Printer – allowing for unique and high-quality decorative images wherever you need them!