Last Updated on February 4, 2023
I used to print images on standard photo paper. However, after experimenting, we have recently concluded that printing on cardstock is much more satisfying since the thick paper gives your images a more solid, textured feel. Printing on cardstock is also ideal for ceremonies, party invitations, greeting cards, digital drawings, and art pieces.
Typically, you can print on cardstock using your home inkjet printer in the same manner as you would with general paper. If you are running a business or focused on DIY Vlogging, ordinary home printers are unsuitable because cardstock is too thick or stiff and can jam or simply not slide through the rollers.
In this situation, it would be more practical to purchase a printer that can handle thick paper. You will have greater control over the design, customization, and editing processes.
We evaluated the best machines from our list of 10 best printers to determine which could handle thicker media and a variety of paper. The list below includes printers with the best ink quality to absorb quickly into cardstock finishes without smudging.
Top 3 Pick Of Best Printers For Cardstock
- 4800 x 2400 DPI Printing
- Mobile Device Printing
- Compatible with individual CLI 42 ink tanks
- Outstanding image quality and color
- No Photo and Matte Black ink switching
- New 10-channel MicroPiezo AMC printhead
- Prints up to 19 pages per minute
- Auto On/auto off Technology
- Mobile Device Printing
What Should You Look for in a Cardstock Printer?
Inkjet and laser printers that use a large number of individual inks for accurate color reproduction are the best printers for printing on thick card stock; they can print on a wide variety of paper sizes and types, and they are premium products that produce high-quality prints.
There are some printers designed specifically for card stock printing that include specialty feeds that are specifically designed for handling thicker and heavier paper. You should probably look for a printer that can handle cardstock printing if you print a lot of documents on cardstock. Don’t forget to account for the feed system. Manually feeding one sheet at a time into rear feeds is necessary. On other machines, like the Cricut printer, multiple sheets may be processed automatically.
Number of Prints per Ink Cartridge
It is important to consider the number of prints each ink cartridge will be able to produce before it runs out when choosing an inkjet printer for cardstock.
Printers with two cartridges commonly found in cheap devices have relatively inexpensive ink, but high-end printers with 10+ ink cartridges can put a great deal of strain on your wallet when the time comes to replace them. It costs $120 for a printer such as the Canon Pro-300 even if each cartridge is only about $12.
There is no generic ink available for the newest Canon printers. In addition to generic ink cartridges, Epson printers also have a number of firmware updates that disable these cartridges in the printers, so be sure to check recent reviews before purchasing generic ink.
If you plan to use a cardstock printer, you should pay attention to the machine’s media compatibility. The printer’s specifications determine the type of paper the printer can handle. The cardstock should be listed among the compatible media. Just like sticker printers manufacturers will list compatible inks.
Further, ensure that the printer is compatible with the type of finish and texture of the paper you intend to use. Different finishes are available for cardstock. To achieve high-quality printing, you must ensure that your printer can handle the paper without bleeding or smearing.
In addition, ensure that USB 2.0 and related types of connection are supported.
Laser / Inkjet
There are pros and cons to both types of printers when considering cardstock printers, and the question of laser vs. inkjet frequently arises.
Reviews have stated that HP printers are the best laser printers for cardstock, while Canon and Epson printers are the best inkjet printers.
Compared to laser printers or conventional heat transfer printers, I believe that inkjet printers are more suitable for most art-related purposes, and especially for printing on card stock.
Suppose you consider the cost of the initial purchase and the cost of replacing ink. In that case, laser printers are relatively expensive due to their high print quality and color printing costs significantly higher than inkjet printers per page.
10 Best Printers for Cardstock
1. HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 all-in-one wireless printer
After testing a number of printers, we selected the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 as the first printer on our list because it redefines the meaning of the term “all-in-one” with its remarkably broad paper handling range. It can handle paper weights up to 110 lb cardstock, which is the maximum weight for consumers all-in-ones.
We achieved vibrant colors with a high-quality resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi using four individual ink cartridges. In addition, it is able to handle a wide variety of finishes with good ink absorption, including super glossy ones.
Thanks to the machine’s two-sided automatic document feeder, you will have no problem printing brochures, folded cards, or any other media requiring double-sided printing.
I just loved the efficient and smart system by HP for printing, connecting, and organizing. Through its mobile application, the machine and its cloud storage providers such as Dropbox and Google Drive are directly accessible. We maintained a number of different files in several locations and I must say this functionality is quite useful as it allows for easier access for printing.
Furthermore, it is equipped with a large input tray that can hold up to 250 sheets of paper.
2. HP OfficeJet 3830 Budget Printer For Cardstock
I conclude that the HP OfficeJet 3830 is the second best printer for at-home cardstock printing on a budget. It produces high-resolution prints up to 4800 x 1200 dpi using only two ink cartridges, which is excellent since you do not need to purchase a lot of replacement cartridges in order to achieve high quality. Although it may take longer to print in color than the one we discussed above, the ink absorption is quite high, even on glossy photo paper.
A thick photo paper or a lighter cardstock is the best material to print on with this printer. It’s great for making photo holiday cards and postcards.
Just like any other beginner sublimation printer, 3830 offers copying, scanning, wireless printing, and faxing along with cardstock printing.
3. Canon Pixma Pro-100 Large Size Printer
The third is a photo printer that produces excellent results when printing photos on cardstock. Printing highly detailed images onto cardstock and up to 13 x 19″ paper is no problem for the Canon Pixma Pro-100 printer. The rear paper feed was designed to process thicker papers with a wide range of textures and finishes.
Using an advanced eight-cartridge ink system, this printer can achieve impressive depth and gradients in color with more than 6,144 nozzles. You can print crisper lines, a deeper shading, and a monochrome print with this printer. It comes with three grayscale cartridges.
There is a technology called the Optimum Image Generating System, a printhead that analyzes what you’re printing to determine the most appropriate ink mix to produce the most accurate colors
4. Epson SureColor P600 Inkjet Printer for Cardstock
A high-quality photo printer, the Epson SureColor P600 provides prints similar to those produced in a print shop on sizes up to 13 x 19″ precut and 13 x 129″ on roll paper. Because of this, the printer can handle a wide variety of paper finishes and weights; it features a rear feed that can accommodate cardstock, canvas, fine art paper, heavy photo paper, labels, and an endless variety of other papers. I believe that this is one of the best options for a printer capable of handling heavy card stock.
AMC’s micro piezo print head achieves rich, vibrant colors and fantastic gradients as a result of its advanced micro piezo technology. In addition, it is highly absorbent and durable, making it the perfect material for cardstock. The two cartridges contain black ink, one for photo printing and the other for matte textures. Your cardstock prints will have excellent blacks and crisp lines. In addition, the ink is highly fade-resistant.
5. Canon PIXMA PRO-200 Vibrant Quality Printer
In addition to being one of the best printers for thick cardstock, the Canon Pro-200 must also be a great printer for thick paper.
Moreover, it is possible to print very large prints, up to 13 inches wide, or even use it for borderless, smaller prints, such as cards.
Although this is the best printer for making cards and printing invitations, do not forget that the choice of paper will affect the final product.
The Canon Pro-300 offers three inks, plus a Chroma optimizer, while the 200 offers dye-based ink rather than pigment ink.
6. Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 Wide-Format Printer
I believe that PRO-300 is the best mixture of professional quality and home usage as a heavy cardstock printer.
With similar print quality and color accuracy to the Pro-1000, but in a smaller, cheaper package, this is the middle brother in Canon’s lineup, below the Pro-1000 and above the Pro-200. Two inks are lost compared to the Pro-1000, and the maximum width is reduced by four inches, but it has very little impact on most people.
Based on two main factors, I assure you that the Pro-300 is superior to the Pro-1000: a lower price and a much lower cost of ink. It is intended to be used intermittently rather than daily, the Pro-300 is essentially a home version of the Pro-1000. For a professional photo printer, it occupies a relatively small amount of desk space. It is smaller than the Pro-1000 and is about the same size as the Pro-200.
Our laboratory tests demonstrated that the Pro-200’s pigment inks offer better print quality than the dye inks, at least for black and white work, without the need to visit a photo lab.
7. Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 Photographic Inkjet Printer
Canon’s Pro-1000 printer, which can produce prints up to 17 inches wide, is the largest printer on the list. I used PRO-1000 for producing prints for large walls and other large-format applications – although this printer is not ideal for making cards, it is capable of handling cardstock quite well.
I was quite impressed by 11 individual color cartridges, plus Chroma optimization that brings out the vibrant colors, the print quality and color accuracy.
This printer is so good that it will uncover all the small flaws you did not even notice in your photographs or artwork. It is certain to improve your artistic abilities!
Remember that official ink refills cost more than $700. Generic ink may be slightly cheaper, but it is not going to have the same impact as official ink does. You may not be able to afford the printer if you cannot afford refills.
8. Epson SureColor P700 Cardstock Printer For Home Use
The next printer we tested, P700, is an excellent choice for a large-format Epson cardstock printer, provided that you are not concerned with the high cost of replacement ink.
Epson’s SureColor P700 inkjet printer is a successor to the SureColor P600 inkjet printer. It offers similar high-quality print performance but in a modern package. Despite their high quality, the images displayed here are quite expensive due to their excellent color accuracy and print quality.
This printer has an interesting feature: it includes two types of black cartridges, one for glossy paper and one for luster paper. According to the type of paper being used, the printer automatically selects the appropriate black cartridge.
As a consequence, this printer is not intended to be left unattended for long periods, as the print heads may get clogged with infrequent use, and excessive ink will be wasted when the printer is cleaned when it is set up, so you should ensure that you print each day before purchasing this printer. If so, then it would be a cheaper alternative to the Canon Pro-1000.
9. HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw Laserjet Printer
While choosing the best color laser printer for cardstock, remember that even though laser printers have low image quality, they are not suited for printing photographs or documents with significant amounts of details. However, there are some applications where laser printers are well suited, such as high-volume printing of greeting cards and invitations.
You would need to look at an inkjet printer such as the Canon Pro-1000, which has a similar performance but is much more expensive.
The HP LaserJet Pro M255dw is limited to a maximum of 65lb / 175 gsm cardstock, but this is more than enough for most postcards and greeting cards and is actually able to accommodate the heaviest of all budget laser printers. Having a touchscreen control panel and a relatively small footprint, this printer is my favorite laser printer for printing cardstock.
10. HP LaserJet Pro M29w Monochrome Cardstock Printer
The final and last machine on the list is the smallest laser printer for cardstock printing. Because it is the lightest and smallest printer on the list, it weighs slightly more than ten pounds. Furthermore, it has outstanding features, including one-click copying, color scanning, Wi-Fi Direct option, and Amazon Alexa integration. As well as being useful for DIYers and YouTubers who use the printer occasionally, it also makes a good printer for home use.
The M29w takes some time to print, however, it can still produce up to 19 pages per minute. Considering it is capable of printing on all types of cardstock, that is not bad for a small desk printer.
Even though this printer is much lighter than the last three on our list, it can still handle thick envelopes, business cards, and posters easily.
It is important to note that this printer for envelopes and cardstock does have some significant drawbacks. There is no color printing option or fax option (which is actually not a detriment when you think about it), no Ethernet networking option or USB printing option, neither is there dual-sided printing. The sheet will need to be manually modified in this case. There are a few minor constraints, however, when it comes to speed, convenience, and size, this is the most suitable option.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
There is no denying that the answer to the question “what is the best printer for card stock?” can vary from user to user. We chose these ten top machines since we believe they have the capability to handle any printing requirements that a business might have.
However, if you are unable to decide between two models when shopping, here is what we would choose if we had very specific requirements.
- Canon PRO-1000 – HD color, fast operation, wide format support
- Epson SureColor P700 – fastest color printer, wireless capabilities, highest resolution
- The HP LaserJet Pro M29w offers a set of quite desirable features in a very compact size.
For the past five years, I have been working as a printer service supervisor in a printing press that serves customers with tailor-made designs and prints. My job involved dealing with printers five days a week, so I decided to take up printing as a hobby.