In this era of big data and analytics, having an identification system in place is more of a necessity than a choice. Issuing identification cards or badges to employees, workers, students, visitors or attendees is an important measure taken to ensure the security of an organisation, its people and assets as well as a greater sense of accountability and efficiency. From determining if someone belongs in the building to keeping a record of who is coming in and going out and ensuring quick and hassle-free entry for authorised individuals into the premises, ID cards serve many purposes and offer great value.

Many organisations, today, prefer printing ID cards in-house because it saves money and also gives them the flexibility to customise design, add any information or print whenever they want. However, having a robust and efficient ID card printer is necessary to benefit from in-house printing and make a difference with your ID cards. That said, various factors are needed to be considered when choosing an ID card printer, to make sure you get the efficiency, customisation and peace of mind you are looking for, to keep your premises and personnel safe and secure at all times.

After our in-depth research on ID card printers and extensive comparison, we have put together this list of four best ID card printers in the market right now.

1. Magicard Pronto ID Card Printer


It may not be the latest or fastest in the market in 2020, but Magicard Pronto still deserves a mention in this list because of the considerable performance it delivers at a reasonable price. With a compact design and lightweight construction, it can easily fit into a corner of your small office or home as well as be relocated somewhere else when needed. The drop-in dye film and hand-fed card loading feature make it easy to operate, especially for beginners. This means you can create simple, single-sided ID, photo, membership or loyalty cards at the touch of a button. However, this printer may not be a good option if you have large volumes of cards to print on a regular basis as it does not have input and output hoppers.

You will still be able to print full colour cards and use thermally activated rewritable cards for loyalty programs and visitor management, which helps cut down on consumable costs. Moreover, with Magicard’s HoloKote technology, you can add one of the four watermarks to your ID cards, adding visual security and making it easier to identify fraudulent copies.

2. Magicard 300 ID Card Printer

Another great option from Magicard, this sleek, robust printer offers high quality printing, industry-leading reliability and powerful security features for medium-volume card applications. While being reasonably priced, Magicard 300 still offers digital shredding technology as well as the manufacture’s standard HoloKote feature to ensure maximum security against cloning and counterfeiting while reducing the risk of data breaches. It can print at a speed of up to 160 full colour single-sided cards per hour and is built with a combination of powerful, high-performance materials and advanced components for improved functionality and durability.  

The Magicard 300 is designed to easily and quickly integrate with existing infrastructure vis USB, reducing set-up time and requiring minimal technical knowledge for first-time users. Ethernet and WiFi connectivity options are also available as standard, allowing the printer to integrate with most third-party applications, locally or in the cloud. With that level of security, affordability and functionality, this ID card printer is ideal for most colleges, schools and medium-sized businesses.

3. Evolis Primacy ID Card Printer

Easy to use, fast and flexible – the Evolis Primacy printer has been a popular choice of ID card printing solution for staff and student ID cards, for some time now. The printer supports rapid batch production with the print speed of up to 225 single-sided cards per hour & 140 double-sided cards per hour in colour and up to 1,000 cards per hour in monochrome. This makes it a suitable option for businesses that handle large-volume print jobs daily and prioritise quality.  

The Evolis Primacy ID card printer comes with a large feeder and hopper capacity, which can each hold 100 cards, providing a great level of autonomy in a very confined space and saving your time by reducing the frequency of reloading cards. Additionally, whether installed on the counter or in the office, the feeder and output hopper located at the front of the printer makes for easy handling and allows you to keep an eye on the printing jobs any time.

Besides an elegant yet professional design, reliable operation and seamless results, the Primacy users benefit from the Evolis Premium Suite software that lets you control the printer and easily integrate it into your existing IT systems.

4. Zebra ZC300 ID card Printer

Known for their affordability, versatility and top-notch performances, Zebra ZC300 ID card printers are a go-to solution for various card printing applications, from identification systems to membership programs and event cards. The professional looks of the printer allow it to easily blend into a business environment while the compact design leaves much space on your workstation after installation, making for space efficiency. Features like plug-and-play deployment, a graphical user interface, intuitive icons and instant card feeder adjustment ensure easier integration, use and management. Adding to the ease of use and time savings is the revolutionary hopper design which adds convenience to and takes hassle out of card loading and uploading process.  

The ZC300 printer is a great option if you need to print large volumes of cards; the full-colour ribbon can print at the speed of 200 cards per hour while an impressive 900 can be produced per hour in monochrome. With a full-colour display that shows instructions, changing of ribbon and cleaning tasks become easier and faster. You can also instantly see how your card looks and how certain setting changes affect the design of your card, eliminating the cost and time involved in repeatedly printing test cards.  

The Takeaway

These were some of the best performing ID card printers according to our research and expert comparison. Note that you may or may not find your ideal ID card printer in this list; the best ID card printer should be able to save time and offer a reliable performance, good print quality, seamless results, and customisation features to print according to your needs. There are many other ID card printer models, like Evolis Zenius Expert, Magicard Rio Pro, Zebra ZXP3 and Zebra ZXP7 ID card printers, that guarantee optimal operation, reliability, ease of use and excellent results at competitive prices than many other models.

If you are a first-time buyer, we suggest talking to an expert so that you can know your available choices better and make a wise decision.