Card Printing Tips & Advice ID Card Printers Product Information

Best ID Card Printers 2024 | Reviewed by Card Printer Experts

In the fast-evolving world of photo identification and workplace security,  purchasing the right ID card printer that meets the requirements of the business is an important decision.

The first thing you need to decide is do you need a retransfer card printer or a direct-to-card printer. The wrong decision paired with the wrong advice could cost your organisation thousands of pounds in the form of technology debt and potentially leave you unable to print photo ID cards as the printer is not fit for purpose. Through a meticulous testing programme completed by our pre‑sales printer support team, we have compiled this list of the best ID card printers available to buy in 2024.

Every printer on this list has been tested for design flexibility, print quality, and print speed using a range of card types to determine the printer’s true output.

This list is to be used as a starting point to help you make your decision with confidence. Enjoy.

1. EasyBadge 3.0 ID Badge Printer Bundle

EasyBadge 3.0 Card Printer Bundle

Launched in 2022, the EasyBadge 3.0 Bundle continues to be one of our best-selling card machines and is a cost-effective entry-level printer for any business or organisation that is looking to print photo ID or membership-style cards for the first time. Intuitive and easy to use, the bundle comes with a single-sided printer, full-colour ribbon, 100 blank White plastic cards, ID card design software limited to 100 records and an innovative app that removes the headache of image capture, as images can be captured quickly and efficiently using a mobile or tablet device.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best Bits:

  • Everything supplied in one box including the app
  • Manufactured and made in Britain

Perfect for: This is the best ID card printer for first-time users with everything you need to get started in one card printer bundle.

Review Video: Click here to watch our full in-depth product review of the EasyBadge 3.0 Bundle.

Price: £690.00

2. Magicard 600 ID Card Printer

Magicard 600

The Magicard 600 is one of the newest direct-to-card printers on the market offering a great combination of high-resolution printing and impressive print speeds. The Magicard 600 is the more advanced version of the Magicard 300. In a nutshell, the 600 is faster, more secure and better suited to printing higher volumes of cards than the 300 model. The Magicard 600 printer also features Holokote built-in as standard, a transparent image is printed into the clear overcoat panel, creating a secure watermark only visible under UV lights. All in all, this printer will still be ahead of the game in 2024, making it a great fit for medium to high-volume ID card printing service needs, eco-conscious buyers or current Magicard users potentially upgrading from the Rio Pro or the Enduro 3E plastic card printers.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best bits:

  • Advanced card security-feature built-in as standard
  • The only direct to card-printer operating at 600dpi
  • 3-year MagiCoverPlus manufacturer warranty

Perfect for: Increasing card security and high-print volumes or organisations looking to replace the Magicard Rio Pro or Enduro3E.

Review Video: Click here to watch our full in-depth product review of the Magicard 600.

Price: £1,200

3. IDP Smart 21 Card Printer

The IDP Smart 21 is the latest printer to be launched within the IDP range and it’s also the most cost-effective ID card printer we’ve ever sold and comes with free ID card design software. Great value for your money, the IDP Smart 21 easily prints high quality monochrome and full-colour single-sided cards for your business or organisation. One of the best ID card printers to use if you value simplicity, it benefits from a 45% increase in printing speed compared to like-for-like models. The IDP Smart 21 adds several security features not currently found on most hand-fed printers. For example, it comes with the option of adding UV and SmartMark security features to the surface of every printed card.

Best Bits:

  • 5-year manufacturer warranty cover
  • 24-second per full-colour card print speed
  • Simple plug-and-play design with no technical experience required

Perfect for: This is one of the best card printers for a small business or workplace on a specific budget.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Price: £499.00

4. IDP Smart 31 Card Printer

The IDP Smart 31 is a reliable, low-maintenance printer ideal for small businesses requiring basic ID. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in businesses taking their card-printing in-house to deal with new entry and access control procedures designed to ensure workplaces remain as safe as possible. The Smart 31 might not be the newest printer on the market, but remains a great choice for professional direct-to-card printing thanks to the unrivalled 5-year manufacturer warranty, smart print performance and free Easybadge ID card software.

Best bits:

  • Desk-friendly, with a small environmental footprint
  • 5-year manufacturer warranty cover
  • 15% quicker than its closest rival

Perfect for: Low-maintenance ID card printing or customers looking to upgrade from the IDP Smart 30.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Price: £699.00

5. Magicard 300 Card Printer

the magicard 300 ID card printer

The Magicard 300 is a high-quality direct-to-card ID card printer, best suited for businesses that are printing photo ID cards in-house. This popular choice is one of our best-selling ID card printers to date due to its advanced features, impressive print quality and user-friendly interface. The Magicard 300 cuts no corners when it comes to security. Digital shredding™️ ensures your data is fragmented and destroyed after printing, so there is no risk of any data breaches. Magicard’s HoloKote®️ watermark can also be added to cards to give them a free layer of visual security. This printer comes with a range of security options, such as magnetic stripe encoding and Elatec TWN4 encoding. Magicard’s One Tree Planted scheme also makes this printer a great option if you’re looking for an environmentally sustainable printer. Overall, the Magicard 300 will remain a top-choice ID card printer throughout 2024. The ease of use, durable design and quick print speeds make this printer a favourite for a wide range of industries and applications.

Best bits:

  • High-definition image quality
  • Made in Britain
  • 3-years manufacturer warranty

Perfect for: Organisations that require high-quality ID cards at an affordable price.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review Video: Click here to watch our full in-depth product review of the Magicard 300.

Price: £950.00

7. Fargo HDP5000 Retransfer Card Printer

The clue is in the name: HDP stands for High Definition Printing, and the Fargo HDP5000 is the best printer for businesses seeking excellence in card quality without paying over and above. Like the Magicard Ultima above, this is a retransfer printer built for creating high-quality, over-the-edge, secure ID badges designed to last. This is because they can print on access control cards’ uneven surfaces. Fargo’s superb reliability score and lifetime print head warranty offer ease of mind and thanks to the HDP5000’s design, changing the printer ribbon or carrying out a cleaning cycle is easy. The Fargo HDP5000 is great for security. You can purchase the HDP5000 with additional encoding modules to encode access control cards including HID proximity, iCLASS and Indala among others. A full-colour card takes 29 seconds to print, making this machine ideal for medium-to-high print runs.

Best bits:

  • Built-in High Definition Printing (HDP) technology
  • First of its kind to help prevent card cloning and duplication
  • Full-colour card printing in 29 seconds

Perfect for: Printing high-definition photo ID cards.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Price: £1,880.00

8. Authentys PRO RT1 Retransfer ID Card Printer

Authentys PRO RT1

The Authentys PRO RT1 retransfer card printer is the newest addition to our list and is regarded as the most reliable retransfer card printer globally. The RT1 delivers superior print quality, ensuring three times the durability of standard printers. With vibrant colors, sharp images, and full over-the-edge coverage, it offers design flexibility without the need for a new printer. Cards printed using the RT1 printer are three times more durable than those printed with a standard direct-to-card printer.

Best Bits:

  • 10% cheaper than its closest rival
  • Regarded as the most reliable retransfer printer on the market
  • Prints highly durable cards

Perfect for: Secure retransfer printing within larger print volume requirements.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Price: £1,695.00

Need more help choosing the best ID card printer?

The ID card printers listed above cover a wide range of printing requirements and are trusted to match your business or organisation’s individual needs. All of our ID Card printers come with free ID card design software, 30 days of free technical support meaning our team can ensure your printer is up and running with minnimal fuss, and a lowest price guarantee – we promise to price match any competitor quote on all ID card printers.

Please note that ID card printer ribbons, blank White plastic cards, and printer cleaning kits are not included with the printer and will need to be purchased separately where required.

If you still need support finding the ID printer solution that’s best suited to your sector, contact our sales team on 0800 988 2095 or browse through our in-depth ID card printer buying guide.

*Disclaimer: All information and prices are correct as of 01/05/24