Card Printing Tips & Advice

What is the Life Expectancy of an ID Card Printer?

What is the Life Expectancy of an ID Card Printer

Just like any piece of equipment, an ID card printer will have a limited lifespan.

In this post, we’re going to be discussing the life expectancy of ID card printers, whether certain card printers last longer and some helpful tips for extending the life expectancy of your machine. Let’s begin.

How long will my ID card printer last?

The life expectancy of your ID card printer depends on many factors, including:

  • How many plastic ID cards are printed annually
  • How often your ID card printer is used
  • How well the machine is looked after

One way of estimating your printer lifespan is by looking at its warranty. This will give you a guaranteed life expectancy.

Most ID card printers have a warranty period ranging between 2 – 4 years, with the IDP Smart 31 and Smart 51 card printers covered by an unrivalled 5 year warranty.

After the warranty period, printers may begin to deliver a lesser print quality or show signs of damage.

If your old printer is out of warranty, it’s the perfect time to think about trading it in for a newer model. You can do this with our ID card printer trade-in service.

id card printer life expectancy comparison retransfer vs direct-to-card

Do some ID card printers last longer than others?

Retransfer printers tend to last longer than direct-to-card printers.

This is because the print head of a retransfer machine does not make direct contact with the plastic card, whereas for a direct-to-card printer, it does.

This direct contact can be an issue as it increases the likelihood of damage being caused over time, regardless of how well the machine is cleaned.

Therefore, as a retransfer printer’s print head does not make direct contact, it is likely to last longer than a direct-to-card printer. This is why many ID printer manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the print head for retransfer printers.

If you’re considering a retransfer machine, you should keep in mind that it will have higher up-front costs than a direct-to-card machine, however will offer much more value.

Capable of both single-sided and dual-sided printing, retransfer ID card printers offer a superior print quality, create longer-lasting ID cards and are the only printer type we recommend for printing onto access control cards.

To find out more about which type of machine best suits your ID card printing needs, check out our updated card printer buying guide.

How to extend the life expectancy of your ID card printer

We’ve established that opting for a retransfer printer will result in a machine with a longer lifespan.

Below are some additional tips for extending the life expectancy of your ID card printer:

Regular servicing and ensuring your ID card printer is looked after properly will help ensure a longer life expectancy. You can see a full list of top maintenance tips for card printers here.

Let’s Recap

The life expectancy of an ID card printer depends on several factors and is unique to each machine. All ID card printers have a warranty period of 2 – 5 years, so will last at least this.

Furthermore, proper cleaning using genuine supplies will preserve the print quality and extend the printer life beyond the warranty period.

With over 25,000 happy customers, we’re here to help.

We’ve helped over 25,000 companies strengthen their security systems over the last 3 decades by providing the best photo ID and access control solutions on the market. And we would love to help you, too.

Whether it’s a single-sided printer you need or a dual-sided printer is more up your street, we guarantee to have something to suit your ID card printing needs. We stock only the best ID card printers from the world’s leading brands. Our machines can print student and staff ID cards, membership cards, loyalty cards, access control cards and much more.

You can view all ID card printers here.

Or for a custom package tailored to your company’s needs, speak to a member of our expert team on 0800 988 2095 or at today. We look forward to speaking to you.