The 3 Best Printers for Cardstock in 2024

True Score Methodology

v1.5

147,337

Reviews Analyzed

Updated Jun 14, 2024 8:27 PM

Table of Contents

best printer cardstock guide that shows the top best printer model

A whopping 75% of electronic and appliance reviews are untrustworthy. That’s why every reviewer gets a Trust Rating so our True Score System filters out the fake reviews. See how we do it.

When you need a printer for cardstock, look for models that handle thicker paper without jams, maintain print quality, and offer versatile media handling. Key features include robust paper feed mechanisms, high-resolution printing, and adjustable settings to handle different cardstock weights. These aspects ensure your projects, from invitations to business cards, come out professionally.

Our guide features three winning printers, chosen from over 30 analyzed models and 147,337 reviews. We found that 67% of experts provided unreliable insights. Our proprietary process, using True Score and Trust Rating, filters fake and low-quality reviews and certifies products as tested. The top printers demonstrated exceptional performance in reliability, print quality, and media versatility.

How Did We Rank the Best Printers for Cardstock?

We’ve delved into extensive research, examining over 200 websites to curate the best printers for cardstock. By scrutinizing testing methods and customer feedback, we identified key factors that influence performance. Our guide prioritizes 2 essential test results, 1 desirable feature, and 1 must-have specification, providing a reliable selection process backed by our comprehensive True Score analysis.

Our commitment to unbiased reviews is powered by our ‘True Score’ system, targeting low quality and fake reviews. When you shop through our links, you’re backing our mission. Dive deeper to see how.

?️ Minimum Specifications

  • Must print on cardstock.

? Test Criteria

  • Color Accuracy: Color accuracy is maintained with a deviation (dE) of less than 6.
  • Color Printing Costs: Printing costs are less than 40 cents per page.

? “Nice To Haves”

  • Print Cost: Printing costs for black & white documents are less than 7 cents per page.

Latest Updates

  • 06/14/2024: Republished the list to include the best printers for cardstock based on our True Score system.

Top Printers for Cardstock For 2024

Prices accurate at the time of publishing

See how we test the testers

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300

    • Best For Cardstock

    For unparalleled color accuracy and premium quality in cardstock printing, the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 is a premium choice that blends precision with versatility.

    Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 Review →

    True Score

    89
    89
    4

    Experts

    90
    453

    Customers

    SAVE $50
    $899.99
    $849.99

    Snapshot

    Reasons to Buy

    • Great print quality
    • Decent running costs

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Slow printing speed

    Specifications

    Automatic Document FeederAutomatic Document FeederNo
    Automatic Two-Sided PrintingAutomatic Two-Sided PrintingNo
    Copier Resolution (B&W)Copier Resolution (B&W)
    Copier Resolution (Color)Copier Resolution (Color)
    DepthDepth15"
    Duplex Scan FunctionDuplex Scan Functionna
    Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedYes
    HeightHeight7.9"
    Integrated FaxIntegrated FaxNo
    Max Number of CopiesMax Number of Copies
    Max Paper WidthMax Paper Width13"
    Mobile PrintingMobile PrintingYes
    Number of Ink Cartridges RequiredNumber of Ink Cartridges Required10
    Paper FeederPaper FeederTop loader
    Print Speed (B&W)Print Speed (B&W)
    Print Speed (Color)Print Speed (Color)Up to 4800 x 2400
    Printer Resolution (B&W)Printer Resolution (B&W)Up to 4800 x 2400
    Printer Resolution (Color)Printer Resolution (Color)Up to 4800 x 2400
    Printer TypePrinter TypePrinter
    Scanner ResolutionScanner Resolutionna
    Scanner TypeScanner Typena
    Tray CapacityTray Capacity100
    WidthWidth25.2"
    WirelessWirelessYes

    All Specs

    Test Results

    B&W Print Speed (ppm)1
    Color Print Speed (ppm)1
    B&W Printing Costs (¢ per page)4
    Color Printing Costs (¢ per page)28
    Color Accuracy (dE)3

    All Retailers

    • $849.99
      $900
      Save $50

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      Yes
    • $849.99
      $900
      Save $50

      Availability

      Free Shipping

      Yes
    • $849.99
      $900
      Save $50

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

    Our Verdict

    If you are willing to invest in top-tier quality for your cardstock printing needs, the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 is the top choice for premium cardstock printing, distinguished by its unmatched color accuracy (delta E of 2.93). This precision is crucial for those who demand that prints accurately mirror the original digital designs, which is essential in both professional work and creative projects. With ten ink cartridges, this printer excels at delivering a rich color range, elevating the quality of detailed graphics, photo prints, and vibrant presentations on cardstock.

    The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 prioritizes exceptional print quality and color fidelity over speed, evident from its modest print speeds of 1.00 ppm for black and white and 0.75 ppm for color, the slowest in our roundup. In contrast, the Canon Pixma TR8620A achieves a faster color print speed of 3.97 ppm. This deliberate focus on quality makes the PRO-300 ideal for projects where the precision of the output is paramount, such as creating fine art prints, bespoke greeting cards, and sophisticated business materials on thick cardstock. Additionally, it’s most cost-effective on prints, with a 4-cent cost per page, making it a sensible choice for those prioritizing quality without overlooking ongoing expenses.

    Thanks to its array of features tailored for a wide range of printing tasks, the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 extends its utility beyond cardstock printing. Its generous ink cartridge system and exceptional color accuracy make it a standout choice for photo printing and any project demanding rich color detail. Additionally, with its robust connectivity options and support for wireless printing, the PRO-300 is versatile for diverse needs, from personal crafting projects to the demands of small business settings, emphasizing its commitment to both quality and adaptability.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Canon Pixma TR8620A

    • Best For Heat Transfers

    For high-volume cardstock printing, the Canon Pixma TR8620A excels with top speeds and balanced quality, offering cost-effective, versatile performance for diverse needs.

    Canon Pixma TR8620A Review →

    True Score

    75
    73
    4

    Experts

    84
    4k

    Customers

    SAVE $21
    $199.99
    $179.00

    Did you know 67% of printer reviewers are untrustworthy?

    Our research found only 23 of 83 printer reviewers as of July 2024 can be trusted. This is why Gadget Review is committed to calculating the most accurate product scores on the web.

    To do this, we give every printer review site a Trust Rating, which measures how trustworthy the site and their testing claims are. We then leverage AI & a machine learning model to combine and calculate the Trust Rating with data from experts and consumers to deliver the True Score, the web’s most accurate product quality rating.

    147,337

    Printer Reviews Analyzed

    30

    Total Products Analyzed

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Canon Pixma MG3620

    The Canon Pixma MG3620 is a budget-friendly, versatile printer ideal for both creative projects and everyday printing needs in small offices or homes.

    Canon Pixma MG3620 Review →

    True Score

    71
    69
    4

    Experts

    79
    31k

    Customers

    SAVE $20
    $79.99
    $59.99

    DON’T SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

    When selecting a printer for students, consider models that are compatible with Chromebooks or Macs to ensure seamless connectivity and ease of use. Small business printers should offer robust features, including high-volume printing and support for envelopes, to handle diverse office needs. If portability is important, a portable printer is ideal for on-the-go printing tasks.

    The best wireless printer provides excellent connectivity and flexibility in placement for versatility and convenience. When choosing a type of printer, consider your specific needs, such as a printer for heat transfers for custom apparel projects. These options ensure you have the right tools for both educational and professional settings.

Which Criteria Matters for Testing Best Printers for Cardstock?

By focusing on these criteria (2 required, 1 nice to have), anyone can quickly and easily compare these printers and how they’ll perform. This helps you make an informed decision and purchase a printer for cardstock.

CRITERIARANGEREQUIREDDEFINITION
Color Accuracy< 6 dEYesHow much the color printed by a printer deviates, on average, from the reference color.
Color Printing Costs> 40 centsYesHow much a color page costs to print.
B&W Printing Costs< 7 centsNo (Nice to have)How much a black and white page costs to print.

Our Trusted Data Sources

We looked at 80+ printers reviewers and found that 23 are trustworthy (60%+ Trust Rating). The three we have listed below are our most trusted for printers.

  1. Ryan Lim – Rtings, LinkedIn
  2. Lesley Robinson – TechGearLab, LinkedIn
  3. Ben Keough – Wirecutter, MuckRack, LinkedIn

Interested in a comprehensive analysis of our data sources? We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of every printer review website we’ve identified, organized by their respective Trust Ratings from highest to lowest. But we didn’t stop there. We’ve meticulously reviewed each publication and verified the data by checking whether the authors have bio links to MuckRack or LinkedIn. We’re committed to not only checking the facts but ensuring their veracity.

Printers Test Data & Results

1. Color Accuracy (dE)

Color accuracy with printers uses a mix of standardized references (like the Adobe ColorChecker) and a color control sensor to check the accuracy of the colors printed by a printer and then grades the accuracy on a 10-point+ scale. Unlike most scales, where 10 is good, color accuracy scores are reversed, with 0 and 1 being the most desirable score, as it indicates little to no deviation from the reference color.

Generally speaking, color accuracy should be at least a 5 or lower to be considered “good.” At 6 or higher, the colors are noticeably different, which is an issue if you’re printing photos and hoping for accurate colors.

Color Accuracy (lower is better)

2. Color Printing Costs (cents per page)

The other side of the coin when it comes to printing costs is the cost for printing using colored ink or toner. While it’s measured the same was as you’d measure black and white printing costs, the acceptable cost is much, much different. Colored ink is more expensive than black and white ink, and if you’re constantly printing photos, the cost of printing in color will ramp up very fast.

We therefore recommend that your printer print color pages at a cost of 40 cents per page or less. Less is always better – getting the cost as low as possible without compromising print quality is the ideal, after all.

Color Printing Costs (in cents per page; lower is better)

3. B&W Printing Costs (Cents per page)

Using your printer uses up ink, which means it costs money. Printing costs are usually measured as cost per print (or page) and are gauged by calculating how much each print costs by comparing the cost of an ink or toner cartridge to the total number of pages printed by the cartridge.

Print costs should ideally be as low as possible, with the greatest number of pages per cartridge being the obvious “goal” to aim for. Black ink, being the cheaper ink, means that black and white printing costs are usually lower on a per page basis. If you’re printing constantly, getting the cost as low as you can means you’ll be spending less on cartridges in the long run.

B&W Printing Costs (in cents per page; lower is better)

Best Printers for Cardstock: Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Ignoring Paper Weight and Thickness: Not all printers can handle thick cardstock. Ensure the printer you choose specifies compatibility with cardstock or paperweights within the range you intend to use. Using a printer not designed for cardstock can result in paper jams, poor print quality, or damage to the printer.

  2. Neglecting Printer Compatibility: Consider the type of printing you’ll be doing on cardstock, such as graphics, photos, or text. Ensure the printer you choose supports the desired printing method, whether it’s inkjet or laser, to achieve the best results. Laser printers are ideal for high-speed and precise text printing, making them a great option for text-heavy projects. Additionally, laser printers offer excellent durability and efficiency, which can be beneficial for large volume printing tasks.

  3. Overlooking Print Quality: Pay attention to the printer’s print resolution and color accuracy, especially if you’re printing detailed graphics or images on cardstock. Opt for a printer with high resolution and color management capabilities to ensure sharp, vibrant prints on your cardstock projects. For crafting enthusiasts, choosing a dedicated printer for crafting can significantly enhance the quality of your projects. If you use a Cricut machine, finding the right printer for Cricut ensures compatibility and high-quality prints for cutting. Additionally, investing in top-rated photo printers can provide excellent results for detailed and colorful prints.

  4. Skipping Paper Handling Features: Cardstock requires careful handling to prevent jams and ensure smooth printing. Look for printers with features like adjustable paper trays, straight paper paths, and manual feed options that can accommodate cardstock without bending or curling. If you’re working on larger projects, consider a large format printer, which can handle wider media and larger sizes. For even more versatility, 11×17 printers are excellent for printing larger sheets and detailed designs.

The Best Printers for Cardstock Tests Compared

Product
True Score
B&W Print Speed
Color Print Speed
B&W Printing Cost (per page)
Color Printing Cost (per page)
Color Accuracy

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300

  • Best for Cardstock

89
  • 1 ppm

  • 0.75 ppm

  • 27.5¢

  • 2.93 dE

$849.99
$900
$50

Canon Pixma TR8620A

  • Best for Heat Transfers

75
  • 11.67 ppm

  • 3.97 ppm

  • 7.63¢

  • 16.4¢

  • 4.93 dE

$179.00
$200
$21

Canon Pixma MG3620

  • Best for Photo

71
  • 8.43 ppm

  • 2.63 ppm

  • 8.83¢

  • 19.93¢

  • 5.24 dE

$59.99
$80
$20

Printers for Cardstock Questions (FAQ)

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