Best Printer for Cardstock

Updated: Jan 22, 2024 2:12 PM
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To find the best printer for cardstock, we researched 30 machines from our list of the best printers to identify the ones that were the ablest to handle thicker media and a wide range of paper finishes. Printers needed to be able to handle a minimum of 60 lb weighted paper and have good enough ink quality to absorb quickly into cardstock finishes without smudging. Below is a list of the best printers after our research.

We landed on the Canon Pixma iX6820 as the top pick because of its ability to print on a long list of media via a dedicated rear tray. It’s fantastic at printing on custom sizes and can print borderless in a wide format. Additionally, its ink system is outstanding for durability and sharp, vibrant color quality. Read on to see our other top choices for cardstock printing. Keep reading about this, and our other top picks to learn more about the best printers available for purchase. And if you’re interested in a printer that’s good for more craft making, why not consider a screen print transfer printer?

Top 10 Printers for Cardstock

 #1  Canon Pixma iX6820 Printer for Cardstock

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This Canon has an incredible array of features — a five-cartridge ink system, 9600 x 2400 maximum color dpi resolution, and wide format printing — at an amazing price point. It prints beautifully and is borderless on cardstock.

Pros
  • Long-lasting ink system
  • Printshop quality 9600 x 2400 dpi color resolution
  • Access to library of templates and creative software
Cons
  • No scanner or copier

It is easy to achieve high-resolution, vibrant cardstock prints on the Pixma iX6820 due to its advanced FINE print head system and wide paper compatibility. The printer uses five different ink cartridges applied via 4,096 total nozzles. Two of the cartridges are different types of black ink that achieve even crisper lines and deeper shading.

Most importantly, it seems designed for cardstock printing, as it has a rear document feed that can produce on heavier paper. You can print on standard cardstock, business cards, and even watercolor papers. Also great is the fact that it will process custom sizes up to 13 x 19”, and you can print borderless. Additionally, Canon provides access to a large library of templates that will help you print common cardstock items quickly. It also gives you access to integrated creative software that allows you to design your stuff before printing.

 #2  Canon Pixma Pro-100 Printer for Cardstock

Award: BEST FOR IMAGES

WHY WE LIKE IT: You can achieve an incredible depth and range of colors from the Canon Pixma Pro-100 eight-cartridge ink system, including cardstock weights and finishes.

Pros
  • Dedicated manual feed for heavier media
  • High-res 4800 x 2400 dpi color
  • Fantastic grayscale printing
Cons
  • No LCD screen

Photo prints don’t just belong on photo paper. The Canon Pixma Pro-100 is a printer that can handle producing super detailed images onto cardstock and on up to 13 x 19” paper size. Its rear paper feed is dedicated to handling thicker paper with a wide range of textures and finishes.

This color printer takes color to the next level with an advanced eight-cartridge ink system applied through 6,144 nozzles that achieve incredible depth and gradients. Three cartridges are dedicated to grayscale, allowing you to print crisper lines, deeper shading, and fantastic monochrome prints. The machine’s printhead technology uses an Optimum Image Generating System that analyzes what you’re printing so it can apply the ideal mixture of ink to produce true-to-life colors. Check out the best ink-efficient printer with an Ink Save Mode you can switch on to ration your ink use, as well as automatic duplex printing.

 #3  Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Printer for Cardstock

Award: BEST FOR LARGE MEDIA

WHY WE LIKE IT: Not all cardstock printing is on 5 x 7” greeting card size, which is why the ability to produce 13 x 19” large, borderless prints on this Epson is fabulous. The 50-sheet specialty tray is fantastic at handling heavyweight media.

Pros
  • Dedicated feeding tray for specialty media
  • Print on cardstock up to 23 ml thick
  • Claria Photo HD six-ink system
Cons
  • Manual double-sided printing on cardstock

With the Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000, you can produce on heavy paper in a wide format with an outstanding 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi color resolution. The unit utilizes a six-color ink technology system that produces crisp lines and detail onto cardstock paper without smudging or streaking.

The rear 50-sheet specialty media tray makes higher-volume cardstock printing much easier and more efficient than manually feeding heavier media one at a time. That feed handles up to 23 ml thick paper and card weight of up to 140 lb. It also gives you great size versatility, with the capability to print borderless from 4 x 6” up to 13 x 19”. And if you’re a student, you will want to invest in the best printer for students that offers convenient management of printing functions and monitors ink levels.

 #4  Canon TS9521C Wireless Crafting Printer for Cardstock

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This Canon specializes in all kinds of crafting and cardstock printing with convenient presets and software catered to the creation of greeting cards, scrapbooking layouts, booklets, and all kinds of other craft projects.

Pros
  • Highly absorbent ChromaLife100 ink system
  • Front and rear paper feeds
  • Print as small as 3.5 x 3.5″
Cons
  • Long warm up time

For scrapbookers who love to work in all different paper sizes and thicknesses, this Canon inkjet printer gives you a ton of versatility to create what you want for your project. It offers convenient wireless connectivity options, including AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Wi-Fi, the Canon Print App, and voice printing via Alexa. Additionally, Canon’s Easy-PhotoPrint Editor Software and the app offers integrated quick editing and printing in all different formats and readily available templates for custom greeting cards and scrapbooking layouts.

This unit is especially good when producing on square sizes, so those looking for a 5×5 or 12×12 cardstock printer can look no further. You can print borderless on those sizes. If you have images on a media card you want to print, this machine also has a built-in media card slot from which you can print directly. It’s one of the top models considered the best printer for cardstock and stickers. And check out the best printer for crafting, a model that allows you to draw, emboss, and cut in 3D.

 #5  HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 Printer for Cardstock

Award: BEST FOR SMART CONTROLS

WHY WE LIKE IT: You get fabulous efficiency and versatility from the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015, with the ability to produce on 90 to 110 lb weight cardstock. Its smart interface makes printing on all weights and sizes a breeze.

Pros
  • Automatic dual-sided paper feed
  • High ink absorption on all kinds of finishes
  • Intuitive smart controls
Cons
  • Only one paper tray

The OfficeJet Pro 9015 takes the definition of “all-in-one” to the next level with its fantastic paper handling range. It’s the best printer for 110 lb cardstock printing, which is the highest paper weight most consumers-all-in-ones can handle. Four individual ink cartridges achieve a high 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi color resolution with vibrant colors. It also handles different finishes with great ink absorption, including super glossy. You’ll find it easy to print brochures, folded cards, and any other media that requires double-sided printing due to the machine’s dual-pass, two-sided automatic document feeder.

HP has designed an efficient smart system for connecting, printing, and organizing. You can access cloud storage like Dropbox and Google Drive directly from the machine and from its mobile app. This functionality is quite useful for people with lots of different files in many different places, as it allows easier access for printing purposes. It also has a large-capacity input tray that holds up to 250 sheets of paper. Another option would be the best large format printer that features two 250-sheet high-capacity paper feeding trays as well as a rear input tray for specialty media. If you use a Chromebook, then you need a compatible printer. Check our guide for the best printer for Chromebooks.

 #6  Epson Artisan 1430 Printer for Cardstock

Award: BEST FOR CREATIVE PROFESSIONALS

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Epson Artisan 1430 uses a 6-color advanced MicroPiezo inkjet technology system to produce fabulously detailed, high-definition prints worthy of any creative professional’s work.

Pros
  • Incredible 5760 x 1440 dpi resolution
  • Borderless wide format printing
  • Rear feed tray for specialty media
Cons
  • Cartridge yields can be low

If you’re a creative professional or artist, this is the printer that can bring your work to life in various sizes, textures, and weights. The specialized rear feed tray handles cardstock, fine art paper, and thick photo paper. It even prints on CDs and DVDs. Altogether, it can handle over 60 different media types.

Whatever media you work in, its advanced inkjet system produces amazing prints with smooth gradients, sharp lines, and fine detail. Epson’s Claria ink offers fabulous absorption on every paper finish. The ink dries instantly and is smudge, fade, and even water-resistant. It also can print borderless print on large formats up to 13” wide. And, of course, you will need the best printer ink that produces unrivaled quality.

 #7  Epson WorkForce WF-7720 Printer for Cardstock

Award: BEST FOR SMALL BUSINESS USE

WHY WE LIKE IT: Epson’s powerful and efficient PrecisionCore printhead technology makes this printer a reliable and versatile machine for small business use, especially if you need to print on thicker paper.

Pros
  • Smudge and fade-resistant ink
  • 500-sheet dual trays and rear feed for specialty media
  • Large format borderless printing
Cons
  • Average graphics printing

For small businesses with a lot of different in-house printing needs, the Epson WorkForce WF-7720 is an extremely versatile option compared to other small business printers. Its rear feed for specialty makes producing on cardstock and other thicker media very convenient. It’s best for standard business-use cardstock printing, like brochures, business cards, mailing materials, report covers, and the like. Using that dedicated feed, you can easily switch between high-volume printing from its dual 500-sheet trays to specialty printing.

The printer’s four-cartridge ink system uses highly durable ink that’s super absorbent on cardstock material and a wide range of finishes. With smudge, fade, and water-resistant ink, your cardstock materials are sure to be very durable. You also have a lot of size flexibility, given that this machine can print, scan, and copy borderless in large formats. If you frequently find yourself on the go, investing in a portable printer may benefit you and your business.

 #8  Brother MFC-J895DW Printer for Cardstock

Award: BEST FOR HOME OFFICE

WHY WE LIKE IT: This inkjet all-in-one printer performs like an office printer with a 150-sheet adjustable paper tray and an easy-to-use bypass feed for specialty media. Reliable wireless and cloud connectivity makes this perfect for a home office.

Pros
  • Intuitive tilt-out touchscreen
  • Bypass tray for cardstock printing
  • Smart ink monitoring
Cons
  • Paper tray capacity is small
  • Print speed can be slow

This Brother printer is an incredible value for all its versatile and modern features, with the added benefit of having a dedicated bypass tray specifically for cardstock. You can easily use it to print on thicker media for presentations, mailings, and business cards with good graphic quality and borderless printing.

The machine makes your workflow very easy, starting with its intuitive and useful 2.3” color touchscreen that tilts out for easy access. You can directly access your Google Drive, Dropbox, and other cloud services from that screen. It also has all the smart connections you could ask for, including directly from your preferred devices. Compare that to the best laser printer with reliable dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options and user control and management options through the HP Smart App.

 #9  Epson SureColor P700 Inkjet Printer for Cardstock

Award: BEST FOR HEAVY MEDIA

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking to print on cardstock and beyond — like canvas and vinyl — with up to 5760 x 1440 dpi of outstanding color resolution, the Epson is a pro-quality, reliable machine that will get the job done.

Pros
  • Use roll paper up to 129” long
  • Advanced Micro Piezo printhead with ten cartridges
  • Dedicated rear feed for heavy specialty media
Cons
  • Can respond slowly to print requests

The Epson SureColor P700 excels as a high-quality photo printer that produces print shop quality prints on sizes up to 13 x 19” pre-cut and 13 x 129” on roll paper. As such, it also handles a fabulous range of paper finishes and weights, with a rear feed you can use specifically for cardstock, canvas, fine art paper, heavy photo paper, labels, and much more. It’s definitely one of the best options for a printer for heavy cardstock.

Its Advanced Micro Piezo AMC print head achieves deep, vibrant colors and fabulously smooth gradients. It’s also highly absorbent and durable — perfect for cardstock. In fact, two of the cartridges are black inks, one of which is designed for matte textures and the other for photos. You’ll be able to get the perfect blacks and crisp lines on your cardstock prints. The ink is also highly fade-resistant. For a wireless model, have a look at the best wireless printer that offers the most versatile connection options, extraordinary performances, and print quality.

 #10  HP OfficeJet 3830 Printer for Cardstock

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: This HP is a fantastic value for an everyday wireless printer that you can also use with common cardstock materials, like cards and invitations.

Pros
  • Compact footprint fits anywhere
  • Up to 110 lb index weight; 145 lb photo paper
  • 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi color resolution
Cons
  • Slow print speed
  • Works best with HP brand cardstock

For at-home cardstock printing on a budget, it’s hard to beat the HP OfficeJet 3830. It manages to produce up to 4800 x 1200 dpi high-resolution prints from only two ink cartridges, which is great because you can achieve good quality without having to buy a ton of replacement cartridges. The ink absorption is pretty good, even on glossy photo paper, even though it may take longer to print in color than comparable units.

This printer is best for printing on thick photo paper and lighter cardstock. It’s great for producing custom photo holiday cards, postcards, greeting cards, and the like. You have all the features you need for daily use — like copying, scanning, wireless printing, and even faxing — which makes this printer the best value for something that can also handle some cardstock work. And if you’re a student, you will love the best portable printer that offers an excellent balance of portability and functionality in its design. And if you’re a student that owns a Macbook Pro since you’re constantly on the go, be sure that the printer is compatible with your laptop, such as the best printer for Macbook Pro.

How We Decided

The most important factor we looked at in finding the best printer for cardstock is the printer’s media compatibility. While cardstock weight and thickness vary, we only looked at machines that could handle medium-weight paper and above. The range we used for this is 60 to 80 lb paperweight. We did not consider printers that could not handle this range of paper weight.

Similar to the ability to handle thicker paper and heavier weight of cardstock, we also looked at a printer’s capability of printing on different textures. The better suited it was for cardstock printing, the ability to produce a wider range of textures and finishes — like gloss, semi-gloss, matte, cotton, linen, and metallic. The printer’s ink system played a part in this, as we looked at the printhead’s ability to produce crisp, high-quality graphics and designs onto various papers and finishes.

Other important factors we examined include the printer’s feeding system, ease of double-sided printing, and its ability to adapt to and produce on custom sizes and different formats. Specialized media feeding trays can make printing on cardstock easier. We sought out printers with specialty feeds for printing on thicker media. We made double-sided printing easy, too, as that’s a must-have for greeting cards, invitations, and business cards. We also have other great printer buying guides you can check out for any of your needs, like the top printers for envelopes.

How a Printer for Cardstock Compares to a Regular Printer

Best Printer for Cardstock Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Media Compatibility
    When buying the best type of printer for cardstock, the first feature you should look for is the machine’s media compatibility. This is especially important if you’re buying the best printer for Cricut, as you’ll want your printouts to be perfect. The specifications of the card stock printer will tell users what types of paper it can handle.
    • Plain paper is one of the common paper types. But you should look for cardstock in the listing of compatible media.
    • Additionally, ensure that the printer for cardstock printing works well with any specialty paper you plan to use. For instance, if you are going to use a glossy finish or texture-coated paper, you will want to ensure it works with these paper types.
    • Make sure to research the best cardstock printer for your needs, as there are a variety of printers available, from budget-friendly to higher-end models.
    • Although, remember that any printer that can print on cardstock will do, and this also includes top-rated photo printers. However, your investment will be a waste if you don’t get the right printer for the type of paper you want.
    • There are a lot of different cardstock finishes. You want to make sure that your printer will be able to handle it without bleeding and smudging so you can achieve high-quality printing.
    • Therefore, it’s best to look for a printer specifically designed to handle thicker cardstock, such as the best printers for thick cardstock.
    • Moreover, make sure the printer for printing on cardstock has the right connections. This means finding a cardstock printer that has USB 2.0 and related connection types. There are also options that have mobile printing to make it a piece of cake to print from anywhere.
    • But, if you’re needing a printer for heat transfers, you’ll want to avoid printers strictly used for cardstock.
  2. Specialty Feeds
    Some of the best printers that print on cardstock will have specialty feeds designed to process thicker and heavier paper. When you are looking for a home printer, it’s a good idea to find the best home printer for cardstock. This type of paper is thicker than regular paper, so you need a printer that can feed it properly.
    • If you’re doing a lot of cardstock printing, you’ll probably want to look for a printer with this feature.
    • Some of the best color printers for cardstock can print on heavier, thicker papers; however, this isn’t always guaranteed. Be sure to review the max paper gauge a cardstock printer can use.
    • With thicker paper, selecting the best color printer for cardstock that uses pigment-based ink rather than dye-based ink ensures the highest quality print.
    • Also, consider how that feed works. Some rear feeds require inputting paper manually, one sheet at a time. Other great printers for printing cardstock may have a tray that processes multiple sheets automatically.
    • All in all, be sure to read up on how to print on cardstock before making a purchase.
  3. Ink Absorption/Quality
    The ink you use to print on cardstock and the printhead technology is important.
    • Certain inks are highly absorbent (that is, quick-drying) and designed to be resistant to smudging and bleeding.
    • Definitely consider the type of ink the printer uses to make sure that it takes to cardstock easily. This will help you achieve sharper and more vibrant color photos as well.
    • Moreover, if you’re using a laser printer, you’ll want to make sure the cardstock you select will work.
  4. Different Types of Printers
    While laser printers are typically better for printing text on paper, inkjet printers can produce better results when printing on cardstock. Unfortunately, even great laser printers for cardstock aren’t that great because they use heat to bond the toner to the paper, which warps the cardstock. Many options on the market today provide amazing quality prints; Epson, Canon, and Brother are all excellent choices. These best printers for cardstock printing offer great color and clarity of prints at an affordable price.
    • You’ll also have to worry about regularly replacing the toner cartridges. On the other hand, great inkjet printers made for cardstock printing use liquid ink droplets that dry quickly and don’t require as much heat to set.
    • As a result, inkjet printers are generally better for printing on cardstock. However, it’s important to note that not all inkjet printers are created equal.
    • Some models may produce subpar results on thicker cardstocks, so it’s important to do your research before buying any home printer for cardstock.
    • It’s important to research printers that can print on cardstock and make sure you find the ideal printer that’s capable of producing the quality of work you need for your project.
  5. Printing on Heavy Cardstock
    Most regular printers are not built to handle heavy cardstock paper, but a few models can manage it. If you need to print on heavy cardstock regularly, it’s worth investing in a printer that can handle it. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up damaging your printer and wasting time and money. This is similar to how you’d make sure you have a printer like the best 11×17 color laser printer to handle printing those large pages. When shopping for a great printer for heavy cardstock, look for one that has high-quality printer rollers and a strong motor. These features will help to ensure that your printer can handle thick cardstock without jamming. In addition, be sure to select a cardstock thickness that works with your printer model. Not all printers can use every type of heavy cardstock. But, with the right printer, you’ll be able to print on thick cardstock without any trouble.

Alternatively, if you do not need printing on card stock but prefer a Chromebook printer.

Best Printer for Cardstock Questions (FAQ)

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