Best Plastic ID Card Printers 2020 Detailed Review

Best Plastic ID Card Printers 2020 Detailed Review.

Best Plastic ID Card Printers: If you’re looking for a way to make your business more secure, a plastic ID card printer can be one of the best investments that you could make. 


These handy little devices make it easy for you to develop a template and create branded corporate identification with the push of a button. But choosing a printer isn’t always an easy process.

There are plenty of options available, each with their own unique features designed to provide different security elements, levels of durability, and connectivity. 

Magicard Pronto

Magicard Pronto 

Magicard is known in the security community for producing affordable, easy to use secure ID solutions for medium and small businesses. Their packages include everything you need to get started, making it a great choice for low volume applications. 

Print Quality 

The Magicard Pronto is one of the higher-end DTC (direct to card) printers on the market. This means that the printer uses a thermal print head and a YMCK ribbon to create the image.

If you were to unspool this ribbon, you’d notice that it’s made of multi-colored patches that are each roughly the size of a plastic card.

The printer rolls the ribbon so that a single color covers the plastic card, then a thermal print head slides over the card, using heat to transfer each color to the card one by one. 

Credential Durability & Security 

With the 30 mil cards, your IDs are pretty durable. One of the main reasons they last so long is the overlay. This is essentially a clear coat.

It will stop the ink from rubbing off when cardholders are taking it out of their wallet, or carrying it around day today. The type of pigment they use is resistant to fading, so can last for many years. 

Card Printing Volume 

If you’re making color IDs, a single ribbon can create up to 100 ID cards. If you’re only making black and white cards, you’ll get 500 points off of a single black ribbon.

The hopper itself holds 25 cards at 30 mil each, which is the thickness of a standard credit card. You also have the choice of printing on 20 mil cards if you like, although those are much less common. 

Fargo HDP 5000 

Fargo HDP 5000 

When it comes to ID card printers, Fargo has been the top of the pack for many years. Their card printers have been the first choice for government and corporate needs, selected chiefly for their reliability and high print quality.

Print Quality 

Although it’s still only a 300 DPI printer, the Fargo HDP 5000 is one of the best-looking ID card printers on the market. It uses a technology known as dye sublimation to create the images.

What this does is vaporize the individual pigments into the clear overlay, which it then lays down on top of the card. This is good for a few reasons. With most card printers, you’re making multiple passes over the card.

This means that even tiny alignment issues result in the colors not lining up exactly, making your print quality just seem a little off, like an old newspaper. But the HDP 5000 doesn’t suffer from these issues thanks to the system they call “High Definition Printing.” 

Credential Security & Durability 

The cards can be fully laminated, making them extremely durable. Even intentional scratching or damage would require a lot of force to remove the pigment from the card, so your prints will always look great. 

Card Printing Volume 

The Fargo HDP 5000 can support batches of up to 200 cards at a time. It only takes 24 seconds per card and can complete 150 cards in just a single hour of printing.

If you’re encoding the magnetic stripe, you’ll add a couple of seconds to each card. But overall, you can have a pile of cards ready with just a few short moments. 

Magicard Enduro 3e 

Magicard Enduro 3e 

Magicard produces high-quality printers, with the added benefit of accessibility. This isn’t just a card printer, it’s an all in one security suite that provides your business with everything you need to start creating ID cards.

This is the most popular of Magicard’s products, and their inclusive kit is one of the first places you should look if you’re new to the world of ID card printers. 

Print Quality 

The Magicard Enduro 3e is direct to card model, using the same CMYK ribbon used in other models. What makes it different from the competition is its unique color mapping technology.

This uses an optical sensor to read the color that has already been placed down, so it will have better alignment than most direct to card printers.

It also supports dual-sided printing, so you won’t lose any time having to flip the cards over and can create custom backs for each card. 

Credential Security & Durability 

The most unique security feature we’ve come across is the Enduro’s HoloKote. This is an anti-counterfeiting technology that makes it virtually impossible to clone the cards. 

HoloKote is a special segment of the ribbon that adds a laser-etched hologram to each card. You can use the software to choose where and how the hologram is placed on each card.

The nice thing about these holograms is that they can’t simply be scanned and printed, they need to be ordered direct from Enduro. There is no additional cost per card, and yet it’s one of the most secure options on the market outside of having custom holograms made. 

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When you’re finding the right plastic id card printer for your business, there are few important factors to consider. For most people, it boils down to capacity, security, and ease of use. Perhaps the most balanced of all the three models we’ve looked at today is the Magiccard Enduro 3e.

This card printer includes a camera and all the software you need to start making cards right away. There are plenty of pre-made templates available, so it takes no experience to get started. 

Other users will be focused on security. In this case, there is no better option than the Fargo HDP 5000. While it’s a little pricier, these printers have by far the highest print quality and the most advanced anti-copying security.

These are the very same printers trusted by governments, so they’re sure to be right for your business. Plus, they have the highest capacity of any printer, making them perfect for high volume users. 

Finally, the Magicard Pronto is the recommended card printer for businesses who just need something simple and affordable. Although it seems to lag behind the others in terms of specifications, it’s still a very high-quality ID card printer.

The cards look good, the system is easy to use, and it’s still simple for you to get everything up and running. Most businesses don’t have to worry about criminals attempting to counterfeit their cards, nor do they need fancy hologram systems. In this case, you can’t go wrong with the Magicard Pronto. 

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