With increasing interest in ways to use index cards has come a focus on
templated cards, grids, miniature copies of lists and calendars, etc.
But unless you want to buy costly perforated sheets or the like, this
can be a bitch on many printers. My Epson 880, for example, is not very
good at this at all.
I'd love to do a post on, say, the top three cheap printers that handle
index cards particularly well. If you've had a particularly good and
repeatable experience over time printing directly onto standard cheapie
index cards, please post about your printer here. Please also share
your impressions on ink/toner usage/value, and any other info you think
might be useful to people in making a buying decision. If there's
enough response I'll do a post on the mothership and credit the best
After years of paying ever increasing prices for ink jet cartridges for
my "throw-away" ink jet printers, I bit the big one and splurged for a
There is a reason(s) why the InkJet/BubbleJet printers are so low
priced - they are cheaply made of cheap materials and the companies
make their money selling replacement cartridges.
Anyone remember that the 'original' Gillette razors were given away to
sell you blades for a lifetime? The problem here being the
Ink/BubbleJet printers wont last more than a year. Printer
manufacturers have missed the point of good old King Gillette's
My LaserJet is 3 years old and still acts like a young pup. When I
first purchased it I also picked up a spare toner cartridge. The
printer is still printing with the original cartridge.
If you envelope feed is like mine, centers the card in the feed tray,
use a 2.75 inch left hand margin for you set-up.
I can put the cards in the manual feed there, but the cards are not
long enough to be pushed through the printer. They get printed on, but
don't make it to the finisher so it causes a "jam" and the toner
literally dusts right off the card.
Its not a huge ordeal right now, I got the printer for free. But I'd
like to get a new one sometime soon that will print on cards and
preferably color laser ;)
My dad got a new Dell color laser, I'll try a 3x5 on it next time I am
home. Its a beastly printer though.
My old Lexmark Z32 inkjet prints 3 x 5s easily. I have to send them
through portrait but I can print in either direction, and I can put a
stack of them in the printer - no need to feed one at a time. (An old
Z22 would probably work just as well; it's the same model but the 22
can print with only a black cartridge installed while the 32 needs to
have a color cartridge as well.)
The printer is the ultimate cheapie: it was free years and years ago
with a computer I'd purchased. Works with both Win and OS X (Panther,
at least; I haven't had the courage to use that Tiger DVD sitting next
to my powerbook). Since I use Word on both machines, that's primarily
the program I've used to print. I set it up so the page is 3 x 5
(landscape), even use headers and footers (yeah, excessive, I know).
One that definitely doesn't work is the hp 4000 series ps (with duplex
unit) ... jam city.
I've heard many complaints about HP's drivers, but I've been quite
happy with the settings for 3x5 cards so far. In contrast, I've had
nothing but trouble trying to print index cards on my HP Laserjet 4000.
it almost seems like the cards are too small to get printed on.
BTW, I just use the cheapo blank white index cards from OfficeDepot,
then print my own late grey grids on both sides with some orange
accents. I also print my business card info at the bottom in blue,
which is always a great conversation piece. Kudos to the person who
posted that suggestion a few months back!
This printer is on sale at lots of places. I paid $69 at a local
OfficeMax with no rebates. 4 ink tanks, and PictBridge USB connection
on the front panel.
Harvey Simmons wrote:
> I'm now determined to buy a small laser printer. I've been looking at
> reviews of the following machines:
> Samsung ML-1740
> Brother HL-2040
> Konica Minolta PagePro 1350W
> HP 1020
> Can we get anymore opinions on laser printers for index card printing?
> BTW: I'm not even remotely interested in anything with the Lexmark
> name on it. Their atLasLasetempts to use the DMCA to shutdown cartridge
Ink usage seems to be about average for color inkjets (this is about my
6th or 7th inkjet)
At the large-media end, printer accepts everything up to 13x19; I use
for 11x17 quite often. At the smaller end, 3x5 index cards don't seem
to be "officially" supported media (4x6 and 5x8 cards are), but I just
printed on a 3x5 card with no problems. Do use it for 4x6 cards fairly
With larger media supported, of course, printer "footprint" is larger
than most (primarily widthwise).