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A good printer for crafty things.
October 5, 2011 12:31 PM   Subscribe

My sister wants to buy a new printer for her home. She needs it for regular stuff but would also like to be able to make her own personalized stationary: things like gift tags or personalized cards of the sort you can put on birthday gifts for kids or give away as gifts themselves. What type of printer would you recommend for her?

Also, she would prefer something not very expensive, maybe around $300US or under.
posted by CrazyLemonade to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
She should almost certainly get a laser printer, but her biggest choice will be whether she wants to shell out for a color model or not. She can do fantastic things with a black-and-white model, though, particularly since that will lower her price point substantially.

So before she makes this decision, she needs to do a realistic assessment of how often she would really, really need color printing, and how often she would just need black-and-white stuff with just a pop of color (which could be added separately with markers, things you glue on, etc.).

We've had a Brother 2170 or something similar for quite a while, and it works very well. I think we got it on sale for 70 bucks.
posted by Madamina at 12:48 PM on October 5, 2011


For that kind of money, she could get a color laser printer, which would be my suggestion. All those special things you mention are more a function of the software you use to create them than of the printer you use.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:50 PM on October 5, 2011


Second the around $100 suggestion for a laser. You save so much on ink cartridges and gain so much speed. I have a laser MFC and having a xerox machine of my own is just so handy.
posted by tremspeed at 12:50 PM on October 5, 2011


Thanks for the answers so far. Just wanted to add: for suggestions like "color laser printer", models or brands would really help in her search.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 1:08 PM on October 5, 2011


Agreed that a color laser will be the way to go. One of the dilemmas that you face with an inkjet is that if you constantly print with it, you have to keep buying pricey ink, but if you leave the color ink unused, it's liable to dry up and have to be replaced. I've also owned inkjets where dried ink would kill the print head as well, making for a very expensive replacement. Laser toner can sit unused for a long time without problems, so you can get away with only using color when you need it.

I've had good experience with Samsung's black-and-white laser printers, so for color I'd look at the CLP-315W or CLP-325W, which are well within her price range. They're not the best choice for heavy color printing, but for mostly black-and-white with occasional use of color, it should work out well.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 1:15 PM on October 5, 2011


I have this Brother laser printer (or a similar model from a couple of years ago) and have been very pleased with it. The networking is useful for me and although I did not think duplex printing would be that useful, it can really save paper on large documents and I use it more than I thought I would. A similar model without those features would be cheaper if you don't want/need them, though. A co-worker swears by the Dell color laser printer with the same features and similar price (perhaps this one?)
posted by TedW at 1:34 PM on October 5, 2011


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