What would be a cost effective digital printer for small runs of business cards?

martinpr

New member
Hello Print Boffins,
We have outsourced our print work for years now instead of doing it in-house but have recently been thinking about offering a no-frills same-day business card offer to our clients who need quick low cost cards.

Can somebody please help recommend a digital printer that would be economical for the following?

300 or 350gsm gloss stock
Each run will only be 100 or 200 sheets of ganged up business cards printed single and double sided. Each set of cards will be 100 or 200 sets.
Possibly only two runs per day.
Sheet size SRA3 (or even SRA4 if there is such an option).
CMYK only.

Everything else such as thicker stocks, lamination etc will still be outsourced. We just want to do these in-house to reduce costs and try to get them out same-day. Pre-press, Print, Guillotine, Ship.

We basically need something that is just good enough and won't break the bank as it is something we may not end up pursuing long term.

Any ideas of costs would be great too.

Thanks so much in advance,
Martin
 

nelly

Member
Guy I do work for got an Oki C900 series SRA3 laser printer. I run 350gsm SRA3 through the bypass feed for business cards. I like the machine, good fit, colour is acceptable, not too much distortion might be about 1mm on the sheet length. I like it. Has been reliable. Only issue that stopped it working was a sheet of 80gsm paper caught round the last roller hidden right by the paper exit. Took me 3 hours to find out where the bugger was. Kept simply stopping the machine with paper caught error but could not find it. Dug that out and plain sailing. It's not brilliant but it is good imo.
 

martinpr

New member
Thanks Nelly,
That looks like the ideal printer. I have read it can be fairly expensive with the consumables, do you know if this is true?

As Duplex appears to only work on stocks around 300gsm max, would registration be fine if I just loaded 350gsm stock in again to print on both sides?

Thanks again. Really appreciate the reply.
 

Possumgal

Well-known member
The toner is more expensive than some others, but the color is usually really good. I have an older Oki and never had a problem with color. One tip: if you are running two sided cards where one side doesn't have much print or is all black, run that side first. There will be less chance of the color getting streaks from going through the press twice.
 

nelly

Member
My experience with printing 2 sided on card is to do it in 2 passes. Also, I have found the best way of getting registration for the backup is to spin the backs around the other way on the pdf so that the same lead edge of the card is used for both sides. This might seem a pain to do but it is quicker for me. By printing in this way I do not have to worry if the card is a mil out on the long edge as I am using the same edge to feed both sides. As for costs The guy has it on an all in lease purchase. All I do is use it. In my opinion the Oki is better at registration and consistency than most of the machines I have used in the last 10 years.
 

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