Tired of spending time and money on professional printing services? It’s time to take charge with a dye sublimation printer that delivers smooth, high-quality prints. Navigating the ever-evolving printing landscape can be challenging, but dye-sublimation technology offers an attractive solution for transferring graphics onto fabric and accessories. Using specialized transfer paper and heat, these printers create impressive, consistent displays unmatched by other methods.
With the growing demand for dye-sublimation printers, numerous brands strive for the top spot. To assist you in making an informed decision, we’ve researched and consulted experts to compile a list of the top seven best dye sublimation printers. Remember your specific requirements, as size, cost, and functionality vary. Embrace the convenience of in-house printing with the ideal dye sublimation printer today!
Top 7 Dye Sublimation Printers
Here are our top picks for the best dye sublimation printers. Each product is specified for the purpose it serves the best to help you choose the right one as per your needs.
Let’s get into reviews without further ado.
1. DNP QW410: Editors Choice
The DNP QW410 4.5 is the best dye-sublimation printer on the market and has won Editor’s Choice title for its advanced features packed in a compact size and comes with a reasonable price tag. This compact printer is a reliable and all-around performer, making it an essential tool for any creative project.
The 4 x 6-inch paper tray and the 4.5-inch print head can handle various print sizes with matte and glossy finishes, ensuring your prints look stunning. The exceptional 300×300 dpi resolution also guarantees that the images are sharp and detailed.
The low energy usage of this printer is one of its best qualities. The low power consumption of the DNP QW410 4.5 allows you to keep printing using portable batteries for longer without interruption, making it an invaluable tool for outdoor printing tasks.
In our testing, the printer’s speed was 19 seconds for 4 x 6-inch media, making it ideal for small projects where time is not an issue. Additionally, the printer features wireless capability, allowing you to connect it to various devices without being tethered to a specific station.
- The revolutionary mechanism reduces print curl despite a smaller, more compact footprint.
- 300×300 dpi resolution ensures the images are clear and detailed.
- Allows users to print 16:9 wide-ratio photos without cropping, preserving the whole image.
- Reduces power consumption, allowing for longer battery-powered operations.
- The optional wireless dongle allows easy printing from Apple, Windows, iOS, or Android devices, making it more convenient for users.
- Compact size
- Fine media handling with reduced curls
- Low energy consumption
- Slightly high printing cost
The DNP QW410 4.5 is an excellent option regarding size, media support, and low energy usage. It is the perfect option for professional-level quality and reliability in the most compact size possible.
2. Magicard 300 ID Card Printer: Best ID Card Printer
The Magicard 300 is among the newest products from Bodno, known for its creative and secure technology in printing. The Magicard 300 is among the best dye sublimation printers for ID cards, enabling any size business to control the printing process fully.
The ID Card Software provides everything you need to start and is compatible with Mac and Windows. With editing enabled, stunning card template designs are included, so you can begin printing high-quality ID cards quickly.
Magicard printers never disappoint in the quality aspect, either. With 300 x 300 dpi resolution, it provides colorful clear prints. You will notice more precise barcodes, accurate color logos, and more defined text and numbers printed on your ID cards.
Furthermore, the printer comes with both single and double-side variants. The single-sided printer can be easily updated to operate as a double-sided printer. The printer’s media handling is also worth mentioning as it has a has100-card input hopper and a 70-card output hopper, and a printing speed of 160 full-color single-sided cards per hour.
- Comes with everything needed for printing, including printer, software, PVC cards, color ribbon, and ID camera.
- Designed for beginners with pre-made templates and drag-and-drop design elements for professional-looking cards.
- No monthly or yearly fees, and the Bondo software is free for life.
- Balances efficiency and quality with a moderate printing speed of 160 cards per hour.
- The 300 x 300 dpi resolution delivers clear, sharp images and text, providing professional-quality prints.
- Includes a three-year warranty and lifetime support for design or printing concerns.
- ufficient printing speed
- Easy to operate
- Can cause card jams
The Magicard is an effective and efficient printer with everything you need for your ID card size. It is ideal for small to medium businesses for their printing needs ensuring top-notch security and professional quality.
3. Sawgrass SG500: Best for Quality Output
The Sawgrass SG500 is an advanced dye sublimation printer ideal for nearly all sublimation-friendly surfaces ranging from fabric to ceramics and other accessories. With such versatility and other excellent features, it is the best for quality output.
What impressed me most about the printer is its superior media handling and fantastic printing speed. The printer can handle media up to 8.5 x 14 inches with a bypass tray, and its printing speed of 19 prints per minute is adequate to have your back if you own a small business or are a hobbyist.
When considering cost, the SG500 is cost-effective regarding ink and energy consumption. With the purchase of the printer, you will get 4 ink cartridges, each containing up to 20ml of ink color. It is sufficient to get you on board and is combined with low energy consumption. You can enjoy high-quality prints with the same robust features and savings.
- Includes printer, ink set, transfer paper, design access cards, sublimation blanks, transfer tape, and design software.
- With a printing speed of 19 ppm, this printer offers reliable and efficient performance.
- It has design access cards, CreativeStudio online designer software, and onboarding support for a seamless printing experience.
- This printer offers versatile and convenient connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and USB.
- 4880 x 1200 dpi resolution ensures exceptional print quality, delivering vibrant colors and crisp, detailed images.
- Includes a 2-year manufacturer warranty and lifetime support for any issues with the printer or software.
- Superior media handling
- Adequate printing speed
- Less energy consumption
- Ink and paper used are slightly expensive
The Sawgrass UHD Virtuoso SG500 is an excellent choice for serving you with various surfaces for sublimation. Its high speed and quality media handling allow you to imprint your creative designs with a professional touch in a flash.
4. Evolis Classic Zenius: Best for Single-Sided Cards
Zenius is a compact small-size printer with advanced features ideal for printing single-sided cards. It is smooth in its operation without producing noise, so place it anywhere you want, and it will function quietly.
The printer is also user-friendly, with a small footprint and silent operation. Its intuitive design allows you to insert a card manually or use the automatic feeder and control its setting and operation from your computer. With that, you will receive the output from the front without hassle.
The Zenius printer offers both color and monochrome printing. It can print 2 per minute in color and 8 per minute in black and white. Furthermore, the imprints you get from the front are no lesser than any top printer in the market in terms of quality. It offers 300 x 300 dpi image resolution, the standard range for card prints. You can expect accurate and detailed imprints, logos, barcodes, texts, or pictures with edge-to-edge printing.
- One card side can be printed in color or monochrome.
- USB connection for convenient printing.
- Print 400 to 500 cards per hour in monochrome and 120 to 150 in full color for greater efficiency.
- 300 dpi resolution produces sharp and clear prints for professional-looking graphics and text.
- It can hold up to 50 cards for efficient batch printing.
- It can hold up to 20 cards for easy card retrieval after printing.
- At a mere 7.28 pounds, this ultra-lightweight printer is highly portable and easy to handle.
- Easy to operate
- Excellent printing quality
- No indicator of low ink
The Evolis Classic Zenius is ideal for dealing with one-sided card printing in small runs. The printer is easy to operate and functions quietly without occupying much space. It produces crisply defined imprints that project a polished picture of your company.
5. DNP DS-RX1HS: Best for Beginners
You must have heard the name DNP if you are in the graphics and photo printing field. It is famous among photographers who prioritize quality in their prints. The printer is the best in nearly all aspects, with ease of as the winner making it the perfect choice for beginners.
The DS-RX1HS 6 uses thermal printing technology, which yields high-quality results at a low cost per print. The printer comes with 2×6 strips and is ideal for event photography and booth business. Its largest print capacity and media handling, up to 6″ x8 inches, ensure you get the finest results on various media you roll in. The printer can churn out 4″ x6″ prints in 12.4 seconds. The range is sufficient to support your small size business.
The print quality that the printer provided during our testing is excellent. It is what sets it apart from other printers in the market. It has a high image resolution of 300×600 dpi in glossy and matte finishes. The imprints with perfect finishing are accurate, precise, vibrant, and stunning colors.
- It combines inexpensive hardware and low media prices, making it cost-effective for businesses.
- It boasts a 20% increase in print speeds, allowing for quick and efficient production of prints.
- It can print up to 700 4”x6” prints and 350 6”x8” prints, making it perfect for high-volume printing.
- The 300 x 600 dpi resolution provides decent photo print quality, delivering clear graphics and images.
- It can print 2”x6” photo strips and offers high-speed, high-resolution modes in glossy or matte finishes.
- Excellent quality prints
- High image resolution
- Fast printing speed
- Relatively high running costs
Although the printer’s running costs are relatively higher than its rivals in the market, it is beyond them in terms of quality output. Its printing speed and the finest quality make it worth the bargain.
6. DNP DS820A: Best for Photos
The DNP DS820A 8 is the second product in our list from the DNP company, which produces high-technology products to ensure you get the best deal. The DS820A 8 is the best dye sublimation printer for photos. The printer has up to 300 x 600 dpi image resolution, the standard range in photo printing. Moreover, along with the ribbon finish of colors, the printer offers additional finishing of glossy, matte, luster, and fine matte. The finishing ensures you get eye-catching visuals with beauty and textured finish.
The media handling up to 8″ x 12″ inches makes it an excellent choice. In addition to it, you can also stretch it to panoramic photos of up to 8 x 32 inches using DNP’s Hot Fold utility software which is free of cost. Its additional panoramic photo size is a big plus for professionals dealing with various media for their work.
Regarding its speed, the printer can produce 8 x 12″ size photos in just 34.1 seconds and 8.27 x 11.7 size photos in 32.9 seconds. The company promises the figures were proved accurate during our testing as well.
- Can print standard sizes and panoramic prints up to 8 x 32″, providing more versatility in print options.
- It provides richer color and blacker blacks for fine prints with a higher gloss finish, enhancing the overall photographic expression.
- It offers a refined luster and fine matte finish in addition to the standard glossy and matte options, providing more choices for fine photography.
- 125 prints per hour and 98% lower standby power consumption than the previous model.
- The 300 x 600 dpi resolution offers satisfactory print quality, producing legible text and images.
- It comes with a 3-year advanced exchange extended warranty at no cost, demonstrating confidence in the product’s quality and reliability.
- Panoramic print option
- Additional finishing
- Excellent print quality
- Might print with low speed
The DNP DS820A is an excellent choice for professionals for the stunning visuals it can produce on a wide media range. It has a high dpi resolution, ensures the finest photo prints, and is coupled with finishing options giving your perfect prints the perfect texture.
7. Canon SELPHYCP1300: Best Compact Printer
Canon SELPHYCP1300 is a dye sublimation photo printer packed with winning features in the most compact size. It weighs only 1.9 pounds and is the lightest printer on our list. You can expect wallet-size prints for printers of that size, but it’s not the case with Canon SELPHYCP1300; it prints 4″ x 6″ and card-size photos.
The printers can print 4 by 6 inches photos in less than a minute and upto 2 card-size photos in a minute. I would consider it a sufficient output as the printer sets you free from space constraints, so you can have the prints at that speed anywhere you go with the portable printer. The printer with standard colors can print in black and white and offers protective overcoating. It ensures you get your perfect prints with rich color depth and precision.
The printer offers wireless printing with a camera, memory card, and camera phone. So if you are looking for a cable option, the USB connectivity compensates for it. Also, it is more advanced than the cable option if you face network issues.
- Produces instantly dry and water-resistant prints that can last up to 100 years, ensuring long-lasting memories.
- Can print postcards, L size, card size, and square label prints, providing options for different print sizes and uses.
- It can connect to smartphones, tablets, USBs, and memory cards, making it easy to print from different devices.
- The sleek and portable design weighing only 1.9 pounds, allows easy transport, and an optional battery pack enables printing.
- Tilting a 3.2-inch LCD screen allows easy photo selection and editing, while the paper tray can hold up to 18 sheets for efficient batch printing.
- Produces fine prints with 256 levels per color and 16.8 million colors for high-quality output.
- Wireless connection and USB port
- Fine print quality
- Expensive on purchase
The Canon SELPHYCP1300 wireless printer is a portable, compact printer with features you won’t find in other printers of the same size. It can cater to 4 by 6 inches photos and card-size prints with 300 resolution. It yields fine-quality prints with a range of connectivity.
The world of dye-sublimation printers is vast, with countless options available. However, we have reviewed the top seven dye-sublimation printers that stand out in quality, performance, and unique features. Each printer we chose for our list can accommodate various printing requirements and preferences.
The DNP QW410, our Editor’s Choice, offers outstanding performance and reliability, while the Magicard 300 ID Card Printer stands out as the best option for printing identification cards. The Sawgrass SG500 is ideal for users prioritizing high-quality output. The Evolis Classic Zenius excels at producing single-sided cards with professional results. Beginners can confidently start with the user-friendly DNP DS-RX1HS, while the DNP DS820A is the go-to option for stunning photo prints. Lastly, the Canon SELPHYCP1300 is the best compact printer, perfect for those with limited space or requiring portability.
By understanding each printer’s strengths and capabilities, users can make an informed decision and invest in the dye sublimation printer that best aligns with their needs.
Some factors are crucial to consider when shopping for a dye-sublimation printer, such as
The print quality in dye-sublimation printers is determined by its image resolution measured in dpi. The dye sublimation printers usually have image resolutions up to 600 dpi. The print quality improves with the increased resolution with fine details and color accuracy.
Sublimation printers can be used to print on a vast range of different surfaces as substrates. Some printers are ideal for fabric printing, and others are for ceramic surfaces. You have to be vigilant when choosing a printer for your printing needs. Other considerations include your printing frequency and purpose of printing.
More often, budget-friendly models provide the same results but are less durable than expensive ones. So if you are a beginner looking to get started, you can rely on cheaper ones until you get a hold of the printer. But if you are looking for professional output in high volumes for your business, you must invest in a high-quality model.
The connectivity option is essential as it determines how easily you can use the printer. Nowadays, most printers come with wireless options, which is great as you won’t mess around the printer with cables. Additionally, the ethernet option is a benefit when facing network issues but is being replaced by USB in recent printers.
Space for Printer
For many, spacious accommodation is a major worry. For personal usage, a compact printer can do the job as they are portable and easy to carry. However, they have low printing speed and limited media handling. The use of the largest paper size necessitates using a larger printer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How does dye sublimation work?
Dye sublimation is the process in which heat is used to vaporize ink to form prints. Before becoming solid again, the vaporized ink absorbs into the material. It results in smooth, vibrant prints on the material, which are embedded in and last for a long time.
Can a sublimation printer print photos?
Yes. Photos are printed with the dye sublimation technique, which diffuses on paper, leaving prints. In that way, a dye sublimation printer is considered the best option for printing photos.
How to care for a sublimation printer?
Sublimation printers should be stored in a moist-free area without direct sunlight exposure. For smooth operation, it needs to be routinely cleaned and maintained.
Does dye-sublimation print fade?
The prints produced by dye sublimation printing are colorful and striking because they are absorbed and embedded into the surface. Images printed that way won’t fade or crack if handled correctly.