If you're looking for the best printer for your Cricut machine, you've come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss 5 different printers that would be perfect for your crafting needs or for selling your first product. We'll go over the pros and cons of each one, so you can make an informed decision before making a purchase. Let's get started!
First things first: Do you need an inkjet or a laser printer?
Some people swear by inkjet printers, but I absolutely remain unimpressed. The cost per page and the print speed makes inkjets great for personal use, and not so great for professional projects. That being said, there ARE a few inkjet printer options out there if you really wank to commit to an ink based printer.
Does Cricut Print and Cut have any restrictions?
Thankfully, not on the type of printer. As long as your printer works like a usual printer, for Cricut print, it doesn't matter. Sometimes I'll even “print” directly to PDF if I'm bringing something for professional printing on a high quality printer.
The only thing to be aware of is page size. As far as I know, the Cricut Print and Cut feature only works on 8.5 x 11″ sheets of paper. So don't expect Print and Cut feature(s) to work if you're printing scaled up. The machine won't know how to find its lines.
Speaking of, there's another restriction. The maximum printing space for Cricut Print and Cut is 6.75″ x 9.25″. So if you need to cut an area beyond that, you'll need to use a different cutting machine. None of the Cricut machines will cut an area larger than that for a Print and Cut project.
Can Cricut print?
No. There is no such thing as a “Cricut printer” – you do need a separate printer. Your Cricut machine is only a cutter, not a “Cricut printer.” If you bought a “Cricut printer” because you needed to print, you may as well return it. The closest thing Cricut can do is hold a marker and draw for you. When we talk about Cricut printers, we're talking about the best printer for Cricut Print projects – not a specific “Cricut printing machine.”
Does Cricut need ink cartridges?
No, because Cricut is not a printer. You will definitely need either toner or ink cartridges for whatever printer you end up choosing. On that note, please know that there IS a difference in print quality when you use generic inks.
Best Printer For Cricut Print: HP Laser Printers.
I'm not really trying to sell you anything, but you need to know: I use HP laser printers for my business. I've sold thousands of stickers printed off of my HP Laser Printers and there are very few drawbacks. It prints quick, reliably, and the toner lasts forever. For the volume that I run through, the best printer for Cricut is absolutely a laser printer. And, you can't beat the HP quality.
HP has a pretty affordable line of laser printers, but they do also have an inkjet printer option: the HP Envy. HP also has an innovative ink subscription program called Instant Ink, so that you can pay a monthly fee for ink cartridges. Unfortunately, their laser printer toner is not involved in the Instant Ink program.
This is my current HP printer, and here's an alternative in the same series: the HP m479. Both of these prints have wireless connectivity. Of course, with COVID-19, stocks fluctuate wildly. So I encourage you to price shop, as things change from week to week when you're trying to find the best printer for Cricut machines like yours.
I just don't think you can beat the print quality of a laser printer for Cricut Print and Cut projects. An inkjet printer is almost exclusively meant for personal use; when you're operating a business, an inkjet printer usually won't cut it.
Best Inkjet Printer For Cricut Printing: Canon Pixma
If you're really dedicated to inkjet printers, there are really two top runners in the market: the Canon Pixma and the Epson printer lines. Artists who've spoken with me about their printers have consistently said that the print quality is much better for the Canon Pixma, and that's why it's my top choice.
It also has an affordable price, and there's enough diversity in the model line that you can get you what you need. For example, if you want to do larger art prints, there's a Canon Pixma wide format printer that will do the trick. Most of the Canon Pixma printers have wireless connectivity nowadays, and their ink cost isn't way out of line either.
The Canon Pixma brags about their fine print head technology, and my guess is that they mean that their print quality is GREAT. Every artist I've spoken to loves their Canon Pixma says so, so I believe it. I just have personal concerns about ink and waterproofing with inkjets like the Canon Pixma.
Here's a starter Canon Pixma for you, but keep in mind that stocks are changing all the time because of the pandemic. So definitely price shop. What's true this month may completely change next month, and I wouldn't want you to miss out on a deal.
Best Inkjet Printers: The Ink Tanks
If you think you'll be using a lot of ink, consider using an Epson Expression or Epson EcoTank inkjet printer instead. Both of these prints have wireless connectivity. Although the printers are a little more expensive, the ink is a very affordable price. This is because the EcoTank line uses ink tanks instead of individual cartridges. So if you are using more red and blue, you just fill those ink tanks when you need. Overall, an ink tank is definitely a more sustainable way to print stuff.
Unfortunately, with any printer, you're really purchasing the toner or ink system, not necessarily the printer. You need to factor in ink costs to any decision, and remember that if you're printing art, the cheapest ink often won't do. Generic ink can even void a warranty if the company finds out about it.
Concerns About Stickers When Choosing A Printer For Cricut Print and Cut Projects
When you're doing Cricut Print and Cut exclusively for sticker production, there are a few special things to keep in mind that might influence where you land on a printer purchase. First, stickers and sticker paper is meant to be used. So you need to have a printer that can handle sticker paper with different finishes.
I use a laser printer and paper that is waterproof for my Cricut Print and Cut projects, which are, of course, 98% stickers. This paper holds up GREAT for stickers, but we do have some problems with rubbing. For example, if someone puts a sticker right on a rub point on a water bottle, the toner eventually rubs off.
But the problems are worst with the best inkjet printer. There is no waterproof paper option for inkjet printers. Instead, you'll have to add a whole new step to your process: lamination. And with lamination, you run the risk of the lamination not sticking, or even causing problems when your customers try to peel it.
Ultimately, the best Cricut printer is the one that works for YOUR Cricut Print and Cut projects. So if you're not a sticker printer like me, then a simple inkjet printer with photo paper might work great. Maybe printing speed doesn't matter to you either – just about any ink system will work for you? Then focus on price!
But for cottage production of stickers, I really encourage you to think about the whole life cycle – from the sticker paper you choose all the way up to Cricut's Print and Cut algorithm. There might be a better option for you and your budget.