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Envelope Printers – What to look for

Published: December 21, 2015

So you’re in the marketplace for envelope printers. You’ve probably already tried to see how well your laser printer or inkjet printer would handle envelopes and realized it can be a slow and painful process.

With the right envelope printers it doesn’t  need to be slow and painful.

Many of these envelope printers and print at up to 30,000 envelopes per hour! Relax. I know, you’re picturing Lucy at the chocolate factory. Don’t worry, you can slow down most / almost all of the envelope printers that we can help you with.

Things to look for and take into consideration when choosing the right envelope printer.

  1. Color or BW. You can get a full color envelope printer but it’s going to greatly limit your choices, speed, durability and maintenance costs. Fixed head address printers will allow you to insert a single color cartridge so you can still print a marketing message in 1 color and the delivery address in black..
  2. Fixed Head, Shuttle Head or Laser type printers. Because fixed head printers have less moving parts they are the most durable envelope printers on the market. But you are limited to where / how much you can print on a envelope. If you need to print the return address and delivery address at the same time. You will need to purchase a unit with 2 separate print banks or run the mailer through twice. Shuttle head units are a lot less durable, require more maintenance, and are a lot slower. However, most of these envelope printers can print anywhere on a #10 envelope. A few shuttle head envelope printers can even print in full color, but tend to be very slow. Envelope printers based on a laser printer are the least durable. They are also very limited to how thick of a mail piece can go through the envelope printer. Typical laser printers with standard envelope feeders are very limited in what material they can feed and coated stock is out of the question. Coated material will melt when it goes through the fuser. Envelope printers like the Rena Mach 5 are like laser printers but use ink so you can print on some mildly coated stock.
  3. Which manufacturer / brand? Just about every manufacturer has good and bad units. The best thing to do is to ask around. Also look into the following. Cost of replacement parts. Cost of a service or service contract. How far away is the closest repair facility. Warranty.
  4. New or Used envelope printer. New is great but be carefull if it’s only been on the market for a year or so. Often they are still working out the bugs. In recent years, 1 manufacturer has been making modifications and changing model numbers a lot. Too often the “upgraded” units have been less durable than the previous model. This is where a knowledgeable salesperson comes in handy! Used / refurbished envelope printers can save you a ton of money. Often ½ to ¼ the cost of a new one. Be sure to check on the availability and cost of parts.
  5. Where to purchase your envelope printer? Specialized dealer, Local dealer, ebay. Your best bet is always you local dealer that specializes / focuses on mailing equipment. Too many of the dealers no longer focus solely on mailing equipment. For example, the big boys like Pitney and Neopost. Their main focus and bread and butter is postage meters. Which is great for them, but the majority of the service team rarely sees an envelope printer. So they often take 2 to 3 service calls to correct problems that should have been fixed in 1 service call. Even worse are the copier / everything office dealer. Sorry but these guys hardly ever know what they are doing. Ebay, good luck getting everything you need! 99% of the time you will be missing something and and good luck getting drivers and setup support. Or a machine that is operating correctly for that matter. They’re dumping it on ebay for a reason, and that reason usually is not good. That leaves you with non local specialized dealers. Make sure the dealer has a good reputation! Check with the BBB and Rippoff Reports. Search using the company name, the owner’s name, the website and the phone number. Too many are closing and reopening under a different name. Also make sure they offer a warranty, remote technical support, drivers, manuals, and ideally, set up videos!

What to Consider When Purchasing Envelope Printers

There are a few things that you need to take into consideration when you go shopping for envelope printers.

  1. How many do you plan to mail per month? How about a year or 2 from now? Plan to grow!
  2. What size envelopes? How thick will they be when stuffed?
  3. Do you need color? 1 color or a variety at once? (Printing full color will balloon the cost)
  4. What all do you need to print? Just the delivery address or do you need to print the return and indicia. (In general the more you need to print the higher the cost of the machine)
  5. Do you need mailing software?

Once you’ve answered the questions above or if you need help, it’s time to call a salesman! Give us a call at 866-430-2874