Of course you can order your ID cards pre-punched! While there are a variety of both manual handheld and electric desktop slot punches available, if you have a manual slot hole punch with hundreds of cards to issue, you will quickly tire of this tedious task. Another frequent problem that occurs is manually punching slots in the wrong location on the card, an expensive and easily avoidable mistake.
It's important to understand a sizeable caveat when it comes to ordering your cards pre-punched: if you are using a direct-to-card printer, you run the risk of damaging the printhead inside your ID card printer. This can occur when the printhead touches the pre-punched card while it's going through the printer. When the printhead comes into contact with the edges of the pre-punched void in the card, you run the very likely risk of damaging the pixels on your printhead. These now defective pixel(s) can no longer apply the ribbon to the card's surface in that area. And that equates to an imperfect card with an annoying white line through it, disrupting your beautiful card design. Plus, once you ruin your printhead, a replacement of this critical component of your printer will generally cost between $500-800 (or more).
Is there any way to avoid this problem? There is. Consider making the move from a direct-to-card printer to a retransfer card printer (also called a “reverse transfer printer”). With the direct-to-card printing process, images are printed directly onto the card's surface. With the retransfer printing technique, images are applied onto the underside of a clear film that is fused with heated rollers directly onto the card’s surface, so the printhead never even touches the card and in doing so eliminates the potential damage to the printhead. Not only will the images and text on your card be more vibrant and crisp, but cards printed with a retransfer printer are more durable and more secure. This is because the film acts as a buffer from everyday wear and tear. In addition, the technology in retransfer ID card printers offer more flexibility, because you can print on more types of cards, including proximity cards, smart cards, key tags, and – you guessed it – pre-punched cards! We offer the latest, most advanced and widely used retransfer printer brands and models, including:
For more information on retransfer ID card printers, call a knowledgeable ID Professional today at (800) 321-4405. We're here to help you find the card printer that best suits your organization's unique requirements.