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Single-Sided Printers

Shop & Compare Single-Sided ID Card Printers

Single-sided card printers print to one side of a card per print pass, and are available with full-color or monochrome printing capabilities. Many offer upgrade paths for magnetic stripe and smart card encoding options, duplex printing, and lamination. Shop our selection of industry-leading, direct-to-card and retransfer ID card printers and compare models to find the best single-sided ID card printer for your application.

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Items 1-12 of 82

  1. 3300-0003 image
    Magicard 300 Uno with Smart Encoding - Single-Sided
    Item#: 3300-0003
    MSRP $3,542.00
    You Save: $1,373.91
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  2. 53210 Image
    Fargo DTC1000Me Monochrome ID Card Printer with Magnetic Stripe Encoding - Single-Sided
    Item#: 53210
    Price $2,117.99 MSRP $2,285.92
    You Save: $167.93
    • Direct to card printing
    • Monochrome printing only
    • Magnetic stripe encoding
    • Warranty: 3 years
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  3. 3652-5002 Image 2
    Magicard 600 Uno ID Card Printer with Magnetic Stripe Encoding - Single-Sided
    Item#: 3652-5002
    MSRP $3,696.94
    You Save: $740.15
    • Direct-to-card printing
    • Single-sided printing
    • HoloKote security options
    • Warranty: 3 years 
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  4. 70001 image Best Seller
    Fargo 70001 DTC1500XE Single-Sided ID Card Printer
    Item#: 70001
    MSRP $2,788.24
    You Save: $688.25
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  5. 52010 image
    Fargo DTC4250e ID Card Printer with Magnetic Stripe Encoding - Single-Sided
    Item#: 52010
    Price $3,497.99 MSRP $4,368.00
    You Save: $870.01
    • Direct to card printing
    • Single-sided printing
    • Magnetic stripe encoding
    • Warranty: 3 years
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  6. 70010 image Best Seller
    Fargo HDP6600 XE ID Card Printer - Single-Sided
    Item#: 70010
    MSRP $5,775.00
    You Save: $328.01
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  7. Z71-E00C0000US00 image
    Zebra ZXP 7 ID Card Printer with Contact Station - Single-Sided
    Item#: Z71-E00C0000US00
    MSRP $3,449.00
    You Save: $1,011.01
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  8. IPLS image
    IDP IPLS Smart-70 ID Card Printer Single-Sided with Lamination
    Item#: IPLS
    MSRP $6,260.00
    You Save: $832.27
    • Direct to card printing
    • Single-sided printing & lam
    • Ethernet Connectivity
    • Warranty: 3 years
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  9. scc4000d image
    Swiftcolor SCC4000D Inkjet Oversized ID Card Printer
    Item#: scc4000d
    Price $8,665.99 MSRP $9,995.00
    You Save: $1,329.01
    • Inkjet (single pass printing)
    • Single-sided printing
    • Oversized credentials
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  10. Entrust Datacard Sigma SL2 id badge card printer and id badge machine
    Entrust Datacard Sigma SL2 ID Card Printer - Single-Sided
    Item#: 525301-008
    Price $1,999.99 MSRP $2,292.00
    You Save: $292.01
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  11. 50008 image
    Fargo DTC1250e ID Card Printer with Omnikey 5127 Encoder - Single-Sided
    Item#: 50008
    Price $2,442.99 MSRP $3,759.60
    You Save: $1,316.61
    • Direct to card printing
    • Single-sided printing
    • Omnikey 5127 Encoder
    • Warranty: 3 years
    Learn More
  12. 55010 image
    Fargo DTC4500e ID Card Printer - Single-Sided - No Lamination
    Item#: 55010
    Price $3,750.99 MSRP $4,971.20
    You Save: $1,220.21
    • Direct to card printing
    • Single-sided printing
    • Magnetic stripe encoding
    • Non-Locking Hoppers
    Learn More
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Items 1-12 of 82

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Have Questions about Single-Sided Card Printers? We Have Answers!

Can I Print on Both Sides of My Cards with a Single-Sided Printer?

Technically, yes, you can print one side of your cards with a single-sided ID card printer, load them back into your card hopper and send them through your printer again to print the other side. However, this is not only time consuming, it's also not recommended by any of the card printer manufacturers as this practice tends to damage the sensitive printheads in card printers.

When you handle your cards after printing them, the cards will collect dust and debris from the air and oils from your hands. Putting cards that have been handled in this way back into your single-sided card printer brings these contaminates into contact with your printer's printhead. This practice commonly causes printhead pixel damage which will not only affect the quality of your printed card output, it will also be expensive to fix. Once a printhead is damaged, the only way to fix it is to replace it with a new one. Plus, damage to a printhead from this type of non-standard use may even void printer warranty coverage.

There are many single-sided printers that offer easy upgrades to dual-sided printing as your needs change. Shop for a dual-sided printer if you need to print to both sides of your cards now.

Should I Choose a Direct-To-Card or Retransfer Single-Sided Printer?

Direct-to-card and retransfer are the two choices available in card printing technology. Direct-to-card is the most common type of card printing, with images being printed directly onto the surface of cards. In retransfer printing, images are printed to a clear film that is then heat-sealed to the surface of cards. Both types of printing create good quality images, but there are some important differences:

  • Direct-to-card printers are sensitive to card imperfections. The effects of this sensitivity include: (1) Card printing that doesn't cover the entire surface of the card. Since your printhead should not come in contact with the edge of cards, a thin white border will be left around the edge of your printed cards. (2) Difficulty printing on technology cards. If you're printing too close to the raised areas of a technology card, such as a contact chip, your printhead is at risk for damage. You may also get inconsistent print quality on technology cards because of the uneven card surface.
  • Retransfer printers are not sensitive to card imperfections. With this technology, the printhead does not come in direct contact with the card, therefore the potential for printhead damage is limited. Images can cover the entire card surface and you can safely print on proximity cards, smart cards, pre-punched cards, key tags, etc.

Choose a single-sided direct-to-card printer if you if you will be printing on one side of a basic PVC card and don't mind having an unprinted, white edge on cards.

Choose a single-sided retransfer card printer if you will be printing on one side of a technology card (smart cards, prox cards, etc.) or if you prefer "over-the-edge" prints.

What is Rewrite Technology?

Rewritable single-sided IDP card printers

Rewritable single-sided IDP card printers are a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly card printing solution when the data printed on cards needs to be updated frequently, such as visitor ID cards.

Rewrite printing doesn't require a ribbon, but does require the use of special rewritable cards. In rewrite printing, heat is used to ‘print' information onto the heat-sensitive material contained in rewritable cards. This technology allows you to erase and reprint cards hundreds of times! Rewritable cards may be printed with a permanent full-color image on one part of the card, and the rewritable portion on the other. The rewritable portion of cards is generally offered with blue or black one-color printing.

Choose a single-sided ID card printer with rewrite capability if the data on your cards will be shared by many people or the data printed on them needs to be updated frequently.

Should I Consider a Laminating Single-Sided Card Printer?

If you recall the old days of cutting and pasting an ID card together, lamination may confuse you a bit. You might wonder why you would need lamination when printing directly to plastic.

In plastic card printing, lamination is a clear protective layer that is applied over the top of your printed cards by a printer with lamination capability. It offers three primary benefits to a plastic ID card:

  • Lamination extends the life of your card by protecting it from wear, such as being swiped in a magnetic stripe reader.
  • Lamination protects your cards from fading and dye migration when exposed to the sun.
  • Holographic lamination increases the security of your cards by making them difficult to copy.

Choose a single-sided laminating card printer if your cards will be swiped in a mag stripe reader or will be worn in harsher environments, such as in the sun. Lamination will protect your cards from fading and extend their life so you'll need to reprint cards less frequently, saving you time and supplies costs!

How Do I Access/Add Data to My Cards?

Barcode Printing

Barcode Printing Card

There are three primary ways to access or store data on a card: a barcode, magnetic stripe, or smart card. If you do not have an encoding single-sided ID card printer or software with encoding capabilities, you can still use a barcode to access data on a card. The data is stored electronically in a computer, not within the barcode.

Requirements: All single-sided card printers are capable of adding a 1-D or 2-D barcode to a plastic card. You will simply need a barcode scanner connected to a computer that contains the barcode's data to read the barcode.

Magnetic Stripe Encoding

Magnetic Stripe Encoding Card

While a barcode's information is kept in a computer, information within a magnetic stripe is stored within the stripe of the card. When used for access control, for example, each card holds data that will unlock preprogrammed doors. Simply swipe the card and, if you are a validated user of that door, it will unlock.

There are two types of magnetic stripe cards:

High Coercivity (HiCo) magnetic stripe cards are harder to erase, and are used in applications where cards are frequently used or need to have a long life. HiCo stripes are resistant to damage from most magnets or magnetic fields and therefore are most often used for access control, timed attendance, and gift cards.

Low Coercivity (LoCo) magnetic stripe cards require a lower amount of energy to record and are easier to erase. LoCo stripes can be damaged by even a brief contact with a magnetic field. With this, LoCo cards are typically used for applications where the card is only used for a short time, such as hotel room keys.

Requirements: In order to use magnetic stripe cards, you will need an encoding single-sided ID card printer and mid-level or fully-featured ID software.

Smart Card and Proximity Card Encoding

Smart Card and Proximity Card Encoding Card

Data is stored within the smart card components, similar to a magnetic stripe card. A smart card can hold up to 100 times more data than a magnetic stripe and offers added functionality. It can be reconfigured to add, erase, or edit hosted data. They can be categorized into two categories:

A contact smart card has an integrated chip. As the name implies, a contact smart card must come into direct contact with the reader in order to be read.

A contactless smart card has a chip and an antenna. In order to be read, it needs to come within a specified distance to the reader (varies by reader), but doesn't need to make direct contact.

Note: Proximity cards are similar to contactless smart cards, but there are important differences. Proximity cards come pre-programmed, so do not need to be encoded. Some single-sided card printers can read/verify data that has been written to a proximity card, but data on most* proximity cards cannot be added, erased, or edited.

Requirements: In order to use a contact or contactless smart card, you'll need a smart card encoding single-sided printer and fully-featured ID software. When ordering the printer, you'll need to specify whether you require contact or contactless encoding.

*Some cards, such as iClass cards, include non-editable, pre-programmed proximity data and a smart chip for encoding your own data.