Shop the best home printer for heavy coverstock:
Starting a business is hard. When I first started my Etsy shop (Always In High Heels Designs), I was only selling 5×7 and 8×10 art prints. I was also paying to have them printed at Staples on an as needed basis. They have nice printers and great quality paper. However, I quickly learned that everyone wanted cards, not prints! For the longest time, I fought it because the margins just weren’t there. But in the end, I decided a bunch of card sales at a lower profit margin was better than no print sales at a higher margin. Except I still needed to find a way to lower my product costs without sacrificing quality. And I knew I wanted at least 270gsm+ paper. So I set off to find the best printer for heavy coverstock.
Before we get started, this post is absolutely full of useful information. But you might not want to read it all! So I made you a handy Table Of Contents. Just click the hyperlinks below and you can jump straight to the part you want to read without learning about any additional things. Of course you can always read the whole thing and hang out a while. That’s cool too.
Table Of ContentsHeavy Coverstock Discussion
What is heavy coverstock?
Now for starters, coverstock is not the same as card stock. It’s even nicer/thicker. I found this handy chart from paperpapers.com that really helped me narrow down the types of paper I wanted to use. (If you haven’t checked out my Etsy shop yet, you totally should!)
I also really like this chart from Jam Paper because it helps explain what weights of paper are used for what products. This kind of helps give a better idea of how thick/thin different types of paper are by putting them into perspective. I don’t know about you, but looking at sites talking about gsm and coverstock vs cardstock and lbs and whatever else, made my head hurt. Especially in the beginning.
Personally, I prefer at least 110lb coverstock for my cards and art prints. I feel like this paper gives a really great rich, high quality, store bought feel. For reference, 110lb coverstock is about 300gsm. Which are all terms I had no idea about when I decided to open my shop. A lot of the pre cut/folded cards you’ll find on places like amazon are usually around 80lb coverstock. Which is fine. And easier for home printers to handle. But still feel a bit flimsy and super “home made” to me. So I stick with my beloved 110lb+ coverstock. (This one from Amazon is 120lb/325gsm and it is my favorite.)
Why do I need a special printer for heavy coverstock?
Ok. Now that you’re a paper genius, let’s talk equipment. Most home printers can’t handle 110+lb coverstock. And trust me. I’ve tried a lot of them. Some will start to take the paper and then jam. Others print super inconsistently. (Which is not good when both time and supplies are money!) And of course others, just won’t even accept the paper at all. Here’s another super handy chart explaining the battle of printers vs paper from Cardstock Warehouse. This chart explains what paper weights can be handled by the average home printer – from easy to hard.
What is the best printer for printing on heavy coverstock?
As you can see in the chart above, 100+gsm coverstock is well into the orange/red end of the spectrum. Meaning most home printers won’t cut it. However, I found a printer that laughed in the face of my heavy paper. The Canon Pixma iX6820 is hands down the best printer for heavy coverstock. (You can find it here at Best Buy. That’s where I got mine.) It honestly prints like a dream. My images are crisp and clean, and it prints on the 120lb 325gsm paper like it’s nothing. I actually laughed and cheered and almost cried the first time it printed. That’s how overwhelming a silly printer search can be! But don’t worry. I did all the hard work for you. Make your tears be tears of joy by getting this printer!
But wait! There’s more! This little printer does more than just print pretty pictures on 8.5×11 paper. It’s wireless and is super easy to set up. (But also can be connected via USB.) And trust me. I was holding my breath until that first page printed. I don’t have Apple AirPrint or Google Cloud Print set up, but it does both of those. According to the Best Buy website, it even prints a 4×6 borderless photo in as little as 36 seconds. In fact, the borderless setting is the only setting I use for my prints to make sure they’re the perfect size every time. And the best part? It’s only $179.99. (You can buy it at Best Buy here.)
Not only that, but it “prints on plain, super-high gloss, glossy, semigloss, matte and chlorine-free paper” and “produces 13″ x 19″ documents and photos as well as 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, 11″ x 17″, letter and legal sizes and U.S. #10 envelopes to accommodate a variety of printing tasks.” And it “prints up to 14.5 ISO ipm* in black, up to 10.4 ISO ipm* in color”. But I have no idea what that means. (Again, thanks Best Buy website for these specs!) I haven’t tried the envelope settings yet, but I’m super excited for that part, because that means I can add custom envelopes to my stationary listings!
*One thing to note – this is an inkjet printer. So you cannot use it for foiling (you need a toner printer for that). However, I have not been able to find a reasonably priced toner printer that will print on 110lb+ coverstock yet. Of course I’ll let you know if I do!*
Now, thanks to this cute little Canon Pixma iX6820, I can print from the comfort of my own home with even better than Staples quality prints. My orders can go out same day now, my production costs are lower, and I never have to worry about smudges or reprints or waiting in line, or parking lots, or even changing out of my pajamas! Talk about efficient!
Want more home office/small business supplies? I’m obsessed with this paper holder from Amazon for all of my different weights of paper. It fits inside one of the cubbies of the Target 13 inch cube organizers. And this paper cutter from Amazon is super lightweight, precise, and awesome.
Do you have a small business or Etsy shop? Share it in the comments below!
Shop this post:
Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to stay up to date on the latest product reviews, style and beauty trends, and exciting upcoming launch info!