Best ID Card Machines for Small Businesses

Best ID Card Machines for Small Businesses

Many smaller businesses are looking for new and smarter ways of meeting the ‘instant’ provision of services and solutions. This is being fuelled by the growth in digitisation and demand for enhanced security in all areas of people’s personal and work life.

Instant issuance ID cards are a printable solution that have a wide range of applications. They can be used for access and security, cashless payments, employee safety management, customer loyalty and many more to name but a few.

However, for many who have never ventured down the ID card printer path where do you start? How do you make sure you’re buying something that is not only fit for purpose, but reliable, cost effective and delivers quality?

This guide to the best ID card machine for small businesses will help you to decide whether bringing ID card printing inhouse is the right move for your organisation

Why invest in an ID printer for your small business?

For many small businesses their biggest challenge is assessing the value of bringing this service inhouse.

We feel small businesses can benefits from 4 key areas when they invest in a card printer:

  1. Flexibility – By bringing the service inhouse you can benefit from significantly reduced issuance timescales and greater production control.
  2. Cost per print – Quite often a printed photo ID card, when outsourced, can cost anything from £5-£10. By bringing this service inhouse your costs can be reduced to as little as 25p per card.
  3. Scalability – Most ID card printers are upgradable so as your demands and needs change the ID card printer can adapt with you. This can include features such as lamination, single to dual sided and watermark overlays, to name but a few.
  4. Chargeable Service – By having this tool available you could explore being a service bureau to other organisations and charging for plastic card production. This could help offset some of the costs to your organisation.

Key ID printer features for small organisations

When purchasing an ID card machine for a small business it’s important to look for a number of key features:

  1. Ease of use – By bringing the service in house it’s likely the users of the machine will be inexperienced. As a result it’s key that the machine is simple to use and fix. This includes ribbon changes, cleaning and printing.
  2. Cost – Bringing the printing of your own ID cards inhouse comes with a cost. It’s worth exploring the total costs (old v new) and the qualitative benefit of bringing the service inhouse.
  3. Speed – What is the desired turnaround time for your cards? Instant, 30 mins, 1 hour, 2 days? This can determine the size and requirements of your ID card printer.
  4. Print Quality – What is required to be printed on the card? If you are printing images a higher print quality will be needed. Furthermore, do you need to print edge to edge or over the edge of the card? Read our article to see which is right for you.
  5. Single/Dual Sided Print – What is the card being used for? Not all ID card machines for small businesses print dual sided. Is this important and necessary?

Top 5 ID card machines for small businesses

1. Matica MC110 (Promotional Bundle £995 Exc VAT)

The Matica MC110 is a direct to card printer offering superior print quality, rewrite as standard and a full range of encoding and communication options. Furthermore, it is easy to install and use and offers powerful thermal sublimation direct card printing.

In addition:

  • Prints 150 cards per hour YMCKO
  • Prints 700 cards per hour Monochrome
  • Contact and Contactless encoding options available
  • Easy to service and maintain
  • Comes as a single sided print but can be upgraded to dual sided
  • 300 dpi print quality
  • 4 years warranty
  • Weight: 10kg


2. Dascom DC-2300 (Promotional Bundle £901.95 Exc VAT)

The Dascom DC-2300 direct to card printer offers high quality print and ease of use. Designed for front-desk applications this compact printer doesn’t take up much space and offers quiet printing to match.

Its edge-to-edge printing means the Dascom DC-2300 is perfect for employee ID, membership and loyalty cards.


  • 300 dpi print quality
  • USB connectivity
  • 75 Card Rear Output, 25 Card Front Output
  • Prints 180 cards per hour (YMCKO Full Colour)
  • Prints 900 cards per hour (Monochrome)
  • Weight: 6.2kg


3. Zebra ZC100 (Promotional Bundle £695 Exc VAT)

Zebra ZC100

Building on the legacy of the ZXP Series 1 card printer, the ZC100 is simple to operate and its slim design means it fits most spaces. Ideal for access control solutions, education, retail/hospitality and financial services the direct to card printer is a great id card machine for small businesses.


  • 300 dpi print quality
  • Auto calibration of ribbon
  • USB connectivity
  • 100 card input hopper
  • 100 card output hopper
  • 2 year warranty
  • Prints 150 cards per hour (YMCKO Full Colour)
  • Prints 700 cards per hour (Monochrome)
  • Weight: 3.9kg


4. Evolis Badgy (Promotional Bundle £755.95 Exc VAT)

Evolis Badgy

For customers looking to produce 100 cards or less the Evolis Bagdy 200 is the ideal solution for small business. Its an extremely small card printer, so it will not take up much room on your desk with is eco design and small footprint. One year warranty as standard with the Evolis Badgy 200, with optional warranty extensions should it be required.


  • Direct-to-card dye-sublimation/Resin thermal transfer
  • Single-sided printing, edge-to-edge
  • Printing resolution: 260 x 300 dpi
  • 40 card input hopper
  • 40 card output hopper
  • Prints 96 cards/hour (YMCKO Full Colour)
  • Prints 325 cards per hour (Monochrome)
  • Weight 1.665kg

5. Entrust Sigma DS1 (£1,295 Exc VAT)

Entrust Sigma DS1

Easy to set up and use the Sigma simplex is a great entry level machine for those still looking to achieve high-quality, single-sided printed photo ID cards.


  • 300 dpi print quality
  • Single sided print
  • Prints 175 cards per hour (YMCKO Ful Colour)
  • 125 card input hopper
  • 25 card output hopper
  • Weight 5.49kg


Need more advice?

Contact us – Want to find out more about the best printers for printing on your ID cards? Speak to our friendly team today for expert, tailored advice, with no obligation to buy.

ID Card Printers - Browse our full range of printers and learn more about the different card printer features.

ID card lamination - Learn more about the great benefits of laminating ID cards.

Choosing the right ID printer ribbon - Read our guide to printer ribbons, which explains how to choose the right consumables for your card printer.

What is Edge-To-Edge and Over-The-Edge printing? – This guide breaks down the difference between ETE and OTE printers and why this is a key consideration for buyers.

About Andy Reeves and Cards-X

Andy has over 20 years of experience in the security and ID printing industry. He is the Chief Operating Officer of Cards-X. We are a trusted UK distributor of ID card printers, based in the Yorkshire town of Malton.

Cards-X offer a comprehensive selection of printers from the world’s finest manufacturers, as well as a low-price promise across our range. We can also offer a next day delivery service and free delivery on all orders over £250.

Disclaimer: All the printer prices stated above are correct as of 09/08/2023 and are based on standard packages with no additional printer options.