2 Shortcuts That Will Cost You More in the Long Run

2 Shortcuts That Will Cost You More in the Long Run

You may think taking the following shortcuts will save you time and even money, but you’d be surprised what it might add up costing you in the end.

Pre-Punched Slot Cards

If you have hundreds of ID cards to print that need to be attached to a lanyard, you understand the draw of pre-punched slot cards. Who has the time to hand-punch hundreds of cards? But this one little short cut can cause serious damage if you have a direct-to-card printer.

The printhead on a direct-to-card printer can come into contact with the edges around the pre-punched slot in your cards and cause significant damage to your printhead. You’ll notice a white line appearing in the middle of your professional ID cards, meaning one or more pixels have been damaged and no longer can print on the ribbon in that place.

The only option you have if this happens is to replace your printhead, which can cost several hundreds of dollars.

If you know you need plenty of pre-punched slot cards, you should move to a retransfer card printer, which prints your cards images to a clear film that’s applied to the card’s surface. Nowhere in a retransfer card printer does the printhead ever touch the card, eliminating the possibility of damage from pre-punched slot cards.

IDSecurityOnline also offers heavy duty electronic slot punches with adjustable guides that do the hard work of punching your ID cards for you.

Using a Single-Sided Printer to Print on Both Sides of Your Cards

Another short cut you want to avoid like the plague is using a single-sided ID card printer and hand-flipping your ID cards to print on both sides. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars upfront by purchasing a single-sided over a dual-sided printer, but the wear and tear you put your printer through hand-flipping cards can damage both your cards and your printer.

Not only can the oil from your fingerprints affect the surface of your ID cards, but that oil and dirt from your hands can cause damage to internal parts of your ID printer. It’s important that dust, dirt, and airborne debris don’t come in contact with your cards or your printer parts to help extend the lifetime of your ID card printing system.

We have an informative post (Are You Cleaning Your Card Printer Enough) that goes into more detail about the importance of keeping your ID card printer clean and protected from dust, dirt, and debris.

Similar to the potential damage caused by pre-punched slot cards from above, your can irreparably damage your printer’s printhead. Again, you’ll notice a white line appearing across your ID cards. Not only will you have to replace the printhead, but you’ll also incur the cost of reprinting and reissuing all of the cards with white lines.

Suffice it to say, it will cost you more to repair the damage that can happen to your printer by hand-flipping your ID cards during printing. You’re better off purchasing a dual-sided printer if you foresee the need for front and back printing on your ID cards.


Sometimes short cuts can pay big dividends, like during your daily commute to avoid heavy traffic. These are two short cuts with your ID card printing system that you don’t want to chance, however. It’s much better to be proactive and get the right printer in the first place than try to make do with cheaper or easier options.

If you’re not sure what you need in an ID card printing system, the experts at IDSecurityOnline are well versed in all brands without being tied to any one manufacturer. We can help you find the perfect system that meets both your budget requirements and your security needs, now and in the future.