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Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: john dough
Date: December 19, 2011 05:39PM
I have a project where I am helping a company send out over 3000 letters and they need a printer that they can print addresses directly onto the envelope. They do not want to use labels nor farm this project out. Either inkjet or laser will suffice. As far as cost, although important, that is a close second to getting the job done. Ideally, they would like to spend under $200 on a printer but it has to do envelopes perfectly (I was thinking to suggest a model such as Brother, but in my experience, several models I have used, all mangle envelopes).

Any good ones to suggest?
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: hal
Date: December 19, 2011 05:47PM
At that price, someone will have to stand there and feed the thing 3000 envelopes AND fix the mangled ones as they come up.

Sometimes OUTsourcing is the best sourcing...
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: John B.
Date: December 19, 2011 06:00PM
My old HP LaserJet 8000N works well with a specific envelope from Quality Park that has some "ribbing" (for lack of a better term)...I get them at OfficeMax. They feed through from the manual feed tray to the standard output tray without issue. So selecting the right envelope stock might make any printer work.

My Canon iP6000D does fine with feeding envelopes, but if it is asked to print a return address, it always ends up leaving a couple fine lines of ink smear on the edge of the envelope. Doesn't do that with the mailing address.
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: john dough
Date: December 19, 2011 06:16PM
They have 2 interns that will be handling this project. As far as I know, they are paid about $12 a hour and if all goes well, this project will take 2-3 hours tops, including jams, so in-house labor cost would be $72 max. As far as a laser/inkjet printer goes, they will be doing this every month so long term, it would be less expensive than sending it out; the best outsourcing quote they have is 6¢ an envelope, envelopes provided to printer ($180) or 9¢ an envelope, envelopes included ($270).

They are trying several different stocks for printing, yet I cannot let that predicate the printer selection, as that may change throughout the year.
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 19, 2011 06:32PM
most inkjets have a straight thru paper path, cheap lasers do not. many cheap lasers also only do 1 enevelope at a time, something to check.

I just ran 1000 A7 envelopes through a 10 year old epson 1280, return address and address, ran fine -- only had a few throw aways, nothing special. biggest drawback was feeding, only takes about 10 envelopes at a time.



----

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs [www.fakesteve.net]


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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: hal
Date: December 19, 2011 06:33PM
didn't the old 16/600 have an envelope feeder accessory?
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: Robert M
Date: December 19, 2011 07:06PM
John,

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings here. Every printer I've used and/or seen mangles envelopes. Every single one of them. Dot matrix. Daisy wheel. Laser. Inkjet. Every single one of them. If you were doing just a small number of them, I'd say, yeah, you can manage it yourself with lots of mangled envelopes ending up in the garbage. You're not doing that.

For 3000 envelopes, your company would be absolutely crazy to do it in house unless they have professional level printing systems such as those of print houses. Since you're asking about printers for envelopes, they clearly do not have this kind of tech. I know you said they don't want to farm it out but in this case, it really is the proper choice.

Have a professional printer do it for you. Give him/her the design you want on the envelope, a list of names and addresses in the appropriate file format and let him/her do the job. It shouldn't be that expensive and well worth it.

Robert
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: Robert M
Date: December 19, 2011 07:07PM
Hal,

It did and the old 16/600 still had trouble with envelopes. Even the laserwriter II series machines had special envelope cassettes. They had trouble with envelopes.

Robert
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: testcase
Date: December 19, 2011 07:13PM
Bring a box of the envelopes in question to the store. Look for the straightest paper path. Less likely to cause jams. Run a dozen or so envelopes through prospective candidates. Buy the printer that works the best. Laser likely to have a lower cost per envelope.
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: Robert M
Date: December 19, 2011 08:05PM
John,

One issue with laser printers and envelopes. The heat of the fuser can actually seal the envelope. It doesn't happen each time but definitely enough to cause agita. Just something else to consider.

Robert
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: John B.
Date: December 19, 2011 08:15PM
Of course if quality is paramount and cost is no object, there are guys like this that sell inkjet printers that will do 7,000 envelopes an hour (MSRP $5495.00)

[www.addrex.com]

(no affiliation, this was about the 4th link that came up when I Googled "inkjet envelope printer")
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: wurm
Date: December 19, 2011 08:17PM
I just went through this on a much smaller scale with holiday cards for clients. I did only 40, and at one time or another tried my Canon MP130, Canon MP160 and Epson C88. Took way longer than it should have because I had to feed them through one at a time. Ran out of one of the ink carts on the Epson, which was doing the best job up until that time, but ceased to even try after that. MP160 had little or no ink to begin with because we had put it away for lack of room. And the MP130 ran out of black shortly after I started, so ended up printing the bulk of the addresses in "holiday green".

After that frustration, I vowed I was done with inkjets (again), but now after reading about how lasers don't handle envelopes any better, I don't know what the hell to do next time. At least I have a year to decide.
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: Robert M
Date: December 19, 2011 08:35PM
Hi everyone,

I should point out my use of the term mangled is actually my way of saying envelopes get skewed in some way to the point that you cannot use them for their intended purpose, i.e. smudged, poorly aligned, toner/ink not nice and sharp, envelope sealed, bent, etc.

Robert
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: billb
Date: December 19, 2011 08:42PM
3 Amigos and a Bag o' Bics



Logen Aryn Ryley - Happy Birthday
July 25
The Truth Will Always Be
another favorite

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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: PeterB
Date: December 19, 2011 10:13PM
The Samsung CLP-620ND that I bought after some good advice here, does not seem to mangle envelopes at all. Admittedly I haven't done 3000 letters with it yet, but I'm happy enough at the fact that it's not causing crinkling nor sealing the envelope.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: December 20, 2011 06:48AM
I don't see 3000 envelopes in 2-3 hours. At 10 seconds per envelope is will be 8.333 hours. Without ANY hiccups.

Good luck.



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: JoeH
Date: December 20, 2011 09:02AM
There are envelopes made especially for laser printing, they use a heat resistant glue and the folds and seams are oriented for better feeding. When I did have to print up batches in the past, those did result in much fewer "mangled" envelopes. This was on an older model HP laser with a envelope feeder, I don't recall the model number. i don't think you are going to get that level of consistency on an under $200 model. That $270 to have them professionally done is looking better.
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Re: Printer (inkjet or laser) for printing directly onto envelopes
Posted by: john dough
Date: December 20, 2011 11:54AM
The more I think about it, outsourcing may be the best way to get this done. They will still need a printer for small batches of envelope printing (fewer than 200) yet for the 3K job, having someone else do all of the work seems the best plan.

Thanks for all of the advice!
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