What Printer is Best for Buttons?
If you want to make your own pinned back buttons at home using a button maker you need to be able to print them out. You have several good options including having your prints made professionally from a print shop. If you would like to invest in a printer to use at home your options fall into two main categories: Inkjet and Laser.
Inkjet has a clear advantage over laser in terms of image quality and resolution. However, that quality is dependant on using the right paper. You can print on standard office paper in an inkjet printer, but the tiny ink drops will spread and cause color and clarity problems. You don't want to overcompensate for this problem by jumping to a photo paper because standard button makers can only accomodate paper up to 32lbs or so. Photo paper is typically too thick. You have to use a thinner paper that is actually coated for inkjet printing such as Epson Presentation Paper.
Our Pick: Epson EcoTank ET-3830
The Epson EcoTank delivers superior color and high resolution, great for tiny buttons! Making sure to use Epson Presentation Paper with it, will ensure your prints dry fast enough to produce buttons right away. It prints 8 color prints per minute. And it uses an ink tank so it's cheaper to refill than traditional cartridge printing.
Laser printing offers a slightly lower quality output in terms of resolution, and there are sometimes cross-hatching patterns visible in even the highest resolution laser prints that makes the preceived resolution lower. But laser printers are so much faster at 28 prints per minute for full color. It's a dry print process, so rusty buttons is less of an issue than with inkjet. Toner is expensive but you get a lot more prints per toner cartridge than you do with inkjet refills. So that is an advantage too.