Can I Use a Regular Printer For Tattoo Stencils?

Can I Use a Regular Printer For Tattoo Stencils?

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Can I Use a Regular Printer For Tattoo Stencils?

Not all regular printers are suitable for tattoo stencils. There are different types of regular printers, and they are used in varying ways to make tattoo stencils.

If you want to get a design right in the quickest way possible, then using a stencil is the right choice to consider.

Not only is it quick, but the results are relatively more accurate than those done with free-hands.

Nevertheless, if you are still in the process of getting started, then you should notice that stencil tattoos are also the quickest way to set your feet into the tattoo industry.

Tattoo stencils are not challenging to make, and some printers are suitable for the job and can accomplish the task adequately in different ways. 

Can I Use a Regular Printer For Tattoo Stencils?

However, can you use a regular printer for tattoo stencils?

What Are Regular Printers?

There are two printers widely recognized and are available at most of the printers’ outlets.

I’m talking about the laser printers or the inkjet. You may have used one of these at least once or seen them being used by other people altogether. 

Let’s define each one of them in detail to get a clearer picture before making any conclusions regarding the same. 

Laser printers

This type of printer prints images and texts using a focused beam of light. For starters, I would say from the beginning that laser printers are not preferred for stencils.

However, if you are still trying things out and don’t want to go all permanent once, you could try out some temporary tattoo stencils created by laser printers.

The tattoo stencil designed is quite straightforward and of adequate quality. Oh, did I mention the images are also designed with much precision thus quite detailed? 

One fact you should be aware of is that a temporary tattoo stencil is just meant to be quick.

Do not expect much from it, as it will start fading soon. It’s perfect for those trying out making tattoo stencils for the first time and unsure about it.

Benefits of Using Laser Printers for Tattoo

Many detailed images; Laser printers produce high-end image quality as far as tattoo stencil making is concerned.

You are likely to be more pleased with the outcome than if other printers would have been used instead. Who wouldn’t want a high-quality tattoo stencil?

Great for beginners; Whether you are an upcoming tattoo artist or if you are contemplating making a tattoo stencil for the first time.

Then laser printers would be a great tattoo stencil maker choice to go for. CLICK HERE to check current prices on Amazon Prime.

This is due to their temporary nature. Yes, laser printers make temporary tattoo stencils, and if you are not sure if you want one yet, you should go for this one.

Can I Use a Regular Printer For Tattoo Stencils?

You will have a second chance to change your mind. Upcoming tattoo artists also have the chance of a second time if the tattoo printed does not match the expectation.

Demerits of Using Laser Printers for Tattoo

Since laser tattoos are great, they also have some shortcomings which most tattoo enthusiasts may not appreciate.

Temporary tattoos; Laser printers make temporary tattoo stencils. Thus, for those who want to print more permanent tattoo stencils, laser printers may not be of great help.

The images are great, but their probability of lasting long is quite dismal. 

Inkjet printers

Just as the name suggests, inkjet printers use ink to print texts and images. Unlike laser printers, most inkjet printers are suitable for use with tattoo stencils.

Once you are equipped with adequate stencil ink and an eco-tank where you will occasionally add ink whenever it depletes, then you are ready to go.

Inkjet printers, when used with tattoo stencils, the images are more permanent and can take longer before the image starts fading.

It would be preferred for those sure of what they are doing as making corrections to the images produced are relatively minimal.

One advantage of using an inkjet printer for tattoo stencil is that you get a more extended image than if a laser printer is used.

However, the drawback is that when the resulting image is compared to that created by laser printers, then you will realize the images are not much detailed. 

Therefore, depending on your image quality and other factors preference, you can decide which one, between the two regular printers, suits you.  

Dot-matrix printers

Dot-matrix printers have been used for a long time as stencil printers. However, they are normally used together with carbon paper to create stencils.

Stencils printed by dot-matrix have been confirmed to last longer than those created by modern printers like inkjets and laser printers.

Thermal printers

Thermal printers can be used to print tattoo stencils too. These types of printers transfer images to stencil paper using heat.

However, if you consider using this method of tattoo stencil generation, you will have to accompany the printer with a special carbon paper meant for the same task.

The image quality of dot-matrix printers, when compared to thermal printers, is of better resolution.

So, if you are going after resolution preference and have to choose between the two, the dot-matrix would be the better choice to pick.

Which Are Some Of The Best Tattoo Stencil Printers To Consider?

After looking into the various types of printers that could be used for generating tattoo stencils.

You may be wondering which examples of these types of printers are out there in the market and which ones you should consider when you decide to acquire them.

Let’s look into some of the tattoo stencil printers which you may want to think about before you acquire any.

Brother S8 Thermal Printer 

If you are more into modern tattoo creation, this thermal printer is the go-to for your tattoo stencils. It is relatively portable, and you can carry it around with much ease.

You don’t have to worry about powering as it uses a battery.

Brother S8 thermal printer(Amazon Link) can be used by both beginners and pros. If you are starting to work your way up, you can acquire this printer for your work.

Once you get the hang of it, there will be no future need to acquire a new one

Furthermore, you shall have already gained a lot of skills using the same machine; hence no need to shift to a different one and begin all over again.

The better part about using Brother S8 Thermal printer is that you can use your Mac or iPad to create a stencil, which you then print wirelessly.

Images made using this thermal printer are quite defined and sharp.

Spirit Classic Thermal Roll 8.5 inch by 100 feet

Where a lot of stencil creation is involved, buying single sheets of thermal paper to be used could be costly. Therefore, acquiring the 100-foot thermal role may save you a lot.

You also get the liberty to design the size you want by making your desired precision cuts. For more advantage, you may marvel that it can be used by any thermal printer.

If you make mistakes in the process of using it, then it will not reduce in quality, thereby giving you another chance to make more stencils without compromising any.

ReproFX Spirit Green Sheet Thermal Tattoo Stencil Transfer Paper

This tattoo stencil paper is green in color and tremendously increases visibility on skins with a dark tone. CLICK HERE to check current prices on Amazon Prime

For excellent results, perhaps you may want to consider including a green transfer cream on the budget.

In instances where you cannot access the green transfer cream, a transparent stencil gel will be adequate to get the job done.

The merit of this thermal paper is its compatibility with various thermal printers.

If you do not have the thermal printers at your disposal, you can also use your hand to create the stencil designs you want.

Epson EcoTank ET-M2170 Wireless Monochrome Supertank All-in-one

The Epson ET-M2170 is equipped with a supertank that normally contains one type of ink.

To use it effectively for stencil printing, you will have to replace the present ink with stencil ink.

While using this printer to print your tattoo stencils, you do not need to acquire a different set of thermal paper to get the job done;

The available regular printer papers are just adequate for the task.

All you may need to pay attention to is the stencil ink used, depending on your preference.

This model of Epson printer works fine, but if you want to get more into details of printing, then you should consider acquiring the basic model.

Biomaster Tattoo Transfer Machine Tattoo Printer

If you want to print more elaborate images such as those with defined shadowing, then forget about using this printer. It’s not advised for you.

However, where outlining is involved, then you will have to put it among the top list of the to-go-to printers.

You are free to adjust the resolution as much as you like to come up with the final suiting outcome.

Life Basis Thermal Copier

This thermal copier for creating tattoo stencil prints on both A5 and A4 paper sizes and weighs almost 3 pounds.

While using it to print your tattoo stencils, you have the freedom to change its settings to match your preference when it comes to image clarity and resolution.

What Other Options Are Available For Transferring Tattoo Stencil?

Sometimes printers are not nearby, but you need to make those tattoo stencils. So, what other options can you consider to come up with to create a tattoo stencil?

Well, this is no big brain time, as you may be thinking. All you need to put into practice is your artistic work. 

Can I Use a Regular Printer For Tattoo Stencils?

The use of hectograph has proved to be relatively effective in this field of art.

You can use your hand to make the tattoo stencils using the hectograph; thus, it is referred to as freehand tattoo transfer paper.

The other advantage of hectograph is that it can also be used with a dot-matrix printer. If you want to use this paper, you should consider using a white sheet of paper.

Therefore, once you have acquired a hectograph, you can comfortably use your hand to create a tattoo stencil or go further and acquire a dot-matrix printer to accomplish the same task.

Can I Make A Tattoo Stencil With A Printer?

Using printers is an excellent way of creating tattoo stencils.

Although different printers perform differently and deliver different quality tattoo stencils, it is possible to make tattoo stencils with a printer.

All you have to do is find out which printer works best to produce the type of tattoo stencil.

You want and what other accompanying materials to acquire, such as the relevant types of carbon or thermal paper required.

Making tattoo stencils can be done anywhere, whether at home or your workplace.

Once you have the necessary artistic skills required for the task, you can comfortably do it at home using your printers.

Printers are not only used for making tattoo stencils. You can also use them for printing decorative stencils to use at home for your house decoration.

I would say making stencils is one of the fun activities you can enjoy doing in your free time, whether for leisure or business.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Printers For Tattoo Stencils?

Inasmuch as there are many merits for using printers when making tattoo stencils, there are some disadvantages that you may face in the process. 

First, which is relatively important, you may have to match printers with carbon papers accurately. Some carbon papers are not compatible with some types of printers.

So, figuring out which printers match the carbons could be a hassle for some artists.

Also, the available carbon papers may not be used with the printers; therefore, acquiring them will require new budgeting and planning.

Secondly, not all printers can be used for tattoo stencils. Therefore, you have to pay attention to the type of printer you acquire for the job.

Final thought

Can I Use A Regular Printer For Tattoo Stencils? Yes,Regular printers work adequately for tattoo stencils.

However, you may have to choose different printers to use depending on the quality of output you want.


I'm Vincent, a registered skincare specialist and an award-winning tattoo artist. I've been in the industry for over 10 years and have worked with some of the best tattoo artists in my field. I've loved everything to do with tattoos and arts in general, as well as exercise and wellness! This site is a place for me to share some of the expertise knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current research and studies. Tattoos are a huge passion of mine, I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. I decided to start a blog and help other people!

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