You could be forgiven for hearing the term ‘waterslide decal’ and thinking it must refer to some kind of trendy, new detox and weight loss drink.
But it’s not.
What waterslide decal paper actually is, is a specialty paper. The process to use it is relatively simple. You print on the film, use an aerosol sealant, and then place it in water to activate it before sticking it on whatever you choose.
You need the best printer for waterslide decals to get your designs onto items like tumblers, jars, or craftwork.
We’ve compiled a list to help you find an affordable yet fantastic printer at doing this job.
List of Top Printer for Waterslide Decals
- HP ENVY 6455e
- Canon Pixma MG3620
- HP OfficeJet Pro 8025
- Epson ET-3760
- WorkForce WF-7710
- HP ENVY 5055
- Canon 2986C002 PIXMA TS6220
- Canon Pixma Pro-100
- Brother MFCJ895DW
- Epson Stylus Photo R2000
Comparison Chart For Top 10 Printers For Waterslide Decals
What Exactly Are The Waterslide Decal Papers?
An ultrathin transfer film that comes with an adhesive backing sheet. The sheet gets activated when it comes in contact with water.
So, when you soak the paper, it makes the backing sheet slide off slightly so that you press the decal on the hard surface, pull out the sheet and stick the design easily. That’s why you call them waterslide decal papers. You can use them on any model including metal, glass, plastic, wood, and Mylar.
Such paper comes in the form of opaque, clear or matte sticker paper. It uses dextrose corn sugar remains from the prints so that they get transferred to the decal and you can stick the decal to the surface.
There are mainly two kinds of Waterslide Decal Papers. Clear and white.
Clear decal is a translucent, see-through paper while white decal is more of an opaque, not see-through.
How Is Waterslide Decal Sheet Made?
Waterslide decal sheet comprises several layers.
- The Carrier Layer-
A film on which decal designs are printed. You would find it with either clear or white background.
- The Glucose Adhesive Layer-
This film provides the decal with adhesive properties. This is what helps make the carrier film bond the design to the surface. Make sure you don’t oversoak the decal otherwise the film may wash away.
- The Dextrose Release Layer-
Such sheet enables the carrier film to be able to slide off the decal when you mix it with water. This way, the decal can be easily stuck on the surface of the model.
- The Backing Stock Layer-
This is the backing sheet. Mostly this layer comes in white while a few come in blue. Usually, blue backed paper is used when you print the design using white ink. The blue background allows for white designs to be seen easily while white background can be used for multicolored designs.
Who Should Get This?
Any craft enthusiast should get a printer for waterslide decals. If you want to do something different in crafting, then having a printer would make you more skillful. You can give your boring mug or plate a different look using the prints from decal paper.
Apart from craft enthusiasts, an entrepreneur in crafting field should also get a printer for the job. The multiple functions of such printers would certainly benefit them in their business.
Tips To Get The Perfect Print On Your Decal Printer
Let’s say you have already picked a design for the waterslide decal paper.
Now, place the paper with a smooth side facing front. The shiny side would be the side that you have to print the design on.
After that, select the following settings in your printer.
- Transferor Photo Glossy paper
- Best Quality
- Portrait mode
Wait for the ink to dry completely so don’t touch the paper now.
After it dries, it’s ready to get bonded! That’s how you can get the perfect print with your decal printer. However, you can try other functions too depending on the printer you own.
1. What Printer Can Be Used For Waterslide Decals?
It depends on the paper type. If the paper is compatible with the printer, then you can use any printer.
Usually inkjet printers are recommended for printing on waterslide decal paper. It provides you with better printing quality.
However, not all the models would meet your decal printing requirements. For this, the printer must support different paper sizes and materials including waterslide decal paper.
2. Can I Use Waterslide Paper In A Regular Printer?
Yes, but you have to keep 2 factors in mind for that. One is that the regular printer must support different materials and sizes of paper. Two is that it must come with white ink if you want white to appear in your design.
3. How Do You Print Waterslide Decals On Inkjet?
Printing waterslide decals on inkjet is very easy. You just have to make sure the inkjet accepts different paper materials so you can print on the decal.
Pick a premium design and then place the decal with the smooth side facing front on the printer tray. Make sure you print it one at a time for having the best result.
Set the paper type in the dialog box to transfer or photo glossy paper and quality to highest. The settings may vary in models.
Command print. This will make the printer output your waterslide decal paper with the prints on it.
4. How To Remove Waterslide Decals?
Once the design is properly applied and dry, it’s not possible to remove the design from the surface. Such transfers are permanent.
5. Why Are These Decals Called Waterslide Decals?
Such decal uses water-activated adhesive that helps make the transfer happen. You dunk the decal paper in the water for 30 to 40 seconds. This would separate the decal and backing sheet a bit to allow for sliding.
As the adhesive is wet, it lets the decal stick to the hard surface where you slide backing sheet off underneath it. Since the removal happens because the decal and the surface are wet, these have been called waterslide decals.
6. Do Waterslide Decals Need To Be Sealed?
Yes, you must use a sealant to waterproof the decal after printing. It helps prevent waterslide decal from ink bleeding when soaking in water.
Make sure, you spray the decal paper with 2 to 3 coats of acrylic acid after printing the design on it.
Give an hour break to let each coat of sealant dry completely before spraying the next one.
7. Are Waterslide Decals Microwave Safe?
Yes, waterslide decals are microwave safe unless you’re using metal model that can react violently with the microwave heat or you’re heating the model for too long.
8. How Durable Are Waterslide Decals?
Waterslide decals are durable if you properly apply the decal to the surface and let it dry completely. This way, you can get to enjoy its durability as long as you want.
10 Best Printers for Waterslide Decals Reviews
1. HP ENVY 6455e
ENVY 6455e can make any other printer envious for its ease of use. There is an app called HP Smart that lets you do all the jobs remotely right from your phone. It can be printing, copying or scanning!
The tray is fairly big enough to hold pages of varying sizesup to 8.5×14 inches. You can use any decal paper for crafts with this. Not just that, the printer would make use of the available spaces too, thanks to its borderless printing.
When it comes to speed, the ENVY 6455e is adequately quick. If you print color, you would get 7 outputs per minute. For black and whiteprints, it would be around 10 outputs per minute. There is an auto document feeder that would take just 3 to 5 minutes to copy or scan up to 35 pages.
With 1200 x 1200 dpi, the resolution is slightly on the lower side than others. That said, you would find it brilliant for outputting small scale decals. For the bigger scales, you can check WorkForce WF-7710here on the list. It offers quite higher resolution for the job.
Speaking of the quality, Envy uses black and tricolor ink cartridges. These inks are what make the device yield premium prints on the decals.
You can even print on both the sides using the Auto Duplex function. It would output the exact result.
- HP Smart App lets you control printer wirelessly.
- Tray holds pages of up to 8.5 × 14 inches.
- Great for printing small scale decal papers with 1200 x 1200 dpi.
- 7 color and 10 monochrome printed pages per minute.
2. Canon Pixma MG3620
The prints of Pixma MG3620 will be quite clean thanks to high-quality ink cartridges. There won’t be any broken lines, smudges, or page fading. Coming with 4800×1200 dpi, it delivers sharp looking images on waterslide decal paper. So, if you want to print both small and large scale detailed designs, this model can be an incredible option.
Its Airprint function helps make the job easier. Just download Canon Print App on your phone and control all the printing work wirelessly.
The most useful function is its quiet mode. It makes the printer arm move slower so that it lessens the noise and prints on waterslide decal paper silently.
As for the speed, you may find it slightly slow. The printer basically outputs 5.7 pages per minute for color prints and 9.9 pages per minute for black and white prints. It shouldn’t bother you unless you’re crafting a big amount of waterslide decals. In that case, HP OfficeJet Pro 8025would be just right for you due to its speed.
Getting back to this model, its tray can hold different media files as big as 8.5 x 14 inches. Not just print but you can scan and copy the documents of similar sizes as well.
It has double-sided printing function that delivers similar quality printing on both the sides. You can get bigger benefits from this feature for making decals.
- Quiet mode enables the printer to do the job quietly.
- Canon Print App helps with remote operations.
- 5.7ppm for color and 9.9 ppm for monochrome.
- Amazing printing quality with4800 x 1200 dpi.
3. HP OfficeJet Pro 8025
A rock-solid, responsive, and most importantly a reliable unit. OfficeJet Pro 8025comes with almost all the functions that make it an excellent choice. The automatic features such as 35-sheet feeder and double-sided printing, at their best, perform the task smoothly.
You would simply love the printing quality. The resolution of this model stands at 4800 x 1200 dpi to give you vibrant and sharp prints on decal paper.
Just like ENVY 6455e, you can make it work wirelessly through HP Smart App. Be it printing, copying or scanning, this printer would listen to you once you command the task to it from your phone. Speaking of the task, there is a Smart Task app that you can use to organize business documents on your device.
The best feature of this model is its speed. It would give you 20 black and white or 10 color prints on your decal paper within a minute. So, it’s going to be a very fast printer for you.
There is also a 2.65-inch color touchscreen display on front. The icons are fairly big and the words are pretty readable.
One small con with the printer is that its tray is not designed properly. Opening or closing the tray won’t be smooth when placing pages of different sizes. Yes, it can hold legal papers but you may have to make an extra effort to fit them. I would suggest you attach cardboard shims or tape to the paper tray so you can manually adjust it and fix it. Once the job is done, printing would be a breeze!
- 20 monochrome or 10 color prints within a minute.
- Smart App for wireless printing sessions and Smart Task for arranging the files on a phone.
- 2.65-inch color touchscreen display controls for easy navigation.
- 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution delivers great printing quality.
4. Epson ET-3760
Want stress-free printing? Then opt for Epson ET-3760. It’s a capable printer that gives you all the prints at a much lower cost thanks to the Ecotank. Its function offers cartridge-free ink refilling. It means, you just have to buy much bigger ink bottles to refill the ink tank rather than buying a pricier ink cartridge. The best part is it’s way easier to fill the tank.
Coming with a resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi, the printer promises to deliver stunning quality consistently on your decals. You would get the same premium feel from the paper when you command auto duplex to it. The only downside is that the function may reduce the speed a bit.
Talking about the speed, ET-3760 rates it at 8 pages for color and 15 pages for monochrome prints every minute. I think it’s pretty fast if you have small amount of decal papers to print.
Although it has a 2.4-inch touchscreen for navigation, you can do the printing, scanning and copying work remotely. Just install Epson Smart Panel App on your phone and print your waterslide decals from it.
- EcoTank allows for cartridge-free ink refilling.
- Epson Smart Panel App offers wireless printing session.
- 15monochromeand8 color prints within a minute.
- 2.4-inch touchscreen for easy navigation.
5. WorkForce WF-7710
If you want to create borderless prints on your decal as well as have a premium feel, then WF-7710 would be right for you. It uses Precision Core tech that is a heat-free function so it delivers unbeatable printing quality on the paper.
It has both monochrome and color inks that give the prints a sharp and vibrant look. The big plus is that it has a much higher resolution than others on the list. Printing at 4800 x 2400 dpi, you get well-detailed design.
Another great thing is the longer tray. The printer supports up to 13 x 19-inch paper so you can use any sized decal for your creativity.
Just like majority of the printers, you can print, scan, and copy right from your phone using an Epson app. It makes the navigation even more convenient.
There is a 4.3-inch color touchscreen that you can also use to control and command the machine. It’s pretty big enough to make the icons and words appear more visibly to tap.
If you want, you can print the decal on two sides with its Auto-Duplex function. Both sides would give you the same quality. Not just that, it has Auto document feeder that you can use to print and scan up to 35 sheets at once.
The speed is slightly on the lower side. It outputs 8.7 monochrome prints and 6 color prints in a minute. If you have a small amount of decal to print, the slower rate wouldn’t be an issue.
- Prints the best quality at 4800 x 2400 dpi resolutions.
- Supports different pages of up to 13 x 19-inch.
- 4.3-inch color touchscreen is quite big to navigate functions.
- Outputs 8.7 ppm monochrome and 6 ppm color prints.
6. HP ENVY 5055 | Best Printer for Making Decals
Are you into doing transfers as part of a hobby? The HP ENVY 5055 is an entry-level all-in-one inkjet printer that offers you the essential functions required to print waterslide decals.
The 1200x1200dpi resolution is supported by a 2-ink cartridge setup that is best suited for home printing and crafting. The simple set up has been created for occasional usage.
This is especially true when considering the 1000-page monthly duty cycle of the printer. If you are looking to make waterslide decals with commercial intent, other printers should be considered that have higher a larger workload.
The input tray can handle media as small as 3×5,” which is a good size if you are creating something like a small logo decal to put on the side of a glass. The maximum the printer can handle is 8.5×14”, therefore you can create and print larger designs that can go on items such as plates.
- Use the 1200dpi flatbed scanner to take images to use as waterslide decals
- Handle the printer settings easily with a 5.6” touchscreen
- Great for text-based decals like quotes due to 1200x1200dpi print resolution
7. HP OfficeJet Pro 8025 | Best Printer for Decals
This inkjet printer from HP offers those using waterslide decals the chance to print professional quality images that can transfer onto the items of your choice.
With a 4800x1200dpi print resolution, you can create decals that, once transferred, would pass inspection by even the fiercest critics.
4-individual ink cartridges combine in the HP OfficeJet Pro 8025 to ensure that your decals have the kind of vivid coloration that makes a design standout.
This printer is suitable for both those doing craftwork at home or those who wish to use decals as part of a commercial venture. This is down to a 20,000-page monthly duty cycle that means you can decorate thousands of items a month if you wish.
If you are selling items after using the waterslide decals, you can utilize this all-in-one printer for business purposes. It will print receipts and envelopes for you. Additionally, you can use the scanner to keep a digital back-up of all paperwork.
- Max resolution provides incredible detail for your waterslide decals
- Self-healing Wi-Fi ensures peace of mind about connectivity issues
- 7” touchscreen ensures you have access to printer settings at your fingertips
8. Canon Pixma MG3620 | Best Decal Printer
Is there a brand out there with a better reputation than Canon when it comes to image technology?
If you’re a Canon fan and use waterslide decals as part of a crafting hobby, this could be the printer for you. But don’t worry if you need a printer for more professional work. Another Canon model is waiting for you further down!
4800x1200dpi ensures that your decals are clear and detailed. The detail from this printer is exceptional thanks to the 2 picoliter minimum droplet size.
The Pixma MG3620 sees a configuration with 2 individual cartridges. This is an excellent set-up for those who will infrequently be printing, as you don’t have to worry so much about the number of cartridges potentially wasted because the ink dried up.
Wireless printing features mean you can work using design apps from an Apple or Android device. They connect directly to the printer with Apple AirPrint, Mopria, or even a cloud service.
- Produce decals with sensational beauty thanks to Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering
- Create decals direct from cameras using Wireless PictBridge
- Work peacefully by using quiet mode while the printer does its job
9. Epson EcoTank ET-2750
This printer is for all of you who love the feeling of saving a bit of extra cash to use elsewhere somewhere down the line.
Epson EcoTank technology does away with the traditional ink cartridge. That’s right! No more sweating away trying to ram cartridges into the machines.
Instead, Epson has created a system of ink tanks that will give as much ink as 30+ cartridge changes. The overall running cost of the printer down to this technology can be up to twenty times less.
The cheaper running costs of this printer do nothing to impinge upon overall quality. The 5760×1440 dpi resolution with a 3 picoliter minimum droplet size produces incredible visuals that you would be hard-pressed to better.
You can create images on print media as small as 3.5×5”, and if you want to be really adventurous you can even try a long decal of up to 47.2”. The choice is yours.
- MicroPiezo inkjet technology creates gorgeous, vivid images with a wow factor
- Produce larger waterslide decals of up to 8.5×14”
- Connectivity options galore with extra features such as SD card slot
10. Canon PIXMA TS9120
We move on to a fantastic all-in-one printer from Canon, which just so happens to be the last printer on our list.
The 4800x1200dpi is enough to produce highly detailed images. The intricacies of your work can be appreciated due to the print quality.
What makes this printer stand out over others on the list is the 6-ink cartridge configuration. This number of cartridges makes this printer a fantastic addition to a professional’s collection of machinery and equipment. The coloration you get on your decals will be of remarkable quality.
If you like to hand-draw your designs first, then the flatbed scanner will do them justice when turning them into a digital file. The 2400x4800dpi will ensure your creation is crystal clear and impressive.
Finally, this printer takes postcard size 4×6” as the minimum size for print media. The maximum print media size is 8.5×14” so you can make decals with grander designs for larger items.
- Pigment black and photo blue cartridges offer smoother gradation in your decals
- Chromalife 100 printing ensures light doesn’t fade images for 30 years
- ENERGY STAR certified device saves you money on electricity bills
Printer for Waterslide Decals Buying Guide
Resolution is an essential factor when considering the best waterslide decals printer. For perfect images, you need to ensure that the resolution is of a high dpi. The quality of your work may be impeded if you don’t.
A printer with a 1200x1200dpi resolution will provide sharp lines for decals that only include text. For smaller images, a 4800×1200 dpi printer will help create a product that looks good.
For larger decals, where defects will be more noticeable, it might be a good idea to get a higher resolution.
The number of cartridges that make up the printer will affect the overall look of your waterslide decals.
As a general rule, we recommend a 2-ink setup for anyone who is infrequently printing and only doing waterslide decals as part of a crafting hobby. This is because ink cartridges have an annoying tendency to dry up when not used for a while. We don’t want to see you losing money as you have to replace 4 or more cartridges.
For anyone printing frequently, or for commercial purposes, a 4-ink system is required at the very least.
Printers with more ink-cartridges have a higher initial cost and ongoing cost. Whether you go for a higher configuration depends on how vital the depth of color and shading is to your work.
c) Paper capacity
You may be using waterslide decals to transfer images and designs onto items such as cups or even smaller ones. Therefore, you want a printer that can handle a range of different print media sizes.
3×5” input trays are the smallest you are going to find on your standard printer. Sometimes the printers will only go as low as 4×6”. Of course, you could try to manually feed something smaller, but there’s a good chance alignment will be off, or you end up jamming the printer.
Maximum sizes vary widely, with some printers capable of wide-format printing up to about 19″, and others capable of doing longer prints that can go beyond the 40″ mark. Whether you need one of these printers will depend on the type of items you work with.
d) Ink droplet size
Ink droplet size, measured in picoliters, will make a significant difference to your work. Try to get a printer that works with droplet sizes of 3 picoliters, at least—the smaller the droplet size, the better.
Transferring using waterslide decals can’t be done using any old printer. Whatever you choose has to have a certain level of quality and reliability to ensure you don’t waste half your print media in botched attempts at printing.
The list we’ve provided should help you wade through the printers that aren’t so good, and set you on track to finding the best printer for waterslide decals.
Try to find a printer with a high resolution and cartridge configuration combination. These will produce the best images and provide you the most satisfaction. We’re sure you’ll be more than happy with any of the options we’ve provided.