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Best Printer for Transparencies 

Printing on screening requires some special paper called “Transparency paper.” Another thing is the high printing output of photos and text all. There are multiple printing technologies, but the most vibrant for transparency paper is the inkjet printer. Because not all the printer types like laser printers rarely handle this paper type.

Another most important thing is the photo resolution. Inkjet printers have color bottles in which you can add several inks like gray, light black, photo cyan, and black inks. These ink colors provide a robust output to the photo, which makes it clearer. On the other hand, a laser printer uses printing technology with limited color options. 

After great research and effort in testing multiple brands of printers, I concluded that Canon would be a more obvious choice for printing transparency paper. Moreover, other brands are also on the list with their unique features.

List of Six Best Printers for Screen Printing Transparencies

  • Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Inkjet Printer for Screen Printing
  • Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 Inkjet Printer for Transparency Film
  • Brother MFC-J985DW Printer for Transparency Paper 
  • HP Envy 4520 Wireless Printer for Printing Transparencies
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 Printer to Print Transparencies
  • Lexmark C3426dw Laser Printer for Screen Printing

Canon PIXMA PRO-100

Size matters a lot when purchasing a printer for screen printing transparencies, and surprisingly Canon PIXMA Pro-100 will let you print on 13×19 inches of films and different papers. Most hobbyists who perform large printing jobs prefer using this Canon model for relatively fast printing. 

The Canon and Epson Style R2000 has a similar weight that you can bring out of the box without any helper. Another crucial feature of film printing is the several colors your printer provides. So, Canon will entertain you with eight color ink bottles, including cyan, magenta, yellow, gray, light gray, black, photo magenta, photo cyan, and cyan. All these colors together provide the photo with a next-level look. On the other hand, Canon PIXMA Pro-1 has 12-color options.  

Film printing paper is thick, so only the printers with thicker media input trays can handle this printing. Therefore, Canon has two paper input trays. One is for regular paper and another for thicker media and occasional photo papers. Whatever the printer is, it causes some color problems in graphics, but it is adjustable.

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300

I found Canon as an excellent photo printer with full printing. An interesting thing about this AIO inkjet device is you will find its ink at a low cost. Ink cost and pigmentation matter a lot in transparency film printing. I chose Canon because it has a deeper black matte and tremendous grayscale printing output.

An additional feature of inkjet is its dry nozzle detection which is the biggest solution for inkjet users. Moreover, there is an automatic black ink switching feature which less the cartridge cost. Another entering thing that glad a film printer is Canon can print a photo of 13×19 inches and a banner size of 39 inches, which is big enough for XL shirts printing. On the other hand, Canon PIXMA Pro-100 can print only 13×19 inches of photos. 

Moreover, you can use the Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-300 printer for printing clear labels on pre-surface like CDs and DVDs. There is one unfortunate thing is whether the Canon supports 39 inches of banner printing, but this size printing needs paper rolls, and Canon does not support roll printing.

Brother MFC-J985DW

Printers for screen printing film should be at a lean price because the transparency paper photo papers are already expensive, so it’s a valuable part if the initial printer costs are low. For this purpose, I would recommend Brother MFC-J985DW with low front cost and robust connectivity options. If we talk about photo quality, it’s also above-par as per a film printing choice. 

I don’t think there is only a modest initial cost. There is a secret weapon of Brother in the form of its high pigment less consumable cartridge. This cartridge has a high printing yield, which causes a low running cost compared to other same-price printers. This multifunctional printer has a total weight of 18.3 pounds which is easy to handle by one person.

However, the printer paper input tray holds only 100 sheets which is meager for an AIO device. Another special tray like the Canon PIXMA R-100 can hold 4×6 inches of photo papers.  

HP Envy 4520

HP Envy 4520 is an AIO device with multiple wireless options and high-quality printing output that also allows you cloud printing. It is the choice of most consumers for transparency. Whether your printer is in front of you or some corridor, you can print remotely and easily.  

As for weight, HP is a lighter printer and weighs only 11 pounds, while the Brother MFC-J985DW weighs around 18 pounds. The speed of any printer is an important factor, but the HP has a speed of printing 1.4 pages per minute while Brother will print 4.9 pages per minute. 

Brother MFC-J985DW and HP Envy 4520 have a similar issue of low paper input capacity. One difference between them is that Brother has two additional trays for rear photo papers, while in HP, you need to switch the papers if you want to print smaller papers than letter size. Both have an auto-duplexing feature that supports letter papers for flatbed scanning and copying.  

HP OfficeJet Pro 6978

HP OfficeJet pro 6978 is a wireless printer with multiple connectivity options and high printing output. A budget figuring feature is the HP ink subscription program through which you get six months of free ink. However, another robust feature of auto-duplexing is the desire of every AIO user, and fortunately, HP Officejet is offering you this technology at this price.  

HP weighs only 17.9 pounds, lighter than Canon Maxifu MB2720, which weighs around 26 pounds. The paper input capacity of HP Officejet is 225 sheets which are more than Brother MFC-J985DW, which holds only 100 sheets in its input tray.

OfficeJet Pro 6978 has a robust monthly duty cycle of 20000 pages which is enough for a hobbyist to print transparencies. Canon MB2720 also provides the same monthly duty cycle to its users. If you avoid an HP instant ink subscription, get ready for its high running cost.   

Lexmark C3426dw

The product is lean and compact well built, which we will discuss more soon. Look at its printing quality which is pretty, and consumers love to prefer Lexmark for its better output. Multiple connectivity options of Ether, Wifi, and USB printing allow you to switch from one network to another, which is an entry-level feature.  

Lexmark is a heavy device weighing 35.5 pounds which is normal for laser printers. On the other hand, Canon imageClass LBP622dw is wider and tallest than Lexmark. Laser printers have a valuable thing that’s their printing monthly duty cycle. Lexmark as a laser device entertains you with a duty cycle of 50000 pages. While the HP OfficeJet pro 6978 provides printing of 20000 pages monthly.

Lexmark has two paper input trays that hold 250 sheets in the main drawer while the 1 sheet in another tray of rear pages that can bear envelops, photo papers, and many more. Over this Lexmark model, you will find a higher running cost.

Buying Guide:

Can I use any printer for Screen Printing?

No, you cannot use any printer for screen printing. You probably require a “special printer” for this purpose. Several market printers are expensive but cannot print on transparency paper. These printers are useless for screen printing. The problem occurs when you try to adjust this thin and slippery film in the printer, and you don’t find any good results. 

If your old buddy printer has printed more than a lot of papers and its roller got tired, it may tear your thin film so never try out an old one for printing transparency paper. Sometimes problems occur with the printhead. It gets clogged and tears your special paper, or you may get blurry output. So, using a new printer with the latest features like Canon is better.  

Because this printer has double-input trays that allow placing special papers, ink colors are also robust, so you get sharp photo output and a better printing experience.

Inkjet vs. Laser vs. Photo Printer: Which Type of printer can produce better screen printing?

There are multiple printing technologies on which a printer works. For screen printing, you require some high-quality printers that can bear all the requirements of printing transparent paper. There are laser, inkjet, and photo printers. But the inkjet printer is ideal for screen printing. Let’s discuss the reason behind it.

Transparency paper is amazing stuff for screen printing. It’s not like any regular paper inkjet has a specialty for printing on this paper. While the laser printer cannot bear this special paper and photo printers only print on photo papers. 

Another thing is printing output, as we all know that no other technology can beat inkjet for sharp and robust photo output. A laser printer is ideal for printing documents, photo printers also print photos, but the size of paper differs. It can print on very small, mostly 6 to 8 inches of paper. In contrast, transparency paper has a major paper requirement for printing. Inkjet printer has pigmented ink colors which provide the details on screen printing. At the same time, the laser printer output is faded because of limited color options.   

Therefore, I recommend using an inkjet printer because it fulfills all screen printing requirements.

How does screen printing work?

Screen printing and another name “Silkscreen printing,” is mostly done for printing fabric. You can also do it on other materials like metals, wood, and plastic. To perform this task, you need to transfer a stencil design to the printing media using a mesh screen, ink, and a rubber blade squeegee. To begin this process, you must push the ink on the surface like fabric. There are many advantages of using screen printing, but the most prominent one is color choice. You will get several colors for printing.

How to remove screen printing? 150W

Following are the five steps through which you can remove screen printing.

Step 1) Place the cardboard in between on the shirt.

Step 2) now apply the nail polish remover to the print

Step 3) let the nail polish remover and let it soak for around 30 minutes.

Step 4) Using a soft brush rub the design.

Step 5) At the end, wash your shirt to completely remove the design.

5 features to look for while buying a printer for transparencies

Screen printing is not a piece of cake. It would help if you had a proper education before doing it. The most important part of this technique is printing transparency paper, a special paper used for filming screens. For this reason, you need a special printer with some particular specifications to make your job successful. Therefore, after a great search and experiments, I concluded the following guidelines for your better understanding. Let’s get started on it. 

Paper Size

Screen printing mostly happens on big papers of minimum A4 size. However, you should purchase a printer that can at least print legal or super tabloid-size printing. This helps you a lot while you are screening your photo. 


Resolution is a big part of printing on transparency paper. If you don’t find a proper resolution of the printer, then your output will fade and will not be clear while screening. So there should be almost 300DPI to 1200DPI resolution of printer output. 

Ink Colors

Colors are crucial while screening because if the output is unclear, the screening will not be as perfect as you need. There should be at least black and grayscale colors in the ink tank. This provides accuracy and a more vibrant and clear picture. 

Dual Paper Tray

Dual paper printers play a vital role in holding multiple paper types like transparency paper, envelopes, regular papers, and photo papers. It saves your time, and you don’t need to switch them frequently. Because you don’t need to always print for screening, you would love to print your regular documents and many more. 

Printer Type

Always remember that printing on transparency paper is more suitable with an inkjet printer. Therefore my personal and expert opinion is to use an inkjet type printer. It provides a high-quality image and makes a tendency with the special transparency paper.