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Can I Reuse Ribbons?

With consumer desktop printers, we are usually able to save money on ink cartridges by having them refilled and reused multiple times.

Plastic card printers, unfortunately, don’t work in the same manner. For starters, card printers use ribbons reels instead of ink cartridges. Secondly, when the dye in a card ribbon is used, that area of the ribbon panel can’t be reused. Such is the nature and technical limitation of the technology.

Also, it must be noted that ribbons are brand and printer model specific. This means that a Zebra card printer will only accept Zebra-branded ribbons and Zebra ribbons will only work with specific Zebra printers. This is because of proprietary printer and ribbon designs. Moreover, the embedded microchip that controls the ribbon reel will only work with the printer from the same manufacturer.

To summarize: No, it’s not possible to reuse card printer ribbons.


Do you have other questions about card printers and ribbons? Call us today at 1-800-667-1772 to talk to an experienced ID professional.

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