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What is a self-inking stamp? Get the best advice from the Experts!

A self-inking stamp is like a mini printing machine. It is portable. It marks reliably the same image repeatedly. It is clean. It saves you time. It saves you money.

Some people call them a rubber stamp. But they are more than that. Much more modern.

Yes, a stamp is a dinosaur in this modern society full of instant gratification from your mobile device.

They are not dead yet!  Also available are multi-colour Self-Inking Stamps we can custom make for you.

Yes, two or more colours in one stamp! That is cool.

How is a self-inking stamp different?

A self-inking stamp has a lot of that superiority in the name, self-inking.

It has the ink pad inside the body. Tucked away neatly so you don’t get ink on you.

Wherever you go with your stamp you always have the ink pad.

That is a time saver there, if you have ever forgotten the ink pad you will know what we mean.

Using a self-inking stamp is fast.

To operate the stamp is simple.

Place it on the part of the paper you want the stamp on.

Press down gently to contact the paper, press a bit firmer and hold a little once on the paper.

Then release and it springs back up again.

How simple is that?

Move to the next thing to mark and repeat. This can really save some time.

For this reason, a Self-Inking stamp can be more cost effective than traditional rubber stamps if you are also including the labour cost in marking your paper bags for instance.

What can I use a custom self-inking stamp for?

The limit to self-inking stamps is more about our imagination and ability to get that in a graphic file.

The most common uses for a custom self-inking stamp are many but here are a few.

Text.  Text like your name or address.  Maybe your business name and address. GST numbers and bank account numbers for people to pay you, it is always good to make it easy for people to pay you now isn’t it.

Images.  This might be your business logo.  It may be a picture.  It might be like a laurel wreath for a wedding stamp.

Tables.  For table type ones, these are outlines and areas where someone needs to fill in details like dispatch/inwards goods dockets or even medical check lists and somewhere to write an answer.

Dates.  These Self-Inking Stamps have wheels that rotate bands of rubber with the day of the month on two bands.

The month of the year. Plus, the year.  Each changeable by rotating a wheel whenever you feel like it.

These might be just a date and nothing else.  Or a combination of text and date.

Like a pharmacy stamp giving the name, address, date and dispensary details area.  The most common ones for these are Best Before date stamps.

Numbers.  These are called Numberer stamps.  Like the date stamps they have a band with just numbers.

Some have symbols as well like full stop, hyphen, dollar sign etc.

The professional grade Trodat ones can also have a band changed to have letters.  Just half the alphabet.  Either A-M or N-Z.

There are even automatic Numberers that change the number every time you stamp automatically.

What are the main parts to a self-inking stamp?

They are made with three major components combined in one convenient and fast unit.

  1. The outside case
  2. The rubber die or text plate (replaceable rubber die)
  3. The ink pad (replaceable ink pads)

For self-Inking Stamps Ltd to make you a custom stamp these three parts are what we need to know about and then combine each component to make your perfect custom self-inking stamp.

1. The outside case.

This is a magic part of the stamp. It has inside the other two parts.

The ink pad is fixed in place while the rubber die is on a special plate that does a trapeze act each time, spinning the rubber die over from the ink pad to the paper in one smooth movement.

They can be one of three basic shapes

Each one of those shapes can be different sizes.  From small 12 x 12mm square rubber stamps, great for loyalty cards, right through to huge Professional grade stamps with a steel frame like the Trodat 5212 machine at 116 x 70mm.

You can choose the size or ask Self-Inking Stamps to pick the model for what you need to mark.

Download our Rubber Stamp Size Guide here >> 

Please remember the shape of the stamp case or body can be completely different to the shape of the image that marks the paper.

Any shape any stamp body.  The largest round shape you can make goes in the largest rectangular body.

It is about matching the image shape to fit the lowest cost body shape and size.  Sometimes it looks like an overkill of stamp size but works out to be the lowest purchase cost.

There are different brands of these outer cases available.

Self-Inking Stamps stock Trodat Rubber Stamps made in Austria, number one for volume in the world, and Shiny Rubber Stamps made in Taiwan, the third largest for volume in the world.

Both brands are high quality units.  There are unique qualities to each model, and we do have preferences from each brand for purposes.

There are two construction types.

All plastic like the Trodat Printy range

Heavy duty with the steel frame like the Trodat Professional

2. The rubber die or text plate.

This part really is the stamp part.  It stamps on the paper.

Making this part is what we do.  We take sheet rubber and then laser engrave a custom image in reverse on the rubber and then laser cut it out to fit the model of stamp chosen.

To be able to engrave this image the laser engraving machine must have a high-quality image.

We prefer to use a vector image as the result is superior and predictable.

This image must be RGB black for the laser to know when to fire and when not.  Once we have that image the engraving goes predictably every time and with less wastage.

Nobody needs waste.

With laser engraving we can cut the rubber incredibly fine.  Fantastic for minute details but the thinner that is then becomes a liability to mark clearly ever time.

When we make a proof to show you how your stamp will mark, we warn you if the font size is too small or too thin for reliable stamping.

Or we will modify your image to ensure a great result for you.

The rubber die is mounted on a double-sided tape.  And therefore replaceable.

If you move and need a new address stamp, we can make a new rubber die for you.  Don’t throw your stamp away.

Recycle your stamp.  You can read how to change the rubber yourself HERE in your stamp.

We can save you a substantial amount on buying a new one by just replacing the rubber die in your stamp.

3. The ink pads.

The ink pad is the source of ink for the stamp.  What colour will mark your paper.  The ink pad is replaceable or can be topped up at any time with stamp ink.

The standard rubber ink colours are Black, blue, red, green and violet.

Each model of stamp has its own ink pad.  Some pads will go in multiple models.

The ink pad is a little plastic tray with a felt or foam inside.

The ink is in the pad when the stamp comes to you.  The standard ink is water based.

It is great for paper or cardboard.  It is not suitable for plastic, glass or steel.

Ask us about special inks for those situations outside of matt copy paper or matt cardboard, oh or any coated surfaces.

This standard ink is amazing.  It will last for years in the stamp.  We have people come in with stamps 10 plus years old still working fine.

Yes, the ink will run out some time.  When?  Well that is like how long an ink jet printer cartridge will last – it depends.

Every situation is different, and environment can have an impact.  Plus, the operator can make a difference.

The amount of ink transferring to paper each time it touches can make a difference.

So how many stamps will it make we hear all the time.  So, boy here we go, prove us wrong and say oh my stamp did ………………  on average from 1500 to maybe 5000 could be expected.

Then what?

There are two ways to make the stamp mark dark again.  Swap out the ink pad with a replacement.

Yes, you can buy rubber stamp ink pads, click here >, search by the stamp model for them.

Or you can add a few drops of stamp ink at any time.  If your mark needs to be dark every time, then topping up with ink when you feel it needs it is the best policy.

What method is best for me?

If you use the stamp seldom then the replacement ink pad is the best option.

If you use the stamp all the time, then get a bottle of ink.

If you have a large stamp, then the ink bottle is cheaper.  But only if the ink pad is still in good condition.  By that we mean the surface cotton layer is still intact and no fraying or splits can be seen.

What do I have to do when my self-inking stamp arrives?

You don’t have to do anything.  When your stamp arrives just pick it up and stamp.

Simple as that.

Oh, and if you have the time could you give us some support on social media to let other people know how your experience of buying a stamp with us went.

Most people only buy one stamp in their life and it can be a bit intimidating when you don’t know about these complex things.

Luckily Self-Inking Stamps are here to help you find the perfect Self-Inking Stamps for you.  Just ask us if you need help.

Contact our Rubber Stamp Design team Today…

Please contact us, if you have any questions regarding available variants or further product information.

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