Pre-inked Stamps and Self-inking Stamps – Do You Differentiate Them?

Jul 5, 2016 | Engraved Products | 0 comments

pre-inked stamps

Pre-inked Rubber Stamps

Pre-inked stamps and self-inking stamps are different in many ways. But most people, when they need a rubber stamp, they buy. They do not know the advantages of using pre-inked stamps over self-inking rubber stamps and vice versa. Through this article, let me use this opportunity to educate you on the difference between the two types and the advantages each has over the other. My objective is to help you make the right choice from an informed point of view.

What Are Pre-inked Stamps?

Pre-inked stamps are usually stamps with ink impregnated (filled) in the rubber die. To create an impression, you slightly press it. No struggle. Generally, the ink passes through the letters or the design you make on the rubber to create an excellent impression.

Self-inking Stamps? What Are They?

Self-inking stamps flip up to hit the ink pad. After picking ink from the pad, it flips back down to create an impression on the paper. In other words, self-inking stamps have a mechanism whereby the rubber dye retracts up to hit the ink pad every time you use your rubber stamp to create an impression.

Brands of pre-inked stamps include Brother Stamps, Xstamper, iStamp and several others. There are several brands of self-inking stamps like Ideal, Trodat, Cosco, Ultifast and Shiny. The ones common on the Ugandan market are Shiny Stamps.

What Is the Difference Between Pre-inked and Self-inking Stamps?

♦   Mechanism

As already said, pre-inked rubber stamps allow ink to pass through the letters or stamp design to make an impression on a paper with a simple press. On the other hand, self-inking stamps flip up and flip back down to make an impression on a document.

♦   Impression

Pre-inked rubber stamps produce crisp, bright prints with clear images. They are the best where you have to integrate logos and other graphics in the stamp design. Self-inking rubber stamps, on the other hand, produce excellent images but are not so bright. They are not suitable for detailed logos or graphics.

self-inking stamps

Self-inking Rubber Stamps

♦   Ink

Pre-inked rubber stamps use oil-based ink while self-inking rubber stamps use water-based ink. Oil-based ink is more expensive than water-based ink. But it produces excellent impressions and dries very fast.  In just less than 5 seconds, it’s dry.

♦   Adjustable date

Currently, pre-inked stamps do not come with a factory-made changing date. But self-inking ones do.

♦   Size

Self-inking rubber stamps are comparatively more significant than pre-inked ones. If you mind about size and portability, then the pre-inked type is the best for you.

♦   Versatility

The pre-inked stamps are versatile. You can put on them any font style and image. You can even use them to stamp your photo, which is not the case with self-inking stamps. They have limitations in this aspect.

♦   Price

The pre-inked rubber stamps are more expensive than self-inking stamps. Besides, their ink is comparatively costly but lasts longer than water-based ink. However, with self-inking rubber stamps, you replace ink pads when they get old on top of buying ink. Pre-inked stamps don’t have parts to replace.

How Else Do They Differ?

♦   Longevity

Pre-inked stamps last for more than 50,000 impressions with good ink re-filling. The self-inking stamp type lasts for about 10,000 of them. After that, it starts developing problems like the die and ink pad getting worn out, requiring replacement. Besides, its mechanism of flipping up and down also stop generally working with time.

♦   Production

Pre-inked stamps have the machine that produces them. Usually, manufacturers of such rubber stamps make the machines you use to make stamps. For instance, Brother has the StampCreator, which makers of brother stamps use to produce rubber stamps.

As for self-inking stamps, you only have to cut the rubber with the design you want, and there are many ways of doing it. You can do it manually, or you can use a stamp machine. The best stamp making machine is the laser engraving system.

How Similar Are Pre-inked Stamps to Self-inking Stamps?

They are both refillable with ink. Both types are not recommended for glossy surfaces because the ink can easily be smeared off. Additionally, they all come in several colours from which you can make your selection. But the most prevalent colours are red, blue, black, purple and green.


In conclusion, as you plan to buy stamps, consider the above points to make an informed decision.  But as a precautionary measure, always buy your stamps from recognised stamp makers to avoid forgery.  Your stamp carries the brand image of your business or organisation. Recognised stamp makers protect you from fraud and reproducing your rubber stamps. Additionally, they make it with forge-proof features. Buying your stamps from veranda stamp makers has its problems. Take care!

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