Choosing the Best PSA Material for Laser Printing

One of the most common questions our Mactac Roll Label experts are asked is: “What type of pressure-sensitive material should be used for laser printing?”

Well, you have options. But, first, you should seek recommendations and guidance from both your pressure-sensitive labelstock supplier and your printer manufacturer. The labelstock supplier will be especially helpful in recommending the correct adhesive, which is a key factor in the material you choose. And, the printer manufacturer can tell you specific media requirements for the printer – including total caliper, basis weight, smoothness, etc.

Some printer manufacturers also offer a list of acceptable pressure-sensitive media for printer type.

The following provides a general guide for categorizing laser-friendly pressure-sensitive print materials.

  1. Light-weight Laser: A typical light-weight laser labelstock will feature a 40# facestock with a 40# liner. These labelstocks are traditionally used in desktop laser printers and some slower, small-to-medium-speed printers and copiers. More often than not, these will be thermal transfer paper solutions.
  2. Mid-weight Laser: A typical mid-weight laser labelstock will feature a 50# facestock with a 40# liner or a 40# facestock with a 50# liner. These labelstocks are traditionally used in desktop laser printers and medium-speed printers and copiers, as well as some lower-end high-speed printers and copiers. Mactac product example: LAS1802 MACcopy-MACjet®
  3. Medium-weight Laser: A typical medium-weight laser labelstock will feature a 50# facestock with a 50# liner. These labelstocks have limited use in desktop laser printers and are more appropriate for medium-speed and high-speed printers and copiers. Mactac product example: LAS1812 MACcopy® and other MACcopy products
  4. Heavy-weight Laser: A typical heavy-weight laser labelstock will feature a 60# facestock with a 50# to 80# liner. These labelstocks are designed for high-speed printers and copiers only.

Keep the end-use requirements of your labelstock in mind when making your selection and remember that no matter what labelstock you choose, label design can affect performance – including die cuts, perforations, matrix removal, and grain direction.

Additionally, it is also important to consider how the media is picked out of the tray, as well as the feed path, such as number and tightness of turns. Also, know that some laser printers do not support pressure-sensitive materials so, again, consult your expert partners before making your selection. Don’t forget to carefully test your chosen product!

Contact us today if you have questions about what PSA material is best for your next laser print job!

Ask us a question, provide comments and feedback, or request a new blog topic at digitaldownload@mactac.com!