What Are the Differences Between Self-Inking & Pre-Inked Stamps?

One of the most popular stamps you’ll find in our Jacksonville facility is a pre-inked stamp, but unless you love stamps just as much as we do, you may not know what sets this stamp apart from the others. So, what are the qualities of a pre-inked stamp that make it so different from say a wood handle or self-inking stamp? Everything from the way the stamp is made to the impression it leaves is truly unique. Let’s take a look at what pre-inked stamps are and how they work.

What is a Pre-Inked Stamp?

Simply put, pre-inked stamps are our top-of-the-line stamps.

Pre-inked stamps provide the best quality impression. They hold ink within the stamp body itself. This means your designs have the richest color and cleanest edges compared with self-inking or wood handle stamps.

They’re the luxury version of a rubber stamp, starting with how it’s made. A self-inking stamp can be made from start to finish in a few minutes, while your pre-inked stamp takes a bit longer and is more of a precise process.

Why is that? Because just like with any other high-quality product, making a high-quality stamp isn’t a 1-2-3 process.

This is because pre-inked stamps need an initial time to prepare the rubber die called “flashing.” Flashing a pre-inked stamp die alone can take up to 3 hours. And, that doesn’t include designing and building the body.

So, what differences will you notice when you’re using your stamp?

The first difference you’ll notice is in the machine and how your stamp works. Since they hold ink inside, the only time you’ll see your stamp’s ink is when it’s already on your surface.

In a self-inking stamp, the ink pad works with the die to leave an impression, then retracts back into the stamp body.

A pre-inked stamp is also quieter than their self-inking cousin. And, it comes with a stamp cap so your ink doesn’t dry up over time.

One last difference is the time it takes to use. Pre-inked stamps need time to refresh between uses. Which makes them less than ideal for rapid or prolonged tasks (like stamping 100s of addresses or thank you notes). Usually, you want to give your pre-inked stamp a 5-10 minute break every 4-5 uses. Self-inking stamps can keep going and going without needing to “re-charge.”

So, why choose a pre-inked stamp over a self-inking one

Well, the biggest reason is the quality of the impression.

Pre-Inked Stamps Achieve the Highest Level of Detail

Pre-inked stamps leave the highest quality impression possible. In fact, it may even appear that it’s machine printed on your paper, napkins, etc. instead of stamped.

We often suggest pre-inked stamps for custom logo stamps because of how great of an impression it leaves. If your logo is intricate, a pre-inked stamp is definitely the stamp for you because it’s able to achieve the finest details of your artwork.

The best thing about a pre-inked stamp is it’ll last for about 50,000 impressions. Making it a great investment for your business.

With your pre-inked stamp, it’s important to note re-inking isn’t as simple as it would be for your self-inking stamp. To re-ink your pre-inked stamp you’ll need to:

  1. Remove the top cap
  2. Add a few drops of refill ink (amount depends on your stamp model)
  3. Let soak for a few hours (minimum 3, but we recommend longer)

It’s important to note that you need to use appropriate ink refills for your pre-inked stamp. Using the wrong ink can damage your stamp.

Now that you know the benefits of pre-inked stamps, let’s look at some good uses for them.

For Logo, Address, Signature Stamps & More

As we mentioned, many of our customers choose a pre-inked stamp when ordering their custom logo stamp, but they also make great signature stamps for leaving crisp impressions.

If you love to send snail mail, a pre-inked address stamp is a great idea because you’ll be able to return address your envelopes with your favorite address stamp for years to come!

When choosing what stamp is right for you, consider the benefits of a pre-inked stamp, but also think about how you’ll be using your stamp to make sure you’re getting what’s best for your intended purpose.

which stamp should i choose? Hand Stamp, Self-Inking Stamp, and Pre-inked Stamp infographic

Every Type of Stamp for Every Type of Person

We love all things stamps here at Simply Stamps, which is why we’ve made it our mission over the past 18 years to offer every type of stamp or stamp accessory you could possibly want!

Every day, we make a huge variety of different stamps for a huge variety of different customers from all corners of the country. From address stamps for sending your beautiful snail mail, to craft and sentiment stamps perfect for scrapbooking or other DIY projects. We make logo stamps for affordably branding your small business and… well, the list goes on and on.

We know each customer’s needs are unique, so we offer almost every rubber stamp in a few different types, like wood handle, self-inking, and pre-inked, so you’ll always get exactly what you want.

Want to compare our self-inking and pre-inked stamps side by side? Watch the video below.


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