5 Top Nail Printers For Your Small Salon Business
Published Nov 2, 2021
Ever since the time of the Pharaohs, people have been painting their nails with different colors. Thousands of years later, nail painting has evolved to become a distinct art on its own. And in recent years, another invention is slated to revolutionize the nail art industry: nail printers.
When the concept of a nail printing machine was first introduced in the ’90s, it caught the curiosity of everyone. I mean, not everyone is gifted with artistic skills. So the nail printer was like an answered prayer for nail art enthusiasts whose artistic prowess is limited to stick figures.
For nail salon owners, having a nail printer allowed them to offer a wider range of nail art designs. For instance, most nail art printers nowadays allow you to print your selfie directly to your nail. Without a nail printer, you’d need to have a nail artist with mad skills to accomplish such a feat.
Since nail printers are a relatively new technology, there aren’t yet that many brands to choose from. To help you pick the best nail printer for your salon, we’ve prepared this quick guide.
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What is a Nail Printer?
As its name suggests, a nail printer is a digital device that prints on nails. It’s mostly used to print designs that are deemed too detailed or too complicated to be done by hand.
Like most specialized printers, a nail printer uses a special kind of ink. They usually come in cartridges and are usually sold exclusively by the company that makes the nail printer. These inks work just like nail polish and can stay on your nail’s surface for a long period of time.
Aside from fingernails, a nail printer can work on toenails too. It can also be used to print designs on objects with slightly curved surfaces that are small enough to be placed on the machine.
Nail printers come in various forms. There are commercial ones that are specially built for salon use. These types of nail printers can usually print on five fingers at once. They also tend to be on the pricier side.
If a commercial nail printer is out of your budget range, there are also portable ones fit for home use. But they can only do one nail at a time and are less accurate. They also tend to have lower-quality prints than commercial ones.
How Do Nail Printers Work?
A nail printer’s working mechanism can vary widely depending on the company that makes them. But in general, nail printers rely on sensor cameras to accurately determine the size and shape of your nail.
This is why when using the nail printer, you need to paint your nails with a white base coat first. This not only helps the camera distinguish your nails from the rest of your fingers but the white polish also helps the printed designs to stand out.
Some machines even require wearing a special type of device on the finger for a more accurate print. While others require applying a special kind of base gel for the gel color to bond better with the nail. It also protects the nails from damage.
Once the base coat has dried, you just have to put your finger inside the printer. Make sure that your finger stays still the entire printing time. Otherwise, the print can get warped or smudged. Most nail printers, however, have a recessed finger joint designed to hold the finger in place. So you don’t have to worry too much about it.
The printing process itself usually just takes a few seconds per fingernail. After the design is printed, you might need to clean the edges and grooves of your finger for any smudges or excess polish. The final step is to apply the topcoat then dry your nails. Depending on your technical and nail care knowledge, nail printing should be pretty easy.
Best Nail Printers for Salons
1. TZ 3D Nail Printer Machine
One of few commercial nail printers available on the market, this nail printing machine can print on up to five fingers at once. As its name suggests, it can also do 3D nail art designs. You can also choose from its own array of pre-loaded nail art designs.
The best thing about this printer is it has an LCD screen that allows you to see the printing process in real-time. It can also connect with your phone or laptop which allows you to upload your own nail art design.
Because it’s built for salon use, this printer can be pricey. Each unit retails for almost $2,000. It’s also quite bulky which makes it impractical for smaller salons.
2. KUNHEWUHUA 3D Nail Art Printer
Another nail printer built for salon use, the Kunhewuhua nail art printer can also print five nails at once. But unlike most commercial nail printers in this list, it can print different images for each nail. Cool huh?
This printer also has a large LCD touchscreen interface that allows users to edit or adjust images or even add texts to their nails. It’s also wifi enabled so you can directly upload your design from any wifi device.
But then again, this is a commercial nail printer so it’s more expensive than most printers on this list. Uploading your own nail art designs also tends to be tricky, especially if you’re not that techie.
3. O’2nails Digital Mobile Nail Art Printer H1
If bulky and expensive nail printers aren’t your thing, then you might want to check this out.
Smaller than an average air fryer, this nail art printer might just be the smallest nail art printer today. It’s also very portable and can even be used at home. Using it is a breeze too as you can control it wirelessly through a mobile app. All you need to do is upload your design, put your finger on the finger slot and let the machine do its work.
But because it’s so small, it can only print on a single fingernail at a time. The print quality also isn’t that great when compared with commercial nail printers.
4. ACCDUER Intelligent 3D Nail Painting Machine
A portable nail printer with an LCD touchscreen interface, the ACCDUER nail printing machine is perfect for small salons.
Like most commercial nail printers, the LCD screen allows you to easily choose or adjust your design. It also lets you see the printing process in real-time.
This printer is also wifi enabled and can be controlled through a mobile app. So you can upload your designs directly on their app and start printing in just a few clicks.
Since it’s a portable printer, it can only print on a single fingernail at a time.
5. TUOSHI NP10 3D Intelligent Nail Printer Machine
Boasting more than a thousand pre-loaded nail art patterns, Tuoshi is another nail art printer that’s perfect for small salons or home use.
It’s wifi enabled and can print at up to 1200 dpi. The printing process also takes only about 20 seconds per fingernail.
Though the manufacturer claims it’s portable, it actually weighs about 8kg. So you may have a hard time moving it about. At over $900 per unit, it’s also considerably more expensive than most portable nail art printers.
What to Know Before Buying a Nail Art Printer
Just like most kinds of technology, mastering a nail art printer takes time. It’s a learning curve and for some brands, that curve can be a lot steeper.
So before buying a nail art printer, know that you may not always get it right the first time, or the second, or the third. In most cases, it will take plenty of trial and error before you’ll get the hang of it. Thus, if you’ve decided to invest your hard-earned money in it, make sure to do your own research first.
(Related: What Are Sculpted Nails?)
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is the lead writer for the Salon Suites of Palm Beach website and blog. Her many years of blogging experience and passions for beauty trends helps her create content that has helped millions of people worldwide.