Rubber Stamps…What is that?

Did you know that there are four different families of rubber stamps?

They are self inking, traditional hand stamps, flash stamps, and pre-inked stamps. You can learn more about these stamps here.

After reading this page, you will be the local expert when it comes to stamping and marking, and people will be amazed what you know and how helpful you can be.

Don’t worry, we’ll keep it a secret. It will be between you and T.S.T. Rubber Stamp.  We won’t tell anyone and you can take the full credit!

It is important to know what kind of rubber stamp you have.  Below is a description of the four different kinds of rubber stamps so that you don’t get confused by the terminology.  Some “big box” stores call everything that doesn’t use a separate ink pad a “self inking” stamp and as you will see from the descriptions, this is not the case.  To make sure you get the right information, you should know the right type of stamp.  Misinformation could lead to wrong instructions and could possibly ruin your stamp.

SELF INKING
A self inking rubber stamp is the one that has a removeable ink pad built right in to the stamp.  When the stamp is pressed it travels about an inch, flipping the dieplate around to make contact with the paper.  These can be reinked and recycled.  This style of stamp, in our opinion, is the best choice for 95% of your needs.  Some brand names are Trodat, Colop, 2000 Plus, Shiny, Max Stamp and Ideal, just to name a few.

FLASH STAMPS
A flash stamp will be one that has a removeable cover on the bottom, and it looks as if the dieplate is covered with a film.  They travel about 1/8″ when pressed and some of them are re-inkable.  Unfortunately they are NOT recyclable.  Their advantage is that they can be made in larger sizes (up to 3-1/8″ x 4-1/2″).  Brand names for these can be Max Stamp, PSI, Max Light, Ultimark, Impressor, Accu-Stamp and others.

PRE-INKED STAMPS
A pre-inked stamp is similar to a flash stamp in that it also only travels about 1/8″ and it is not recyclable.  Your information will look raised and the dieplate itself will be embedded with ink.  Some claim to be re-inkable but it is not easy and the end result will be a poor imprint.

TRADITIONAL HAND STAMPS
This is the old faithful, wooded block style stamp with the handle sticking out.  They need a separate ink pad.  The advantage to these is the variety of sizes available and that they are relatively inexpensive.  Disadvantages are that they are messier, have that separate ink pad and are not as user friendly.  They need double the motions to make an impression.


My self inking stamp is jammed!  It’s stuck in the down position or will not go down.  It just doesn’t want to move.

Stuck in the UP position?
This is normally a simple problem to fix.  First, if the self inking stamp will not compress, it usually means that the ink pad has come out of place, blocking the normal travel pathstuck_stamp of the stamp when it is pushed down.  Check to make sure that the ink pad in not protruding out one side or the other.  Simply push it back in to position so that both sides of the pad are flush with the sides of the body of the stamp.  This should fix your problem.  If the pad is in place, then you may have a bigger problem and should return it to the place of purchase.  If you bought a quality product from a reputable company, they should warranty it.

Stuck in the DOWN position?
Again this should be a simple fix. Most self inking stamps have a button, buttons cutout tabs or some other mechanism that will lock the stamp in the compressed position. This is used by the manufacturer when mounting the die on to the machine, or for when you are changing the ink pad. Some self inking stamps will release when they are gently compressed a little bit further, while others might require you to release the button(s). Try a few different things.  Try to press it further down. Look for the buttons on the side or the front and see if they can be pressed in to make them release. Shake your finger at it and tell it to let go! Make sure no one is looking at you when you do this one! Again, if nothing works, return it to the place of purchase.

A word of advice?  Be sure to put a piece of paper on the desk before you start this.  Some times if you just gently press down on the stamp, it will release and continue on to make an imprint.  You don’t want to make an imprint on something important, so cover up!