In fact, there are a few distinct types of rubber stamps: traditional handle mount, self-inking, and pre-inked. You will want to choose the type of rubber stamp that best suits your application. Here is some helpful information about the three general types of stamps!

Traditional Handle Mount


You are probably most familiar with these types of stamps. The traditional rubber stamp is mounted to a wooden handle and requires a separate ink pad to ink the stamp. The stamp is first pressed on the ink pad to pick up the ink, then pressed on the surface to be imprinted to make the stamp copy.

The benefit of the traditional rubber stamp is that it allows you to use multiple color inks with the same stamp. If you participate in rubber stamp crafting, have lots of stamps that are used frequently, or have the need to use a variety of colors for the impressions, a traditional stamp would work great for you.



An ink pad built into the stamp mechanism lends the self-inking stamp its name. The stamp is mechanically inked; it has an inner working mechanism where the rubber die retracts back up and stamps the inner pad every time. Because the stamp and ink pad are enclosed in the same unit, self-inkers tend to be bulkier in design compared to pre-inked or handle mount rubber stamps.

The advantage of the self-inking stamp is that, as a self-contained unit, it is more convenient to use than a handle mounted stamp with a separate ink pad. The self inking stamp uses water-based ink that won’t bleed through paper and actually can be “re-inked” by simply injecting more ink into the unit. As a result, a self inking stamp has a virtually unlimited life span and can be used over and over again for hundreds of thousands of impressions. Self-Inking stamps are perfect for people who need quality impressions at an economical price and for fast, clean, and easy stamping.



There are two major types: flash pre-inked stamps, and laser engraved pre-inked stamps. In both cases, a special type of oil-based ink is impregnated into the rubber stamp, so no ink pad is necessary, and the ink flows through the die plate to create an impression. Pre-inked stamps tend to take a few seconds to regenerate again to have a perfect impression, but generally they have a nicer and cleaner impression than your self-inking stamps.


Pre-inked stamps offer a similar convenience as the self-inker but have a more compact design. Because the ink is embedded into the stamp, pre-inked stamps produce a sharper stamped image than other stamps. Similar to self-inkers, the base of the pre-inked rubber stamp can be centered over the imprint area before imprinting to ensure a more precise alignment of the imprinted image. Pre-inked stamps are top quality and offer thousands more impressions without re-inking.

As you can see, whatever your needs are there is a rubber stamp that can make your life or work much easier! For more information on choosing the right stamp for you and to see all of our custom stamps and ink color options, visit

Happy stamping!