A Guide to Band Stamps

alpha numeric band stamp

If you’re looking for one stamp that can make multiple impressions, you’ve come to the right place. Alpha numeric (or alpha number) band stamps are named for the rotating bands of numbers and letters that can create multiple impressions from the same stamp. These stamps are able to change their dates, numbers, or letters with just a simple turn of a dial. Band stamps come in handy for marking items with dates, unique codes, identifying marks, or more. Additionally, we offer our customers the ability to customize their stamps using our Band Stamp Designer. Use this tool to create the exact band stamp for your needs.

Depending on your intended use, there are several considerations when choosing the right band stamp. This guide is designed to help you identify which kind of band stamp is best for your particular application.

Choosing Self-Inking or Regular Alpha Numeric Band Stamps

Considering your specific needs will help you discern whether a self-inking or regular alpha numeric band stamp is best for your situation. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering self-inking and regular band stamps.

Benefits of Self-Inking Alpha Numeric Stamps


Self-inking alpha numeric stamps are certainly the most convenient option. If you’re stamping a high quantity of items, these stamps eliminate the inking step, making your job quicker and easier. You just stamp one item and move on to the next item without pausing to re-ink.


If you’re on-the-go stamping in multiple locations, a self-inking stamp will probably make the most sense for you. Self-inking stamps have self-contained stamp pads, and are easier to keep track of than a stamp and a stamp pad. You also won’t need to find a surface for reinking your stamp on the ink pad, because the ink is included in the stamp itself.

Sturdy Construction

Self-inking stamps are made with metal framing, offering a sturdy footing for stamping and high durability. Bands are laser engraved producing quality stamp impressions. However, because of the outer framing, these stamps are more difficult to align than their regular counterparts. So, if you have a small exact space requirement, these stamps may not be the best choice for you. And, because of the outer metal frame, these stamps also have smaller maximum character sizing. Their maximum character size is 7/16”.

Benefits of Regular Alpha Numeric Stamps


Our regular alpha numeric stamps are more cost effective than the more complex self-inking option.


If you need your impression in a very specific spot, these stamps are the best option for you. Regular alpha numeric stamps are much easier to position in a precise location than their self-inking counterparts.


If you’re looking for larger lettering, the regular alpha numeric stamp allows for larger lettering than the self-inking option. The maximum character size of a regular band stamp is 7/8” (while a self-inking maximum character size is 7/16”).

Excellent Construction

Like the self-inking band stamps, our regular alpha numeric stamps have sturdy metal frames and precision engineered rubber bands for the highest level of quality and durability.

Uses for Various Band Stamps

Alpha number band stamps serve a wide variety of purposes. Because of the rotating bands, these stamps are great for coding items, following items through a manufacturing process, date stamping items, marking items in a sequence, and various other applications. The bands on these stamps rotate, allowing you to manually change the stamp itself for multiple options on the same stamp. Some common sectors that rely on band stamps are manufacturing, shipping/warehousing, and office/managerial sectors. Here are just a few examples of band stamp uses.


  • Batches or Runs - Manufacturers often keep track of specific items manufactured in the same run or batch. This helps with tracking and quality control. Band stamps are helpful because the same stamp can be used to distinctly identify each specific batch.
  • Expiration Dates - These ever-changing dates are essential to food packaging and other perishable items. Band stamps can be ordered with non-changing text such as “Expiration Date” and changing texts such as the date itself.
  • Coding - Band stamps can be used to give a distinct code to identify each distinct part in a production process.
  • Sequencing - Band stamps are also helpful for identifying individual items that are to be used or processed in sequential order.


  • Specific Codes - Band stamps are helpful for giving items (such as boxes or pallets) distinct alpha numeric codes for categorizing.
  • Sequential Numbering - Often shipping documents need to be identified in sequential order. Band stamps offer the capability of such ordering all in one easy-to-use stamp.

Office and Managerial Uses

  • Date Stamping - Often documents need to have identifying dates on them. Alpha numeric date stamps can have a static text such as “Received”, “Faxed”, or “Approved” while also having a changing date text to indicate the date of a given action.
  • Coding Related Paperwork - Many times a project has numerous related documents. An alpha numeric band stamp can easily help organize which documents belong to which project. Band stamps can be changed to specifically identify each project with unique words or numbers. In this way, band stamps offer a simple solution for keeping your paperwork correctly identified and organized.

Ready, Set, Go!

Hopefully, this small guide has helped you better understand the types and multiple uses of alpha numeric band stamps. Whatever your particular application, there’s a band stamp to meet your needs. And, at TheStampMaker, we’re happy to help you make the best choice for your business. So, if you have further questions about your specific needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Otherwise, you’re all set to pick your next band stamp and get stamping. While you’re here, you can browse our stock number stamps, customize the text on a number stamp, or check out our easy-to-use Band Stamp Designer.

How to Change the Stamp Pad on your Band Stamp

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