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Hand stamps can be among an office's most convenient tools. Often, in an office environment, the same message will need to be printed on multiple sheets or pieces of paper on a regular basis, such as when endorsing checks. However, hand stamps come in many different types and can be used for many different things.
Hand stamps are so called because they are operated by hand. Often, all that is required for them to make their mark is simply to apply pressure to the paper with the molded area of the stamp once it has been inked. The stamps, if used in a non-abusive manner, will last indefinitely.
One of the most common types of hand stamps are those which are self inking. The preinked hand stamps can prevent a large mess, especially among those who are not supposed to be using the stamps in the first place, such as young children. The preinked hand stamp works by the mold flipping and coming down as it is depressed to imprint the image on a surface. When the pressure is released, a spring flips the molded area back in an upward direction to an area where the ink is stored within the stamp. The stamp automatically refills with ink and is stored in that position until ready to be used again.
Traditional hand stamps are likely very familiar to most people as well. These stamps, which are still fairly common, use ink pads. The stamp is pressed into the ink pad and then onto the surface where the desired image is to go. However, in this case, the stamp must be placed onto the surface for imprinting not too long after being inked. If too much time passes, the stamp will be need to be inked again. Most of the time, the stamper will only have one or two minutes of use in between inkings.
Uses for hand stamps run the gambit from time-saving mechanisms to a way to convey an official image. Some stamps can include intricate graphics that would take a long time to produce. Therefore, they can offer a measure of authenticity to any official document which may otherwise be called into doubt.
Most hand stamps are priced at a level where most people can afford them. Some traditional stamps may cost $2 US Dollars (USD) or less, not including ink. Preinked hand stamps, even with custom settings such as addresses, will normally not cost more than $20 USD. When the cost versus efficiency is considered, the hand stamp may be one of the economical tools available for use.