Braille printer

Braille printers, also known as braille embossers, can make it much easier for you to print out readable documents if you have a vision impairment. From important documents to backup copies of letters and forms, a braille printer can be a useful addition to your everyday life. 

On this page

What is a braille printer?

A braille embosser doesn’t apply ink to paper like a standard ink printer does, it uses a series of dull pins or hammers to emboss, a series of braille dots onto the page. It uses paper that’s much thicker than the paper used when printing with an ink-based printer. Because braille takes up more space on a page than the printed word, you’ll tend to use more paper than you would using an ink printer. While braille embossers are simple to use and relatively straightforward, they can be louder and slower than ink printers. 

Braille printer cost

The cost varies from brand to brand and model to model. Cheaper printers may not have all the features of the more expensive models, but depending on your needs you might find they do the job just as well. Second-hand printers are also available and can provide you with a quality embosser at a lower price.

Alternatively, if you don’t plan to use your embosser often, you can use an external service to emboss braille documents for you. These services can be found by searching online, including in the RNIB shop.

Why are embossers so expensive?

Braille embossers are more expensive than ink printers. This tends to be because they are mechanically more complicated than ink printers. The smaller market share also means fewer are made, plus demand is high.  

Best braille printers and embossers

Before you explore the best option for you, focus on why you want a printer in the first place. Are you printing materials for work or personal reasons? How often will you use your embosser and what do you plan on printing? What’s your budget?

Once you have a clear idea of what you need, explore some of our recommendations below.

Braille printer paper

Braille printer paper is noticeably thicker than standard paper to produce better quality dots that hold their shape for longer. It’s always recommended to use braille paper as while some printers claim to be able to print on regular paper, it can sometimes be ineffective and more difficult to read. You can purchase braille embosser paper online from websites including the RNIB shop and Sight and Sound. Prices vary depending on size and quality but expect to pay around £25.

Learn more about braille and how it works on our technology pages

Technically reviewed by: Subject Matter Experts on 02/11/2023

Guide Dogs is committed to integrating technology into our service delivery and promoting excellence in accessibility and usability. Our staff undergo comprehensive training in technology and accessibility in collaboration with industry leaders like Apple. We foster knowledge of technology and create content through our Technology Champions, comprising Vision Rehabilitation Specialists and Habilitation Specialists. We review this content periodically to ensure that it is up to date and includes new features and changes with operating systems. We work with our partners to ensure accessibility is at the centre of the design. To find out more, there is more information in our accessibility policy.

Whilst Guide Dogs may be able to suggest various third-party websites and third-party applications which may be able to assist you, those are not endorsed by Guide Dogs. Guide Dogs have no control over those third parties and cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information and support they can provide or the suitability and quality of any products or services they provide.