Best date stamp

Office Supplies

It’s best not to touch recently stamped areas, as the ink from date stamps can take anywhere from 20 seconds to a couple minutes to dry completely.

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Which date stamps are best?

If you find yourself needing to constantly date invoices, files, contracts or other important documents, you’ll almost certainly benefit from investing in a quality custom date stamp. Date stamps allow you to easily organize all of your office documents in a highly professional manner. 

Not all date stamps are the same, which is why it’s important to look at a few key factors such as clarity, duration and overall durability. The Trodat Professional Stamp is an office favorite, due to its long-lasting construction and convenient applications. 

What to know before you buy a date stamp

Benefits of a date stamp

The main reason people tend to use date stamps is to save time and streamline their workday. Writing dates by hand can not only take significantly longer but for some people, it can lead to hand cramps or aggravation for those dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

People also use date stamps to help protect against fraud or forgery, to achieve a more professional appearance and to avoid making any hand written mistakes.


Before purchasing a date stamp, or a similar date and time stamp, be sure to examine the clarity of the imprint markings. There is no use using a date stamp if the result is illegible or hard to decipher. Depending on your preference, it may be easier to read a larger date imprint than a smaller one. 

Year duration

The lifespan of a date stamp is limited to the amount of years included on the stamp band. If you want a date stamp that will be useful for the foreseeable future, choose a model that features at least 10 years of dates. However, there are models available that sport shorter durations, as well as those with considerably longer bands. 

What to look for in a quality date stamp


The most common materials used to construct date stamp casings are plastic, metal or  combination of the two. Plastic options will be lighter weight and less expensive, but metal options are more durable, especially for consistent use over long periods. However, you may have to spend a bit more for a quality metal date stamp. 


Models with built-in handles can make gripping and using the date stamp easier and more convenient. Models without handles will feature a solid casing that is still relatively easy to grip. Some people prefer handles for the classic appearance, as wooden-handled vintage-style options are available. 

Date bands

As one of the most important components of the date stamp, the rubber date bands are what create the physical markings on your documents. The most common configuration consists of three individual and adjustable rows that correspond to the day, month and year. 

While not as common, you can even find models that sport convenient phrases. “Approved,” “denied,” “delivered,” “urgent” and “received” stamps are considered speciality options. 


Some date stamps are considered self-inking, while others will require the use of a separate ink pad in order to create imprints. Self-inking date stamps are highly convenient and create less of a mess, but they may require re-inking once the interior ink runs out. Ink pads will give you more control of ink color and offer a traditional stamping experience, but they can be a bit messier and the pads can dry out if left open. 

How much you can expect to spend on a date stamp

The cheapest date stamps can be purchased for under $5, while the most expensive models can range up to $30. Expect to pay approximately $7-$15 for a quality model. 

Date stamp FAQ

Are date stamps portable?

A. In general, yes, date stamps are small and portable office accessories. The only thing you’ll want to be cognizant of is the possibility of the ink leaking or leaving behind marks during transportation. Choosing a model with a sturdy cover or case will minimize potential messes. 

How long does date stamp ink last? 

A. Most self-inking date stamps will last anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 imprints per ink cartridge. For the average office worker, this can easily translate into 2 or 3 years of consistent use. Ink pads also tend to last around 2 years, but can usually be rehydrated if they prematurely dry out. 

What’s the best date stamp to buy?

Top date stamp 

Trodat Professional Stamp

Trodat Professional Stamp

What you need to know: This Trodat model is a professional quality date stamp for anyone who needs to accurately date documents regularly. 

What you’ll love: The sturdy handle and stainless steel frame make this one of the most durable options available. You also won’t have to worry about getting your hands covered in ink thanks to the band cover and easy-to-change date wheels. This particular model offers up to 10 years of dates. 

What you should consider: If not completely dry, the ink has been known to smudge slightly. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top date stamp for the money

Shiny Self-Inking Rubber Date Stamp

Shiny Self-Inking Rubber Date Stamp

What you need to know: This budget-friendly date stamp produces clear imprints and utilizes a self-inking system. 

What you’ll love: The red ink included with this date stamp is great for creating precise and legible markings. You’ll also have the ability to re-ink this date stamp if the included ink cartridge ever empties or dries out. It comes equipped with 10 years of dates. 

What you should consider: This plastic model may not have as much durability as other options. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

MaxMark Dater 2000

MaxMark Dater 2000

What you need to know: For a low price, you’ll receive a reliable date stamp that includes a 12-year date band.

What you’ll love: Users love the compact size that makes it easy to store in a desk or transport as needed. The ink pad is also surprisingly long-lasting and easy to replace when it eventually runs out. 

What you should consider: If you’re looking for a mess-free date stamp, this may not be the best choice, as it has been known to occasionally leak. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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