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The coverage of the ink and pattern over the text you want to obscure is very robust. You really can't see the underlying information, at least with the human eye -- I have a feeling that with sophisticated technologies available to, say, law enforcement or technologically savvy thieves, the original text would be pretty easily deciphered.
The one problem for which this product loses stars is what the description does NOT tell you, yet what the enclosed instructions do tell you, is that it "may not conceal all data completely." Also, that it doesn't work on coated paper, or glossy paper (the ink won't thoroughly dry and thus can be rubbed off). It can't be used on what the instructions refer to as "rough texture paper." It also says it can't work effectively on large fonts (although it doesn't specify what exactly is meant by "large" -- no pont size is given). I will not work on color text either. Well, that covers a LOT of different types of paper and printing, some of which may be the very types on which you might need to obscure data. For example, almost all types of magazines are coated paper, and that is exactly what I want to use it on to cover my name and address on all those junk mags we get that have our data on them.
That said, on the paper that it does work on, it is quite effective in obscuring the underlying text from prying human eyes -- low tech. For that, it is a good product.
=== Update ===
Sorry, had to down grade this one star less because only after a few weeks, the ink is no longer dark enough to obliterate the printing underneath. It came with 6 viles of extra ink, but with no instructions on how you are supposed to re-ink the unit. I may try just squirting it on the roller itself, but I don't see how that will coat it evenly, not to mention the mess. I certainly don't consider myself a heavy user, just a few junk mailings that I needed to obscure the mailing information. I would have thought it would last much longer than these few uses before needing more ink. Given the above cons (won't cover many types of paper or print) and now the short lifespan of the ink, I say, save your money and just buy a good shredder, especially if your work calls for any high volume printing that needs to be protected -- this won't afford the protection you need, IMHO.
Previously, when I wanted to hide confidential information, I covered it with permanent black ink (as in a marking pen) or ran it through the shredder. This looked like a brilliant alternative until the magazine cover I used it on to obscure the address accidentally got wet. The ink ran. When I made it wetter and rubbed it with a paper towel, it ran enough to clearly reveal the printing I was hoping to permanently obscure. The ink, although very rich black, is obviously water soluble and, when USED ON NON OR MINIMALLY ABSORBENT PAPER, can be washed off after it has dried to reveal what it is covering. On absorbent paper, it completely and permanently obscures the information once it is absorbed by the paper before it dries. An attempt to wash it off would essentially destroy the data and the paper. For many users this latter function is what is needed and for that it is well worth the price. For those who want certainty and do not want to worry about paper absorbency, a cross or micro cut shredder remains the data security gold standard.
UPDATE (Jan 23. 2019): I am reducing the rating to two stars. What seemed to be absorbent paper did not fully absorb the ITPRS overprint. When the paper dried, the original printed data was visible on the reverse side and could be read with a mirror. Two stars for a clever implementation of the idea but, unfortunately, not good enough.
Item "goes on" ok. Fast delivery and the mechanism works fine, but the ink does not. My biggest issue is that ink is evidently water soluble and works on only a small percentage of the items I wanted to use it for. Regular paper like statements and envelopes, it works fine, worked on just a couple of magazines, but most smeared. It seems that any kind of glossy type parer, including glossy paper use in my laser printer, will not allow the ink to penetrate and dry. Wanted to use it on magazines so I could block address and donate the mags to local senior home. I subscribe to many travel related mags and they have great stories and pictures in them and the senior home has liked them in the past. I also wanted to block off the charge card info on my supermarket receipts, but next day a moist Kleenex easily wipes away the the ink stamp and info is legible. On some of the mag address labels, the same issue , even a day or two later, if the ink covering the address gets moist or wet, the ink smears and address is again easily readable. Also, if an item is stamped and one has wet fingers, it is easy to get the ink on your hands. I really wanted this to work, but I need to find a device that uses a more permanent ink, even if more expensive.
I truly loved this product at first. It worked really well. But it ran out of ink after I used it to cover my name and address plus CC info on my statement. , Now well it’s hard to get Full coverage. I’ve added 2 tubes of the ink that was provided and it still doesn’t cover completely. I think I have an ink pad some where in my house that I am doing up try. But I’ll add one more ink tube before. Adding 2 tubes so far isn’t working out. And the refills are expensive. But I have up say at first it worked out very well. I just wish the ink provided was enough. Here is a pic of what it looks like after I added 2 tubes of ink. And yes I let it sit. I tried last night and again the next day and it’s still light. If there is any advise offer can offer I’m all ears. I do love this product but wish the ink would last long and come out darker
I tried this product on numerous papers. Even letters that I had received. The ink always smeared on every surface that I tried. They did say shiny surfaces that may not cover the name or whatever but it did not work on any surface even porous surfaces. This product is useless.
This roller stamp works better on some labels than on others. Sometimes I only need a little ink, but other times I need to keep rolling until the label is completely covered, and then it's super wet with ink and takes forever to dry. Unfortunately, no matter how much ink I roll onto the labels, I can still see my name and address through it once the ink becomes dry. By either shining light onto the dry label or by putting the label in front of a bright light source, I can usually still see my name and address about 75% of the time. Sigh.
I really liked my first roller, but when it emptied, I had trouble with adding the ink refill and it leaked everywhere. I ordered another one.....5 months later....same thing. Coverage is great when brand new. The problem was after it ran out. I done know where the ink goes!, but as you can see the pic, it looks like I never added the whole refill last week.
The ink does an okay job of covering up something on absorbent paper but even the slightest bit of solidity in the print will render this roller useless. First attempt was with CVS prescription bottles and covering up the print so I can safely throw them away. The ink in the roller does not adequately cover up the important parts like name, Rx number, etc... Mail is about the same. Credit card offers and such are too much for this thing.. back to using a shredder!