Types of Barcode Printers

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Barcode printers enable companies to optimize their work processes by eliminating bottlenecks at typical data entry stations, aid in inventory control, and offer reliable tracking capabilities.

Direct thermal barcode printers differ from laser and inkjet printers in that they don’t rely on ink, toner, or ribbon to create images on chemically treated labels or tags which darken when passing under the thermal printhead.
Dot Matrix

Dot matrix printers tend to be cheaper and more reliable than other types, making them suitable for any environment. Unfortunately, however, they are susceptible to paper jamming, having low resolution prints that lack color output capabilities.

These machines operate using an impactful “head and ribbon” method. Tiny pins attached to the printer ribbon strike against each other to form dots on paper which represent what is being printed, typically characters and barcodes.

At Xprinter, the dot matrix printers we sell are 9-pin or 24-pin devices; their number of pins determines their vertical and horizontal resolution; more pins mean higher resolution. Their dots are usually aligned in a matrix for visually superior output (known as near letter quality or NLQ).

Dot matrix printers can also produce color by using separate color ribbons and multiple passes when printing; however, this does not produce high-quality results.
Ink Jet

Ink jet barcode printers use droplets of ink to print barcodes onto  thermal paper    labels. They work on materials including paper, synthetic labels and washable fabric labels and have resolutions up to 203dpi for increased clarity when printing at high speeds – making reading them much simpler for employees.

These printers are an excellent solution for businesses that need to print multiple labels quickly and accurately, such as product labels, shipping tags and inventory tags. Furthermore, their quality barcode printing reduces risk of unreadable labels which could otherwise lead to chargebacks or lost productivity.

Some models are small enough to be easily carried with a carrier for mobile printing applications, while others – like the ZEBRA ZD410 on Amazon (Amazon link) – are specifically designed to connect wirelessly with Android or iOS devices and work wirelessly via Bluetooth, USB and wi-fi connections; without needing ribbons for operation they’re ready to print barcodes, labels or receipts with ease!
Direct Thermal

Direct thermal printers employ a heated printhead to print black text or images directly on heat-sensitive paper without using ribbon, ink, or toner cartridges – an efficient printing technology used for producing shipping labels, receipts, ID badges and more.

Direct thermal printers differ from their thermal transfer counterparts by eliminating supply costs and being easier to operate, with less components and maintenance requirements, plus being generally more cost effective due to their long lifespan. They’re often cheaper to purchase as well!

Direct thermal printers tend to offer limited color choices and may produce less-than-durable prints compared to those produced using other technologies. Over time, excessive heat or light exposure may cause the chemical coating on labels to darken, rendering printed information unreadable. Due to this disadvantage, direct thermal printers are best used when their label image needs only last briefly such as temporary shipping labels or receipts.
Thermal Transfer

Thermal Transfer printers use ribbons containing wax- or resin-based ink that melt onto labels during printing. This creates exceptional image quality and durability, making these printers perfect for labeling items and assets, laboratory specimen and blood bag labels, outdoor applications, cold or freezer storage solutions and much more.

These printers use a unique print head with many resistive heating pins or cells that, when fired, register an impression onto a substrate to produce barcodes. A microprocessor oversees this printer by selecting which heating elements fire in order to print barcodes onto labels.

Direct thermal printers don’t require ribbons to print, making them cheaper and simpler to operate than their counterparts. Direct thermal printers can print anything from pictures, Excel text and barcodes – as well as photos. The DYMO label printer is one of the most cost-efficient models as it does away with ribbons and toner – producing 51 labels per minute at 203dpi quality; being compatible with Mac, Microsoft Windows as well as energy star certification make this an energy star approved solution.

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