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Large-scale retail businesses have already moved to a highly reliable, extremely efficient and cost-effective thermal printing technology. This thermal printing is believed to be incredibly flexible that easily integrates with different kinds of labelling.

Many retailers embrace RFID technology for their inventory management systems. These advanced RFID (radio frequency identification) printing and encoding systems are essential for the business to get the full benefit of their RFID deployment.

Receipt printers are designed to provide front of the store, back of the store, and online/e-commerce retail application printing solutions. Although every retailer or restaurant operator use printers for printing transaction slips of their customers, but printers serve many other aspects of business operations too, like:

  • Promoting your store or brand with printed receipts.
  • Helps in printing on-demand labels for shipping, ordering, and receiving to the vendor.
  • Supporting validation checks by printing coupons and forms.
  • Assisting in printing shelf tags and inventory merchandise for inventory management.
  • Improving product identification and price labelling.

Apparently, every business requires at least one receipt printer in their account. Although different models of printer serve different environments. Just remember to you select the right receipt printer for your operation by not compromising on the features for the price. Consider the benefits of receipt printers for your business operations, including your time and money (most importantly!).

Benefits of a receipt printer for small, large-scale businesses

Here we are discussing four of the most important benefits associated with thermal printing in retail. Let’s take a closer look –

Require less maintenance

In every retail environment, there is a massive amount of work that has to be done. If anything goes wrong, a long queue of customers are waiting at the check out counter. In a work environment like this, suddenly the workflow gets interrupted by a receipt printer that malfunctions and stops working. In this scenario, an experienced technician is required.

Thermal printers have less opportunity to get break down as they don’t have moving parts in contrast to conventional printers. With fewer moving parts, if something goes wrong, Thermal printers are usually a lot easier, faster, and cheaper to repair.

Economical thermal printing

Thermal printers are inkless, operating by substituting the existence of ink cartridges. These thermal printers’ function on heat emitted by thermal print heads to print texts or images on the paper. This printer also helps in eliminating the need for spending money on ink cartridges and printing ribbons.

With thermal receipt printers, retailers can save a lot on operational costs as ink cartridges are expensive. Thermal printers, however, eliminate the need to replenish ink supplies, the printing is cheaper in contrast to its co-printer.

Faster printing speed

Ink printers, formerly, take time to put the ink on the page physically. Although in the initial stage, it doesn’t seem much, the wasted seconds really add up the value when customers are standing in the queue for their transaction receipt to print. 

Thermal printing solutions allow lightning-fast printing of texts or graphics in a fraction of time. This solution further leads to faster customer checkouts, quicker shipping label printing, helps to sell more goods and gets more work done by fewer employees.

Clearer Quality Images

Have you ever noticed ink smudges on the receipt as soon as you touch it? Or maybe the ink if the is running low; the image gets faded and not even becomes readable. Thermal printers don’t use ink, there is no ink to smudge.

Thermal receipt printers are useful in creating clear and long-lasting images. These images are legible and capable of enduring damaging factors like UV rays, extreme weather environments, and even water damage.

Receipt Printers – Emerging technologies making sense of receipts

Receipt Printers as-of-now are available in different variety, and each of them is an excellent choice for a spectrum of retail and restaurant applications and requirements. Let’s find out –

Impact receipt printer

Uses a series of small pins to press and transfer ink onto receipt paper to get it print. While depending on the model, this printer can print up to two colours by using a two-tone ribbon in high temperatures. Therefore, it is considered to be a good option for using in kitchens and other POS environments where two-color printing is required.

Direct thermal receipt printer

Using thermal heat to print on special heat-sensitive receipt paper. This printer, in general, can generate receipts at a speed of more than one foot per second that makes it ideal for high-volume receipt printing in fast-paced retail and restaurant environments, like grocery stores and quick-service eateries.

Inkjet receipt printer

Uses tiny nozzles to spray ink onto receipts. The printer is usually used for quieter color printing, at places, like upscale boutiques and ‘white-tablecloth’ restaurants. Colored logos and other elements can be added to receipts to promote or advertise your store or brand.

Mobile receipt printer

Utilises a special cabled-interface or a wireless connection to receive print jobs through a POS system at the counter. A perfect choice for restaurant businesses that deliver or operate in an entirely mobile trend, such as food trucks.

How will you evaluate thermal receipt printers?

Thermal receipt printers easily integrate with retail, restaurant point-of-sale (POS) systems to print customer transaction slips for completed sales. These printers can connect in various ways, including USB, Ethernet (LAN), Wi-Fi wireless (WLAN) and even Bluetooth.

Choose the right thermal receipt printer depending upon the POS system you use and the connection you need –

WLAN connection

By using Wi-Fi-enabled thermal receipt printers, connect your POS systems via Wi-Fi for wireless printing.

LAN connection

Used to connect thermal receipt printers to a network router using a LAN connection.

Bluetooth connection

Bluetooth-enabled thermal receipt printers are capable of connecting POS systems to iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices to print sales receipts.

USB connection

Receipt printer connects to cash registers or computers by using a USB cable.

Use these connections for integrating a thermal receipt printer into your POS system, which is the best for your business. In addition to the connection, also look for thermal receipt printer’s compatibility –

Compatibility with POS software

Some POS software have different hardware and driver requirements. Certain solutions work well with Windows or Linux drivers. Many other receipt printer models offer cross-compatibility with significant brands and yielding a wider selection of options.

Compatibility with other peripherals

Make sure a receipt printer is compatible with a cash drawer if you intend to connect the former to the latter. If not, then the configuration you’re looking for will never work.

Capabilities and ancillary features

In some applications, printer speed may be less critical than others. For ancillary features, you can opt for a model with an automatic paper cutter or a tear bar, whatever suits your requirements. The automated cutter, in general, adds convenience.

Vendor support

Pick up a vendor offering local support for its range of receipt printer, and the support team should be familiar with the technology recent and upcoming changes and software development.

Applications of thermal receipt printers

Thermal receipt printers are increasingly being used everywhere, even in places and industries, you never thought of. ATMs, for instance, issues you a receipt using thermal receipt printing technology once you complete a transaction. Simply put, many other industries are using thermal printing technologies that are listed below –

Transport industry

Different means of transport such as buses, airplanes, ships, and trains, are making use of thermal printing technology. The tickets issued by these means of transportation are now printed with thermal printers since it is a better and faster option than conventional printing.

Lottery and Betting

Other than public transportation industry, many other industries are also using thermal printing technology, and lottery and betting is one of them. Participants of this industry are given tickets that are printed with thermal printers.

Health care industry

Another industry that is extensively using thermal paper and thermal printing is health care. Doctors write their prescriptions using portable thermal printers to make pharmacist life easier. By using thermal printers, prescriptions are much clear and legible in-use.

Supermarkets and Grocery Stores

Seeing a grocery or a supermarket without having thermal printers is a bit difficult. Weighing scales and cash registers are connected via thermal printers to print out a transaction receipt. Such printers are better and faster than ordinary printers.

We have mentioned just a few examples but there is extensive use of thermal receipt printers, and the list would never end.

Safety measures when using thermal receipt printers

Although a thermal receipt printer is one of the safest equipment used in your business, during its use, you need to take some precautions. With a few moving parts, uses electricity, and contains chemicals, a thermal receipt printer’s safety means taking protective measures to keep your investment in good working order.

Following are the precautions to be taken for a healthy and safe environment. Find out –

Stable base

A receipt printer requires a firm, level base for smooth operation within the business. This is because printers weigh around 25 pounds, and vibrations of the printing mechanism can shake a table (if not sturdy enough to hold it). Stirring of the table can cause objects to fall off including the printer itself.

Mechanical hazards

Do you know the receipt printer draws paper into itself using rubber rollers? These rollers can pull in long hair, fingers, or dangling jewelry. In that case, you need to keep your hair away from the paper feed mechanism, be careful with jewelry and hold your hands away from the printer’s feed trays while it’s working.

Hot Components

Receipt printers work with print heads that become very hot while running. Subsequently, it’s getting hotter after a few minutes, and the parts inside become hot enough to cause burns. Allow the printer to rest for a short period before changing a thermal paper roll into it.


All printers including inkjet, thermal and laser printers are well-suited to office environments as they produce low levels of noise. Although dot-matrix impact printers have low operating costs, generate a harsh buzzing sound. In this case, you can put the printer in a separate room or use a sound cover to reduce its noise.

Electrical precautions

Follow the same precautions for receipt printers as you would use for any small appliance for electrical safety measures, like:

  • Plug the cord only into an approved three-prong outlet.
  • Keep the cord away from traffic areas where it might cause a trip hazard over the cable/cord.
  • Keep the printer safe from pinching and abrasion, such as from desk drawers or another accidental contact.
  • Always use the power button to turn on/off the printer. Make sure not to turn it off by unplugging.
  • Place the printer away from moisture as it may cause shock. Do not try to open the printer’s electrical and electronic parts, to be precise.

Ink and toner

Thermal receipt printers do not use ink and toner, whereas to run an inkjet printer, you need to wear disposable plastic gloves when changing toner or ink cartridges. The substances inside the printer (inkjet printer, specifically) can stain your skin or clothes.

Differences between Thermal and Impact receipt printer

Every business requires an efficient point-of-sale (POS), and the printer is an integral part of that system. Merchants like retailers, restauranteurs, use POS printers to print customer cash/card transaction receipts.

Here are the main differences between thermal and impact receipt printers –

Impact printers aka dot-matrix printers are the more traditional variety in the line of receipt printers. These models have a print head that is covered with precisely placed pins. The print head pins work in conjunction with an ink ribbon to form letters through a series of tiny dots. Some of the models of this printer can also print on black and red, and even capable of printing graphics.

Thermal receipt printers produce high-quality prints at a fast pace with minimal noise (if they are using in the right environment). These printers don’t use ink and toner in its printing mechanism.  Rather it uses a thermal print head in combination with thermal paper. This thermal paper is thermally coated that is responsive to heat. Consequently, the heat generating thermal head makes contact with the thermal paper to print documents. Most models print only in black, but higher-end models offer multi-color and double-sided printing.

Which is the best type of printer?

The type of printer depends on how and where you plan to use it.

Impact or dot-matrix receipt printers are reliable but noisier than thermal printers. These printers are a better choice for use in a kitchen environment. Whereas thermal receipt printers use thermal paper that is sensitive-to-heat, suffers when exposed to high temperatures of the kitchen. Impact printer is considered as the better option for your kitchen if you are running a restaurant business.

If, however, you need a printer to have a fast printing of customer cash and card transaction receipts, thermal receipt printer is the right choice. These printers can print up to 20 lines per second, in contrast to the impact printers that can print up to the average of 3 lines per second. Thermal receipt printers are considerably quieter than their dot-matrix (impact receipt printers) counterparts.

While opting for a receipt printer, check whether the printer you require has the right interface compatible with your POS system, and even have enough spare ports to accommodate it.

The most notable brands

Regardless of your budget, many brands producing thermal and impact receipt printers with high-quality models are available at Wish A POS. Star, Epson, Motorola are some of the finest brands of receipt printers of all kinds. Some of these printers are simple and robust (with the basic features), while others offer double-sided as well as graphic printing.

Wrapping up

Indeed, its no surprise! Most businesses are switching their conventional printers to the unconventional ones, like thermal receipt printers. With cost-saving, time-saving and efficiency-promoting benefits associated with these thermal printers represent a significant investment. Although the initial expense of updating the printing technology could be on a higher note, the long-term benefits are as clear, crisp, and easy to see as a thermal-printed image can be.

At Wish A POS, we offer a wide variety of thermal receipt printers that help you quickly print clear and legible receipts, barcode tags, labels, high-quality apparel tags, RFID tags and so on.

Have your system up and run with thermal printing technology that easily integrates with your POS system, resulting in positive development.


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