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Printers are an essential part of all businesses that require printing labels, receipts, wristbands and plastic cards. Printers are usually built around Inkjet, Impact, Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer print technologies. Amongst these, the printers that use thermal printing method are the most inexpensive as they require least maintenance when compared to other printers.

With multiple options available in the market to choose from, it is very important to find the right printer for your business. You may feel that this job challenging but knowing what you need in your everyday POS routine will help you to buy the appropriate printer for your business. Give a thought to the following:

  1. Would you be using the printer for industrial or general purpose?
  2. What kind of printer will you need? Does it have to be a Receipt, Label, Kiosk, Wristband or Mobile Printer?
  3. What will be the frequency at which you will be using your printer?

Understanding the following features should help you to choose the right printer for your business needs.

Types of Printers:

  1. Label Printers
  2. Receipt Printers

Label Printers:

Desktop Label Printers:

Desktop Label Printers are one of the most popular printers for many retail outlets. These printers are made for printing labels in smaller volumes. If you are looking for a printer that can make a little less than 500 labels a week, then this printer is an appropriate fit for your business. Desktop printers work well in retail stores and also for asset labeling in offices. The Zebra GK420t is a good example of a desktop printer that allows you to print large prints of media in a small volume.

Industrial Label Printers:

Industrial Label Printers are bigger in size than the regular printers because they are required to print larger volume of labels. Designed to print more than 1000 labels per day, these printers have the capacity to hold media more than any desktop printer model. If you are looking for a printer that allows you to print media from 0.5” to 0.8”, then this is right buy for your business. The Datamax I-4208 is amongst popular printers that are used by the manufacturing, distribution and retailers who require labels to be printed in large quantities.

Mobile Label Printers:

As the name suggest, Mobile Label Printers are specially designed to provide freedom of wireless printing from the clutter of cable connections. These printers are best suited for businesses that need to print labels while moving around. The size of the printer is so small that it can easily fit in your pocket. This is the reason that the mobile label printer allows printing 2”.3” and 4” of print width. However, the small structure of this printer poses a few limitations. This printer will not work well for businesses that require printing at high volume and bigger dimensions.

Mobile Label Printers are an absolute fit for agents and delivery drivers who need to print labels on immediate basis. These printers use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi interface which is usually connected to a PC.  The Zebra QLn320 can be connected to your PC or mobile that will enable you to print labels on the move.

Wristband Label Printers:

The Wristband Label Printers are particularly designed to allows to print high-quality wristbands for operations that require printing wristbands on regular basis. Hospitals, Concerts, theme parks and museums use these printers because unlike standard label printers, these printers help in printing high quality label at much lower cost. These printers have ink cartridges unlike other printers that consist of media on a roll that helps in avoiding downtime. Besides providing high resolution printing for images and logos, most of these printers are equipped with anti-bacterial case keeping healthcare environment in mind. If you are looking for a reliable wristband label printer, the Zebra HC100 is one the most efficient printer for printing wristbands.

Receipt Printers:

Desktop Receipt Printers:

Desktop Receipt Printers are undoubtedly the most common printers used in retail stores such as supermarkets, grocery stores, libraries and many more. These printers can comfortably sit on your POS counter and provide easy printing solution for your bills. You will find desktop receipt printers in a variety of printing technology including thermal, inkjet and impact. The Epson TM-88 V can be connected via Bluetooth and allow you to print your receipts seamlessly.

Mobile Receipt Printers:

Mobile Receipt Printers work wonders for businesses that need to print receipts on the go. If you are looking for printers that can provide you complete mobility, then this printer is best suited for your business needs. Majorly available in interfaces including Bluetooth, USD and Wi-Fi, these printers will ensure that your customers get high quality receipts wherever your business goes.

Print Method

If you have decided the type pf printer that will be appropriate for your business, it is important to know which printing method will suit your environment. You can choose Label Printers from four printing methods:

  1. Direct Thermal
  2. Thermal Transfer
  3. Inkjet
  4. Impact

Discussing these print methods will help you decide which printer is appropriate for your business.

Direct Thermal

Direct Thermal printer does not use ink ribbons or cartridges for printing labels unlike thermal printers. They use the heat from the print head that is directly passed on to the printing paper. These printers use specific print rolls for printing labels. Regular print rolls do not work in the printers that are built around direct thermal print technology. These printers reduce the cost of consumables as it only uses paper roll. You may want to look for other options if you are looking for a printer that has to be used in warm atmosphere such as a kitchen. The labels, tags and wristbands printed from this method do not have a very long life because the labels automatically get erased soon after they are exposed to heat or sunlight.

Thermal Transfer

The printers that use Thermal Transfer print method are one of the most popular printers compared to printers that use other print technology. You can print labels using materials other than paper such as polyester and polypropylene that is appropriate for outdoor environment. Thermal Transfer printers work very well in environment that are exposed to heat or sunlight which means that they can be easily used in places such kitchens. The labels printed from these printers have a longer shelf life that makes them suitable for printing product labels, theme park wristbands and concert wristbands. You can choose to print labels in multiple colors if you are using thermal transfer printers by changing the color of your ink ribbons. You may have to spend a little to buy thermal label printer but it will ensure that the label you print once does not require printing ever again.

Inkjet

Inkjet printers may seem more expensive than other printers but their high quality print resolution will prove that they are worth every penny. The labels printed by these printers have a longer shelf life and are commonly used by restaurants to print logos and pictures on their labels. The quality of labels printed by these printers is far superior than the print quality of other labels. Inkjet printers offer high print resolution that is as good as photo quality.

Impact

The printers that use Impact printing method are also called Dot Matrix printers. If you are looking for printers that can be used for small set ups and are not very expensive, then this printer will be a perfect fit for your operations. These printers work well in heated environment of restaurant kitchens and other hot places where other printers fail to work. This printer may be inexpensive than other printers but it is as reliable as other expensive printers are.