Picking the Best Barcode Printer

Barcode Information | Tutorials | FAQs at BarcodeFAQ.com

Picking the Best Barcode Printer

by Nate Schubert

Integrating barcode technology into a new or existing business process can be rather complicated, especially if you don’t have all of the information you need to make the right decisions in terms of determining the best barcode type, selecting the right barcode generation product, choosing the best barcode scanner for your needs and finally, and picking the best barcode printer. The good news is that you don’t have to be a genius to understand which barcode printer will best suit your needs, and there are just a few important points to consider before making a purchase.

Which Printers Will Print Barcodes?

Most printers on the market today are capable of printing barcodes without any special software or modification. Laser and inkjet printers can print readable barcodes right out of the box, although Dot Matrix printers do not print at resolutions high enough to create barcodes that can be read by scanners. Direct thermal and thermal transfer printers are excellent for printing barcode labels one-at-a-time from a roll, and laser or inkjet printers are ideal for printing onto label sheets.

Advantages of Different Printers

While most any printer is capable of printing readable barcodes, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages for each. Standard laser and inkjet printers are excellent for printing barcodes onto label sheets, and this is usually the preferred method for tasks that include creating tags for retail or inventory purposes. Label roll printers are a better option in situations where shipping labels are being printed, or other labels with barcodes that will be printed one at a time.

Label roll printers are usually either thermal transfer or direct thermal printers, and there are some important differences that a potential buyer should be aware of before moving forward:

  • Direct Thermal printers are the most affordable label roll printers because they only require a label roll. The print head burns the printed image directly onto the labels.
  • Thermal Transfer printers produce the highest quality labels and require a label roll and film or ribbon roll because the print head first burns the image onto the film, and then the film is pressed onto the label. This type of heat transfer printing means the labels will more easily withstand potential damage from heat or pressure. Thermal transfer printers can also support direct thermal printing.
Determining which type of printer may be something of a challenge if you are not educated on the different types of printers, their strengths and weaknesses, or other factors. It is important to understand what you are purchasing, especially if you are interested in purchasing a printer online, because many manufacturers have strict return policies. We are here to help, and can provide invaluable insight into which printer may be the best to purchase, or whether you need to purchase a printer at all.

3 Responses

  1. A point of sale printer – more popularly known as a POS printer – is popular to most businesses.

  2. This is great. Can i print Plastic cards by any laser printer?

  3. No, you would need a specialized card printer to create identification cards. We have one model that we offer: http://www.idautomation.com/printers/card/zebra-p120.html

Comments are closed.