How to Choose the Right Barcode Printer

Implementing a barcoding system can be an invaluable part of any successful business. It can make the work of the retailer, management, and the employees easier. In return, they can give better service to the customers and focus more on keeping the clients happy.

Barcodes have proven to be useful in various types of business ventures. It makes inventory management easier for everyone involved as scanning the barcodes using handheld scanners makes inventory count quicker and more accurate. It can also be used to better track documents and assets, and monitor field employees. Combined all of these benefits lead to increased sales and improved profits.

Are you already planning to use barcodes in your business, but don’t know how? The answer lies in barcode software programs and barcode printers. Here are some barcode solutions for you:

Dot matrix printers are the most common barcode solutions. Dot matrix was the first ever method used in making barcodes, and it is still sometimes used today because it is readily accessible and relatively inexpensive. It also uses multi-pass ribbons that are generally cheaper than toners or inks.

Ribbons should always be monitored because as the ribbon wears down, the contrast of the printed labels get affected. In barcode systems, the color contrast is very important in order for the barcode scanner to decode the barcode accurately. Bleeding, caused by ink saturation, can also affect the quality of the barcode. A limitation of the dot matrix label maker is that it is difficult to produce small barcodes due to the limitations of the dot-size of the printer. Also, it can only print on paper so the labels are not that durable.

Another barcode solution is the ink-jet printer. This type of printer is also relatively inexpensive and papers with adhesives (sticker papers) are readily available in many stores. However, ink-jet printers print very slowly. Aside from that, the printer itself is less durable to dust, dirt, vibration, and other environmental factors, and there is a very limited number of barcode software that support ink jet printers.

Laser printers are better barcode solutions. They act like a photocopier, which means they are able to print fast. Also, laser printers print with high resolution and high density resulting in a high-quality image. This type of printer is often the choice when documents with barcodes need to be printed.

A disadvantage of laser printers is the cost of supplies. Laser printers use up a lot of black toner when used as barcode label makers. Also, it cannot print on chemical and water-resistant paper so the labels are also less durable.

Thermal printers have special functions that can be used to print single, individual labels rather than by batch or sheet. This eliminates the need of printing extra labels, such as is often needed with dot matrix or laser printers, which can save you money on supplies.

Among the barcode solutions already mentioned, thermal printers are generally the only barcode label maker that is capable of individual label printing. Thermal printers also produce high-quality barcode labels at a low cost, since the only printing supply it needs is the special thermo-sensitive paper to be used. One downside of thermal printers is that the labels produced are sensitive to heat and light, and can fade after 6-8 months.

The most important advantage of thermal printers is that they can be synchronized with point of sale software. Thermal printers can interact with POS programs to print product information such as model number, price, and product names or short descriptions.

Overall, the thermal barcode printer is the most efficient to use because it is specifically made for barcode printing, and with thermal printer prices now being relatively inexpensive they are the best choice for businesses looking to print durable, fast speed barcode labels.