Just buying an ordinary home printer for the PC can be a daunting enough task. When you thinking of buying a barcode printer for your business, and its features need to match the exact requirements of your services and the restrictions of your budget, the choices available can seem a bit of a nightmare. Does it really matter whether your barcode printer is direct thermal or a thermal transfer printer. Well, yes very much so and this article aims to demystify some of the jargon to make your next purchase a quality cost effective buy. L.ets take the main differences of the two types of printer separately
Thermal transfer Printers
First of all Thermal transfer printers. These printers use a special carbon ribbon to print. The ribbons can be different colours so you are not limited to black. When the ribbon is heated it is transferred onto the substrate creating print which is both crisp and durable. This is especially useful when creating high density barcodes as the lines within the graphic need to be clear and succinct. The other great benefit of thermal transfer printers is the variety of materials they can actually print on. They enable printing on paper, film and foil substrates. This again is a great feature if you are needing to create barcodes on a variety of packaging types.
Direct thermal transfer printers
Direct thermal transfer printers on the other hand, and as their name probably implies, are a lot simpler. No ribbon is involved because they use heat activated paper and films. Printing is not likely to be so crisp, and durability is not so good. Overtime the barcode labels will eventually darken when subjected to heat and sunlight. also they only print in black.
The first obvious benefit is the direct thermal printer is cheaper than its rival. Also it comes into its own when there is no great need either for high density barcode labels or durability. For instance, direct thermal printers are very popular in the food industry because food is stored away from direct sunlight.
So to summarise the thermal transfer label printer clearly offers more options and a more robust barcode at the end of the process. however think carefully about what use you will be putting the barcode label printer to. do you really need printer to print every colour in the rainbow? Do they have to be high density barcode labels? Is there a need for a durability? This could be a time to really give your budget a boost.
At Tanto Labels we supply everything to do with barcode labels and barcode label printers. To view all our products and services view our menu on the left or visit our main site.