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Choosing the Right Thermal Label Printer

Thermal label printers are helpful for businesses that are printing high-quality images onto a variety of materials. These label printers use technology that helps you get superior barcodes and labels for all of your supplies and mailings. You also have the ability to print on material other than paper, making these label printers versatile enough for any business needs.

How are direct thermal and thermal transfer printers different?

In both direct and transfer label printers, a printer head heats up the surface of the material for application. While thermal transfer label printers use a heated ribbon to produce an image, the direct printer creates the image right on the material without the use of a ribbon. The thermal transfer printer produces images that are longer-lasting, while the direct thermal printers produce images that are more sensitive to light and heat.

What are some of the benefits of thermal label printers?

Thermal label printing, whether through direct or transfer technology, has a lot of benefits for a variety of business printing jobs.

  • Offers variety: Allows you to print images on a variety of mediums beyond plain copy paper, including shipping labels, receipts, tickets and patient identification wristbands.
  • Does not bleed: Images created using thermal printers do not bleed as often.
  • Edge definition: Creates high-quality images with an edge definition that is ideal for barcode labels. These printers use tight tolerances to make accurate bar widths that are necessary for successful barcode labels.

What is the difference between wax-based and resin-based ink?

Thermal transfer label printers all use ribbons to produce an image on the material of your choice, but there are three different types of inks available for your printer. Choosing the right one depends on the applications you plan on using your thermal label printer for.

  • Wax: This ink is usually used for printing long-lasting images onto paper labels. Images printed with this type need to be protected from moisture, chemicals and oils in order to last a long time.
  • Wax-Resin: This type works well on smooth and coated paper labels to create a refined image. This type of ink also produces labels that are more durable than ones made with wax.
  • Pure Resin: When you need the most durable label, pure resin is the thermal ink type for you. However, these types of ink are not for printing on paper, but are compatible with vinyl, polypropylene and polyester labels.