Label printing is a great way to get your products and packages noticed. However, as a business, finding the most effective method of printing labels is important.
Thermal label printers are growing in popularity for several reasons which we will discuss in this post.
We will cover thermal label printers, how they differ from regular printers and some benefits of using them, and by the end of this post, you will be able to decide if thermal label printers are a good choice for your business.
What Is a Thermal Label Printer?
A thermal label printer is a type of printer that uses heat to transfer ink onto labels. Thermal printers are different from regular printers because they typically don’t use ribbons and bonds.
Thermal printers use a heated print head to print on special heat-sensitive labels or special paper known as thermal paper. This makes them ideal for printing labels on-demand because they require minimal setup time.
Thermal printers are available in various sizes, from desktop models to industrial models and can produce several types of materials such as labels, receipts, barcodes, and even ID badges.
How Does a Thermal Label Printer Work?
Thermal printers use two main mechanisms: direct thermal and thermal transfer.
Direct Thermal Printers
Direct thermal printers use a heat-sensitive label that turns black when heated.
This type of printer does not require any ribbon or ink and is typically used for short-term printing such as receipts, boarding passes, and labels that will be exposed to sunlight or other elements that can cause the label to fade.
Thermal Transfer Printers
Thermal transfer printers use a ribbon heated by the print head and then transferred to the label.
Thermal transfer ribbons come in several colours, including black, white, silver, and gold.
This printer is typically used for long-term printing because the ribbon protects the label from fading.
Thermal transfer printers are also more versatile because they can print on several materials such as paper, plastic, and even metal.
Thermal Label Printers VS Ink Jet Printers
Now that we know what a thermal label printer is, let’s compare it to a regular inkjet printer.
The main difference between the two is the type of printing technology they use. Here are some key differences to take note of:
- Mechanism: Thermal printers use heat to transfer images onto labels, while inkjet printers use liquid ink cartridges.
- Speed: Thermal printers are faster than inkjet printers because they don’t have to wait for the ink to dry.
- Cost: Thermal printers are more expensive than inkjet printers because they use more specialized equipment that can be harder to find if repairs are necessary.
- Durability: Thermal printers are more durable than inkjet printers because they don’t have moving parts that can be damaged.
- Power: Thermal printers are powered by either electricity or batteries, while inkjet printers are mostly powered by electricity only.
- Applications: Thermal printers can be used for printing labels, receipts, and barcodes, while inkjet printers have a wider range of applications such as photos, flyers, and documents.
- Space: Thermal printers are usually smaller than inkjet printers.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Thermal Label Printer?
Here are some reasons you should consider using thermal label printers:
1) Thermal printers are fast and efficient
Thermal printers don’t have to wait for the ink to dry, so they can print labels much faster than inkjet printers which makes them ideal for busy businesses that need to print a lot of labels in a short amount of time.
2) Thermal printers are more durable
Thermal printers don’t have moving parts that can be damaged, so they are more durable than inkjet printers, and they are great for printing labels in harsh environments or if there is a need to transport the printer frequently.
3) Thermal printers don’t require ink
Thermal printers use heat to transfer images onto labels, so they don’t require ink cartridges, which makes them more affordable to operate in the long run and helps businesses save money on printing costs.
Thermal printers are also more environmentally friendly because they produce less waste from empty ink cartridges.
4) Thermal printers are versatile
Thermal printers can print on various materials such as paper, plastic, nylon, polyester, vinyl, and other composite materials. These printers are great for businesses that need to print labels for products that will be exposed to sunlight or other elements that can cause the label to fade.
Thermal printers are also more versatile because they can print in a variety of colours, including black, white, silver, and gold which is perfect for printing labels with intricate designs or colour-coded products.
Business owners can use them to print shipping labels, receipts, and barcodes to track their inventory.
Additionally, they can be powered by either electricity or batteries, which allows users to transport their printers frequently or print labels in remote locations.
5) Thermal printers can connect to several devices
Users can connect thermal printers to computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets via Bluetooth or a USB cable which is excellent for printing labels from multiple devices.
Additionally, thermal printers can be used with various software programs that make label printing easy and efficient.
6) Thermal printers produce high-quality prints
Thermal printers use a direct thermal printing process that produces high-quality prints that are resistant to fading and smudging, making them ideal for printing labels with fine details.
7) Thermal printers use less energy
Thermal printers use less energy than inkjet printers because they don’t have to heat the ink in order to print.
Using less energy means that thermal printers are more environmentally friendly and can help businesses save money on their energy bills which will save a lot of money in the long run.
Thermal printers are an essential piece of equipment for businesses that need to print labels quickly and efficiently.