July 18, 2024

Buying Thermal Printer Supplies: Factors that Influence Your Choice

barcode label printer

If you are like other business owners, you have probably invested in thermal printers to handle your barcode printing. With this in mind, you must take your time learning the proper ways to feed the printers. Choosing the right TSC thermal printer supplies can be confusing; however, you can always rely on experts for assistance. 

The correct supplies will produce quality output and prolong the life of your thermal printer. But the wrong ones do the opposite. For instance, low-quality thermal printer ribbons will snap easily, leading to a mess inside the machine and the downtime to make repairs and replacements. In addition, trying to save money on printer supplies can result in poor-quality prints. You will end up with scratched or smeared barcode labels. The initial savings will not cover the cost of replacing supplies, repairing your printer, going through downtime, and reprinting the labels. To make sure you control your investor, purchase printer supplies that can give the best return on your investment. Here are factors that must influence your purchase:

The Kind of Thermal Printer You Have

Does your thermal printer use direct therapy technology or a thermal transfer? Direct thermal printers utilize a special paper that reacts to heat. This paper should not be used for printing on synthetic materials such as polypropylene. Meanwhile, thermal transfer printers accept different media and produce durable barcode labels. They are recommended for most clients due to their durability. 

Kind of Ribbons to Use

Your barcode label’s function dictates the kind of thermal transfer printer ribbon to use. Unlike direct thermal printers that do not require the use of ribbons, thermal transfer printers can take wax, resin, or wax/resin. If your barcode label has little or no exposure to chemicals, UV rays, and moisture, you can invest in a wax ribbon. Go for a resin ribbon for printing a synthetic material for your labels and tags that tend to get exposed to abrasives and chemicals. Lastly, wax/resin ribbon is ideal for producing durable labels on synthetic media.

Kind of Media to Use

There is a wide range of facestock options to choose from. You must consider whether the labels are used indoors or outdoors if affixed to items stored under extreme temperatures. Also, tell your supplier if the labels should withstand chemical exposure and moisture. 

Printer Speed

Did you know that some ribbons and facestocks are not made to print at high speeds? Thermal printers that run at over 12 inches per second come with special requirements for facestock and ribbons. Make sure to consult your supplier on such applications. 

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