How to Select the Best Thermal Printer

Best Thermal Printer

Thermal printers are a great option if you’re looking for a reliable, efficient, cost-effective way to print documents. They are faster than traditional inkjet and laser printers and provide a high-quality print that won’t fade over time. But with so many different types of thermal printers on the market, it cannot be easy to know which one is right for you. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to find the best thermal printer for your needs.

Things to Consider When Selecting a Thermal Printer

Below are some tips to follow when buying a new thermal printer:

What is the Printing Process?

Three methods are available for printing with a thermal label printer. These are inkjet printing, thermal transfer printing, and direct thermal printing.

1 – Thermal Transfer Printing

In thermal transfer printing, heat is used to transfer an image from a thermal transfer ribbon made of resin and wax to the canvas.

2 – Direct Thermal Printing

On the other hand, involves the direct application of heat to a label. This causes the ink on the label to be activated, thus producing an image.

Photo by George Milton:

3 – Inkjet Printing

The last method is inkjet printing, the process of producing an image using ink dots. Unfortunately, these dots can blur the image. Therefore, a thermal label printer that uses the inkjet print method is likely not the best choice.

Printer Connectivity

Will the thermal barcode label printer be kept in one place, or is a mobile printer needed? Is a network, USB, serial or parallel port essential to wire it? Confirm that the chosen printer can connect to the present network.

Software for Labels

The software of a thermal label printer is as important as the hardware. You can buy a cheap printer and later find out that the software is more expensive than the printer. As a result, you should evaluate the software cost plan. Preferably, pick a printer that comes with a full version of its software. Full-version software is ideal because it can be employed to manage many printers as long as they have the same hardware.

What Printing Resolution do you Need?

When selecting a thermal printer, you should consider the printing resolution. Barcodes require clarity for scanning and reading, so you should pay attention to the number of dots per inch (dpi) the printer offers.

Photo by Fernando Arcos:

Dpi can range from 203 to 300 or even 600 for special applications. The higher the resolution, the clearer the barcode will be. You may not need a high-resolution printer for large barcodes, but it’s worth investing in a higher-resolution model for 2D barcodes, fine fonts, or detailed graphics.

Printer Compatibility

Ensure that the printer is compatible with your organization’s software, network, drivers, and devices.

How Many Labels are you Printing a Week?

If you are printing many labels, look for an industrial printer. Low-cost printers may have similar specs and speeds, but they are designed to handle something other than high-volume printing.

What is the Use of Labels?

The type of printer you should purchase depends on the purpose of your label. For labels that won’t have to last long, a direct thermal printer is the best choice. A direct thermal printer is not recommended for labels that need to last long.

What is the Maximum Label Size that a Printer Can Handle?

Small printers usually accommodate labels up to four inches in width, while larger units can take rolls or sheets of labels smaller than the maximum width. If you need to print more comprehensive labels, you might get more use from the larger printer.

Do you Have a Specific Font to Use while Printing?

When selecting a printer, the font also has a significant influence. If you need to print small fonts, you should get a printer with a higher resolution. The minimum resolution for high-quality printing is 600 dpi, but you can also get good results with 300 dpi. Before buying a printer, make sure to ask for a sample.


In conclusion, thermal printers are a great way to get high-quality prints quickly and efficiently. Before selecting a printer, it’s important to consider your budget, print speed, the types of media you’ll be printing on, and the features you need. By taking all of these factors into account, you’ll be able to find the best thermal printer for your needs and get the most out of it. With the right printer, you’ll have a reliable, cost-effective, and efficient way to print documents.

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