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thermal printer vs inkjet printer

thermal printer vs inkjet printer

Comparing thermal printer and inkjet printer based on the features of each will help you to buy and prepare the best and most effective model according to your needs. These devices may be used anywhere and have different efficiency and type of printing; Therefore, you should be aware of the characteristics of each of them.

An overview of all types of printers

Printers are classified into two general categories: thermal and inkjet. At first glance, the main difference between these two models is felt in the type and quality of their printing; But in other fields, you can find differences between them, knowing about these fields will help you to get the most suitable type to do your work and meet your needs.

Printers are known as very functional and useful devices and they provide their services in very wide areas, from offices and schools to large stores, in many homes, some small centers, etc., they can be seen prominently. To get to know more about these small machines, we will try to introduce you to them more in the form of comparing thermal printers and inkjet printers. First, let’s get some information about each model.

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1. Thermal printers

The name of this type of device clearly represents the type of their printing technology. Thermal printers work based on heat to transfer text and images onto paper; So there is no ink and toner in them and instead you can see thermal papers or solid inks in them.

thermal printers

Types of thermal printers

Printers that play their role with the help of heat are classified into two general categories, which are:

  •  Invoice printer
  •  Label printer

Both of these models can be used in different fields and you have seen them in spaces such as banks, large chain stores and smaller stores, small and large medical centers from multiple clinics to very large hospitals, various retail stores, the airline industry and many others. Another category of thermal printers can also be mentioned, which form two main classes and include:

  •  Direct thermal printer
  •  Heat transfer printer

It may be said that the first point in comparing thermal printer and inkjet printer is to know the outstanding point of using thermal printers in their cost-effectiveness.

Also read: Thermal Printer Complete Overview

2. Inkjet printers

Inkjets are a type of very widely used printers that are also known as digital printers. As you can tell from their name, the work axis of this class of machines is based on the use of ink, which is used to print labels, images, photos and graphics on paper. The work output of these devices is of high quality and resolution, and for this reason, they are very popular among their customers and users. The above devices with their light weight have appreciable print quality and it can be said that considering that these printers do not need to establish a connection between the device and the printed materials to fulfill their role, it is possible to use them for printing on any surface. which is a big advantage for inkjet printers.

Inkjet printers

Also Read : portable printer Shopping Guide in Dubai

Types of inkjet printers

These types of devices are also available in three different models, which are:

  •  Single-use
  •  Multifunctional
  •  Jack of all trades

Advantages & disadvantages of thermal and inkjet printers

Every industrial device of any size and function has some special features that can be classified as advantages or weaknesses and defects. Thermal and inkjet printers can also be evaluated and compared from this point of view. You can see the advantages and disadvantages of each of them by comparing the thermal printer and the inkjet printer in the table below.

FeatureThermal PrinterInkjet Printer
Printing TechnologyUses heat to print images or text on paperUses ink to print labels, images, and graphics
Print QualityLowHigh
Range of Colors UsedCan print fewer colorsCapable of a wide range of colors
Image DurabilityLowHigh
Printing CostLowHigh
Type of Paper UsedRegular paperThick and glossy paper
Printing SpeedHighLow
Device SensitivityLowHigh
Quality and Sensitivity of EquipmentLowHigh
Printing CapabilitiesText and imagesText and images
Color CartridgeInk cartridgeToner cartridge
Device LifespanLong and durableShort
Application FieldsOffices, government and private institutions, companies, various stores, pharmacies, various medical centers, etc.Home use, retail, companies, and advertising agencies

usage of thermal and inkjet printers

In general, the application fields of printers are very similar and in most cases they are used in the same fields. However, we mention the uses of each separately:

A. Application of thermal printer

The main field of activity of this type of device is the printing of many and various cards, inserting barcodes, printing all kinds of labels and tags, especially for inserting on various products. Fish printer models can be used to print various and very different types of labels; Such as shipping labels, inserting signs and identification marks, printing receipts and store invoices, all kinds of labels and similar things.

Looking at the comparison of thermal printer and inkjet printer, it can be said that these devices are used in many industries due to their low consumption, high speed and portability, including the following:

  •  Logistics and transportation affairs
  •  Construction industry: In this field, they are used to print compliance labels and maintain parts.
  •  In medical and health matters: printing of patients’ wristbands, labels of laboratory samples, drug prescriptions in the pharmacy and their classification are used.
  •  Small shops and retail stores

Application of thermal printer

b. Inkjet printer applications

The mentioned printers, which have high-quality printing capabilities, are used in many fields such as home operations, offices and small companies, commercial printing and publishing institutions and centers, preparation and printing of various advertising brochures, information and many other cases.
The fields of use of inkjet devices include interior design, tailoring and similar products, floor covering printing, fabric production, all types of wall paper, in transportation, and furniture making.

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Comparison of printers according to mechanism

Another thing that helps to compare the thermal printer and the inkjet printer and forms the basis of their difference is the way they work. In the following, we will try to explain the function of each of them with a short explanation in simple language:

A. Performance of thermal printers

  • These devices use a thermal head to print texts, photos, and black images, which can be identified as a thermal printer head and is pressed onto a medium.
  • The function of this part is that the printer head, which is heated by heat, gets the ability to do two things. It activates the head or special chemical papers that are in the machine, and their name is thermal paper, or it takes the help of solid ink and transfers it from a ribbon to stick to the environment; Of course, this part depends on the type of printer.
  • Thermal papers become sensitive to the heat of the head and start turning black in response to it, while producing or printing the desired image or text.

Performance of thermal printers

b. The performance of inkjet printers

In explaining how these printers work, it can be said that they spray ink (about a thousand drops) on paper. After that, they create a combination of colors, images and texts. In both mentioned stages, it is possible to change the amount of ink or mixed colors so that the user can maneuver to reach the level of quality, clarity, and realism expected.

Compare printers in terms of price

The comparison of thermal printer and inkjet printer in terms of price leads us to a general assessment, and that is that, in total, the price of printing devices that operate using thermal methods, compared to the types that use ink, is at a higher level. contract.
One of the most important reasons for this difference should be related to the requirements of this type of printer; Because they use special tapes to work, which costs more. While inkjets work with the help of standard ink cartridges.
However, it should be noted that the high price of ribbons in a thermal type printer should be evaluated in addition to their 10-year lifespan, which may seem suitable for some people or institutions and organizations, as well as according to some conditions.

Thermal printers papper

Do thermal printers need special paper?

As explained in the thermal device performance section, these printers need a special type of chemical paper called thermal paper to do their work.

Is the thermal printer able to print in color?

These types of printers can print in color; But in general, by comparing thermal printer and inkjet printer, it can be pointed out that thermal devices have less color printing and their quality is not so significant.

Is the thermal printer able to print in color

FAQ – thermal printer vs inkjet printer

Considering the features of these two devices, it must be said that their most obvious and main difference is their way of functioning.

The comparison of thermal printer and inkjet printer shows that the printing speed is higher in all types of thermal printers than inkjet printers; But this comparison in the print quality section shows a completely opposite and different result.

Thermal printers use thermal power and heat to print; But the performance of inkjet devices is based on their use of standard ink cartridges.

Despite the differences between these two types of printers, they have similar applications and are used in printing all kinds of labels and tags, printing invoices and receipts, sorting parts, supplies, and medicines.

The price comparison of these devices shows that the type of thermal printers have a higher price due to the use of some special and expensive equipment such as: ribbons.

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