People who work in shipping and logistics probably know about thermal printers. They’re often used for printing shipping labels because they’re the most cost-effective option that still offers a high level of readability and quality.
Thermal printers are also one of the most versatile devices you can use to print labels that can be applied directly to boxes or other shipping materials. With so many different models on the market, though, it can be hard to figure out which ones are the best for your unique needs.
In this article, we provide an overview of thermal label printers and what they have to offer. You’ll learn about some of their primary uses and some factors to consider when shopping for your personal or business device.
What is a Thermal Printer?
A thermal printer is a device that uses heat to transfer ink or toner onto a surface. Thermal printers have many uses in modern business settings, such as making shipping labels, coupons, and ID badges.
There are two types of thermal printers – direct thermal and thermal transfer. Direct thermal printers use special paper that is either wax-coated or has a carbon transfer layer. Meanwhile, thermal transfer printers use heat-sensitive ribbons that transfer ink directly onto the paper. Both types of printers are used for shipping labels because of their reliability and ease of use.
Direct thermal printers also use special paper that has a carbon transfer layer. As the print head passes over the paper, it transfers the image from the printer to the paper.
On the other hand, thermal transfer printers use heat-sensitive ribbons to transfer the image from the printer onto the paper. The ribbon is coated in wax-based ink that melts when heated.
The ribbon passes between the paper and the print head, where it is heated to a point just short of vaporization. The heat transfers the ink from the ribbon to the paper.
What Do Thermal Printers Print?
You may already use a thermal printer for various everyday business tasks, such as printing shipping labels, coupons, and inventory tags. These types of printers are used in shipping and logistics because they are so versatile and easy to use, and more and more companies are choosing them as their go-to label printer.
Thermal printers are best for printing labels with barcodes, graphics, and text. They’re usually not the best option if you need to print full-color images. You can use thermal printers to print labels like those on a mailing envelope, with room for a name and address, a barcode, and other necessary information.
Thermal printers are also great for printing out inventory tags that can be attached to boxes and other shipping materials.
How to Find the Best Thermal Printer for Your Needs
The best thermal printer for you depends on your specific needs. Here are a few things you should consider as you shop for a thermal printer:
- What do you need it for?
- What kind of paper will you be using?
- How much space do you have available?
- What print speed do you need?
- What features do you need to be included?
With these questions in mind, you can narrow your options and make an informed decision. Once you’ve decided on a model, you can use this buying guide to determine which particular features best meet your needs.
Brands You Can Trust
Whether you’re shopping for a printer for personal use or your business, it’s essential to find a model that offers the features and performance you’re looking for. Luckily, many different thermal label printers are available, including some that are incredibly high quality and can last for years.
DYMO LabelWriter 4XL
The DYMO LabelWriter 4XL is a highly versatile label printer that can be used to print both thermal and regular labels. This makes it an excellent option for warehouses or shipping departments that may need to print regular labels occasionally. This printer is designed to print up to 4″ wide x 8″ high labels, making it perfect for shipping labels.
This can also print at an impressive speed of up to 107 mm per second, making it a fast printer. This means that you can print high-quality shipping labels very quickly to get your shipments out the door on time. It has a built-in memory that can store up to 100 different label formats, making it very convenient. All you have to do is select the appropriate format, and the printer will do the rest.
Furthermore, the DYMO LabelWriter 4XL uses a standard thermal label, which means you can easily find replacement labels to use with it. It is a great printer, but it’s not the best option for every business. If you need a thermal printer that can print large format labels, this printer may not be suitable for you. It can only print labels that are 4″ wide or less.
The HL-L8350CDW is a large-format printer that’s great for printing shipping labels, product labels, and other types of tags and signage. It has a touch screen and a built-in cutter and can print at speeds up to 33 inches per second.
The Brother HL-L8350CDW can print on a variety of different materials, including synthetic fabrics and synthetic papers. It has an ethernet connection and built-in WIFI and comes with a one-year warranty.
This printer is superb for offices that need to print large items like signs and smaller items like shipping labels. It’s compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems, making it easy to install and use in a variety of industries.
This printer doesn’t use ink, so you don’t have to worry about refilling and replacing cartridges. It has a large paper capacity, so you can print large items without having to reload paper frequently.
Overall, the Brother HL-L8350CDW is a good choice for offices that need a large-format printer that can print on various materials.
Rollo Wireless Printer X1040
The Rollo Wireless Printer X1040 is a thermal printer designed for various labeling applications. It can print labels up to 4″ wide x 8″ high, making it great for shipping applications, but it can also be used for other labeling needs such as inventory management. This printer uses a roll of thermal paper to create labels, which gives you a lot of versatility.
You can choose the type of thermal paper you want to use, which means you can customize your labels depending on the needs of your business. You can also use different types of paper with the same printer because each roll can be used for long periods of time. This printer is very fast, which is helpful if you need to print a lot of shipping labels quickly. It can print labels at around 106 mm per second, so you’ll get your shipments out the door fast.
The Rollo Wireless Printer X1040 has a few drawbacks that make it less than ideal for some businesses. This printer may not be the best option for you if you need to print many different labels. It can only print labels that are 4″ wide x 8″ high.
The MUNBYN Thermal Label Printer ITPP941 is a tabletop thermal printer designed for various labeling applications. It can print labels that are up to 4″ wide x 8″ high, which makes it a good choice for shipping applications, but it can also be used for inventory management and other labeling needs.
This printer uses thermal paper to create labels, which gives you a lot of versatility. You can choose the type of thermal paper you want to use, which means you can customize your labels depending on the needs of your business.
This printer can also use different types of paper on the same roll, which makes it even more flexible. This printer is very fast, which is helpful if you need to print a lot of shipping labels quickly. It can print labels at around 170 mm per second, so you can quickly get your shipments out the door.
The MUNBYN Thermal Label Printer ITPP941 has a few drawbacks that make it less than ideal for some businesses. If you print many different types of labels, this printer may not be the best option for you. It can only print labels that are 4″ wide x 8″ high.
Zebra GT Series
Zebra is one of the most well-known brands in the industry for a reason. They offer a wide variety of industrial-grade printers, including their GT series of direct thermal printers. The GT series is designed for heavy-duty use, with some models able to print as many as 150,000 labels with one refill of their thermal paper roll.
This model also has built-in Ethernet connectivity, which makes it easy to integrate into your existing shipping system. These printers are designed with reliability in mind and come with a two-year warranty as standard.
Zebra’s printers are also Energy Star certified, so they’re designed to be as eco-friendly as possible while still providing a high level of performance. They’re also designed to be compatible with a wide variety of different label types and sizes, ranging from extra-small address labels to large shipping labels.
All these printers come with free apps for iOS and Android devices, making it easy to print labels on the go. These printers are also compatible with various third-party applications, including various software solutions.
Overall, Zebra’s thermal printers are trusted brands that have been used in shipping and logistics environments for years. They’re designed for heavy-duty use and can provide years of reliable performance.
A thermal printer is an excellent option for any business that needs to print shipping labels on a regular basis. Thermal printers are designed to print labels quickly and easily, making them perfect for businesses that need to get their shipments out the door quickly.
There are several types of thermal printers on the market, but not all of them are designed specifically for shipping labels. By understanding the features that make a thermal printer perfect for shipping labels, you can find the right one for your business needs.