Need a receipt printer but baffled by the variety of types and models? This article will take a look at the different types and explain which types are suitable for which environments so that you can make an easy and informed decision.
There are 3 main types of receipt printers.
thermal receipt printer
Thermal printers are currently the most popular receipt printers because they are the most reliable and easiest to use because they do not require ink or ribbon. This technology relies on chemically treated paper that is sensitive to heat. The Samsung printer support creates text and graphics by heating the paper through holes in the print head. Thermal printers are also considered the fastest type of receipt printer, printing up to 250 mm sec, making them well-suited for high-turnover environments such as supermarkets and high-street retail stores.
One downside of technology-induced thermal receipts is that they fade in sunlight and turn black and unreadable when exposed to heat. Therefore, thermal receipts are unreliable in businesses where regulations require receipts to be readable for long periods of time. Some high-end models can use special paper to achieve dual colors, but the results can be disappointing, and this technology is now seldom used.
Thermal receipt printers are generally recommended for high turnover/general retail and hospitality fronts of the house.
These types of printers usually require a ribbon to hold the ink in, like a typewriter and use an impact mechanism that pushes the ribbon through the characters onto the paper. Some printing devices can use media with embedded ink microcapsules that rupture on impact, eliminating the need for a ribbon. Impact printers are easily identifiable because they are much noisier than other types of printers and are usually considerably slower than thermal printers. Impact printers are the type that usually offers models with 2- and 3-ply paper or a second roll for auditing purposes. In recent years, in most environments, these types of printers have been replaced by thermal printers because they are faster and require no consumables other than paper.
In certain markets, impact printers still dominate, as in the banking and gaming industries. Impact printers also tend to be used in restaurant kitchens because thermal receipts are easily erased by heat. Some industries, such as banking and gaming, have regulations about certain types of receipts and how long they must be readable. Ink-based receipts are standard in these industries because they last much longer than thermal transfer receipts. Ribbons come in a variety of colors such as purple, black, red, and double red/black, with the latter ribbon used to highlight certain transaction types, such as red refunds.
Impact receipt printers are recommended for kitchen, banking, gaming, low-turnover retail, and hospitality environments.
Inkjet receipt printer.
Inkjet printers are considered the successor to impact printers because they also use ink but provide excellent print quality. Most inkjet printers can print with two-color ink cartridges, usually a mixture of black, green, red, and blue. Businesses invest a lot of time and resources in brand awareness, and using color is a popular way to do it. This technology can also be put to good use by printing colorful advertisements or promotions on receipts to entice customers to return.