Direct thermal vs. thermal transfer


barcode printer is a valuable investment for any business that relies on data collection. For consistent quality and performance, choose a thermal printer because they are specially designed to print labels and barcodeswhile inkjet or laser printers simply cannot provide the required quality and durability. Thermal printers use one of two types of printing technology: direct thermal or thermal transferThese thermal printing options are the first step in ensuring that your inventory is properly labeled. 

Which printer is right for you? 

The decision depends on demandWhat type of labels and stickers will you produce and, more importantlywhere will they be used? To be able to choose between thermal transfer and direct thermal transfer printers, you need to understand what they can provide 

Direct Thermal Printer (DT) 

A direct thermal printer uses a print head that heats up and then comes into contact with a chemically treated substrate that reacts to this heatcausing a color change. Direct thermal media is very sensitive to light, so if you need temporary labels or receiptsthis printer is an economical choice because it is less expensive and does not require the use of ink, toner or ribbonWith fewer parts, it is easier to maintain than a thermal transfer printer. However, a direct thermal print headwhich is an expensive part, has a shorter life because it is in direct contact with the media. 

Thermal Transfer (TT) 

This two-step printing process applies heat from the print head to a ribbonwhich then transfers the image to the media. Ribbons are available in three types: wax, resin and wax/resin. A wax ribbon is suitable for printing on paper media with little or no exposure to light, chemicals or moisture. A resin ribbon is designed to print on synthetic materials to produce labels that are resistant to chemicals and abrasives. The wax/resin ribbon produces the most durable label on a synthetic substrate. 

Thermal transfer printers require a ribbonwhich is an additional cost, but they provide a more durable barcode or label.
Before investing in a thermal printer, talk to our specialistsWe will ensure that the printer meets your needs so that you have a durable solution. 

Do you need advice on choosing your product? Call our specialists at +32 (0)4 224 99 99, from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.