Nowadays most, if not all, businesses use a point of sale system for their transactions, which is why at some point in time, the demand for receipt printers took off. Now, if you are reading this, then you are probably looking for a receipt printer yourself.
Before we begin, it is important to keep in mind that there are several factors to consider when choosing the best receipt printer for your business.
Who are you?
First of all, you should consider your type of business in order to know what printer you are looking for. A fast paced business means that you will need to print out a large number of receipts in a short amount of time, while a business run in hot or humid areas would mean that you need a printer that uses plain paper instead of thermal paper which turns black when subjected to heat. Each of these businesses requires a different type of receipt printer to match their needs. So, just take a moment to think about what you want out of your printer.
Type of Printer
Currently, there are three available printing technologies; thermal, impact and inkjet. They all differ in printing speed, printing material used, type of paper used, print quality, price and maintenance costs.
Thermal printers print using heat; they burn the letters onto special thermal paper, that is extra sensitive to heat, using a hot printing head. This technique is very fast and quiet, making it suitable for retail businesses. Not to mention that the quality of the print is very high because no ink is used, which reduces print inconsistencies. One disadvantage is that since the paper is highly sensitive to heat, this receipt printer is not recommended for restaurants and businesses where heat is a strong element.
Impact printers, also known as Dot-Matrix printers, use a needle that strikes an ink-ribbon on plain paper; other than it being able to print on two plies at once, an impact printer works just fine in all temperatures; two advantages that make that receipt printer suitable for restaurants where usually a copy of the receipt is sent to the kitchen. However, impact printers are slower and louder than thermal ones. They also use ink, which starts to fade away before running out; needless to say, the quality of the print is relatively low as well.
Finally, there are inkjet printers. The normal household printers; they use ink cartridges to print, which takes time to heat up before printing. Furthermore, the ink needs to take time to dry up on the paper as well, or it might cause ink splotches; in spite of that, the print is usually of a high resolution.
As for the costs, impact printers are the cheapest among the three; followed by thermal printers and then inkjet printers.
However, keep in mind the cost of operation. Although impact printers are cheap, they require ink-ribbons which need to be frequently replaced because they tend to run out quickly; and while thermal printers don’t use ink, you will need to spend more on thermal paper than you would on normal paper. Inkjet uses ink as well but despite it lasts longer than ink-ribbons, cartridges are more expensive.
Another point is how much ink you will be using. More often than not, banks, retail stores, and other businesses have several logo prints in many places on the back of every receipt which uses a significant amount of ink. The amount of ink also depends on the type of receipts you will be providing. For example; detailed breakdowns require more ink than a simple list of products and prices. Thus, they are more expensive.
It all comes down to the average number of receipts you print, how much is in your budget for a receipt printer, and the price you are able to get for printer supplies.
Most importantly, when buying a receipt printer, you have to make sure that the printer not only connects to the cash drawer but also, is compatible to the point of sale system you are using in order to properly record and print all transaction data. When buying a printer, you will notice that most printers are compatible with all versions of Windows but, when it comes to Linux, IOS and Android, you will find that not everything works with them. Make sure that this is something you pay close attention to, otherwise you’ll end up paying for a printer you cannot use.
Generally, the highest quality printers are manufactured by Epson and Star; while TVs and Citizen are also among the best brands, their products are not as good.
Price-wise, Epson usually offers high-end products at a cheaper price than its competition. Second, there is Smart and Cool, which is not as good as Epson and Star, yet it offers very competitive prices.
Quality-wise, every brand has a type of printer which they excel in manufacturing. For thermal printers, it is best to buy a Star printer. While for Dot Matrix printers, Oki is one of the best brands.
There are also other features that comprise a good model such as; Bluetooth connectivity, the presence of a cutter, speed, efficiency, power consumption and compatibility with popular mobile applications like PayPal. Point being, don’t be fast to judge a printer based on quality and price only because what you need is an all-around good printer.
It might seem like a tough decision at first to pick out a receipt printer, but I promise you it is an easy process once you get some basics down. In short, before you head out shopping, make sure that you know what type of business you are running, the amount of money you have in the budget and the name of your point of sales software.
So, there you have it. A complete guide on how to choose receipt printer that would suit you the most so that you won’t have to waste money on frequently replacing your printer.