Do Thermal Printers Use Ink?

Do Thermal Printers Use Ink?

Do thermal printers use ink? 

The short answer to this question is no. Thermal printers do not use ink or toner.

How do they work?

Let's get in to how thermal printers actually work. Thermal printers work by creating the image on paper using heat. The process heats the thermal paper with a special dye coating that turns black when it is heated. You can only use special direct thermal labels to print on a thermal printer.


The advantages of using no ink or toner are obviously how much cost you will save over time when you do not have to purchase those materials. This is one of the biggest advantages of a thermal printer, that you do not have to worry about this.


Some of the disadvantages of this is that you can only use thermal paper when using thermal printers and those are more expensive than regular printing paper. However, if you use printers that use non-proprietary labels like the FreeX thermal printer then you will be able to find cheaper options for thermal labels online. Another disadvantage is that thermal labels stay heat-sensitive meaning if they are exposed to extra heat they might lose their quality or appearance.

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