Thermal Printers vs. Inkjet Printers

Thermal Printers vs. Inkjet Printers

Thermal Printer vs Inkjet Printer

Printers can make life so much easier and it is important to know which type of printer is right for you. We will discuss the difference between thermal and Inkjet printers and which one is best for which needs.

What is a Thermal Printer? 

Thermal printers are printers that use heat to transfer heat on thermal paper. Thermal printers do not require ink or toner, thus saving a lot of costs in the long run. They are ideal for printing shipping labels or stickers.

Thermal Printer Advantages

There are many advantages to thermal printers. They are convenient, save costs, are high speed and durable.

  1. Convenience: The labels come out fast, the perfect size and all you need to do it peel it off and stick it on. Printers like the FreeX thermal printer have wireless capabilities. This makes it even more convenient for its users since you can print through a WiFi connection and not a USB cord.
  2. Cut Cost Over Time: You do not need to purchase ink or toner, and those costs add up. You can find very affordable thermal paper online if your printer is non-proprietary like the FreeX WiFi SuperRoll Thermal Printer.
  3. High speed printing: The normal speed for thermal printer is about 150mm/s but there are some printers that have higher speed like the FreeX Thermal printer which prints at 170mm/s.
  4. More durable: Thermal printers are way more durable than regular printers because they have a simpler design and less moving parts.This means a thermal printer will likely last you way longer and you won't have to replace it as soon as a regular printer.

    Thermal Printer Disadvantages

    Despite all its benefits, thermal printers also have some downfalls. They are more expensive than regular printers, they have color limitations when printing, and sometimes there are problems regarding the labels.

    1. Higher Cost: More expensive than regular printers and you need to purchase paper which is more expensive than regular printing paper. On top of that, because of the high heat, there is a chance of damage to the print head overtime which results in additive costs.
    2. Color Limitations: Usually thermal printers do not have as many color options and they ones they do have are less vibrant and pigmented.
    3. Labels: Thermal labels remain heat-sensitive after printing which means if there is enough heat exposure the printer paper will get darker over time. Also, the thermal labels can degrade from human touch. The warmth of the human body will damage the print and can cause imprints.

    What is an Inkjet Printer?

    Inkjet printers use ink to print text, graphics and images on many types of paper. They are the most common for homes and small offices. They can be used to print anything. Some popular brands of Inkjet printers HP, Canon, and Epson.

    Inkjet Printer Advantages

    There are a few benefits of using an Inkjet printer. The main ones are the cost, high quality of output, vivid colors, and easy to use.

    1. Cost: Inkjet printers, cartridges, and other related supplies have been around for longer and more accessible than the thermal technology thus making it less costly.
    2. High quality of output: All Inkjet printers can produce very high quality images, compared to thermal printers.
    3. Vivid colors: Inkjet printers can produce images with very vivid colors compared to thermal printers that are very limited to which colors they can use and produce.
    4. Easy to use: Inkjet printers are way more common and for that reason more people know how to use them. They are also less extensive in set up. 

    Inkjet Printer Disadvantages

    Inkjet printers come with a few disadvantages like image durability, moving parts, and poor versatility of use.

    1. Image durability: Because Inkjet printers use ink, there is a chance of images smudging, staining and run when exposed to moisture, light or humidity.  
    2. Moving parts: Inkjet printers have way more moving parts and a more complex built which means there is a higher chance of damage and breakdowns which would require repairs and extra costs.
    3. Poor versatility of use: Inkjet printers are not good at printing things like labels, stickers like thermal printers are.
    4. Cost of ink: There is more cost associated with Inkjet printers that adds overtime like ink and cartridges. Even though they are accessible and fairly affordable , it adds up over time.


    When it comes to choosing between these two options, it will all depend on what kind of needs you have and what you want from your printer.

    A thermal printer is best for:

    • Shipping Labels

    • Return Labels

    • Product Labels

    • Stickers 

    A Inkjet printer is best for:

    • Office printing

    • Home printing

    • Documents

    • High Definition Images

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