Thermal Printers vs. Laser Printers

Thermal Printers vs. Laser Printers

Thermal Printers vs Laser Printers

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 laser 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 a Laser Printer?

A laser printer uses a focused beam or light to transfer text and images onto paper. Laser printers do no use ink but they do use toner to cling to areas that have been negatively charged by the laser.

Laser Printer Advantages

  1. Performance: Laser printers are meant to produce high volumes and are really good at delivering that.
  2. Speed: They print are very high speed, since it uses a laser to print
  3. Reliability: Laser printers are more durable and reliable, and less likely to break down
  4. No ink: There is no cost of ink with laser printers which saves money overtime and on top of that toner does not dry up compared to ink .

Laser Printer Disadvantages

  1. Toner cost: Even though laser printers do not use ink, they do use toner and that adds up over time and is a repetitive cost
  2. High cost: Due to its technology, laser printers tend to be pretty pricy which an be a lot as an initial cost for some people
  3. Paper limitations: You need to use special laser printing paper which makes is less convenient for user and an additional cost
  4. Power consumption: Laser printers use way more power due to how they work which is an added cost and bad for the environment
  5. Poor graphics: Laser printers are not great for high definition images


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 laser printer is best for:

  • Office use

  • High volume of printing

  • Text

  • Documents

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