Thermal Printer Working, Importance, Drawbacks & Benefits

Printers are generally divided into two main types; i.e., thermal printers and inkjet printers. Although both of them belong to the same category of printing technology, there is a considerable difference in the working functionality and features of the thermal printer from the inkjet printer.


Thermal printers are best to add convenience in printing labels, bar codes, and receipts in an ultimately cost-effective manner. Right through this whole guide, we will help you know how thermal label printers work and which model of a thermal printer is suitable for business use.

What is a Thermal Printer?

For a better understanding, let’s first discuss what a thermal printer is. Unlike inkjet printers, these thermal printers do not spray liquid ink through a nozzle to produce images. Instead, thermal printers use tiny heating elements to activate or even transfer pigments fully.

You can make beneficial use of thermal printers for creating safety signs, labels, shipping labels, barcodes, and various heavily used items.

How do Thermal Printers Work?

As we talk about thermal printer working, it is generally divided into two different categories. Hence, this includes direct thermal printers and thermal transfer printers. Let’s see how each one of the printers works:

  • Direct Thermal Printers:

Direct thermal printers use chemically-treated paper which gets darkened as soon as it gets heated by the thermal print head. These printers do not use any separate ribbon, ink, or toner cartridges. You will be finding their everyday use for the printing of shipping labels and receipts.

  • Thermal Transfer Printers:

You can use the thermal print head to transfer the solid ink from the ribbon over the label supply. This supply is generally made from nylon, polyester, vinyl, or any thicker material. It plays a vital role in getting permanent print results. The ribbon is made out of resin, wax, or a combination of both. Hence, it is all bonded with the label supply surface with heat and pressure.

What are the Important Benefits of a Thermal Printer?

There are numerous reasons to pay attention to when it comes to the selection of thermal printers. A few of the benefits to know when investing in thermal printer images are discussed below:


There are several reasons to consider a thermal printer for your facility. Here are a few major advantages of investing in a thermal printer:

  • They are highly durable when it comes to the printing of signs and labels. Hence, they do have the capacity where they can stay with their results for a longer time and can resist any weather condition.
  • Plus, they have a versatile nature to print any label, document, or sign to meet all your needs. Some of the marketing holders even use it for graphical work.
  • With fewer moving parts, these printers often tend to last longer and are easy to maintain. In short, they do run more reliably than inkjet printers.

It is an exciting thing to know that thermal printers need ink!

Direct thermal printers make use of chemically treated paper that darkens when the thermal print head heats it. These Direct thermal printers do not use any separate ink, toner, or ribbon supplies.

Direct thermal printers are equally best to use for the printing of receipts or shipping labels. We recommend you buy LabelWriter 450 Turbo Direct Thermal Label Printer for great efficient use.

What are the Drawbacks of Thermal Printing?

Well, as we have already discussed the pros of thermal printing, you will be finding some cons as well. Let’s discuss a few below:

  • Thermal-printed labels might fade over time. Direct exposure to the sun will speed up the whole process. Plus, the labels identifying boxes that are kept in the storage might even fade with years. To fulfill your permanent needs, you should consider various printing formats.
  • Thermal-printed labels might probably turn entirely black when it is exposed to high heat. Possibly they will lose essential records or data if you miss saving the vital information.
  • Direct thermal printing makes use of only one color at a time. Black printing is quite common, but red colors like red are generally available when buying paper or replacement labels.

Thermal transfer printers will allow you to use more colors and various print media.


This was a quick discussion about how a thermal printer works and how you can print various labels and graphical texts. No doubt, for daily use or even for business purposes, thermal printers are the best recommendation you should never deny. They are cost-effective and efficient in their printing work.



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