Two Major Types of Printers You Need to Know About

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As technology has been improving, a massive advancement has been seen in the printing process. A printer is one such output device that is extremely commonly used for office and home purposes. But to find a printer that suits your home or office requirements, you need to first dig into different printer types available in today’s market.


There are some printers which have been in use for the last so long years. But some printer models have been just recently introduced in the market due to huge advancement. And how they print black and white or colorful printing images has made them the most favorite ones.

Every printer type has its features, functions, pros, and cons, which probably differentiate them. We have a quick overview of a few popular types to guide you better on different types of printers and their functions. Let’s dive into the discussion below:

Two Major Types of Printers

Printers are categorized into two main types which are:

1. Impact Printers:

If we talk about impact printers for office use, they generally work by using a piece of ribbon soaked into the ink. The user will be striking that ribbon with a hammer, which is made of plastic or metal. It has a printing mechanism that is quite similar to the typewriter.

Impact printers are generally used in offices for writing any document, but they print out low-resolution graphical work. A few popular impact printers are drum printers, daisy wheel printers, and dot matrix printers.

The use of an impact printer is common for writing a document, but the color printout is limited with lesser speed and creates a lot of noise.

Different types of impact printers available in the market are:

1.1. Dot-Matrix Printers

The first and most common type of impact printer is a dot matrix printer which uses around 9-24 pin print heads. These pins generate dotted patterns for shaping a particular character or image on a page surface.

Any dot-matrix printer model using 24 pins can produce more dots than any model with nine pins. A 24-pin printer model will have clear and better characters.

With the help of a dot-matrix printer, a user can also generate high-quality color output. They are affordable and have a printing speed of 100-600 characters per second.


  • Affordable
  • Requires cheap maintenance cost


  • Printing quality is low

1.2. Daisy-Wheel Printers

Next, we have a daisy wheel printer, which is quite common to use among typewriters. It is named daisy because its printing mechanism has been shaped in daisy style to form characters at the endpoint of each petal in a solid form.

A hammer is used to hit the petal through the character, which is against the ribbon, and later on, it is printed directly on the paper surface. It has an impressive speed of  25-55 characters per second.


  • Helps to print large-size documents
  • High-quality standard printouts


  • Take a lot of space
  • The initial cost is high

2. Non-impact Printers:

As we talk non-impact printers, are responsible for producing certain graphics and characters over the paper without any striking. You just need to deposit the ink into any form to start the process of printing work. Besides, non-impact printers use the latest technology to fulfill their printing tasks, such as LEDs, inkjet, or laser technology.

It does not use any electromechanical device. The best thing about non-impact printers is that they work silently without any noise. A few famous examples of non-impact printers are photo printers, inkjet printers, and laser printers.

These printers print out high-resolution graphics, and their speed is also faster than Impact printers.

There are generally two main types of non-impact printers, which are:

2.1. Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printer is yet the most common type of printer available in the non-impact printer category. These printers have been in use for the last so many years and are outdated ones. But still, they are pretty priced and meet all basic printing requirements.

The best thing about inkjet printers is that they can amazingly combine various colors altogether. However, they are a bit slow in functioning. But they provide excellent image quality at the end of the day.

Above all, they are versatile in which you can print various media formats without any hassle. It allows you to print on different paper sizes, including banner size.


  • Capable of producing photo-realistic printouts.
  • Requires a minimal space


  • Per page printing cost is high
  • Printing speed is slow as compared to laser printers
  • Gives out wet prints

2.2. Laser Printers

Most laser printers use photoreceptor belts or photosensitive drums. They use a source of light that emits through the laser shaft and draws an image over the spinning drum or on the photo-receptor plate.

A laser printer is divided into four main subtypes: solid ink, monochrome, four colorings, and single coloring. In addition, they have a specific writing method: black and white lasers, in which a user can get their content in just black text.

To print pictures, a laser color printer is highly recommended.


  • Fastest printing speed
  • Produces text documents in sharper printing
  • Space-saving option


  • Per page printing cost is high

2.3. LED Printer

Next, we have LED printers that use spinning drums and toners to produce excellent-quality printing results. They do have a printing process that is quite similar to laser printers.

The reason why they are named LED is that they provide light through various LEDs! This generally means that they are functioning in different ways.

LED Printers are extensively known for their portable size and lightweight nature. Being small in size is making them favorites for small office use.


  • Printing speed is extremely high
  • Compact & lightweight
  • Environment friendly


  • Interior printing results

2.4. 3D Printer

Next on the list, are 3D printers, which involve using CAD: Computer-Aided Design for creating various three-dimensional objects with the help of the layering method. It generally involves different layering materials in which we have composites, plastics, or bio-materials. These materials are used for creating objects in various rigidity, sizing, color, or shape.

3D Printing is available in various types such as sheet lamination, binder jetting, powder-based fusion, and material jetting.



  • Not suitable for large volumes

2.5. Sublimation Printers

Talking about sublimation printers, it is the most effective and fastest way to perform printing on any material. In comparison with other printer types, sublimation is extremely easy to print on. You need to take a piece of paper, let it pass through the heating press along with the fabric, and the print will be out in front of you.

It prints out long-lasting prints that will not crack or fade away.

Different materials are used in sublimation printing with which polyester is the most common one. Using cotton shirts or ceramic mugs will bring some similar results in front of you.


  • Cost-effective
  • Quick printing results
  • Compatible with different materials



Based on the application you are about to print, choosing reliable printers for business should be your priority. If we talk about inkjet printers, they are great for printing high-quality photo printing. Laser printers are excellent for printing graphical work and large volumes of business documents at a faster speed.

But when it comes to saving money, an inkjet printer is something we highly recommend. It offers cheaper operational costs with high-quality prints. If the printing quality is not your main concern, then choosing a dot matrix or LED printer can do a better job.

Which one of the printer types do you like the most?