Difference Between Thermal Printer and Inkjet Printer

Individuals and businesses around the world rely on printers for their day-to-day uses to print all sorts of stuffs, including receipts, documents, banners, signs, and more than. Nosotros take a await at two of the most commonly used printers – Thermal printers and Inkjet printers – and try to understand the differences between the two.

What is Thermal Printer?

Thermal printers are low-cost, portable printers that are ordinarily used to print receipts and shipping labels. Thermal printers, every bit the name advise, use a heated print head to produce the image on paper. They employ heated elements to burn or melt dot design characters on special newspaper. The thermal print caput is the cadre of the thermal press system, which consists of a stock-still array of microscopic heating elements. When electricity is practical to the resistor elements, oestrus is generated in the area under the elements. Two types of thermal printers are mainly used: direct transfer thermal printers and thermal wax transfer printers. Today, thermal printers are widely used for bar code printing, credit card receipts, airline tickets, and school records. These printers practice non rely on ink to impress, which keeps the toll lower.

What is Inkjet Printer?

Inkjet printers are the almost pop pick of printer for home printing needs. They are the most arable techniques of digital printing, widely used in offices and in industrial applications such every bit broad format printing. As the name suggests, the printing is done with the help of inkjet engineering science – an image is created past precisely spraying thousands of tiny ink droplets onto a substrate, such equally paper, pixel by pixel. The printing process is quite complicated, and requires delicate tailoring of the chemical and physicochemical backdrop of the ink. By carefully managing the size, placement, and colour of the dots, the printer produces a print that appears every bit a continuous tone print when viewed. They are the most affordable, quick, and convenient method of printing digital files. They are widely used for high speed coding, mail addressing, packet marking, billboards and banners, and wide format graphics for signs.

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Deviation betwixt Thermal and Inkjet Printer

Printing Process

– Thermal printers use heated elements to fire or melt dot pattern characters on special paper. It’southward a cost-effective industrial printing technique that uses dry, wax based pigment into the substrate, such as paper using heat. The print head does not motility beyond the folio; instead it scans beyond the paper, printing a row of characters. Inkjet printers, on the other hand, use liquid ink, instead of a ribbon and heat, to produce an image – the printer sprays thousands of tiny ink droplets onto a substrate, such as paper, pixel by pixel to create an image.

Image Quality

– Inkjet printers are amidst the nearly abundant methods of digital printing that can produce high-quality images at a lower initial price. The two main determinants of print quality are resolution, the substrate used in printing, and the number of levels that tin can be printer per dot. Any moisture or humidity can harm the prints. Thermal printers produce higher quality prints with a glossy, protective finish and amend color saturation. Because thermal printers have fewer moving parts, they are durable.

Equipment Cost

– Although, thermal printers exercise non require ink, the specialty materials used in the printing process can be considerably expensive. However, in bar code applications, no other printing applied science can beat the paradigm sharpness of thermal printing anywhere near the cost. Thermal ink is usually a flake pricey than inkjet cartridges. Inkjet printers are relatively less expensive and the cartridges are cheaper than thermal ink. In add-on, the cartridges tin be refilled and reused, saving money.

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 – Thermal printers are widely used for bar code printing, credit card receipts, airline tickets, and school records. Commercial applications of thermal printers include information kiosks, filling stations, POS systems, aircraft labels, etc. Inkjet printers are widely used in offices and in industrial applications for wide format printing. They are mainly used for a variety of industrial applications such as signage, 3D printing, high speed coding, mail addressing, package mark, billboards and banners, and more.

Thermal Printer vs. Inkjet Printer: Comparing Chart


While both thermal printing and inkjet printing are widely used press methods, they are very singled-out processes. Thermal printers use heated elements to burn or melt dot design characters into special thermal newspaper. Thermal press is widely used for battery powered handheld printing devices, bar code press, and credit bill of fare receipts printing. Thermal printers are more sustainable and reliable than their inkjet counterparts considering of the fact that they have fewer moving parts. Inkjet printers produce characters past squirting a precisely controlled stream of ink dots onto the paper. Although, inkjet printers are relatively less expensive to procure and maintain, they are non very reliable.

Is a thermal printer better than inkjet?

Thermal printers have fewer moving parts, which makes them piece of cake to maintain, more sustainable and durable for long term utilise. However, thermal printers are also more expensive than inkjet printers.

Can I employ thermal newspaper for inkjet printer?

Thermal papers are peculiarly designed for employ in thermal printers. So, thermal papers cannot exist used for inkjet press. Also, y’all cannot apply normal papers in thermal printers.

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What is the difference between a thermal printer and a regular printer?

Regular printers are mainly used to print on letter-size paper using dye-based ink or laser printer toner. Laser printers and inkjet printers are probably the most used printers for home and role applications. Unlike regular printers, thermal printers do not use liquid ink to produce images.

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