How Do Impact and Thermal Receipt Printers Differ?

Each restaurant wants a top point of sale (POS) system, and the printer is an integral a part of that system. Like retailers, restaurateurs use POS printers to print buyer and card transaction receipts. However, in case your POS system is complete and covers the kitchen and bar in addition to entrance of home, linked printers are invaluable.

What’s a receipt printer?

A receipt printer is a small gadget that prints out buyer and credit card receipts. They’re mostly utilized in retail outlets, fuel stations and eating places. Meals service settings might have each a front-of-house receipt printer for funds and a back-of-house receipt printer for order tickets. The 2 most typical sorts of receipt printers are affect printers and thermal printers.

Impression printer

An affect printer, or dot matrix printer, works by bodily putting the paper with ink, equally to how a typewriter works. Impression printers have small pins positioned on the print head, which strikes throughout the web page and pushes the ink ribbon in opposition to the paper to type letters.

Impression printers are interesting due to their comparatively low price, each by way of the preliminary buy and working bills. They’re additionally dependable and may work successfully in excessive warmth, which is very essential for back-of-house restaurant tickets.

Thermal printer

A thermal printer works by way of direct contact between the thermal head, which comprises small, heated components, and heat-sensitive thermal paper. The thermal paper coating turns black the place it’s heated, producing the letters or pictures.

Although thermal printers price greater than affect printers, they don’t require ink or toner, which might lower your expenses over time. Nevertheless, since thermal printers are (essentially) heat-sensitive, they will not be as efficient in a sizzling kitchen.

FYIFYI: There are two sorts of receipt printers, every with a unique sort of printing mechanism, which needs to be thought-about relying on the business you’re in.

What Are the Variations Between Thermal and Impression Receipt Printers?

Whereas each sorts of printers do the identical job, there are a number of necessary distinctions between them.

Impression printer vs. thermal printer

Options Impression Printer Thermal Printer
Printing Ink-based printing (dot matrix mechanism). Warmth-based imprinting; no ink or toner required.
Coloration functionality Most fashions print in black and purple; some can print graphics. Most fashions print in solely black; higher-end ones supply multicolor printing.
Noise Increased noise ranges resulting from printing mechanism. Minimal noise.

The most important distinction is the way in which that they print. Impression fashions, also called dot matrix printers, are the extra conventional selection. Dot matrix printers have a print head lined in exactly positioned pins. These work at the side of an ink ribbon to type letters by way of a collection of tiny dots. Most fashions can print in black and purple. Some can even print graphics.

Thermal printers, assuming they’re utilized in the correct setting, produce high-quality prints at a quick tempo, with minimal noise. One of these printer does not use ink and toner. As an alternative, it makes use of a thermal head at the side of thermal paper. That is paper that is been thermally coated so it is conscious of warmth. The warmth-generating thermal head makes contact with the heat-sensitive paper to create printed paperwork. Many fashions solely print in black, however higher-end merchandise supply multicolor and double-sided printing.

Did you know?Do you know? Impression printers are often the higher alternative for back-of-house at eating places and eating institutions as a result of thermal printers might expertise points in high-high environments.

Editor’s notice: Searching for the correct POS system for your small business? Fill out the beneath questionnaire to have our vendor companions contact you about your wants.

What to search for in your restaurant printer

Which sort of printer is finest will depend on how and the place you intend to make use of it.

Efficiency in on a regular basis environments

Impression or dot matrix receipt printers are recognized for his or her reliability however are noisier than thermal printers. They’re additionally slower. Nevertheless, they’re the higher alternative to be used in a sizzling kitchen. As a result of the paper that resides inside thermal printers is, by necessity, delicate to warmth, the efficiency of those printers suffers when uncovered to the excessive temperatures and humidity ranges of knowledgeable kitchen. Subsequently, in the event you’re selecting a POS printer on your kitchen workers to choose up orders, an affect printer is the higher possibility.

Noisiness and effectivity

If, nonetheless, you want a printer to print out buyer receipts and card transaction slips, a thermal printer could be the proper alternative. These printers have a quick output, at as much as 20 traces per second, in comparison with the common of three traces per second for affect printers. Thermal fashions are significantly quieter than their dot matrix counterparts.

Coloration capabilities and price

To get the correct printers on your restaurant, you must also think about whether or not you want single-, two-color, or multicolor printing and single- or double-sided capabilities. Price range can be a major consider selecting one of the best printers. In case your eatery is worried with being inexperienced or environmentally pleasant, go for inexperienced or eco-conscious printers and receipt rolls, which might additionally end in important financial financial savings over the lifetime of the printer.

Extra software program

Earlier than you make your buy, test whether or not the printers you need have the correct interface to match your pc system and that you’ve sufficient spare ports to accommodate them. Your system can have RS-232 serial, parallel, or USB interfaces. Moreover, whereas most receipt printers are common, you have to guarantee those you select are appropriate together with your type of POS system, in any other case they’re basically ineffective.

What Prices May You Incur?

So far as preliminary outlay goes, the extra budget-friendly possibility is affect printers. These fashions are typically inexpensive per unit. Ongoing prices are typically greater for affect printers, as it’s a necessity to buy ink or toner frequently, whereas thermal fashions do not use ink and toner.

Thermal printers have fewer transferring elements than dot matrix items, so, in principle, they could require much less upkeep or half substitute. Nevertheless, as a result of there are fewer transferring and simply replaceable elements, if one thing goes flawed with a thermal receipt printer, it is extra seemingly that you will have to switch the entire unit.

Finest receipt printers to think about

There are an array of manufacturers producing thermal and affect receipt printers, and there are numerous high-quality fashions obtainable, no matter your price range. Epson, HP, Zebra and Star Micronics are among the many prime manufacturers for receipt printers of every kind. Whereas a few of these are easy and strong, with the essential options you want, others supply double-sided printing and grayscale graphic printing.


  • Epson TM-T88VI ($411.95).
  • POS-X EVO HiSpeed Thermal Receipt Printer ($241.45).
  • Star Micronics TSP (ranges from $232.75 to $306.54, relying on connection sort).


  • Bixolon SRP-275III (beginning at $182.00).
  • Epson FX-890 (beginning at $382.00).
  • POS-X EVO Impression (beginning at $247.43).

How Many Models Does Your Restaurant Want?

Some eating places handle with one or two receipt printers. Nevertheless, relying on the scale and format of your restaurant, a number of printers could also be a greater possibility. When you’ve bought a number of meals and beverage stations, it is advisable to buy one printer for every station. That approach, the bar will get the drinks order, the road will get the new meals orders, and the pastry chef will get the dessert ticket. You may then clearly want a printer for every cash register or credit card processing unit. | How Do Impression and Thermal Receipt Printers Differ?


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