Choosing Between Ink Cartridge or Ink Ribbon Type of Printers

Finding the right receipt printer for your point of sale (POS) system is crucial for your business. POS printers are used in a wide range of retail stores including supermarkets, hotels and restaurants, food courts, and bars to print credit card slips, sales receipts and customers’ orders in restaurants and bars. When choosing receipt printers you have three main options to consider, which are thermal printers, which are highly viewed as the most effective, inkjet printers, laser printers, and dot-matrix printers.

However, when buying a printer you need to consider the kind of printing technology the machine has because there are different types, thermal printer ribbons, and inkjet printer cartridges. You need to understand how each one performs and the significant differences between both of them. This is especially important when you want to refill your printer but not sure whether to get
receipt printer ink ribbons and ribbon cartridges.

Key Differences Between Ink Ribbons and Ink Cartridges

1. Printing Technology

Printer ink cartridges are specifically designed for inkjet printer types. They are small padlock-shaped like boxes known as cartridges consisting of liquid ink within the casing which feeds into the printer to deposit color or text entries on images or documents. Most printers particularly those that can print in different colors usually have two cartridges; black ink and color ink cartridge which combines as programmed by the printer to form an array of color options on a spectrum.

Instead of using the black ink cartridge to print black text or image, some printers will combine the colors to create black, which is not an efficient way of using ink. That’s why you’ll find separate black cartridge on most printers where refill can be easily done when the ink runs out. You get to save when refilling instead of buying a new cartridge. Examples are Okidata ribbons for ink cartridges.

Ink ribbons, on the other hand, are for cash registers POS systems and dot-matrix printers and they feature ultra-thin polyester film coated with layers of evenly coated wax ink. How does it work? Well, unlike other types of printers that have tiny spray on printer head that transfer ink onto the paper, ink ribbons are designed to print entries onto the paper by applying pressure over the waxed coated ink ribbons, transferring the print on to paper. This printing technology has been used for decades and it was initially common with the typewriters where ink transfer prints on a paper when the keys are pressed.

2. Longevity

The main difference between ink ribbons and ink cartridges like Okidata ribbons for the dot matrix printer is their longevity. Longevity here implies as to how much prints you can make using a single cartridge. For instance, inkjet printers that use standard size ink cartridges can offer you a print capacity of up to 500 pages. The only drawback, however, with ink cartridges is that they dry up quickly if the printer sits idle for long periods.

Ensuring you are using it at least once a week can help prevent the ink from drying. You can also choose to remove and store the ink cartridges in an optimal temperature environment if you’re no planning to use the printer for quite some time. Safely store the cartridge in an airtight plastic bag or container.

Ink ribbons, on the other hand, offer more usage in terms of how much work you can print than ink cartridges. However, printers that use ink ribbons print small sheets of paper. For example, 3 ply paper rolls normally used on cash registers and POS systems are significantly smaller than A4 sized papers.

Whether or not to use an inkjet printer that uses Okidata ribbons type of ink cartridges or use printers employing ink ribbons, your choice will most likely be determined by how exactly you are planning to use the printer. For high volume document prints, it’s more efficient and economical to use printers with ink ribbons. But, if you’re looking for quality prints, especially for photographs and images, ink cartridges type of printers such as the Okidata ribbons would be the best option for that job.