There are many models of printers in the market to look for. The most common are the dot matrix or also known as impact printers, thermal printers and multi-functional printers. However, before you decide to buy a printer for your POS system, you must consider the software requirements, hardware compatibility, device drivers, and option of receipt cutting feature in the printer, cable interfaces, environmental restrictions and added benefits.
Some of the printers will work only with specific device drivers and software applications. You wouldn’t want to buy a printer that has limited use in your business. Assuming that one of your receipt printer breaks down at one of the many POS systems you have, your printer must have the ability to fill in the place of the printer that broke down. The printer must also be compatible with the Operating System that you are currently using. It is a wise choice to opt for a printer that is compatible with multiple OS.
Even though most of the printers can work with Windows drivers, some printers will require OLE or OPOS drivers to print the receipts. Ask you dealer about the compatibility issues that you might have with the printers and your POS.
You can replace your existing printer with a printer from any brand. Most of them are manufactured in such a way to emulate most of the other brands. However, asking your dealer about the options to replace the existing printer will be brother printer drivers good decision.
The receipt printer can connect to your POS system through a cable interface, which can be serial, parallel, USB or Ethernet connection. All the printers will support at least the basic type of interface, i.e. the serial and parallel interface. In some of the printers, the USB interface is an option. If you think a particular printer fits your requirements perfectly but doesn’t have an interface that you are for, ask the dealer about adding an additional interface. They usually do it but at an extra cost.
Another feature to look for in the printer is the option of receipt cutting. There are two types of receipt cutting: partial and full. If you do not want a receipt cutter option in your printer, go for a manual receipt cutting option. If you run a huge business that has a streamline of customers at the checkouts, it is better to have an auto-receipt cutter option since it will save time. However, for places like a small grocery store or any other business establishments that do not have a heavy inflow of customers, you can opt for the manual receipt-cutting printer.
The printers come with the option of single color printing and 2-color printing. Printers with the option of two-color printing come with black and red color for printing purposes. Usually the logo of your company is printed in red and the remaining details of the transaction in black. You can use the red color to highlight any special deals, discounts and privileges received by the customer.
One thing you must bear in mind before purchasing the printer is the environment it will be used in. Will you use the printer in the kitchen, POS, hospital, temperature controlled settings etc. There are different printers that fit into the above categories. If you end up buying a printer that doesn’t suit the environment, your printer will not work properly.
Ask these questions before you buy a printer: Do you need a printer with 2-color? Do you need auto receipt cutting option? Do you need a printer that can handle the printing of receipts, labels and barcodes? What is the speed of the printer you expect to have? Do you want your printer to accommodate huge printing rolls? Do you want a drop-in paper loading mechanism? Do you want a printer that can print 2-ply and three-ply receipts? Do you want to endorse checks and read MICR codes using your printer?
As you read the above questions, more questions will pop up. Make sure that you address all the questions with the dealer before making the purchase.
How many types of printers are there?
Basically there are 3 types of printers: Impact, Thermal and Multifunctional.
1. Impact Printers:
Impact printers are also known by the name of Dot-Matrix printers. These printers are not only less expensive but also flexible. They use pins and ribbons to print on the paper. The printers can print two-ply receipts, one for the customer and the other for the vendor. These printers are resistant to heat and make an ideal choice for use in the kitchen. The printer can print two colors – black and red. However, you must purchase the required ribbons to print the above said colors.
Where can Impact printers be used?
Kitchens, POS checkouts, manufacturing units that have too much heat, places that require 2-ply receipts printed in 2 colors.
2. Thermal Printers: Thermal as the name suggests, use heat to print the image on the paper. They do not use ribbons and pins to print the images. You require special receipt paper to use with your Thermal printer. The paper has a special heat sensitive coating that is activated on coming in contact with the printer head. The printer does not require you to replace ribbons and are cost less to own and maintain. You can upload the logo directly to the firmware to increase the speed of printing. These printers must not be used at places like the kitchen or any other environment that is prone to heat.