There are two main types of receipt printers: Dot matrix and Thermal.

What are Dot Matrix Printers?

Dot Matrix Printers use an old-style technology using small pin patterns to create the receipt data, it requires printer ribbons and bond paper rolls. These receipt printers are useful for older POS Systems where more than one copy of a receipt or kitchen docket is required or the pos system does not have the option to print more than one copy. Multiple copies can be achieved by using Carbonised Paper Rolls that come in either 2 or 3 ply. They have the advantage of not being affected by heat and are ideal if archiving is required.

There are two different ribbon options for use when printing, Plain Black and Black and Red. The black and red is specifically for add-ons or other important instructions, so that they stand out.

The disadvantages of dot-matrix printers are they are slower then thermal printers, you cannot achieve quality graphical printing and they can be considered noisy. You also have to have a supply of ribbons on hand for when the old one runs out or breaks as well as receipt rolls.

multi-ply paper roll
Dot Matrix Print Head
Printer Ribbon
Carbonised 3 Ply Paper

What are Thermal Printers?

Thermal Printers use heat to transfer the image to special heat sensitive coated paper therefore, only requiring Thermal Paper Rolls. Thermal receipt printers are much faster, produce a much better-quality logo and are much quieter then Dot-Matrix Printers. They have very little moving parts so they tend to last longer. With modern POS Systems you can generally set the amount of copies you require.

Paper is important to both printers, the lower quality paper will have a detrimental effect on both dot matrix and thermal printers causing unnecessary wear.

Both printers have multiple ways of connecting, Network, Serial Cable or USB with some brands also offering WIFI connection. You will have to confirm that your choice/brand of printer is compatible with your POS Software/Terminal and Cash Drawer.

Dot matrix and Thermal printers will fire a compatible cash drawer, the printers have a port called draw/cash that opens cash drawers upon print of the receipt. (If set up correctly)

Misconceptions about thermal printers are that if used in a kitchen or hot environment the docket will fade. If you use quality paper this is not a problem. We have clients who use thermal dockets on coffee machines and they have no problems with the heat or steam affecting the print.

Interface Options

Network, Serial, USB, Cash, Power.

Different Types of POS Receipt Printer Interfaces

If you have any further questions regarding which printer would best suit your business, feel free to contact Our Friendly Staff at Our Maroochydore Office on 07 5443 2744 or Visit Us at Unit 11/100 Sugar Road, Maroochydore Qld 4558.