type of Printers and their Advantages and Disadvantages

Different type of Printers and their Advantages and Disadvantages Leave a comment

“Different type of Printers and their Advantages and Disadvantages”

A printer is a hardware device that is used to obtain printouts. A printer can be connected to a computer, mobile phone, tablet or even digital camera to directly get printouts of pictures. Generally, printers are divided into two types; impact printers and non-impact printers.

In this article, we’ve described the impact and non-impact printers with their advantages and disadvantages. While buying a printer you must keep some important aspects in mind like application, usage, printing quality, quantity, features, cost, and their pros and cons.

Let’s get in detail of different types of printers and their advantages and disadvantages.

1- Laser Printer:

laser printer

A laser printer is a type of non-impact printer. It is used to recreate digital images. It works by driving laser beams on a negatively charged drum that can be mechanical or photosensitive cylinder.  Then laser rays create patterns on a drum that is coated with toner.

The toner is positively charged because of electrical charges and toner clings to the drum that is negatively charged and to the surface of the paper. Further head and pressure are used to fuse toner on the paper and they make a digital image. In a laser printer, there used a toner which is a dry plastic powder blended with black carbon or coloring agent.

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of laser printer.

Advantages of Laser Printer:

  • Laser printers are high and work accurately.
  • Laser printers are best to use for a large volume of printing.
  • Their printing operation is quite faster than other printers.
  • They produce dry output in large numbers with high-quality resolution.
  • Laser printers are quite which is a pretty good aspect of it.
  • Laser printer comes with black and white output or even you can buy colored laser printer according to your need.
  • Black and white versions of laser printers are inexpensive than colored ones.
  • Colored laser printers are the perfect choice for commercial purpose e.g. for printing flyers or banners etc.
  • Laser printers have good quality output, faster delivery, no extra noise and cost per page is also lower than inkjet or dot matrix printers.
  • Premium monochrome laser printer can print up to 200 pages per minute while a colored laser printer can print over 100 pages per minute.
  • They produce sharp and precise prints with accurate precision.
  • Generally, laser printers have a long duty cycle and they are reliable and lasting.
  • Laser printers are best for office use because they produce the bulk of output of high quality.

Disadvantages of Laser Printers:

  • Laser printers are expensive than other printers. Especially color laser printers are quite expensive.
  • They are heavy and large in size.
  • A laser printer uses toner for printing rather than ink cartridge but its toner is more expensive than a cartridge.
  • Laser printers have a lot of complex pieces of equipment in it so they are difficult to main and require high maintenance costs.
  • Sometimes laser printers cannot handle complex images and they just use standard paper size for printing there’s no variety of copy is allowed.
  • Laser printers require keeping safety hazards and health risks in mind while using them.


2- Inkjet Printer:

inkjet printer

Inkjet printers are widely used for small businesses, enterprises, home offices or professional workplace markets with multifunction devices that can be used for multitasking like copying, scanning, printing or faxing. With the advancement in technology, inkjet printers are now of much-improved quality and extreme printing speed.

Inkjet printers work by heating the ink that flows by a set of tiny nozzles. The heating process drives ink droplets on the paper, which form letters or images. That’s why the output of the inkjet printer comes slightly wet.  It has a small ink cartridge that releases ink and for a colored inkjet printer, there are three cartridges for a different color of ink and one cartridge for black ink. These cartridges can easily be refilled.

Let’s talk about some advantages and disadvantages of an inkjet printer.

Advantages of Inkjet Printer:

  • These printers are very common and cheap to buy and maintain. Sometimes these printers use black, white and colored ink at the same time for printing.
  • Inkjet printers have cartridges that contain ink for printing. They can be used to get superb quality photo graphics of high-quality paper and ink is used.
  • These printers are cheap and more compact than laser printers. Its cartridge cost is less than toner.
  • You can have good quality prints from inkjet printer than dot-matrix printers but still, laser printers are above then all of them.
  • Inkjet printers perform printing operation faster than dot matrix printer but still, it can’t reach a level of laser printer.
  • They are best to use for high-quality photo printing. They don’t have any warm up time.
  • Inkjet printers are light in weight and highly compact that makes it easy to keep it in even small workplace.

Disadvantages of Inkjet Printer:

  • Inkjet printers are much nosier than laser printers but still dot matrix printer is much noisy than an inkjet printer.
  • If you are willing to get color printing from the inkjet printer then you have to wait for a long time because the color printing process could be a bit slow.
  • Their cost of printing per page is high than laser printers.
  • Inkjet printers need to change cartridge more often than a laser printer.
  • Inkjet printer produces output that is slightly wet so that can create smudges.
  • Its ink cartridge can dry out if it’s not in use for some time.
  • Inkjet printers produce output slower so they are not good to use for bulk volume of printing.
  • It ink head is not durable but easy to damage and expensive for replacement of ink cartridge.
  • If there’s ink bleeding it can create a blur effect on paper and aqueous ink or drop of water can also lead to blurring.

3- Ink Tank Printer:

ink tank printer

Ink tank printer comes with the ability to hold ink they don’t have built-in ink heads. For each color, they have a specific tank to store ink of each color. Even these tanks can be refilled by ink easily when needed.  Ink tank printers utilize plenty of ink system that is already installed in the printer.

This installed system continuously supplies the ink for printing operation. Ink tank printers mostly use 4 colors e.g. black, cyan, magenta and yellow. When cartridge of inks tank printer is empty there’s no need to refill it immediately or every time because refilling in hassle can cause damage to print or printing quality.

Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages of ink tank printers.

Advantages of Ink Tank Printer:

  • Ink tank printers are very helpful for continuous printing because their tanks hold large amounts of ink for printing.
  • Ink tanks of ink tank printers can be easily refilled that is beneficial rather than buying a new ink cartridge. This is highly economical.
  • These printers provide quality printing and low cost for printing per page.
  • The great advantage of ink tank printers is that you can have 6 to 7 thousand printed pages by one filling of the ink tank.
  • These printers can hold large amounts of inks and reduces the cost to buy ink often.
  • Ink tank printers provide good quality printing and you can get printing, photos, and images in a faster period rather than other printers.
  • These printers are made of robust and durable material and stay for a longer period.
  • The incredible advantage of ink tank printers is that they come with a Wi-Fi facility that makes printing more convenient because Wi-Fi gives access to get print input from a mobile phone, laptop or tablet.
  • Ink tank printers are easy to install and use. With advancement in technology now ink tank printers come in a compact size that made easy for portable.
  • Now a day’s Ink tank printers come with modern installed technology like LAN and USB connectivity. Even you can get a touch screen ink tank printer with web printing and app support.
  • Ink tank printers provide low-cost printing. It is best to use for school projects for printing posters, forms or other articles. You can print bulk of photos from ink tank printers because they are not expensive for per copy printing.

Disadvantages of Ink Tank Printers:

  • Ink tank printers store a large amount of ink so if the ink is not used for a longer time it can create some lumps that will need to change the entire ink tank.
  • Ink tank printers are a bit expensive than inkjet printers.
  • Refilling of ink tank requires a lot of attention to proper refill the ink tank otherwise lack of attention while refilling ink tank can ruin your clothes, hands or dribble on the floor by the sprinkling of ink.
  • Sometimes they perform work slower than color laser printers.
  • An ink tank printer sometimes causes smudging of ink on printed papers so good quality paper should be used.
  • Ink tank printers sometimes encounter with technical errors that increase the repair cost.
  • Sometimes ink tank printer’s head gets clogged and bring poor quality results that need to be changed regularly.
  • If you want to have good quality printing then use good quality ink which can be expensive.

4- Dot Matrix Printer:

dot matrix printer
image credit: Wikipedia

Printers are used to get printouts of any paper document. Generally, printers are divided into two types, Impact printers, and non-impact printers. Dot-matrix printer is a type of impact printers and its working is of older type because it is an ancient type of printer. Dot-matrix printers cause a direct impact on paper by an ink-soaked ribbon. It almost works like a typewriter.

Dot-matrix printer has a head that moves in an up and down direction while runs in to and fro direction on paper. In the mechanism, pins of printer’s head strike on paper against the ink ribbon. Dot-matrix printer helps to get dot prints of different fonts and arbitrary graphics. These dots are printed by tiny metal pins over the head of a printer that moves in up, down, to and fro motion. Dot-matrix printer prints one line at a time in a vertical direction.

Dot-matrix printers can only be used when someone has a limited budget and ready to compromise on quality because they are not so expensive but didn’t provide high-quality printing output resolution. Now a day’s dot matrix printers are only found in ATMs, POS terminals or cash registers.

Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of dot matrix printer:

Advantages of Dot Matrix Printer:

  • The dot matrix printer is used to print multiple types of carbon copies.
  • It requires a low cost for printing per page.
  • Dot-matrix printer can be used for continuous printing operation without any lag. So it make easy to print long data.
  • These printers are quite durable and lasting and provide reliable printing.
  • The ink ribbons of dot matrix printers remain lasting and don’t dry out easily.
  • The good thing about dot matrix printers is that they are environment friendly as they can easily be used in a dusty or moist atmosphere.
  • Dot-matrix printers are cheap and easy to use.
  • These printers can easily be used for continuous printing operation and requires low maintenance cost.
  • Dot-matrix printers start fading printing operations when there’s a need to change ribbon so it suddenly doesn’t stuck the operation and by fading prints, you get the idea that now ribbon needs to be changed and this helps to change ribbon within time.
  • Above all advantages, dot matrix printers are cheaper than all other printers.

Disadvantages of Dot Matrix Printers:

  • These printers are a bit noisy and create unpleasant noisy printing operation which is not good for the office environment.
  • You can have limited print quality by dot matrix printer and printing speed is slow than non-impact printers.
  • Dot-matrix printers have low printing speed that is not useful for immediate printing.
  • It allows to have limited printing of colors which is not beneficial for effective printing operation.
  • Dot-matrix printers have more printing costs than inkjet printers.
  • They provide slow and low-quality output resolution of printing.
  • During printing, a single sheet of paper needs to aligned by hand that consumes time and even sometimes headpins of dot matrix printers get bend which destroys the printing cycle that can cause jamming to the printing operation.

5- Thermal Printer:

thermal printer

Thermal printers use 2 types of technologies for printing, direct thermal printing, and thermal transfer printing.

Mostly typical thermal printers use direct thermal printing method by driving electrically heated pins over heat-sensitive paper or thermal paper. On heated areas, the coating on thermal paper turns black and produces characters and images. While indirect thermal printing there’s no ink, toner or ribbon used.

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of thermal printers.

Advantages of Thermal Printer:

  • Thermal printers are durable, reliable and easy to use.
  • Its cost is less than other printers. They have low noise and best for an office environment.
  • Thermal printed printouts are extremely durable and lasting and can easily be stored for a long period.
  • Mostly thermal printers are used in ATMs, cash registers, entertainment, grocery, airline tickets, retails shops and POS terminals. They are even considering for printing bar code because thermal printing is of high quality, reliable and accurate.
  • Thermal printers produce fast printed copied than dot-matrix printers. They produce clear printing copies and highly convenient to use.
  • Thermal printers are often in use because they don’t use any ink ribbon or cartridge and produce efficient quality prints.
  • Thermal prints are highly mobile. They have a compact size and light weight make them easy to carry them.

Disadvantages of Thermal Printer:

  • Thermal printers use thermal papers that are sensitive to heat, water, and light, and their images and text can be faded over time.
  • They cannot print duplex printing. If we use the best thermal paper then only their printed copies are stored otherwise thermal printed papers cannot be used.
  • Thermal printers cannot produce colored print accurately and precisely.
  • Sometimes if thermal printers become heated they consume more ink and it also effect on printing which can be smudged.
  • Thermal print head can be damaged by high heat and it requires high cost for maintenance.
  • Thermal printed papers cannot bear high exposure of heat and they fade when expose to high heat or temperature.

6- Line Printer:

line printer
image Credit: Wikipedia

Line printer is a type of impact printers that are high-speed printing machines mostly they are business-oriented. It doesn’t use up or down and to and fro motion for printing but line printers prints a line of text at a time on the full width of the page. Sometimes they even use instead of laser printers as they are capable of printing carbonless forms at low cost. They are also known as bar printer.

Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of a line printer.

Advantages of Line Printer:

  • Line printers are more durable than laser printers.
  • They have low cost and above all, they are not so harmful to the environment then laser printers.
  • They provide high-speed printing operation.
  • They are best for commercial environments and shops where extreme temperature or dust is not in consideration.
  • Line printers can print 10 lines per second which is quite good.
  • Line printers can print multi-print forms and printing resolution is impressive.

Disadvantages of Line Printer:

  • Line printers produce loud noise while the printing cycle which is not good for the peaceful environment of the office.
  • They are expensive than laser printers.
  • Line printers cannot print graphics and their printing operation is a bit slower.
  • These printers are not in much use now because they use feed forms that are not easily available.
  • Line printers just give black can white output; they are not available for colored printing.

7- Daisy Wheel Printer:

Daisy wheel Printer
image credit: wikipedia

The daisy wheel is an impact printing technology that works on the principle of the typewriter. It is a type of impact printers. This printer is called the daisy wheel because of its mechanism that looks like a daisy. Its head lies on the wheel and pins. It uses a wheel for up to 100 characters. The daisy wheel printer produces a letter-quality type. It is a disk that is made of metal or plastic.

At the end of each petal-shaped arm, there’s a character print that further prints on paper when the hammer strikes it. For printing, a character the printer rotates the disk until the required word prints on the paper. Then hammer strike letters by taking care of accurate and uniform printing of words and like this ink, button hit the character and leave excellent quality printing on paper. Even the daisy wheel printer can be changed to print fonts of different sizes. Daisy wheel printer provides faster, quite and reliable printing operation with marvelous quality.

Now let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of a daisy wheel printer.

Advantages of the Daisy Wheel Printer:

  • Daisy wheel printer requires low maintenance that remains within budget.
  • You can create carbon copies from the daisy wheel printer.
  • Daisy wheel printer can easily use heavy paper grades and also fanfold papers.
  • The good thing about the daisy wheel printer is that it has slighter good printing quality than a dot matrix printer.
  • Daisy wheel printer gives access to change the fonts of characters which is a great advantage.
  • The final print copy from the daisy wheel printer gives an impressive look as it’s typed by high quantum typewriter.
  • Above all, the daisy wheel printer provides better quality printing than some other printer and it is reliable, cheap and easy to maintain and eventually it has a low cost which is good for low budget buyers.

Disadvantages of the Daisy Wheel Printer:

  • Daisy wheels printers are quite noisy and provide noisy printing operations.
  • This printer performs slow printing operation and prints 25 to about 55 characters per second which is quite slow printing.
  • Daisy wheel printer is expensive than dot matrix printer and now the quality of DMP is improved so now daisy wheel printers are almost obsolete.
  • You cannot print graphics from the daisy wheel printer and it just prints some limited type of characters.
  • Now a day’s daisy wheel printers are not in much use because they are slow and you have to change its ribbon for changing font size frequently.

8- Wireless Printer:

wireless printer

With the advancement in technology, wireless printers are now all the rage because they refrain to have long cables that sometimes become difficult to handle.

Most people now search for wireless products. There are two types of wireless printers, first Bluetooth printers; that can easily be connected to any Bluetooth device. Second, there’s a Wi-Fi printer that can be connected to a wireless router of Wi-Fi so it can further be connected to any laptop or computer to get printouts.

Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of wireless printer.

Advantages of Wireless Printer:

  • The primary advantage of a wireless printer is that it is wireless. You will not have many tangled wires but there’s just a wire, a power cable. Tangles wires can cause any damage when encounter to fire or any other unwanted mishap.
  • You can connect your wireless printer to phone, tablet or other devices to get the printout.
  • If you are going to buy a printer for home or office, nothing is perfect choice then a wireless printer. It will be best for the office environment for easy printing.
  • You can get print from the wireless printer easily even you are in your bedroom or kitchen. You just need to connect the wireless printer with your phone or tablet.
  • Wireless printers come in a compact size and as they are wireless you can place it anywhere, where you want.

Disadvantages of Wireless Printer:

  • The main disadvantage of a wireless printer is that it can slow down the whole network through which your device and printers are connected because so many devices on one network can lead to a slower speed of the network.
  • Wireless printers increase insecurity because many devices connected to one network can lead hackers to hack devices easily.
  • Wireless printers will print slower than usual if the network is busy or there’s a signal problem.
  • The setup of a wireless printer can be complicated.
  • If the wireless printer is unable to connect to the network it will be difficult to fix it as turn on or off.


Read to know more about the printer – What is Printer and Its Types

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