The Pros & Cons Of Direct Thermal Printing
05 Dec
/ By

The direct thermal printing method utilizes heat-sensitive and chemically treated media that will blacken when it passes under the printer’s thermal print head. The thermal process usually occurs on the paper substrate itself (a specially coated paper). As mentioned, the print head will generate enough heat to trigger a chemical reaction with the top layer of the paper and burn the transmitted image onto the paper. Direct thermal printers have no ribbon, toner or ink, and their simple designs make them even more easy to use. At Cut Sheet Labels, we are able to manufacture your custom labels using the direct thermal printing method. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using this type of printing, and see whether it suits your preferences.

Pros of Direct Thermal Printing

If you are new to the direct thermal printing method, you will be glad to know that they have a wide range of advantages. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • First and foremost, direct thermal labels are much more environmentally friendly. As the printers do not use a ribbon, it reduces the amount of non-recyclable waste and by-products.
  • As they have a lower shipping weight, your carbon footprint will be greatly reduced.
  • Without the need of a ribbon, a lot of time will also be saved especially when you are reloading your printer. In fact, you will save many hours of labor time that involves adjusting printer settings as well as periodically reload it.
  • When you opt for thermal labels, you will never have to worry about the ribbons wrinkling when printing, using and even ordering the incorrect ribbon and label sizes. As direct thermal printers forgo the traditional use of ribbons, they can be more compact and that needs less physical inventory is needed to store it.

Cons of Direct Thermal Printing

The pros of direct thermal printing certainly outweigh its cons. But still, it will be useful to know more about them to prolong the lifespan of your thermal labels:

  • Depending on the complexity of your label design, the speed of the thermal printer may be reduced. However, that is necessary to ensure your prints turn out great and crisp.
  • Thermal labels are unable to withstand long exposure to direct sunlight or extreme heat. If you tried leaving a gas station receipt on your dashboard, you will notice that it fades from the exposure. The same will happen to your labels too as those receipts utilize similar direct thermal printing technologies.
  • Thermal labels can also start to fade after a prolonged period of time, even if it is not exposed to sunlight. Hence, using them to label boxes that will be stored in your inventory for years isn’t a good idea.
  • Depending on the changes in the market environment, labels that have undergone the direct thermal printing method may cost slightly more than their thermal transferred counterparts.

If you would like to order thermal labels, consider getting them from Cut Sheet Labels. Here, we have a well-stocked line of thermal labels that come at the lowest possible prices!