Wouldn’t you love to print out multipart forms and receipts with as much minimal ink expense as possible? Do you want to print your data logs without any sort of maintenance duties?
Dot matrix printers say Hi! Although dot matrix printers were a revolution back in the 70s, they’re still invincible when it comes to certain types of activities. If you own a small business the dot matrix printers are second to none.
They come with a unique set of characteristics, which are difficult to replicate for any normal printer, and they can still be used to their maximum in various business sections.
Also known as impact printers, these can be extremely cost-effective and time-saving solutions if the job is to print various copies of forms and different types of labels.
Whether you’re new to this or not, we’ll provide you with a short guide in choosing and finding the best dot matrix printer for Small Business for yourself.
List Of Dot Matrix Printer For Small Business
Comparison Chart For Top 5 Dot Matrix Printers For Small Business
Things To Consider Before Buying A Dot Matrix Printer For Small Business
Although old, dot matrix printers are available in a huge number in the market today, since they’re still incomparable for certain tasks. It can be quite confusing while trying to find the right fit for your small business.
So, we’ve decided to list out the few points that matter the most for dot matrix printers.
Number of Pins
This feature is a huge factor in determining the quality of the output your printer is capable of delivering.
Pins are found in the printheads inside the dot matrix printers. These create the actual impact on the ribbon and print the content onto the paper.
As you can tell, the higher the number of pins impacting the ribbon, the higher the outputresolution will be, with sharper and clearer texts.
Usually, printers have a minimum of 9 pins, which can increase up-to 24.
Most printers usually do well enough just by using 9 pins on the printheads, such as the OKI MICROLINE 320, and improve elsewhere for higher resolutions.
On the other hand, some printers use 24 pins in their printheads, like the Epson LQ-590, and produce outputs of unmatched quality.
Since you’ll probably be printing multipart forms, records, or labels using your dot matrix printers, speed is absolutely necessary to check out.
Dot matrix printer speeds are generally denoted by CPS (characters per second), and sometimes by CPI (characters per inch).
They come with a control to adjust the speed at which they print. Since printing too fast can hinder the quality, you can tone the speed up or down, depending on which factor you want to focus on.
It goes without saying that you should opt for impact printers that have the capability of printing at higher CPS rates, like the Epson FX-890II, which can print 738cps!
Capacity of Ink Ribbons
Ink ribbons in dot matrix printers are used up relatively much slowly for printing, compared to the ink usage in inkjet printing.
They can print an enormous number of characters before running out or fading. The greater the number of characters the ribbon is capable of printing, the larger volumes you can print in a much lower ink cost per page.
Average dot matrix printers can go up-to 2.5million characters effortlessly.
Ribbons in higher-end printers like Epson LX-350 can print around 4 million characters, while the black-and-red ribbon of Epson TM-U220B can go for more than 15 million characters.
Mean Time between Failures (MTBF)
If you’re looking for heavy-duty printers that you want to print for hours on end, it’s important to look into this attribute.
This feature basically means the time difference, in hours, between two consecutive printer breaks. The heavier the duty you’re planning on putting your printer through, the bigger the MTBF value you should look for.
The Epson LX-350 has a value of 10,000 whereas the FX-890II can support 25,000 hours!
Some printers may not come with an MTBF value; in that case, you can check their “Monthly Volume” specification for some understanding.
5 Best Dot Matrix Printer For Small Business Reviews
1. OKI MICROLINE 320 Turbo Dot Matrix Printer
Possessing the old-age, aesthetic vibe, the OKI MICROLINE 320 is integrated with an incredible technology for precision in printing.
OKI has installed a unique sensor inside the printer that controls the movement of the pins on the printhead, depending on the exposure to light.
This system ensures accurate positioning of the characters on your forms and enriches the clarity.
You’ll absolutely love printing on continuous paper with this machine.
OKI has creatively designed an automated-tear system inside it, which will not only save your expenses on paper, but also boost your productivity.
This automated feature doesn’t miss creating proper perforation right where you need to tear the sheet and makes it much smoother. Moreover, a good portion of your continuous sheets is also prevented from going totally unused.
This impact-printing printer does work with 9 pins but the output quality will baffle you!
It prints at maximum resolutions of 240X216 DPI, head and shoulders above other printers with similar numbers of pins.
On top of that, the OKI monochrome printer will also serve you to the brim if you print in huge volumes.
It can seamlessly print on as many as 20000 pages in a month without breaking or requiring any sort of maintenance.
If your computer doesn’t come with an auto-detection feature though, it can be a bit tedious to install the device, since the user manual comes in a mixed language and can be difficult to follow.
- Can print on maximum resolutions of 240X216 DPI, better than printers at the same level.
- Capable of printing 20000 pages in a month without breaking.
- Automated tear feature in the system causes perfect perforations, saving money and time.
- Unique sensor ensures accurate positioning of characters based on exposure to light.
- User manual can be a bit tedious to follow.
2. Epson C11CC24001 Dot Matrix Printer – LX-350
Epson’s products have always made it into all sorts of lists and it’s not any different in the case of dot matrix printers!
The Epson LX-350 has a strong structure and is similar in weight to the OKI MICROLINE 320. The black color combined with the off-white label stickers on the body add a nice touch to the entire device.
Dot-matrix printers are relatively much older than most other printers and most of them don’t support the updated operating systems.
This Epson machine, however, comes with excellent compatibility with Windows 8 and 10, as well as Mac and Linux operating systems.
The installation process is as easy as it can get and in most cases, the operating systems will automatically detect the right drivers and finish the setup process.
But, you’ll need to purchase extra cables, such as a USB cable or a serial/parallel cable, as these don’t come with the product.
This impact matrix printer pushes itself onto the list with its adaptability to more than one type of paper. Along with the normal plain paper, the LX-350 is also capable of printing on heavier envelopes, like No.6 and No.10 envelopes.
Furthermore, you can also carry out some color-printing tasks, although it’ll lead to a huge drop in speed. It prints at a rate of 347cps for black-and-white texts, but less than 50cps for color texts.
Last, but not the least, the LX-350 is unbelievably cost-efficient.
You can continuously print without any worries of ink running out, since the newly-engineered ribbons installed by Epson can print more than 3 million characters without fading!
- Adaptable to plain paper as well as no.6 and no.10 envelopes.
- Can easily carry out color-printing tasks.
- Newly-engineered ribbons can print around 4 million characters.
- Great compatibility with the newer versions of operating systems.
- Doesn’t come with any USB cable or serial/parallel cables.
3. Epson C31C514767 Dot Matrix Receipt Printer – TM-U220B
The Epson TM-U220B takes portability to another level with its small and lightweight features. It weighs only around 1lbs and you can carry it around to print almost anywhere, as long as there’s a power supply.
Similar to the Epson LX-350, the TM-U220B is also able to print in color, but only in red.
You can add some variation to your POS receipts with the black and red ink, highlighting the important information. On the contrary, it does print colored outputs faster than the LX-350.
Since it’s a specialized receipt printer, it works with various widths of feed rolls better than most other dot matrix printers but not normal paper.
You can use various rolls of width 58/70/76 mm, whichever fits your purpose.
You’ll benefit more if you choose the color-printing ribbon for this dot matrix receipt printer. This ribbon is manufactured for much larger volumes of printing and minimal ink expense with a capacity of more than 15 million characters!
A unique addition to the TM-U220B is the Ethernet port in the back. Ethernet connections have twice the speed of USB and the printing performance is much smoother and effortless.
- Weighs around 1lbs and can be easily carried anywhere.
- Supports various widths of feed rolls, increasing options for cheap printing.
- Color-printing ribbon can easily print more than 15 million characters.
- Ethernet port ensures smooth and rapid prints.
- Only supports certain paper rolls and no other sizes or types of paper.
4. Epson FX-890II Impact Printer
Yet another Epson printer makes it to our list through its amazing sets of features that we couldn’t just ignore!
The FX-890II prints at a lighting speed of around 738cps! This is huge compared to the 347cps speed of Epson LX-350; you’re actually getting your work done in half the time, greatly boosting your productivity.
You can print in double the volume relative to the general dot matrix printers. Epson has integrated an improved system in this impact printer that allows the machine to print continuously for as long as 25hours!
You can just initiate the printing process and go on about your day without worrying about it breaking or falling in performance.
This flexibility to long operation hours is also supported by the sturdy structure of the FX-890II.
The printer has a heavy build with the internal parts more-or-less fixed in their positions. This leads to less friction and the parts don’t easily wear away, but the noise is still there!
Along with that, the unique assembly of this device lets heat dissipate away easily while preventing dust from entering.
These top features make sure your printer performs at the highest level for as long as you need it to.
Its operation is also made very straightforward with the input tray resembling that of the normal laser printers.
You can place the sheets in tray correctly without any trouble and it provides the option to create as many as six carbon copies, which can be valuable if you’re printing reports or multi-part forms.
- Prints at a lightning speed of 738cps.
- Can print continuously for as long as 25 hours.
- Sturdy and long-lasting structure, with resistance to extreme temperatures and prevention to dust.
- Can be used to print as many as six copies at the same time.
- Operation can be very noisy.
5. Epson C11C558001 Impact Printer – LQ-590
Leading all the other printers in our list when it comes to print quality is the Epson LQ-590!
Using 24 pins, this dot matrix printer for small business will give you outputs with top-notch quality! As a comparison standard, the OKI MICROLINE 320 uses 9 pins in printing.
The high number of pins in this printer will ensure each and every character is crystal clear and readable, with no bleeding between words and quality that of a typewriter.
The LQ-590 prints at speeds in the top level too! It can flawlessly print at a rate of 529cps and you can tone it up and down.
Higher speeds can take a toll on the quality and you will get the best output with relatively lower speeds.
Similar to the LX-350, this Epson impact printer also supports more than just plain paper. It can print on envelopes too, up-to a thickness of 0.52mm.
Another useful attribute this machine possesses is the different methods of feeding the paper.
According to your requirements and comfort, you can feed the paper in a push/pull tractor mechanism, standard frictional mechanism and singular mechanisms for push and pull too.
The off-whitish body and grey-colored trays will blend in with your office environment and enrich the professionalism.
While it’s relatively heavier, it doesn’t take up too much space and can be connected using USB.
- Uses 24 pins in printing, producing top quality printouts.
- Can print on varying levels of thicknesses of envelope, up-to 0.52mm.
- Multiple methods of feeding in paper, according to different requirements and comfort.
- Prints at very high speeds, which can be toned up and down.
- Sometimes, drivers can be incompatible with operating systems.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Can You Still Buy A Dot Matrix Printer?
Yes, you can still buy a dot matrix printer for small business.
Dot matrix printers are available in the market even now, because they have a much better performance than inkjet or laser printers in certain types of businesses and jobs, such as making multipart forms, automated data logging, various types of labels and more.
2. Is Dot Matrix Printers Good?
Yes, dot matrix printers are good, but only for a few, specific purposes, such as making multipart forms and receipts.
In most other aspects of printing, laser and inkjet printers have taken over dot matrix printers with better features and attributes.
3. Is Dot Matrix Printer Is The Most Popular Printer?
No, dot matrix printer isn’t the most popular printer now. It was the most popular when it was first introduced in the 1970s, up until the 1990s.
Nowadays, inkjet and laser printers are way more popular and useful.
4. What Is The Advantage Of Dot Matrix Printer?
- Can make multiple copies of a file at the same time.
- Ink ribbons and ink cost per page – both have the least expense compared to all other printing mechanisms.
- Can easily print on continuous paper without having to maintain paper change and position.
- Much more durable in adverse conditions, like extreme temperatures and high humidity, compared to other printers.
- Almost zero maintenance is required.
- They’re readily available at very low prices.
5. What Is The Difference Between Laser And Dot Matrix Printer?
Laser printer execute prints with toner, which is fused using heat, while dot matrix printers work by pins on printheads striking on a ribbon that consists of black or red ink.
6. What Is The Difference Between A 9 Pin And 24 Pin Dot Matrix Printer?
Pins, found on printheads in the dot matrix printer, create the actual print by striking in the ribbon.
9-pin dot matrix printer uses 9 pins in the printheads, while the other one uses 24.
Since greater number of pins are used in the 24-pins printer, the characters are positioned much more accurately and printed clearly, with a much higher resolution than the 9-pin printer.
Dot matrix printers created a big revolution in the printing industry around the 1970s. They were widely-used for all sorts of work and were highly popular.
Gradually with time, they started to fade away as technology progressed. But, their uniqueness held on and some tasks were just too complicated without them, which is why they’re in demand to this day.
Finding the right one for your business can be tough, with such a wide range of products available. That’s why we’ve taken our time and put in the effort in this detailed article to help you select your best dot matrix printer small business.