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Printer Ribbon Types

Last Updated: 6/7/2016

Label printers and barcode printers have three different types of ribbons that can be used: wax ribbons, wax/resin ribbons, and resin ribbons. Each type of ribbon has its strengths and weaknesses and the right one to use is dependent on the user's type of application. Below is a description of each type of ribbon.

Ribbon Types:

  • Wax Ribbons: These ribbons are the lowest cost and are typically used when long termdurability is NOT an issue. Thus, wax ribbons are typically used forshipping labels, pricing labels, or other indoor applications. They arebest for printing on coated or uncoated paper tags and labels.
  • Wax/Resin Ribbons: These ribbons have a higher cost than wax ribbons, but are lessexpensive to resin ribbons. The imprint is more resistant to scratchingand smearing and can resist mild chemicals. Since the durability isstronger than wax, but weaker than resin, these ribbons are suitablefor short-term outdoor uses and are best for printing on coated paper,coated tags and films such as Kimdura.
  • Resin Ribbons: These ribbons have the highest cost, but havethe highest durability of the three ribbon types. They are mostly usedfor outdoor applications or if the media requires handling in extremeconditions (continuous physical contact, harsh heat, etc.). They areresistant to most chemicals and are best for printing on syntheticsmaterials such as polyester, polyimide, etc.

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This page last updated on 7/16/2019 2:46:05 AM