Receipt Printer

Find the right receipt paper printer for your retail business

A good POS receipt printer is critical for both consumers and retailers, as receipts are a necessary part of any purchase transaction or agreement. From a consumer perspective, a receipt ensures that an item can be returned without hassle (if the store has a return policy), while from a retailer perspective, a receipt allows for easy product returns as well as accurate recordkeeping and inventory management.

Different types of businesses require different types of receipt printers. While many debit and credit machines have receipt printers built right in, for some companies it makes more sense to buy a stand-alone receipt printer that can be configured to work with a computer.

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Types of Receipt Printers

Receipt printers often look and function like miniature printers. The three main types of receipt printer technology have all been used in regular printers, as well:

  • Dot matrix receipt printers. A dot matrix receipt printer has pins that strike an ink ribbon and leave an impression on the printer receipt. The impressions are actually isolated dots but appear as the image you wish to have on the receipt. Dot matrix receipt printers are very slow and aren't known for quality imaging, but they do have the potentially important ability to make carbon copy printouts, which the other technologies do not have.
  • Thermal receipt printers. A thermal receipt printer uses heat rather than ribbons and striking to make an impression. This technology is much faster, and about the only thing that can be said against it is that receipts might fade over time.
  • Inkjet receipt printers. In this form of receipt printer, ink cartridges are used to create the image on the receipt. The most advanced option in receipt printer technology, inkjet printers can print colored receipts, which may be useful for any company that wants to market its brand this way.

Of the three types of technology, inkjet and thermal receipt printers are most common. They are the ones typically found inside a debit machine and are best suited for use in both the retail and restaurant industries.

Using a Receipt Printer

Depending on the receipt printer, you'll need to keep the following materials on hand when using the device:

  • Receipt printer paper rolls. Make sure you choose the right paper—printer receipt paper should usually have a similar consistency to that used with an accounting calculator.
  • Manual. Receipt printers are prone to jamming and other issues, so keeping your manual close by can help you troubleshoot on the fly.

  • Toner or ribbon

Most receipt printers are installed using a USB cable and can be easily configured using your computer's software or the software included with the printer.

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