The battle of the ribbons, wax vs wax resin vs resin. Which ribbon is right for you?

In a nutshell the ribbon that you choose depends on the environment that your label will be subject to and the label material you want to print onto. E.g. if you are printing an address onto a paper label you would need a wax ribbon.

Wax - Inexpensive, most popular ribbon with limited smudge resistance.

Label material: Suitable if you are printing onto matt or semi gloss paper labels / card tags. A wax ribbon is the lowest cost choice for a thermal ribbon. Wax is the softest ribbon making it more vulnerable to smudging and scratching. There is however an option to upgrade to a resin enhanced wax that provides a better print quality and offers more smudge resistance than standard wax. Wax ribbons are ideal for general labelling applications including printing address labels, shipping labels, mailing labels, product labels, warehouse labels, price tickets and retail labels. Popular brands include Armor AWR470, ITW B220, DNP (Sony) TR4085+ and Zebra 2100/2300. Choose a wax ribbon for your printer

Wax Resin - Long life, smudge resistant ribbon.

Label material: Suitable if you are printing onto semi gloss paper or synthetic labels. A wax resin ribbon combines wax and resin to makes these ribbons smear and smudge resistant. It is the preferred choice for paper labels and the choice for synthetic labels that do not need to resist chemicals or extreme temperatures. Wax resin print can easily rub off many synthetic labels. Wax resin ribbons are ideal for printing product labels, warehouse labels, price tickets, retail labels and healthcare labels. Brands include Armor APR6, DNP (Sony) 5080, ITW B121, Ricoh B110A/B110Ti, Zebra 3200/3400 and TEC AG2/RG2/SG2. Choose a wax resin ribbon for your printer

Resin - Long life, scratch and chemical resistant ribbon.

Label material: Suitable if you are printing onto synthetic labels. A resin ribbon is the hardest ribbon type; it is scratch and chemical resistant. Resin is the choice for printing synthetic labels going into harsh environments where print needs to be resistant against smearing, scratching, moisture (waterproof), abrasion, extreme temperature or chemicals. Resin ribbons can be used where labels are destined for indoor or outdoor use; resin offers virtually indestructible print making it ideal for printing labels that are subject to extreme environments. Resin is ideal for printing asset tracking labels, textile or garment labels, automotive labels, medical and pharmaceutical labels, chemical drum labels, flexible packaging, compliance labels, pcb labels, and chemical or hazardous material labels. Brands include Armor AXR7/AXR8, ITW B324, Netmark IQ SP330, Ricoh B120C, Zebra 5095 and TEC AS1/RS1. Choose a resin ribbon for your printer When starting a new project with thermal transfer printing, it is always advisable to ask your supplier for a sample ribbon to ensure you have a good match between the ribbon and label material. To enquire about wax, wax resin or resin ribbons, call our sales office on 01536 414222.