When it comes the time to purchase a new colour label printer, the unavoidable question arises, “Laser or Inkjet?” If you are new to label printing, making the decision about what the best printing technology is for your specific circumstances is often a highly daunting and time consuming process. In this post, we at AM Labels hope to make the decision far easier by distilling all the jargon down into a readily useable guide, that will assist you in deciding which type of label printer is right for you.

Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers work by heating up ink as it flows through a set of tiny nozzles. This heating process causes a small droplet of ink to form which is then released millions of times a second onto a media. The central advantage of inkjet printers in general, is that the upfront cost is lower for the ink cartridges and the printer itself when compared to laser printers. This makes it a far more accessible and compelling choice for many. As far as the actual printer quality goes, it is possible to achieve great looking prints for a low cost per label with an inkjet system. The downside of inkjet printers is that they don’t produce the most durable labels. This is can be mitigated through the correct ink and media choices, such as pigment ink combined with a synthetic media, however it can never be fully eliminated due to the nature of how inkjet printers work. The question you have to ask yourself though is, “is the durability good enough for the majority of purposes” and in our experience, the answer is yes. Even if you need to produce GHS compliant labels, it is possible with the right inkjet printer, such as the Epson C7500.

Laser Printers

Laser printers work by using high levels of heat and pressure to bond toner (a dry powder) onto the surface of the label media. Toner based systems have the advantage of producing great looking, durable labels, due to how the powder is infused into the media. Laser technology also allows for exceptionally fast printing. This makes laser printers an ideal choice for situations where durability and speed are key considerations; such as GHS labelling. However, it is important to note that toner printers are typically more expensive upfront than their inkjet counterparts both in terms of the hardware itself and the actual ink tanks. In the long run though, toner systems come out on top in terms of cost per label due to their higher toner capacity as well as print speed. It is also important to remember that labels produced on a laser printer typically have a slightly duller look than inkjet, so if it is a requirement for your labels to be eye-catching, such as on a isle in a supermarket, then an Inkjet printer may be the ideal choice.

The Verdict

As you can see, there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to printing technologies. To make the right choice, it’s all about understanding what your goals are with label printing. If colour vibrancy is really important to you, then consider an inkjet such as the C3500 or C7500G. If you want the fastest print speeds and durability, then perhaps a toner based system such as the ANY-002 is for you. If you need any further assistance, then please don’t hesitate to send us an email at [email protected] or contact our expert sales team on 01536 414 222, we will be more than happy to help.