In the online shop of Prindo you will find various dot-matrix printers from Epson. They are suitable for printing on continuous paper, single sheets, envelopes, cardboard and labels. They are robust, low-maintenance and convince with low maintenance costs. Suitable accessories such as ribbons can be found at Prindo.

What is a dot-matrix printer?

Dot matrix printers or so-called daisy wheel printers are among the first printing systems. Impact printers were used in the 1960s and 1970s to print the output of large computer systems. The printing was done on continuous paper. In the 1980s, dot matrix printers were among the first printers for private use. IBM, Epson, Commodore, Star, Brother, OKI, NCR, Panasonic, Centronics and Seikosha were among the well-known printer manufacturers at that time.

In 1968 OKI introduced the first commercial dot matrix printer. Optional terms for the dot-matrix printer originate from the English-speaking world. Here the terms (Dot-)Matrix-Printer or SDM (Serial Dot Matrix) became widespread. Today, impact printers are still used for issuing prescriptions in medical practices or in shipping companies that create delivery note copies. They are also suitable for printing tickets.

How does a dot-matrix printer work?

When printing, the dot-matrix printer pulls a ribbon past the print head. During this process, needles hammer individual pixels onto the printer paper. They form the characters. The ribbon either has a carbon coating or is soaked in ink.

Compared to laser or inkjet printers, dot matrix printers work slower. The hammering of the needles on the ribbon produces loud noises. An essential advantage of impact printers is the printing of carbon paper. They are caused by the physical pressure of the needles on the paper. This is not possible with current laser and inkjet printers. The printers are connected via the Centronics parallel interface. Modern devices have a LAN or USB connection.

At the beginning of the production of the dot-matrix printers, buyers were given variants with colour ribbons. Modern laser and inkjet printers replaced color dot matrix printers, so that today there are only models for black and white printing. When using the printers, it is not the quality of the printout that matters, but the legible text. In addition to the original colour ribbons, you can get compatible products from other manufacturers.

What do you have to consider when buying a dot matrix printer?

Resolution

Dot matrix printers have different resolutions. The number of needles in vertical orientation defines the resolution of your printer. Depending on the printer, the devices have between seven and 48 needles. Models with 24 needles offer a good resolution with 360 dpi. Please note that the quality of the punch decreases with increasing number of needles. Many companies therefore rely on impact printers with nine needles. They allow up to six copies to be printed.

Printer modes

You usually choose from three different print modes (Draft Mode, Near Letter Quality, Letter Quality) from the fast draft mode with low quality to the slow correspondence quality with visually better results.

Ribbons

For the ink ribbons, select from a carbon or ink ribbon. Carbon versions offer a deeper black. They will not dry out. However, you only use the ribbon once. Use the ink ribbon multiple times. After unwinding, turn it over and use it again. If the printed image fades, it is time to replace the ribbon. In the Prindo online shop you will find a new dot-matrix printer and the matching
Ribbons.

Print speed

The printing speed is an essential factor in the selection of a device. The printers are very slow. The speed is specified by manufacturers such as Epson in CPS (Characters per Second). A good impact printer can print up to 1,000 characters per second (1,000 CPS). Models with a lower value take correspondingly longer to print.

Dot matrix printers and their advantages

Dot matrix printers offer various advantages for private and business users. The biggest benefit is in the technology. Instead of spraying the ink on like an inkjet printer or applying it with a laser like a laser printer, impact printers operate with mechanical printing. Needles press the characters onto the paper via the ink ribbon. This enables document-proof copies to be made on a layer of paper underneath.

Needle printers convince with very low maintenance costs. You do not need expensive colour ribbons. Customers can use inexpensive compatible ribbons if required. The printers are not very picky when it comes to choosing the paper. They work with all common printer papers. The technology of the Impactprinter is robust. They are low-maintenance and last for many years.

The advantages of the dot matrix printers at a glance

  • several copies possible
  • low-maintenance
  • each paper usable
  • Printing in endless loop
  • Consumption costs for ink ribbons are low
  • high life expectancy
  • indelible
  • waterproof print
  • Printing on continuous paper possible
  • line-by-line printing

Disadvantages of the dot matrix printer

Dot matrix printers are considered a niche product, as modern ink and laser beam printers replaced the outdated printing system. The reasons include the following disadvantages:

  • Devices cause noise
  • low printing speed
  • Print quality changes depending on the condition of your ribbon
  • bit-mapped print image
  • poor color rendition
  • due to low production numbers the purchase prices are high
  • the print head gets warm during continuous operation
  • Printer can be monitored with special software

Dot matrix printer from Epson

Dot matrix printers from Epson are durable, robust and low-maintenance. They are perfectly suited for use in medical practices, factory halls and in the logistics and transport sector. Their compact design means they fit on any desk. Epson is considered the leading manufacturer of impact printers. Models like the Epson LG-350 work with 24 needles and have 80 columns of print width.

The economical use of the ribbons allows up to 2.5 million characters with one ribbon. The manufacturer guarantees up to 10,000 operating hours. A modern USB port allows connection to the computer. The device also has a parallel interface. The printer consumes little power (consumption at rest: 1.3 W, in operation: 22 W) and is inexpensive to maintain. This is confirmed by the ENERGY STAR certificate. Some of the original printers can process up to six carbon copies.

Which paper is suitable for dot matrix printers?

Depending on the printer model, you can use the dot-matrix printer with different types of paper. The model Epson LQ-690 allows prints on:

  • Single sheets
  • Continuous paper
  • Labels
  • Envelopes
  • Box

Continuous paper for wire printers

Use a dot-matrix printer with special continuous paper. It has holes in the edges. The Impactprinter prints logs from machines on continuous paper. The prints are UV-stable, durable and hardly bleach out. Nowadays, only dot matrix printers use carbon or continuous paper. The Impactprinters thus cover a niche market.