How does a dot matrix printer work?

Dot matrix printers don’t just sound extremely techy and confusing, they look extremely techy and confusing, too! For this reason, lots of people find themselves being intimidated by these machines, and immediately apprehensive about using them. But there’s no need to worry – once you understand how these machines work, you’ll be fine! In this blog post, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about dot matrix printers, from how they work, to what they’re used for. So, without further ado…

So, how exactly does a dot matrix printer work?

Dot matrix printers are a lot like inkjet printers in that they work by implementing a moving head that prints in a line by line motion. However, contrastingly to inkjets, dot matrix printers employ an impact ‘head and ribbon’ method of printing. This method is very similar to that of a traditional typewriter, punching tiny holes through the ribbon and into the page, leaving a mark.

What do the numbers on dot matrix printers stand for? How do I know which to pick?

Dot matrix printers each bestow a matrix of pins, which are used to produce the characters on the page. When it comes to variation in this regard, you can choose from either 9 pins or 24 pins – 9 pin is usually the fastest option, meanwhile 24 pin boasts the highest resolution.

What are the benefits and uses of a dot matrix printer?

Although dot matrix machines are often perceived as archaic in some ways, these durable devices are perfect for invoicing and warehouse packing/picking slips where multiple copies are required. Dot matrix printers can print multiple sheets at once, printing directly onto the white front sheet, and then following on to the coloured carbon copies behind.  In general, dot matrix printers are more reliable than laser or inkjet machines, especially when used in dirty environments such as warehouses or car garages.

Can I buy a dot matrix printer from Printerbase?

Of course, you can! You can view our full range of dot matrix printers now.


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Happy printing!
The Printerbase Team

3 Replies to “How does a dot matrix printer work?”

  1. very nice

  2. not bad

  3. good

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