Thermal Direct vs. Thermal Transfer Barcode Labels

Two different printing technologies are used by thermal label printers, Thermal Direct (Short-Term Print) and Thermal Transfer (Permanent Print).

Thermal Direct

Thermal direct printers use the printhead to heat specially treated label stock to produce black print short-term labels. Thermal direct printing is the cost effective alternative to label printing as does not require a ribbon to print.
Thermal direct labels are best used in controlled temperature environments out of direct heat or sunlight. One of the main purposes of thermal direct labels is for shipping labels as they won’t need to last for more than one year. For labels that need to last longer than one year or will be exposed to sunlight or heat then thermal transfer labels are recommended.

Common Uses: Shipping labels, compliance labels, receipts, picking tickets, coupons, event tickets, name tags, visitor passes, citations and parking tickets, common bar code printing, patient and visitor identification.

Thermal Transfer

Thermal transfer printers use the printhead to heat special wax or resin ribbons to produce permanent print labels. These labels can endure harsher environments including rough treatment, rubbing and sunlight. Thermal transfer printers can also print direct thermal labels with the correct media and by removing the ribbon.

Common Uses: Product identification labels (stock labels), shelf labels, permanent identification, sample and file tracking, asset tagging, inventory identification, certification labels, laboratory specimens, cold storage and freezers and outdoor applications.

POS Supply stocks a huge range of labels to suit all label printers. Our labels are available in a range of sizes (width/height/core/diameter) as well we can custom manufacture to any requirements.
If you are unsure what labels are required please email our team with your printers brand, model number, the rough label size required and description of what the labels will be used for.

View our barcode labels here

Barcode Label Measurement Guide - POS Supply