Different Types of Printer and Their Functions & Uses

In this blog post we will discuss what is printer their most common types and how they are different from each other.
Printers are by far the most frequently used output devices.
printer is device that accepts documents, pictures, and other graphic data and prints them onto paper.
  • They are used to print documents on paper (output). 
  • The term “hardcopy” is also used to refer to printout. 
  • The output may consist of letters, symbols, or graphics.

Different Types of Printer Based on their Working

on the base working printer can be divided into different categories and below are the most common types of printer

Printer can be divided into two types

  • Impact Printer
  • Non-Impact Printer

What is Impact Printer? and how they work

Impact Printers

A printer that produces output on paper by striking a print hammer or set of pins against an inked ribbon is called an impact printer

It works like a typewriter. It uses an electro-mechanical technique to print output on the paper.

  • It can print characters and graphics on the paper.
  • Slower in printing and produce low-quality output.
  • Printing speed of these printers is measured in characters or lines per minute. They also produce more noise during printing.
  • However, impact printers are less expensive
  • Today impact printers are not commonly used
Types of Printer and their function

Example of Impact Printer

Dot Matrix, Daisy Wheel Printer and Line printer are common example

Character Printers(Impact Printer)

Character printer is one of the most common type of impact printer. Produced one character at a time

Printers that produce hardcopy by printing one character at a time are called character printers

In the past, character printers were very popular .They were commonly used with personal computers to print the information on paper

  • Today, they are rarely used
  • Dot Matrix Printer
  • It makes a hardcopy by printing one character at a time
  • Speed is measured by the number of characters it can print in one second
  • Printing speed ­čí¬ from 300 to 1100 characters per second (cps) or more

Dot Matrix Printer

Dot matrix printer is also the type of Impact printer and prodded output by striking on paper

A dot matrix printer contains a print-head with a matrix of small pins arranged in rows and columns (in the form of a matrix) Print-heads are available with 9, 18, or 24 pins.

  • Printout quality of these printers is not better
  • They also produce more noise while printing output

Daisy Wheel Printer

Its work like a typewriter. It has a print wheel with a series of petals This wheel is known as the daisy wheel

Each petal of the daisy wheel contains a character at its end

A motor rotates the wheel When the desired character reaches the print position on the paper, a hammer strikes a petal against the ribbon

  • Slower than the dot-matrix printer
  • However, its print quality is better than the dot matrix printer

Line Printers(Impact Printer)

Very fast printer It prints a complete line of characters at a time.

  • Printing speed is measured in lines per minute (lpm) which is up to 3000 lines per minute
  • Line printers are normally used with mainframe and minicomputers

printer types and functions

What are Non-Impact Printers? How They Work

A printer that produces output on paper without striking the paper is called a non-impact printer

Non-impact printers use electrostatic, inkjet, laser, and thermal technologies for printing

  • Non-impact printers are faster and produce high-quality output than impact printers
  • They produce no noise during printing
  • These printers are costly than impact printers

Laser Printer (Light Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation)

A laser printer is the fastest and high-quality non-impact printer Laser printers are available in both black-and-white and color models.

Today, laser printers are commonly used for printing different types of documents

  • Laser printer prints one page at a time therefore called page printer
  • A laser printer works like a photocopying machine
  • It uses laser technology to print image of output on the paper
  • It uses a LASER beam and ink powder called toner to transfer image on paper

Ink-Jet Printer

Inject printer is one of the most common type of Non Impact printer

It creates output on paper by spraying tiny drops of liquid ink It can print text and graphics in both black-and-white and color

Printing speed is measured by number of pages per minute (ppm), it can print (it means that it is a page printer)

  • Most ink-jet printers can print 12 to 36 pages per minute
  • However, they print graphics and colors at a slower rate
  • Most inkjet printers have resolution ranging from 1200 to 4800 dpi (dot per inch)
  • With an inkjet printer, a dot is a drop of ink
  • Low price, slower, low print quality than laser printers
  • However, faster and have high print quality than dot-matrix printers

Thermal Printer(Non Impact Printer)

It prints information on heat-sensitive paper by pushing electrically heated pins. Basic thermal printers are not very expensive, but their print quality is low

These printers are typically used to print receipts at ATMs and retail stores, electronic tickets at airports, tokens at banks, and other public places. Modern thermal printers have high print quality

Difference Between Impact and Non Impact Printer

difference between impact and non impact printer
difference between impact and non impact printer
Impact PrinterNon Impact Printer
Print output by directly striking the print hammer or wheel against an inked ribbonPrint output without striking the paper with a print hammer
Slower in printing Fast in Printing
Have low print qualityHave High print quality
Use an ink ribbon for printing outputUse powdered ink or liquid ink for printing output
Printing speed is measured in characters or lines per minutePrinting speed is measured in pages per minute


which of the following printer types is considered an impact printer

Character printer, Line Printer, Drum are consider the most common types of impact printer because they print by striking on the paper.

what are the different types of printer

On the base of working printer can be divided two type

Impact and Non Impact printer

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