Different Types of Printers

Types of printers: A printer is a device that accepts text and graphics from a computer and transfers the information to paper. in other words, a Printer is an output device that transfers information to paper-called hardcopy.

Types of Printers



In terms of the technology utilized, printers fall into two basic types.

  1.  Impact Printers
  2. Non-Impact Printers

Impact Printers

  • Impact minters include all printers that work by striking an ink ribbon.
  • They can produce carbon copies.
  •  Impact printers are much noisier than other printers.



  1. Daisy Wheel Printer: They print one character at a time similar to a ball-head typewriter. this type of printer has a plastic or metal wheel on which the shape of each character is embossed electric motor spins the wheel and a. A hammer presses the wheel against the ribbon, which in turn makes an ink stain in the shape of a character on the paper. Daisy wheel printers produce better quality print but cannot print graphics.
  2. Dot Matrix Printer: Dot Matrix printer is also a character printer because it prints one character at a time. Dot-matrix printers create characters by striking pins against an ink ribbon. Each pin makes a dot and combinations of dots form characters and illustrations.
  3. Line Printer: A-line printer contains a chain of characters or pins an entire line at one time. Line printers are very fast but produce the low-quality print. Drum printers and Chain printers are sub-division of line printers.

Non-Impact Printers

Non-impact printers use magnetic, electronic, thermal, chemical, optical, inkjet, or laser technology to give output on paper. They cannot produce carbon copies. they are called quit printers.


Non-impact printers include laser printers, inkjet printers, etc.

Types of Impact Printers

Inkjet Printer: Inkjet printers spray on a sheet of paper, producing high text and graphics.
Laser Printer: Laser printers use the same technology as photocopier machines. Laser printers produce high-quality text and graphics.
LCD & LED Printer: Similar to a laser printer, but uses liquid crystals or light-emitting diodes rather than a laser to produce an image on the drum.

Thermal Printer: An inexpensive printer that works by pushing heated pins against heat-sensitive paper. thermal printers are widely used in calculators and fax machines.


Printers are also classified by three following characteristics.

Quality of Print: the output produced by printers is said to be either better quality (as good as a typewriter), near better quality, or draft quality. only daisy wheel, inkjet, and laserjet printers produce better quality type. some dot-matrix printers claim better quality print, but if you look closely, you can see the difference.

Speed: Measured in characters per second (cps) or pages per minute (ppm), the speed of printers varies widely. if you do a lot of printing, the speed of the printer is important.

  • Daisy-wheel printers tend to be the slowest, printing about 30 cps.
  • Line printers are the fastest (up to 3,000 lines per minute).
  • Dot-matrix printers can print up to 500 cps.
  • Laser printers range from about 4 to 20 text pages per minute. Generally, more expensive printers are much faster.

Graphics: Some printers (daisy-wheel and line printers) can print only text. Other printers can print both text and graphics.

Fonts: Some printers, notably dot-matrix printers, are limited to one or a few fonts. In contrast, laser and ink-jet printers are capable of printing an almost unlimited variety of fonts.


  • Color is important for users who need to print pages for presentations or maps and pages where color is part of the information.
  • Color printers can also be set to print only in black and white.
  • Color printers are more expensive to operate since they use two ink cartridges (One color and one black ink) that need to be replaced after a certain number of pages.

Resolution: printer resolution (the sharpness of text and images on paper) is in dots per inch (dpi) Most inexpensive printers provide sufficient resolution most purposes 600 dpi.

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