Optimedia Labs sells a large selection of thermal transfer barcode ribbons for Zebra, Datamax, GoDEX, Intermec, Printronix, SATO, Toshiba, TSC and many other thermal transfer printers. These printers are popular for printing shipping labels, shipping documents, inventory labels, asset labels, and other industrial labels requiring barcodes. In order to be read by a barcode scanner, the barcode should be printed using crisp, high contrast materials with black on white being the most common.
Thus, most barcode ribbons are formulated with black ink. The richness and durability of the black ink are also important factors. Barcode ribbons come in the following basic formulations:
- Wax barcode ribbons — These are the most affordable, general purpose barcode ribbons available. They are best for short-term applications like packing slips and shipping labels as they lack the deeper blacks and enhanced durability of wax-resin and resin barcode ribbons.
- Wax-resin barcode ribbons — With a composite wax-resin formula, wax-resin ribbons offer crisper blacks and better durability than wax barcode ribbons.
- Resin barcode ribbons — Resin formulas offer the greatest durability of barcode ribbon types, making the well suited for chemical and GHS labeling applications.
When buying thermal transfer barcode ribbons, it’s important to know:
- Whether the ink side faces IN or OUT
- The desired ink formulation (Wax, Resin, Wax-Resin, Resin Enhanced Wax, Ultra Durable Resin, etc.)
- Your printer’s recommended core size
- Desired width
If you’re not sure whether your printer requires the ink side to face in or out or what size barcode ribbon you should order, let us know the make and model of the printer along with the label size and type you are printing. Our label specialists will be happy to identify the best barcode ribbons for your printer and use case as well as send you a sample barcode ribbon to test before you buy it.
In general, wax barcode ribbons are the cheapest. They’re good for general purpose labels that do not require extended durability. On the other end of the spectrum, resin barcode ribbons offer the best durability and can be used for your most demanding applications including GHS / BS5609 chemical labels and barcodes.