The Dot Matrix Printer

Passport Dot Matrix Printer

The dot matrix printer (or impact printer) is a type of printer with print heads that move from left to right printing on a page through the impact of striking an inked ribbon. They utilize print heads on which gratings are combinations that reproduce characters, symbols and images formed by dots in a boxlike drawing. These machines entered the labor market to replace daisywheel printers and typewriters, and are still used widely today in many industries due to their durability and low cost of maintaining. Dot matrix printers are still a great value for many businesses, especially for those who want devices that are robust and do not need much supervision by an operator.

A dot matrix printer is capable of printing from 280 characters to 1066 characters per second. It has the advantage that you can make multiple copies simultaneously with carbon paper, or many new models have the ability to print onto single sheets of paper. Unlike other impact printers, such as the daisy wheel printer, dot matrix printers can change fonts and create characters in bold and italics, without the need to change a print wheel. The print quality is determined by the number of pins, ranging from 9 to 32. They have been supplanted by better technology in homes; however, they are still used by companies because of the low costs involved.


Multi-impressions: Because dot matrix printers use a print head high impact, the paper used is coated with interleaved carbon sheets. This process allows one-step multiple copies to be generated, sometimes up to 10 copies. This is important for labels in repair centers, or between departments and divisions that require multiple copies of the same document or label.

Hostile environments: These devices are highly resistant to being subjected to temperature extremes and dust for long periods of time. Since their array technology is based on a simple design and a sturdy ribbon that provides lubrication, it is well suited to the needs of remote locations without heating.

Cost considerations Laser and dot matrix printers have roughly comparable initial purchase prices: as of October 2012, dot matrix models run between $250 to $600, and you can find low-end laser printers for under $100, though most range between $150 to $600. The per-page cost for dot matrix printers is lower, at .15 to .2 cents per page; laser printers cost from 1 to 9 cents per page. Dot matrix printers use inexpensive ribbons and have little other maintenance; however, the toner cartridges used for laser printing figure heavily into operating costs. This device typically lasts four to seven years, but can last twice as long as a laser printer. Depending on use, a single ribbon can last up to a year. In most of the opportunities, the matrix consumables may cost less than the ribbons of typewriters.

Monochrome output: The dot matrix printers are ideal if you require printing images that are not in color. Some dot-matrix devices have entered the market to generate color images however, its use has been very limited. Because the print head makes contact with the ribbon and paper, the colors tend to blend.

Uses Of Dot Matrix Printers

The dot matrix printer is a very good choice for certain uses. This type of printer is the only one capable of printing multiple layers at once, which is excellent for producing carbon copies of documents. They are very good for internal use of companies such as payroll departments, printing labels or printing invoices in chain stores. Best option for heaving duty printing where keeping the cost low is a concern.

Dot Matrix Printers Summary


  • Printers are cheap and less expensive to maintain.
  • Can be used to make carbon copies as they are impact printers.
  • Are very robust and will last for many years
  • Printing cost is very low; ribbon cost is low and lasts a long time
  • Can be used in rough environments


  • Low print quality
  • Paper jams can be involved
  • Printhead may get damaged due to bending of pins
  • Slow in comparison to inkjet and laser printers
  • Create a lot of noise
  • Though color printing is available, the print quality is low.
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