Direct Thermal (DT) printing utilizes a heat-sensitive paper that already has ink embedded within the label material meaning that it doesn't require the use of a thermal ribbon. Direct thermal labels are ideal for indoor, temporary use with a shelf life of around 6 to 8 months.
Direct thermal printing can be used with mobile, desktop, and industrial printers. Mobile printers use .75" core labels. The most common manufacturer of mobile printers is Zebra. Common models are the QLN series, like the QLN420. However, Zebra has recently been replaced by the ZQ series of printers, the most popular being the ZQ630 .
Desktop printers use a 1" core or fanfold labels. The most common desktop printers are made by Zebra, with the most popular model series being the GK Series. Additionally, DYMO, Rollo, and Bixolon printers have begun gaining attention as affordable, low volume desktop printers. Desktop printers can use perforated or non-perforated labels.
Industrial printers use 3" core roll or fanfold labels. Some of the most popular industrial printers include: Zebra, Datamax, Sato, and Intermec. These printers have a durable design for use in demanding environments where they are capable of printing large volumes of labels at a time.
We carry various label sizes in different materials and colors to ensure you are choosing the best label for your application. This includes both 4" and 5" outer diameter (OD) rolls for desktop printers and 8" to 12" outer diameter rolls for industrial printers.