Dot Matrix Printers

Courtesy of Super Warehouse

Courtesy of Super Warehouse

While I thought these were gone long with the dinosaurs, dot matrix printers are still being built and purchased today. This is mainly due to the economy and the fact these printers are relatively cheap to buy, cheap to maintain and very durable, but also due to their unique features.

What is a dot matrix printer you might ask? A dot matrix printer is a type of printer that produces characters, or text, and illustrations by means of striking pins against an ink-soaked cloth ribbon on paper to print closely spaced dots in the appropriate shape (much like a typewriter). They do not produce high-quality output to say the least, but they do have the ability to print multi-page forms (carbon copies) and they can print relatively quickly.

A dot matrix printer’s speed is measured by characters per second (cps). The speed can vary between about 50 to well-over 500 cps. While I said before the quality is below-par, the quality actually is determined by the number of pins the printer has, because the pins are the mechanisms that print the dots. These printers can have between 9 and 24 pins; 24 pins being the best. 24 pin dot matrix printers can print near letter-quality type, but they do make a lot of noise when printing.

Popular dot matrix printer brands are Epson printers, Okidata printers, Panasonic printers, and Tally printers. While dot matrix printers may not be the “sexiest” printers on the market or have the best quality print out there, they are the workhorses of the printing world and are ideal for organizations that do a lot of invoicing each day. Dot matrix printers have touch, reliable performance and one of the lowest costs per page due to their ability to use paper rolls rather than expensive individual sheets.