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What are the best printers for thermal transfer labels?

22nd March 2022

Thermal transfer labels provide information ingredients, use-by dates and within barcodes for thousands of products in an array of industries.

Typical products that benefit from thermal transfer labels include long-life applications, laboratory labels, inventory identification, industrial labels, chemical labels and warehouse shelf labels.

The main benefits of thermal transfer labels include the clarity of print definition when it comes to your text, images and barcodes, as well as the wide variety of materials and paper you can print in. Thermal labels resist heat better and provide greater stability and durability no matter what the external conditions are. You can also rely on higher speed printing and a longer print head life. 

Thermal transfer printing is ideal when only one colour is required, although you can print in two colours with the CAB XC printer models. 

You can print in widths of up to 8.5 inches wide and we have a huge variety of thermal transfer printers that we can recommend across a myriad of industries. 

Let’s go through our range with you now.

How are thermal transfer labels created?

Thermal transfer printers use a thermal print head to transfer ink from a ribbon onto a label supply. The thermal transfer labels are usually made from nylon, vinyl, polyester or another thicker material, which helps to produce a permanent print. The ribbon is made from wax, resin, or a combination of the two. This is bonded to the label supply surface with heat and pressure.

What printers produce the best thermal transfer labels for me?

CAB are the industry leaders when it comes to two-colour thermal transfer printing. The XC models are ideal for GHS labelling because there are fewer alignment issues than with pre-printed stock as you can print them with two colours (red diamonds over the top of black, for instance). The Squix 4M printer is ideal for small thermal transfer labels that can be used to label electronic circuit boards.

Dura-ID has a range of Toshiba thermal transfer printers that are well-suited to the horticulture industry. They can handle a range of self-adhesive and tag requirements that are often needed in garden centres and nurseries.

The ribbon save option with these Toshibas can also reduce waste, improve efficiency and keep costs down. 

TSC thermal transfer printers are one of the fastest growing on the market. Manufacturing, pharmaceutical and logistics companies have been able to benefit from the wide range of printers available. They are very user-friendly and are available for large volumes of print runs at a reasonable cost.

Thermal transfer labels from the Zebra range of printers are often used in the steel, medical and chemical industries. These industrial printers have excellent quality and can print in the harshest conditions, producing thermal transfer labels of up to 600 dots per inch.

Brands such as Datamax, Intermec, Citizen and Printronix can also print quality thermal transfer labels that suit your requirements.

Should I consider printer consumables from Dura-ID? 

As well as the printers and labels, Dura-ID can provide you with the consumables to keep your equipment running. 

Our thermal transfer ribbons are available in a variety of specifications, formats and colours. 

Our print heads and spare parts will also give you unrivalled print quality and keep your printers at an optimal level.

Thermal transfer label printing software

For thermal transfer labels, we offer LabelDirect software so that our customers can quickly and easily print thermal transfer labels in-house.

This technology is perfect for those who aren’t as ‘techy’ as others. The mantra ‘what you see is what you get’ applies perfectly to LabelDirect software. 

The software allows you to design a label that will appear exactly as it is printed. Your own staff can print labels from steel mills, in a laboratory or a hospital quickly, changing the position of barcodes, images, text and other components within the label.

The interface is also very straightforward to use and different versions are available for different printers.

All companies need to do is buy the blank labels and software from us and direct printing can begin. 

Contact Dura-ID today

Dura-ID is a name that is synonymous with high quality at a price that will not cost the Earth. We are a global leader of thermal transfer labels and we can find solutions that will work for the unique requirements of your organisation.

If you are interested in working with Dura-ID or if you want some helpful advice from our expert advisers, you can phone 0114 242 2111 or email