A Complete Guide On Different Types Of Printers

Printers are currently the most important device in every commercial place whether it is a shop or an office. There are hundreds of pages ranging from basic bills all the way up to official documents that are needed to be printed every day in almost every commercial place. Printing is not only limited to offices nowadays as many domestic users also take advantage of printing important documents right at their homes.

Therefore, you will find tonnes of different printers in the market. Not only are there different price ranges set for particular printers, but also a wide array of varieties available that includes different types of printers that are suitable for various purposes. Today, we will look into different types of printers and try to understand them thoroughly.

Broadly, you can distinguish printers into two major categories. Those are as follows:

1. Impact Type Printers

This type of printer creates a direct impact on the page to imprint certain data. This printing method uses different types of inks to get the required color and format. In general, impact type printers are traditional printers and quite louder in nature.

But, even traditional designs have improved a lot in this era as newly arrived impact type printers from different brands offer a comparatively quieter operation.

2. Non Impact Type Printers

As the name suggests, the printer does not maintain direct contact with the pages to create a print in these printers. This includes various innovative technologies such as thermal, laser, and inkjet printers. As there is almost no contact between paper and printing peripheral, the operation of these printers is very silent.

Although, these printers fall into the premium category as the advanced technology used with these options comes at a very high cost.

Types of Printers

Now, let’s dive into the main point of today’s discussion which is the different types of printers. Here, we will be briefly explaining multiple printers and mentioning their working principle with possible applications. This should give you a great idea of which printer you need to get your own tasks done with ease.

Here are some of the most popular printers available in India right now:

Laser Printers

The laser printers use a light source, photosensitive drums, or photosensitive belts to generate a laser beam that is utilized for creating a print on the paper. The laser light emitted from the source creates the print on the photosensitive drum because of its physical properties.

At the time of printing, the page is scanned uniformly by going one line at a time so that the printing becomes faster and more precise even with complicated source data.


  • Highly cost-effective
  • Helps with productivity
  • Faster printing speed
  • Paper capacity is pretty good


  • Requires a certain warm-up period
  • The large size and form factor
  • Power requirement is high

Solid Ink Printers

The solid ink printers are termed as an environmentally friendly option as it features a unique solid ink technology that helps to reduce the solid waste by a considerable margin. The working of this printer is quite similar to any ink-based impact type printer, except it uses solid ink instead of liquid.

The solid ink is stored in canisters and melted by providing enough temperature whenever printing function is required. Due to this, the ink storage unit is much shorter and also reduces the overall size of the printer.


  • Great for personal businesses
  • Printing performance is great
  • More vibrant colors are obtained
  • Cost-effective option


  • The warm-up period is very long
  • Printing speed is slow
  • Risk of melting of ink

LED Printers

LEDs are slowly replacing almost all traditional light sources as they provide bright illumination with a much lesser power consumption rate. The working of an LED printer is dependent on various LED light sources that are installed within the printer.

The working of an LED printer is quite similar to a laser printer as it also works on a spinning drum of photosensitive materials. But, as LED lights are much simpler in construction, these printers are much more effective than laser variants.


  • Reliable and efficient performance
  • Comes at a cheaper rate than a laser printer
  • The working cycle is long


  • Applications are limited
  • Comparatively slower printing speed

Inkjet Printers

The inkjet printers are probably the oldest form of printing as well as the most common type of printers used globally. Although, these options are getting outdated nowadays as the advantages of newer options outweigh these variants.

But if you want a color print, you might still need to rely on an inkjet printer. It can intake multiple color cartridges and give you a vibrant color print. This makes the inkjet printers much more versatile and capable of printing almost any content without any problem.


  • Photos can be printed
  • Zero warm-up time
  • Small size


  • Running cost is very high
  • Printing speed is slow
  • Colors might get disturbed at the time of printing

Ink tank Printer

Ink tank printers have permanently resolved the problem of constantly needing to refuel the unit once the cartridges are empty. The ink tank printers offer a large capacity of ink storage units that needs to be filled once or twice a month even for heavy-duty usage.

The ink tank printers also have color enabled models apart from the basic black and white options. Thus, you will find all features that are found on other ink-based printers with an added advantage of less maintenance over time.


  • The ink capacity is great
  • Similar operation to other ink-based printers
  • Less maintenance required
  • Long term option


  • Running cost is quite high
  • Not suitable for domestic purpose

Multifunction Printers

The multifunction printers are more commonly known as all one printer as they are capable of getting more than just a single printing task. With a multifunctional printer, you can copy, scan, and even upload documents that make it highly versatile even for general purposes.

While multifunctional printers are quite expensive, they reduce the necessity for many other appliances at once. Hence, it can be a perfect choice if you utilize the extra features daily.


  • Can perform more than one task.
  • Compact device compared to a station of different devices
  • Wireless connectivity enabled in most options
  • Requires less power than multiple device setup


  • Expensive primary cost
  • Limits productivity by allowing only one task at a time
  • Extra features might not be needed for all consumers

Dot Matrix Printers

The dot-matrix printers rely on a pattern-based printing technology rather than light-based printing. Each dot matrix printer consists of a pinhead that has 9 to 24 pins installed on it. These pins generate a dot pattern on the page upon printing which takes the shape of the required character.

As the number of pins on a print head increases, the quality of print also increases. It is based on an impact type of operation as the printing head travels from one point to another in a rhythmic manner.


  • The initial cost is very low
  • Running cost is very low
  • Almost no maintenance is required
  • Suitable for all working conditions


  • Prints have a very low resolution
  • Noisy in operation

3D Printers

The 3D printers break the barrier of two-dimensional printing and quite literally bring almost any software designed 3D drawing to reality. 3D printing technology is the most exciting addition to the printing family as it is the most unique and modern printing technology.

The 3D printers operate with residents of different materials that are heated up to achieve a semi-liquid phase. After that, it is carefully discharged layer by layer on the printing space to get a three dimensional print of the designed object.


  • The only printing method that can print 3D objects
  • Virtually no limitation to the designs and prints
  • Can be customized completely


  • The initial cost is very high
  • The filler material is expensive
  • Not suitable for day to day printing work

Photo Printers

As the name suggests, photo printers are specifically designed for only one purpose which is to print a photograph. The photograph can be captured from any device whether it is from your cell phone camera or DSLR. The photo printer is capable of printing almost any image file without any problem.

The photo printers have very limited applications that include personal use or a few commercial places. For regular use, you can also get a decent color output from an ink-based printer and get the job done.


  • True image processing and printing
  • A suitable choice for perfect image development
  • Great color accuracy is present


  • Printing is speed very slow
  • Applications are limited
  • Not suitable for official usage


After looking at different types of printers and their advantages as well as disadvantages, you must be able to differentiate between different options without any problem. Selecting a perfect printer for your task is of utmost importance as it enables you to get the perfect results and work with maximum productivity.

While selecting a printer, you should always compare it with your requirements and make sure it will not cause a problem in the upcoming years. You should also prefer a reliable brand for a printer to get heavy durability and high-quality features.