Technology is an ever-improving system that can bring about significant changes. Unfortunately, business doesn't move as quickly, and sometimes you need older machines to run your company. Dot-matrix printers — or impact printers as they are sometimes called — are useful for companies that need to print carbon paper or reams of data. We hunted down the very best you can buy.
OKI MICROLINE 320 Turbo (opens in new tab)
The OKI Microline 320 is a fan favorite because of the companies excellent customer service. It's hard to find suitable dot matrix printers that can handle new computer systems, but the team at OKI makes it as painless as possible to integrate with Windows 10. It has both the old school parallel port that older systems use and the newer USB to give you the most connectivity options possible. This is an older model, still made by a company that specializes in this kind of technology. It's beloved because it will work for years without fault.
Epson C11CC24001 (opens in new tab)
A compact Workhorse
Older impact printers are massive, but Epson is seeking to reduce the footprint of its latest printers. The C11 offers all the durability and longevity of other dot matrix printers while fitting neatly onto your desk. If you are a small business owner who only needs one printer, not a bank of them, then the C11 is an excellent choice for you.
Epson TM-U220B (opens in new tab)
While thermally printed receipts have become the new norm, they do fade over a short time. If you leave a thermal receipt in your wallet for more than a week, you will notice the ink may have faded entirely. This dot matrix printer from Epson is far more reliable and is often used to keep a running total for accountants to pin to paperwork.
Epson FX-2190II Impact Printer (opens in new tab)
When speed is of the essence, the Epson FX is an excellent choice for your business. Unlike most 9-pin printers that only print at around 500 characters per second (CPS), the FX can print at a whopping 738 CPS, meaning you can print more of things you need, faster than ever. It can also print different size papers, from small carbon paper, all the way up to continuous paper reams.
OKI MICROLINE 420 (opens in new tab)
OKI is well known for its reliability. The Microline series is exceptionally robust, and the 420 has an expected printhead life of over 400 million characters! The low-profile printer should fit just about anywhere you need it to as well, making it perfect for the smaller office spaces.
Oldies but goodies
Dot-matrix printers are still an essential part of everyday life for a lot of companies. When I used to deliver to shipping companies, they would have racks of impact printers spitting out carbon copies of manifests, because thermal printers can't do the job. The OKI Microline 320 (opens in new tab) is still used by hundreds of companies and is lauded for its longevity and customer service team. If you need a printer built to last, then OKI is the right choice.
For a speedier printer, you could look to the Epson FX-2190II. (opens in new tab) With over 200 more characters per second than its competitors; it's one of the fastest impact printers around. Of course, you may be looking for smaller receipts for your restaurant or bookkeeping. In that case, the Epson TM-U220B (opens in new tab) two-color receipt printer is likely the right choice. The print takes much longer to fade than thermal printers, and the printer will last you as long as you need it.
James built his first PC when he was 13 and has never looked back. He can be found on Windows Central, usually in the corner where all the 3D printers are, or huddled around the Xbox playing the latest games.
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