Frequently Asked Questions
Where to buy Zebra printers?
Here at smartlabelling.co.uk we stock the full range of current Zebra printers from industrial to desktop and mobile. These can all be found on our website on our Zebra printers page. If you’re not exactly sure what type of printer that you need, simply give us a call on 01978 437537 and we’d be happy to assist you.
WHERE TO BUY ZEBRA LABELS?
Here at smartlabelling.co.uk, we sell the full range of stock Zebra labels. We’ve created handy categories for every Zebra printer to make buying labels as simple as possible – these can be found on the drop down under labels on our navigation menu. If you’d rather see all Zebra labels on one page, rather than narrowing it down by your printer type, please click on the following link. We’re able to deliver to all countries within the EU.
If none of the Zebra stock labels meet your requirements, we also print and produce custom labels to your requirements. Simply fill in the form on our custom labels page and a member of the team will get back to you.
How do I know what printer model I have?
If you’re struggling to find the model number or part number of your Zebra printer, simply turn it over (in the case of desktop printers) or look on the back (in the case of industrial pictures) and there will be a large label listing both the model of the printer and the part number. From the part number we will be able to help you to identify the dpi and interface options that your current printer has. This will be vital information if you’re looking to either purchase the same printer again or buy a replacement printhead kit.
If you’re still struggling to understand what printer it is that you own, simply get in touch with us on 01978 437537 and we’d be delighted to assist you.
How do I know what labels to buy for my printer?
The simplest way to buy labels for your printer is to understand what printer model you have e.g. GK420d or ZT410. When you know what model your printer is, we have created handy categories listing the labels suitable for that printer. Simply head to our navigation menu and click on the corresponding link on the drop down under ‘Zebra labels’.
The one thing that is important for you to understand in most instances, is whether you have a thermal transfer or direct thermal printer. This is because direct thermal and thermal transfer printing require two different types of labels – if you buy the wrong type for your printer and printing method they will not work. The key difference is that thermal transfer printing requires a thermal transfer ribbon meanwhile direct thermal printing does not.
If you decide not to use our specific label categories for your printer – you also need to understand if you have a desktop or industrial printer. Desktop printers (including the ZD420/GK Series/LP2844) require labels that come on 25mm cores. Meanwhile industrial printers (such as the ZT410/ S4M/ 110Xi) require labels that come on 76mm cores. This difference in core size means that if you buy the wrong type of labels they will not fit into your printer.
If you’re still struggling to understand what labels you require, simply get in touch with us on 01978 437537 and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction.
What is the difference between direct thermal and thermal transfer printing?
Zebra offer two different types of printers and therefore two different types of printing methods - direct thermal and thermal transfer. While a thermal transfer ribbon is used in thermal transfer printing, no ribbon is used in direct thermal printing, which creates the image using heat-sensitive media.
Each printing type requires a different type of label – either direct thermal or thermal transfer. The labels on our website are clearly marked for which printing type they are suitable for.
How do I know if my printer is direct thermal or thermal transfer?
If you’re simply replacing labels for an existing printer – simply look inside the printer to see if you’ve been using a ribbon. If so, you require thermal transfer labels. It is important to note here that thermal transfer printers can actually also print using the direct thermal method – direct thermal printers do not however have this capability to switch.
If after looking inside your printer you are still unsure, please take a look at the model number of your Zebra printer (will be printed onto a white label either on the bottom or back of your printer). If you get in touch with your model number, we’d be happy to help you establish what kind of labels you need.
What does DPI mean?
DPI stands for dots per inch and refers to the resolution of your printer. A higher DPI means a clearer and crisper print. When it comes to thermal label printers 203 dpi is standard but there are higher DPI printers. In the case of Zebra printers this will be either 203dpi, 300dpi or 600dpi.
When choosing a printer there are a few things to consider in terms of dpi. If you’re looking to print incredibly small text or symbols, a higher DPI will be needed to ensure legibility. However, higher DPI resolution printers are more costly and also have a slower print speed.
It’s vital that you understand what dpi your printer is when you’re looking to purchase a new printhead. If you purchase the incorrect resolution replacement printhead it will not work in your printer.
If you’re still struggling to understand what DPI your current printer is or what DPI printhead you require, simply get in touch with us on 01978 437537 with the part number of your printer (found on the bottom or back of your printer) and we’d be happy to help.
What size are standard shipping labels?
Standard shipping labels (also known as 4 x 6 labels) measure 102mm x 152mm. To make it easy for you, we have an entire section of the website dedicated to shipping labels for Zebra printers. Zebra offer standard shipping labels for both desktop and industrial printers so it is important to understand what kind of printer you have.
What is the difference between wax, resin and wax/resin thermal transfer ribbons?
Wax ribbons are the cheapest type of ribbons that you can buy – they are more than adequate if you’re printing onto paper labels and looking to use them for applications such as shipping labels. They are however the softest type of ribbon which makes them vulnerable to smudging.
What ribbons should I buy?
The ribbons that you buy should be based on the usage of your labels and the material that you are printing onto. If you are printing onto paper labels for something for a short-term life like a shipping label a wax ribbon will be more than sufficient.
If you are printing onto a semi-gloss label or synthetic label you should purchase a wax/resin ribbon.
Finally, resin ribbons should be purchased if you’re printing onto synthetic labels which will then be going into harsh environments or where the print needs to be resistant against scratching, liquid, chemicals or extreme temperatures.
The most important thing to bear in mind when purchasing thermal transfer ribbons is that the width of the ribbons must be either the same size or larger than the width of the labels that you are printing onto.
How do I know if I need to replace my printhead?
Typically, you will know when your printhead is beginning to fail because the label will have vertical white lines or voids running the length of your label - this is caused by printhead wear (missing pixels). This is when you should consider purchasing a new printhead.
How can I prolong the life of my printhead?
The first step is that you should be regularly cleaning your printhead, something that many people forget to do. The best way to clean your printhead is by using a printhead cleaning pen. To do this, you simply take the nib of the cleaning pen and run it across the printhead, cleaning the entire area - these are sold on our website under the printhead accessories category.
Make sure to never touch the print head with your bare hands. The oils or other contaminants on your hands can have a negative effect on print head life.
Another technique to extend the life of your printhead is to ensure that you are using the right printer settings. The optimum printer settings that you should be aiming for is the lowest possible temperature and pressure to produce an acceptable printed image. Additional pressure and heat will only result in increased wear of your printhead meaning that it needs replacing sooner.
What interfaces DO ZEBRA PRINTERS OFFER?
Interface simply refers to the options that you have to connect to your printer – most Zebra printers come with a number of interface options which allow you to choose the model that aligns to how you are planning to use your printer. The most basic and usually cheapest interface option is USB connectivity – this is for connection to a single PC.
Zebra also offer network connectivity options which include ethernet and wireless network connectivity. Network connecticity allows the sharing of a printer resource with more than one user and normally involves connecting the printer to a network switch or hub using Ethernet.
What’s the difference between 1D and 2D scanning?
1D scanners are used for 'conventional' 1D barcodes, these are the most commonly found barcodes used on everyday products that you would find in the supermarket. 1D scanners scan from left to right (linear) meaning that 1D barcodes typically hold a single line of information, such as a part number.
2D scanners are used for more complex barcodes such as QR codes. As well as scanning left to right, 2D scanners also scan from top to bottom meaning that 2D barcodes are able to contain much more information such as contact information or product information besides just the product code. These barcodes can be found on advertisements, special product promotions and on pharmaceutical packaging. 2D barcode scanners are able to scan both 1D and 2D barcodes.