Wax Resin Ribbons for Thermal Transfer Printers

Wax Resin Ribbons for Thermal Transfer Printers

This page will explain what wax resin ribbons are, why you’d want to buy them – compared with pure wax or resin ribbons and what to consider when you buy them. Read on to find out more.
Before we get started, thermal ink ribbons melt an image onto the label or tag that the thermal printer is printing to.  Different label or tag materials need different thermal ink materials.  Thermal printer ribbons are made from a mixture of wax and resin.  The lowest cost ingredient in thermal ribbons is wax so ribbons made from wax cost less than full resin ribbons.  We supply a range of thermal ribbons with varying proportions of wax and resin.  Call us to talk through your options.

Wax resin ribbons come on cores
Thermal ribbon with a take up spool

All thermal ribbons come on cardboard (or plastic) cores of different diameters and widths to suit your thermal printer.    Some printers need a notch cut into the cores.  Some ribbons (pictured left) have a take up spool to wind used material onto.
Thermal ribbons come in different widths and lengths, again depending on the model of printer they’re used with.  Smaller desktop label printers typically have shorter ribbons – usually less than 110m in length, so they fit inside smaller printers. The width of the ribbon is decided by both the width of the printer and the width of label or tag being printed.  Narrow printers are sometimes restricted to 58mm wide ribbons whilst large industrial printers can be up to 220mm wide and can be loaded with wide ribbons.  Again, larger, industrial printers can be fitted with longer rolls of ribbon.  For example Toshiba-TEC’s industrial printers use ribbons that are 600m long.Box of wax resin ribbons
Box quantities.  Ribbons are rarely sold individually.  Depending on the length or width of the ribbon they come in box quantities ranging from 6 to 24 rolls. Ask us the box quantity you’re after.

Here’s what you need to know about wax resin ribbons

  • Suitable for printing onto gloss paper or card.  Wax-resin prints well to gloss paper labels and tags, unlike wax or resin.  Do not use it for printing to plastic and other synthetic materials.
  • It’s a medium priced ribbon for thermal transfer printers.  Wax resin ribbons come in a variety of ‘formulations’ – some with lots of wax and not much resin and some with more resin and less wax.
  • Scratch and smudge resistant.  Wax-resin offers moderate protection from smudging and scratching.
  • Made to work in Near Edge printers.  Toshiba TEC,  Novexx, Honeywell and Avery have near edge printers in their range.  Wax ribbons won’t work in near edge printers.  Near edge printers are not very common.  To learn a little more about near edge printers see our post here.

Help with buying wax resin ribbons

With a variety of wax resin ribbons, finding the right one for your printing is more difficult.  Expert Labels have been supplying people with ribbons for their thermal printers for more than 20 years.  We’ve learned what ribbons work best with what printers and label materials.   Don’t buy your ribbons without calling us.  Let us help make your label printing a success.  Ask us for ribbon samples or send us over a sample of your labels for us to test.

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