Review: The Best Dot Matrix Printers of 2018-2019

Reviews of The Top Dot Matrix / Impact Printers

 

Oki 62418701 MICROLINE 420 Dot Matrix Printer

$664.20
$371.59
30 new from $371.59
4 used from $ 175.99
See on Amazon
Amazon.com
as of February 15, 2019 4:17 am

Features

  • OKI MICROLINE 420 Dot Matrix Printer (9-pin) (570 cps) (128 KB) (240 x 216 dpi) (Max Duty Cycle 24 000 Pages) (Parallel) (USB) (Energy Star)
  • OKI MICROLINE 420 Dot Matrix Printer (9-pin) (570 cps) (128 KB) (240 x 216 dpi) (Max Duty Cycle 24 000 Pages) (Parallel) (USB) (Energy Star)
  • Matrix

The good

The good

✅ Mid-segment price
✅ Quality prints at an over average speed
✅ Amazing printhead
The bad

The bad

⛔ If anything, no serial connectivity

Review

The ML420, also from Microline is also a 9-pin impact printer which supports a wide variety of different paper types and envelopes. It can reach a speed which goes up to 570 characters per second in its unique SuperSpeed Draft mode. The dot matrix printer’s printhead is rugged and can last for an astonishing 400 million characters. It’s built of samarium magnets and quality pins that give great print quality with preciseness through up to 6 pages of a form. Furthermore, it has a patented closed-loop feedback system which helps the machine to achieve outstanding placement accuracy of papers and envelopes. Given its price, performance, and overall functionality, this is CompetentReview’s choice of the best dot matrix printer for 2018-2019.

OKI 62433801 Microline 620 9-Pin Narrow Carriage Dot Matrix Printer

$458.19
$450.23
24 new from $450.23
1 used from $ 325.00
See on Amazon
Amazon.com
as of February 15, 2019 4:17 am

Features

  • Maximum_Print_Speed_Black - 700 cps
  • Printer_Type - Dot Matrix
  • Monthly_Duty_Cycle_Pages - 28,000
  • Model_Name/number - Microline 620
The good

The good

✅ Print speeds of up to 700 characters per second
✅ Ribbon life of up to 8 million characters
The bad

The bad

⛔ A bit more pricey than some other alternatives
⛔ 9 pin – slightly lower quality print

Review

The Oki Microline 620 dot matrix printer is one of the fastest impact printers on the market. With speeds of up to 700 characters per second, this printer is unbelievably fast. Moreover, Oki promises a ribbon life of up to 8 million characters, which is quite a lot! Oki further writes that the 600 series is your answer if you are looking at printing continuous forms or business correspondence, or both for that sake. The 600-series is made for the most demanding environments, meaning point-of-sale, where automation is needed, or similar areas. Furthermore, the 620 is said to be able to print graphics and prints in a higher quality than typical 9-pin dot matrix printers, which also makes it suitable for office use.

OKI62411701 - Oki Microline 321 Turbo Dot Matrix Impact Printer

$455.00
10 new from $455.00
5 used from $ 79.99
See on Amazon
Amazon.com
as of February 15, 2019 4:17 am

Features

  • Maximum_Print_Speed_Black - 435 cps
  • Network_Ready - No
  • Printer_Type - Dot Matrix
  • Monthly_Duty_Cycle_Pages - 13,000
The good

The good

✅ Best fit for form printing
✅ 200 million character ribbon life
✅ Auto-tear and patented optical sensor for increased quality print
The bad

The bad

⛔ 9 pin – slightly lower quality print

Review

Microline 321 is a 9-pin matrix printer which is engineered for the most demanding settings. The manufacturer Oki writes that the 321 impact printer easily can operate twice as long as similar printers. What is even more unbelievable is that Oki communicates that the printhead can sustain up to 200-million characters, which is just outstanding. This dot matrix printer has a lighter, stronger, and more efficient motor which reduces friction, and a long-lasting rack and drive system that ensures a better print quality. The impact printer comes in a very protective chassy so the machine can stay intact even in the harshest environments. The 321 printer can print up to 5 copies at the same time and is argued to be the best fit for form printing.

Epson C11CC24001 LX-350 Dot Matrix Printer - 9 pin - up to 347 Char/SEC - Parallel/Serial/USB

$210.45
$209.95
15 new from $209.94
3 used from $ 63.00
Free shipping
See on Amazon
Amazon.com
as of February 15, 2019 4:17 am

Features

  • The Epson LX-350 has fast and durable EPSON 9-Pin technology, prints up to 347 cps and is ideal for front and back office applications needing continuous paper or multi-part stationery
  • Parallel, serial and USB interfaces
  • Compact design fits neatly onto desks
  • High reliability: MTBF of 10,000 operating hours
  • Energy efficient model for less power consumption
The good

The good

✅ Cheap
✅ Energy efficient
✅ Neat design
The bad

The bad

⛔ Slower speed than other options
⛔ Some Amazon reviews highlight that print quality may be worse than other options.

Review

The Epson LX-350 is the cheapest dot matrix / impact printer which is worth considering. This is another 9-pin dot matrix printer which comes with both USB, Parallel, and serial connectivity options. Moreover, it is also marked by energy star, so its a more energy efficient machine than the others covered in this article. According to Epson themselves, the machine fails after every 10.000 hours of usage on average, which makes it an extremely reliable machine. They further highlight that this machine is the best option for those in need of a machine in front or back office which needs continuous paper or multi-page prints. The machine is slightly slower than the other machines, at around 350 characters per second, but this may prove fast enough for most users. Moreover, the machine is smaller than many of the other options, so those looking for their first machine, the LX-350 might be the best option.

What is a Dot Matrix Printer?

Before we start to discuss the best dot matrix printers available, let’s look into what a dot matrix printer really is. A dot matrix printer, also known as impact printer, is a printer that unlike ink-jet or laser printers uses pins to print a document. As you may have figured, this means that the output is not necessarily of the highest quality, but on the contrary, you will achieve a speed that is unbeatable by any other printers. Dot matrix printers can have an output of over 700 characters per second, but the more speed you require the more you decrease the quality of the print.

A huge benefit is also that dot matrix printers are that they use pressure to print letters on pages, which also is why they are called impact printers. Therefore, they are able to print on multiple pages at once, which makes them suitable for carbon printing, carbonless printing, or carbonless copying. If you are running a business where you frequently use forms or documents where you need to transfer information on the front sheet to the sheets beneath, a dot matrix printer / impact printer is what you need.

In contrast to normal modern printers, a dot matrix printer doesn’t need the same attention. Dot matrix printers are very durable and printer ribbons can last for millions and millions of characters. On the downside though, is that dot matrix printers tend to be very noisy, so take this into consideration if you need one in an office environment.

Many dot matrix printers are also able to handle continuous paper rather than page by page, and this makes them very suitable for data printouts or data logging.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Dot Matrix Printers and Impact Printers?

Dot matrix printers and impact printers are workhorses. The main advantages of dot matrix printers are that you can print fast and cheap. Moreover, you can print on multiple pages at once, they’re cheap to repair, and lastly, that you can print on continuous paper. Another major advantage is privacy. As we know, privacy is very important in certain industries, and the US government is said to work together with printer manufacturers to be able to trace from which printer a certain document was printed. This is completely avoided with an impact printer.

On the other hand, some of the disadvantages of dot matrix printers are that dot matrix printers are noisy, they produce fairly low-quality prints, not all can do color, and sometimes they tend to jam.

This video gives you more insight on the dot matrix printers and how they function.

What can I use a Dot Matrix Printer for?

As introduced above, dot matrix printers are used where speed is prioritized and where multi-page printing, or carbonless printing, is used frequently. This entails that dot matrix printers often are considered essential in businesses where you need to print forms or reports repeatedly. This could, for example, be very useful at banks, retail outlets, and offices to handle operations such as shipping, warehouse updates, and billing with ease.

What is the Price of a Dot Matrix Printer?

As with most products, of course, there are varying price levels of different brands, what functionality that is provided, and so on. This also applies to dot matrix printers, but in general terms, you can definitely say that the price of dot matrix printers tends to be slightly more expensive than inkjet or laser printers. The cheapest one in this review is the Epson LX 350, which can be bought for around $200. While being more expensive to buy up front, the operating cost of a dot matrix printer is far lower than other types of printers. So, if printing in color or prints of the highest quality isn’t essential for you, a dot matrix printer may be the cheapest printing alternative, due to that ink for printers tend to be very expensive.

 

 

Conclusion – The Best &The Cheapest Dot Matrix Printer

Wow. Now we learned quite a lot about dot matrix printers, or as they also are known as, impact printers. We learned what they can be used for, how they function, and what benefits and downsides there are with them. I hope you managed to find one that suits your needs. Either way, here comes our final verdict regarding the best dot matrix printer in 2018-2019.

The Best Dot Matrix Printer

After hours of research and writing, it became quite clear that Oki’s Microline 420 take the price this time. Being reliable, printing with quality, and providing an outstanding lifetime of printer parts, this machine is a great all-round dot matrix printer. It also sells at a price which is somewhat mid-range, which makes the machine the best value for money.

The Cheapest Impact Printer

Maybe you are in the market for a cheap first-time machine? In that case, we also covered something that might be of interest for you. This time, Epson is the manufacturer and provides the LX 350 at below $200. This price is unmatched by all other providers, if you are looking for a new machine. Epson promises a functioning machine, but which performs at a slower pace than others, and have a much shorter lifetime of components. If you are just trying your first dot matrix printer, this might be a good choice though.

About the author

Erik Nilsson

Hi! I'm Erik, the writer of this site. I am a 25-year-old Swedish student interested in everything on the internet. I am compiling in-depth product reviews in order for you to make the best possible decisions on your online purchases.

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