Thermal Transfer Ribbons

The importance of choosing the right barcode printer ribbon is even greater than you can imagine. As there is a variety of ribbons for material as well as for coloring, it’s important to make sure you pick up the right ribbon type so your data stays readable on a barcode or product packaging over time. In this article, we present Zebra ribbons and explain in which particular case each type would be applicable.

Wax Ribbons

Those belong to the common type of barcode printer ribbons and are often used for general-purpose prints. Wax ribbons also appear to be the most economical solution for industrial prints. At the same time, wax-based solutions for thermal transfer printing offer high quality and clarity of print.

Even though ribbons appear to be the most popular and widely used in the market and industrial printing, they won’t be applicable in each and every case. As wax is not resistant to heat or extreme weather conditions, the label might lose its initial qualities when it appears in such environmental circumstances.

It’s also critically important to make sure that thermal transfer ribbons are compatible with the printer. Consider Zebra barcode printer ribbon as a great solution for industrial label printing. It is also compatible with other printer models, ensuring outstanding printing results.

Wax Resin Ribbons

Another category of thermal transfer ribbons refers to the resin and wax mix. Similarly to wax ribbons, they are also widely used across multiple industrial applications. This popularity is enabled due to higher resistance to external environmental and weather conditions. Wax resin ribbons are rather common for pharmaceutical industry products. Moreover, they often appear as a preferred solution for creating shipping labels.

Unlike wax ribbons, the wax resin ones appear a bit more costly solution due to their properties and thermal resistance. There is a variety of wax resin ribbons designed for Zebra industrial printers as well as for other models.

Resin Ribbons

This type of thermal transfer ribbon would be the perfect solution when an item is supposed to be under harsh conditions over time. In fact, resin ribbons are the most reliable when it comes to the durability and resistance of print. Labels made from resin ribbons stay safe under extreme heat and cold, water, dust, oil, and even chemicals. In fact, they are often used for frozen products, electronic components labels, clothing labels, etc.

Given the range of qualities that resin ribbons have and the benefits they offer to industrial manufacturers, the price for them is corresponding. They appear to be the most expensive solution in the thermal transfer ribbon market. The prices for a resin ribbon package range depending on the printer model but constitute several hundred dollars on average.


There is a variety of thermal transfer ribbons designed for different printer models and purposes of use. Wax, wax resin, and resin ribbons are the most common solutions in the industrial market. While wax ribbons are very popular, they won’t guarantee that resistance level as resin solutions. So, decide how your labels would be further used and select the thermal transfer ribbon type based on that.

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