Comparison Between Impact Printer and Non-Impact Printer

Comparison Between Impact Printer and Non-Impact Printer

Comparison Between Impact Printer and Non-Impact Printer

Comparison Between Impact Printer and Non-Impact Printer

Impact Printers

An impact printer makes contact with the paper. It usually forms the print image by pressing an inked ribbon against the paper using a hammer or pins. Following are some examples of impact printers dot-matrix printer, daisy-wheel printer, Line printers, drum printer, chain printer, band printer.

Non-impact Printers

Non-impact printers do not use a striking device to produce characters on the paper; and because these printers do not hammer against the paper they are much quieter. Following are some non-impacted printers Ink-jet printers and laser printer.

We summarized all the differences between impact printer and non-impact printer regarding to their features

Comparison Between Impact Printer and Non-Impact Printer 1


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  • Impact printer – Produces text and images when tiny wire pins on print head strike the ink ribbon by physically contacting the paper
  • Non-impact printer – Produces text and graphics on paper without actually striking the paper


  • Impact printer – Dot-matrix printer
  • Non-impact printer – Inkjet printer, laser printer and thermal printer


  • Impact printer – Low printing speed
  • Non-impact printer – Reasonably fast


  • Impact printer – Print quality lower in some types
  • Non-impact printer – High quality of output, capable of printing fine and smooth details

Letter quality

  • Impact printer – Produce near letter quality (NLQ) print only, which is just suitable for printing mailing labels, envelopes, or invoices
  • Non-impact printer – Letter-quality printouts


  • Impact printer – Not commonly used today
  • Non-impact printer – Most commonly used printer today


  • Impact printer – Uses ink ribbon
  • Non-impact printer – Uses ink spray or toner powder


  • Impact printer – Less expensive
  • Non-impact printer – More expensive


  • Impact printer – Reliable, durable (lasting for a long time)
  • Non-impact printer – Print head is less durable, inclined towards to clogging and damage

Sound effects

  • Impact printer – Generally noisy because of the striking activity
  • Non-impact printer – Generally much quieter than impact printers because there is no striking mechanism

Image clearness

  • Impact printer – Poor graphics or none at all
  • Non-impact printer – Can handle graphics and often a wider variety of fonts than impact printers

Multipart forms

  • Impact printer – Ideal for printing multipart forms because they can easily print through many layers of paper
  • Non-impact printer – Cannot print multipart forms

Color output

  • Impact printer – Limited color printing
  • Non-impact printer – Capable of printing in strong clear color, good for printing pictures

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