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Datamax I-Class or H-Class

Which printer? I-Class or H-Class Being part of a team that is a business partner of some of the top printer manufacturers means I get the chance to check our a lot of different label printers.

As well as reselling the printer hardware, we also get to use it in the variable data print jobs we do for our customers.

Here is a rare look into the printer room, here at the WincoPlex. We have printers available from Zebra and Intermec, but the workhorses that do most of our printing are from Datamax.

The machines you can see in the photo are (from left to right) H-Class 600 DPI, I-Class Mk II 600 DPI and a 300 DPI H-Class RFID printer.

You might be aware that in the Datamax line-up, the H-Class is at the top, with the I-Class being more of an intermediate model. You would assume from this that the more expensive H-Class would automatically be the best for any printing job – I’ve found that this isn’t always the case.

For the job running in the photo, we had a large job to print which consisted of printing a logo and a serialized Datamatrix code. The barcode size necessitated using 600 DPI printer resolution so that is why I’m using these two machines.

As would be expected, the H-Class performed by far the better for this job – better print quality (I had to run the I-Class at its lowest speed to maintain quality, while I could speed up the H) and more accurate indexing. As a result, the H-Class printed by far the majority of the rolls for this job.

However, another print job we run has a tiny label to print – 0.8 x 0.3 inches – way smaller than either printer is supposed to work with. For this job, I find that the I-Class gives better print quality and more accurate indexing. Strange, but true!

So there is more to choosing a label printer than just looking at the specs – you might have to actually do some testing to see what works best.

What about you? What is your go to label printer for tough jobs?

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