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Barcode Ribbons

Barcode Ribbons

Barcode ribbons are used in thermal transfer printers to transfer the image to the thermal transfer label with heat applied from the print head. The quality of ribbon used will make a difference in the life of your printers print head and the quality of the image printed.

Why is our ribbon better? Take a look at this image of 2 print heads. When using our ribbon with print head cleaner, your print quality will be better for a longer period of time and your print head will last a lot longer.
barcode ribbon print head cleaner

Below are thermal transfer barcode ribbons, along with high quality wax,wax/resin and resin ribbons for use in Zebra, Sato, Intermec, Datamax and many other printers.

If you are not sure which ribbon to use for your printer, give us a call.

Barcodes on packaging, products, and inventory are important to be able to read and withstand various environments, and stick to the surfaces that the barcodes are affixed onto, from paper mail to glossy plastic bags. In addition, quality ribbons will keep your thermal transfer printer printheads cleaner, making the barcodes clean and easy to read, even after long runs. Finding the right ribbons at an affordable cost therefore is important to make sure your business runs smoothly.


We provide high quality wax, wax/resin, resin, and flexible packaging ribbons for all your barcode needs. Our variety of ribbons include colors ranging from red, blue, magenta, yellow, gray, orange, green, and more, with varying tones and intensities in the color spectrum. In addition, our ribbons are compatible with multiple brands of printers as well, so whether you have a Zebra, Datamax, or other printer, we have you covered.


Our wax ribbons are great for basic uses on all products that won't undergo intense, environmental changes or shipping arrangements, and can be printed on most common surfaces that will only be a few times. Wax-resin ribbons are especially useful for items that will be scanned multiple times and in harsh environments or through rough handling, and on products with rough or matte surfaces. Our full resin labels are great for printing on polyester or glossy surfaces.


To get a more in-depth discussion about wax barcode ribbons, visit our blog post about them. If you still have questions about which ribbon to use, contact us: we can help you find the right ribbon for your printer and products.


New product offering! Take a look at the new Economy Wax Ribbon which is a real price competitor. This ribbon is great for any application where durability is not an issue. There have been a lot of lower quality imports entering the US market for barcode ribbon and now the US has answered with a lower priced wax barcode ribbon answer. This ribbon stands up to the test against any of the lower priced imported wax ribbon. The main use for this economy ribbon is on warehouse labels, shipping labels, bin labels, shelf labels, retail price marking, and any other label that uses wax ribbon without a large resin presence.



Only print on regular paper labels that are thermal transfer capable. This new wax will not work on synthetic labels since it will rub right off. Some shipping benches use these ribbons since the cost of inexpensive thermal transfer labels and using this economy wax barcode ribbon, the combined price can be less than using direct thermal labels. Quite an option if you don’t mind changing the ribbon at the shipping bench. Anyway, ask us for a free sample and see for yourself. We look forward to working with you on your barcode ribbon choices.


Resin ribbon is used for critical applications where an image will have to withstand harsh environments. This is not for your typical shipping label. The resin content in the ribbon can vary depending on the application required. Many UL/CSA applications require a resin ribbon since they require the image to withstand head, and sometimes chemical washdowns in manufacturing applications. Think of the environment a light fixture, or electric motor might be in. These environments can be industrial with dust, oils, greese and more effecting the label. This is why a tougher ribbon is needed and it is usually printed on a much tougher material like a polyester label or some other synthetic material. Refer to the UL specs online to make sure the documentation is correct for your UL application. We can help with this, since it is a very complex matching process.


Other Resins are used for lab labels, or any chemical resistant situations in the market. Some of the harshest chemicals include Xylene solutions, alcohol and break fluid. These chemicals can wash away most barcode images with a quick soak and rub. There are specific combinations of resin ribbon matched with the proper synthetic label that will make the image strong enough to resist these harsh chemicals. Please discuss this with us to get the proper match. Our resin ribbons are the top of the line quanity and we are able to put the combination of ribbon and label material together to accomplish a permenant image for your application.


Some applications are not this tough and that is where the wax-resin combination will come in. It is not as expensive, but will provide an image to withstand most industrial labeling solutions. The key in makeing these matches is not to overkill the situation, but to get the proper match so you are not over spending on a solution that can utilize a less expensive option and provide the needed quality for the barcode image. 


We find so many customers spending way too much on their labels and barcode ribbon because they have been oversold, or think it is the only solution for their requirements. Let us help you save both money and get a better image.