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Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A FAILING PRINTHEAD? 

Typically, you will know when your printhead is beginning to fail because the images that you are printing from your printer will become lighter and sections of dots begin to fail to print, leaving behind white voids. This is when you should consider purchasing a new printhead.   

what does dpi stand for and why is it important?

DPI stands for 'dots per inch' – the number of little printed dots there is in an inch of your printed document. The larger the DPI, the larger the number of dots and therefore the clearer the print. Usually, the higher the DPI, the higher quality the print. 

Many printer models come with a range of DPI options across their models – if you purchase the wrong DPI printhead for your printer it will not work. For example, if you have a Zebra ZT410 in 203dpi but purchase a 300dpi printhead, the printhead will not be compatible with your printhead. If you are not sure what dpi level your printer is, simply get in touch with us with the serial number or product code (this can usually be found on the back of the printer) and we’ll be able to let you know which printhead you require.  

HOW LONG SHOULD A PRINTHEAD LAST? 

A printhead should be expected to print up to ten million labels before needing to be replaced. However, without the proper maintenance and care, this can reduce to as little as one million. With attention and care, you can prevent this burnout and extend the life of your printhead. 

WHAT STEPS CAN YOU TAKE TO EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR PRINTHEAD? 

With heavy use, buying a new printhead at some stage will be inevitable. However, there are steps that you can take to prolong the life of your printhead and delay having to purchase a new one. The first step is that you should be regularly cleaning your printhead, something that many people forget to do. The best way to clean your printhead is by using a printhead cleaning pen. To do this, you simply take the nib of the cleaning pen and run it across the printhead, cleaning the entire area - these are sold on our website under the printhead accessories category. 

Make sure to never touch the print head with your bare hands. The oils or other contaminants on your hands can have a negative effect on print head life.

Another technique to extend the life of your printhead is to ensure that you are using the right printer settings. The optimum printer settings that you should be aiming for is the lowest possible temperature and pressure to produce an acceptable printed image. Additional pressure and heat will only result in increased wear of your printhead meaning that it needs replacing sooner. 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BUY A GENUINE PRINTHEAD RATHER THAN A COMPATIBLE?

At The Thermal Printhead Store we only sell genuine printheads - this is because we understand the long lasting damage that compatibles can do to your printer. Genuine printheads, rather than cheap compatibles will ensure the longevity of your printhead and will be more cost-efficient in the long term. 

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT MODEL PRINTER I HAVE IN ORDER TO BUY THE CORRECT PRINTHEAD? 

Most printers will have a label on the underneath listing the model number - through this model number you will be able to identify not only what model printer you have but also the DPI of your printer. If you are still unsure, simply get in touch with us with the serial number or product code and we’ll be able to let you know exactly which printhead you require.