Printer Ribbons

4 Steps To The Perfect Ribbon

1- Choose your printer

Printer Category

There are four different categories of printers

Industrial: This printer will take an 8” OD roll of labels on a 3” core. The ribbon length is 900’ to 1,476’ long.

DeskTop: This printer will either take a 4” or 5” OD labels. The ribbon length is 300’ to 500’ long.

PAX: This is a printer applicator and can take ribbon lengths in the 3,000’ range.

Near-Edge: This printer ribbon typically goes into a flexible packaging printer, but can also be used in a label printer. The ribbon lengths range from 2,400’ to 3,900’.

2- Choose Your Formulation


There are three forms of ribbons, wax, wax/resin and resin. All ribbons are made of both wax and resin. The only difference is the amount of resin in each ribbon will determine what classification that ribbon will be placed into. Wax is the least expensive and is used for paper labels. Wax/Resin is used for applications that required more abrasion resistance on paper and for polypro labels. Resin is used for labels in harsh environments such as outdoor, chemical or labels that need high abrasion resistance.

3- Choose Your Ribbon Wind

Ribbon Wind

Thermal transfer ribbons are either wound in CSI (coated side in) or CSO (coated side out). This has to do with where the ink is on the ribbon, either on the outside of the roll, or inside of the roll.

Every printer manufacturer designs their printer to take one or the other. Some later model printers can use either ribbon. All Zebra printers use CSO ribbons. 98% of the other printers use CSI.

If you are not sure, please give us a call at 888.972.5234 or Email and we will find out for you.

Coated side in

PaladinID Coated Side Out Thermal Transfer Ribbons

Coated side out

PaladinID Coated Side Out Thermal Transfer Ribbons

4- Choose Your Color


We have many different stock colors to choose from that cover most of the applications in industry today. If you need a specific PMS color (Pantone Matching System), we also offer the ability to for custom colors as long as you meet the MOQ’s (minimum order quantity). Give us a call at 888.972.5234 or Email, with any questions. We are here to help.

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