Learn about the Different Types of Printers and Their Functions

There are so many different types of printers and their functions available that it can be difficult to tell them apart in a world where efficiency is key, but the team at Metro Repro can help you.

Let's face it, anyone who has to do any office work or commercial printing knows that large format printers will be necessary to create any documents or media you need. Therefore, you need to understand how many types of printers there are. If you aren't aware of the different types of printers, you might end up with one that doesn't support your needs.

Luckily, we're here to help by discussing and explaining the different types of printers and their functions to get the best printer possible for your needs.

An inkjet printer is one of the most commonly available types of printers on the market

What Are the Various Printer Types and Uses for Businesses?

There are various types of printers with different capabilities, definitions, and uses. Each has its own unique set of advantages and various differentiating factors that make them stand out. In this piece, we name the most popular models and explain the different types of printers on the market today. So, how many types of printers can you choose from?

Inkjet Printers

We will name the types of printer devices, starting with the most popular model—an inkjet printer prints with a series of tiny, piezoelectric crystals displaced by heat. When electricity is applied, these crystals rapidly contract and expand, producing a small drop of ink that is then dispensed onto paper. Depending on how much voltage is applied to each crystal determines how large or small a drop is released—plus how fast it hits your page. The inkjet method allows for higher print quality from these printers than older printers but is more expensive because it uses a fair amount of electricity. These types of printers in the computer industry produce prints that are on par with a decent photocopy, but they can also print pictures, designs, or text in some cases.

Laser Printers

As their name suggests, these printers shoot a beam at your paper or similar surface so your copies look clean and sharp from edge to edge. Laser printers can also produce graphics quickly, which is ideal for office work requiring many printed pages.

If you're looking for an all-around business-type printer that is affordable upfront but reliable long-term, a laser printer might be your best bet. Laser printers are generally used in environments where many high-quality copies are required. In other words, they're expensive to purchase but more cost-effective than other printers like inkjet printers.


We have reached the point where we explain the types of printers and introduce the MFP printer. An MFP, or multi-function printer, is a device that includes printing, scanning, copying, and faxing capabilities. Designed for big and small businesses with limited and unlimited print requirements, an MFP can be a good investment if you want fewer machines in your office.

MFP is one of the types of printers which is user-friendly (often controlled via an interactive screen) while providing high-quality output. In addition, an MFP can help save space in your office since it combines several functions into one device. But before buying an MFP printer, let us explain the different types of printer capabilities. First, you should research its hardware capabilities and software compatibility. While some models allow you to share printing tasks with mobile devices (like smartphones or tablets), others come standard with built-in Wi-Fi capability.

Supertank Printers

Supertank printers are the most extensive and advanced type of printers today. They can print material styles using their technique, making them extremely useful for large-scale construction projects or for creating objects that require precise measurements.

These printers can print almost any design without causing any smudging or blurring in images. In addition, because it's capable of printing with such high precision, it can easily handle more extensive orders, saving you time and money on every order. The only downside is that Supertank printers are slightly more expensive than other models, making them a less feasible option for smaller businesses.

Laser printers are the most common types of printers in most offices because they work fast.

Dye-Sublimation Printers

Dye-sublimation is a dye-transfer printing process used in large-format digital printers. These types of printers use four plates:

  • A heat plate or heating element.
  • An image plate or cartridge.
  • A transfer roller or blanket transfers melted dye from a ribbon onto an absorbent material (substrate).
  • An optional toner plate that applies toner after transferring dye.

The transfer roller transports the ink ribbon through a heating chamber, exposing it to heaters that melt ink onto its surface. It then picks up ink from a small pool and carries it over to an absorbent material, at which point that material is fused with the ink.

Dye-sub printers employ a heated print head that instantly that other different types of printers and transfers onto special clothing ink, which changes color when exposed to heat, ensuring vivid prints with little fuss or setup.

Dot Matrix Printers

In terms of printer types and uses, this is the oldest model, which was invented in 1965. And the dot matrix printers are still available today. These printers work by pulling a head back and forth along an ink bar. While slower than other printer types, dot matrix printers are known for sturdiness, so they're often found in industrial settings or big offices.

Also, with no need for ink cartridges or toner, dot matrix printers are cheap to run (though they typically produce poor quality compared to other types of printers). Today, the various types of printers associated with the dot matrix printers are typically used in big offices where high-quality print jobs are unnecessary. While they're less prevalent than in years past, dot matrix printers are still helpful for printing documents for storage purposes.

3D Printers

How many types of printers are there? We have reached the last one. If you haven't heard, 3D printers can be magical. These types of printers do what their name implies: they can print three-dimensional things. These machines have endless possibilities, from cookie cutters to prosthetic hands. 3D printers can turn digital designs into three-dimensional objects. Professionals connect these types of printers to computer units. The printer reads specific files that contain a design and then prints them layer by layer until an object is created.

Today, there are various types of printers used for 3D printing. The most popular are consumer-grade models that create small trinkets like keychains or iPhone cases and professional machines used in manufacturing where a physical prototype of an item is needed before it goes into mass production.

Let Us Help You Find the Types of Printers Your Business Needs!

In this piece, we have given detailed descriptions of each printer to explain the different types of printers and their function. If you are in a business setting, you will need something to get all of your documents out quickly. Many companies print on demand, so having an efficient printer is vital. 

If you are spoilt for choice or don't know what printer your company needs, contact us today at (888) 484-9292, we are your one-stop shop for all things printers.

Author: Metro Repro