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Coated Side Out (CSO) Ribbons

Use our coated side out thermal ribbons with most Zebra® thermal transfer printers.

Coated Side In (CSI) Ribbons

Add our coated side in thermal ribbons in a wide variety of Datamax® and SATO® printer models.

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Understanding Your Thermal Transfer Ribbon Material Options

Resin-Enhanced Wax - Resin-enhanced wax ribbons are the most common general purpose thermal transfer ribbons available. These wax ribbons work well across a variety of coated and uncoated paper stocks, and are an economic solution for most general use thermal transfer applications.

Durable Wax/Resin - Our durable wax/resin thermal transfer ribbons provide high resistance to scratching and abrasion. When used with synthetic label materials, these ribbons even provide resistance to direct contact with moisture and some chemicals. Durable wax/resin ribbons are ideal for demanding environments, and are the best option for printing on weatherproof thermal transfer stock.

Learn more about the different thermal transfer ribbon materials.

Thermal Transfer Printer Ribbons FAQ


What's the difference between coated side out (CSO) and coated side in (CSI) thermal transfer ribbons?

CSO ribbons are made with the ink on the outside of the ribbon spool while CSI ribbons have the ink on the inside of the spool. This is because various printer brands feed the ribbons through their machine differently.


How do I pick the printer ribbon size?

You want to pick a ribbon closest to the size of your label in width and length. Pay attention to the core size as well, most printers will have a designated compatible core size.


What are the different printer ribbon materials?

We currently offer two different thermal transfer ribbon materials: resin-enhanced wax (aka full wax) and durable wax/resin (aka wax-resin). The resin-enhanced wax is the most economic choice and works for general-use applications. The durable wax/resin ribbons are more durable and should be used when extreme conditions, contact with moisture, or frequent handling are involved.


How many ribbons do I need?

It isn't always a 1:1 ratio of ribbon rolls to label rolls. Use our thermal transfer ribbon calculator to find out how many ribbons you need in order to match your roll quantity.

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