Most general-purpose printers currently sold to individuals and businesses are either laser printers or ink jet printers. Dye-sublimation printers are used by those who work with high-quality color graphics professionally.
A number of other sorts of printers are important for historical reasons, or for special purpose uses:
- Impact printer- All impact printers have certain advantages, such as the ability to make multiple copies using carbon paper, and the use of familiar typewriter mechanisms such as ribbons.
- Ballistic wire printer (dot matrix- often used in cash registers)
- Stored energy printer (dot matrix- lowest cost of ownership)
- Lineprinter (Often used in older cash registers)
- IBM Selectric typewriter
- Thermal printer
- Character matrix printer- prints a matrix of dots that's a character high
- Line matrix printer- prints a matrix of dots that's the width of the printer
- dot matrix printer:Prints by making dots on the paper in a square array. Most are character matrix printers. High-end dot matrix printers are line-matrix printers. Any printing technology can be used.
- Page printer- Prints a page at a time.