Dot Matrix Printers

Impact printers either have the entire character, an “A” for instance, slamming against the “ribbon” which makes an impression of the character on the paper; or, using tiny little pins striking the “ribbon”, they “draw” the character by creating it from many tiny, little dots, ergo dots in a matrix.

The quality of a 24-pin is better because there are more and smaller pins allowing the machine to “draw” a more precise “picture” of each character.

A 9 pin print head has 9 pins in a vertical line, each with a solenoid to propel it against the ribbon, making contact and leaving a dot of ink on the paper.

A 24 pin print head has, you guessed it, 24 pins. They are smaller in diameter, and in a staggered pattern rather than vertical. This allows for greater print density and a smoother looking printed character.

The more pins the better the quality and usually faster.

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