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How to Choose a Printing Calculator

Updated on September 27, 2011

Printing Calculators For School and Business

There are many types of specialized calculators available, from scientific calculators to kitchen calculators. A printing calculator however, is particularly useful in retail business, offices, and small business environments. They include a built-in printer that allows the user to print off a copy of their calculations and their result.

However, in some instances a printing calculator can also be useful in school. Certainly, being able to see a calculation printed out can help in better understanding a process and catching errors as well.

They can often figure tax, profit margin, and so forth, giving them even greater functionality. You can find out more about these calculators and their many features on this page. You'll also find a number of these devices for sale on this page.

Buying Tips

Before you select a printing calculator, you need to think through a few of the various features and functions they offer. Here are some critical points.

  • Power Source

    Some printing calculators are powered by batteries. This can make them more portable. However, AC powered devices are more maintenance free as you don't have to worry about recharging or replacing the batteries. Some models are AC powered with battery backup.

  • The Display

    Some devices have an LCD display which is crisp and clean. Others have a fluorescent display which can be brighter in low light situations. In addition, while most printing calculators have monochromatic displays, some are 2 color.

    Some of these devices will display two lines of numerals on the screen, while others display only one. In most instances, 1 line is easier to read. Of course overall display size is critical for easy reading too. Just as with any calculator you probaby also need to know how many digits the display can handle. If you work with large numbers you need to be sure they will show. You will also want to know if punctuation such as commas and decimals will be displayed on screen.

  • Overall Size

    Printing calculators are not really portable devices; they won't fit in your pocket and they are heavier than other calculators due to the paper, built-in printer, and so forth. However, some are smaller than others and can fit in a large bag or briefcase if you want to take it along or if desk space is especially limited.

  • Printing

    Some of these devices will print in black and others will print two colors, with positive numbers in black and negative numbers in red. Additionally, you may want to consider printing speed if you are in a high volume/high speed environment. As an example, some calculators will produce 1.5 lines of print/second while others may average 4.8 lines/second.

    Another printing related concern is related to how the device prints. For instance, some are impact devices that use standard paper while others are thermal printers which require the use of more expensive thermal paper.

  • Other Features and Functions

    All printing calculators can handle basic math functions. Many also feature calculations for tax, currency exchange, item counters, cost-sell margins, and so forth. Some allow you to adjust the decimal setting or adjust whether the device rounds decimal points up or down. A correction key is certainly handy and a calculator that allows you to switch off the printer when desired can save on ink and paper. Some of these devices even feature a clock or calendar.


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    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

      I have two---a small Canon and a Sharp RQS...I love them and the tape saves me a lot of time when it comes to rechecking...Good article and nice selection of calculators...

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      Interesting information. I don't think I need one right now but if ever I do I will surely look this Hub up!

      Love and peace