Thermal Printer Paper Roll Sizes [Ultimate Guide]

Purchasing an entire roll of thermal paper only to find out that it does not work for your business, can be quite frustrating. Hence, save yourself the hassle and frustration that comes with an incorrect purchase and read through our handy guide to understand thermal paper roll specifications. 

When it comes to thermal paper rolls, you will find that the industry is filled with different types and textures of paper rolls, fit for a variety of different consumption patterns. But lucky for us, there are four main specifications that will help you in making a guided purchase and picking a thermal paper roll that will hit the nail on its head and fulfill your needs. 

The four main specifications for determining the right thermal paper roll size include roll length, roll diameter, roll width, and core diameter. It is important to get the right size of thermal paper that your printer can use to produce the intended documents.



  • Roll Width 


Roll width is one of the most important specifications and also the starting point because if you get the roll width wrong, you won’t be able to fit it inside the printer! But the real question is, how does one measure the roll width? 

Roll width is the size of the roll across its face, from one side to another side, if you place the roll on the table horizontally. It is recommended that the roll width be measured in millimeters for better accuracy. 

However, in the United States, roll width is measured in inches and common roll width measurements include 2 1/4, 3 1/8 inches. For credit card terminals, usually, a 57 mm wide roll is used while for receipt paper printers, 80 mm rolls are used. 



  • Roll Diameter 


The roll diameter and width can sound confusing and interchangeable but they are not. While the roll width is measured across the face of the roll itself, the roll diameter is the size measured through the center spindle of the roll.

The range of the roll diameter varies between 30-250 mm with the rule of the thumb being the more paper on the roll, the wider the diameter. Again, while purchasing a paper roll, make sure the roll diameter is not so big that it does not fit inside your printer. 



  • Roll Length 


This is perhaps, the easiest specification to comprehend. The roll length is the measure of how much paper is wrapped around the roll. This is not a critical specification to know while ordering a thermal paper roll, but a longer paper roll will last you longer and save up constant replenishment costs.

In the United States, roll lengths are usually expressed in feet. Thermal paper rolls are commonly sold in lengths of 50, 80, 185, 220, 230, and 273 feet.



  • Core Size 


Last, but not least core size is the diameter of the tube on which the paper is rolled. There are two types of core diameters: 

    1. Core I.D: Inside Diameter: This is the size of the center hole. It is important to know this specification because some printers use a certain type of spindle and it needs to match the core i.d. Generally, the core i.d is 12.7mm (7/16″).


  • Core O.D: Outside Diameter: This is the size of the complete core, including the inside hole. This plays a role in the diameter/footage of the roll. 


These four are the main specifications that you need to understand before buying a thermal paper roll. However, some terminals use standard paper roll sizes which are shown below: