Advantages & Disadvantages Dot Matrix Printers

by Jack Gorman

The dot matrix system was the first printer type to gain popularity with the rise of the PC in the late 1980s. In the last few years, however, it has started to go the way of the dodo due to the dramatic drop in prices for inkjet and laser printers. Despite this, the dot matrix printer still has some uses.


One advantage of dot matrix printers over most other printer types is that the paper is completely connected. This allows you to print long banners that span across several sheets of paper. Most other types of home printers use individual sheets of paper with an automatic 0.5-inch border.

Disadvantage #1

The primary disadvantage of dot matrix printers is the speed it takes for them to print. Because each dot is individually printed, a significant amount of time is required to print even one page of paper.

Disadvantage #2

Unless they are huge commercial models, dot matrix printers generally produce low-quality print, particularly for pictures. Unless your printer has a very high resolution, a picture can come out looking like an Impressionist painting.

Disadvantage #3

Any type of printer can jam, but dot matrix printers are more prone to jamming, and their jams are more difficult to clear. This is because paper is fed in using two wheels and holes set into the paper. A small tear on the side of a sheet can create a jam and the bits of paper between the wheels make it tedious to fix.

About the Author

Jack Gorman has been involved in many different areas in his professional career. He resides in the Washington DC area, though he consults with organizations nationwide. His specialties include film and video production, sports management, writing, graphic web design, marketing, communications, operations, human resources and photography.

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