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Choosing a Barcode Scanner

Choosing a Barcode Scanner

How to choose a barcode scanner

There are many things to consider when choosing a barcode scanner. Scanner technology, interface, durability, scan range, decoder features, etc will all have an effect on how well your barcode scanner works  Naturally, the more you understand about barcode scanner technology, the more successful you'll be in saving money using it. With that in mind, we'll start from the "top down" in describing barcode scanners and barcode scanner technology. The deeper you go, the more detailed information you'll get.

Start by answering some simple questions about where and how the barcode scanner will be used. This will help you define your needs and help define the features you need in choosing the right barcode scanner. We've listed some of the common questions you should consider before buying a barcode scanner:

  • Are you using the barcode scanner to replace keyboard entry on a desktop PC? What are the common keystroke sequences?
  • What is the environment where the barcode scanner will be used? Is the temperature controlled? Is there dust or moisture? Will the scanner be dropped or banged around a lot?
  • Typically, what distance will the scanner be from the barcode when scanning?
  • What are the barcode symbologies that you need to read?
  • Will the scanner be in a fixed position, or will the operator pick it up and "point-and-shoot"? 
  • What will the barcode scanner connect to? Where will the data go?
  • Are there any special formatting requirements - the difference between the characters encoded in the barcode and what you need sent to the computer? 
  • How far away from the desktop PC will you be with the barcode scanner?

The best place to start describing how to choose a barcode scanner starts with a description of the various types of scanners available. Since there are many different types and usages of barcode scanners, let's start out with the industry standard - the corded barcode scanner. More of these are sold every year than all other types (more on them later) combined. Click Here to read about corded barcode scanners.