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What is a Printhead on a Printer – – All You Need to Know

What is a Printhead on a Printer – – All You Need to Know
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what is a printhead on a printer
Image by FFBasel from Pixabay

In the world of printers, there are so many jargons that you need to familiarize yourself with. One of such is “Printhead”.

You might have come across this which is probably why you are reading this right now.

So, “what is a printhead on a printer?” Well, allow us to answer your question in detail in the next few minutes.

We are sure you will be well equipped with sufficient information concerning the subject matter at the end of the article.

What Type of Printer Uses Printheads?

First, printheads are not found in all types of printers. Printheads are found mostly in inkjet printers and dot matrix printers.

Examples of such printers are Brother MFC-J895DW, Epson WorkForce ET-4750, and HP ENVY Photo 7855.

Click Here to Get the Epson WorkForce ET-4750 Now!

What is a Printhead?

The print head is the part of a printer (found in most cases in inkjet printers) that is responsible for moving the ink from the ink cartridges to the paper.

It does this by making a drop after drop of ink onto the paper to form the text or image being printed.

A precision stepper motor powers the print head and ensures it moves in the designed to and fro pattern.

Types of Printheads

There are two major types of printheads. We have the thermal ink print head and the mechanical ink print head.

What makes them different? Let’s discuss that below…

Thermal Ink Printhead

Thermal ink printheads are commonly used in modern printers.

Printer brands that make use of this type of print heads for their inkjet printers are Brother, Canon, HP, and so on.

Thermal ink printheads work by using heat to boil the ink and create an air bubble filled with ink vapor.  This air bubble is then sprayed on the paper in a quick sequence with the aid of several nozzles.

This allows the printer to produce a fine quality print that we are used to seeing in modern printers.

Click Here to Get the Brother MFC-J895DW Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer Now!

Mechanical Ink Printhead

Mechanical ink printheads also known as piezo printheads were used by many inkjet printers from the 70s.

The Epson Company is notably the only printer brand that uses this type of print heads for its inkjet printers.

The mechanical printheads make use of piezo crystals. During printing, as a result of tension, the crystals change form.

They are then pressed on the membrane to create an impression that releases the ink onto the paper via the nozzles.

The advantage this printhead has over the thermal print heads is that it lasts longer than the latter. However, they are more expensive than the latter.

If your printer uses this kind of print heads, we recommend the Epson Thermal Printhead when the need arises.

Click Here to Get the Epson Thermal Printhead Now!

Kinds of Printheads

Apart from having types of printheads based on how they work, we have different kinds of printheads.

Let’s run through them quickly.

Printheads Built-Into Cartridges

This kind of printhead is attached to the ink cartridge. Therefore, if you change your ink cartridges, you automatically change your printhead.

Older HP Deskjet printers make use of this kind of print heads.

Disposable Printheads

This kind of printhead is not attached to the ink cartridges and can also be removed from the printer.

This allows one to easily clean them and replace them in case of damage.

Canon Pixma printers are fitted with this kind of print heads.

Printheads Built-into the Printer

This kind of printhead is built directly into the printer. They cannot be removed or replaced easily.

Epson printers are known to make use of this kind of printhead.

What is inside an Epson Inkjet printhead? Find out in the video below.

Now that you are up-to-speed on what a printhead is, we recommend you read this how to clean printer heads article.


We hope you have learned a lot about printheads in this short article.

For further questions, please let us know in the comments section below. And we will do our best to answer those questions.

Click Here to Get the Brother MFC-J895DW Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer Now!

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