The range of barcode scanners is very large, so it can be very time-consuming to find out which model is the best barcode scanner in question. So you not only have to consider the area of application, but should not neglect criteria such as speed, equipment and price range. If you don’t have the time for extensive comparisons and you prefer to make a quick but good purchase decision, you can alternatively follow our purchase recommendation, because we have already done the research for you.
So we recommend you the model TT-BS014 from TaoTronics, because the scanner impresses with its low price in connection with high compatibility and a fast scan rate with a robust construction at the same time. As an alternative, the TT-BS012 from TaoTronics could also be of interest to you, because it is a wireless barcode scanner that works quickly at the same time, has an internal memory and also convinces with a good recognition rate.
Barcode Scanner – Buyer Guide
A barcode scanner is required in many areas. Since the range is so large, it can be difficult to decide which device is the best barcode scanner for the respective area of application. Therefore, the recommendation is to consider the areas in which the device will be used and which purchase criteria play a role in the purchase before making a price comparison. You will also find an overview of the best barcode scanners of 2020, whereby only laser scanners for scanning conventional barcodes were considered in the test. 3D barcode or QR scanners were not examined.
Laser barcode scanners can be used in many ways, are inexpensive and can scan conventional barcodes reliably and precisely. However, you need other scanners to scan signatures, QR codes, 2D codes, DPM or high density.
Depending on the area of application, you should choose a device that is ideally suited for this purpose. Unproblematic and solid scanners are essential for use in retail or in the office. Image scanners as permanently installed solutions are often used here, but hand scanners have the great advantage that they are much more flexible and you can move freely while scanning. Stationary solutions are particularly suitable for cash register systems in supermarkets. For smaller retailers, on the other hand, more flexible devices are usually much more efficient and attractive.
Both stationary and mobile scanners are used equally in logistics and production. What counts here is a robust construction. This can be seen from the IP class, as this indicates how resistant the device is to dirt and moisture. It may also be important from what distance the device can still read barcodes and whether it is also possible to scan through reflective foils or glass, because not every scanner is able to do this. Stationary devices are often a good choice, especially in large productions with many conveyor belts. But when it comes to recording and managing inventory, a handy and compact radio scanner with the largest possible range is essential.
In healthcare, such as in hospitals, pharmacies or laboratories, barcode scanners ensure that errors are avoided and are of course also required in the checkout area – if available. Easy cleaning of the scanner plays a crucial role here. Therefore, dirt-repellent models are ideal. Whether a wired or wireless solution is preferable depends on the area of application.
When you compare different hand-held scanners, in addition to the price, you should also compare the respective criteria that play a role in the purchase decision. The following is a brief overview of the criteria that are worth paying attention to, regardless of where the scanner is ultimately used.
Scans per second
This number indicates how often the scanner scans the barcode per second. The faster it does this, the faster and more reliably barcodes will ultimately be recognized. If a large number of codes are to be recorded within the shortest possible time, it is advisable to ensure a high value here. Simple devices operate at around 100 scans per second, while many models scan up to 1,000 times per second.
Wired or stationary
Whether you ultimately prefer a wired scanner to a wired version depends on your needs. Wireless devices are more flexible, but have to be recharged and are more expensive.
The processing does not play a very important role in a scanner that is used on a small POS system. It is more important to pay attention to the durability and material quality if the device is used very heavily and, if necessary, is treated a little rougher. The IP class gives an indication of the resistance to dirt and moisture. The higher this is, the better the device is protected from dust and dirt. However, the IP class does not provide any information about the robustness against impacts.
Some POS systems still have old connections, so that you can do little with a modern Bluetooth scanner. You should therefore make absolutely sure that you can ultimately connect the desired model to your system with little effort.
Depending on your requirements, various additional properties can be important for you. It makes sense for inventories if a mobile scanner has an internal memory and can store a certain number of codes in the memory. A rubber coating can also be important if it is of great importance in your area that the device is easy to grip and non-slip in the hand. In addition, especially with mobile devices, you should make sure that charging is uncomplicated and that a rechargeable battery is available so that you do not have to constantly change batteries. This is certainly easiest when there is a charging station. The angle tolerance of the scanner can also play a role. This indicates how inclined a device can be held in order to still be able to read the code reliably.
In general, you can assume that a wired model is significantly cheaper than a wireless laser barcode scanner. For most simple areas of application, on small cash register systems or for scanning barcodes when receiving goods, an inexpensive barcode scanner is completely sufficient. A simple wired model is already available for between 20 and 30 euros.
The higher your demands and the more flexible you want to act, the more expensive the device will ultimately be. Faster sampling rates, long wireless ranges and robust housings as well as additional functions and equipment features can drive up the price. This is usually not required for simple applications, but it can make the day-to-day workflow enormously easier if you can move freely over large distances and guide the scanner to the goods instead of the other way around. However, the test has shown that scanners over a price range of around 50 to 70 euros are only really needed in the rarest of cases, because in this region you will already find wireless scanners that are highly recommended for various areas of application.
Recommended – Barcode Scanners
If you run a business and have a cash register system, you usually need a barcode scanner. The modern models usually have corresponding interfaces, so that connection and commissioning are very easy. Make sure, however, that your POS system supports the corresponding scanner. Here you may have to try. The most popular are USB barcode scanners. If the barcode scanner is to support Bluetooth or if you want to use it wirelessly, you have to invest a little more than for a wired device. The list of the best barcode scanners in 2020 will help you decide which model is the best barcode scanner for you.
USB Barcode Scanner – TaoTronics TT-BS014
1-Taotronics-usb-laser The TaoTronics device was able to assert itself as an inexpensive barcode scanner and at the same time as the test winner, as it is completely sufficient for most users and offers a good price-performance ratio.
The device is connected via USB and thus offers high compatibility with most cash registers and computers. The sampling rate is very good with 100 scans per second and the detection rate up to a distance of about 30 centimeters was also convincing in the test.
With a reading width of 18 centimeters, the device can also read larger barcodes without any problems. It also has a sufficient resolution for scanning smaller barcodes, which makes it easy to use across industries. This is also supplemented by the high barcode compatibility, which ensures that almost all available barcodes can be scanned. However, the device requires a very good contrast. Barcodes on a dark background or on digital displays are relatively poorly recognized (the reflection coefficient is ≥25%). If you have special requirements here, you must opt for a more expensive device.
The housing material used, made of ABS plastic and PVC, makes it cheap to manufacture and sufficiently robust so that even a fall does not cause any damage. The scanner weighs only 136 grams, which makes it very handy and no signs of fatigue even after prolonged use. The processing of the scan button was also convincing, because it proved to be very durable and robust, so that no malfunctions occurred even in the long-term test and the scanner did its job as expected.
Another big advantage is that the volume of the integrated beeper can be regulated. This means that the model can also be used in areas where the beeping sound is inappropriate or disturbing.
Laser Barcode Scanner TaoTronics TT-BS012
2-taotronics-barcode-scanner-24g-wireless – The 322 gram wireless scanner from TaoTronics impressed with its very long range of 30 to 50 meters (without obstacles). This makes the device very suitable for use in medium-sized storage and business premises, especially for inventory. The connection is made via a USB dongle, which transmits the radio signal over the distance at 2.4 GHz. Note that there may be interference with other wireless devices (keyboard, mouse, etc.).
In the test, the device could be put into operation with Mac OS X and Windows systems without any problems. The device has an internal memory in which you can save up to 5,000 barcodes. All common and almost all available barcodes can be scanned. If you only use the wireless function sporadically, you can also operate the model with a cable, so you don’t have to worry about empty batteries or rechargeable batteries. With one battery charge, the device could easily survive an average daily routine in retail without having to be recharged. The sampling rate of 100 scans per second was just as convincing as the high resolution, with which you can scan both small barcodes and larger codes from a distance of around 30 centimeters.
USB Hand-Held Barcode Scanner – Pro-Line CCD-800
3-per-line-usb – If you still have an older POS system with PS / 2 connection, you should take a look at the wired scanner from Pro-Line. The model still has the old connection standard, but also offers the option of being operated via USB, so that you do not have to choose a new scanner after switching to a newer POS system or newer hardware.
The reading width of 8.2 cm at a scanning rate of 100 scans per second is absolutely sufficient for most standard requirements. However, you are limited in terms of the barcode size, as the scanning process only works reliably up to a distance of about 3 centimeters. The big advantage that the model offers is its robustness and solid workmanship. In the long-term test, the device could be operated for a longer period of time without any problems and also withstood falls mostly without damage. However, at around 320 grams, the model also weighs a little more than simpler devices.
Wireless Bluetooth Barcode Scanner – Inateck BCST-10
4-inateck usb cable – If you are looking to buy a barcode scanner that works fine with Android or iOS devices, you should take a look at Inateck’s BCST-10. Of course, the scanner also works without any problems on Windows or Mac devices – in the test even via plug and play. The codes can be read in using either a USB cable or a Bluetooth connection. Due to the range limitation of Bluetooth, however, this is significantly lower than the radio connection and is around 10 meters.
With the help of the integrated memory of 256KB, up to 2,600 codes can be read in without the need to connect to a master device. This function is particularly useful for inventories. The energy consumption is relatively low, so that runtimes of up to a week can be achieved in normal operation. The resolution is also absolutely sufficient for almost all areas of application. The great advantage of the device is that codes can also be easily read from reflective surfaces or areas with poor contrast.
Wireless Bluetooth Laser Barcode Scanner – Motorola Symbol LS-4278
The Motorola model was able to convince for very high demands in the area of wireless barcode scanning. In terms of price, it is of no interest to medium-sized and smaller companies, but it really comes into its own in the professional and demanding field of application. Thanks to the excellent scanning properties, the device can easily read all kinds of barcodes from 2.5 – 76cm apart, so that even very large barcodes can be scanned without any effort. Mini-barcodes worked just as reliably and quickly in the test.
The device, which works with Bluetooth and has a very high quality finish, basically reads any type of barcode without any problems. The battery is replaceable and the device always lasted at least a full working day, even with very intensive use. Scans of reflective surfaces or screens did not cause any problems and low-contrast codes could also be recognized well. The sampling rate is extremely high with 547 scans per second and the range of around 100 meters via radio link makes the device very suitable for larger warehouses and halls. Thanks to the weight of less than 250 grams, handling is also correspondingly comfortable and easy.