Managing your inventory is a necessary but often challenging part of running an efficient business. While you might have an easy time of it while your company is still small, the process is bound to get more challenging and time-consuming as your business grows. This is the point where you may consider enlisting software to help you track your inventory instead of doing it all manually.
If you are considering going digital with your inventory tracking, one piece of equipment that you simply can’t go without is a high-quality barcode scanner. Barcode scanners can range in functionality, ability, and price range, so searching for the best barcode scanner for your company might seem overwhelming. Here, we let you know what to look for in a good barcode scanner, as well as our top picks.
How to Choose a Barcode Scanner
When you are thinking about investing in a barcode scanner for your business, there are a few things you need to consider before starting your search. Mainly, think about hardware, software, and functionality.
When we talk about hardware, we’re talking about the physical pieces that make up your barcode scanner. Barcode scanners come in a number of different forms, including linear imagers, 2D area imagers, and lasers.
Linear imager barcode scanners are only able to read 1D barcodes and operate by snapping a picture of the barcode in question and then analyzing in the information that the image provides. 2D area imagers, on the other hand, can read 2D and stacked barcodes and are also capable of reading barcodes in any direction. Finally, you’re probably already familiar with laser barcode scanners, which use lasers to see and interpret the reflectance of a barcode’s black and white spaces.
The type of hardware that you select will be determined by the type of barcode you use in your warehouse. If you use stacked barcodes, for example, a linear imager barcode scanner won’t do you much good.
The next thing to consider during your search for the best barcode scanner is software. These days, most of the barcode readers on the market and don’t require any special software to read a barcode or send the information to your computer. However, there are certain barcode scanners that work in conjunction with an app, allowing you to integrate with programs like QuickBooks Commerce. Just be sure to consider what software you already use in your company and determine whether your barcode scanner of choice will be compatible.
Finally, you’ll need to think about functionality. Every business is different, which is why there are so many different types of barcode scanners on the market. For instance, if you have a small business without a full-scale warehouse, you might be able to handle all your daily business with a wired barcode scanner, while bigger companies with huge warehouses will need to invest in a wireless variety. If you want to make sure you have access to your information on the go, consider looking into barcode scanners that are equipped with Bluetooth.
The Best Barcode Scanners for 2021
NADAMOO Bur3003 Wireless
This wireless barcode scanner from NADAMOO is a great option for businesses big and small, as it’s an incredibly powerful tool at a reasonable price point. Many small companies that are just starting out or don’t have much experience with other barcode scanners will truly enjoy the intuitiveness of this piece. You won’t need to install any special software; simply plug in the USB to your computer, then open a Word or Excel file and watch as your barcodes’ information is instantly uploaded to your computer. You can access your information while you’re online or take advantage of the internal offline storage mode which can support up to 100,000 barcodes.
The range of the NADAMOO Bur3003 Wireless is also quite impressive at 100m transmission indoors and 400m transmission in open-air. You can scan quickly and easily with or without the trigger, and there are two pairing modes that allow multiple scanners to send barcodes to the one USB receiver, perfect when multiple people are trying to scan at one time. The only con here is that the response time can be a bit slow.
The DS2208 model from Zebra is the perfect barcode scanning system for small businesses or for use with your POS. This barcode scanner is an affordable option that can handle both 1D and 2D imaging. It’s meant for long-term use and is built reliably with a comfortable grip that allows your employees to scan virtually all day long. Much like its competitor from NADAMOO, this barcode scanner is ready to use as soon as you take it out of the box; all you have to do is plug it into your POS system and you’re ready to go.
The omnidirectional scanning capabilities of the Zebra DS2208 allows you to scan from any angle and can even handle wide barcodes thanks to the convenient and helpful aim line. If you’re searching for a corded barcode system, this is certainly an option that you shouldn’t overlook. However, if you’re in need of a cordless option, Zebra offers a DS2278 model with wireless capabilities, long lasting battery life, and a convenient Wi-Fi friendly mode.
Sometimes, you need to be able to scan a whole bunch of items in a short amount of time and not have to worry about picking up your barcode scanner in between each piece. The Symcode Omnidirectional barcode scanner is the perfect solution to these scenarios. The convenient stand on the bottom of the scanner won’t scratch any surface and ensures that your equipment stays put, allowing you to simply pass your items in front of it and move on to the next thing. The Symcode Omnidirectional scanner is able to handle up to 600 scans per second!
In addition to its incredible speed, the Symcode Omnidirectional barcode scanner features 20 lines of optical grafting, meaning that it will never miss an item that you pass in front of it. Best of all, the durable design can survive falls from up to five feet high, making it perfect for harsher conditions. The scanner is able to read 1D barcodes from virtually every direction and is recommended for small businesses or manufacturing settings. Again, one of the few cons of this product is that it is stationary and simply isn’t designed for scanning on the go, which might not suit the needs of every business.
TaoTronics Bluetooth & Wired Barcode Scanner
For businesses that need a high-powered tool or companies that know they’re going to be scanning hundreds or even thousands of items, this model from TaoTronics is one of the best. One of the biggest benefits of the scanner is adaptability, as users are able to utilize it in a wired capacity or through Bluetooth. This versatility makes it easy to adapt the scanner no matter how big your business is. It has a battery life that can last up to 30 hours and is quickly charged in just an hour and a half.
This impressive scanner has the capability to save up to 200,000 barcodes, and once you’re done scanning, you can use programs like Excel or Word to upload that information to your computers. Scan in one place with the wired connection or walk around your space and still be connected through Bluetooth up to 32 feet away. This TaoTronics barcode scanner can also be connected to other electronics through Bluetooth, which lets you automatically upload the data from each and every scan in real time. Finally, this piece of equipment is blazing fast allowing up to 200 scans per second and is compatible with virtually all barcodes.
Brainydeal USB Automatic
We’ve saved the best for last: the Brainydeal USB Automatic barcode scanner. This barcode scanner truly has it all: a practical design that makes it easy to use all day long, an intuitiveness that makes it simple to operate even by beginners, and an affordable price point that businesses big and small are sure to appreciate. When you first receive your barcode scanner, you’ll find an easy installation guide that will have you set up in seconds. Once you get to scanning, you can read virtually every type of barcode you may come across.
This barcode scanner has a comfortable design that’s easy for your employees to hold, but it also comes with a convenient stand for hands-free scanning. It can read up to 100 scans every second and is compatible with virtually any other program you might use, including Excel, Word, QuickBooks, and more.
Integrate your new Barcode Scanner with DEAR Systems
Like we mentioned in the beginning, it’s important to make sure that whichever barcode scanner you select is able to work with your existing software. That’s one of the benefits of cloud ERP software from DEAR Systems. Our program not only assists with your POS system and integrates with a wide range of barcode scanners, but it also includes features like purchasing, accounting, manufacturing, eCommerce, warehouse management, and so much more. No matter how big your company is or what field you work in, DEAR Systems can provide an all-in-one place to manage all the most important aspects of your business.