Of all the tools and pieces of equipment you need to keep your business running, the barcode scanner is easily one of the most underrated. It may not seem like much, but having the wrong inventory barcode scanner for your needs can drastically impact how efficiently your company runs.
But with so many inventory scanners on the market today, how are you supposed to know which one is the best for your business? Here is a complete breakdown of the best inventory scanner guns available.
What Should Your Scanner Do?
Before you can actually select a barcode scanner, you should consider what exactly you need it for. The main objective is to find a reliable machine for tracking your inventory. Your scanner should easily connect with your other inventory management software to let you know how much of each item and each variation you have. This critical feature will help you know when to reorder a product or when to start trying to push an item out the door.
Of course, you’ll also want a scanner that your employees can learn to use quickly and efficiently. Ideally, it shouldn’t break the bank, but you can find quality inventory scanners on just about any budget. And finally, you’ll want a scanner that’s portable and lightweight to allow greater ease of use.
What to Look For in an Inventory Barcode Scanner
When you’re considering your inventory scanner selection, you’ve got a few different options. As far as the hardware, your three main choices are:
- 2D area imagers: These scanners can scan in any direction and can read 2D and stacked barcodes.
- Linear imagers: While these scanners can only read 1D barcodes, they do so by snapping a picture of the barcode and then analyzing the image and its information.
- Laser: This is probably what you’re picturing when you think of a barcode scanner. The laser in the machine reads the black and white spaces of the barcode to interpret the information.
Keep these different formats in mind when deciding on your ideal barcode scanner. While many businesses will do just fine with a standard laser scanner, your business might need something more specific depending on your products and your barcode system.
Along with hardware comes software, so you want to make sure your scanners are being supported by the best programs. Your main concern should be compatible with your existing inventory management software. Most inventory scanners today don’t need special software or drivers to work with your computer, but you can download extra software or apps if you so choose.
The Ultimate List of Inventory Barcode Scanners
Here are our findings for the best barcode scanners on the market:
- Budget Options: Brainydeal USB Automatic Barcode Scanner and WoneNice WN3300 USB Barcode Scanner
- Industrial Options: Zebra LI3678-SR Ultra-Rugged Cordless 1D Barcode Scanner and Honeywell Granit 1910i and 1911i Industrial Scanners
- Wireless Options: NADAMOO Bur3003 433Mhz Wireless Barcode Scanner and LS-PRO Wireless Barcode Scanner
- Bluetooth Options: TaoTronics TT-BS030US 2-in-1 Bluetooth & Wired Barcode Scanner and Zebra Symbol DS2278-SR
- USB Options: Symcode USB Automatic Barcode Scanner and
The Best Inexpensive Barcode Scanner: Brainydeal USB Automatic Barcode Scanner
If you’re searching for a basic, budget-friendly inventory barcode scanner, you can’t get much better than this one. It’s easy to set up and features automatic scanning that can handle up to 100 scans per second, not to mention you’re only paying around $20.
The negatives here involve the number of features. You get what you pay for, which isn’t a lot. Features are quite limited and don’t include wireless functionality. This option is better for smaller businesses who are just starting out and need a quick and reliable scanner to get them started.
Another Inexpensive Option: WoneNice WN3300 USB Barcode Scanner
When you’re looking for a budget-friendly inventory barcode scanner, you don’t want to have to sacrifice quality. Luckily, with the WoneNice WN3300, you don’t have to. It’s incredibly durable, can handle up to 200 scans per second, and comes in with a pretty price tag of just $20.
However, the biggest drawback here is the wired connectivity. If you have a small warehouse or store, this option may work for you, but it’s not for those needing to scan in a larger space. As with the Brainydeal selection, this inventory barcode scanner is meant for smaller businesses.
The Best Industrial Barcode Scanner: Zebra LI3678-SR Ultra-Rugged Cordless 1D Barcode Scanner
If you’re operating your inventory barcode scanner in rugged conditions like a refrigerated warehouse or dusty manufacturing facility, this option will stand up to anything you throw at it. It’s dustproof, waterproof, spray proof… essentially LifeProof.
The wireless design is convenient for scanning around large warehouses, and the extreme temperature rating allows you to use it wherever you might be. But, as is typical with industry scanners, expect to pay a little more.
Another Industrial Option: Honeywell Granit 1910i and 1911i Industrial Scanners
The industrial scanners available from Honeywell are excellent options for any conditions. They are designed to handle harsh treatment and excessive temperatures and can read most 1D and 2D barcodes from an impressive distance.
Honeywell offers two nearly identical models of this scanner with just one key difference: the 1910i model is wired, and the 1911i model is wireless. Again, these industrial inventory scanners will be an investment, but your business will thank you.
The Best Wireless Barcode Scanner: NADAMOO Bur3003 433Mhz Wireless Barcode Scanner
For scanning items on the go, this model from NADAMOO does the trick. You’ll find reliable performance inside and outdoors, and you don’t have to do any complicated setup. Simply plug it into your computer’s USB port and you’re good to go.
You have access to two different pairing modes and can store up to 100,000 barcodes in offline mode. Keep in mind, though, that this device doesn’t have the best response time on the market, so if you need something that can act fast, this might not be your ideal piece of equipment.
Another Wireless Option: LS-PRO Wireless Barcode Scanner
With a wireless inventory barcode scanner, you want one that can go the distance. The LS-PRO Wireless Barcode Scanner features a long-distance wireless transmission of up to 150 feet and features internal storage for up to 10,000 barcodes.
The rechargeable battery is a huge benefit here, with charges lasting up to half a year or more! Keep in mind that this option is only compatible with 1D barcodes and cannot read 2D or QR codes.
The Best Bluetooth Barcode Scanner: TaoTronics TT-BS030US 2-in-1 Bluetooth & Wired Barcode Scanner
This barcode scanner truly gives you the best of both worlds with Bluetooth and wired connectivity options. It supports barcode types of all kinds, like UPC/EAN, ISSN, Code39, and more.
The battery life is pretty impressive, and the scanning speed is virtually unmatched. With all these features, however, this device does come with a higher price tag than others on the market.
Another Bluetooth Option: Zebra Symbol DS2278-SR
Want an inventory barcode scanner that has incredible Bluetooth connectivity and awesome versatility? This is the one for you. It can read 1D and 2D barcodes and can connect through USB, keyboard wedge, TGCS, and more.
For the Bluetooth portion, you’ll get a class 2 connection for 33 feet of connectivity. Use the scanner with your smartphone or PC to access your data or change your settings from anywhere. The battery life and Wi-Fi connections are great, and you’ll get a 3-year warranty in case any issues arise.
The Best USB Barcode Scanner: Symcode USB Automatic Barcode Scanner
There are benefits to this USB inventory barcode scanner on multiple levels. The installation is easy even for beginners, it’s compatible with just about any system, and it features a sleek and stylish design.
This scanner is unique in that it’s shockproof from up to a 5-foot drop on concrete, making it ideal for harsher conditions. It can be a bit pricey compared to other models, but the extra cost is well worth it.
Another USB Option: Nuberopa USB Barcode Scanner
If your main request from a USB barcode scanner is good battery life, look toward the Nuberopa USB Barcode Scanner. It can work for days on end thanks to the advanced battery, and the signal’s strength is unparalleled.
This scanner also features a 1.8-inch TFT screen that allows you to use your barcode’s content, type, and duration right away. This scanner is great for those needing a reliable and versatile barcode scanner for your business.
The world of inventory barcode scanners is huge, but the good news is that there’s a device for every need. While it might take some research, you’re bound to find the right scanner for your business and your budget. Consider what’s most important to your business before you start your search.
Enhance Your Business with DEAR Systems
DEAR Systems provides a free application called DEAR Warehouse Management System (WMS) that integrates seamlessly with the DEAR Inventory System, streamlining your order fulfillment processes while increasing your productivity and reducing costs in the warehouse. DEAR WMS uses wireless barcode scanning to make order picking easy and efficient.
The DEAR WMS app can be downloaded for free in the Google Play Store or App Store (iOS)
The benefits of using the DEAR WMS app in combination with a scanner are as follows:
- Reduces picking errors through barcode scanning and order validation.
- Increases productivity with guided walk paths to optimize the picking process.
- Increases your fill rate and sales by leveraging real-time visibility to inventory quantities and location.
- Provides more efficient and accurate inventory control by scanning serial and batch numbers.
DEAR Systems and our selection of Cloud ERP software is the perfect complement to your new inventory barcode scanners. We offer an abundance of services to meet your POS, inventory management, sales, automation, and other business needs. Contact us today to start your free trial!