Handheld barcode scanners are portable and designed for easy, one-handed operation, generally using a trigger mechanism for simple aim-and-scan operation. They are simple to install - in most cases you just plug in the cable and you are ready to start scanning.
Handheld scanners can be compared to a computer keyboard, they are a device used to enter data into a computer or operating system, as opposed to a mobile computer which runs an operating system and is equipped with a built-in scanner.
If you're thinking about buying barcode scanners to assist with your operations, the following questions should be considered to determine the best option for your application.
The information that has been decoded from the barcode will need to be transferred to a computer, cash register or host operating system. The simplest and most cost-effective method to transmit this data is via a USB cable. Corded systems offer easy plug-and-play installation.
Handheld cordless scanners communicate wirelessly with a base station or charging cradle which is connected to the computer via a cable. Again they are simple to install, just plug the base station into the host computer then pair the scanner to the base station.
Cordless scanning offers freedom of movement and productivity gains, especially if you are scanning outdoors, on-floor or have a cross-facility application. Additionally, cordless scanners eliminate the clutter of cables and potential trip hazards of corded devices.
If your application is particularly scan intensive or requires continuous scanning for long periods of time, consider the battery life in the scanner's specifications.
Some cordless scanners have Batch Mode functionality which allows you to keep scanning even when working outside the wireless range of the base station. The scanned information is stored in the device's memory and later transferred to the host computer when within range.
Some handheld scanner models have a stand accessory which allows for presentation scanning. This enables 'hands-free' scanning, and there is no need to hold the scanner, just wave the barcode past the scanner to read the code.
There are handheld scanners available for all working environments. Basic models are designed for retail, office or light industrial use. Scanner manufacturers know that scanners do get dropped and knocked, so even standard models are designed to survive drops onto concrete.
For demanding, industrial environments, there are handheld scanning devices that are designed with IP65-seals to withstand dust and water. These tough scanners are built to tolerate 5000 2m drops, even in freezer conditions.
In less challenging environments scanners are sometimes mistreated so investing in a more rugged design can prove a wise decision when compared not only the cost of a replacement scanner but also the cost of the downtime from being without a scanning device.
Ready to check out your options? Click below to see our range of 1D and 2D barcode scanners from Honeywell, Zebra & Datalogic available in our online store now.