4 Types of Barcode Scanners


Barcodes have important information related to a specific item. Numbers and letters are encoded in bars of different lengths and widths with varying spaces. These codes give accurate information for hassle-free inventory management. In this article, we will discuss different barcode scanner types. This will help you understand the right barcode scanner and Motorola scanner parts to cater to your individual requirements. Let us understand the functioning of the barcode with an example. When you see a barcode on the tag of a shirt, you will not find any brand, price, size or color on the shirt. On the contrary, it only has black and white spaces along with a 12-digit number. When you scan it, your computer automatically detects it. The system will find the data related to this specific item and add this item to the bill.

Types of barcode scanners

barcode scanners

Pen type readers

They are also known as barcode wands because of their looks. It has an LED light and a photodiode to read the information. The working of this barcode scanner is simple; you simply need to slide over the barcode. The LED light will help photodiode measure and determine the width and color of each bar. This captured information is further transferred to another unit for processing. This barcode reader is good for people who do not want to invest much amount of money. This is a single-use device with the ability to quickly scan items and packages. However, there are chances of error and that is because of shaking of hands. Your staff will soon become perfect in the scanning process. It simply requires a little practice for precision.


This is an advanced version of a pen scanner. This laser barcode scanner will prevent fast scanning or errors of any sort. In this type of a scanner, a laser beam is shot, which travels across the barcode. This light moves in a straight line, then reflects back. Diode checks the level of reflection for measurement. Within a fraction of second, this reflection is translated.


These units are expensive but highly accurate. In this kind of unit, there are several tiny LED lights fitted in a row. When these lights are short on the barcode, reflection is not measured, but the voltage is measured. This measurement system gives a digital snapshot, which has a higher level of precision.

2D camera

You may have seen barcodes that do not have white and black bars. There are spaces, which are two-dimensional, and any standard device cannot read these 2D barcodes. This kind of system is perfect to hold and provide more data than the previous barcode systems. In order to read these barcodes, you are supposed to use 2D camera image scanner or Motorola scanner parts. There are hundreds of tiny lights fitted in multiple rows. The system takes a picture of the barcode with a flash. This is sent to the software for processing as a digital signal. After processing, the decoded information is displayed.

If you have made up your mind to buy a barcode scanner, then you need to ask certain questions to yourself. 

  • Where you are going to use this barcode scanner?
  • How often you will scan your products.
  • What is the length at which you can scan your item?

This will help you decide the right barcode scanner to cater to your specific requirements.

I am an international Digital Marketing SEO and content expert, helping brands and publishers grow through search engines. I am Outbrain's former SEO and Content Director and previously worked in the gaming, B2C and B2B industries for more than a decade.