The 8 Best Barcode Scanners of 2018

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Best Buy Barcode Scanner
Best Wireless Barcode Scanner
Best USB Barcode Scanner
Best Bluetooth Barcode Scanner

The technology incorporated in most barcode scanners today is very advanced and, as a consequence, these essential devices for many businesses are now extremely easy to use. You no longer have to deal with multiple cables and decoder boxes. Even though this means you can find an excellent barcode scanner in lots of places, you can get quite overwhelmed when you take a look at the populated market for these devices. You might also want to read our articles about the best cash registers and the best money counters.

There are lots of options and varieties of scanners with many features and special functions to choose from. To make your job easier, this article offers the results of intense research to discover the most cost-effective barcode scanners. Because picking the right device can be a serious challenge for those unfamiliar with barcode scanners, this list can be a real timesaver. As a small bonus, take a look at this little shopping guide to get accustomed to the basics of selecting a good barcode scanner:

1. Connectivity

Barcode scanners need to establish a connection with a PC because otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to send the information to the software. Although corded models have a long history, it seems that the days when you had to be constantly connected directly to the computer through a cable are finally over. Cordless scanners have become more common nowadays because their cost went down considerably.

Wireless scanners can be more convenient in most situations but there are still some advantages for corded units. If your budget is tighter, then going for a corded barcode scanner is recommended as they’re still cheaper than wireless variants. Another advantage worth mentioning is regarding the compatibility. Every PC has USB ports but for many cordless models, you will need to have a Bluetooth-enabled device.

2. Ruggedness

It doesn’t matter what kind of environment you will use the scanner in, it has to be rugged enough to withstand any mistreatments. The environment could also be considered an important factor. To be safe, it’s recommended to get a more rugged model, one that can resist some impact as it can potentially save a lot of time and money down the road.

3. Scan speed

Some barcode scanners are more performant than others in terms of scan speed. If performance represents an important aspect as you work in a very demanding environment, then you should definitely consider the scan speed. These are the main features that you should evaluate. All that’s left to do is to check this high-quality selection of powerful barcode scanners that should fit most needs and budgets with ease.

Best Buy Barcode Scanner

1. TaoTronics TT-BS003 Handheld Barcode Scanner

Cataloging vast amounts of data quickly and efficiently requires a high-performance barcode scanner that does its job accurately. The TaoTronics TT-BS003 seems to be one of the best of its kind that you can find on the market. With a very attractive price and a great set of features, this device will transform the way you capture and manage your data.

This handheld unit has a very ergonomic design and can be used with ease for many applications in supermarkets and other stores. The durable construction coupled with the good level of customization are essential attributes for any barcode scanner that’s worth the cost.

A great aspect of this scanner is how convenient it is to use as it doesn’t require any prior installation. Just plug it into the nearest computer or laptop and start scanning right out of the box. It’s compatible with multiple barcode types including UPC/EAN, Code 39, Codabar, MSI, Code 11, and many others.

In terms of configuration options, TaoTronics puts at your disposal 180 options enabling you to add prefix and suffix codes. You can also delete starting/ending characters. There is also the possibility to add certain keyboard keys or combinations to the scanning operation.

This scanner is compatible with lots of Windows programs like Word and Excel and it works well with Novell and Quickbook. It’s worth noting that TaoTronics extends the compatibility to Mac and Linux computers. When the product is not in use, the supplied flex stand can keep it safe and secure.

All in all, the TaoTronics TT-BS003 is a very reliable handheld barcode scanner that lets you capture and organize the data with ease. Considering that configuration wasn’t too much of a hassle, the design is very practical and looking back over the great compatibility and the overall performance, it’s clear that this model brings a lot of value on the market for barcode scanners. Highly recommended.

Product Highlights:

  • Simple installation with any USB port
  • Works with Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Compatible with a wide range of barcode types
  • Over 180 configuration options
  • Quickbooks, Word, Excel, and Novell supported

Best Wireless Barcode Scanner

2. NADAMOO Bur3003 433Mhz Wireless Barcode Scanner

If you love the convenience of cordless devices, the Nadamoo Bur3003 is a great choice for a wireless barcode scanner. It delivers a solid transmission both outdoors and indoors, it connects to any PC with ease, and it has some powerful scanning modes to simplify the process of data collecting and organizing.

The main feature that is sure to attract lots of users is the 433MHz long distance wireless transmission. Enjoy the freedom from cables from far away as this unit can maintain the transmission from a maximum of 400m in the open air and approximately 100m indoors. No more messing around with cables that constantly get in the way.

Installing this device is a straightforward process. Simply plug it into the USB port of your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer and watch it get instantly recognized and ready for any scanning job. There’s no need to install drivers or do any other type of complicated setup. Open up a Word file or an Excel spreadsheet and start the scanning process – it works basically just like a virtual keyboard input.

There are two pairing modes available, one-to-one and more-to-one. In the first mode, one scanner transmits the barcode data to one USB receiver. Multiple units can do the task independently with different computers in the same zone. The more-to-one mode refers to the ability of multiple scanners to transmit barcode data to one USB receiver.

Some other modes that can be helpful are the trigger and upload modes. The trigger one allows you to do a continuous scan without having to press the button. When in upload mode, the device instantly uploads the barcode to the field. The last mode found in this device is the storage mode which scans and stores barcode data into the built-in storage of the scanner. You can then upload the data to your device of choice whenever you want it. The internal memory supports a maximum of 100000 barcodes.

As you can see, the Nadamoo Bur3003 is a very powerful barcode scanner that is sure to make your life easier. The price is extremely affordable for a wireless model so if you’re in the market for a high-quality barcode scanner, you shouldn’t miss this one.

Product Highlights:

  • 433MHz Wireless Transmission Technology
  • USB plug-and-play
  • Two paring mode
  • Instant upload mode/storage mod
  • Up to 100,000 barcodes in offline storage mode

3. Symbol LS2208 Barcode Scanner With Cable and Stand

A good solution for your barcode scanning needs is the Symbol LS2208. It’s a reliable device for scanning any data quickly and without too much hassle. As it comes in a very ergonomic and lightweight form, this is definitely a solid device to consider if you’re interested to get a more premium model.

This device is designed to be used constantly every day so you can count on the fact that it’s built to last for a long time. This is one of the most important factors if you want to make a better investment in a barcode scanner. A unit like this one can significantly reduce downtime and repair costs.

A key aspect that contributes to this scanner’s reliability is the durable construction. Due to its patented single board construction, tempered glass exit window that’s resistant to scratches and its frictionless liquid polymer scan element, the scanner is capable of providing all-day, everyday operation without breaking a sweat.

The scanning speed (100 lines per second) of this laser scanner is quite impressive and combining that with the wide working range (from near-contact to 17 inches), you can see how this device would be ideal for lots of demanding applications, especially for retail. It provides accurate scanning and is always ready for the next scanning task. This model has the potential to shorten check-out lines, increase productivity, and overall improve customer service.

Thanks to multiple on-board interfaces, you can rest assured that your preferred host system can fully integrate with the scanner. Symbol offers good support for capturing the high-density barcodes that are common on small retail items. The device comes with support for 97 international keyboards and is ready to operate in your country immediately from the box.

In conclusion, the Symbol LS2208 can read a large variety of barcodes, it’s highly customizable, quick and accurate that it will make you wish you made this purchase sooner. If reliability and performance are the most essential factors for you when it comes to a barcode scanner, get this one and you won’t regret it even if you have to spend a little more initially. It will pay off in the long run.

Product Highlights:

  • 100 lines per second scan speed
  • Single line scan pattern
  • Minimum Resolution: 20% minimum reflective difference
  • Depth of field from contact to 17 inches on UPC and EAN barcodes
  • Portable

Best USB Barcode Scanner

4. Orbit Honeywell MS7120 Barcode Reader with USB

With lots of powerful features including an incredible scanning speed, the Orbit Honeywell MS7120 is one of the best barcode readers that money can buy. It’s not exactly cheap but it seems capable to deal with more demanding scanning tasks and can be an ideal fit for those with bigger budgets.

It produces laser light in an omnidirectional pattern and it’s capable of linear scanning and working with one-dimensional barcodes and decode them at different angles. Something that can be appreciated especially by those with smaller hands is how easy you can handle this device. It’s small enough to be maneuvered with ease and Orbit includes a stand that allows the scanner to be used in a fixed position.

The scanning speed of 1120 scans per second is certainly impressive and can definitely make a difference if you need to scan lots and lots of items more efficiently. This model needs to be connected to a computer through the included USB cable for it to be able to transmit the barcode data. There’s a special configuration utility which enables the regular firmware updates for taking advantage of improvements or new features.

To accommodate different workstation setups, this model has a head that can be tilted up to 30 degrees. Its 650 nanometers, 900 milliwatt laser is capable of producing 20 lines of light. A great aspect about this barcode scanner is that it’s fully compatible with OPOS and JavaPOS standards that are used in POS systems.

While the scanner is a bit on the noisy side, it’s a very reliable and performant device that can help you save a lot of time and get solid scanning results each time. The range is excellent and overall it works flawlessly, just as you’d expect considering the cost. If you have the budget and wish to make a great investment, the Orbit Honeywell MS7120 is one of the best barcode scanners, recommended for its powerful scanning abilities.

Product Highlights:

  • 650-nm, 900-mW laser
  • 20 lines of light in omnidirectional pattern
  • 1,120 scans per second speed
  • Up to 30 degrees head tilt
  • Comes with stand for stationary use

Best Barcode Scanner Android

5. SMARTOMI Wireless BarCode Scanner

Another affordable model which can be an interesting match for those who prefer wireless scanners is the Smartomi BarCode scanner. It comes with a robust design, a high decoding speed, two connection modes, and the ability to get charged quickly to keep a constant workflow. Let’s see what this portable barcode scanner is capable of.

The first thing worth discussing is the design which has been clearly enhanced to withstand some impacts. The cover is made of a shock resistant material and the device has been thoroughly tested to be able to keep working even after falling from five feet to concrete ground. The durable ABS plastic helped the scanner to pass this test and earn its IP54 protection grade.

Having a durable construction is always a great thing to have in a barcode scanner that sees intense daily usage. What about the performance though? The good news is that the transmit distance is quite long, up to 100 feet after which the device won’t be able to do a reliable scanning job. To get a more stable scan status all you need to do is to switch over to wired USB mode.

It supports a vast range of barcodes like UPC, INT25, EAN-13, Code 128, Code 93, and many others. The scanner can quickly read and upload barcodes to Excel or Word and any other software application that you use for Windows, Mac, and Linux. With a 700mAh rechargeable battery, the scanner can work for a pretty long time before requiring a new charge, somewhere around 10 hours. When the scanner detects that it scans the barcodes but they aren’t transmitted to the computer, it will beep to alert you of low battery.

Taking everything about the Smartomi BarCode scanner into account, the general verdict is a positive one. It’s important to mention that the wireless capabilities of this model are due to the 2.4GHz transceiver and it doesn’t have Bluetooth which could be considered a disadvantage. Still, at this price, you can’t really ask for more in terms of usage and performance. This represents a viable low-cost option for anyone looking to purchase a solid wireless barcode scanner.

Product Highlights:

  • USB cable and Wireless
  • Robust design with shock resistant cover
  • 300 scans per second decoding speed
  • 3500 code storage in offline mode
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac as well as Android and iOS

6. NADAMOO Bur3074 2.4GHz Wireless Barcode Scanner

Nadamoo is a manufacturer that offers lots of cost-effective options for barcode scanners with wireless capabilities. Their Bur3074 model comes with a 2-in-1 connection design, two scanning modes, two upload modes, and a complete plug-and-play experience. With such a low price, this definitely looks tempting but let’s see if this model is really worth it after all.

In terms of features, the most interesting aspects of this scanner are the connection and upload modes. In wireless mode, you just plug the USB receiver into the USB port of your host system which can be either a Windows, Mac, or a Linux computer and freely start scanning.

Instead of hauling items to your scanner which is required for a wired device, this wireless scanner permits you to move the unit to the inventory instead. A lot of time can be saved that way and it’s certainly more convenient to maneuver and operate without the entrapment of cords. If you prefer going into the wired mode, in case the battery dies for example, you can do so and switch to the more reliable wired connection mode of the scanner.

The two upload modes are called instant and storage. The first allows you to instantly upload the barcode to the computer while the latter can save the information offline to the device. A maximum of 30000 barcodes can be saved and retrieved later when needed. This model also comes with a trigger mode for automatic scanning.

This represents an affordable way to get your hands on a wireless barcode scanner but, keep in mind that the battery doesn’t last that much. It works great for most purposes and is an ideal device for managing large inventories of all kinds.

The easy quick start guide offers you step by step directions for getting accustomed to the scanning process. Considering all the modes and the overall ease-of-use, this can be a good option for a barcode scanner though it lacks the reliable construction of its competitors. If that doesn’t matter to you, then you will definitely save some money on this one.

Product Highlights:

  • Plug and play
  • 2-in-1 connection design (USB and Wireless)
  • 33 ft. indoor transmission distance with obstacles
  • Instant upload mode and Collection mode
  • Up to 30,000 barcodes in offline storage mode

Best Bluetooth Barcode Scanner

7. TaoTronics TT-BS030US 2-in-1 Bluetooth & Wired Barcode Scanner

TaoTronics is a well-known manufacturer of barcode scanners and many other reliable electronic products. The model in this review is the TT-BS030US which is a bit costly but it offers some great functionality including Bluetooth, a very sturdy construction, a long-lasting battery, and a fast 32-bit processor.

If getting seamless connections with smartphones, tablets, and other compatible devices, is what you’re looking for, then a Bluetooth barcode scanner is essential. Any type of office, warehouse or business operation can benefit from the freedom offered by this type of connectivity. The communication range on this model is pretty good. It can reach up to 23-33 feet away indoors but the real transmission potential can be experienced outdoors where it reaches up to 130 feet.

When it comes to compatibility, there’s no need to worry as this device works with almost all barcodes you will stumble upon. It supports many types including UPC/EAN, Code39, Coda Bar, ISBN, ISSN, and others. The scanner plays well with various software as you can upload entries directly to Excel, Word or other specialized software like Novell or QuickBooks. Windows, Macs, and Linux computers should have no issue connecting to this unit.

When in inventory mode, the scanner is capable of saving up to 200000 entries onto its large 16MB flash memory. Upload the data whenever you want as it’s safely kept into the internal memory of the device. The scanning speed of this model is approximately 200 scans per second, which is better than many similarly-priced devices. This is thanks to improvements to the 32-bit processor.

The final aspect that needs to be addressed is the reliability. The strong anti-shock construction coupled with the 750mAh battery should contribute to a safe and long-lasting scanning experience. The durable build should resist accidental drops from a maximum of five feet onto concrete and the battery will allow you to keep scanning for almost 30 hours continuously. To top it all off, the recharging time will take only 1.5 hours.

There’s not much else to be said about this barcode scanner. The TaoTronics TT-BS030US has all the qualities that you could ask for in a wireless scanner but the price is also pretty high. If you can afford it, this will be a worthy investment.

Product Highlights:

  • USB and wireless connectivity
  • 200 times/sec scanning speed
  • Compatible with a big range of devices including smartphones
  • Anti-shock construction
  • Long-lasting 750 mAh battery

8. YOUTHINK Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 & USB 3.0 Wired Barcode Scanner

Youthink managed to cram Bluetooth, a fast processor, a big battery, and a rugged anti-shock design, all in one package. This is a very interesting scanner that seems almost too good to be true at this price point. But rest assured because this model is actually as good as it’s advertised, with only a slight flaw.

This barcode scanner offers both wireless and wired modes of operation to enjoy the freedom from wires and a more reliable wired connection however you like. It makes use of a Bluetooth 4.0 connection to transmit scanned data to compatible devices. For the wired mode it doesn’t need any additional software to set-up as it works in a plug-and-play manner.

Compatibility-wise, this model works with smartphones, tablets, and computers. It doesn’t matter which operating system the device has but if you plan on using the wireless capability Bluetooth is required. Uploading entries can be done with the help of multiple software like Word, Excel, Novell, and QuickBooks.

The scanner is built with durability in mind and you can see that in its break-resistant construction. A certain level of ergonomy can be found in the design considering how comfortable it feels to handle the scanner.

The 750mAh battery should keep the unit charged for approximately 30 hours but this model excels when it comes to performance. The fast scanning speed of 200 times per second and coupled with the 16MB of memory which enables you to save a lot of barcode information paint a very bright picture for this model.

Unfortunately, the main weakness of this scanner is when it comes to operating. The instructions aren’t very intuitive and it can be a bit difficult until you get the hang of this device. Despite that, it’s still is a very good product and highly recommended for those looking for a solid features-per-price ratio but you should keep in mind that this one is for those more familiar with barcode scanners and it’s not recommended for beginners.

Product Highlights:

  • Bluetooth 4.0 wireless & USB 3.0 wired
  • 32-bit processor & 16MB memory
  • 750 mAh battery for 30h continuous scan
  • Rugged anti-shock design
  • Wide devices compatibility