It isn’t often that industrial printer videos can rack up millions of views on YouTube and TikTok. However, if you search “EBS 260 Handjet Portable Printer” on either of these sites, that’s exactly what you’ll find.
For example, on YouTube, more than 5 million people have watched a video of Mike Cherman, owner of Los Angeles-based company Six Ounce Studio, creating clothing designs using the EBS 260. On TikTok, schimmelvelo, a content creator, has a series of videos in which he uses the EBS 260 to print on everything from T-shirts and concrete floors to car windows. Some of these videos have generated millions of views, making the EBS 260 a rare example of an industrial printer model breaking into pop culture.
This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about the EBS 260 at C&M Digest—we listed it as one of the “The 3 Best Handheld Inkjet Marking Systems” in May of 2021, and just a few months later, we saw this printer appear across social media.
If you’ve seen these videos and are curious about the capabilities of the EBS 260, here’s what you need to know.
Weighing around 2.5 pounds, the EBS 260 is a highly portable handheld printer that can seemingly print on just about anything. Although EBS promotes the 260 as a “handjet” printer, it’s more accurate to describe the printer as a valve jet. Valve jet printers, a drop-on-demand inkjet technology, are known for their high-pressure ink streams, ability to create large codes/images, and compatibility with a diverse range of substrates.
Controlled by a built-in touchscreen, the EBS 260 allows users to mark an enormous amount of materials, including wood, concrete, glass, textiles, rubber, plastics, and more. The printer has 32 nozzles that allow operators to create large codes (up to 2.24” tall with up to five text lines in a single stroke). It also has a unique nozzle layout that makes it possible to mark uneven, curved, and circular surfaces.
With these capabilities, EBS 260 users can mark unconventional and traditionally challenging materials, such as:
Complementing this application versatility are the EBS 260’s various data input options. Users can import designs through the printer’s USB slot, Bluetooth connection, or via Wi-Fi. The printer’s two-gigabyte internal memory allows users to maintain a large library of codes, images, and text designs, streamlining repetitive applications.
Although the EBS 260 is perhaps best suited for marking construction materials, the printer’s specs make it a great choice for a wide range of industries.
First off, it’s important to note the printer’s price tag. The EBS 260 currently retails for around $4,500-$6,000, varying between distribution outlets, ink kits, and included accessories. This price is significantly higher than many other handheld printer options. Many handheld thermal inkjet (TIJ) printers, like the Anser Handheld Pro-S, for example, retail at less than $2,000. However, TIJ printers don’t have all of the capabilities offered by the EBS 260 and will be more limited when it comes to:
Unless you are planning on marking difficult shapes and unconventional materials, a more affordable handheld TIJ will be a better choice for you.
Also, it’s worth noting that users won’t ever be able to change ink colors with the EBS 260. When buying the EBS 260, users can choose from four color options: black, white, light blue, and yellow. Once buyers make their color choice, they will never be able to switch it, as the printer is unable to fully purge the ink from its system. Users will simply dilute their new color if they attempt to change inks.
Due to this inability to perform a full ink purge, users are also prohibited from changing ink types. As with ink color, during the purchase process, users can choose between:
This won’t be an issue for users who know specifically what ink is best for them and their purposes, but for those who think they will eventually have to change ink types, it’s smarter to choose a different handheld printer model.
Finally, the EBS 260 requires more daily maintenance than a handheld TIJ printer. As long as users follow proper usage guidelines, TIJ printers are prized for requiring little or no daily maintenance. On the other hand, the EBS 260 tends to accumulate hard ink buildup on its nozzle, requiring users to perform the following steps daily:
Though inconvenient, these daily cleaning instructions will be worth the effort if the user has application needs that only the EBS 260 can meet. If that’s not the case, there are plenty of other handheld printers on the market that are easier to use, simpler to maintain, and more affordable to choose from.
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