Printer resolution (two different numbers) I just don’t get it

I’m searching for a printer that will give me the highest quality print out for a press-n-peel / etching project I’m playing around with and I just realized that I seem to be having a blonde moment..

I don’t understand the thought process of why printers describe the maximum print resolution as a formula (e.g. 2400 x 600 dpi.. or 600 x 2400 dpi).. so..

Question 1: Does that mean I get 2400 dots horizontally and 600 dots vertically? But isn’t the printer printing the page line by line horizontally? The printer is printing the page in 1 dimensions so why is the resolution in 2 dimensions?

Question 2: And is there a difference between 2400 x 600 vs 600 x 2400 I assume so but just have to check because I know I’m stupid right now.

Question 3: Ultimately I want to purchase a monochrome laser printer to print the highest possible resolution press-n-peel templates for artistic etching project. Within a reasonable budget of maybe $500… finding a comparison on printer resolutions seems to be very hard to find so.. which printer will meet my needs?

I just don’t understand and I’m sure this is a stupid question but please explain it to me like I’m 5.



  1. Printer resolution is listed in two dimensions, because you have the resolution of the printhead (horizontal), and the resolution of the paper advance mechanism (vertical). (The high number is just promotional hype)
  2. The higher number is always going to be referencing the printhead resolution, the lower number will represent the paper advance mechanism.
  3. In my experience, you cannot perceive any improvement in resolution over 600 dpi without a magnifying glass. Brother has an excellent printer (HL-L6200) that has served us very well for years.

Source : Link , Question Author : davidcondrey , Answer Author : Circle B

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