Navigation

X
You've just added this product to the cart:

Best Barcode Scanners
top 10

Best Barcode Scanners of 2021

Barcode scanners are vital pieces of equipment for many companies. Find the best scanners for 2021 including best overall, handheld, lightweight, retail, pocket scanners and more.

Get Expert Help

Benefits of Barcode Scanners

First created as a grocery store retail solution, the practical uses of barcode readers soon spread into other sectors like warehouse management, libraries, asset tracking and more. Barcode scanners have become a key component in most business environments.

Barcode scanners are such common pieces of equipment that businesses cannot operate efficiently without using the technology. The advantages of barcode scanners provide increased efficiency and tracking for companies around the world.

Barcode Scanner Reviews

If you’re looking into acquiring or updating your barcode scanners for your business or warehouse, you’ve come to the right place. The best barcode readers are functional, dependable, ergonomically designed, and include various features. Let’s not forget about price either. In this post, we present the top 10 best barcode scanners for 2021.

AirTrack S2: Best Budget/Value

The AirTrack S2 is a handheld, corded, general purpose, 2D scanner that makes the list because of its practicality in today’s retail environment. Retailers love this device because of its omnidirectional reading capabilities and Green Spot technology for good-read feedback. The S2 can easily be a part of your workforce starting at $235.

Best Uses: Retail POS, hospitality POS, light manufacturing (work-in-process), logistics (shipping/receiving), warehouse (inventory control).

airtracks2
  • Rating – Great 80% 80%

S2-BT Pros

  • Great performance for the cost
  • Unique Green Spot for scans in loud areas
  • Free, downloadable configuration program
  • AirSupport 5-day included!

Cons:

  • Not for harsh environments
  • Lower level of water/drop resistance

AirTrack S2-BT: Best Handheld Scanner

For a Bluetooth version of the AirTrack S2, the S2-BT is the perfect solution. If you’re wondering what the benefit of using a scanner with Bluetooth compatibility is; it is the ability to connect to your iOS or Android device making for a seamless scanning experience your workers will love. The AirTrack S2-BT can support a Bluetooth connectivity range of up to 82 feet and starts at a price $488.80.

Best Uses: Point of sale, shelf replenishment, goods receiving, inventory, banking, postal, public administration, utilities, records management.

AirTrack S2B2T
  • Rating – Excellent 90% 90%

S2-BT Pros

  • Great performance for the cost
  • Unique Green Spot for scans in loud areas
  • Free, downloadable configuration program
  • AirSupport 5-day included!

Cons:

  • Not for harsh environments
  • Lower level of water/drop resistance

AirTrack SP2: Best Pocket Sized

If you’re looking for the best pocket-sized scanner for 2021, the AirTrack SP2 is an excellent choice. Small enough to fit in your pocket, the SP2 can go anywhere with storage for 10,000 scans that automatically upload to a spreadsheet or other computer once back in range. Designed with aggressive technology, the SP2 can easily read all common 1D and 2D barcodes and even damaged labels or labels from a digital screen. Get the SP2 for $395.90.

Best Uses: Point of sale for retail & hospitality, inventory control, gift registries, proof-of-delivery, route accounting, field sales, utilities & delivery.

AirTrackSP2
  • Rating – Good 70% 70%

S2-BT Pros

  • Pocket size
  • 2MB memory for 10,000 saved scans!
  • Free, downloadable configuration program
  • AirSupport 5-day included!

Cons:

  • Small screen size
  • Lower level of water/drop resistance

AirTrack SR2: Best Wireless Barcode Scanner

Many employees prefer a wrist scanner which frees up their hands for multi-tasking. For tasks in which both hands as well as scanning is necessary, the AirTrack SR2 is lightweight and incredibly versatile. Workers love the two-finger ring design which allows comfort while keeping both hands free. The SR2’s superior scanning capability can read most 2D, 1D and PDF417 barcodes printed on labels or on mobile device screens. Scan hands-free with the SR2 for $615.

Best Uses: Order picking, field inspections, inventory control, shelf replenishment, asset tracking and other applications where the user will need the use of both their hands.

airtracks2
  • Rating – Good 70% 70%

S2-BT Pros

  • 2-finger ring design with left/right-hand operation
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent warranty
  • AirSupport 5-day included!

Cons:

  • Low level of water and drop resistance

Zebra DS3600: Best Overall

The gold standard of barcode scanning designed to capture nearly any barcode from up to an arm’s length away, the DS3600 scanner series is built for superior data capture. These scanners come either corded or wireless and are used across the globe in some of the world’s harshest environments. If your workers deal with hard-to-read barcodes at standard and extended ranges, the DS3600 series may be your best bet. Zebra scanners are known for being highly dependable, fast and accurate scanners capable of taking care of all scanning needs. The Zebra DS3600 series base model begins at $519.00

Best Uses: Standard/electronics/medical equipment manufacturing, warehouse management, transportation and logistics, telecom, track and trace, automotive, aerospace.

ZebraDS3600
  • Rating – Excellent 100% 100%

S2-BT Pros

  • Best-in-class durability
  • Extended range and high-def scanning
  • Option for long-range BlueTooth connectivity

Cons:

  • None

Zebra DS9038: Best Retail

The Zebra DS9300 presentation barcode scanner is a popular option for its size that can fit anywhere, scan everything, and has best-in-class reliability. Retail businesses including drug stores, restaurants, convenience stores and more find the DS9300 a fantastic choice as a plug and play scanner that is reliable and scans smoothly without hiccups.

Best Uses: Retail, point of sale, hospitality, concessions stands, quick-serve restaurants, mobile coupons/loyalty, ticket processing.

Zebra DS9038
  • Rating – Excellent 90% 90%

S2-BT Pros

  • Swipe speeds up to 50% faster than competition
  • Setup option to capture multiple codes at once
  • Intelligent document capture options
  • EAS checkpoint option

Cons:

  • Lower scanning range

Datalogic Gryphon GFS4400: Best Fixed

The Gryphon GFS4400 is the premium level of data collection devices from Datalogic. With advanced imaging technology, the GFS4400 is a fixed mount barcode reader that provides solutions for OEM use into self-service kiosks, price verifiers, ticket readers, document handling, and medical laboratory applications, as well as vending machines and other automated equipment. The Datalogic Gryphon GFS4400 sells for $246.10.

Best Uses: OEM applications such as self-service, price verification, ticket reading, document handling, medical laboratory tracking, vending machines, self-guided robotics, additional automated equipment.

Datalogic Gryphon GFS4400
  • Rating – Great 80% 80%

S2-BT Pros

  • Free downloadable configuration software
  • Unique green spot for scans in loud areas

Cons:

  • Fixed scanner for specialized use

Datalogic Magellan 9800i: Runner Up Best Fixed

The Datalogic Magellan 9800i is the world’s first barcode scanner driven completely by high-performance digital imaging. This results in the ability to increase checkout performance in the world’s busiest checkout lines. With digital imagers in all planes, the 9800i scanner is the first in-counter scanner capable of reading both 1D and 2D barcodes seamlessly without requiring actions taken by the cashier. The Magellan’s design greatly improves ergonomics and the large horizontal window is ergonomically positioned for both standing and seated cashiers which your employees will love. Buy the Magellan for a starting price of $1210.30.

Best Uses: Retail and any fixed position Point of Sale (POS) or grocery application.

Datalogic Magellan 9800i
  • Rating – Good 70% 70%

S2-BT Pros

  • Rugged Sapphire Glass or ClearGlass for high transmissivity
  • Scanner and cashier habit monitoring
  • Integrated EAS
  • Free OPOS/Java utilities to download

Cons:

  • Fixed scanner for specialized use
  • Heavy

Infinite Peripherals Linea Pro: Best Sled

An excellent sled scanner compatible with Apple iPhone 7 size phones the Linea Pro 7 from Infinite Peripherals is a popular choice. It combines the ability to scan both 1D and 2D barcodes and includes a magstripe reader for accepting payments. Different models have a variety of great features you’ll love including Bluetooth, RFID, Encrypted Head and PCI compliance. Accept payments while turning your phone into a scanner for just $597.

Best Uses: In-the-field scanning, concession stands, ticket processing, quick service restaurants, warehouse environments.

infinite peripherals linea pro 7
  • Rating – Good 70% 70%

S2-BT Pros

  • Durable and puropse built
  • Hardwired connection so both device and iOS unit can be charged simultaneously
  • Inetgrates nice and seamlessly with iOS

Cons:

  • iOS compatible only

KoamTac KDC470: Runner Up Best Sled

The KDC470 enables mobile auto-identification apps used to collect data via barcode, RFID, fingerprints, OCR and payment applications via USB, Serial and Bluetooth connections to various smartphones and tablets. It is a rugged scanner with IP65 rating, resistant to water and dust, making it ideal for any environment. The KDC470 attaches to any smart device via a case for a sled scanning solution. The KOAMTAC begins at $223.70.

Best Uses: Sled scanners are portable and lightweight which make them great for any retail, logistics, field service, utilities, healthcare or warehouse environment.

KoamTac KDC470
  • Rating – Good 70% 70%

S2-BT Pros

  • Modular, optional features like 1D, 2D, and RFID
  • Rugged sled, protected against liquid & dust
  • Large backup storage
  • Designed for Android and iOS

Cons:

  • Lower scanning range
  • Average warranty and repair cost 

What is the Best Barcode Scanner?

While the Zebra DS3600 handheld scanner is our pick for best overall scanner, the right device for your business depends on the application. The DS3600 is a solid choice as a versatile scanner that has several advantages. However, it may not be the best choice for some applications. Find other best scanner articles including best rugged scanners and best pocket scanners.

Barcode Scanner Comparison 

Product Reliability Screen
Size
Battery
Life
Scanning
Range
Weight Ruggedness Warranty Repair
Reputation
Compatibility Ease
of Use
Temperature
Tolerance
Water/Drop
Resistance
Product
Score
AirTrack S2 5 n/a n/a 5* 5 1 5 3 5 5 3 1 4/5
AirTrack S2-BT 5 n/a 2 5* 5 1 5 3 5 5 3 1 4.5/5
AirTrack SP2 2 1 3 2 5 2 5 3 3 3 3 1 4/5
AirTrack SR2 4 n/a 3 3 5 2 5 3 3 3 3 1 3.5/5
Zebra DS3600 Series 5 n/a 5* 5 3 5 4 5 5 5 5 5 5/5
Zebra DS9308 5 n/a n/a 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 3 3 4.5/5
Datalogic Gryphon GFS4400 5 n/a n/a 4 5 3 4 4 5 5 3 3 4/5
Datalogic Magellan 9400i 5 n/a n/a 4 1 4 4 4 5 1 3 3 3.5/5
Infinite Peripherals - Linea Pro 3 n/a 4 2 4 1 3 4 1 3 2 1 3.5/5
Koamtac KDC470 4 n/a 3 2 3 3 2 1 3 3 3 4 3.5/5

1=poor, 5=best

*Depends on exact model

Nicolas Jolin

Nicolas Jolin

Nicolas has been working in the barcode technology industry for several years and understands the value of accurate inventory management. He keeps up-to-date on technology in the industry and is a great resource for finding the latest in barcode technology including barcode scanning, printing, labels, POS systems, software and more. Find his writings across the Barcodes, Inc website to learn more about the latest and greatest in barcode technology.