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FREE shipping on all orders over $499

In-stock products ship within 48 hours on most orders



SATO S86-ex OEM print engine

Food & Beverage
Warehouse & Distribution Centers

Industrial print engine built for the core of automatic label applicators. The S86-ex is best for labels between 4.1” and 6.6” wide, of any length. Available for either direct thermal or thermal transfer labels.

  • Easily configure printers across your fleet with settings cloning via USB
  • Compatible with all major printer control languages
SATO S86-ex printer
SATO powered on-site

Maximum reliability for high volume print/apply labeling applications

Durable and built for industrial environments, the S86-ex integrates into automatic print and apply systems to provide unparalleled reliability and around-the-clock operation.

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Best-in-class print speed at 203 and 305 dpi for maximum efficiency automatic labeling.

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10-15% faster print throughput with equivalent print speed against major competitor printers.

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Tool-less print head replacement, easy parts replacement and clone function allow quick setup configuration minimizing downtime.

Anatomy of the industry workhorse

End-users get maximum uptime through unique features, such as high-throughput data processing and quick-change ribbon cassettes. Improved service abilities reduce downtime, which allows users to achieve production goals.

SATO S86-ex anatomy

Large LCD display and icon-driven user interface for easy and intuitive operation.

Standard hole pattern for easy replacement of competing industrial printers.

A powerful, 32-bit RISC processor for maximum data processing capability. Combined with 64 MB of onboard RAM, the S86-ex series can output the most complex label formats with no wasted time.

Ribbon capacity of up to 600 meters for maximum up-time between ribbon changes.

SDPL, SZPL, and SIPL emulation modes are just a few button presses away on the LCD display.

Bi-directional ribbon capability to accommodate coated-side-in and coated-side-out ribbons.

203 and 305 dpi interchangeable printheads provide maximum application flexibility and future upgradeability. One-touch, tool-less printhead release mechanism for fast and efficient printhead changes.

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Ready to build your S86-ex?

SATO S86-ex specifications

Print methodDirect Thermal Only or Direct & Thermal Transfer
Print resolution203 or 305 dpi
Print widthUp to 6.6"
Print speed (max)14 ips - 203 dpi
12 ips - 305 dpi
Printer languagesSBPL (Sato), ZPL (Zebra), DPL (Datamax), IPL (Intermec)
Settings cloningYes, copy settings from printer to printer via USB or ethernet

S84-ex and S86-ex product datasheet
S84-ex and S86-ex quick guide
S84-ex and S86-ex operator manual
S84-ex and S86-ex programming reference

Compatibility & interchangeability

SATO printers are fully plug and play interchangeable with other common printer brands, such as Datamax, Zebra, and Intermec. Emulation mode allows the SATO printer to accept DPL, ZPL, or IPL printer control codes. This means printers from other brands can be easily replaced by a new SATO without IT or software changes.

The S86-ex shares a hole pattern with most other major printer brands, allowing for it to be swapped into many label applicator designs in replacement of other industrial printer brands.

S86-ex printer interfaces

Print method

Direct Thermal (DT) only configuration or dual Thermal Transfer (TT) and DT configuration are available. If DT printing is required exclusively, the DT-only option is more affordable and offers simpler maintenance.

Thermal Transfer (TT) prints use simple labels and a roll of ink “ribbon.” Heat transfers the ink onto the labels. Direct Thermal (DT) prints use thermal labels and do not require a ribbon. DT is more popular for most modern printing applications.


203 dpi and 305 pdi are available. Lower dpi is more affordable and allows for faster print speed. This makes 203 dpi most popular for printing text and barcodes. 305 dpi is best for intricate logos and images.

DPI stands for “dots per inch.” Higher DPI allows for better print quality.

Printer orientation

Standard Right Hand (RH) and Opposite Left Hand (LH) printer orientations are available. RH and LH print engines are identical mirrors of each other. Most printer applicators use Standard Right Hand (RH) print engines. “Swing Arm” style applicators often use Opposite Left Hand (LH) print engines to apply from the opposite side of the production line.

“Swing Arm” style printer applicators can be required to apply labels from either side of a production line, requiring two possible printer orientations.

Communication options

All units come standard with RS232, LAN, USB and IEEE1284 communication. Bluetooth and WiFi are available as add-on communication methods to the core set.

SATO Select

Every SATO print engine comes with a comprehensive 1-year warranty, free of charge. But if something should malfunction with the printer, SATO has a service program to resolve all issues. SATO Select provides extended factory direct, mail-in services for your print engine. SATO Select is the only official support program offered by SATO, and all technicians are trained exclusively to service SATO printers.

With this service, you will have your print engine repaired, tested, cleaned and back to you in 5 days. SATO direct-to-factory program allows you to continue receiving the highest level of service and support beyond your standard manufacturer’s warranty period. Choose a 2- or 3-year cost-effective service option that fits your business needs.

Learn more about SATO extended warranties

SATO depot service contracts include:

  • Parts and labor
  • Print head coverage
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Five-day turnaround
  • Accidental physical damage*
  • Free mechanical updates
  • Free firmware updates
  • Mechanical failure
  • Wear and tear

*Accidental physical damage is limited to cosmetic damages and does not include coverage for severe abuse or liquid immersion.

Printer drivers & software
Download drivers for Windows OS

SATO Printers Windows Driver

Download drivers for Mac OS

For Mac OS X: 32/64 bit platform

Download drivers for Linux OS

32-bit system
64-bit system

Download drivers for other platforms

Linux ARM


Switching to SATO is as easy as one click. EMULATE.

Print with any Control Codes – “Emulation Mode” allows SATO printers to print using the printer codes of all other major printer brands, including Zebra, Datamax and Intermec. Plug and play with your existing software.

Clone Printer Settings via USB – Easily clone printer settings across your entire fleet via USB or ethernet. USB cloning empowers maintenance personnel to pull exact settings from printers and install those settings on other printers in seconds.

Easy maintenance, maximum uptime and production flow

s84-ex easy to use

Easy to use

  • Two color status LED and LCD
  • Best-in-class print speed and throughput
  • Simple standalone mode support
  • Downloadable/uploadable printer setting, log, data, via SD and USB
s84-ex quick maintenance

Quick maintenance

  • Easy printhead and roller replacement
  • Convenient access to backside
  • Tool-less sensor cover replacement/cleaning
s84-ex enhanced connectivity

Enhanced connectivity

  • Multiple interfaces on-board
  • D-SUB 25 pin EXT interface – NPN/PNP connection
  • Standard emulations on-board, SZPL, SDPL, SIPL
  • Multi-national language support

Frequently asked questions

SATO right printer solution

Find the right SATO printer solution

Our professionals will help you choose the right printer and confirm part compatibility. The average email response time is two hours if received between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. CST Monday through Friday.

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