The 5 Best Barcode Scanners of 2022

It's the must-have tool if you're running a commerce business

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If you’re opening a small business or are keeping track of a huge warehouse, one of the most important features is the barcode scanner. Barcode scanners make it easy to categorize and pull up prices when buyers are at checkouts, making sure that the steady flow of transactions is never interrupted. They’re also used to keep track of all your inventory through a quick swipe and can send and store data in file documents on your computer.

So, we've rounded up the top picks for you. You’ll find multiple options that will meet your needs in any department, both big and small. The barcode scanners listed range from units with assured compatibility and straightforward instructions to affordable prices and super long wireless ranges. Depending on your needs, we promise that we have a reliable barcode scanner for you and your business.

Ahead, the best barcode scanners you can buy.

Best Budget: Symcode USB Barcode Reader

The Symcode USB Barcode Reader is a great option for anyone on a tight budget. This handheld scanner is lightweight and doesn’t require any further software or app installation to use it. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux and works with common business software like Quickbooks and Microsoft Excel.

Despite its low price, the Symcode USB Barcode Reader can support a wide range of barcode types, including UPC/EAN, UCC/EAN 128, Code 39, Code 39 Full ASCII, and many more. It operates via a USB connection and is capable of both flicker and continuous scanning. If you're looking to save money, Symcode USB Barcode Reader is an affordable option that still gets the job done.

Best for Wireless Connectivity: NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner

If you want some serious barcode scanner wireless range, look no further. The NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner has one of the longest wireless ranges for barcode scanners (up to 328 feet indoors and 0.24 miles outdoors), all while registering your scanned items directly to your Mac, Windows, or Linux computer.

The NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner is both wireless and USB wired and is capable of uploading your scans into programs such as Microsoft Excel and Word. Its upload and storage-saving modes come with a failsafe in case it’s out of range, so it saves your scans on its internal memory of up to 100,000 barcodes. Its decode capabilities are compatible with everything from UPC/EAN to IBSN and ISSN. It comes with a one-year warranty.

Scans per second: 280 | Wireless: Yes | Storage: Up to 100,000 barcodes

Related: The Best Receipt Scanners

Most Compact: NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner

The NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner is a compact and ultra-portable option, measuring 6.3 x 3.9 x 3.15 inches and weighing only 8.2 ounces. Any shopkeeper that is mobile or always on the go will find this barcode scanner to be the most accommodating for lightning-fast transaction processes.

The NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner includes two connection types: wired USB for stationary computers and a Bluetooth mode that can connect directly to your mobile device up to a staggering 100 meters away. When in mobile use, this barcode scanner utilizes its internal storage (about 100,000 barcodes) that can be later used in uploading to your computer or other devices. It supports a wide range of barcodes.

Scans per second: 260 | Wireless: Yes | Storage: Up to 100,000 barcodes

Best for Wearability: Symcode 2D Bluetooth Ring Barcode Scanner

Got a ton of inventory you need to scan and sign off on? The Symcode 2D Bluetooth Ring Barcode Scanner is an innovative little barcode scanner that fits tidily on your index finger and is best for anyone that’s in constant motion and keeping track of everything in a warehouse or distribution center.

The Symcode 2D Bluetooth Ring Barcode Scanner connects via Bluetooth to your iOS and Android mobile devices without any additional software. Its CCD image red light sensor is accurate and sensitive enough to pick up and decode various barcodes, including UPC, ISB/ISSN, Code 39, and many more.

Scans per second: 200 | Wireless: Yes

Best for Handsfree Scanning: Symcode Omnidirectional

Completely handsfree and without the fuss of bar alignments, the Symcode Omnidirectional is built with a high-speed scanning laser with no blind area. It’s the ideal barcode scanner for anyone that’s quickly processing transactions in a stationary setting and wants no delay or hangup.

Its strong decoding capability can read all 1D barcodes in multiple directions, so you can scan codes at virtually any angle. Made for desks, this barcode scanner is great for any stationary scanning in environments such as manufacturing or personal small businesses. 

Related: The Best Portable Scanners

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Brainydeal USB Automatic Barcode Scanner (view at Amazon) because it's affordable, easy to use, and has a practical design. It can scan 100 barcodes per second, has great decoding ability, and includes a stand for hands-free automatic scanning. If you're on a budget, try the Symcode USB Barcode Reader (view at Amazon). It's lightweight and doesn’t require any further software or app installation to use it.

What to Look for in a Barcode Scanner

Durability

Consider the environment your barcode scanner will be in. Will it be in extreme temperatures? Are you going to be carrying it around? To make sure your barcode scanner is durable, check and see if it is shockproof, made of tough materials, and if it has been drop tested. These details will tell you if it can survive accidental drops and other damage.

Wireless Capability

Barcode scanners can either be USB-wired and/or wireless. Wireless barcode scanners are great if you're on the go and are not able to scan items at your desk. If you decide that a wireless scanner is right for you, make sure the range will cover your space.

Storage of Barcodes

If you have a wireless barcode scanner, you'll want to make sure that it has an adequate amount of storage to save your barcodes if it is unable to upload your scans to your computer. Depending on the barcode scanner's internal memory, they can usually save anywhere between 5,000 to 200,000 scans. If your storage is full, you can plug the barcode scanner into your computer and upload them.

Scans per Second

The scans per second of a barcode refer to how fast the scanner will scan and decode your data. Most barcode scanners can scan between 100 and 200 scans per second. However, you can find barcode scanners that scan much more, like 600 scans per second.

Meet the Expert

Hana Maeda is an experienced journalist who enjoys discovering the latest products in the finance and business world. Her work has appeared in Bustle, The Knot Worldwide, INSIDER, and more.

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