handheld computing device scanner at camera

Radiofrequency (RF) scanner guns, or handheld barcode scanners, are important tools that every facility should have. For efficient data entry, minimizing errors in order processing, and increased productivity in logistic operations, you need to find a first-class RF scanner gun that will meet all your requirements.

This article explains the significance of a high-quality RF scanner gun and includes a list of some of the best products for your business.

handheld computing device with scanner

How to Choose an RF Scanner Gun

scanning packages with scanner

RF scanner guns are handheld wireless devices used for daily operations in warehouses, transportation, distribution centers, manufacturing, and a variety of other facilities. The main purpose of an RF scanner gun is to read barcodes, QR codes, RFID tags, and other types of labels. In addition, they’re used in a variety of other operations, including order picking, inventory, location management, stock control, returns management, order dispatch, and similar.

When choosing the right RF scanner gun, there are plenty of factors to take into consideration. RF scanner guns can be divided into tabletop and wireless models. Wireless barcode scanners are much more useful, and they’re connected to a warehouse management system (WMS) via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or 3G/4G cellular connections.

The reason why connectivity is so important is because it saves you time and it leaves less room for error. By transmitting data through a network to the WMS, you’ll also increase productivity by effectively managing each operator’s tasks.

RF scanner guns on box by worker in vest

RF scanner guns come in different forms: handheld, presentation, mobile computer, in-counter, and similar. What’s more, these devices include several convenient features, such as touchscreens, keyboards, and even USB ports. Another factor to consider is their operating system, the most common being Android and Windows.

Ruggedness is another aspect you need to think about. If you plan to use RF scanner guns in warehouses or outdoor environments, they need to be rugged and drop-resistant. Getting a top-tier RF scanner gun will save you money, time, and resources.

Our Top Picks for RF Scanner Guns

Honeywell RT10

Honeywell RT10

Another tablet-like scanner, the Honeywell RT10 is an excellent option for those who want accelerated warehouse operations and enhanced operator performance. Its rugged construction makes it suitable for different storage temperature ranges, operational temperatures, and operating humidity. When it comes to its barcode scan capabilities, the Honeywell RT10 can decode one-dimensional and two-dimensional barcodes with near, mid, and far-range scanning possibilities.

In terms of connectivity, the Honeywell RT10 is equipped with Bluetooth and wireless connectivity. It has an Android 10 operating system, and useful features like Smart Talk, which allows for PTT, text, voice, and video communications. This tablet-like scanner gun is also water and dust-resistant. Not to mention that it can be dropped on concrete from 4 feet (1.2 meters) and remain functional.

Honeywell Xenon 1902 Wireless Area-Imaging Scanner

Honeywell Xenon 1902

If you’re looking for a traditional handheld scanner gun, then the Honeywell Xenon 1902 is definitely an option worth considering. The device has area-imaging technology and wireless and Bluetooth connectivity. This makes it an ideal scanner gun for a variety of applications, including warehouse, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, education, and many other sectors.

This scanner is highly durable, and it can be used in temperatures ranging from 32 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes to supported technologies, the Honeywell Xenon 1902 is compatible with standard one-dimensional barcodes, two-dimensional barcodes, PDF, Postal, and OCR formats. What’s more, this device can read labels on cell phone screens, capture images, and scan documents. It has a battery life of 4.5 hours. However, it can last up to 14 hours of standard use. The Honeywell Xenon 1902 can even read 50,000 scans on a single charge.

The operating system is TotalFreedom™ 2.0 and Remote MasterMind™ Scanner Management Software. Considering the high-performance features this scanner gun has to offer, it’s much more affordable than other similar products.

Zebra ET56

Zebra ET56

For those who want a tablet RF scanner, the Zebra ET56 is one of the best currently available. It has wireless connectivity, and for operating systems, you can choose Android 10 or Windows 10. If lightweight and thin tablet scanners are something you’re interested in, then the Zebra ET56 might be the right model for you.

Designed for heavy use and harsh working conditions, this tablet scanner can be used in warehouses, factories, or outdoor environments. The screen is an improvement on the ET51 series and its sleek design makes it even more desirable. The 1.6-gigahertz Intel Atom E3940 processor allows for optimal performance in a variety of logistical operations. The Zebra ET56 can scan 1D and 2D barcodes and other types of documents.

NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner

NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner

A traditional gun-like scanner that’s relatively inexpensive compared to the rest is the NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner. The wireless transmission technology and long transmission range make it ideal for retail, supermarkets, and warehouses. The scanner transmits the barcode to your computer. After that, it is stored in an EXCEL/WORD file. It has Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to connect directly to your mobile device, even if you are 100 meters away.

Furthermore, it has three upload modes – instant upload mode, storage mode, and non-losing mode. If you’re too far away from your computer or mobile phone, the scanner will upload the barcodes to its internal memory. However, this scanner can’t read two-dimensional barcodes or any barcodes from a screen.

This scanner can be mounted on the wall or secured on your desk. But thanks to its radio frequency feature, you can use it wirelessly as well.

Sonim RS60 Rugged Handheld

Sonim RS60 Mobile Computer Scanner Energy Electronics Rugged Tablet

If you’re looking for a tablet RF scanner, then take a look at the Sonim RS60. This Android 10 tablet is designed for maximum durability and top-tier performance. Its fully-rugged design allows you to use it without the fear of dropping or damaging it. Not only is this device drop-proof (it can survive falls of up to 6.5 feet), but it’s also water-proof and dust-proof as well, making it ideal for all types of work environments.

One of its most notable features is its multi-shift 8000mAh battery, which will allow you to use it the whole day without having to recharge it. The integrated high-speed barcode scanner allows for fast and easy scanning, even in low lighting. This reliable tablet RF scanner was designed to endure sudden shocks of up 30G and vibrations from 5Hz to 500Hz. Despite being shatter-proof, this device is still fairly lightweight.

The Sonim RS60 is an all-in-one solution built for optimal performance for any type of logistic operation.

Sonim RS80 Rugged Tablet

Sonim RS80 Rugged Tablet with-Scanner Energy Electronic

The Sonim RS80 is a lightweight mobile computer and barcode scanner all-in-one. The 8-inch touchscreen has an IP67 rating, making it resistant to water, dirt, and dust. Since this device is drop-tested and impact-resistant, you can use it in warehouses and outdoor environments.

Other useful features include a long-lasting multi-shift battery, a sunlight-readable display, an Android 10 operating system, and a reliable high-speed cellular connection with 4G LTE. The integrated barcode scanner supports 1D & 2D symbology. It can be submerged into water for 30 minutes, and endure extreme temperatures.

Aside from warehouses, the Sonim RS80 can also be used in transportation, field service, manufacturing, law enforcement sectors, and others. This RF scanner doubles as a tablet, and since it’s so lightweight, you can take it practically anywhere. Not to mention that its lifespan isn’t limited by battery, since it’s easily removable and replaceable.

Symcode 2D Bluetooth Ring Barcode Scanner

Symcode 2D Bluetooth Ring Barcode Scanner

For those looking for a compact scanner, the Symcode 2D Bluetooth Ring Barcode Scanner can fit on your index finger. It’s very easy to use and has both Bluetooth and wireless technology. Moreover, the wireless transmission distance can reach 30 feet (10 meters). It’s compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS devices.

As importantly, this mini scanner supports both 1D and 2D barcodes. It has a battery life of 6 hours, but it only needs 1.5 hours to recharge, allowing you to work more efficiently. It’s functionalities and convenient size make it ideal for those who are on the move the entire day. Thanks to the built-in 16MG memory, the Symcode 2D Bluetooth Ring can store 5,000 barcodes. In addition, it’s equipped with a LED indicator and a buzzer, which lets you know when your data is being collected.

Wireless Versatile 2-in-1 Tera Barcode Scanner

Wireless Versatile 2-in-1 Tera Barcode Scanner

One of the best scanner guns for warehouses, the Wireless Versatile 2-in-1 Tera Barcode Scanner has industry-leading performance. It can be used with a USB receiver, or via Wi-Fi with its 2.4G wireless connectivity. It can scan over 300 barcodes and labels in one second. Furthermore, it supports almost all types of 1D barcodes, including Codabar, Code 11, Code93, MSI, Code 128, EAN-128, Code 39, EAN-8, EAN-13, UPC-A, ISBN, and more. However, it can’t read 2D barcodes and QR codes, as well as barcodes on screens.

This scanner’s wireless transmission range is up to 328 feet (100 meters) in a barrier-free environment. Aside from warehouses, this scanner can be useful in supermarkets, retail, healthcare, libraries, and other types of facilities. It also comes with a unique battery level indicator, letting you know how many hours you have left until it becomes empty. Its battery life is quite impressive, allowing for over 40 hours of continuous scanning time and over 60 days of standby time.

Best Scanner Gun Holsters

handheld mobile computer scanning barcode

There are different types of scanner gun holsters, depending on the size and the model of your RF scanner gun. Wireless scanner guns are made for quick and efficient use, so it’s important that they’re within your immediate reach at all times. It also depends on your work environment, whether you’re in a sitting position, or if you’re on the move the entire day.

The most common way of wearing a scanner gun holster is looped onto a belt. Once it’s fastened to your utility belt, it will allow you to proceed with your daily activities without it bothering you. A clip connection holster is another convenient option since it’s much more secure than a belt loop holster.

Another distinction between an open-top and a closed-top scanner is the gun holster. Namely, whether they have an attachable cap or not. If you work in an environment where you have to climb a lot, your scanner gun might fall out of the holster. Hence, a closed-top scanner gun holster might be a better option.

handheld computing device tilted angle with all keypad buttons

For tablet-like scanner guns, like the Sonim RS60 and RS80, you can use retainer strap holsters, wrist mount holsters, and handcart mount holsters. But these types of holsters are definitely not suitable for gun-like scanners, since they typically won’t fit.

Retainer strap holsters are a combination of open and closed-top holsters. They don’t have a cover at the top, but the middle of the tablet scanner gun is secured. Wrist-mount holsters are perhaps the most convenient alternative for tablet-like scanner guns. You’ll be able to move freely because the scanner gun is secured to your wrist. When you need to scan a barcode, simply aim the scanner gun toward it. You don’t even have to remove it from the holster.

handheld computing device slim with scanning boxes

There’s a diverse variety of holsters for all types of scanner guns. All you need to do is find one that meets all your needs, and that will maximize your productivity and efficiency.

Talk to Logistics Expert

RF scanners are essential devices in any facility. Without them, workers would have to write down every single piece of information on paper. At the end of the day, the RF scanner you choose should make your daily workflow easier and more productive. Once you pick the right model, don’t forget to find the right scanner gun holster.

If you’re having issues deciding on the best RF scanner gun, Energy Electronics is here to help you make the right decision. If you want to get a special quote for some of the best barcode scanners on the market, all you need to do is contact us and we’ll do the rest.

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