Inventory Management
Importance of Handheld Scanner for Inventory Management

Importance of Handheld Scanner for Inventory Management

Importance of Handheld Scanner for Inventory Management

A handheld scanner is an electronic device that performs the task of scanning documents just like a flatbed scanner, but it is physically handheld. It is used for scanning a physical document and converting it electronically to be displayed on computers or devices attached to the store, edit, and transfer the same.

Handheld scanners are more popular because of their space carrying capacity and portability.

These types of scanners are widely used in digital printing of documents, although they are considered to be low-quality scanners yet they are very popular because of their small size and they are less expensive too.

Their functionality is not different from other types of scanners; the handheld scanners also function to scan an object but moving through it and capturing all the data to keep it secured. Some specifications are needed to be followed while working with the handheld scanner such as, it should be handled carefully while operation and it is important to hold it right in a straight position to get the code scanned by the scanner.

Many of the handheld scanners are available with added features such as definitions, translations, reading of printed texts along with saving and transferring scanned data to the main computer or device.

Also Read: What Are the Benefits of Barcode Scanner Software?

Features of a Handheld Scanner

  • Light in weight and comfortable to use.
  • Affixed with scanning engine, support read (barcode & QR code) quickly.
  • Accurate and efficient reading of damaged barcode, bubble bag barcode, long-distance, mobile phone to quickly and accurately identified.
  • Smart to recognize repeated tags/code.
  • Real-time data transmission with multimedia transmission, WiFi Bluetooth.

Multiple Types of Handheld Scanners to Scan Asset Tags

1. Barcode Scanner

A handheld scanner that reads barcode is used because of its easy handling and portability while operating. Most of the handheld inventory scanners are designed like a handgun with a grip and trigger from which led light beams come across to scan the desired code.

More often handheld barcode scanner is known as mobile computer as it is fully operational to scan, read, edit, and save barcode data. These handheld barcode scanners can be corded, cordless, 1D, 2D, or can be connected to android or iOS smartphones and tablets.

2. RFID Scanner

Mobile RFID scanners are used by most of the employees in an organization therefore chances of return on investment increase. These handheld devices allow the users to take technology work either on the shop or in the warehouse.

Also Read: Which Inventory Tags Are Important for a Business?

RFID handheld readers are the best and economical choice for more practical reasons. As there is no need to move the heavy objects to get them scanned rather the scanner is moved over the asset code and information is viewed.

RFID tags and scanners are also used for asset tracking and many other field applications. Asset management software also uses RFID technology efficiently for many of the scanning and updates.

3. Smartphone as a Handheld Scanner

Smartphones are highly shock-resistant and some are phones and tablets with barcode scanner capabilities therefore they can serve as multi-use devices that support a wide variety of applications for field employees.

Also, smartphones build a string and constant communication with co-workers within or outside the premises. Before smartphone as scanners the scanning technology was not so powerful and flexible.

Scanning of multiple barcodes at a single point of time and even in tough conditions is possible through mobile scanning devices.

But there are some businesses that don't believe and require an online-capable smartphone and invest in other devices too increase functionality, some the reasons behind it are:

  • No B.Y.O.D. requirements - Requiring employees to have a smartphone might not be always possible as many of the people still don't use it, and investing in a wireless barcode scanner is likely to be cheaper than investing in a full-fledged smartphone.
  • Better durability and functionality - Mobile computers and barcode scanners are often designed for rough use, which implies they can survive harsh condition and damage as compared to a smartphone. They are also built only for scanning, which makes them easy to read the barcodes from greater distances and are even faster than smartphones when it comes to image capturing.
  • Better integration - No additional adapters or drivers are necessary with a barcode scanner or mobile computer where smartphones, can be a subject to viruses, slowdowns, battery issues and other obstacles to database integration.
  • No employee interference - Also smartphones can be forgotten at home or lost by employees, and can be interfered with incoming calls or texts arrive. A device that is dedicated to scanning only and will remains in the office as it is organization's property, it won't be interrupted by personal use or issues.

Pros and Cons of Using a Handheld Scanner


The advantages of handheld scanner are many, including:

  • Good for scanning bulky items - No need of lifting heavy items just for scanning, a handheld barcode scanner is a safe tracking device for such items.
  • Ideal for inventory - handheld inventory scanner is good for scanning goods in a store or a warehouse as they are light in weight so easy to carry to the desired location.
  • Inexpensive and flexible - Handheld scanners are a good choice for less expensive yet more flexible to carry out work operations with great multi uses.


Handheld scanners might not be good for every application. Some of their disadvantages are:

  • Short reading zone - If an object is placed far away for 15 feet height in a warehouse, these scanners will not work well. There are other scanners that can scan at a distance which are more convenient to use in such situations.
  • Effective reading zone - Handheld barcode scanners need a direct line of sight to the barcode to be able to read otherwise ineffective.


Handheld scanners have numerous advantages for business as well as personal purposes. They are meant to make life easier for those who are constantly scanning and sending documents especially in the middle of traveling. They now come in very small sizes making them incredibly useful in times of business or personal emergencies.

Also Read: How are Barcodes on Medical Devices Beneficial?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a handheld scanner used for?

A handheld scanner is an electronic device that performs the tasks scanning documents, images and tags. It is used to scan physical documents electronically to store, edit, transfer and email them digitally.

2. Difference between flatbed scanner and handheld.

The flatbed scanner has a flat surface on which the printed image or document is scanned and stored, also it can scan a page in a single pass.

While handheld scanners they are very small in size so can be held in a hand. They are less expensive and less wide.

3. Can mobile phone be used as a scanner?

Yes, phone camera can act as a scanner, if you want to scan any document or an asset tag.

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