Choosing a Fixed or Handheld RFID Reader

Choosing a Fixed or Handheld RFID Reader

If you are just starting out with your research on an RFID system, one of the questions you may be asking yourself is, do I want a Fixed or a Handheld RFID reader?

Choosing between a fixed or handheld RFID reader depends on the specific needs and use case of the organization or individual.

“Fixed RFID Readers” are typically used in where items are stationary, such as in a warehouse, a manufacturing facility, or a retail store. They are permanently installed in a specific location and are connected to a power source and a network. Fixed readers are designed to read RFID tags on items as they pass by or are placed within the reader's read range. They are ideal for tracking inventory, monitoring production lines, and managing assets.

“Handheld RFID Readers” are portable and can be taken to various locations. They are ideal for mobile workers who need to scan RFID tags on items that are on the move, such as in a retail store or a shipping and logistics facility. Handheld readers typically have a shorter read range than fixed readers, but they offer greater flexibility and mobility.

Each of these types of readers can be highly beneficial in different industries. We can further understand which reader is best for our application by examining the benefits of each type of reader.

Benefits of a Fixed RFID Reader:

Fig1: RFID Fixed Readers.

  • Always-on Real-Time Monitoring: Since a fixed RFID reader remains powered on and does not move, it sits quietly in the corner of the building and collects data on a continuous basis. This is why fixed RFID readers are also considered “work horses” in the RFID industry.

  • Automated Asset Management/Improved Inventory Tracking:
    Fixed RFID readers can provide real-time visibility into inventory levels, allowing businesses to track inventory levels more accurately and make informed decisions about inventory management. With always-on monitoring, no one must think about turning the reader on and doing a scan. So, if you are trying to keep track of how much inventory comes into your building a day, but don’t want to have to remember to conduct a scan each time a shipment comes in, having an always-on fixed RFID reader is a great way to automate that process.

  • Broad Read Range: Like how desktops typically more computing power have than mobile computers, fixed RFID readers typically have a higher read range than handheld readers and can monitor a larger area at one time.

  • Flexibility Antennas can be Connected to the Reader: Fixed RFID readers typically come with anywhere from 1-16 or more antenna ports depends on the specific reader model and its capabilities with option to connect antennas with a multiplexor.

  • Increased Efficiency: Fixed RFID readers are ideal for businesses and organizations that require high-speed and accurate data collection. They can be installed in a fixed location, such as a warehouse, and can automatically collect data from RFID tags which eliminates the need for manual data collection.

  • Scalability: Fixed RFID readers can be easily integrated into existing systems depending on the needs of the business. This makes them a flexible and cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes.

  • Reduced Labour Costs: By automating data collection, Fixed RFID readers can help businesses reduce labour costs associated with manual data entry and inventory management. This allows employees to focus on more value-added tasks, such as analysing data and making strategic decisions.

Benefits of a Handheld RFID Reader: