Primary zinc–carbon batteries with a coplanar battery architecture were prepared by screen printing. Prior to battery activation by printing of an acidic zinc chloride electrolyte, printed zinc and manganese dioxide electrodes were compacted by calendering. Material densification of the electodes resulted in electrode layer thickness reduction on both sides, modified micropore surface area and volume on the cathode side. Galvanostatic impedance measurements and chronopotentiometry were used to characterise fabricated batteries with the individually prepared electrode configurations. While calendering of both electrodes of the batteries showed adverse effects by an increase of internal resistances and a reduction of discharge capacities, exclusive calendering of the zinc anode increased the active material utilisation by electrochemical cell reaction and thus the discharge efficiency of the battery.