Label makers is probably not the very first thing you consider when it comes to home and office essentials, however they are perfect for helping organize and manage your workspace, making it simpler to sort out important docs or supplies, store them away and after that quickly find them when you want to. When you’re picking the best label maker to meet your needs, think about the keyboard layout and style, the fonts as well as other features, and whether or not the label maker is battery-powered.
Selecting the right label maker.
Label makers print tidy, readable labels for document folders, kitchen shelves, storage containers and boxes, and also somewhere else in your house or workplace where organization can be a plus. In fact, Label makers today are tiny, handheld computers that allow you to get creative.
Even our $ 20 low cost label maker pick can print out many different fonts, words sizes and styles (italic, bold and so on), a huge selection of small decorative icons, symbols and emojis, it can even create some dressy frames for the labels, making label makers a favorite tool for scrapbooking. Label tape isn’t only the old tape anymore. You can get the basic sticky-back tape (in a spectrum of colors as well as black, white, clear, metallic and even more), magnetic labels that are great for whiteboards, material iron-on labels, and even satin ribbon well suited for crafts and the gift wrapping.
Expensive label makers may cost $ 60 to $ 100 or even more. They can connect with your laptop or computer, providing you the use of a basically unlimited selection of downloadable graphics, fonts and layouts. Even so, a basic $ 20 to $ 40 label maker that’s simple to use might serve lots of users better than an fancy model with all the special features. Most moderately costed label makers print labels with the resolution of 180 dpi, therefore some letters will show a slightly jagged edge. But for most sizes, text is very easy-to-read. Keyboards are available in two fundamental types: The computer-type layout structure is ideal for anyone that can type or text well, while an ABC layout is more effective designed for children and inexperienced typists.
Although Epson produces some stand-alone label makers, the Brother and Dymo companies take over the label maker’s market. Dymo offers the really most affordable label maker. To pick the best label makers, we think about the label makers’ simplicity of use, versatility such as the ability to print on different label media and costed value, also how good the label maker keeps up over the long run. To help you select the most appropriate one, we’ve rounded up the 5 best label makers below.
List of The Best Label Makers.
|Brother P-touch PTD210||Best Overall|
|Brother P-touch PTD600||Best for Teachers|
|DYMO Plug N Play Label Maker||Plugs into PC or Mac with Built-in Software, No Power Adapter or Batteries Required, for Home & Office Organization|
|Epson LabelWorks LW-400||Best for Crafters|
|DYMO MobileLabeler||Best Label Maker with Bluetooth Smartphone Connectivity|
|Brother P-Touch Cube Smartphone Label Maker||Multiple Templates Available for Apple & Android Compatible|
|DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo||Best for Shipping Labels|
|Brother QL-700||Best for Small Businesses|
Check out our thorough and honest reviews of the best label maker.
The Brother P-Touch PTD210 is definitely the ideal one-stop shop for producing and printing high-quality labels, no matter if you’re managing an office or making crafts. By using a basic keyboard interface, you can easily scroll through various styles and templates. All in all, label maker includes 14 fonts, 97 frames and more than 600 symbols, making it possible for almost limitless customization. What’s better, the screen of the device provides a visible preview of the label before printing, eliminating the hassle of wasting costly materials.
The PTD210 can be driven by six AAA batteries or an AC adapter, which is light and weighs just over a pound. Buyers rave about the variety of fonts and frames that make it ideal for manual projects or anyone who would like to add fun to their home organization. Quite a few users also prefer the Brother brand’s label tape to those sold by competitors, who declare backing paper is simpler to take out.
Why We Recommend It.
Store up to 30 labels or make a choice from 27 on file templates. Fast label printing is done easy while using PT-D210’s internal label templates and large internal storage space. You don’t have to create a special label with each use unless you wish to.
Lots of print choices. In spite of its low cost, this label maker does not rob you of the versatility that many higher priced models provide. Users enjoy one-touch keys for fast access to 14 fonts, 95 frames as well as more than 600 symbols. Very few reviewers have been unhappy about the options this label maker offers.
Chain printing reduces wasted tape. Probably the most common complaints from users about virtually all label makers is the wasted tape, which increases total cost of ownership. The PT-D210 minimizes this issue using its chain print feature that enables users to print multiple labels at the same time and reduce the wasted margin area.
What we don’t like.
The AC adapter and battery are sold separately. The fact is that the label maker is not really ready to be used upon purchase. Due to the fact both the adapter and battery are sold separately, you have to select one before making use of your PT-D210. For some users who don’t want to spend more, this is a frustrating reason.
Limited printing space. The label maker only can handle a maximum ½ inch width tape and up to two lines of text on label.
The LCD has no backlight. Although there is a screen that can see what you are printing, it is not backlit, which may make it difficult to decipher in low light circumstances.
The DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo Thermal Label Printer is actually a high-tech label maker that’s best for printing shipping labels. You can print USPS-authorized postage from your desktop computer, without paying extra fees or create month-to-month commitments. This fast-speed label maker can print around 71 labels each minute that means it’s perfect for high volume printing.
The label maker can be connected with your computer to print customized barcodes, graphics, address labels and more. Once you’re connected to the PC or Mac, you can print directly from Microsoft Word or PDF. And since the label maker uses thermal printing technology, you will save money of printer ink and toner. Along with the DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo, you’ll receive an address labels starter roll, power cable, USB cable, adapter, as well as a start guide to help you get started using your new label maker.
Why We Recommend It.
Up to 71 labels per minute. As a business owner, you don’t have much time to waste. The DYMO prints labels incredibly fast, which means you won’t get stuck needlessly waiting for your labels to print out if you have huge jobs.
Save money on ink and toner. Thermal printing means that you won’t ever need to worry about buying ink or a toner cartridge, making the relatively low cost DYMO even more cost-effective. The lack of a need for ink was a big draw for several reviewers who needed the DYMO for high-volume business printing. It’s hard to ignore the cost savings.
Print mailing labels, name tags or barcodes. The DYMO 450 provides lots of versatility in its printing options. You can create product information labels, address labels, file labels, retail price tags, barcodes, name badges and so on.
What we don’t like.
Some concerns working on Macs. In spite of the manufacturer claim that it is suitable for both PCs and Macs, several users have complained that the DYMO either fails to work on Macs or is somewhat buggy.
Some complaints about label jams. One common flaw described by reviewers included the DYMO’s tendency to get jammed while printing labels.
Not portable. There is no battery powered option for this label maker. You need to plug it in and then use it with the desktop computer or laptop.
Business users usually have different labeling demands than folks using a device for crafting or business purposes, with volume usually becoming the main concern. Good news is the Brother QL-700 can print out a blazing-fast 93 labels per minute, saving plenty of time for labeling envelopes, folders and even creating postage. The included P-touch editing software enables users to print off more complex labels, like barcodes, and the device syncs up with Microsoft Word, Excel, PDF and Outlook for easy office integration. In the meantime, its thermal printing technology doesn’t demand ink or toner (another plus for business users looking to reduce costs).
Users praise the involved software, noting that it’s powerful enough for business applications, for starters, it allows users import CSV files or connect to external data sources to allow them to create their own QR codes. If you want a high quality label maker for your small business, the Brother QL-700 is the way to go.
Why We Recommend It.
The most important feature is its printing speed. This professional label printer can print up to 93 standard address labels per minute. That’s more than 1 label per second and comes down to a total of around 150mm of printed paper. Its printing speed is remarkable as it is.The maximum width of labels you can use is 62mm but there are lots of varieties available below that maximum. In addition, you’ll always have the option to print banners or signs spanning +900mm.
Another excellent quality of the device is that it lets you print your own stamps. This can be a big saving technique if your business sends out packages in large quantities regularly.
One of the issues some people have with label printers is about changing rolls. This is simply not a problem while using Brother QL-700 Professional Label Printer. The rolls for the Label maker come with built-in spools. Furthermore, this device even offers automatic label detection technology. This makes them very easy to replace.
This device also offers an built-in automatic cutter that eliminates the risk of irregular label cuts. You won’t have to do anything except set the dimensions you want.
What we don’t like.
It is surprisingly tricky to set up. If you’re not really regular user of label printers, and it is your first time using label maker then you’re going to have difficulty with this device. Also, the software provided with this device isn’t the latest so that you need to update.
Another limitation is that you cannot connect to it wirelessly.
Whether you are a teacher looking to get organized or you would like to add a personal touch to class tasks, label makers are a fantastic accessory for any classroom. We especially enjoy the PTD600, another label maker from Brother’s P-touch series. It has the advantage of a full-color, high-resolution display that’s ideal for previewing the labels you can create to aid with regular organization, whether it’s name tags on the first day of school or labels for the books lining the shelves of your classroom library.
The PTD600 features a compact design and connects with the PC or Mac by using an included USB cable, and features fast print speeds. Its automatic tape cutter also makes printing high-volume jobs an easy task. The PTD600 is extremely functional and even slightly addictive, Amazon shoppers write, saying it’s very easy to create custom labels with your computer in tandem with the device. It contains 11 styles, 14 fonts, 99 frames and also over 600 symbols, while the display screen automatically recognizes the color of the tape in use for the truly precise preview.
Why We Recommend It.
Multiple print options available. The Brother P-Touch PT-D600 offers 11 font styles, 14 fonts, 99 frames, more than 600 symbols to choose from and supports over 50 different kinds of tape up to 24 mm (about one inch) wide. You can fit up to seven lines of text on one label.
Connect to PC or Mac. You can either select from an large library of label templates or connect to a computer and use the Editor Label Design software to create specialized labels. Reviewers repeatedly praised the remarkable versatility in label designs that this feature presents.The possibilities are nearly limitless.
High volume capability. Built with an automatic label cutter and above average print speed, this label maker can print labels at a pace that would suit most business’s needs.
Full-color backlit graphic display. See what you are printing and exactly how it looks via PT-D600’s full color, high-resolution display. Lots of label makers include only a black and white display, reducing accuracy from label conception to real printing.
What we don’t like.
You may have to buy batteries. While the AC adaptor is involved, if you need to carry it away from the desk, you need six AA batteries, which are not provided.
Potential to waste tape. Probably the most common complaints about the PT-D600 is that it wastes lots of tape due to the large margins. If you are considering printing quite a lot, this device will increase your total cost of ownership, even though you can adjust the margins in the settings.
If you’re a crafter looking for a label maker that puts a premium on customization, the Epson LabelWorks LW-400 is just the ticket. This label maker has variety in spades: 10 styles, 14 fonts, more than 75 frames and over 300 built-in symbols. If you’re juggling multiple craft projects, it is the option for you. The labels used by Epson also have smaller margins compared to what you’ll find with other models, (around 0.5 inches on each side) – cutting down on tape waste.
Users say the Epson LabelWorks LW-400 is perfect for a wide variety of uses, adding that they enjoy mixing and matching fonts and styles with different types of tape (silver sparkles, and so on) to get that perfect look.
Why We Recommend It.
It really is priced reasonably and also have very low noise level when printing the labels.
LW-400 has you covered with enough on-device memory to store as much as 50 separate files.
What we don’t like.
I wish they have more icons included, but since firmware can’t be upgraded, the number of icons is actually fixed.
What is a Label Maker?
A label maker is a computer printer that prints on self-adhesive label material and/or card-stock (tags). A label printer with built-in keyboard and display for stand-alone use (not connected to a separate computer) is often called a label maker. Label makers are different from ordinary printers because they need to have special feed mechanisms to handle rolled stock, or tear sheet (fanfold) stock.
And when it comes to the connectivity of label printers, the best label makers include RS-232, Ethernet, Parallel and USB. Though label printers are mainly used for labeling products by the manufacturers, one can use it for plenty of other purposes as well. Like for example, you can make labels for photo boxes, children cups or for any kind of storage unit. You just have to be creative enough to find a use for it. You can also use label makers at your office to organize your tasks like labeling your file boxes with a list of dates, contents and relevant data.
Depending on the purpose of your use, label printers can be of different types which we will be discussing later in this article. Different printing mechanisms like thermal, laser and impact are used by these labeling devices. But when it comes to the printing mechanism that is used commonly, thermal printing takes the cake.
Label printers come in various sizes; some are the size of small hand-held devices while others are a bit too large to be comfortably fit in hand. People who are picky about them, it’s available in a wide range of colors and different sizes. There are a plenty of brands that manufacture label printers.
You can either order a label maker online or go for the traditional way of purchasing it from a store. Most of the office supply shops maintain a wide range of label printers for you to choose from. Along with label printers, they also keep a stock of label tape refills which comes in a wide range of colors.
All I can say is having a label maker around the desk of your office or on the shelves at your home is a very convenient thing to have around. You never know when you may feel the need of it.
The basic parameters of label makers
1. Maximum print length.
In the process of label printing, the label maker does not mean that it can print without limit at one time. Generally, there is a certain limit on the length of the print. The maximum print length is also expressed using the length unit mm, which can be said to be clear at a glance.
2. Print width.
Print width refers to the maximum width range that a label maker can print. Its marking is different from that of ordinary printers with paper specifications. Instead, it uses the daily length unit mm to mark. Users should choose according to the actual width of the label that they need to print in practical applications. And for this problem, the user must consider it clearly, because the width can be printed small, but the width is certainly not large. There is no doubt that as the printing width increases, the price of the product naturally rises.
Resolution is a metric common to all printing devices. Resolution refers to the highest printing accuracy that the product can achieve. That is, how many dots can be achieved per inch, the unit is dpi. Multiplying two numbers represents lateral accuracy and vertical accuracy. Generally speaking, the resolutions of current label makers are mainly 200dpi, 300dpi, and 600dpi (the higher the dpi number, the clearer the print).
4. Print speed.
Different from the marking method of the printing speed of our common inkjet printers and laser printers, the printing speed of label makers is expressed by the length of the widest label tape used by the product which can be printed in unit time. Expressed in mm / s (mm / s), which is the maximum number of millimeter-long label tapes that can be printed in one second. For this technical indicator, naturally the bigger the better.
5. Printing method.
The printing method refers to the technology used by the label maker for printing. Generally speaking, label makers use thermal transfer or direct thermal printing technology, and some products call themselves “thermal induction technology”, which is actually a truth.
Types of Label Maker Based on the Printing Mechanism:
Different label printers use different printing mechanisms to print labels. Depending on the printing mechanisms used by label printers, they can be categorized as follows:
1. Thermal Transfer Label Printers
Thermal transfer printed labels are easily identified by the crisp, often glossy, printed surface. The clarity is achieved by using a thin ribbon roll that when heated by the print head melts onto the label to form the image. The ink is absorbed so that the image becomes part of the media. When matched with suitable media, thermal transfer technology is not only impervious to heat and moisture, but the image cannot be rubbed off, making the printed labels the most durable available. An additional benefit of this technology is the continuity of the printed image. Because the color and density of the printed image is determined by the ribbon and the resolution of the printer, thermal transfer printing produces consistent, reliable printing on every label. This technique provides image quality and durability that is unmatched by other on-demand printing technologies.
The specific label material and ribbon must be carefully matched to ensure print performance and durability. By selecting the right media-ribbon combination, as well as specialty adhesives, users can create archival-quality labels to withstand temperature extremes, ultraviolet exposure, chemicals, sterilization, and more. Typical thermal transfer applications include: product identification; circuit board tracking; permanent identification; sample and file tracking; asset tagging; inventory identification; certification labels such as UL/CSA; laboratory specimens; cold storage and freezers; and outdoor applications.
Thermal Transfer Printing Advantages
- Thermal transfer delivers crisp, high-definition text, graphic and barcode print quality for maximum readability and scannability.
- Thermal transfer printing produces long-life image stability.
- Thermal transfer enables batch or single label printing with virtually no waste.
- Long-term maintenance costs are low compared to dot matrix, ink jet and laser printing.
- Thermal transfer technology can print on a nearly unlimited variety of media stock (except multi-form).
- Thermal transfer printers are typically built more durably than dot matrix or laser printers, allowing reliable operation in industrial as well as office applications
Thermal Transfer Printing Limitations
- Since thermal transfer printers require ribbon, supply costs are higher than direct thermal; however, thermal transfer printheads last longer than direct thermal printheads.
- Single-pass thermal transfer ribbon can be wasteful if little is printed on it.
- Thermal transfer ribbon is a poor candidate for recycling.
- To obtain optimum print quality in thermal transfer printing, the ribbon and media substrate MUST be compatible. Otherwise, the heat from the printhead could melt the ribbon onto the label causing internal printer problems.
2. Direct Thermal Label Printers
Because they print without a ribbon, direct thermal printers are noted for their simplicity. Direct thermal printed labels typically have a considerable shelf life but are not well suited for environments that expose them to heat, long periods of direct sunlight, or abrasion. Direct thermal printers have no ink, toner, or ribbon.
If the label is overexposed to heat, light, or other catalysts, the material will darken and make the text or barcode unreadable. For these reasons, direct thermal printing is not used for lifetime identification applications. The readability of direct thermal labels, wristbands, and receipt papers varies greatly, depending on the usage conditions, but the technology provides ample lifespan for many common barcode printing applications including shipping labels, patient and visitor identification, receipts, and ticket printing.
Direct Thermal Printing Advantages
- Direct thermal printing produces sharp print quality with good scannability.
- Direct thermal is ideal for applications requiring only a short shelf life — meaning the label image does not need to last very long. Shipping labels and receipts are ideal applications, for instance, while product labels are not.
- Direct thermal printers are simple to operate compared to most other print technologies because there is no ink, toner or ribbon to monitor or replenish.
- With no supplies to replace other than the material to be printed, long-term maintenance costs remain low.
- Direct thermal enables batch or single label printing with virtually no waste.
- With recyclable materials available, direct thermal printers offer environmental economy.
- Direct thermal printers are typically built more durably than dot matrix or laser printers, allowing reliable operation in industrial as well as office applications.
Direct Thermal Limitations
- Direct thermal printing is extremely sensitive to environmental conditions such as heat and light (fluorescent and / or direct sunlight).
- Direct thermal paper remains chemically active after printing. Because of this, thermal labels, tags or ticket stock are often top coated to resist UV light exposure, chemicals and abrasion.
3. Laser Label Printers
Laser labels are great for utilizing standard sheetfed office or home printer. This is an easy and inexpensive way of label printing. The durability of laser labels can vary from wet or cold temperature applications for general indoor applications. These printers use dry toner which is either in full color or black that gives you the option to add color coding and graphics.
Print quality is good enough even for UV light exposure but, laser printers are not recommended for heavy chemical exposure. The only drawback to these kinds of printers is that you can’t print one label at a time. The printer requires printing a whole sheet in every pass through.
4. Inkjet Label Printers
Inkjet printers are the most common type of printers used by the consumers. The technology of the inkjet printers works by the process of spraying fine drops of ink on a sheet of paper. Previously, inkjet printers used to be inferior in speed and quality of printing when compared to laser printers, but gradually inkjet printers have been able to match up to laser printers. Now, even an inkjet printer can print high-quality images at a low budget. The best thing about inkjet printers is that they have improved in quality, but there has been no increment in their price.
Thus, you can see that there are a variety of label makers available that can be used to print high-quality labels. Before buying a label maker, you should always think about the purpose, it is required for. Like for example, if you need it for continuous printing and heavy-duty purposes then you should go for industrial label printers. Whereas, if you need a label printer only for light purposes, use a personal label printer or a desktop label printer. Choose your label maker accordingly and make sure that it can suit your needs.
What should we consider about the best label maker？
Though they are still on the market, old-fashioned models are really awkward and slow by comparison. Thermal printing requires no ink or toner. Text doesn’t have to be black, either. You can get tapes that print white, red, gold, navy, or other colors of text on different colored backgrounds.
2.Easy, user-friendly operation.
A computer-type keyboard and one-touch shortcuts (to fonts, symbols, frames, etc.) make the best label makers very simple to use.
3.Lots of fonts and text styles.
If you like decorative labels, search for a model with plenty of fonts and styles. Some label makers can product icons, symbols, emojis and decorative frames, as well as specialized labels for industry, just like wire wraps and bar codes. The best label makers make it equally simple to access these advanced features, or just print a fundamental label.
4. An AC adapter or rechargeable batteries.
These add convenience and save money. If you don’t use a label maker frequently, the batteries will deteriorate.
Many label makers build in memory, saving frequently used labels to ensure you don’t need to always keep retyping all of them.
Low-cost label makers (in the $ 20 range) usually have a one-year or so warranty. The best label makers ($ 40 or higher) have a two-year warranty.
What you need to think about before you decide.
1.What label materials do you need?
Some labels are particularly durable, resistant to water, grease, sun fading and temperature changes. For example, you can label your frozen containers, heat them in a microwave, and then send them through a hot dishwasher cycle without losing the label. Non-glossy paper labels are actually acceptable for document folders, and you may like to make particular labels like magnetic labels for use on whiteboards, file cabinets and refrigerators; iron-on fabric for clothing labels; or ribbon labels for crafting and gifting. Some users enjoy metallic labels. It’s better to figure out this before narrowing your selection of label maker.
2.Take into account the label widths you’ll need.
Very narrow 3.5 mm labels work well on CD case spines. Alternatively, some users prefer large labels or multiline text labels that are as wide as 1 inch.
3.Choose which keyboard type you want.
For kids and non-typists, a keyboard arranged in ABC order is simpler to use, however other people will find a regular QWERTY computer-type keyboard more user-friendly.
4.What special features do you really need?
For example, an automatic label cutter is really a great convenience when you print plenty of labels at one time, but manual cutters just need to press a button. A full-color LCD display screen can show you a vivid preview of the label, however if you’re not making fancy labels, you possibly will not care. These additional features can double or maybe triple the price of a label maker.
5.Do you need access to online fonts and label styles?
In the $ 60-and-up range of prices, label makers can connect to your computer, enabling you to make use of basically unlimited fonts and design and style choices. For those who never plan to make use of this feature, there’s probably no reason to spend this much.
Technical Information about Label Makers
Talking about the technical details of label makers, every model of label maker has its own unique technical specifications and features. No two label makers are same. Now, let’s learn the technical details of our pick label maker, i.e., Brother PT-D210.
- Model Type: Handheld or Desktop
- Tape Size: 3.5mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm
- Tape Length: 26.2’
- Tape Technology: Thermal Transfer
- LCD Display: 15 char x 1 line Graphical
- Maximum Print Resolution: 180 dpi
- Maximum Print Speed: 20mm/sec
- Cutter: Manual
- Batteries: 6 AAA
- AC Adapter: AD-24
- Number of Fonts: 14
- Number of Font Styles: 10
- Font Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
- Built-in Symbols: 617
- Horizontal Alignment: Left, Center, Right
- Vertical Printing: Yes
- Mirror Printing: Yes
- Memory: Yes (30 labels)
- Warranty: 1 year limited
- Housing Dimensions: 6.2” x 5.9” x 7.”
- Housing Weight: 1.1 lbs
- Housing Color: White and Grey
If you’re in the market for a label maker, you probably already have a pretty good idea of how it’ll fit into your life, whether that’s organizing your personal space at home or your professional space at work. You can use these label makers that we have reviewed to help tidy your office, boost your crafting game, or help everyone at home remember where everything should go.
For this guide, we spent several days digging through the settings of all these label makers, finding every useful feature they offered. After more than 2 days researching 30+ label makers and testing the those most promising models, we found that these 5 label makers are the best for most people who need to bring a bit more organization to their offices or homes.