A label maker is a handy gadget that most of us never think we need. However, once you get our hands on one, you’ll realize how much it can change the way you live. From organizing office and school files to labeling food items and groceries, it always comes in handy. Moreover, for those who enjoy doing crafts and design, this will also be a good gadget to have. In this review, we will help you find the best label marker in 2023 that will suit your needs and budget.
Moreover, even label maker is probably not the very first thing you consider when it comes to home and office essentials, 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.
List of The Best Label Maker
Best for Teachers
Plugs into PC or Mac with Built-in Software
Best for Crafters
Best Label Maker with Bluetooth Connectivity
Multiple Templates Available
Best for Shipping Labels
Best for Small Businesses
Selecting The Best Label Maker For Your Needs.
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 best label makers. Check out our thorough reviews of the best label maker for 2023 below.
1. Brother P-touch PTD210 – Best overall Label Maker
If you want a personal label maker you can use at home, the Brother P-Touch PT-D210 is an excellent choice. It’s a handy label maker that features a good size keyboard and a tried-and-true old-school screen. If you’re a fan of crafts, stationery, and good old obsessive organization, you will enjoy this 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.
The interface is highly intuitive. You can change fonts and use a variety of styles and templates. It has 14 fonts and 600 different symbols you can choose from. Moreover, it also comes with 97 frames. There are also 27 pre-made templates and other patterns you can use, making it possible for almost limitless customization. The screen on the label maker makes it easier for you to create and customize your labels. What’s better, the screen of the device provides a visible preview of the label before printing, It avoids mistakes when printing and eliminates the hassle of wasting costly materials. The QWERTY keyboard is also easy to use. The keys are made of rubber and are quite responsive.
The Brother P-Touch is a handheld label maker you can bring with you anywhere. It runs on six AAA batteries or an AC plug. You can purchase a separate case for your P-Touch so you can keep your labels and label maker organized all in one case.
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.
Brother also offers tons of laminated label designs. All of which are water- and fade-resistant. Thus, wherever you place them, you’re sure that they will remain put. The Brother P-Touch PT-210 is certainly a must-have in all crafty people’s wishlist.
2. DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo Thermal Label Printer – Best for Shipping Labels
When we’re talking about label printers, we often think about DYMO. The DYMO Corporation was the first company to release a labeling tool that uses an embossing tape. They now sell a wide range of label makers and printers. Thus, if you are looking for a durable and reliable label maker, you simply can’t go wrong with a DYMO.
The DYMO LabelWriter 450 is a professional-grade direct thermal printer. Thus, it doesn’t run on ink. Instead, it is able to print on thermal paper because of heat. Thus, you will never buy ink again. All you need to replace is your sheet labels. Moreover, with the DYMO software, you can create up to 71 labels per minute – that’s quite fast! If you’re tackling some organization tasks at the office or at home, the LabelWriter 450 can sure keep up.
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 is 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. With the DYMO Label Software, you can create customized labels easily. Take note that the DYMO LabelWriter is only a printer. It doesn’t have a built-in keyboard where you can type labels directly from. They are ideal for moderate to high-load label printing. 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.
3. Brother QL-700 High-Speed Professional Label Printer – Best for Small Businesses
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.
4. Brother P-touch PC-Connectable Labeler PTD600 – Best Label Maker for Teachers
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.
5. Epson LabelWorks LW-400 – Best Label Maker for Crafters
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.
6. Brother P-Touch Cube Smartphone Label Maker
The Brother P-touch device can help you print your labels through the wireless connection from any devices and online platforms with ease. Thanks to advanced printing technologies, you can create great-looking and high-quality labels within minutes. Plus, you can have the freedom to preview your texts for each label which are highlighted on the screen, thus reducing type and printing errors. As a result, it can save a lot of supplies, money, and time. This device is also portable and lightweight with a protective case so that you can bring it anywhere you want in your home.
Buying Guide for The Best Label Maker
What is a Label Maker?
A label maker is a small computer with a printer that instantly prints out texts, numbers, and symbols on a self-adhesive material. This small computer consists of a mini keyboard and a screen so you can see it as you type before you print it out. Label makers are different from ordinary printers because they need to have special feed mechanisms to handle rolled stock, or tear sheet stock. Depending on the printer it uses, it often runs on ink or cartridge, toners, ribbons, heat, or simply an embossing tape.
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.
The Basic Parameters Of The Label Maker
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
Label makers come with built-in printers. There are also specific label printers you can get that you can connect to a computer. These printers use different printing mechanisms and technologies to produce the labels that you need. Here are the types of label maker printers, as well as their advantages and limitations.
1. Thermal Transfer Label Printers
Thermal transfer label printers utilize thermal ribbons that melt on to the label when heated by the printhead. Once the ink is absorbed, it then becomes part of the label. This technology is known for its consistency when it comes to printing high-quality images.
Thermal Transfer Printing Advantages
- Compared to direct thermal printers, thermal transfer printers produce stable quality labels. The quality is also high-definition which makes it easy to scan and read. Furthermore, because it doesn’t use any ink, it’s a more cost-effective choice compared to other printers.
Thermal Transfer Printing Limitations
- In terms of costs, thermal transfer printers are more costly than direct transfer printers. This is because you need to replace the ribbon. It’s also not as environmentally-friendly because it’s not recyclable.
2. Direct Thermal Label Printers
Direct thermal printers print without a ribbon, they are quite simple to operate and aren’t as high maintenance as other types of label printers, thus 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.
A good example of a direct thermal printer is the DYMO LabelWriter 450.
Direct Thermal Printing Advantages
- Direct thermal printers can print sharp quality labels with good scannability at fast speeds.
- 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. If you don’t want to purchase inks for your printer, thermal printers are the way to go.
- 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 also often more durable than laser or inkjet printers because they don’t rely on ink. Thus, it’s a suitable printer for industrial or office use.
Direct Thermal Limitations
Direct thermal printed labels have a shelf-life. Direct thermal printing is extremely sensitive to environmental conditions such as heat and light (fluorescent and / or direct sunlight). Over time, when exposed to heat, moisture, friction, and sunlight, thermal labels often fade. Thus, if you’re looking for high-quality labels that need to stay put for long periods of time, this isn’t an ideal printer. Moreover, direct thermal printers are only capable of printing black texts and images.
3. Laser Label Printers
Laser printers use electrically-charged powders called toners instead of ink or ribbon. This type of printer is known to produce the highest quality of images and texts. Moreover, they are quite fast and are able to print large volumes. Thus, it’s an ideal choice if you want clear, precise images and texts printed out in a short time. Moreover, it can also print on a wide range of media. You can use plain paper, adhesive labels, etc. as media.
However, toners are relatively more expensive than other types of label printers. More often than not, the actual cost of a laser printer is also more expensive than other types of printers. If you don’t need high-speed, high-quality printing, it may not be the best in terms of cost. However, if you highly depend on your label printers for day-to-day tasks, laser label printers are a reliable choice.
4. Inkjet Label Printers
Inkjet label printers, just like the name implies, utilize ink spewed out by the printheads to print on media. Ink is then absorbed by the media. Thus, it needs a porous media in order for it to dry and remain put on the label. They are capable of producing clear, waterproof labels on any compatible media. Inkjet printers are also great in producing high-quality colored labels.
One of the downsides of inkjet label printers is the cost. You need to regularly refill your printer’s ink. Depending on your needs, this may or may not be a cost-efficient choice. You also need to perform regular maintenance on your inkjet label printers. This includes checking the nozzle, printheads, and other parts of the printer that work the hardest.
What Are The Features of The Best Label Maker？
1. Thermal printing.
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.
Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Label Maker
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.
How To Picking The Best Label Maker
Finding the best label maker all boils down to figuring out what you need. Are you mainly going to use your label maker at home? Then, you can certainly benefit from a handy or portable label maker. However, if you have a business where you constantly need to print out labels, a label printer is a much more suitable option.
Apart from this, also consider your budget. For instance, if you frequently use your label printer, you’re better off getting a thermal printer. This is because it’s more cost-efficient in terms of ink costs. However, if you want high-quality labels printed very quickly, you might benefit from a laser or inkjet label printer.
You should also consider other factors such as your labels’ shelf life. Will you be using them in a rugged setting? Are they one-time use only? Consider if your labels need extreme scannability and readability. Striking a good balance between your needs and budget is essential to narrow down your choices.
Finding the best label maker is not an easy task. Although they have been around for years, companies are always releasing new models of label makers. This makes it even more difficult to narrow down our choices. To make sure you’re buying the one that suits our needs best, you should first determine where you will use it most. Other factors you should consider are your budget, preferred brand, portability, etc.
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.
Enjoyed this label maker review? Then be sure to check out our other guide of the best monochrome laser printer.
I have a Brother P-Touch PT-D210 label maker at home. It’s the best product I have ever bought.