The 10 Best Label Makers for Business in 2021
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Every office needs at least one label maker to keep it running smoothly. Being able to quickly find properly labeled documents and goods is essential. In addition to the expected monochrome thermal labelers, there has been an explosion of innovations in labelers. In addition to an amazing variety of specialty labels to print on, you can now print labels with high quality photos and images and even do it in color.
In fact, today there is such a multitude of label makers for different users that it is difficult to tell them apart. This buyer’s guide will help you by breaking them down into categories that match your job and lifestyle. In other words, to help you get the best for you, we’ve compared dozens and picked out the top 10 label makers.
Combining a good variety of fonts, designs, and images with the ability to print on 1/4 to 3/4 inch labels, the Dymo LabelManager 420P is the most versatile label maker available (see on Amazon ). It can be used on its own by typing on its keyboard or connected to a computer, providing an added level of flexibility. Either way, the label can be previewed on the LabelManager 420P’s four-line LCD display so typos and spelling mistakes are a thing of the past. Unlike the competition, the label maker requires manual cutting of the label. Whether it’s organizing storage shelves, a bookcase, or that stack of storage boxes in a warehouse, it’s our first choice for performing a variety of labeling tasks with grace and ease.
What to look for in a label maker
Handheld or Desktop
With two basic models to choose from, your first decision is whether you want a portable label maker with its own keyboard, or a desktop model that connects to a computer. The former is often more portable, but the latter can produce a wider variety of outputs. Why settle, some do both.
Mad about power
Many labellers offer the option of battery operation, which provides the flexibility to print anywhere you want, whether it’s in the back of the classroom or in the kitchen. Some printers are designed around single-use batteries that can be easily replaced, while others have rechargeable batteries that need to be plugged in periodically to recharge them. Before purchasing, check if the batteries and AC adapter are included.
Whether it’s a standalone template or a desktop labeler, the best printers come with a variety of fonts, preset designs, and symbols. Many can even print postage and barcodes, making addressing much easier.
The beauty of the thermal printing process that most label makers use is the lack of messy ink, ribbon, or toner cartridges to buy and change. This extends to color printing using Zink technology where printing chemicals are embedded in the paper.
Sales of label makers expected to grow 4.2% annually through 2026, according to Mordor Intelligence.
How does thermal printing work?
The beauty of thermal print engines is that there are no messy inks, toners or ribbons to replace because all of the printing chemicals are inside the paper. The heat from the print engine activates the chemicals, making them stand out from the background.
Does print resolution matter?
Yes. Low resolution printers may produce labels that are fuzzy or not fully readable from a distance. Look for a label printer that has a resolution of at least 180 dots per inch.
Do I have to have a keyboard on my label printer?
It depends on how you use it. If you need labels for things like filing folders and marking circuit breakers, a keypad can help by allowing you to quickly print labels. On the other hand, connecting the label printer to a computer provides more creative flexibility for things like labels for homemade jams.
Is wireless printing worth it?
Yes, because there is nothing like the feeling of freedom when you press the print key and the label maker starts cordless nowhere. Whether the label maker uses Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, wireless printing is becoming more and more popular.
Why trust Investopedia?
The choice of these label makers was largely based on the author’s expertise and over 40 years of label printing for everything from addressing envelopes to marking the contents of storage boxes. A freelance writer and critic based out of New York City, Brian Nadel has covered every aspect of the printing industry and halfway through the story he had to replace his old label printer.
To put together this list, he started by breaking down the label maker category into 10 main sections based on usage, price, speed, and material they can print on. Together they cover the full range of use today. After that, he explored the technical and operational details of dozens of label printers, comparing the major players, as well as a few minor ones, to narrow the list down to the top 10 label makers available.