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Label Maker: An Ultimate Buying Guide

  • Jun 16, 2022
  • 2084

Whether you can write a book on organization or you’re preparing to go to battle with a cluttered file cabinet, a label maker will soon become your favorite household device.

Older label printers could only print in one typeface and occasionally needed you to write out each label separately, but today there are many more capabilities. They have varied power needs (battery or AC power), different keyboard layouts, and different memory and storage choices.

Today we will introduce a variety of label makers which were identified as the best label makers for all types of customers.

Types of label maker

On our websites, we have a large selection of Label Makers, including portable and desktop label makers from leading manufacturers such as Dymo and Brother.

1. Direct Thermal Label Makers

This kind burns the characters onto the tape using heat sensitive paper (thermal fax paper). Because paper is highly sensitive, the machine does not need to reach high temperatures in order to work. Letters, numerals, and punctuation are all different. It allows for customization of typefaces, frames, and other elements.

The disadvantage is that labels fade over 6 to 12 months, and much faster if exposed to chemicals, strong sunshine, or weather.

2. Thermal Transfer Label Makers

This sort of label maker works in the same way as Direct Thermal, except it transfers wax, resin, or a mixture from a ribbon to the tape. This results in stronger, longer-lasting labels that are resistant to smudges and scratches.

Thermal transfer label makers are favored with barcodes and QR codes, because of its sharp images and the capability of printing on multiple materials. The printouts created by thermal transfer technology work seamlessly with laser scanners and camera recognizers.

3. Monochrome Labels or Color Labels

Most consumer-grade (and lower-end small-business) labels print just ONE SINGLE COLOR, generally black, however some machines provide paper that can print additional colors, such as yellow on black. In reality, some label printers provide a variety of monochromatic color options, such as white on dark green or yellow on pink.

The argument is that the color of the paper is the background color, and the stock is usually infused with only one foreground shade that the printer "activates" during the printing process. Then there are professional label printers, which print labels in all shapes and sizes in full color and are much beyond the scope of this roundup. There are also commercial label machines large enough to take up most of your living room.

Buying Guide

1. Printing Speed

What is the maximum number of labels that can be produced each minute? It may not be necessary for occasional home usage, but if you are printing labels in large quantities, you will not want to wait.

The average printing speed for each model is always noted at the specification page when you head to Amazon and online stores to shop for one, so be sure to check it out if you need more than normal hand-type printing speed.

2. Connection

When the label makers are equipped with a keyboard, a connection seems useless. However, some brands still managed to support one or more types of connectivities in their products. The most common type of label maker connections is USB.

USB is not only used to connect to your computer or mobile device, but it's also one of the most frequent ways to charge the numerous labelers that come with internal batteries. The limit of using USB is the Internet, where USB is not usually considered ideal for Internet signals.

Many label printers also support Bluetooth, as well as Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct. Of course, Wi-Fi connects the printer to your network, granting access to the printer to all computers and mobile devices on the network that have the necessary software installed. Wi-Fi Direct establishes a peer-to-peer network connection between a mobile device and the printer, requiring neither the printer nor the mobile device to use a traditional network connection or router.

3. Power Source

There are two types of power sources for label makers, which are:

  • AC power: usually used for old label makers, when batteries and other types of handheld devices weren’t popular. The inconvenience is obvious.
  • Battery: Label makers love to use A or AAA batteries to operate. However, some types of label makers might have rechargeable Li-ion or Li-Po batteries.

4. Display

The labeller's display is mostly a concern for handheld labellers, since with desktop machines, you'll be designing and putting up labels on a computer. LCD or graphic screens may provide a clear visual representation of how your label will appear once printed.

5. Printer Resolution 

What print resolution you choose will depend on what you want to use it for, as with most Labeller selections. A greater resolution may be necessary for a professional finish in a commercial environment, such as a mailroom or office. The usual resolution of a portable label maker will be adequate for a schoolchild. 

DPI (or dot-per-inch) is a specification property that tells customers how detailed the images will turn out to be. The higher you have the DPI to be, the better the labels are.

6. Number of Lines and Label thickness

If you want to produce address labels with your label machine, you'll need a labeller that can print several lines. Check the product description and specs to guarantee you receive a label maker that meets your requirements.

Another thing you need to check out is that, while you may be satisfied with a single standard size, many label machines can print labels of different thicknesses for added durability.

8. Cost of Ownership

If you want to print a large number of labels, another important consideration is the cost per label, often known as the cost of ownership. Most label printers offer a wide range of label kinds, often as many as 30 or more, with varying widths, lengths, colors, and material types. And the price of this stock might vary just as much.

Simple 1.5-by-3.5-inch die-cut labels usually cost between 2 and 4 cents apiece. Purchasing the same labels in bulk (say, 50 to 100 rolls at a time) might save your operating costs by 25% or more. Larger labels, as well as fancier plastic, linen, and foil labels, can cost you much more.

It's also worth noting that the cost per label, even of the same size and material, might vary greatly from machine to machine. It is determined by the label's manufacturer, the type of labels purchased, the number of rolls purchased, and the location where the labels are purchased. As a result, before deciding on a printer, you should thoroughly research label prices. In the long run, the labels may end up costing you far more than you anticipated. The cheapest label in terms of equipment may not offer the least long-term cost of operation when it comes to consumables.

Famous brands

1. Brady 

Label makers aren't just for the house or the office. They also have industrial uses, and the Brady is the type of strong, well-made device you'll feel comfortable putting into the field. It could not be easier to use: Simply insert a label cartridge, type, and print.

However, with an outside durability warranty of 8-10 years and a guarantee that each item has been tested to endure shock and vibration, it has the type of high-quality build you can rely on. The gadget boasts a convenient handheld design and over 100 built-in symbols, as well as compatibility with 70 various label kinds and eight different types of material, including self-laminating wire markers and outdoor vinyl.

Customers claim the Brady is "light years" ahead of other label producers, and the labels themselves are considerably more durable. It also features some clever extras, such as a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a magnet for mounting the printer to a metal surface for hands-free operation.

Personally, we have been using a Brady device in our office for a while and have been loving it ever since we started. Brady is the famous star for industrial-grade label makers, so if you’re looking for one to use in the office, your destination should be here.

Brady BMP21-PLUS is one of our favorite items from this brand, so take a look also.

2. Brother

Brother is one of the most famous brands for manufacturing label makers and selling them online. Unlike other brands we’re introducing today, Brother focuses on the market share of affordable devices with simple and intuitive design. 

The most famous lineup of Brother label makers is the P-Touch. The P-Touch lineup has been designed and loved by customers. P-Touch aims to be user-friendly, with a large QWERTY keyboard and easy to use functions. 

However, most Brother products are not handheld when they’re relatively big to contain the keyboard. In exchange for that, we have a larger battery capacity, better performance and steady device body. The main color of Brother products is the color white and yellow, but sometimes, Brother switches to black for modern-looking flagships.

The cost of Brother label makers is always under $300, making it the great choice for a limited budget. The lowest-priced Brother device can be sold at as low as 22 dollars, obviously without an AC adapter. For those Brother items that don’t come with an AC adapter, you can purchase one separately for the standard price of only $12.

Lastly, this Brother Link will take you right to the search page on the Amazon Brother online store, and this one will take you to our favorite Brother product the Brother P-Touch PTD210.

3. DYMO 

Dymo label makers stand between the range of high-quality label makers and affordable ones. Dymo manufactures devices for both inexpensive use and high-quality bulk printing. Dymo received tens of thousands of ratings on online stores like Amazon, proving that its product quality is not only marketed by the brands, but also tested by many many customers.

One of its most high-performance devices is the Dymo LabelWriter. It can print 71 labels a minute, so it's a plus for anyone who needs printing in large quantities. It's also more advanced than your average label maker, connecting to your PC or Mac to allow you to quickly print your own unique designs. And, because it uses thermal printing technologies rather than expensive ink or toner, you may end up saving money on supplies in the long run.

Speaking of thermal printing, Dymo devices often use thermal printing instead of other techniques. The reason why is that it allows Dymo devices to be much smaller than other competitors’ products, and to be more preferred by users.

Most of Dymo label makers are handheld and sold at under $100, or even $29. What a big surprise for a top brand!

4. Epson 

Epson is not an unfamiliar brand of printing. In fact, statistics show that more than 30% of the paper-print photos you used to have were printed by Epson printers. So, what does the brand have for the label maker market?

Epson label makers are often released under the name Epson LabelWorks. If you're a craftsman looking for a label maker that prioritizes personalization, the Epson LabelWorks is precisely what you're looking for. Epson LabelWorks provides a ton of options, including more than 14 fonts, 10 styles, over 75 frames, and over 300 built-in symbols. If you're working on numerous creative projects at the same time, it has adequate on-device capacity to hold up to 50 distinct files. 

Epson labels also feature smaller margins than other manufacturers, measuring around 0.5 inches on each side, which reduces tape waste.

Customers say the Epson LabelWorks are fantastic for a broad range of applications, and they like to mix and match fonts and designs with different types of tape to achieve the right appearance.

To conclude the section about Epson, as an exemplary Japanese brand, the quality is the last thing you have to think about. Epson is in fact a subsidiary of the Seiko company, you know, the watch company, so they’re precise, literally and figuratively.

5. NiiMbot 

NiimBot stands out as a new brand in making label makers. When label makers are criticized by young people for being old and unnecessary, NiimBot aims at creating a new and modern-looking range of devices with modern capabilities. 

As for the design, NiimBot products are minimalistic, mostly without a keyboard. The reason for this is that this is the era of smartphones, so work shouldn’t be done with a traditional QWERTY keyboard, but a smartphone. It is now easier than ever to print labels out of your Word or Google docs files, without typing it by hand. You can also generate labels using softwares for QR code printing, barcode printing, or price printing.

With a NiimBot device on hands, you would never be laughed at by your friends for being old, but all you’ll hear would be compliments on the cute stickers that your magic device can make. Therefore, to conclude, NiimBot is the fresh air crossing the nostalgia world of label making.


1. What should I look for when buying a label maker?

What you should look for in a label maker is as follows:

  • A full QWERTY keyboard is provided.
  • A keyboard that is big enough to be typed on using both hands.
  • When necessary, the device is tiny enough to be held with one hand while searching and pecking with the other.
  • Font size can be changed.
  • Tape margin size is adjustable.
  • The ability to utilize tape cartridges of varying widths.

2. Which Dymo label maker should I buy?

The Dymo LabelManager 420P offers the finest display for creating and formatting labels, a rechargeable battery, and a comfortable keyboard to type on.

3. Is a label maker worth it?

Our lives are made easier by label makers. They're small and portable, and the labels let us rapidly identify goods, saving us time and energy. Label makers are very useful for those with unclear handwriting.

4. Why do label makers waste so much tape?

Because of the tape mechanism's design, the 23.9 mm piece of tape that is generated prior to each label cannot be deleted. When printing more than one label at a time, the succeeding labels can be produced without the extra tape.

5. How do you use a label maker?

It's as simple as:

  • Highlighting the words you wish to include in your label.
  • Click the wording you wish to appear on your label (click on the button with the letter "P" on the toolbar to pull highlighted information into the label creation software)
  • Print the text you wish to appear on your label.


Thank you for being on the ride with us through information about label makers and our choices for the best brands you can take into your consideration. We hope to see you in future articles and provide you with more useful knowledge to help you with your purchase.

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Letha Kutch By, Letha Kutch
Letha Kutch is a seasoned copywriter with editorial experience for a number of publications. She joined Copify in 2017 and has written about the technology, education and travel.
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