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Label Printers buying guide

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Label Printers Guide - An Introduction

A label printer is a printer that prints on a self-adhesive material or card stock. A label printer may connect to a computer, while stand-alone models that do not require a computer are usually referred to as label makers. Label printers differ from regular printers because they have special mechanisms to feed either rolled stock or tear-sheet stock.

Label printers that require a computer typically connect through USB or USB 2 ports, a serial port, Ethernet connections, or wireless connectivity. Wireless models can use infrared technology or Bluetooth connections, to communicate with the computer.

Label printers have many different uses, such as supply chain management, packaging labels, retail price marking, or laboratory specimen markings.

Label printers or label makers have other convenient uses, such as labelling items with your name. This can be helpful for items that commonly disappear around offices, such as staplers or scissors. Label your child’s lunch box to avoid confusion, or use a label printer to identify file box contents.

However you plan to use your label printer, Price Inspector will help you find the best label printer at the cheapest price. Our buying guide gives you tips about choosing the right label printer, and we compare prices around the UK to make sure you get a good price.

Types of Label Printers

Label printers use many different label materials, such as paper or synthetic plastic. There are also different types of mechanisms, including impact and laser printing, but the most common is probably the thermal printer.

  • Direct Thermal Printers use heat-sensitive paper. These labels will fade in time, approximately 6 to 12 months. The life is shorter if the label is exposed to heat, sun, or chemicals. Therefore, this type of label is best reserved for short-term applications like shipping labels.
  • Thermal Transfer Printers use heat to transfer ink from a ribbon to the label, creating a permanent print. Some are also able to use direct thermal printing. There are also several different types of label printers:
  • Desktop label printers are designed for light or medium usage. They are usually quiet and relatively inexpensive, and they can accommodate a roll of paper up to 4 inches wide.
  • Commercial label printers hold larger rolls of stock and are meant for medium volume printing.
  • Industrial printers are meant for heavy-duty use or continuous operation, such as in warehouses, factories, or distribution centers.
  • Personal label makers are small devices and are either handheld or desktop models. They are meant for home or small business use. They are very inexpensive and popular for low-volume users.
  • Most label printers are monochrome, which means they print only in black & white. There are, however, a few label printers that can print in colour.

Popular Brands

Some of the many popular brands of label printers include Toshiba, Epson, Datamax, Zebra, Printronix, and Dymo.

  • Casio: - Casio makes several different models, including the KL-780 EZ Label Printer. This label printer lets you organize your files, label your office equipment or supplies, and print bar code labels. It comes with a full QWERTY keyboard and provides easy access to three fonts and effects. It offers 24 font sizes, and the four tape sizes let you adjust your labels as you like. This label printer uses a thermal transfer process for long-lasting labels. It is battery-powered, or you can buy an optional electrical adapter separately.

  • Avery: - Avery’s Personal Label Printer gives you fast and easy label printer at your desk. It uses direct thermal printing, eliminating the need for expensive toner cartridges. It’s ideal for mailing labels, and it eliminates wasted labels because they are printed on-demand.

  • The P-Touch label printer by Brother prints on a variety of tape colours and styles, making it easy to personalize your projects. It’s designed for home and small office use, and it can be especially helpful for school projects, crafts, or financial management. You can add the time and date to the label with the touch of a button, which can be helpful for labeling perishable items, financial items, or other uses where the date is important.

  • Seiko makes a user-friendly label printer, the SLP 440. This label printer makes it easy to mix fonts, bar codes, and graphics all on one label. You can prepare custom templates, such as including your company’s logo. It prints labels in as little as 2 seconds.

  • Citizen makes several different label printers, including the Clp 7202E Label Printer, which is a professional model. It offers many new features, such as active ribbon control and positioning. It can connect through USB, Ethernet, or WiFi interfaces. Its increased processing speed ensures there are no delays for even the most complex labels.

Tips to consider before buying Label Printers

  • First, you should determine whether you need a light, medium, or heavy duty label printer. For only occasional use, a light-duty printer will be sufficient, and it will save you money. If, however, you will be using the label printer frequently or it will experience periods of continual use, it’s worth investing in a heavy-duty label printer.
  • How long do you need the labels to last? A direct thermal print label may last for only a few months. This makes it appropriate for short-term applications such as mailing labels, but it won’t work for more permanent applications such as labeling storage boxes.
  • Do you want to use the label printer in conjunction with a computer, such as for more advanced software formatting, or do you want the mobility of a handheld device?
  • If you need colour label printing, you might want to consider an ink jet or laser printer that offers label printing functionality. Along the same lines, if you have only a minuscule amount of label printing needs, you probably don’t need a dedicated label printer. There is software available that can help a multi-function printer also print labels.
  • Will the label printer be used by only one computer, or do you need one that allows network connectivity?
  • On-screen features such as an LCD display can make your label printing easier. The display screen helps show how your label will print, letting you make any corrections before wasting your label material.

Jargon Explained

USBA standard connection port on your computer that makes it easy to connect your printer or other external devices.
BluetoothA type of wireless connection, commonly used on handheld devices like mobile phones or small handheld personal label makers.
DPIdots per inch. This is a measure of how finely the printer can print text or graphics.
WiFiAnother term for wireless or infrared connectivity. This makes it easy for different computers to share one printer, and it eliminates the inconvenience of printer cables. 

Buying Guide to Label Printers
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