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Get Organized with the Best Label Makers

Labels are a great way to organize your home. With them, you can clearly label the use-by date of opened food, label sealed boxes so you don’t need to open them to see what is inside, and even use them to learn a language by labeling items around your home in the language you wish to learn. Label makers allow you to make numerous labels quickly and clearly.

Labels are also a necessity in many fields of work. For example, if you are a creator making and sending things from home or a studio, you will want to brand your items. A label maker can create beautiful labels for the things you have created. In addition, sometimes, the overall packaging of a product can make the product itself more appealing, labels included.

To choose the best label maker, there are several factors you should consider. We will discuss these later in the article. But, first, you should check out our list of the best label makers in 2021 below. You are sure to find a product you love in our well-researched selection!

Detailing the Best Label Makers of 2021

Epson LabelWorks LW-400 Label Maker - Best Overall

The Epson LabelWorks LW-400 Label Maker is a portable label maker that will have your home or office space organized in no time. The backlit display allows you to see what will print in even the darkest of rooms. This label maker offers great variety with over 300 built-in symbols, 14 fonts, 10 styles, 75 frames, and barcodes. This label maker also has a built-in memory that can store up to 50 files which means you only need to create designs for an item once, and you can come back to it when you need to. This company also sells label and tape bundles compatible with this product so you don’t need to shop around for them.

  • Backlit display
  • It makes a variety of fonts, styles, symbols
  • Built-in memory can store up to 50 files
  • The labels included with this device are not very adhesive

DYMO LetraTag 100H Handheld Label Maker - Runner Up

The DYMO Label Maker will print on two lines and has seven print styles, five font sizes, and eight box styles. You can also save up to nine labels, so you only need to design a label once. In addition, this device can create labels in three languages and the display allows you to see how your label will look before you print it. This device can print various labels, and its thermal printing needs no toner or ink — which will save you money in the long run. After a certain amount of time of inactivity, the label maker will automatically turn off in order to save power.

  • Prints several fonts, styles, and sizes
  • Can print in three languages
  • Clear LCD screen for easy previewing
  • The keyboard is alphabetical, which can take some getting used to

Brother PT-P710BT Versatile Label Maker - Honorable Mention

The Brother P-Touch CUBE Plus Label Maker uses Bluetooth technology to connect to an Android or Apple mobile device or desktop. From there, the label maker receives custom or pre-designed labels that it then prints! Brother software is included, which provides you with various designs and the tools to design your stylish labels. Two tapes are included with this product — one white and one gold — so you can start using the label maker straight out of the box. This label maker is a fabulous product that produces clear and beautiful labels no matter where you are as long as you have access to a Bluetooth device.

  • Connects to devices via Bluetooth
  • Software gives you access to loads of label styles and templates
  • Portable and compact
  • It does not maintain the pairing of Bluetooth devices, so you need to reconnect every time you want to use it

Brady BMP21-PLUS Handheld Label Maker - Contender

The Brady BMP21-Plus Handheld Label Printer is perfect for labeling in work or construction zones. This is because the device is heavily protected by rubber bumpers that offer excellent impact resistance. This label printer is practical and creates clear labels with six font sizes. As you write your label, it will appear on a clear LCD screen so you can preview it before making a misprint. The handheld label printer can print over two lines to apply all the information you need to on one label. You only need AA batteries to power the label maker and it is compatible with many widths of label tape depending on your needs.

  • Prints clear labels in several font sizes
  • Rugged design
  • Easy-to-read LCD screen
  • It does not have a variety of symbols or font styles

Buyer's Guide

Things to Consider when Choosing a Label Maker

To choose the best label maker, there are several things to have in mind before you make a purchase. Continue reading to see our suggestions.

Type of label maker

There are several types of label makers. These include personal label makers, desktop label makers, and direct thermal label makers.

- Portable label makers: Portable label makers are useful if you need to make a variety of labels. A stationary label maker means you will need to go to and from the printer every time you need new labels. Alternatively, you can print out the exact amount of labels you need and carry them around. However, if you have many labels to make, it is unlikely you will remember every item you need to label.

With all good intentions of printing enough labels for what you need, you will likely spot an item you haven’t made a label for. Portable printers are lightweight, compact, and usually very user-friendly to make your job easier.

Portable printers aren’t recommended for anywhere with high temperatures or direct sunlight. They are also not suitable for creating long-life labels. This is because portable printers are most commonly direct thermal printers. We will explain how heat affects thermal printers below.

- Direct thermal label printers: Direct thermal paper contains chemicals that respond to heat and UV light. This is why it is not suitable to use in warm conditions or areas exposed to high levels of UV light. Conditions like this will simply make the entirety of the paper darker and will make your label hard to read.

There are many benefits to using a direct thermal printer. A direct thermal printer produces clear prints with good scannability. They are also easy to use, as there is no ribbon, ink, or toner to monitor and replenish. For this reason, a direct thermal printer does not cost very much to run.

With a direct thermal label printer, you can print a single label or a batch of labels just as easily with no waste. Direct thermal printers are often also more durable than a lot of other printers on the market.

If opting for a direct thermal printer, the paper used remains chemically active long after use, which is not great for the environment.

- Thermal transfer printing: Thermal transfer printing works by heating a ribbon with ink on one side. First, the ribbon is heated in specific areas to create an image of a barcode, letters, or numbers. Then, the ink is transferred from a ribbon onto a label surface.

Thermal transfer printing is impervious to heat and moisture, so it is a sensible option if you want to use a label maker in a warm environment. This type of printing also produces longer-lasting results than a direct thermal printer.

It is important to consider the added cost of using a thermal transfer printer. It requires a thermal transfer ribbon which will be an ongoing cost during its use.

- Desktop printer: If you don’t have much space, you should consider buying a desktop printer. This is a cheaper option than an industrial printer but will require you to fill up the ink and replace the ribbon more often.

- Industrial Printer: An industrial label printer takes up a lot of space, but you won’t need to change the ribbon or ink as often. In addition, an industrial label printer can make labels non-stop if you need it to. These are most suitable for large workplaces in need of many labels.

Variety of characters

Choose a label maker that has a large variety of symbols. This will make certain labels stand out and will help you identify items at a glance. Labels with symbols also look more aesthetically appealing.

Different fonts

Look for a label printer that offers different fonts, styles, and frames. This will keep things visually interesting. You can spice up your labels and use different fonts for different items as a way to categorize.

Label size

Consider the size you want your labels to be. The majority of printers make labels that are 100mm wide. If you want a wider label printer, it will cost more in the long run because the printheads are more costly.

Print speed

Label printers range in speed from 4 up to 14 inches per second. This won’t make too much difference if you are labeling items at home, but if you are in the workplace, waiting for labels to print is an inconvenience. That doesn’t need to happen if you choose your label maker wisely.

Connectivity

Consider how the label printer receives its orders. Some label makers are only compatible with certain devices. Most modern label makers work via Bluetooth or USB. Some use WiFi, memory cards, or ethernet. Check before you purchase a product to make sure you have what you need to use it if it requires another device to design the labels.

DPI

DPI stands for “dots per inch.” It is a measurement that will tell you how clear the image will be. The higher the DPI number, the clearer the printed image. For home use, a 203 DPI printer will be sufficient. If you need to print out a clear barcode or small writing, opt for a 600 DPI printer.

LCD screen

Most label makers have an LCD screen. The LCD screen allows you to see what will be printed onto your label. A clear LCD is important because it can stop you from making mistakes that cost you a substantial amount of ink, toner, or tape.

How do we choose the best label makers?

To choose the best label maker, we consider how much money the label maker costs, including the price of the additional items you need to use, like tape and ink. We looked at how easy the product is to use and how clearly it prints out labels, as well as how customizable the device is. We read many customer reviews and will only recommend items that many people have tried and tested.

Label Maker FAQ

Q: Why isn’t my label printer working?

A: If your label printer has stopped working, open it up and ensure there is sufficient ribbon and ink. Make sure there is paper with the label side facing up. Close the printer and press the feed button. If the feed works, it could be an issue with the connection between the printer and the device sending the instructions to it. Ensure the printer is fully charged or it is connected to a working power source. Try turning the printer off and on again.

Q: Can you use labels as stickers?

A: You could use labels as stickers. However, labels are printed on thinner paper than some stickers, so they will not be as durable.

Q: What is the difference between a tag and a label?

A: A label is attached to an item using adhesive. It may portray the same information as a tag, but a tag is attached to an item without adhesive, perhaps using string or a safety pin.

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