Why buy a label maker?
The reasons for buying a label maker are innumerable. Make valuable and tasteful labels for small spice containers or pantry food bins for pasta and rice. Integrate labels into your scrapbooks or photo albums. Label your art supply containers or your kids’ toy bins. Make your own shipping labels or address labels for wedding invitations. And for the less exciting but equally essential office needs, use a label maker to organize files and office supplies.
What should you look for in a label maker?
- Fonts and Extras: Every label maker can print out words in a standard font, but some go above and beyond with their customization options. If you want to go all-in, look for a product with multiple templates, fonts, symbols, colors, and clip art. Some can make tags with bar codes for retail and shipping labels for e-commerce. Also, look for labelers that come with various colors and design label material to amplify the mood you want to create for your art.
- Function: You can’t buy just any label maker if you need to make shipping labels. And you wouldn’t want to buy an all-purpose label maker if you want to make greeting cards or flashcards. Sometimes we don’t know what we want because we don’t know what’s out there. Either you already have an idea of what sort of label maker you need, or you can browse and see what’s out there.
- Technology: If you want wireless capability in a label maker, you don’t have to look far. Some products come with apps that you can download to your smartphone. From there, you have access to various templates, fonts, and graphics, to name a few. Another quality feature you may like is a thermal printer, which requires no ink or toner. Just keep on the lookout, and you’ll surely find more enticing features.
How much should you plan to spend on a label maker?
We poked around to find how much the more expensive label makers cost. If you want an industrial label maker kit with a carrying case, you can expect to spend around $300, but it’s a great investment for a lifetime of organizing. However, there are many label makers that cost much less than that, often starting at around $35.
DYMO LetraTag® Plus 100H
This sleek label maker features an LCD screen and magnetic holder for easy storage and access
Pros: This nifty handheld labeler may be just the thing if you want an easy-to-use and compact solution to your labeling goals. The 13-character LCD screen offers a clear graphical display of the labels you create before you hit print. It’s nice to be able to edit first so that you can reduce the mistake label waste. In fact, the DYMO offers lots of helpful features, including two-line printing, five font sizes, eight box styles, seven print styles, bolding, and more. When you purchase the DYMO, you also get a magnetic holder to place the labeler and fix it onto the refrigerator, for example.
Cons: Some users say the labels don’t stick well to plastic bins. It’s unclear if the problem is with the paper or the plastic labels.
Bottom Line: The DYMO is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something simple to get the job done. The label maker is small, weighs less than a pound, and comes with three label cassettes to get you started right away.
Brother P-touch PTD210
An all-around great label printer with tons of different fonts, frames, and symbols for customization.
Pros: If you’re looking for a superb label printer with all the essential features, the Brother P-Touch PTD210 offers a ton of customization. You can use a combination of 14 different fonts, 97 label frames/templates, and over 600 symbols to organize all your files and drawers. It also lets you save up to 30 custom label designs for an easier time reprinting standard labels. Take advantage of the labeler’s portability and walk around the office or home, labeling things as needed. Just make sure you have six AAA batteries, or charge it with an AC power adapter.
Cons: You may find that the labeler dispenses more tape than the amount you specify. Some users find this upsetting as the tape is expensive.
Bottom Line: What a cool gadget to play around with! Label bulk food jars with polka dot tags or create fun messages to put on a gift bag. The PTD210 is helpful at the office for organizing files and folders, too.
DYMO LabelWriter 4XL
A money-saving label writer for printing e-commerce shipping labels.
Pros: When we came across the DYMO LabelWriter 4XL, we knew it was a product worth investigating. It prints extra-wide shipping labels for USPS, UPS, and FedEx for e-commerce sites. Suppose you’re a professional in the e-commerce trade. In that case, the DYMO LabelWriter may make your job a lot easier, faster, and cheaper. Use the free DYMO Connect Software to select from over 60 professional label templates plus customizable text and graphics. The 300-dpi resolution means that what you print comes out clear as day.
Cons: Feedback indicates that you must use the DYMO FSC Certified LabelWriter paper instead of trying off-brand labels. You may have trouble installing the paper or excess label output.
Bottom Line: If you send off many packages daily or weekly, the DYMO 4XL could be just what you need. Create your labels without standing in line at UPS. Also, the direct thermal label printer saves you from having to purchase ink or toner.
Phomemo D30 Mini Label Maker
A tiny, wireless label maker with an app to design labels from your smartphone.
Pros: The Phomemo is quite a phenomenon in the label maker industry. Why? It utilizes the latest technology so that you can make labels almost anywhere. The portable label maker features wireless Bluetooth capability so that you can design and print labels with your smartphone with the free Print Master App. The direct thermal printer requires no ink and can save you money over time. Open the app to access the many templates available or create your own, using 300+ symbols, 60+ frames, and a variety of fonts and labels between 0.24 to 0.47 inches. There’s also a built-in 1,000-mAh rechargeable battery and port for the included USB cable for easy charging.
Cons: Because the product page contains many images and information, some users were disappointed when they realized the Phomemo labeler prints monochrome only.
Bottom Line: The Phomemo is available in pretty colors and is easy to use. Create most things you might need with this fun label maker.
Xyron Creative Station
A battery-operated label maker for making magnets, stickers, and more.
Pros: This is the ultimate label maker if you’re ready to explore what’s possible beyond ordinary labels. As the product name indicates, this machine is a station for creating adhesive stickers, laminated magnets, study flashcards, and more. The lamination process involves a combination of aggressive adhesive with high-pressure rollers; the pressure ensures an even coat across your sticker or sign from corner to corner. The machine accepts 9- and 5-inch cartridges for big and smaller projects. This fantastic labeler also comes pre-loaded with a permanent adhesive cartridge.
Cons: It’s recommended that you keep one hand on the label maker as you turn the crank handle to keep it steady. A few users consider this a flaw.
Bottom Line: The simple design is appealing, especially considering what the label maker is capable of. Also, the adhesive and laminate are acid-free and nontoxic.
Label makers are nifty gadgets to have around the home or workplace. If you need to do some organizing, these label makers will be a huge help.