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Whether you’re dealing with files in an office setting, computer cables in IT, or wires and fuse boxes as an electrician, you need to keep things organized to make your job easier. The best label maker can help with this, allowing you to create the labels needed for any of these areas. Not only does this keep things organized, but it also makes it easier to find things when you need them so you can get your work done much more efficiently.
Of course, there are a wide variety of models to choose from. We have picked the top six on the market, with the DYMO LabelManager 500TS coming out on top. This model is lightweight and compact, with great features like a touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard, a built-in memory for 5 user profiles and up to 500 labels, a rechargeable Li-ion battery, and customizable designs. We also included handheld and desktop models, as well as some more rugged label makers, all of which include a variety of design features and paper options.
When choosing a label maker, you may want to consider certain features. The maximum tape width is one, so you know the largest label size you can use. The lines per label are also important, especially if you need to add a lot of information to your design. You may also want to check if it is PC or Mac compatible, which could add to its features. To help you choose the best label maker for your needs, we have created a comparison table with in-depth reviews and added a buying guide at the end to cover all the possible features these products have to offer.
Though it may be more expensive than some other models out there, the LabelManager 500TS is still one of the best DYMO label maker units on the market. It is lightweight and compact, with a lithium-ion battery pack that lasts a long time, plus it is rechargeable for added convenience.
This unit has a large touch screen that you can tap to select the font and size, the text style, some clip-art images, or symbols to add to your label. You can also connect this label maker to a PC or Mac to access the fonts on your computer or add some graphics, barcodes, or logos. This makes your labels fully customizable to meet your needs in almost any labeling situation.
When you’ve made all your design selections, the label is displayed on the screen for a quick preview before you print it out. If any changes are needed, you can do so without wasting any paper.
The DYMO LabelManager 500TS is compatible with a variety of DYMO’s labels, including their standard labels for filing, storage, and other office uses, the vinyl labels for extreme conditions, or the flexible nylon labels for curved or textured surfaces.
As well as the label maker with the touchscreen and the QWERTY keyboard, you also get a D1 Starter label cartridge, the rechargeable battery pack, a charging adapter, a USB cable, and the quick start guide to help you set up the label maker.
The Epson LW-400 is a compact size and weighs less than a pound, so it is easy to use almost anywhere you need it. It can be a handy home label maker for keeping your cables organized, scrapbooking, or sorting your tax files.
This unit includes a QWERTY keyboard and a backlit display that makes it easy to see in even low-light conditions. You can choose from a variety of settings, including 14 fonts, 10 styles, over 300 symbols, and more than 75 frames. You can create text labels, barcodes, or anything else you need. The built-in memory stores up to 50 files, so you only need to make a design once for future use.
This unit can be used with several label options as well, including double-sided tab, glow-in-the-dark, reflective, decorative, or fluorescent tapes. There are also specialty print modes that let you make different label styles, including tab, flag, and wrap labels.
The small margins mean you don’t waste so much tape on each label, so it lasts longer and saves you money. You can also use tape up to 0.7-inches wide to fit up to four lines of text, making this label maker even more versatile.
This unit runs on six AA batteries, which can add to the cost if you use it regularly. An AC adapter is available as well, though it must be purchased separately.
The best label maker for a small business should make professional labels without costing too much money. The Brother PTD600 has a great low price that will fit into any business budget, plus can give you a variety of fantastic labels in a few sizes to meet all of your labeling needs. It can be powered using the included AC power adapter or with six AA batteries for portability.
This model has a compact size with a QWERTY keyboard that allows you to type on it like you would with your normal computer. It has a large backlit color display that gives you real-time updates as you type. You can choose from a variety of templates, fonts, symbols, and graphics. There is also a USB cord included that allows you to connect the Brother PTD600 to a PC or MAC for even more label options, like logos or bar codes.
As well as a variety of label designs, you can choose from a ton of tape options for your labels. Brother has several TZe tape styles that are resistant to fading, heat, cold, abrasions, and water, so they are extra durable. There are options for cables, scrapbooking, or even fabrics, all of which come in top-loading cartridges to fit the label maker perfectly. When the labels are printed, there are large one-inch margins on one or both sides, though, which could waste a fair bit of paper over time.
Whether you need a label maker for home use or a more professional setting, the DYMO LabelWriter 450 may be the right one for you. It uses thermal printing technology, so you don’t need to buy any ink or toner to create your labels. It is also easy to use, even if it’s your first time trying out a label maker.
The DYMO unit comes with almost everything you need to get started, including a starter roll of address labels, a power cable and adapter for plugging it in, and a USB cable for connecting it to your PC or Mac. There is also a quick start guide, though the full instruction manual and software both need to be downloaded.
The software gives you full access to a variety of designs, including address, barcode, and file folder labels. You can use some of the programs on your computer as well, like Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel, Mac Address Book, or Google Contacts. This allows you full customization of your labels, so they print whatever you need them to.
This label maker is fast, printing out 51 labels in a 4-line standard address label form in only a minute. This speeds up your printing, which is a must in a busy business setting. When the labels run out, it is easy to swap out the old roll for a new one, with no manual label feeding needed.
What do we love it for?
Custom design options
What were we disappointed with?
Instruction manual and software must be downloaded for use
A label maker for electricians, automotive workers, or even IT fields needs to be durable enough to handle some travel and rugged conditions. The Brady BMP21-PLUS meets these needs, with its durable construction and versatile use.
This handheld label maker has a tough plastic exterior with heavy-duty molded-rubber bumpers around the entire piece to keep it from getting damaged if you bump or drop it on a hard surface. It even meets MIL drop-test standards, so you know it will last for years.
The display is backlit, making it easy to read in dim work areas. There is an ABC keyboard, which isn’t as easy to use for those used to the QWERTY options, though it still does the job.
This unit lets you create a wide variety of labels for cables, wires, hardware, shelves, tool cribs, and electrical panels, just to name a few. The aggressive adhesive on the labels themselves holds tight to any irregular or rough materials.
Another benefit is that this model is easy to use, even for beginners. It uses smart automatic formatting, so all you need to do is add the cartridge, type, and print the label. The built-in grabber keeps the label from dropping after it’s cut.
The Brady model uses six AA batteries. A rechargeable Li-ion battery and AC adapter are also available. The batteries may drain even with the power off, so be sure to remove them when not using the label maker.
If you need a handheld label maker that is built to handle some rugged conditions, the Brady BMP41 may be a good option for you. It includes industrial bumpers to prevent damage if it is knocked around or dropped and has been drop tested to ensure its durability. It also has a grab-and-go grip to ensure it won’t slip out of your hand, even on a warm, sweaty day.
This model includes a 2.6-inch LCD display, which is backlit for those low-light areas. There is also a QWERTY keyboard for quickly typing out the text needed for your labels. The text is available in a single color, with text sizes that range from 4 to 103 point.
You can use a variety of Brady’s quick-load drip-in tape cartridges with the BMP41, giving you the right materials needed all of your labels, including wires, cables, breaker boxes, and maintenance.
Included with the label maker are a Li-ion rechargeable battery, charger, USB cable, label cartridge, and a hard carrying case to keep everything together and organized for travel or storage.
The downside to the Brady BMP41 is that the entire kit is quite expensive, especially for those on a budget. Though it comes with a few great features, the full labeling software isn’t included in the price, so you do need to purchase it separately if you want to go beyond the basic labeling software the printer includes.
What are its best features?
Hard carry case
What could be improved?
Software not included
Things to Consider
A label maker is a handy tool for keeping things organized at home or work. They can be used to label file folders, cables, wires, craft drawers, or pages in your scrapbook. If you need one of these handy little units, there are a variety of models to choose from, so you can always get the one you need for any purpose.
What a label maker is for
A label maker has more uses than you may imagine. It can be used at home, in an office, or out on a job site, depending on your needs.
At home, you can use a label maker to sort your personal files, label your spices, organize a craft area, label the drawers in a tool cabinet, or even add some decorative labels in your scrapbooks or photo albums.
You can also use a label maker in an office to keep everyone’s stuff organized, including scissors, pens, staplers, and everything else on your desk to ensure it is always returned if a co-worker borrows it. You can label the file folders and the file drawers to keep paperwork sorted properly. You can even use label makers to make address labels for outgoing mail or parcels.
Those who work on a variety of job sites, like electricians or IT workers, can also use the best label maker for cables, wires, fuse boxes, and data or communication cords.
Basically, you can use a label maker for almost anything to help keep your belongings organized at all times.
Features to consider when choosing a label maker
The best label maker for teachers, office workers, electricians, or IT workers all need some great features to make them worth using. The following sections will break down those features so you know exactly what you’re getting with your new unit.
Maximum tape width
Most label makers can use a variety of tape options, though they will all have a maximum tape width. This refers to the height of the label after it is printed. The largest size is important since the tape needs to fit out of the dispensing hole when it is printed. If your tape is too wide, it will jam up instead of smoothly exiting the label maker. Most label makers have a maximum width of about .75 to 1 inch but some models can handle a wider label, like the DYMO LabelWriter 450, which makes labels up to 2.2 inches wide.
Maximum lines per label
The maximum lines per label are also important. The more lines available, the more information you can add to the label you’re printing, which is a must for certain types of labels. For instance, an address label needs to be printed properly to be accepted by a postal service, so you need up to 4 lines per label for this purpose. Other models, like the Brady BMP21-PLUS, are designed mostly to be used for cables, wires, communication or data cords, and other small, thin items, so it is only designed for one line of text. Look into this to be sure you’re going to have the space you need for your labeling jobs.
If it’s PC compatible, stand-alone unit, or both
There are three different types of units when it comes to how they are used. The Epson LW-400 is a standalone unit, which means it has all the settings built right into it. You use the keyboard to type in the information you want and print the label out when it`s ready.
Some other units need to be connected to a PC or Mac. They are capable of printing the labels but all the settings and software are on the computer, so you need them linked to create the labels. Then the information is sent to the label maker where it is printed out.
Models like the Brother PTD600 are capable of standalone use as well as computer connection. This makes them a bit more versatile since you can use them at home to get a few more options from the downloaded software, plus they are portable, so you can take them with you wherever you need them and still be capable of printing quality labels.
Fonts, sizes, styles
Even a cheap label maker will have a few different font options. This not only lets you choose the style of the lettering, but it also allows you to pick the size of it as well, depending on the type of label you`re creating. If you`re just doing simple jobs like labeling cables or wires, a basic font in a smaller size may be enough for you. Some people use their label makers for more creative purposes or like to add some style to their labels, even if it`s on their file folders or organizational shelves and drawers. You may also want a few extra label styles, like barcodes or address labels, so you can use your labels for a wide variety of purposes.
You may want to look at the dimensions of the label maker before you buy it for a few reasons. The larger it is, the more space it will take up on a desk or table when you`re using it. If you have a lot of room, this may not be that big of an issue but for those with already full desks, the smaller the unit needs to be to fit in with the rest of your belongings.
You may also want to look at the size if you have to fit your label maker in a bag or toolbox to use on the job. The bigger it is, the harder it will be to fit it among all your other work-related gear.
A handheld model needs to fit nicely in your hand, so it can`t be too wide or you won`t be able to hold it comfortably as you type. The Epson LW-400 is the smallest model on our list, so if you need a small model for travel use or limited space at home, this may be a good option for you.
Which materials it’s compatible with
There is a wide variety of label materials to choose from, each of which is best for specific uses. For instance, polyester labels are great for indoor or outdoor use on things like pipes, control panels, or tools due to its ability to handle all types of weather conditions. Industrial vinyl is great for outdoor labeling since it is resistant to both chemicals and weather. Polypropylene has good clarity and flexibility. Fluorescent and foil paper comes in bright colors and is usually used for safety labels. Semi-gloss and high-gloss paper is great for labeling food items, address labels, or other office-type needs. The more materials the label maker is compatible with, the more uses it will have at home or work.
Another thing to consider when buying a new label maker is the screen features included. Many of these units include backlighting on the screen, which makes it easier to see if you`re working in low light areas. Some label makers also have a function that allows you to preview the label right on the screen, so you can see exactly how it is going to look before you print it out. This saves you some money on wasted labels since you can make your changes until you have the exact label you want before printing it out.
Though this isn`t a common feature, the DYMO LabelManager 500TS includes a touchscreen. This allows you to choose and adjust many of the settings just by tapping the screen, which many people find more convenient.
Like all of the other products on the market, even the best label maker can have some issues that keep it from working as it is supposed to. This can be due to faulty parts or some error when the label maker was manufactured. Having a decent warranty will ensure that you will be able to get the unit repaired or replaced without having to pay any added costs for issues you didn`t cause.
The longer the warranty is, the more time you have to try out your label maker to be sure it is doing everything it is supposed to. The DYMO LabelManager 500TS has a one-year limited warranty that covers issues with parts or manufacturing. Though this is more than enough time to test out your new label maker, the 2-year limited warranty that is offered by most of the other models in our reviews gives you twice as long to try out your new unit.
Except for the Brady BMP41, all of the label makers in our reviews can be used to print barcodes. Some of them have the capability built-in while others need to be connected to a PC or Mac and the proper software to use this function, so be sure to look into this if you need to print your barcodes away from your computer.
Many of the label makers on the market include built-in cutters that cut the label to size when you print it. This allows you to create labels of varying lengths to meet all of your organizational needs. For this reason, there is no set number of labels that you can print as some labels you print may be longer than others, depending on the amount of text or graphics in the design.
Yes, you can print labels in a foreign language. All of the label makers in our reviews have a variety of languages to choose from, so you can choose the right one for your home use or business. You can also change the language as needed as you’re using the label maker if you need to print in multiple languages for any reason.
A label maker creates professional-level labels for any type of job. They are also handy for home use, to keep your kid`s toys, craft items, or tools organized at all times. If you`re in the market for one of these handy units, the following models are worth checking out.
Our favorite is the DYMO LabelManager 500TS, which is lightweight, compact, rechargeable, and easy to use. It is compatible with a PC or a Mac, has a memory for storing 500 labels and up to 5 user profiles, and includes a touchscreen for quick setting changes.
The Epson LW-400 is another compact model with a built-in memory and a backlit display. It has multiple settings and styles, can be used with a variety of tape options, and leaves small margins for less paper waste.
The Brother PTD600 is the cheapest model on our list but still includes great features like a full-color HD display, top-loading cartridges, and several settings and styles to choose from. It has a QWERTY keyboard but can also be used with a PC or Mac for even more options.