Best Shipping Label Printer: Reviews 2020 (Recommended!)
E-commerce is king nowadays. Almost everyone is starting an online business, and most of them are selling physical products. And that goes from books to electronics, clothes and even accessories of all kinds.
Of course, all of them need to have shipping labels, so the products can reach their destination. Here’s where the best shipping label printer – the perfect machine to identify products before shipping them.
If you have an e-commerce business, or just want to try your luck in one – then you’ll surely need one of these printers. Otherwise, you will need to make the labels by hand, and that can be time-consuming & demanding.
To fix that, a shipping label printer will be your way to go. Here’s more info about this:
Need a short-list? Check these 3 printers!
Top 10 Best Shipping Label Printers
Now that you’re familiar with the different benefits of using shipping label printers – here’s a list of the 10 best models you’ll find.
Care to learn what they offer? Then, keep reading - we’ve reviewed each one so you can have a better idea of what they offer. Head in for more info!
1. DYMO LabelWriter 4XL Thermal Label Printer
- PRINT XL SHIPPING LABELS: Print labels up to 4 Inches wide, including 4 x 6 Inches shipping labels, warehouse labels, barcode and identification labels, bulk mailing labels, and other large format labels
- HIGHLY CUSTOMIZABLE: Select from over 60 professional label templates and customize text and graphics with free DYMO Software
- PRINT FAST: Up to 53 standard 4 line address labels or 129 high capacity 4 line address labels per minute
- PRINT LABELS FROM POPULAR SHIPPING PLATFORMS: Print shipping labels directly from eBay, Amazon, Etsy and iabol; Great for online sellers
- USE WITH AUTHENTIC DYMO LABELS: For best performance, use DYMO Label Writer Labels in a variety of sizes, including Extra Large Shipping Labels
The first model is the DYMO shipping label printer LabelWriter 4XL.
This is a thermal model, capable of printing the largest labels at 4 by 6 inches in size. That would be ideal for most shipping boxes, so you can squeeze in as much information as needed.
Yet, the machine is also able to print small labels as small as 0.5 by 1 inch in size. That’s super helpful in case you’re looking to identify smaller containers with more efficiency.
Apart from that, the machine is extra-fast. It can print up to 129 address labels and 53 4-line labels per minute. That makes it ultra-helpful, especially if you’re managing a high-volume business.
But the real advantage comes from the customization. The LabelWriter 4XL offers 60 different templates that you can enjoy to the max – changing the size, the text, graphics, barcodes, and more. All of this is done through the DYMO software.
On the other hand, you can pair the machine up with all kinds of formats. It is compatible with shipping labels from typical commerce stores such as Shopify, eBay, Etsy, and more. And that saves tons of time in personalization.
Lastly, it is a piece of cake to use. Despite the software, setting it up and making it work takes little time and effort. And that’s something you can’t dismiss.
- Prints labels of different sizes with ease
- Offers tons of personalization
- Can print up to 129 labels per minute
- Works with several formats & label types
- Straightforward software & operating system
2. ROLLO Label Printer - Commercial Grade
- Works with any Thermal Direct Label including free UPS labels - save hundreds of dollars on label costs - don't fall victim to our competitor's business model that forces you to buy their highly over-priced proprietary labels
- High Speed Printing at 150mm/s - nearly twice as fast as the closest competitor. Advanced Thermal Direct technology prints without requiring toner or ink.
- Compatible with all major shipping platforms including Stamps.com, Endicia Dazzle, ShipStation, ShippingEasy, Shippo, ShipWorks, Ordoro and market places including Shopify, Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and others. Limited support for Fedex Ship Manager. Technology long used by shipping couriers is now available to you at an affordable price. Prints at quality required by USPS, UPS, Fedex, DHL, and other major couriers.
- Compatible with Windows (XP and newer) and Mac (10.9 and newer) - Rollo offers 5-star U.S. based customer service via Phone, Email, and Remote-Desktop. Easy to setup with short how-to videos.
- High-speed label maker prints labels from 1.57" to 4.1" wide with no restriction on the height of the label, ideal for 4" x 6" shipping labels, warehouse labels, barcode and ID labels, bulk mailing labels and more
Coming up with another thermal printer, the Rollo is the perfect model if you want decent performance every time.
This machine offers superior reliability when compared to many other options, as it uses no ink or toner. And sure enough, this also ensures superior effectiveness – so you can rest assured every label will be more resistant & durable.
Another excellent feature would be its speed. You can print 238 labels per minute without problems, so you can enjoy maximum printing capacity in your high-volume business.
Each label is also automatically cut & designed to your needs. If you want something going from 1.5-inches to 4-inches in width – you can set it up to print accordingly. And what’s even better, it does this fast without requiring much work from your side.
You can also make it work with different systems. From Windows to Mac, so you won’t have any problem adding up your desired label designs, so they print precisely like you need to.
And finally, the machine is compatible with tons of different e-commerce systems, including Shopify, eBay, Etsy, as well as shipping companies like Stamps, ShipWorks, Shippo, ShipStation, and many others.
Overall, there’s nothing this label printer does not do. You can get practically everything related to labels done without wasting any time or effort.
- Quality printing for ultra-readable labels
- Delivers up to 238 labels per minute
- Provides highly resilient & durable labels
- Offers decent personalization of size & design
- Works well with most shipping & e-commerce sites
3. Arkscan 2054A Shipping Label Printer
- Print shipping labels for Amazon Seller Merchant Fulfillment, Amazon FBA, Amazon FNSK, EasyPost, EasyShip, eBay, Endicia Dazzle, Etsy, Fedex Ship Manager, Fedex.com, Inventory Lab, PayPal, Poshmark, ShippingEasy, Shippo, ShipStation, ShipWire, ShipWorks, ShopGator, Shopify, Stamps.com Desktop, Stamps.com website, StockX, UPS WorldShip Desktop, UPS.com website, USPS.com, XPSship, Endicia Dazzle, Pirateship and more.
- A multi-functional printer to print shipping label, product label, barcode label, labels for other purpose. Able to print minimum of 0.75" & maximum of 4.25" in width, minimum of 0.4" & maximum of 90" in length. Support roll paper loaded inside the printer & fanfold paper loaded from back of the printer. Printing speed is 5 inches per second. Supported labels.
- Come a free software of BarTender UltraLite Label Design Software Tool (Windows Only) to print product labels, warehouse label that contains the most frequently used label-design print features, including full design capabilities for text, graphics barcodes, most serializing capabilities.
- Arkscan offers 5-star U.S. based real time tech support via Phone, Live Chat & Remote Access. If running into any difficulty to setup or operate the printer, Arkscan's tech support team will be easy to reach and back you up to continue your business as usual.
- High speed shipping label printer for Windows & Apple Mac / MacBook via USB port, about 1 second to print one 4x6" shipping label. Thermal direct technology will never require to refill ink toner. The printer supports Arkscan’s labels, Zebra compatible labels, and Dymo compatible labels without pre-printed logo and text on back. All free shipping labels from UP & Fedex are supported. Most common shipping labels in size 4x6", 4x8.25" 4x6.75 are supported.
If you’re looking for maximum customization, then few models will match the Arkscan 2054A. And sure enough, it is perfect for shipping labels.
The first thing that sets this printer apart from the competition is the high-speed printing capacity. You can print about 50 labels in a minute without problems. And you can do so in different sizes.
This machine allows you to pick between 0.75 to 4.25-inches in width as well as 0.4 to 90-inches in length. That's enough to get all kinds of labels, it doesn’t matter what type you need.
Apart from that, you get a software system that allows you to personalize every label. You can enjoy several other features as well, including design, text, graphics, bar-codes, and more. And it is totally compatible with Windows & Mac.
On the other hand, the machine works wonders with most shipping companies & commerce sites, including EA, PayPal, ShipStation, Shopify, XPSShip, UPS, Stamps, and many others.
Using thermal-direct technology, it delivers exceptional quality as well as smear-proof labels. And that’s enough to get your business working with ease and reliability.
Want to start shipping things with proper labels? Then this is the printer to choose.
- Superb printing speed with high quality
- Outstanding personalization of size & content
- Compatible with shipping & commerce brands
- Practical software for PC and Mac
- Exceptional quality with thermal-direct system
4. Brother QL-800 Professional Label Printer
- Print amazing black/red labels using DK-2251
- Create cost-effective paper labels for packages, envelopes, file folders, Name badges, postage and more.
- Super-fast, printing up to 93 standard address labels per minute with black text at 300dpi
- Prints Brother DK pre-sized, easy-peel labels and continuous-length paper and film tapes. Auto cutter enables banners and signs up to 3 feet Long
- Capable of printing postage for packages and envelopes, right from your desk
For those looking for an easy-to-use shipping label maker, the Brother QL-800 comes like an excellent choice. Its design is so practical that you won’t have any problem getting the most out of it.
As soon as you start using it, you’ll realize how easy it is to operate. It comes with straightforward controls on top, with buttons of printing, cutting, editing, and powering up. Yet, it is the Brother iPrint & Label app system that makes so amazing, so you can print and customize your labels to the max.
Among the many personalization options, you’ll have the black & red printing system. It allows you to print in both colors if needed – so you can achieve maximum customization of your labels.
The real advantage, however, comes from the high-speed system. It is capable of producing 93 labels per minute – making it one of the fastest out there considering its excellent quality a dual-color option.
To make it even better, it is totally compatible with Windows & Mac systems. That adds up to its ease of use, so you can enjoy an even more convenient machine.
And lastly, it can work with labels that are up to 3-feet long. That means you can print labels of many different sizes with ease, so it works wonders with all kinds of shipping systems.
- Top-notch controls for ease of use
- Handy software for customization
- Ultra-fast system for 93 labels per minute
- Highly compatible with Windows and Mac
- Produces very long labels with ease
5. DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo Label Printer
- TURBO LABELING AND PRINTING: Create and print up to 71 4 line address, shipping, file folder and barcode labels, name badges, and more per minute
- ELIMINATE THE WASTE AND HASSLE OF SHEET LABELS: The DYMO Label Writer 450 Turbo prints precise quantities without difficulty
- NEVER BUY INK AGAIN: Direct Thermal printing technology eliminates the cost of ink and toner
- EASILY CUSTOMIZE AND PRINT LABELS: Create labels directly from text in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Google Contacts
- USE WITH AUTHENTIC DYMO LABELS: For best performance, use DYMO Label Writer Labels in a variety of sizes
If we’re reviewing shipping label printers, we can’t leave behind DYMO models for sure. That’s why we come back with the LabelWriter – this time the 450 Turbo.
Just like all other LabelWriter models, this one comes with the direct-thermal system that provides outstanding label quality. They have nothing to complain about, from the color quality to the crispness and even the resilience they offer.
But the real advantage comes from the compatibility with Windows and Mac, making it possible to print customized labels with Word, Excel, Google Contacts, Outlook, and other programs directly.
The system is also super-fast. You can print about 71 labels in a minute, including all necessary data from names to barcodes, shipping addresses, folders, and more.
Something else that makes it stand out is the effortless setup. This machine is a piece of cake to pair up with your computer, but it is also ultra-easy to install, prepare, and print with.
Finally, the machine boasts something others do not – it comes in the smallest of designs. You won’t have any problem placing the printer on your desk, thanks to its minimal design that fits almost anywhere.
Want a label printer that doesn’t disappoint? This is the model to go for.
- Fast & effective printing at 71 labels per minute
- Straightforward operation with software
- Prints all types of customized documents
- Superb printing quality with thermal-direct system
- The tiny design fits almost anywhere
6. Zebra GK42 0d Direct Thermal Desktop Printer
- Easy to use: Connects via USB, Ethernet and is compatible with media rolls that have a 1 in core, a max diameter of 5 in, and a max width of 4.25 in
- Direct Thermal Technology: Requires the use of direct thermal media, no thermal ribbon required to print
- Dependable performance: Designed for durability and frequent use, it can create high-quality address, shipping, mailing, file folder, barcode, and binder labels as well as name tags
- Save Time and Money: Max print speed of 5 in/sec, 203 dpi, and is Energy Star approved
- Zebra Tested: Tested and certified by Zebra engineers to provide optimal performance and reduce printer downtime
When it comes to unbeatable quality in printing, ease of use and overall capacity – the Zebra shipping label printer has no competitor.
The GK420d is a high-quality model that takes performance to a whole new level. It can print different types of labels with ease, mainly thanks to a straightforward design that you can get the most without struggling.
It connects directly to computers via USB or Ethernet cable, then you can send the designs and/or label templates to print when needed. This is all done in a breeze, offering up to 5-inches of total printing capacity per minute.
To make this possible, just download the Zebra Utilities software and print your labels with no problem. Otherwise, you can enjoy the Zebra Designer program, making it even more practical.
You can create all kinds of designs and print them in different sizes. Its easy-to-use system lets you modify receipts to address lines, shipping names, folders, barcodes, and more.
The machine uses no ink or toner as well, so it requires little maintenance thanks to the thermal-direct system. And with the same system, it also manages to provide excellent quality, making it easy to enjoy the brightest and sharpest labels out there.
It also comes in a huge design, so you can load tons of label paper for extra capacity. And it’s all effortless to do.
- High-quality printing with thermal-direct
- Easy to use with USB or Ethernet cable connection
- Prints 5-inches of paper per minute
- Offers practical software for personalization
- Delivers practical design for easy maintenance
7. MUNBYN Thermal Shipping Label Printer
- [Easy Installment] One minute to set up,Money and Time Saver. Easy work with All Windows and Mac System. Do not Support ChromeOS system.You can create customized labels directly from Microsoft and Mac Address Book, etc.
- [Auto Learn your Paper Size] Suitable for Most Thermal Direct Label -including Warehouse labels, Shipping labels, Food Nutrition Labels, Amazon FBA Labels, UPS, USPS,etc. Auto Analyze and learn your label,bring more convenience to your business.This address label maker Support prints labels from 1.57" to 4.3" wide,suitable for shipping labels and warehouse labels
- [Super compatibility] Working Well with all major shipping and sales platforms _like Shopify, Etsy, eBay, Amazon, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce,Poshmark, Fedex, ShipStation, ShippingEasy, Shippo,Ordoro,etc.
- [Green Friendly Printer] This thermal label printer no need any toner or ink, Thermal Paper is all you need.
- [Stable Performance]150mm/s High-Speed Printing Speed, nearly 72 labels per minute.suitable for shipping labels and warehouse labels.
Decently-priced and exceptional at printing, the Munbyn thermal shipping label printer is not a bad choice in any way.
The first thing you’ll notice is a fast printing capacity. It can handle over 50 labels per minute without any problem. And yet, you can make it work automatically to print 700 labels, and the machine will rest for 5 minutes when it gets too hot.
Apart from that, the printer uses a thermal-direct system that works wonders. It allows you to print labels from 1.7-inches to 4-inches in width – so you can have the ideal paper size for your needs. But still, the machine adapts to different papers if you need to, so you won’t have to set it up yourself.
Despite its exceptional performance, the machine is a piece of cake to install. You won’t have to waste any time or effort – just connect it to your Windows or Mac computer and install the software. Then, it will let you personalize the labels to the max.
And if all that wasn’t enough, the machine is still green-friendly, uses all kinds of thermal paper, and still manages to work with different shipping & sale brands such as Etsy, Shopify, eBay, Shippo, Ordoro, FedEx, and more.
You won’t have any problem printing those labels with the quality you expect.
- Convenient automatic system for 700 labels
- Anti-overheating system makes it rest for 5 minutes
- Works with different-sized papers
- Adapts automatically to thermal paper types & sizes
- Simple installation makes it easy to use
8. PUQU Q20 Wireless Thermal Label Maker
- Easy Use Label Maker-Forget all about flimsy label maker tools that get stuck, giving you a headache in printing the labels you need! Get neat, clear price labels, cable labels, jewelry labels, address labels, folder labels in a breeze with our label maker machine. Easy, fast, consistent printing of all your labels up to 2.0''x3.2''. Not for shipping labels!
- Killer Money Savers-Steer clear of expensive inks and toners with our thermal label maker on the market! Reap the benefits of thermal printing technology that eliminates costly replacement of your printing supplies! The rechargeable battery with the 180-day standby capacity saves you extra money on new battery purchase, turning your label maker kit into a great value set!
- Connect In a Breeze Through Your Smart phone-Just connects through your smart phone and have your labels printed in no time! Bluetooth connectivity through free PUQU printing app allows for consistent support for Android and iOs. Save yourself the torture of disrupted connection that so often torments users of similar Bluetooth label makers! can not connect with wifi.
- Lightweight, Compact to Follow You-this portable label printer is made for your convenience! Take it with you on your business trip and enjoy smart label printing! Use it as your home label wireless printer or your office label maker for long years!
- Get a Complete Label Maker Kit-Get everything you need for your quality label printing! Our kit includes the PUQU Q00 label printer, the AC adapter, the rechargeable lithium ion battery, and the label adjusting board, the users' manual, and one random size label paper roll！
In case you’re looking for something more practical and utterly useful still – then PUQUQ20 Wireless thermal label maker is a perfect choice.
This machine comes with a wireless connectivity system that lets you hook up your smartphone, set up the label data you want to print, and then do so directly from the device. As you can see, it is smaller than other options, which makes it ideal for tiny objects.
Still, the machine works wonders, working decently fast and providing top-notch printing quality. You won’t have to use any computer to make it work, and it consumes little to no energy. In fact, it uses a rechargeable battery, adding extra convenience.
The main advantage is the size. You can take this printer anywhere and still enjoy its exceptional capacity. There aren’t many limits to what it can offer. It will print small and useful labels for all your needs.
Finally, it is fast enough to get labels printed in no time. Using thermal printing technology, it manages to deliver several labels per minute despite its small design and seemingly complicated mechanisms.
You will get one of the most practical and easy-to-use models out there. Printing small and high-quality labels won’t be a problem anymore.
- Small & portable design for practicality
- Fast & quality printing despite being tiny
- Connects to your smartphone for editing
- Thermal-printing technology saves time & effort
- The rechargeable battery makes it extra handy
9. Meihengtong Label Printer
- [Easy Installment] Easy to set up,Money and Time Saver. Easy work with All Windows System. Do not Support ChromeOS and Mac System. ---->Driver Download：https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nMwhCvqFlWwHQwHwp0UAz3ZL6SU-cd5I/view?usp=sharing
- [Green Environmental printer] This thermal label printer no need any toner or ink, Thermal Paper is all you need. 150mm/s High-Speed Printing Speed, nearly 72 labels per minute.suitable for shipping labels and warehouse labels.
- [Stable Performance] Suitable for Most Thermal Direct Label -including Warehouse labels, Shipping labels, Food Nutrition Labels, Amazon FBA Labels, UPS, USPS,etc. This address label maker Support prints labels from 1.7" to 4.1" wide,suitable for shipping labels and warehouse labels.
- [Strong compatibility] Working Well with all major shipping and sales platforms _like Shopify, Etsy, eBay, Amazon, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce,Poshmark, Fedex, ShipStation, ShippingEasy, Shippo,Ordoro,etc.
- [Worry-free use of the printer] Auto Analyze and learn your label,bring more convenience to your business. If you encounter trouble in use, please feel free to contact us ([email protected]), we will provide technical support within 12 hours.
Going into cheap territory, we now have the Meihengtong label printer. This one is a way more affordable than others that still handles quality work.
You can connect it to most Windows computers without problems, so you can get it working with the driver that allows you to edit & re-size the labels when needed. This comes with the ability to make them 4 by 6, 4 by 4, and more – so you can enjoy different sizes according to your needs.
It is also compatible with several types of labels, going from eBay to Etsy, UPS, ShipStation, and more. This lets you edit & personalize without worrying whether it works for your need or not.
Yet, the real advantage comes from its high speed. You can print over 50 labels per minute which allows you to enjoy maximum convenience. And if you still want quality, then you have nothing to worry as it uses thermal-direct technology that prints with superb results.
Setting up the machine is also a piece of cake, doing maintenance is even easier, and using its software requires little to no effort. And with its practical and compact design, you can install it almost anywhere with ease.
Overall, it leaves no space for less-than-decent results – even though it is one of the cheapest. You will get excellent printing without having to worry about anything, and that’s hugely appreciated.
- Practical design & size for easy installation
- Prints labels of different sizes with ease
- Offers excellent speed for fast printing
- Compatible with most shipping & commerce stores
- Quality printing with thermal-direct tech
10. BESHENG M110 Bluetooth Handheld Label Printer
- ▲For Simple Use. Search “Phomemo-M110”on the APP store, to get the APP. Connect the printer to phone via Bluetooth, then we can input the content on the APP, and print it out instantly. There are more than 500 label
models of 15 traditional industries available on the APP. Printer supports
operating system iOS/Android smart phone.
- ▲▲Wide application. BESHENG M110 label printer is widely used in Stores, Supermarket, Logistics, Warehousing, Express Delivery, Library
- ▲▲▲For Environment Friendly. The Besheng-M110 adopts direct thermal
printing,NO NEED ink , ribbon or toner, it costs low and environment friendly.
The print-head has a life of up to 50km. Fully charged for 4-5 hours of
- ▲▲▲▲For User Friendly. The printer is small sized and portable.
The label density, size, and speed can be adjustable. Furthermore, to make
user easily understand the printing status, Besheng M110 printer can detect and
show the status on the LED screen, such as printing, shutting down, taking paper,
overheating, no paper detected and paper compartment cover open, etc.
- ▲▲▲▲▲High-tech label used. The label is made of the latest high-tech
materials. Printing clear, waterproof, oil-proof，scratch-resistant, non-fading,
strong adhesive. It can be stored up to 20 years in dark condition. The Besheng
M110's largest label printing range is 52*50mm (maximum width*diameter), and the
maximum print width of the label is 20-50mm.
The final item in our list needs to be the Besheng M110. Yet another Bluetooth model that lets you print things in the most convenient way possible.
It comes with an LED screen that lets you see its progress – it will tell you whether it is printing, taking paper, overheating, or shutting down. This pairs up well with the easy-to-use design, with a button for printing and one for shutting it down.
To get the most out of it, you will have to download the Phomemo-M110 app. It lets you edit and input the content on the labels, so you can print them instantly later. However, the advantage comes from the wide array of label templates available, making it more practical than most.
The machine needs no power outlet either. You just need to charge it thoroughly before using and that’s it. You may get up to 5 hours of constant use without problems.
Lastly, you get the excellent size for your labels, so you can pick the ideal option depending on what you’re looking for. Being small labels, you can place them almost anywhere.
Using a reliable paper and printing system, it makes sure you’re always getting quality labels. And that’s something you don’t want to dismiss.
- Super practical wireless system
- Quality printing with thermal tech
- Handy LED screen tells the working state
- Works directly from the Android app
- Rechargeable & handheld design for convenience
Why Should You Get a Shipping Label Printer?
Apart from creating labels with bar codes, addresses, logos, and names, a label printer offers many other advantages that no other machine offers.
Here are a few reasons to get one:
The paper for label printers is more durable, smear-resistant, and water-proof than regular printers. Apart from that, they are also fade-resistant, which prevents the labels from fading even in challenging environments with sun exposure, harsh winds, or water contact.
Saves Time & Effort
When using the best shipping label printer, you get rid of the cutting, taping, writing, and other activities that labelling shipments demands. And sure, this makes the process less time-consuming a way easier over time.
Most e-commerce businesses demand bar codes. This helps to identify the shipments with ease and process tons of different orders without wasting too much time or effort.
In contrast, printing bar-codes with other types of printers tend to be ineligible or difficult to scan.
Speed & Efficiency
A label printer also helps with speed. While other types of printers and DIY labels tend to demand tons of time, you can get up to 100 labels per minute with some models. That’s something you don’t get with other types of machines.
Another reason to use shipping label printers is that you get a highly compatible device with most PCs, laptops, and similar machines. That offers more personalization and often easier-to-use systems.
Lastly, shipping level printers offer the chance to personalize all the labels to the max. Some models provide the opportunity to configure names, addresses, barcodes, colors, and more. That’s a vast advantage that saves tons of time & effort.
Shipping Label Printer Buying Guide: Things to Consider!
Before you go and spend your money on a shipping label, you must be clear of what you’re looking for. That’s why we think it is essential to learn about them before making an uninformed choice.
Here are a few things we find essential to learn before deciding:
The first thing you need to consider when buying a label printer for your business is the type you’re getting.
There are several models to pick from – but you’ll mostly find two: The inkjet label printer and the thermal shipping label printer.
When it comes to the inkjet printer, you encounter a system that prints really fast and effectively. Yet, it needs to be consistently recharged of ink and/or cartridges to work.
Otherwise, you can go for thermal models. These are the ones we recommend the most – and the one you’ll find in this review article.
But there are two types of thermal printers as well: the direct-thermal and the thermal transfer.
The direct-thermal refers to the machine that produces black & white images. These images can fade over time but offer a wide array of designs and text options. The advantage of a direct-thermal is the speed, offering more than 1 print per second in some cases.
Then, the thermal transfer is a little more complicated. This one applies heat to wax or resin that’s eventually melted on the surface of the paper. The advantage of this mode is that you can make different colors, but most of the time, it offers just two. It is not as fast, yet it provides better quality.
Uses Software or Not?
Most label printers come with software. This software has the sole purpose of providing the machine with templates and designs, plus many other customization options. And in most cases, you can install this software on computers as well – so you can use the system to customize and print as needed.
The downside is that installing software on the computer may not be easy for everyone. In some cases, these software programs are not even compatible with some computers, and that can be a considerable drawback.
Luckily, some printers do not come with any software or at least allow some customization without having to install the software on a computer.
We recommend going for the one that meets your IT skills. If you aren’t too skilled, then go for software-free models. But if you know how to install any software with, then you’ll love having the personalization that these software programs offer.
If you want to go for the right shipping label printer, then you must also consider the type of paper that the machine uses.
Most of the time, you’ll have to stick to a specific type of paper for the machine to work. In fact, some brands will make you buy their own paper so you can use the tool. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do so.
What truly matters, however, is the quality of the paper.
If you’re going for a label printer that offers decent paper quality, then it should be easy to stick, resistant to water, and fade-proof. That will ensure you can enjoy an excellent printer.
Another significant factor to go over would be the speed at which the printer works. This mostly refers to how many labels the machine can deliver per minute.
Here, you’ll find that most label printers can deliver anywhere from 50 to 100 labels every minute. That would be an excellent speed capacity that can tackle even the most demanding jobs with ease.
But be sure to know that the more labels it can print, the less quality you get (most of the time). That’s why we recommend getting something that’s fast but not too fast.
Also, consider how many lines of printed content you get per label – and how fast it works when changing the number of lines. That will make it even easier to know whether the printer is worth having or not.
Finally, you will have to think about the type of maintenance the machine will need.
For example, inkjet models can be pretty tough to maintain as they need constant cleaning and ink/cartridge replacement.
But for thermal models, you will rarely need to do any maintenance. However, some models will need more than others. And that still doesn’t leave you out of having to replenish label paper when required.
So make sure to consider the type of maintenance your printer will need. That can help you a lot afterward.
How to Use Label Printer?
Getting a mailing label printer to work as you expect won’t be too easy. In fact, it can sometimes be way more complicated than you expect.
There are a few things you can do to get your label printer working:
Connect the Printer
Once you have the printer out of its box, you can set it up on your desk, table, or anywhere you want it to use it from.
We usually recommend installing them no more than 5 feet away from a computer. The closer it is to the computer you’re going to use with it, the better.
To connect the printer correctly, just follow the instructions. It is often just connecting the power cables and turning it on.
In case it tells you to plug to the computer at once, then do so.
Install the Software (if any)
Almost all printers today come with a software program to install on your computer. The first thing you need to do after setting up the machine is to install this software.
Some of them come with a CD, while others will tell you to download the software directly. Whatever it demands, make sure you follow the instructions thoroughly.
It will eventually tell you to connect the machine. Do so when it is expected. This will help you get the label printer ready.
Set up the Label Rolls
The label rolls contain the paper that the machine prints over. This is super important, so you have to do so correctly.
Here’s how it works in most label printers:
- Lift or detach the machine lid. This will expose the roll connector.
- Place the paper roll into space. Try to attach correctly using any hangers and/or clamps.
- Make sure to follow the instructions and set the paper on the right side and direction. This way the machine can feed on the paper when needed.
- Finish by making sure everything is correctly installed – and then close the lid.
Most label printers come with their own set of paper rolls. Use them as needed. But in case yours does not offer any, you’ll have to buy them separately. For that, you have to know precisely the type of paper the machine works with – or at least get something the printer is compatible with. That’s enough.
Use the Software
In case the label printer demands or can be used with computer software, then you must do so in this step.
After setting it up, installing the software, and placing the roll inside – here’s where you can start using the machine.
First of all, start by clicking on the program and looking for options. Get acquainted with the software and how it works. Do not print anything yet.
Most of these programs will offer tons of different options to enjoy, from changing text styles to font size, symbols, and more. In some cases, you may even have the chance to upload your own designs and print them (as long as they’re not multicolored).
Here’s a better step-by-step guide to follow:
- Choose the template you want to use. Most printers come with a model of standard labels so you can choose the one that meets your needs. Otherwise, you may be able to upload your own Word, Excel, Outlook, or similar documents to the printer.
- Change the text on the template. Make sure you input the address, name, barcode, and other necessary data.
- Select size & internal design. Pick colors if there’s any chance to do so.
- Finish by printing the label accordingly. It should come out exactly how it looks in the software.
By now, you’re done with the label-printing process. As you see, it takes less time and effort than it looks like.
Label Printer Troubleshooting: What Are The Common Issues You May Face?
Even though a print shipping label machine tends to be easy to use and pretty neat – it can also produce some issues from time to time.
If you’re having a problem with the printer and you want to find a way to fix it – then read up the most common issues and how to get around them:
Even though most shipping label printers have pre-set sizes you can pick from, in some cases, they may not fit your demands.
This could happen when the machine is not truly precise or when you’re not selecting the right size accordingly.
To fix this, we recommend doing this:
- Always set the page scaling or resizing options to custom. Then make sure to put the right size according to the paper.
- Use the software of the machine to do so. In some cases, you need to resize the printing directly from the program.
- Use compatible files when printing. If the machine accepts Word and Excel only, then don’t use PDFs or Outlook mails. They will probably don’t work as expected.
- Don’t insert more content than the label in the software allows. If you go over the limits on any side, then you may get too much content, which makes the machine print incorrectly.
Once you see the label coming out in the right size with no content problem, then you’ve fixed the sizing issue.
Apart from the size, you may also encounter that the label printer is not aligning the content in the label as it should. This often happens either because the paper is not correctly aligned inside the machine, your inserting too much content, or you’re not using the right files to print.
Here’s how to fix this:
- Start by using the automatic aligning option in the software. Most printing machines come with this feature. Otherwise, align the label yourself if possible.
- Open the machine lid and make sure the paper roll is correctly installed. If it looks moved or misaligned, then fix accordingly.
- Otherwise, it may be a compatibility issue. Make sure you’re using the right template and/or file to print. In some cases, using a wrong file or pre-set design may deliver alignment issues.
We recommend re-setting the machine as a last resort. Then, you can configure the software and send your labels to print with ease. This should fix the problem faster in case other solutions don’t work.
In some cases, the content that comes in the label doesn’t match the content you inserted when editing it. This often happens when the software is having issues, or you’re just not printing correctly.
Here are a few tips to correct this:
- Find the label file you’re trying to print. Then make sure it is precisely on the software from the printing machine. Otherwise, make it so. Then print it from the software directly.
- Use proper files. Using incompatible files may also provide this problem, as the machine won’t catch the label correctly and print whatever it detects as appropriate.
Here, again, the best solution is to reset the machine. Yet, it may get rid of the work you’ve done so far. So be careful.
Finally, you may also experience jamming in the label printer. This is less common, but still possible.
When a label printer gets stuck, here’s what you can do:
- Make sure the software is only sending one printing command per operation. If you send too many labels to print, the machine may get stuck, not knowing what to do – or just buffering. Close the software and/or reset the computer. Do the same with the printer and repeat it correctly.
- Check that the paper-roll inside is appropriately adjusted. In some cases, this roll is not aligned inside the right way, which causes the machine to jam and not print correctly.
- Clean the printer. Make sure there’s no dust or dirt. In some cases, you may even find paper inside, not letting the machine work correctly. This could cause it to jam as well.
Jamming can be pretty annoying when it happens. In case you can’t fix these issues, we recommend calling customer service from the printer brand.
So, are you ready to get a new label printer for your business? Then don’t hesitate any more time and get one now!
For us, the best model would be the ROLLO Label Printer. It has nothing to complain about, as it is the fastest, the one with the most customization, and tons of different features to enjoy. And it is still decently affordable, which makes it even better.
But in reality, the best shipping label printer is the one that matches your needs.
Overall, every single option on the list is worth having. They are all excellent and offer unique features that others do not. And that’s something to think about before choosing.
Choose one now!