The 10 Best Label Printers

Updated October 09, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Label Printers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Remember those old label machines that printed out plastic strips that you had to punch by hand? Yeah, we thought they were cool at the time, too. What a difference a couple of decades makes. Today's label printers offer computer and smartphone connectivity, ink-free convenience, and lightning fast printing speeds for shipping, barcodes and postage. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best label printer on Amazon.

10. Dymo Plug-N-Play

The Dymo Plug-N-Play is a basic model with no software to install. Just connect it to your PC or Mac via USB and it's ready to create simple, one-line stickers out of the box, perfect for displaying prices or organizing craft or kitchen supplies.
  • thermal printing requires no ink
  • colored tapes available separately
  • can't print barcodes or graphics
Brand DYMO
Model 1768960
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Epson Portable

The Epson Portable offers easy plug-and-play USB connectivity for PCs or Macs. It also has a built-in keyboard and battery operation for on-the-go applications, free of additional hardware. It comes with over 450 preloaded symbols and 14 fonts.
  • backlit graphics display
  • prints up to 8 lines of text
  • maximum width is only 1 inch
Brand Epson
Model LW-700
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Brady BMP21-Plus Handheld

Great for industrial use on job sites, the portable Brady BMP21-Plus Handheld has a tough exterior with molded rubber bumpers for impact resistance. It can print text in six different sizes and is capable of writing on multiple lines.
  • text displayed on lcd screen
  • wide array of tape types available
  • does not have a qwerty keyboard
Brand Brady
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Epson LW-600P

Design, preview, and produce organizational systems on the go with the Epson LW-600P. It includes a proprietary app and uses Bluetooth connectivity to print from smartphones, tablets, and computers. It even works with voice recognition for the typing-averse.
  • creates labels up to 1 inch wide
  • built-in automatic cutter
  • some features are not mac compatible
Brand Epson
Model LW-600P Datacom
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Rollo X1036

For a shipping powerhouse, look no further than the Rollo X1036. It's commercial-grade and engineered for high-volume output despite occupying a footprint smaller than a standard envelope, and can handle widths from 4 to 10.4 centimeters.
  • automatically adjusts to feed size
  • works with any thermal roll or sheet
  • only compatible with windows
Model X1036
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Brother QL-700

The Brother QL-700 is a value-priced, reliable, high-speed model. It can produce up to 93 adhesive-backed 2.4 inch-wide badges or USPS postage sheets per minute, making it a great choice for the small business that ships plenty of products.
  • easy drop-in tape rolls
  • auto-cutter for clean finished edges
  • somewhat difficult to use with macs
Brand Brother
Model QL700
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Dymo 450 Twin Turbo

The Dymo 450 Twin Turbo has dual spools to enable versatile high-speed output without switching rolls. It can create up to 71 units per minute, if you can keep up with it, and is ideal for producing address and barcode or postage stickers simultaneously.
  • no ink required
  • usps-approved for shipping
  • prints on easy-peel split-back tape
Brand MOT
Model 1752266
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Seiko SLP-650

The Seiko SLP-650 has a sleek, compact design that frees up desk or countertop space. Its direct thermal-print technology means no ink, toner, or ribbons to refill, and its easy-to-use software is compatible with most word processors, spreadsheets, and database systems.
  • 300 dpi resolution
  • supports formats up to 2 inches wide
  • comes with a three-year warranty
Brand Seiko Instruments
Model SLP-650
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Brother QL-720NW Professional

The Brother QL-720NW Professional offers flexible connectivity for use with both ethernet and wireless interfaces. Access it via an office network just as easily as from your smartphone or tablet using the included proprietary software, available for all operating systems.
  • high resolution up to 300 x 600 dpi
  • continuous output up to three feet
  • includes two starter rolls
Brand Brother
Model QL720NW
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Dymo 4XL

The Dymo 4XL uses thermal technology to produce ink-free adhesive-backed labels up to 4.16" wide, ideal for the 4" x 6" standard used by many online shipping services. It's like having your own post office right on your desk.
  • prints up to 129 labels per minute
  • supports dozens of formats
  • connects to a wide range of devices
Brand DYMO
Model 1755120
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

How To Choose The Best Label Printer For Your Needs

Label printers can seem like such basic, utilitarian items so you might think it's best to just buy the cheapest model. But if you purchase one without doing a little research, you may end up with a printer that makes your job very difficult, and makes every task take twice as long. There are actually a lot of questions you should ask yourself before picking a label printer.

If you do work that requires you to move around a lot, a smaller label printer can make your work considerably easier. This is especially true if you have to walk down aisles, printing labels on the move rather than sitting at a table. When portability is a factor, then another feature to consider is that the printer is battery-operated. Label printers that have to plug into a power source are best for stationary work and not as versatile.

Another question to ask yourself is are these labels for public consumption? In other words, will customers and clients read these, or will only staff see them? If you need to type important information like nutrition on food labels, large font size is important. If these are just for employee purposes, then you can write labels in shorthand that industry personnel will understand.

But if the public will read these, then you need your printer to allow a lot of characters, since you’ll need to spell things out. You may also want a printer that gives you the option to change font type and color so you can make the words poppy and intriguing.

If you need to add things like images and logos, you need a model that connects to your computer. The built-in characters won’t allow you to create butterflies or coffee cups, so you need the ability to grab those images from your computer.

Hilarious But Real Labels

You might be buying your printer for something reasonable, like Tupperware or files with important documents, but there are some pretty absurd labels out there. Some prescription medications dawn a label that reads, “If you cannot read warnings do not take this medication.” Not to diminish the importance of prescription warning labels, but one has to wonder how many lawsuits that manufacturer has faced.

There are some places where labels just don’t belong — especially bar codes. According to some reports, gravestones sometimes make it to their plot with the bar code left on. Gravestones are a product-for-purchase, but the loved ones of the deceased probably don’t want to be reminded of that.

A number of surprising warning labels have been printed on many common devices and it's scary that they even need to exist, like the one that instructs people not to put a person inside of washing machines. Hopefully, a real-life incident didn’t inspire that warning.

Allegedly some iPod shuffles have a label that tells users not to eat the device. Let’s hope nobody old enough to read that label would ever consider ingesting an electronic. Because some lottery tickets are created on thermal printers, many of them have labels that tell you not to iron them. Maybe somewhere, somebody tried to iron their lucky lottery ticket onto a jean jacket as memorabilia.

A Brief History Of Labeling

All label printers have three main parts, those being the printer, the applicator and the part that houses and distributes labels and ribbons. Farmers were the first group of people to use labels and had been using them on their fruit and crates since long before the first label printer came out. It wasn't until the first part of the 20th century when the first printer capable of producing self-adhesive labels was created.

In the 1800s, labels were printed on handmade paper, using images or letters cut onto wood or metal, that was then pressure applied through a screw mechanism. Eventually, the screw mechanism turned into a lever system that pushed the design or words onto the paper much easier. At this point in history, no matter the type of printer used, people needed to apply their labels to their products with gum or another primitive adhesive.

The 20th century saw the invention of narrow web presses with self-adhesive tape. A man named Stan Avery created a system by which self-adhesive materials had a backing carrier and could be cut to the perfect shape right on the press. Not long after, other inventors began utilizing a die-cutter that would produce sticky labels on a roll. By the 1970s self-adhesive labels made up seven percent of the label market in Europe, and today they make up around 40 percent of it.

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Last updated on October 09, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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