Thermal Label Printer Recommendations

Rennie Heuer

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Constantine, MI
The Christmas shipping season is approaching and that means, for me, I'll be printing a bunch (hopefully) of shipping labels. For the past few years I've been printing two to a page on 8.5 x 11, cutting them out, and taping them to boxes. Time and paper consuming, at best. So, at the end of last year's shipping season I decided that this year I would buy a dedicated label printer. That was the plan.

Confusion set in when I started looking at what's available in my price range (cheap). Literally dozens of units. So, I set some criteria to help narrow down the search.

Price - as close to $100 as I can get without sacrificing quality or compromising on other must haves
Labels - Obviously the ability to print 4x6, but multiple size capability would be nice. Also, cannot be proprietary in nature (has to accept generic mfgr labels).
Feed type - I'm limited for desk space so having the feed come from a roll stored within the unit is preferable to a separate 'holder' for fan fed labels.
Compatibility - WIN 10, USPS, UPS, Etsy, etc.
Rating - looking for 4.5 star or better

This one has gotten good reviews and recommendations from several websites that support home businesses. There are many that fit the criteria, both more expensive and even a couple under $100, but some of the reviews (1 star) are a bit scary. I probably should assign too much weight to those, but once you read them it's hard to 'unlearn' what you've read.

I know many of you ship items and/or deal with computer printers. Any thoughts, cautions, recommendations?
 

Ted Calver

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Yorktown, Virginia
Haven't looked at the thermal labels, but you have me checking them out. We do ship on Etsy, and last year shipped 234 orders using poly envelopes and Avery internet shipping labels for our laser printer. I got tired of cutting them with scissors and bought an old fashioned paper cutter, which works great and is very fast. It also cuts the bubble wrap we use for item packaging. An admittedly quick look at per label cost shows the thermal labels to be much cheaper than the Avery labels and would save us roughly $50 in label costs/year, not to mention cost of ink and wear and tear on the printer. For this particular model the ROI would be roughly three years. If you ship a lot of items it's certainly worth considering, as long as the print quality and adhesive are comparable.
 

Brent Dowell

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Reno NV
I know the dymo is out of the price range, but I've had 2 and I can't imagine not having one. I've got one of the smaller ones that I put out in the garage to help with labeling things as part of my shop org, and got this one for inside and doing shipping labels.

Whatever you choose, it's so much nicer to just print the thermal label that printing out on the full sheet label paper. Probably cheaper in the long run too, depending on the amount of shipping you do.

Dymo
 
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