The 10 Best Label Printers of 2018

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Best Color Label Printer
Best Thermal Label Printer
Best Label Printer for Small Business
Best Shipping Label Printer
Best Portable Label Printer
Best Barcode Label Printer

Using a label printer is nowadays essential to be able to keep up with the high demand for printing various things like tags, receipts, labels, tickets, and more. The main technology that label printers use is the thermal printing method which has some benefits over other technologies that rely on ink and toner. The most important aspect is the efficiency of output but there are other advantages like a lower cost of operation and maintenance. You might also be interested in our articles about the best 3D printer or the best vinyl cutting machine. If you need a quality label printer for various applications, it’s best to be mindful of certain things before you jump in and make a purchase. To find out which label printer is the right one for your needs, you have to be aware of the following:

1. Daily print volume

Finding the right label printer depends a lot on how many labels need to be printed on a regular basis. Think about the number of labels that you need to print and if the answer is a low number, then perhaps an entry-level machine is more suitable. On the contrary, if you have to print larger volumes of labels then getting a more professional machine will do the trick.

2. Resolution

Thermal printing resolution is measured in dots per square-inch or DPI. The market offers some varied selections but usually, 200dpi is the standard resolution for most printers. For most applications like barcodes and larger text on the label, this resolution is sufficient. These machines also tend to be less expensive. However, there are also label printers that can give your labels a more professional finish with crisper details as they offer higher resolutions like 300dpi or even 600dpi. These label printers are worth considering if you have a bigger budget and you want to make a really solid investment in the quality of your labels.

3. Connectivity

Most label printers on the market come with a standard USB connection to be able to transmit the data from a computer sitting close. This is the simplest way to realize a connection with a printer but there are other options too. In rarer circumstances, some machines offer wireless connectivity which can be helpful if you plan to print directly from a network or don’t have a computer placed close to the printer.

These are the main aspects to keep in mind when you’re evaluating a label printer. To cut your research time even further, try looking at this nice selection of only the best products on the market. They’ve been carefully analyzed and even though they have different prices, they’re all considered worth the money and shouldn’t be missed if you want to make a smart investment.

Best Color Label Printer

1. DYMO LabelManager 160 Handheld Label Maker

One of the best products in terms of features over price is the DYMO LabelManager 160. It’s capable of printing labels that feel durable and provides easy text input thanks to the familiar QWERTY-style keyboard. As it’s loaded with editing and customizing features, you can make sure that you obtain only the best-looking labels every time. It’s fast, simple to use, and it can be taken anywhere without a problem.

Flexibility is key for this printer as it comes equipped with a large selection of customization options. You can choose from six font sizes, four boxes, eight text styles, and a comprehensive built-in library of more than 200 symbols and clip-art images. Finding the right label for the job is important and this label printer is fully compatible with DYMO D1 and IND labels that are water resistant. There are three widths to select: 1/4-, 3/8-, and 1/2-inch.

To give you more variety, the manufacturer provides lots of D1 colors for the text and background so that users can experience a much bigger variety of color coding and can organize items in more ways and therefore increase productivity. The last label’s custom content can be printed without the need to re-type or reformat graphics and text.

The familiar keyboard delivers a comfortable access to all the operations and provides quick navigation through a single-key to punctuation to enter text more efficiently. Additionally, the fast-formatting keys enable users to format text with bold, underlining, italics and more. Perhaps the display could have been bigger but it’s large enough to have good visibility of all text and formatting exactly like it will appear on the label before you press print.

The larger keyboard really makes a difference if you need to work fast and more efficiently. When you consider everything about this device, the final conclusion is a highly positive one. The printing quality is decent and the unit is very convenient to operate thanks to its handheld form factor. All in all, the DYMO LabelManager 160 is probably the best recommendation for an inexpensive and very performant label printer.

Key Features:

  • Computer-style QWERTY keyboard
  • 228 symbols and clip art
  • Compact and lightweight
  • 6 AAA Batteries required

Best Thermal Label Printer

2. DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo Thermal Label Printer

DYMO provides a vast range of products in the industry of label printers and the LabelWriter 450 Turbo is one of the most attractive choices. With an impressive printing speed of 71 labels per minute, this machine can save you a good amount of time. Customizing graphics, address labels or barcodes among others is a simple task as the unit offers a direct connection to a Mac or PC.

This label printer is quite adept at printing as evidenced by the high speed of printing but DYMO made no compromises on customization features. When connected to a PC or Mac, it’s able to easily print all kinds of customised barcodes, graphics, address labels, and more. You have the option to print directly from Microsoft Word or the Mac Adress Book as well as Excel, Outlook, QuickBooks, and others. The unit is compatible with all Windows versions after 7 and all Mac operating systems above 10.9. Thanks to label rolls that are simple to load, the frustrating experience of manually feeding label sheets is now a thing of the past. The thermal printing technology has great potential to increase the cost-effectiveness of your work as you’ll never again have to waste money on overpriced ink and toner.

The printing quality seems very promising as this model has a resolution of 600x300dpi. Performance-wise things are looking good but this label printer can also be considered as a well-designed product due to its sleek aspect and the compact form which will fit nicely in many offices without standing out too much. In the package, DYMO added all the necessary things to get you started printing right away including power and USB cables, an adapter, a roll of address labels, and a very handy quick start guide for both PC and Mac.

In conclusion, the DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo is a high-quality thermal label printer that’s fast, easy to feed new labels and delivers very nice-looking printing results. If you’re tired of dealing with unprofessional hand printed envelopes, this is a strongly recommended product. The price is also relatively low for its capabilities so it’s definitely worth considering.

Key Features:

  • Speedy printing of 71 labels per minute
  • Easy-to-load label rolls
  • DYMO Label software to create customised labels
  • Compatible with Windows 7 or later and Mac OS X v10.8 or later
  • Can print address, shipping, barcode labels, name badges and more

Best Label Printer for Small Business

3. Brother QL-700 High-speed, Professional Label Printer

In case you decided to step up your label printing game and you wish to purchase a more professional model, the Brother QL-700 should be right up your alley. It prints labels at a staggering speed of up to 93 labels per minute and has an auto cutter for ensuring the most accurate finished edges. There are lots of features to get excited about in this label printer including the high resolution of printing.

The speed of this printer is definitely one of its most important aspects worth discussing. It can tackle labeling tasks much quicker as it supports lightning-fast print speeds of up to 93 labels per minute. Big projects can be done more efficiently in this way. The resolution is also very decent, rendering text and graphics in a much more crisper manner – up to 300 x 600 dpi.

This machine can print pre-sized paper labels for common uses in any office. Some examples include file folders, DVDs, envelopes, and packages. As this is a versatile device, it can also print on continuous paper and is able to tape rolls for signs and banners with a maximum length of three feet long. Thanks to the built-in auto cutter, you can create virtually any label size you might need and you can get rid of the worry of unfinished edges as the final results will be much cleaner.

Like many other Brother label printers, this one allows the switching of label types in just a few seconds. It achieves this by using a direct thermal printing mechanism which has easy drop-in tape rolls. You have no ribbon or ink to replace. The label printer automatically recognizes the roll size and will make the right adjustments to the label template.

The Brother QL-700 offers a lot for the cost which doesn’t seem that high when you start to place its features in a balance. To get the most out of this label printer is highly recommended to install the drivers before you get the special software called P-Touch. This has great potential if you’re looking for a high-speed label printer that adds a much more professional look to any labels you wish to print.

Key Features:

  • Printing up to 93 labels per minute
  • Prints pre-sized, easy-peel, rounded-corner labels
  • Capable of printing postage for packages and envelopes
  • Convenient, drop-in rolls, auto cutter
  • High-resolution (up to 300 x 600 dpi) printing
  • “Plug & Label” feature for Windows

4. DYMO Label Writer 450 Twin Turbo label printer

For working with more demanding labeling tasks, the DYMO LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo can give you a hand. It comes with 2 spools and it doesn’t require switching of the rolls. This is a model that uses thermal printing technology which completely removes the need to buy expensive ink or toner. The price is higher but the features seem promising enough that it could be worth it in the end.

You have two rolls of labels that stand at your disposal to start printing immediately whenever a project demands it. This increases the efficiency and you can print address labels or postage without having to swap label rolls. Printing precise quantities is simple with this device and you can eliminate the waste of sheet labels. The speed of approximately 71 labels per minute is significantly faster than DYMO’s base model.

To configure exactly how you want the labels to be printed, you need a software and DYMO offers their Label Software Version 8 which is compatible with PCs or Macs. It provides some decent features for creating and printing various types of labels including address labels, shipping labels for files, name badges, and more.

In terms of design, the footprint is noticeably bigger considering that it’s basically like having two printers in one. The good news is that it won’t clutter up your desk like having two separate printers would. Changing rolls is indeed much easier compared to some of the competitors but unlike those that offer an automatic cutter, you’re going to have to carefully tear off the label yourself.

An excellent label printer for the price, the DYMO LableWriter 450 Twin Turbo delivers quality on all fronts. The software is easy to use and you can adjust many settings with just one click to be able to get the desired results every time. The machine does a solid job at printing labels in a variety of formats and it has the abilities to be a real powerhouse thanks to being capable of having two different size rolls simultaneously.

Key Features:

  • 2 spools for enhanced efficiency
  • Compatible with Windows 7 or later and macOS 10.9 or later
  • Up to 71 labels per minute printing speed
  • Lots of customizing options from a PC or Mac
  • DYMO Label and DYMO Stamps software

Best Shipping Label Printer

5. ROLLO Commercial Grade Direct Thermal High-Speed Shipping Label Printer (X1036)

Rollo’s Shipping label printer is a commercial grade machine that offers a very reliable method to print your labels. Suitable for the most demanding conditions, this thermal shipping printer uses a special patent-pending design to boost the productivity of your label printing. As this device has been engineered for high volume shippers, it’s fully compatible with all the biggest shipping couriers and selling platforms.

The latest printing technology called direct thermal is used in this model and it’s capable of producing high-quality labels for shipping without relying on any kind of ink or toners. It’s nice that you can use the machine with virtually any direct thermal label. There’s no need to get some overpriced labels that are only compatible with specific printers and therefore you can potentially save some money. With a single touch of a button, the device will automatically detect the size and the particular characteristics of your labels. When it’s time to load new labels, you can certainly be amazed by the simplicity and quickness of the process.

At a closer inspection, the label printer has a modern design and the manufacturer managed to create a nice fusion of portability and sturdiness. Although it looks compact, it can surpass your expectations when it starts printing with a staggering speed of up to 238 labels per minute on all four rows of labels. In terms of quality, the good news doesn’t stop. The machine is able to print crystal clear labels that are similar in quality to those that major couriers require. It’s compatible with all the important players in the shipping business including USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL.

Taking into account how easy and hassle-free this device operates, it’s safe to say that the Rollo label printer is a good recommendation for any small business owner. An impressive label printer in terms of both print quality and speed, this machine is great for saving a lot of time and money as you won’t be needing any ink. An absolute game changer considering the price.

Key Features:

  • 150 mm/s printing speed
  • Compatible with any direct thermal shipping label
  • Modern, Rugged, Portable Design
  • Automatic Label Identification
  • Compatible with all major shipping platforms and marketplaces
  • Prints labels up to 4.1″ wide

6. Brother QL710W Label Printer with Wireless Networking

The QL-710W from Brother is another label printer worth taking a look at. It can create paper labels for various items including envelopes, file folders, and packages and can help any busy professional save time on a big project. The print speed of 93 labels per minute is indeed quite the performance but another key feature found in this model is wireless connectivity, which other printers usually lack.

In any busy office, speed can quickly become a critical factor to consider for any printing job. This unit is more than capable to tackle difficult labeling tasks in a professional manner. Boasting speeds of up to 93 labels per minute, this machine can really make a difference in many intense situations. It doesn’t matter whether you print just one label at a time or need to crank out multiple labels at once, you have an automatic cutter at your disposal that takes care of the edges so you can enjoy clean looking labels every time.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of this model is the built-in wireless interface that provides better connectivity as you can virtually print from anywhere. You can enjoy some freedom as you are no longer being tethered to a computer. Thanks to Brother’s network management tools, the process to integrate and manage on a network can be simplified a lot. If you need to print stamps, you can save trips to the Post Office by using pbSmartPostage, which is a cloud-based postage service. There’s no special software to download and no monthly fee, but this service is only available for Windows and requires an Internet connection and a USB connection as well as a postage label roll.

When you look back over the features and start to analyze what the Brother QL-710W offers you can easily arrive at a highly positive conclusion. The only small issue is the somewhat clunky interface of the P-Touch Editor on a Mac which may take a while to get used to. For a relatively small price, you can enjoy this snappy piece of equipment that will revolutionize the ability to print labels exactly how you want them every time.

Key Features:

  • Easy connectivity
  • Capable of printing postage for packages and envelopes, up to 93 labels per minute
  • Brother iPrint & Label free app
  • Prints pre-sized, easy-peel, rounded-corner labels
  • Automatic cutter
  • Convenient, drop-in rolls

7. DYMO LabelWriter 450 Thermal Label Printer

Equipping your office with a label printer that can handle difficult tasks like a professional machine can make a huge difference in productivity. A label printer like the DYMO LabelWriter 450 is designed to save you a lot of time as it prints many types of labels quickly and efficiently. Thanks to the thermal label printing technology, it can also save you a lot of money in the long run as it doesn’t require any ink or toner.

This unit prints 40line standard address labels at an impressive speed that can reach values of 51 labels per minute. The included software can also help to speed up the creation and the printing process for a wide range of labels including address, barcode, and file folder labels. You can also use popular programs such as Microsoft Word and Mac Adress Book if you want to save some time and quickly print some customised labels.

With this machine, you can eliminate the hassle and waste of sheet labels as it allows you to always print precise quantities. The labels and graphics can benefit a lot from the 600 x 300 dpi resolution which greatly enhances the details and makes the text easier to read.

Setting up the machine is very simple as the software is intuitive enough and if you have some patience to read all the included user guides then you can be sure that all your questions will be answered. The machine is very reliable for printing but the fact that it lacks an on-off switch is a bit strange and the only way to completely turn it off is by pulling out the plug.

Considering the printing abilities but also the sleek and compact design of the DYMO LabelWriter 450, this could make an extremely useful addition to every workplace. From detailed labels and name tags to well-defined graphics and barcodes, you can count on this device as it’s able to deliver fast and reliable printing results, no matter the difficulty of the task.

Key Features:

  • Create labels directly from text from programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, QuickBooks
  • Can print addresses from Outlook Contacts or Mac Address Book
  • 600 x 300 dpi resolution
  • Windows 7+ and Mac OS X v10.8+ compatibility
  • DYMO Label software
  • Hassle-Free Operation

Best Portable Label Printer

8. Seiko Instruments Smart Label Printer 620

The Smart Label Printer 620 by Seiko Instruments is a highly versatile and portable machine that prints lots of label formats with ease including address, file folder, name badge, shipping, and more. It makes use of the direct thermal technology for significantly reducing operating costs and is manufactured with a focus on sleekness, to save as much space as possible.

The design is very compact and a smaller footprint is always welcomed in any office as it can free up some valuable space. Don’t be deceived by the small size though, this label printer packs quite a punch in terms of performance. It reaches speeds of 2.76 inches/second, which is acceptable in the price category of this product.

Where this label printer truly shines is the versatility. It can make you more organized by being able to handle more types of labels. It can print address labels that are clear or in assorted colors to cover all your mailing needs. There are lots of options for shipping labels including clear, removable, and bulk rolls. Choose from multiple sizes and a diverse range of colors for file folder labels. Multipurpose labels are available in opaque, clear, large-sized, and bulk rolls.

Ease-of-use is another strength of this machine. Just connect it through USB to a PC, Mac or Linux. The Smart Label Software uses a very user-friendly design and supports leading word processing and makes the process of loading or changing labels truly effortless. Creating, formatting, saving, and finally, printing all the required labels can be done with ease.

The last thing worth mentioning is the superb reliability. The direct thermal printing technology removes the need for ink or ribbons. This label printer works in a straightforward and predictable manner and you can enjoy the speed and quality of your printing results for a long time.

Loading labels in the printer is a breeze and the software is a pleasure to use as you can customize every aspect to your liking for obtaining the best labels. It requires a bit of patience to figure everything out initially but it can offer a rewarding printing experience eventually. Seiko Instruments’ Label Printer 620 is a hidden gem among a crowded market and can find many satisfied customers thanks to its efficiency and reliability.

Key Features:

  • Versatile and easy to use
  • Supports all major labels like address, shipping, file folder, and name badge
  • Sleek and compact design
  • 2.76 inches per second print speed
  • 203 dpi resolution

Best Barcode Label Printer

9. Brother P-Touch QL-500 Manual-Cut PC Label Printing System

Another Brother label printer that seems to have a good ratio of features per money is the QL-500. It can print address and shipping labels with a maximum width of 2.4 inches and continuous length film labels up to 3 feet long making it ideal for custom signage and banners. The resolution of 300dpi brings out the details from the label design and the speed of 50 labels per minute is quite decent.

This model is intended for a more budget-conscious audience so it’s no surprise to find that the advanced features, like the auto cutter of the QL-700, are missing here. This is still a decently performant unit though, it works with the thermal print technology and has easy to load drop-in supplies minimizing label waste.

The speed of 3 inches per second is satisfactory and the crisp 300 dpi resolution is a bit unexpected for this price segment. The printer can work with rolls of continuous film and is an ideal solution for custom signage or banners. The included Brother label creation software has lots of helpful features to customize the labels exactly to your liking.

The Brother software has integrated add-ins for Microsoft applications like Word and Outlook. Creating custom layouts with special formatting, graphics, and TrueType fonts can be done effortlessly with the included P-Touch editor software. There’s a vast library and lots of history functions are present to access the most frequently used labels and graphics much quicker.

Providing great value overall, with a solid print quality and easy installation, the Brother QL-500 is a capable label printing system that’s definitely recommended for any small business owner or anyone wishing to get more productive. This printer has a great number of applications and is very convenient to use. The only slight drawback would be that it doesn’t play very well with Windows 10 but all in all, it represents a quality investment for an entry-level label printer.

Key Features:

  • Up to 50 standard address labels per minute
  • Integrated Add-ins for Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook
  • Easy to load drop-in supplies, auto sensor
  • Custom layouts with barcodes, graphics, TrueType fonts
  • Crisp 300 dpi printing
  • Easy to peel labels
  • Compact size

10. Zebra Technologies GC420-200510-000 Printer

For something more advanced when it comes to label printing, the Zebra Technologies GC420-200510-000 seems like a viable option. This is a desktop direct thermal printer that has a capable 32-bit processor which together with 8 MB of SDRAM memory provides fast label printing and extensive storage for media graphics.

This printer is engineered with reliability in mind and even if it has a relatively low cost it has a very durable dual-wall framed construction. It also boasts an all-metal printhead that reduces the need for replacement parts and simplifies the maintenance process. The double-walled casing is made of ABS that provides good impact resistance. The open-access design facilitates loading of the media.

In such a compact design, Zebra managed to fit in a powerful 32-bit processor that offers fast label throughput and plenty of flash memory to store lots of fonts and graphics for your projects. The maximum widths supported by this unit are 4.25” for standard desktop applications.

Setting up this printing device can be done more easily thanks to the EPL2 and ZPL II programming languages which help to integrate it better with other Zebra printers. The versatility of this model is further extended by a peeler/dispenser option to meet a larger variety of applications.

Parallel, serial, and USB ports enable good connectivity to a computer or other devices but you will need to buy the cables separately. Due to the presence of a reflective sensor, the printer is capable of detecting the gaps, notches, or black marks between labels and will print them more accurately. There’s also a transmissive sensor which discovers when a roll has run out. Keep in mind that the rolls can have a maximum outside diameter of 5”.

Considering everything about the Zebra, the final verdict is generally positive but there are some flaws. The 203dpi resolution although helpful for maintaining a high printing speed, it’s pretty basic for the price. Still, the machine compensates in other areas especially in terms of construction which is one of the most durable you can find.

Key Features:

  • Able to print labels, tags, receipts, or other media up to 4.09″ wide
  • Print speeds of up to 4″ per second
  • 203 dpi resolution
  • Double-walled ABS casing
  • Open-access design