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label printer
Best Label Printer for Small Business

Best Label Printer for Small Business

Denis Leskovets
Denis Leskovets

Productivity Optimization Geek

No longer do label printers need to use ink. Instead, they rely on labels that have already been engrained with the ink, or with labels that respond to heat. This change in technology has eliminated the need for ink-based label printers. Despite these changes, one question still remains.

What is the best label printer for small business? With so many brands on the market, it’s hard to find one that is head and shoulders above all others. Instead, different label printers may be better suited for different companies.

Two competitive label printing brands on the market are ROLLO and Brother. Each relies on thermal technology in the majority of cases to make crisp prints with deep blacks, resulting in labels that lack the fade that often typifies older, ink-based labels.

Table of Contents

Thermal Label Printer

Rollo X1038

What We Love

This Rollo Label Printer is a commercial grade printer that performs at high speeds using its Thermal Direct technology. This breakthrough in printing technology allows the Rollo Label Printer to print at 150mm/s nearly twice as fast as comparable printers on the market.

Owners of this label maker will be able to rapidly produce labels of all services and for multiple platforms, producing enough labels to meet even the highest daily shipping demands.

This printer is also incredibly flexible and can make printouts for all major shipping platforms, such as ShipStation, ShippingEasy, and Ordoro. Labels can also be printed for marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy.

With this single label maker, labels can be produced for multiple services. Labels of all sizes can also be produced using this one single printer, eliminating the need for using different label makers for packages of different sizes. The label width can range from 1.57” to 4.1” wide, and there are no restrictions on the height of the label.

Things to Consider

This Rollo Label Printer is a commercial grade printer that performs at high speeds using its Thermal Direct technology. This breakthrough in printing technology allows the Rollo Label Printer to print at 150mm/s nearly twice as fast as comparable printers on the market.

Owners of this label maker will be able to rapidly produce labels of all services and for multiple platforms, producing enough labels to meet even the highest daily shipping demands.

This printer is also incredibly flexible and can make printouts for all major shipping platforms, such as ShipStation, ShippingEasy, and Ordoro. Labels can also be printed for marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy.

With this single label maker, labels can be produced for multiple services. Labels of all sizes can also be produced using this one single printer, eliminating the need for using different label makers for packages of different sizes. The label width can range from 1.57” to 4.1” wide, and there are no restrictions on the height of the label.

Sticker Label Printer

DYMO LabelWriter 450

What We Love

The DYMO Label Printer is a high-speed printer that can rapidly produce multiple labels at faster speeds than its competitors using Thermal Direct technology. Thermal Direct technology allows the DYMO Label Printer to produce large numbers of labels without losing the precision printing that an organization demands. This technology also makes the printing process more effective and eliminates the costs of ink and toner, producing labels faster and more efficiently by using direct thermal force to produce labels.

As a result, this label printer is perfectly positioned to produce up to 51 precisely printed labels while reducing costs, making it perfect for the cost-conscious organization. The design of the labels can easily be drafted using the included DYMO software. As a result, organizations can reduce the time needed to design labels before printing. This process can be expedited even further by creating labels directly from text in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Google Contacts.

Things to Consider

The DYMO Label Printer works best with DYMO labels. For organizations that need to print using other brands of labels, the DYMO Label Printer will not be the most effective choice. Although the device is at the top end of Thermal Direct based printers and can rapidly produce many labels, it isn’t as fast as ink-based printers.

For those regularly needing very large projects completed and in need of the fastest printers, an ink-based printing alternative may be best.  The included software is also not the most user friendly. Because of this, there may be some initial difficulties at setup. At the same time, the unit is a highly affordable unit at one of the best price points available, which may justify some extra setup time with the software.

Shipping Label Printer

Brother QL-1100

What We Love

The Brother QL-1100 is a thermal based printer that can easily produce wide format labels including mailing, address, and postage labels. Labels can be printed up to 4” wide, perfect for even the largest of packages. With just this one printer, organizations can print even the widest labels, eliminating the need for different label makers for different purposes. The Brother Label Printer can also print select barcodes. Whereas other devices print sheets of barcodes, this printer can instead crop and select both barcodes and UPCs for printing.

The printer is also easy to set up and eliminates wasted time struggling to set it up and get it working. Instead, organizations can simply plug the device in and start printing labels immediately without even the need for installing software. Consequently,  this device is perfect for anyone who needs to start printing labels immediately without any lengthy installation time.

The Brother Label Printer can also be connected to other devices, such as scanners, using its USB host interface. The small size of the device means that the Brother Label Printer can be positioned on any packing station or desk, plugged into a computer or peripheral device, and be used to start printing immediately. This makes the device perfect for any organization that may need to use the device at different stations, eliminating time lost, and maximizing efficiency.

Things to Consider

While the Brother Label Printer is perfect for plug and play action, it contains no specific software for managing printouts from sources such as Word and Excel. For organizations that would like to print from a variety of software sources, the Brother Label Printer may not be the ideal solution. There are also costs to consider.

Although the Brother Label Printer does not require ink cartridges, thermal printers can be slightly more cost-effective. Thermal based printers can be printed using labels that respond to heat, meaning they don’t require tape or ink over time. Yet while the Brother Label Printer may need replacements more frequently than a thermal printer, organizations can benefit from the larger number of projects that can be completed.

Product Label Printer

Brother VC-500W

What We Love

The Brother Product Label Printer breaks the mold of traditional black and white label makers in favor of producing crisp, full-color labels. Cost-conscious organizations will want to take note of the inkless label system used in this printer.

The Brother Color Label Printer relies on the colors already embedded in the adhesive-backed ZINK paper. Colors emerge onto the painter without the need for investing in costly color cartridges, leaving organizations with less waste and expenses. These labels are perfect for a variety of organizational tasks and business projects that would best be enhanced with the use of vivid, colored labels as opposed to the traditional black and white variety.

The Brother Product Label Printer also eliminates the need for lengthy, time-consuming setup periods. This printer can be quickly connected to a wireless network, allowing for printing to be done from any computer on the network or even from networked smartphones and tablets.

This label maker continues to boast time reducing features such as the included label editor app. Using this app, vivid, appealing labels can quickly be designed. The app includes elements such as fonts, backgrounds, and ready-made designs that allow organizations to quickly put together labels appropriate for a variety of events. Of all the label printers sold on the market, this is among the very few that have color prints available, making it a uniquely positioned unit with very little competition.

Things to Consider

Although the included label editor app allows organizations to quickly design richly colored labels, the Brother Product Label Printer does not have the ability to easily print from other sources, such as Word or Excel.

For organizations that are hoping to print from different software sources, there may be other printers that allow for flexible printing from a variety of software sources. While the Brother Product Label Printer still prints high-quality labels, these may not possess the sharpness and clarity found on other label printers. If a high degree of clarity is a concern, then this may not be the best choice available.

Commercial Label Printer

Brother PTD800W

What We Love

The Brother Commercial Label Printer prints are especially suited for printing extra-wide, multiline labels. This makes the printer a perfect solution for any organization hoping to print for particularly wide packages. Organizations that need an all-in-one design solution will also benefit from this printer’s ability to print in a variety of styles, including 14 fonts, 99 frames, and 465 symbols.

With such a wide variety, the Brother Commercial Label Printer can produce labels appropriate to a wide number of packages. This eliminates the need for having multiple printers to accommodate different styles. This printer is also perfect for any organization that wants to quickly begin printing labels without any lengthy setup. With its wireless features, the printer can quickly be connected to a wireless network.

Devices on the network, including computers and mobile devices, can then print to the device without a complicated setup process. The flexibility of this printer allows organizations to connect multiple users to the printer and print from multiple devices without having to bother with physically setting up the device multiple times, which can help organizations print multiple projects with ease. However, even simple projects can quickly be produced using the fold-down QWERTY keyboard. This once more helps organizations to quickly produce labels, reducing time waste.

Things to Consider

The printer has an only limited capacity for printing from outside software. Although it supports printing from Excel, it lacks the ability to print from other sources, such as Microsoft Word or Google contacts. Organizations hoping to print from a variety of software sources may find that this printer is not ideal for their purposes.

Perhaps one of the biggest downsides to the unit may be the cost, which puts it outside the range of some of its competitors. However, organizations will have to decide on which tradeoffs they are comfortable with. At the end of the day, this is one of the best performing units on the market, which naturally comes at a higher price point.

Wireless Label Printer

Brother QL-810W

What We Love

The Brother Wireless Label Printer was designed to reduce wasteful setup time and improve convenience The printer can easily be set up on a wireless network, and multiple users can then use the device to print multiple projects without any lengthy setup. Setting up the printer on a network is a one-time setup that eliminates the need for moving the printer or connecting it to different users.

Once connected, the Brother Wireless Label Printer creates labels at ultra-fast speeds. Up to 110 standard address labels can be printed in rich 300 dpi. Regardless of how many users are connecting and how many labels need to be printed, this printer has the capacity to rapidly produce labels on a large scale suitable for even the largest organizations. Its wireless nature eliminates the need for multiple printers, again reducing costs for any organization. This printer can even print from mobile devices.

Things to Consider

One area in which the Brother Wireless Label Printer struggles is in printing from multiple software sources. Although designed for use on both Windows and Mac, this printer does not print from sources such as Microsoft Word and Google Contacts. This limits the flexibility of the device, which may not be best suited for organizations attempting to print from multiple software sources.

For companies that want the convenience of being able to print from a variety of third-party sources, there may be better alternatives available. The included software may also be difficult to set up, increasing the time required to get the unit running. Finally, the printer does not have the same depth of black that comparable units on the market do.

The Brother Wireless Label Printer is one of the most affordable label printers on the market, but a small business will need to consider whether the price is worth the tradeoff between installing the software and setup and the loss of deep blacks in the actual prints.  

What is the best label printer to buy?

In examining the many printers that are on the market, it becomes clear that it is hard to identify just one that is better than all the rest. If there is one printer that seems best suited for the greatest number of small businesses, then that would likely be the ROLLO X1038. This creative Rollo label printer prints at some of the highest speeds possible.

Although slower than other types of printers, it still prints fast enough to meet the needs of most small businesses. Its greatest strength is in its flexibility. The Rollo Label Printer works on nearly every shipping platform, prints very wide labels, and has no height restrictions.

The only area in which it lags is color printing, which is not a high demand for most small businesses. So, for any organization looking for the best label printer for small business, it’s hard to beat the Rollo Label Printer.