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Isaiah Jones
Isaiah Jones

Where To Buy Brother Label Tape

In our tests, we were looking for the label maker that made typing and printing labels as efficient as possible and produced the best-looking results. The first thing we considered was ease of setup out of the box. Did it come with batteries or another power source, as well as tape cartridges? And we evaluated how easy it was to load the batteries and cartridges into the label makers.

where to buy brother label tape

Epson offers 81 continuous tapes for the printer in seven different types, including standard plastic (polyester), vinyl, fluorescent, and magnetic (think: refrigerator magnets). Options for widths and colors vary from one type to another, but widths overall range from 6 millimeters (mm) to 18mm (0.24 to 0.71 inch). Also important if you don't print a lot of labels is that the printer doesn't cost much. It lists for $59 for the printer itself, and is an even better buy as part of Epson's $80 LW-PX300VP kit. The kit version adds a rubber cover that can help protect the case, an AC adapter as an alternative to using six AA batteries, and a hard-shell case to carry or store it all. Both versions come with a lifetime warranty.

If you need only plastic labels, the speed of the Cube Plus gives it a potential edge over the LW-PX400, which you'll need to balance against Epson's lifetime warranty, versus just one year for the Cube Plus. But what will likely determine which is the right printer for you are the tapes each works with. The types for the Cube Plus include standard plastic (laminated, in this case), flexible ID (for wrapping around cables), strong adhesive, fabric, ribbon, acid-free (for photos), and security tape (can't be removed and replaced without showing evidence of that). Compare this to the list for the LW-PX400, and you'll see that each printer offers some that the other lacks. So if you need, say, acid-free tape for labeling photos for home use, or security tape to spot tampering for business use, the Cube Plus is the only one of the two that offers them.

At this writing, Epson offers more than 200 choices in tape cartridges for the LW-PX800 in an assortment of sizes, colors, and types. About 140 are industrial tapes; the rest are home and hobby supplies, recently introduced for Epson's home label printers, but compatible with the LW-PX800, too. The printer can perform both label cutting and corner rounding, too.

Epson's LW-Z5010PX is a pricier pick that offers a wealth of features for extreme heavy-duty desktop printing, including the ability to print on labels up to 50mm (1.97 inches) wide. It also supports bulk rolls that are so big they have to sit behind the printer, with far longer tapes than you'd get in standard cartridges (and thus a lower cost per inch).

The Epson LabelWorks LW-Z5010PX can't print from macOS systems, but that's just about the only feature this compact (6 by 7.6 by 7.8 inches) printer is missing. It can print from Windows PCs; from iOS and Android devices; or as standalone printer, using an unusually large QWERTY keyboard for a label printer and a 4.25-inch touch-screen display. It also prints on any of roughly 150 tape cartridges that mount inside the printer, plus 35 bulk rolls that mount externally. Most of the bulk rolls are 147.6-feet long continuous tapes. According to Epson, they save about 30% in running cost compared with its internal tape cartridges.

One notable convenience is automatic half-cutting. This model cuts the labels while leaving them on the carrier strip, making them easy to handle, and letting you remove individual labels as you use them. The printer also works with an optional automatic rewinder that rewinds the finished labels as you print, which is a major improvement over rewinding a long strip by hand. Most important, the LW-Z5010PX can print on tapes ranging from 4mm (0.16 inch) to 50mm (which rounds to 2 inches wide, although it's actually 1.97 inches).The tapes at each size come in assorted colors and types, including standard plastic (polyester), strong adhesive, removable adhesive, fluorescent, reflective, vinyl, magnetic, and two choices for cables: heat-shrink tubes and self-laminating overwrap tape.

The two-color option works with only two of the 14 label rolls on Brother's website at this writing, but we haven't seen any other manufacturers offer it at all. Brother says the thermal printhead uses one level of heat to print red and another to print black. That lets it print either color anywhere on the label, so you can add a solid red background, for example, or a big "Fragile" or "Warning" in eye-catching red. More important, even if you never need the two-color printing, the QL-800 is a capable printer, and a good value, for office and warehouse labeling. It connects by USB, has an automatic cutter, accepts label rolls up to 2.4 inches wide, and works with both Windows and macOS computers.

If you want to print full-color labels with an affordable label printer, the Brother VC-500W Compact Color Printer is the only model we've seen at anywhere near its price (currently $179.99 on Brother's website). It's based on the same Zink technology (short for "zero ink") as some small photo printers, using paper stock infused with dye crystals that change color when heated. That translates to being able to print labels with color text, graphics, and photos, or even a strip of photos similar to what you'd get from a photo booth.

The VC-500W can print from Windows PCs and both Android and iOS phones and tablets. Image quality for graphics and text was excellent in our tests, offering vibrant color, minimal graininess, and respectable detail, the last thanks to the 313dpi resolution. Photos were also acceptable, though not a match for the best Zink photo printers. The label tapes come in four widths from 9mm to 50mm (0.37 to 1.97 inches) wide, at continuous lengths of 16.4 feet.

If you need a desktop printer for full-color labels and don't print enough of them to justify spending four figures for the printer, you need the VC-500W. It's that simple, for now at least, since it's the only affordable label printer for the desktop that offers full color. However, keep in mind that if you also need to print labels that aren't in full color, you'll want another label printer, too. That's because Zink rolls are a lot more expensive per inch than either paper or plastic tapes. At current prices, a 1-by-2.4-inch label for the VC-500W costs about 33 cents, compared with 2.1 cents for the same size die-cut address label for the Brother QL-800.

In addition, all labelers have cutters of one type or another, ranging from simple serrated-edge blades where you tear your labels from the roll manually, as you would tinfoil or Scotch tape, to manual guillotine-like blades that you deploy with a lever, to automatic blades that cut each label as it comes out of the printer. Some also come with built-in batteries that allow you to use the printer on the go. A few support optional attachable batteries.

An important factor in choosing a labeler is deciding how and where you're going to use it. Some label printers today work strictly as standalone devices, requiring that you enter label text and commands on a tiny attached keyboard. But most recent models either add the option to print from some type of computing device (whether a PC or a mobile device), or are limited to only printing that way. Adding a PC to the mix provides the easiest and most versatile platform for creating labels, thanks in part to label-printing apps and in part to being able to use a full-size keyboard.

Another important factor in choosing a labeler is deciding how and where you're going to use it, which helps determine what type of connection(s) you need. Many label printers support more than one connection type, but some support only one, with USB being the most common. Not only is it used for connecting to your computer, but for the many labelers that come with internal batteries, it's one of the more common ways to recharge them.

The Brother PT-D600 is the hybrid of a handheld and computer-compatible label maker that allows you to use up to six different tape widths and import images and symbols printing with the best resolution of 360 dots per inch.

There is also a plethora of tapes that you can use with this label maker, and you can print in up to seven languages. One of the drawbacks is the cost of its labels. Though 12 cents per label is not too costly (using the same standard two inches of print from beginning to end), it was one of the highest-priced labels we tested.

Another downside to this computer printer was its maximum tape size: half an inch. This was a bit disappointing because with such a great amount of dots per inch (300), the printer was not really able to show its full potential. And because of this lack in size, the amount and types of labels and barcodes diminish. Nonetheless, this was an easy-as-pie label maker to work with.

In terms of tape size and type, this printer has the most variety out of any we tested. All of the computer-compatible choices can link up with the address book in your computer. Plus, this DYMO 450 Turbo is really fast, allowing you to print over 70 labels per minute. Unfortunately, the standard tape that came with it is not laminated so it performed terribly in the dishwasher (it was the only one whose print faded on the Tupperware and that fell off completely from the glassware).

Alongside the wide variety of tape sizes that are compatible with this printer (more than any other label maker we tested). The types of tape are not necessarily as flashy as the others but DYMO provides you with many durable options that are resistant to heat, cold, water, and UV (that are presumably compatible with the dishwasher).

The versatility of the label maker refers to how many different tasks it can be used for. For this category, we took into consideration nearly every aspect of the fonts and tapes possible, including the number of lines, sizes, types, widths, colors, and symbols. We basically measured how many different things the label maker could do. This will become easier to see once you look at the charts. 041b061a72


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