Label printers for shipping


Label printers are an essential tool for pre-business logistics. You need shipping labels to send packages, and the label printer helps you work efficiently and flawlessly.

Although it may seem simple, everything may go wrong when printing shipping labels. These mistakes can cost you a lot of time and money and it is a shame.

Everyone who works with a printer regularly asks questions such as what are the benefits of a label printer, which label printer is best, and what printer settings are correct.

Clearly, it is time to write a comprehensive article about it! In this article, we will explain why having a label printer is so important for shipping labels, existing label printers, and the most popular models.

Lebel printer review

In general, the labels and barcode printers available in the market are limited to a few models with well-known and well-known brands and unfamiliar brands made in China.
In terms of performance, speed and depreciation, label printers are classified into two types: desktop and industrial.

Label printers are called label printers and there is no difference between a barcode printer and a label printer.

Differences between label printers and regular printers:

Label printers use thermal technology to print all types of labels and are structurally part of the group of thermal printers.
Paper and labels used in label printers, unlike conventional printers, are in the form of rolls and their material can be paper or plastic (pvc).

Conventional printers use separate sheets of paper and, depending on the type of laser or inkjet, use electromagnetic or inkjet printing properties for printing. So the material used in ordinary printers is a special ink or powder, which is usually called a cartridge.

Label printers use a technology such as carbon paper called ribbon to print on the label.
The ribbon, like the labels, is in the form of a roll and its surface is covered with a special kind of wax or resin, and when heated anywhere, such as carbon paper, it causes printing on the label.

The task of printing and heating the ribbon is the responsibility of an important part called the head.
The print quality of each label printer is related to its head.
The smaller the print capability, the higher the print quality. The print quality or resolution of the head is determined by a unit called DPI, which means the number of pixels or dots per unit area.

Usually the print quality of label printers varies between 120 DPI to 300 DPI. So according to what has been said, a printer label with a print quality of 300 can have a better print quality than 200 DPI.

The life of the label printer head is an important point to note that it determines how many meters of the roll it can print without defects.

The end of the life of the head may be determined by the fact that some parts are not printed by the head. The more points or pixels that the head cannot print, the more worn the head will be and the longer it will last until the printed label loses its quality.

Therefore, one of the important differences between industrial label printers and desktop life is more of the industrial type.
Note: If what the printer is printing is not too small, for example the writing font is not too small, the print quality of 300 is not much different from 200 because the human eye is not able to distinguish this difference.

So to start printing with label printers, we need the following equipment and consumables

  • Label printer device that is installed to the computer by cable and its driver is installed on the system.
  • A computer with an operating system, preferably Windows – Tip Some label printers can print labels without the need for a computer.
  • rolls of labels in size and sex required
  • 4 A ribbon roll suitable for the size and material of the labels

Laser printer or label printer for shipping labels? 

It seems easy to buy a “just” label printer to get a label to buy, but it needs to be considered.

This can cause problems for the carrier if the text on your shipping labels is not printed correctly and the barcode is illegible. This means that the shipment cannot be scanned and therefore cannot be processed properly.

But which printer is right for your online store? In fact, you can choose between a laser printer (with A4 paper) or a label printer to carry the label (available in different sizes).

In this article we have found out that the printer produces your label.

Regular and industrial

A typical label printer is not very large and works well if you need a small number of labels. Perfect for the office!

But if you need to print a lot of shipping labels, it is best to choose an industrial printer as an online retailer.

Heat transfer and direct heat

In addition, there are two printing methods:

Heat transfer and direct heat. Direct thermal printing uses a heat-sensitive environment, so it does not require ink. Heat transfer uses a heated ribbon for printing.

The text on your shipping labels is not long, because direct ink printing does not use ink. The text will fade over time (for example due to sunlight).

However, this is not a big problem for shipping labels because they are relatively short-lived (from your shipping address for delivery to your customer).

Things to Consider When Buying a Label Printer

In addition to choosing the type of printer and the method of thermal printing, there are other things to consider when buying a label printer.

Shipping label size

Your printer must match the size of the shipping tags you want. When choosing a size, consider the condition of the carrier you are using.

There are two types of this size: 25 mm core and 76 mm core. The right core diameter depends on your printer.

You can use a 25 mm core for a desktop printer. For industrial printers, it is best to use 76 mm labels so that you do not have to change most of the rolls.

Connection between printer and software

It is also useful to check how the printer is connected to the computer.

Most label printers can be connected via USB, but some can be connected via a serial port (RS-232), a parallel port or Ethernet.

There are also models that can be connected to each other using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which makes it easy to move around your label printer.

Lastly, you need to consider your label printer drivers.

For example, not all printers include official Mac drivers by default. This does not mean that you can not necessarily use the printer, but to do so you need to install a separate program.

Print resolution and speed

Wherever there is demand, there is supply, so there are many label printers available. This means that the price range and the difference in quality are different.

When buying any product, it is important to trade between price and quality. For example, with label printers, you can check the sharpness and speed of printing.

Resolution is important for barcode quality and therefore the legibility of shipping labels.

Print speed naturally determines how fast your labels print. As you can imagine, a conventional label printer prints slower than an industrial label printer. Take a good look at what your e-commerce company needs.

Which Label printer for shipping labels is the best? 

There are several types to consider. But which label printer is the best? It depends on what you need and what you need, but these are the two models we are producing here.

DYMO label printer

DYMO is one of the most famous brands of label printers.

This is a thermal printer that prints at lightning speed (up to 53 labels per minute). This label printer is easy to install on PCs running Windows and Mac.

DYMO Label Writer 4XL

DYMO manufactures a variety of printers to support the transportation needs of e-commerce businesses.

We love the consistency you find in quality, even with the other low-cost options they offer. This is good for smaller businesses that need to print online shipping labels but do not have the budget to buy one of the more expensive printers.

This thermal printer is capable of supporting the needs of small and large businesses.

Rarely have we encountered any problems reading the labels created by this printer, and this is one of the printers that works best for easy customer transportation.

Setup and software

The printer connects using USB, which means you are ready to connect and turn it on.

The print driver lets you work with other computer software, such as Excel, Word, and Card Scan.

To work with Excel, which is available for every version until 2010, you must use plugins.

Work with tags

Label rolls, even wider, are easily removed despite the lack of automatic cutting.

It is also versatile in that you can use it to create labels for other items in your office, such as folders, bookmarks or markers. For shipping labels, 4 × 6 labels are best.

This device uses 300 dpi and creates clear text for your labels. You have no problem creating a barcode or other signage needed for shipping.

Additional Features 

  • Handles batches of 20 shipping labels at around 15.8 lpm 
  • Allows storage of different label formats for future reference
  • Comes with an easy-to-read instruction manual 

Zebra label printer 

The Zebra brand also has a nice thermal label printer called the GK420D. This label printer is suitable for printing labels from 25 to 104 mm wide and prints up to 127 mm per second.

There is no official driver for the Mac, but you can use an external driver to install the driver.

Good to know, you do not need to buy a different label for each printer. Whether you are shipping with PostNL, DHL or another carrier, just make sure you have an A6 size label printer.

The Zebra Label Printer comes in a higher price range than the Dymo Label Writer 4XL.

Comes with 8 MB of SDRAM memory Comes with 8 MB of flash memory, allowing you to access the extensive graphics storage capabilities and high speed of the software.

One good thing about this printer is that it is quiet, which means that when you have a lot of online shipping labels to print, you will not bother others too much in the office.

It can also print a 39-inch roll continuously, allowing you to do one-on-one tasks.

Setup and software

The GC420D also uses USB to connect. Comes with parallel and serial ports for those who need to connect to older hardware.

You can purchase an upgraded version of Ethernet for an additional $ 149. You can use this to create a network that allows everyone in the office to access the printer.

There is no control panel on the printer itself. You have to do everything from your computer screen.

This is a point that you should keep in mind if you end up with computer problems. Little work is done to work directly with the printer.

An interesting feature about the Zebra GC420D is that it comes with a script language. You can use it to create custom hooks in out-of-the-box print applications.

Drivers and software do not install automatically. To find the required versions, you should visit the Zebra website.

Work with tags

We mentioned the printer’s ability to print continuous 39-inch rolls of labels. It prints at 203 dpi, not quite the Sharp 4XL, but enough for most shipping needs.

A good feature is a transfer sensor that lets you be notified when there is a shortage of paper.

Additional Features 

  • Monochrome output type 
  • Holds rolls up to 4.25 inches in size
  • It comes with a 12-month warranty

set up a DYMO/Zebra label printer 

You need to take a little time to install and set up a label printer correctly, but it’s worth the effort. Once it’s set up properly, you can print shipping labels without any problems. 

Installing the label printer for Windows 

  • Connect the label printer via USB, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 
  • Go to System > Preferences > Printers & Scanners 
  • Add your label printer  

Installing the label printer for Mac 

  • Go to ‘System Preferences’ and select ‘Printers & Scanners’ 
  • Click on the + button to add a new printer 
  • Select your printer & select ‘Select Software’ from the ‘Use’ drop-down menu 
  • Type the name of your printer in the text field, select your label printer and click ‘OK’ 

DYMO & Zebra label printer settings 

Once you have installed your printer, you will need to select the correct settings to be able to print. If you don’t do that, you could have problems (like misaligned labels).  

How you select the settings depends on whether you are working with a Windows or Mac system.  

The following steps differ depending on the type of printer you have; we’ll list them for DYMO and Zebra

For Windows:                                     

  1. Go to ‘Settings’ 
  1. Click on ‘Devices’ 
  1. Choose ‘Printers & Scanners’ 
  1. Select your printer & click on ‘Manage’ 
  1. Go to printing preferences 

Read more:

For Mac*:  

  1. Press Command + P on your keyboard to print a label 
  1. On the window that opens, select ‘Manage custom sizes’ from the ‘Paper size’ drop-down menu 
  1. In the ‘Manage custom sizes’ window, click on the + button, enter the correct dimensions and click ‘OK’ 
  1. To save the settings, select ‘Save current settings as preset’ from the ‘Presets’ drop-down menu 

* For Mac, you’ll need to install drivers. Then you can select the right software so that the right print formats are available for your shipping labels. 

Next steps for DYMO printers 

  1. Click on ‘Advanced…’ 
  1. For paper size, select ‘1733907 4 in x 6 in’ and click ‘OK’ 
  1. Click ‘Apply’ to save the settings 

Next steps for Zebra printers 

  • Number of copies: 1 
  • Speed: 2 “/s 
  • Density: 30 
  • Label type: user-defined 
  • Paper size: inch & portrait 
  • Width: 4.00 
  • Height: 6.00 
  • Click ‘Apply’ to save these settings 

Brother TD-4000 

We have put this on the list because of its durability and the number of features that make it great for e-commerce shipping.

The Brother TD-4000 is capable of working with 4-inch wide rolls and is designed for heavy use.

If you do not do a lot of daily transportation, this is not something you want to invest in.

Setup and software

The TD-4000 is fully compatible with all Windows operating systems through Windows 10.

This is useful for the most advanced offices and people who are still stuck with old hardware systems. Like other printers on our list, it uses a USB connection.

The printer is configured with software called PT-Editor 5. It can create barcodes, curves, lines and almost any other type of graphics.

You can type it manually or connect to many data sources, including SQL databases, access databases, and CSV and Excel files.

This is a great option if your company needs to connect to different data sources.

Another good feature is that the Windows print driver can adapt itself to any number of different Windows-based programs.

Your company can continue to use any proprietary Windows application that has already been used.

Work with tags

One of our favorites about this printer is the ease of switching rolls, which can be a problem with other printers.

Its speed is also comparable to other printers with 100 labels at 176.5 lpm.

It also has an automatic cutter and allows you to load two different types of rolls at the same time. You can then switch between the two depending on your current needs.

Additional Features 

  • Works with thermal rolls from other print manufacturers 
  • Leaves a small footprint 
  • Allows you to create P-Touch shortcuts in software like Word and Excel 

Set up Brother label printer 

  1. Make sure that the power switch located on the back of the printer is set to Off
  1. Connect the power cable to your Brother label printer, then plug the other end into a grounded AC power outlet. 
  1. Pull the levers on both sides of the printer to open the label compartment. 
  1. Place the label roll into the spool guide. Make sure that the spool arms are firmly seated in their mounts. 
  1. Feed the label roll through the label printer. Keep the label roll straight to avoid skewed labels or label jams. 
  1. Close the label compartment. 
  1. Press the power button to turn the label printer On. 
  1. Press the feed button to align the end of the label roll 

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