Label Makers

Hi all,
I'm finally going to break down and get a label maker. I've been putting it off for a long time now, but I really think it would be helpful for organizing both home and work (which is also home, since I'm a teleworker).

I started looking around and there are so many variations! I looked through the forums and saw a few references to label makers, but it would be nice to get more opinions before I make my choice.

Preferences that come to mind -- I'd like to be able to print different sizes of tapes, and would probably prefer transparent tape with either black or white lettering for a lot of uses. I'd like to be able to use an AC adapter in addition to batteries. It would be nice to be able to change fonts etc. There appear to be 2 or 3 printing options (thermal, ...?) There are probably other considerations I haven't really thought of yet -- ?

So - does anyone have a recommendation? All help is appreciated! :-)

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have two and prefer the brother with tz tapes


hi there

I have a brother, it is navy blue and about 8x9" and uses tz tapes, which come in 3/8, 1/2, and wider tapes. I use red ink on white, black on transparent, white on black... that last one, i use most

I think it cost about 39 dollars at staples. but the tapes are really expensive, 21 dollars plus. On ebay, they are much cheaper. The label maker has two fonts, one serif, one sans serif. As an artist, they please my eye, and I have to remember not to get hung up on making EVERYTHING aesthetically brilliant, it's ok for labels to be nice but not wowsers. lol. I hope that made you laugh.

I have also a dymo, which looks like an attachment to a vacuum cleaner or something... some designers idea of ameboid cool. And I use it because it does black ink on silver (dull, not shiny unfortunately) tape. At the time I bought it, there was no silver tape for the Brother.

I use the label maker a lot as my work has a jillion discrete parts and I used to go to banks of drawers and boxes, opening many of them to find what the heck I was looking for. Now I know what is where quickly.

Also, that particular brother has a keen border that can be put around the label, there are several to choose from. Just follow instructions on the one page fold-out broadside that comes with

hope this helps


I use a DYMO LetraTag

I use a DYMO LetraTag Personal Labelmaker model LT100T. DYMO make two LetraTag label makers, this one has a qwerty keyboard whereas the other has a keypad with the characters in alphabetic order. Functionally both are same, just the keypads and with that the shape differ. I chose this one because of the qwerty keyboard as I thought it would be easier to use and have not been sorry.

Is is both AC and battery (4 x AA Alkaline) however the AC adapter is extra. I only use batteries and unless you are going to be producing hundreds of labels frequently, batteries handle most situations.

There is one Font only and it is arial like but in 5 styles, viz. normal, bold, italic, outline, underline and shadow. It also has 5 sizes. In addition to the alphameric, there are punctuation symbols and special symbols such as monetary, arrows, animals, transport plus more. You can also rotate the text 90 degrees to produce a vertical label for say down the spine of a binder. You also have the option of some half dozen languages. Black lettering only.

There is only one size of tape and that is 12mm or half an inch. You can however print two lines on label. Tapes are available in metallic, plastic, clear plastic, and paper and I think either the paper or plastic are available in different colours. While I have not looked into it, I suspect most labelmakers would only have one size of tape like this one. The tapes come in a cassette so you can swap them around as needed.

The tapes tend to be expensive though that may be a local (Australia) issue.

I would avoid thermal labels as they fade over time or they can go black if exposed to heat such as in direct sunlight or in your car parked in the sun.

Personal experience is that you will settle on a standard style that you like and while lots of options sound good, you will probably find they won't be needed. Simple works best.

Hope this helps.

Bob H.

I have a Brother PT-1500PC

Here's a link to all the P-Touch Labelers -
It was a refurb. I recall paying about $50 for it. It is great.
It does not use batteries, 'cause it has no keyboard on it and is meant to be used on a computer. I like it this way as it allows more flexibility - I can use any font I have on my computer. The portable/battery powered ones only have so many built-in fonts.

I think you would find a P-Touch model that fits your requirements. The tapes come in lots of color combinations

Have fun shopping.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)



We have a brother PT-1750. Takes the TZ tapes like archangel's. It'll go from 1/4 to 3/4 inch tapes, in the various colors previously mentioned. We use black on white. It'll do two lines of text on a 1/2 inch tape, and it'll do really big letters if you want. The TZ tapes are rather expensive, but you can get them cheaper from eBay than your local office supply store--and in a wider range of colors and sizes, too.

We have a dymo handheld out in the garage, it's the size of a woman's footprint and roughly that shape too. I don't care for the font on that one as much as the brother, it's more pixelated. But it functions and does what's needed.

We also have a Dymo Labelwriter that is attached to the computer for printing mailing labels. That one is OK for printing on the paper labels, never tried using anything else. And that, of course, gives you much more freedom in what you print, what size it is, etc. We've even done black and white logos on it. However, the paper labels use a different adhesive than the other models, and the paper labels don't do as well over time, generally. At least, that's my experience with paper labels in general--they get oily first and want to slide around on a trail of goo, then they dry out and the paper just sort of pops off whatever it was stuck to. Haven't tested these particular labels for that behavior, though.

Anyway, for labels on ordinary household stuff (files, boxes, etc.) I like the brother. We use batteries with it, and they last a long time because we don't usually have labeling marathons. We also use rechargeables in most of our gear so inconvenient swaps really isn't a factor. I especially like that the labels can be removed easily from plastic containers if you fold over part of the blank space on the label to make a pull-tab. I've got them on kitchen containers, storage boxes, plastic file folders, etc. and they come off clean when you want them to. Haven't had any trouble with the labels fading, burning in, turning gooey or falling off and we've been using the brother for years in the house and the garage.


Hi-ho Ebay...

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts on the label maker. I knew this was the best place around to find credible recommendations for such things!

I feel a lot less overwhelmed... and maybe ready to go ebay-ing for a P-Touch...