The right tool for the right job are good words to live by and when it comes to making labels, a dedicated label printer is the right tool. Portable labeling systems are a godsend for labeling wires and cables while desktop label printers eliminate the need to feed individual sheets of labels through a regular printer. Many of the top label printers even allow you to print labels directly from within other applications. Here are the best label printers for office and industrial use.
Dymo's Labelwriter 400 Turbo tops my list of the best label printers because of the quality of its output and its features that make it easy to use. Labels are easy to load; automatic label alignment perfectly aligns labels on the first try. And you can print labels directly from programs such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, QuickBooks, ACT! and more, a feature I love. The 400 Turbo label printer prints over 40 different label types and is the fastest label printer in its class at 55 labels per minute. It's also available in a twin unit.
If your business needs a rugged, handheld labeling system for labeling things such as wires and cables, this is the one. The RhinoPro 5000 label printer's output is very customizable and still easy to use. Hot Keys provide automatic label formatting for cable and wire wrapping and patch panels, for instance, while Symbol Keys make adding commonly used datacom and electrical symbols a snap. There's even an advanced wire gauge function where you can select the wire gauge or cable size and the RhinoPro 5000 sets up the label exactly. And it comes in a rubber case - just in case you drop it.
I really like desktop label printers that let you print labels directly from within applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel or Outlook and the QL550 labeling system lets you do that. Another of this label printer's features that I really like is the auto tape cutter which makes it easier to get clean label edges. The QL550 is fast (at up to 50 labels per minute), produces quality output, and can print a full variety of label types (up to 2 and 3/7 inches wide). The only downside may be the label printer's size; you'll want to check your desk space.
There's actually a whole 400 series of Seiko label printers. They do a great job of printing labels (up to 2 and 1/8 inch wide in this case) and are very easy to use. Seiko's SmartCapture feature lets you instantly capture an address from applications like Word, Act!, Goldmine, Palm Desktop and Outlook, saving you from retyping, and this labeling system makes it easy to customize labels. You can mix barcodes, different fonts, and your company logo all on one label if you want. Generally, my quarrel with the Seiko series is the price; I've chosen the most inexpensive one here; it's for either Windows or Mac operating systems.
This label printer's versatility earns it a place on the list; it prints up to 1 inch wide laminated tapes for indoor or outdoor use and can be used as a standalone, a portable labeler or connected to a PC or Mac. I prefer the option of being able to print wider labels if I want, but 1 inch wide labels will serve most purposes. The PT-2700 labeling system comes with a built-in automatic cutter and memory to save up to 99 labels, two really nice features, and will print up to 7 lines, in 8 font sizes and 12 type styles. A good choice for the office.
It costs less than almost every other label printer on this list but you get less, too, in terms of label customization possibilities and memory capacity. Dymo's Label Manager 300 labeling system allows you to store up to 10 frequently used labels, for instance. (Compare this with Brother's PT-2700 label printer which stores up to 99 labels.) As for customization, Dymo's Label Manager 300 provides a choice of six fonts, six boxes and seven background patterns. But if this is enough for you, this label printer's price may make it a winner. It does do a fine job of printing labels and has an automatic label cutter. I really like the ergonomic keyboard, too.
This is another choice for those who need who need a labeling system capable of handling the needs of telecom, electrical and industrial work. Brother's Pt1650 label printer uses Flexible ID Tape and rotated print for cable wrapping and flagging, industrial strength laminated tapes for patch panel labeling and standard laminated tapes for faceplate labeling. You can transfer label data and designs from your PC (plugging the Pt1650 into your PC's USB port) or create labels with graphics and bar codes up to 1 inch wide. The "easy entry" keyboard and large display are helpful when it comes to editing.