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Finding The Right Label Printer

Label printers are an essential piece of equipment for many warehouses, manufacturers, and retail businesses. Printing your own labels in-house gives you a lot of flexibility and on-demand printing capacity. A printer with a label function can also be very useful in the home.

What Types of Label Printer Are There?

  • Laser and inkjet printers tend to be standard multifunction printers with a label function rather than dedicated label printers. If you want to use your printer for printing regular documents as well as labels, this is a good solution. Inkjet and laser printers usually need to print a whole sheet of labels at a time and you will need to keep them supplied with ink cartridges or toner.
  • Thermal transfer printers use heat to transfer ink from an ink ribbon onto the labels surface. This produces a very durable print and gives you a lot of choice over your label materials as the working temperature is fairly low.
  • The other type of thermal label printer is the direct thermal printer. These printers do not need an ink ribbon as they print onto special labels treated with thermal chemicals. This means that you dont have to replace an ink ribbon, but the extra chemical content makes the labels more expensive. Direct thermal printers also produce less durable prints than thermal transfer.

How Do I Get the Right Print Quality?

  • Printers with higher DPI produce a higher resolution print. Depending on the type of printing you do, this may or may not be necessary. High-end printers with higher DPI produce crisper, more readable text, but increasing the resolution also leads to lower speed.
  • If you only want to print text, a monochrome printer could be perfect. More elaborate designs like brand logos and graphics may need a two-color printer, or even full color.
  • The quality of your digital files also matters. Using the right software with your HP printer can optimize your label designs for clear printing.

Which Other Features Should I Look For?

  • How many labels do you need to print? A regular printer with a label function might be enough for low-volume printing. On the other hand, if you need to print tens of thousands of shipping labels, you may do better with a digital press.
  • If you plan to use an inkjet or laser printer, look for one with a label printing function. When combined with the right software, many HP printers have presets for custom addresses, CD stickers, and other types of label.
  • While not all label printers have wireless technology, it makes it easier to transfer digital files for printing. A wireless printer is especially useful if you want to be able to print from multiple devices.

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