A Shipping label printer is a small printing device, about the size of a table phone and is used for printing tags for packages. These are used in homes, offices as well as businesses. There can, however, be slight differences in the design depending on the purpose of use. Most shipping label printers also have an inbuilt auto cutter to cut down the labels once the printing is done. This comes handy mainly in the commercial houses where the labels are printed in bulk. Generally, a label printer can print over tags measuring 4” by 6”. This size may, however, vary depending on the size of the printer. The Best shipping label printer & thermal label printer for business will be found later in this review.
Modern shipping label printers work on thermal print technology, meaning that they do not rely on ink and toners for producing prints. Instead, they directly print onto thermal labels using heat. These self-adhesive thermal labels come in rolls and are very much inexpensive. An average roll can be used to print as many as 250 rolls. This method is therefore much more cost efficient to the conventional printing method that uses inks and toners. Read along and find the best shipping label printer for your needs.
Things to consider before buying a Shipping Label Printer
Frequency of use
If you are going to be using the printer only once in a while, it may not really be necessary to go for a high tech printer as most of the features will be underutilized and therefore not very profitable to the buyer. However, if you are going to be printing bulks on a regular basis, make sure that you are buying one that gives good performance on a long term basis.
This should be the most important consideration while buying printers. Low volume refers to about 100 prints per day or 500 in a week. Medium volume refers to 100-300 prints in a day and high volume refers to more than 300 prints per day. If the printer does not have the capacity to take the required load, it may unnecessary malfunction while still being under the warranty period.
Commonly, printers have a resolution of 200 dpi. This is good enough if you are printing addresses and markers. However, if you are printing detailed logos and barcodes, it is better to go for higher resolutions such as 600 dpi. Resolution is crucial when choosing the best shipping label printer for your needs.
Some printers come as a standalone device with its own digital display. They also have an internal memory where you can store information about your contacts. Then there are other printers that have to be monitored via a streaming device such as phones, tablets and computers. The connection between the two can be made through Ethernet LAN or wireless LAN.
It is also important to consider the brand that you are buying from. Reputable brands may cost more but they always deliver quality products. They also have a good customer support network in case you encounter any difficulties.
There are different types of label printers when it comes to color. Though it is not a common requirement for a label printer to print with color, there are suitable options for this. These printers are more expensive, but can print high quality color labels with real detailed and crisp colors. If you need color, check out the 4 Best Color Label Printers.
Best Shipping Label Printer Products
1. Zebra ZP 450 Thermal Shipping Label Printer
Zebra Technologies is one of the most reputable brands in the printing business. Their high level of customer support and their advanced technology solutions make their printers stand out from the competitors. Most oftenly, Zebra printers come with a repulsive price tag. Luckily, the Zebra ZP 450 is a very affordable solution.
Features of the Zebra ZP 450
- Its greatest advantage is that it is thermal. No ink needed, you’ll save lots of money in the long run.
- Easily connects to your computer using USB
- The Zebra ZP 450 drivers are available for download online. With other label printers, finding the drivers online can be close to impossible. With this printer, driver setup is extremely simple.
- Prints up to 4×6″ thermal labels.
- Extremely reliable
- Great support from a reputable brand
- One of the fastest printers printing up to 5 inches/second
- Best built quality on the market
- Works with both Windows & Mac
- Deemed the best shipping label printer in our test
- Designed specifically for UPS WorldShip – Can be difficult to customize for other uses if you’re not tech savvy
- Setup can be lightly difficult
Features of the DYMO 4XL
- This label printer allows you to customize your own labels. You can choose from the 60+ labels that come with the device or you can also create your own layouts and add logos and graphics.
- You can connect this printer to your PC and print tags directly from there.
- This printer has a very good pace and can easily print up to 53 standard lines in one minute
- It has a resolution of 300 dpi, which is good enough for barcodes and complex graphics
- You can store address info within the printer itself
- It runs on thermal print technology, thus cutting down the need for ink and toners
- The customers can avail free tech support in case of any failure
- The brand provides a good customer support
- Very easy to operate and maintain
- Quick installation
- Prints at a very fast speed
- Good warranty period
- The printer only accepts certain types of rolls
- If it stops in between prints, you will be required to restart all over again
- The replacement parts are not found very easily
Features of the ROLLO Printer
- The brand gives a good discount if you are buying the supplies form them on a regular basis. This can be helpful in cutting down the overall printing cost
- It is one of the fastest printers in the market and can print at the speed of 150mm/second
- Rollo printer is compatible with all the major shipping platforms including FedEx, UPS, USPS, Shippo, ShipStation, HSipgator, Shipworks as well as the leading marketing sites such as Amazon, Ebay, Shopify and so on.
- It comes at a pretty reasonable price while also carrying a number of high-tech features
- It is compatible with Windows and Mac
- The brand offers a very good customer support. You can interact with the brand representatives through emails as well as phone conversations
- It can print labels of up to 4.1”
- Ideal for printing barcodes and logos
- Great for bulk printing
- It is very quick to be installed. Comes with a clear instruction manual that is very easy to follow
- The printer keeps a count of the number of labels that get printed. This feature comes handy mainly when used for commercial purposes
- The company provides good tech support
- The machine is quite durable
- It prints at a very good speed
- You can print bulk amounts in batches
- This printer is not compatible with stamps.com
- Does not have a very good print quality
- Does not have a label holder so you will be required to buy one separately
Features of the Brother QL-720NW
- It offers both serial and Ethernet connectivity
- It can be used together with a scanner
- Can print up to 93 labels in a minute
- It is very flexible given that it can be used to print not only labels, but also packages, envelopes, folders, and banners
- Good print resolution. Can be used for barcodes and graphics alike
- Has an auto cutter inbuilt into the device
- Very easy to install and operate
- Good warranty period
- Quick pace
- You can change labels in a very short span of time
- You can customize your own labels
- Can print labels of all shapes and sizes
- Very noisy
- The settings are a little difficult to understand in the beginning
- Does not have an AC adapter or detachable power cords
- May not be very convenient to carry around
The Best Shipping Label Printer for Business – Zebra ZP 450 Thermal Label Printer
Considering all these three products, the Zebra ZP 450 is the best shipping label printer. It is very compact and can, therefore, be easily fitted anywhere and everywhere. Among other features, this one has an inbuilt label cutter, so that you do not have to take up the extra hassle. This also becomes increasingly convenient when you are printing in bulk amounts.
Speaking of bulk printing, the Zebra ZP 450 does an amazing job. It prints at one of the highest speeds in its class and it can do it for days on end. Zebra products are built to last an eternity and the ZP 450 printer is no exception. It can be used for printing a number of items from tags to envelopes to packages. It also has a good print resolution, thus making it applicable for printing barcodes and complex graphics as well. In our opinion, the Zebra ZP 450 is the best shipping label printer for business and industrial use.