What is the Best Printer for Shipping Labels?

Date Posted:15 July 2021 

What is the Best Printer for Shipping Labels? main image What is the Best Printer for Shipping Labels? image
Should you order a desktop or industrial printer, and which brand is best? Let us guide you through the options when it comes to shipping label printers.

Whether you have a flourishing Etsy store, a booming ecommerce company or are expanding your retail business to the world of online shipping, you might be looking for a label printer to reliably produce shipping labels. These handy machines can save you serious time and money when it comes to printing out labels in bulk. So which is the right label printer for your needs?

First, choose your size

Label printers are available in three sizes to suit business needs: handheld portable printers, the smaller desktop size, and industrial options.

  • Portable printers may be suitable if you’re printing a few labels here and there or need to move around on a shop floor or office.
  • A desktop label printer is compact and budget-friendly: ideal for a home-run business or for smaller warehousing needs.
  • Meanwhile, industrial printers are more durable, able to print 24/7 if needed, and well suited for larger businesses and high printing volumes. Their higher quality is reflected in their purchase price, however a quality industrial label printer can provide value for up to a decade if maintained properly.

Next, choose your printing method

Your printing method will very much depend on what your shipping labels will be exposed to.

  • Direct thermal printing, where the printhead applies heat to a reactive label stock, tends to be ideal for most shipping purposes and produces a label that’s relatively resistant to scratches and water. However, direct thermal may not suit if labels are likely to be exposed to a lot of moisture, UV light or heat.
  • Thermal transfer printing, where the printhead applies substrate from a wax or resin ribbon, is a better option if your labels will be exposed to conditions with heat or humidity. Many high-quality desktop and industrial label printers now enable both direct thermal and thermal transfer printing, giving you flexibility in your printing methods.

Choosing a label printer brand

Quality is the key when it comes to choosing a label printer for your shipping labels, because cheaper products can quickly cost more over time if their components need replacing more often. We’ve been in the label business for over 25 years and we only stock printer brands we trust and recommend, including Toshiba, Brother and Zebra thermal transfer printers and direct thermal printers.

The team at Thermal Labels would love to help you choose the right printer and parts to suit your business needs, whether you’re looking for a cost-effective Zebra thermal transfer barcode printer or an industrial Toshiba direct thermal printer. If you send us a few details of what you have in mind, we’ll be happy to get in touch with a product recommendation.


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