Do I need to buy a dedicated Label Printer?

Whether or not to spend the money on a dedicated label printer?

They can seem expensive but are they? What should I look out for? When is it best to just buy pre-printed labels?

Label Printers are specialised pieces of equipment. They are not the same as normal A4/Legal sheet printers, which are produced in large quantities. They also want you to buy the consumables to go with it. With a normal printer the consumables are often specific to the printer manufacturer, meaning you must buy them from this company. This is why the purchase costs of the printer are low. This is fine when you do not have a high print need.


I have an A4 printer can I use it?

Yes, you can, but with some restrictions…

  • Always use a good quality label sheet. The cheapies will sometimes damage the printer as the adhesive can leak through the cuts.
  • Never put a label sheet through the printer twice. Tempting as it is, the residue on the label sheet will go onto the drums/rollers etc meaning that large repair bills are possible.
  • Most printer manufacturers do not cover the warranty if damage is done through label printing such as residue on drums/rollers and labels coming off the sheets inside the printer.
  • Unless you buy good quality label sheets the adhesive will probably not be long lasting. Cheap label sheets sold in consumer orientated stores have generally poor adhesives, even those with a familiar brand name. If you want quality sheets go to a label specialist you won’t regret it.


Why do Label Printers range in price so much?

There are a couple of Label Printers on the market that are very cheap, in comparison to others, for no apparent reason. The reason usually is that the consumables must be bought from the printer manufacturer. Dymo and Brother labelers are a good example of this. If you are only doing small quantities of labels (say less than a couple of thousand) then this may suit you, otherwise the cost of consumables will be very high. You can save a lot of money on consumables by purchasing a label printer that uses “generic labels and ribbons”. The printer may cost you more but the overall cost will be much lower over time.

When we are asked for a price of a label printer the first question we ask is how many labels are you going to be printing over say 6 months. Most people are unprepared for this question but it determines the quality of the printer for the job. For example, if you were going to send a letter to every person in UK (say 56 million) then you would make sure your printer was built to handle this. Similarly, a label printer capable of 56 million labels is built completely differently to a label printer capable of say 200,000 labels.

What to look out for…

  • A printer with a good brand name in the industry.
  • A printer capable of using generic labels.
  • If you want a long lasting label, make sure it is thermal transfer.
  • A printer designed for the number of labels you are going to print.
  • A supplier who is knowledgeable on the subject.


If in any doubt ask as many questions as you can think off and just remember if the person you ask does not ask you quite a few questions then they probably don’t know enough about the subject. Call our specialists for more info.