Finding the Best Label Maker for Your Business in Canada
Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, labels are an important part of your operations. They enable you to quickly and easily identify items in the workplace; they help keep track of inventory; they make it easier for employees to find the right tools when needed; and they create a better customer experience by providing clear product information -- and more. With so many use cases, finding the best label maker for your needs should be a top priority.
There are several types of label makers on the market today with varying levels of capabilities to meet different business needs. The best label maker for one business might not be the best for another, so it’s important to learn more about the different categories available including portable printers (like those made by Epson LabelWorks, Dymo, and Brother), desktop label printers, and industrial label printers.
Best Portable Label Printers | Portable Label Makers
Label making in the field is made easy with portable printers. These compact devices are ideal for labeling items as you move from place to place, such as at a warehouse or a Canadian construction site. In addition to being lightweight and easy to carry around, these label makers can connect wirelessly so that printing is faster and easier than ever before – no matter where your business takes you.
In the portable printer category, Epson LabelWorks PX label makers are a great option as are Dymo Rhino Industrial Label makers (Rhino 4200 and Rhino Industrial 5200), Dymo XTL500 Industrial label maker kit, and Brother P-Touch handheld label makers (RT-E110VP, RT-E300VP, PT-E500VP). Epson offers the best label maker warranty of the group as its best-selling Epson LabelWorks PX LW-300, LW-PX350, LW-PX900, and LW-PX700 portable printers come with a lifetime warranty.
Typical features of portable label makers include:
- The ability to print on a variety of materials including laminated tapes, magnetic tapes, and fabric iron-on tapes
- An assortment of font styles and barcode formats for creating customized text and 1D and 2D barcodes
- Built-on QWERTY keyboards
- Convenient integrated carrying handles
- Rechargeable batteries
- Wireless printing
Portable printers are best suited for businesses that need to label items in the field. They can be particularly useful when labeling equipment or tools at a construction site. For example, an electrician could use one of these label makers to quickly mark electrical boxes with the appropriate information.
When purchasing a portable tape label maker, it’s important to understand the maximum print width you would like to print. These printers range offer print widths of ¾ to 2 inches wide. The wider printers can also print smaller sizes.
Some portable printers also support Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and have rechargeable batteries.
As tape-based label makers, these portable printers use thermal transfer print technology (offers better durability than direct thermal technology) where the label tape and ribbon are integrated into a single cartridge for easy management. The tape cartridge has a continuous label roll that is cut to the desired length after printing. In contrast, the mobile, desktop, and industrial printers discussed below use die-cut labels on rolls.
Best Mobile Printers | Mobile Barcode Printers & Labelers
When it comes to the best label maker reviews, the Zebra brand is a standout. Businesses across Canada count on Zebra for premium mobile printers with advanced technologies, rugged mobile printers that meet rigorous military durability specifications, healthcare mobile printers, mobile RFID printers, and affordable mobile printers for businesses of all sizes.
Godex and TSC are also considered among the best label maker brands for mobile printers. The Godex MX20, for example, is a best-selling 2-inch mobile printer. Godex also makes a 3-inch model (Godex MX30). TSC mobile printers include 2-, 3-, and 4-inch models with remote printer management.
Mobile printers tend to be direct thermal models with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connecting and rechargeable batteries. Mobile printers generally use label rolls with a 0.75” core and roll OD of approximately 2.2”. They are great for customers printing 250 labels per day or less.
Best Desktop Label Printers
In the desktop category, you can expect higher print resolutions, more connectivity ports, larger displays, and larger roll capacities than mobile printers. 2- to 4-inch models are common. Both direct thermal and thermal transfer models are available.
The best 4-inch desktop label makers include the Zebra GK420T, a thermal transfer desktop label printer that offers both USB and Ethernet ports, a 4-inch print width, 5 ips print speed, and 203 dpi print resolution. The Zebra ZD410 2-inch direct thermal printer is also the best label maker that prints at 203 dpi. TSC desktop printers like the TTP Series 2-inch printers, TX Series 4-inch printers, and TTP Series 4-inch performance printers are some of the best in this category. If high print resolution is important to you, Godex RT863i 4-inch printers are an excellent choice at 600 dpi. The Godex DT4x direct thermal printer at 203 dpi is another great printer offering 7 inches per second print speeds.
For high performance desktop label printing, you can’t beat the Printronix T800 4-Inch enterprise desktop printer. This printer has an 8 ips print speed and accepts 300 meter ribbons for high volume use cases.
Desktop printers tend to be direct thermal & thermal transfer (requires ribbon) models with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connecting options. Note that thermal transfer printers can print both direct thermal and thermal transfer labels. Desktop printers generally use label rolls with a 1-inch core and can hold a label roll with up to 5-inch OD. These are great for customers printing 500 labels per day or less.
Best Industrial Label Printers
Industrial label printers are best suited for high-volume printing in the manufacturing, transportation, retail, and wholesale industries. These devices can print up to 8 inches wide at high speeds. Common connectivity options include Ethernet LAN, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, parallel, and serial ports. One of the best label makers in this category is the Zebra ZT510, which offers both performance and value. The Zebra ZT510 is a durable machine with advanced management and monitoring capabilities.
The Zebra ZT230 is another outstanding industrial thermal transfer label maker used in healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and transportation environments. It has a large ribbon capacity for extended production, a fast print speed of 6 ips and an intuitive user interface.
Other outstanding choices:
- Godex ZX1200i 4-inch thermal transfer barcode printer – 203 dpi and 10 ips
- Godex HD830i 8” thermal transfer barcode printer – 300 dpi and 4 ips
- TSC MX240P 4” industrial thermal transfer label printer (best seller!) – 203 dpi and 18 ips
- Printronix T8000 (T82X4-1100-0) – 4 inches wide and 203 dpi
Industrial printers tend to be thermal transfer (requires ribbon) printers with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity options. Note that thermal transfer printers can print both direct thermal and thermal transfer labels. Industrial printers generally use label rolls with a 3” core and can hold a label roll up to 8” OD. They are great for customers printing from 1500 to 5000 labels per day.
These are but a few choices from the best label maker brands available in Canada. Explore the selection below from top manufacturers like Godex, TSC, Printronix and Zebra to find the best label printer for your specific needs.