Here are a few top tips from Label Planet for picking a printer.
While we specialise in labels, we also try to offer advice on all kinds of things to do with labels and labelling, including the types of printers that can be used to print labels – whether you’re at home, in a school, or in an office or business.
- While “All-In-One” printers may seem like a good idea at the time, they do tend to compromise on the quality of each of the functions they offer. These machines are generally designed to perform a number of functions to an acceptable standard, rather than being designed to perform specific functions to an extremely high standard. This does mean that you may encounter difficulties or low quality print when printing labels.
- It is always worth checking the specifications and features of a printer before buying. In particular, when buying a printer that needs to be able to print labels you should make sure that it has a media bypass tray and that it is capable of processing a variety of materials and media. The general paper tray is designed specifically for paper and is unlikely to process different materials and thicker media very well. Printers with a media bypass tray will also have a greater variety of printer settings (such as “Labels” or “Heavy Paper”) that will automatically adjust the printing process to suit the material or medium being printed to produce the best possible print results.
- Laser printers produce waterproof print, so if you have an application in mind that requires labels to survive outdoors or in an environment where they may get wet you must choose a laser printer. Inkjet printers use water-based inks, which means the print they produce will smudge if it gets wet.
- If you purchase an A3 printer, you must make sure that you will be able to feed your sheets of labels into the printer portrait rather than landscape.
- Always check the “duty cycle” of a printer; this estimates the number of pages a printer should be able to print within a certain period of time (usually a month) while maintaining a consistent quality of print and standard of operating. You should buy a printer that has a higher duty cycle than the volume you actually intend to print.
We tend to recommend both OKI and HP printers, as we find that these printers have excellent duty cycles, offer good print quality, and are more than capable when it comes to printing labels. OKI printers also have a flat path through the printer, which is perfect for labels as it reduces the number of rollers the labels have to go through and reduces the chances of labels peeling off in the machine.
Take a look at our Help & Advice page for more helpful hints and answers to some frequently asked questions.