When you need to organize your wiring, it’s better to have a printed label than regular color-coded heat shrink tubes. But, to have this kind of label, you need the best heat shrink label maker. The importance of labeling your electrical system is key to easy troubleshooting.
There are heat shrink thermal transfer printer options on the market. Some of these include the Casio heat shrink tube label printer, Zebra heat shrink printer, and Kroy heat shrink printer.
Given the variety of choices available, it can be hard to choose a heat shrink label printer. To help you, these are the three things that I look for when choosing a heat shrink label maker:
- Design and portability: since I label wiring all over a structure, I need a heat shrink printer that I can bring with me anywhere. I prefer devices that I can use with a single hand and hang on me to freely move about.
- Symbol and style availability: while text-only label makers are okay, I prefer to have devices that offer symbols and styles. This allows me to customize the tags I print to reflect my client’s branding and design language.
- Keyboard layout and user interface: I prefer products that have a QWERTY keyboard. It’s easier to use and allows me to type faster. I also like devices that have easy-to-use and intuitive menus.
I will touch more on this subject later. In the meantime, I have prepared nine heat shrink label maker reviews. I’m going to go through all of my choices’ advantages and also touch on their problems. Most of the items I’ll review are products that I’ve previously used both as a DIYer and, eventually, as a professional contractor.
Table of Contents
- Best Heat Shrink Label Maker Reviews
- 1. Sanford DYMO Rhino 4200 Label Maker
- 2. Brady BMP21-PLUS Handheld Label Printer
- 3. Sanford DYMO Rhino 5200 Label Printer
- 4. Epson LabelWorks LW-PX300 Label Maker
- 5. Brady BMP21-PLUS Label Printer
- 6. Sanford DYMO LabelManager 280 Label Maker
- 7. Epson LabelWorks LW-PX300VP Label Maker
- 8. Brother PT-E105 P-Touch Label Maker
- 9. Epson LabelWorks LW-PX350 Label Maker
- What to Look for When Buying Heat Shrink Label Makers
- How Do You Use Heat Shrink Label Maker
Best Heat Shrink Label Maker Reviews
1. Sanford DYMO Rhino 4200 Label Maker
In my first project, I used DYMO heat shrink labels to keep my client’s wiring organized. It’s been ten years since then, but I was surprised to see the original tags still there, almost good as new when I revisited the site.
More than that, I loved the device I used to create these labels. It’s because of its many features that help me easily label quickly. For me, the best part of this label maker is its QWERTY keyboard. Since I’m familiar with it, it takes me less time to type out labels than using other devices with alphabetized keys.
It also sports a favorite key, giving me quick access to my commonly printed words. An onboard custom key also lets me save formats and label settings, so I don’t have to repeat steps when creating designs. These features save me time because I only need to set it up once, and then a single button press will do everything.
But what I love best about this is its one-touch hotkeys. These buttons access commonly used functions, allowing me to use the device straight out of the box. This reduced my programming and typing time, allowing me to get more done.
2. Brady BMP21-PLUS Handheld Label Printer
I once used this handheld label printer when I worked on a project that required applying barcodes to cables for automated checking. This device is well-suited to the task, mainly because it has Code 39 and Code 128 barcode capabilities.
It’s also easy to reload its labels, with them coming inside their own cartridge. I no longer fear dropping a roll of heat shrink and letting it come loose all over the floor. The device also has a maximum print speed of 0.4 inches per second. Both of these features let me work efficiently – the seconds I save per item will eventually sum into an hour, allowing me to get more done.
The device itself is built rugged. It has bumpers all around its body, making it tough enough to withstand most accidental impacts. It also has a notch to install a hook or lanyard to leave it hanging on me when I’m not using it. That way, I can use both my hands to work with cables while still keeping the label maker within my reach.
3. Sanford DYMO Rhino 5200 Label Printer
One of the best things I liked about the Rhino 5200 is the one-touch hotkeys right below the screen. It allows me to automatically set size, spacing, and text formatting for the labels I print. The machine also has an auto-sizing feature for horizontal and vertical labels, ensuring that what I print will fit perfectly on my material.
The label maker comes with pre-programmed fixed lengths. It will automatically adjust the size of your label based on the text. You can also fiddle around in the settings should you need to change your label length.
It also comes with a large backlit LCD display that allows you to see what you’re doing, no matter the lighting situation. The company also introduced intelligent on-screen alerts, helping you avoid mistakes and wasting labels.
Sanford provides a quick reference guide in CD format to help you get the most out of your label maker. This allows you to quickly learn how the label printer works and even lets you search for functions digitally.
4. Epson LabelWorks LW-PX300 Label Maker
For those who need a lightweight and portable label maker that can print enough labels for massive projects, this Epson heat shrink printer is an excellent choice. Its portable design will allow users to use it without straining their arms. They can then do more while spending less effort.
This device allows users to create custom labels that will fit their company’s branding. I can choose different fonts, icons, and banners to perfectly fit my design language. It also has a clear screen so you can preview your label before printing it.
The outer rubber case of this item adds to its robustness. It provides you an excellent grip while absorbing impacts if you drop the item. This makes it tougher and will last longer, even when used in demanding situations.
But the best thing about this product is its compatibility with many Epson tape types, up to 18 mm. I can use adhesive, magnetic, and shrink tube materials, giving me the flexibility to choose the suitable material.
5. Brady BMP21-PLUS Label Printer
For those who require a rugged shrink label printer, the Brady BMP21-PLUS is a suitable option. It’s certified to MIL-STD-810g, meaning it can withstand shock and vibrations. This is perfect for those who need to use this in active construction areas and other field sites.
Besides being built tough, it also sports more than 100 different symbols, so we can use it to print various electrical, data communications, and safety labels. This ensures that all our tags are professionally and cleanly made.
The package comes as a complete set, including a hand-carry storage box. This is an excellent inclusion because it allows me to bring the device and all its accessories anywhere together. It also has an AC adapter that plugs into any 110 or 240-volt outlet. I’m sure that I won’t misplace this or any other accessory because they’re all kept in a single container.
I’m amazed that the label sticks well, even on rough surfaces. I used it to label all my tools, and I’m surprised that not a single tag has been misplaced or removed, despite almost all of them being placed on the tool’s handle.
6. Sanford DYMO LabelManager 280 Label Maker
For those who need powerful customization for their labels, the LabelManager 280 offers this feature. It can connect to both PC and Mac, allowing users to create personalized designs that will accurately reflect their company’s branding. It can run on any computer with Windows 7 or Mac OS X v10.8 and up.
Nevertheless, you can use its built-in font styles to customize your labels, even without connecting to your computer. Furthermore, it has a large screen that lets you review your label in detail before printing it. This helps prevent users from printing wrong labels, thus saving them money and time.
The manufacturer also installed a QWERTY keyboard on the device, making it easier to use. It feels like a smartphone, so I can type faster on it. It’s also great that they installed rechargeable batteries in the device. This allows me to use it straight out of the box, saving me a trip to the grocery store to buy a fresh set when it has a low-battery indicator.
7. Epson LabelWorks LW-PX300VP Label Maker
The Epson LabelWorks LW-PX300VP is perfect for creating heat shrink labels up to 5 mm wide. It can also be used for printing custom labels up to 18 mm. This makes it a genuinely flexible label maker. I can use it for different applications, like organizing files, identifying wires, and even naming tools.
This device will show the actual look of our label before printing. This ensures that we can check our tag before printing it, avoiding misprints and wasted labels. It’s also helpful that the print command key is highlighted in green. It helps me find the print button quickly, making it ergonomic and efficient to use.
What I like best about this product is that it comes with a storage box. All of its accessories and parts fit inside, so I’m sure that I won’t misplace any part of it when I store it.
Furthermore, I love that Epson provides lifetime warranty for this device. If it stops working due to a factory defect, they’ll replace it without asking too many questions.
8. Brother PT-E105 P-Touch Label Maker
I bought this item when I was working in the field and suddenly needed a portable label maker. It’s an excellent choice because its compact design allows me to fit this device in my pouch or pocket. I really appreciate its portability when working on new projects that require me to carry other equipment.
This brother heat shrink label maker is convenient for everyone since we can change its operating language. I would recommend this to those who work overseas and have international clients. In addition, the device has an excellent user interface, making its use intuitive for most users.
Its main advantage is that it has a nine-bank memory, which allows me to save my most commonly used labels. So, with a few button presses, one can choose and print the tags that one needs. Users, therefore, save time by avoiding repetitive tasks.
I also like the combination of its compact design and cutter on its side. There’s no need to get a pair of scissors, as it can easily cut labels. So, my tags are all cut cleanly and look professionally done.
9. Epson LabelWorks LW-PX350 Label Maker
This is one of the largest label makers I’ve used. Nevertheless, this means that it has a lot of features. What I like best is that Epson included a semi-rigid case, making it comfortable to transport, despite its huge dimensions. The soft case additionally protects the label maker, ensuring it won’t get damaged during transit.
If I need to change my location while labeling, it has a comfortable lug around its work area. There’s also a drop-protection cover, meaning it’s capable of being used in rougher conditions.
Furthermore, changing the cartridge on this label maker is a breeze. The top-load function means that you only need to lift the cover and replace the cartridge, and you’re done. No disassembly whatsoever is required.
The Epson LW-PX350 also cuts the labels automatically. So once they’re printed, the machine will cleanly cut our tag to size, so all we need is to install it. No more risk of ripping the label and needing to print another one, avoiding waste.
What to Look for When Buying Heat Shrink Label Makers
These are features that I look for when making a purchase decision.
Ability to Print on Heat Shrink
This is the most important thing I look at when choosing a label maker. Not all of them can print on heat shrink, so purchasing such a device would defeat my purpose. I also prefer printers with excellent quality tapes, so I can use it for other applications.
Design and Portability
I prefer portable devices that I can easily bring anywhere I work. I also consider its ergonomic design. However, I also look at its ruggedness and durability since it’s bound to get scratched and bounced around a bit in my work area.
Symbols and Style Availability
As I’ve tried many of these devices, I notice that some have limited symbols and styles. While it may not be an issue for those who primarily work with text labels, I prefer those that offer characters that make it easier to warn others regarding the cables I need to label.
Keyboard Layout and User Interface
Since most of us use a QWERTY keyboard, alphabetically organized buttons can be pretty confusing. Furthermore, a well-thought-out user interface is essential to allow me to work faster. I don’t like confusing buttons and software layouts because they can cause delays and mistakes in my job.
Availability of Heat Shrink Cartridge
Most devices manufacture their own tapes. Some brands work exclusively with their cartridges, while others accept generic and third-party brands. Personally, I prefer those models that accept different brands, so even if the product I want isn’t in stock, I can temporarily use another brand.
Most heat shrink label makers do not come with a case. But if the model that I like offers a carrying case, I will get that option. This allows me to keep all my heat shrink labeling materials and equipment in one place, ensuring that my tools will not get misplaced or damaged.
How Do You Use Heat Shrink Label Maker
First, make sure the label maker has a power supply; for this type of product, it is usually a battery. Second, install the tape cartridge that’s compatible with your device. Finally, turn the label maker on and create your text.
Using a heat shrink label is one of the wisest ways to keep your cables organized. It will retain its clarity over a long time and will less likely be damaged. You can thus have an easier time troubleshooting if problems occur. That’s why the best heat shrink label maker is essential to have for a standardized circuit.
Now that you’ve seen the devices I’ve previously used in my heat shrink labeling projects, you can now choose the best item that will fit your needs.