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Best Address Labels 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated December 1, 2018
Best Address Labels of 2018
Customers need to be careful on how they spend their money on these products. If you get well acquainted with these basics, you shouldn’t have a problem choosing a address labels that suits your need. I’ve based my selection methodology on customer feedback, the size, functionality, and budget to meet various demands. Like choosing clothes or cosmetics, choosing address labels should be based on your purpose, favorite style, and financial condition.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this address labels win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
№2 – 6 Rolls Brother-Compatible DK-1201 29mm x 90mm Standard Address Labels With one Refillable Cartridge
Why did this address labels come in second place?
The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office.
№3 – 15 Rolls; 400 Labels per Roll of BROTHER-Compatible DK-1201-R REMOVABLE Address Labels with ONE reusable cartridge
Why did this address labels take third place?
This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
Address Labels Buyer’s Guide
In the Shipping labels section, select the Label format that matches the printer you want to use:
Some labels can be printed only by a certain model of printer, so make sure that the type of printer that you choose at this step matches the one that you have:
Proceed with caution.
There are a few legitimate badges that can appear on coffee packaging, which we’ll get to in a minute. But literally everything else is marketing, and has no legal, regulatory muscle to back it up. This can include some very popular labels!
There are a few legitimate badges that can appear on coffee packaging. But literally everything else is marketing, and has no legal, regulatory muscle to back it up.
Direct trade. Theoretically, this refers to a cutting out of middlemen, and reveals that the roaster has a personal relationship with the farmer, therefore allowing the farmer to take a larger cut of the profits. In reality? This phrase has absolutely no legal meaning. Anyone can say it. That doesn’t mean that the companies that do use the phrase are lying or misleading, but even in the best-case scenario, the lack of a formal legal definition means that the customer really has no idea what information to glean from the phrase. “The words ‘direct trade’ are not regulated at all,” says Ionescu. “So each company can define that term differently, and there’s no body that determines what is and is not direct trade.”
Shade grown. This one actually is a useful theoretical definition: It means that the coffee plantation is set up with various large, shady trees forming a canopy over the shrub-like coffee plants. It’s a great idea; it retains the natural multi-level character of the environment, which allows for farmers to grow coffee without uprooting every other plant and animal in the area. It also helps retain moisture so farmers use less water, and keeps the soil in place to prevent erosion. Shade-grown coffee is great! It should all be shade grown! But that phrase is, again, not a legally binding one; anyone can say it, to mean anything or nothing at all. Luckily there are actual labels that will let you know if your coffee fulfills the shade-grown requirements, but if all your coffee says is “shade grown”? Nope. Means nothing.
Fair Trade Certified
Then there are the labels which have legitimate meanings but are confusing in their execution.
Rainforest Alliance Certified is an okay certification, provided by an NGO of the same name. Its focus is ecological, requiring some shade, some clean water rubrics, some attempts to not destroy the environment. It also is a pretty decent protection against the exploitation of child labor. The problem is that, while Rainforest Alliance is absolutely a real certification with real requirements, those certifications aren’t … very strict. For one thing, sometimes only 30 percent of the coffee in a package needs to have passed muster for the package to be legally labeled Certified, which is pretty messed up. (The packaging does have to state that only 30 percent of the coffee is certified, and companies are required to scale up over time, but still.) For another, it doesn’t require a minimum purchasing price for coffee, nor does it actually do anything at all to ensure more equitable wages for farmers. It’s been, but it’s certainly better than nothing.
Bird-Friendly Certified is hugely important. If you see the green and brown Bird-Friendly logo on your coffee? You’re getting some good stuff.
UTZ Certified, certainly a lesser-known certification, is not specific to coffee, but is sometimes applied. (It’s also common in chocolate.) UTZ is agriculture-focused, working specifically on habitat preservation, water use, pesticide use, and soil erosion prevention. But it’s attracted criticism for being too general, and for not requiring the use of shade trees.
The last big one is one of the best, and probably the least known:
Bird-Friendly Certified. This certification comes from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and requires extremely strict adherence to the guidelines of shade-grown coffee—it even mandates a canopy height. Bird-Friendly Certified coffee is also, by requirement, organic, meaning you get kind of a two-for-one. The name of the certification isn’t great; something like “direct trade” sounds an awful lot more powerful and important than “bird friendly.” But this certification is hugely important. If you see the green and brown Bird-Friendly logo on your coffee? You’re getting some good stuff.
Ionescu notes that these certifications aren’t everything. “Just having a certification doesn’t guarantee that the farm is sustainable,” she says. “It could be organic certified but the farmer might not make much money, or the coffee quality might not be good.” And there’s basically no way for a consumer to casually learn reliable information about a coffee supply chain; companies have a firm incentive (in the form of dollars) to present themselves as the pinnacle of green-friendly, labor-friendly producers, and the dearth of third-party verification can make it hard to trust any of that.
Daily print volume
Finding the right label printer depends a lot on how many labels need to be printed on a regular basis. Think about the number of labels that you need to print and if the answer is a low number, then perhaps an entry-level machine is more suitable. On the contrary, if you have to print larger volumes of labels then getting a more professional machine will do the trick.
Thermal printing resolution is measured in dots per square-inch or DPI. The market offers some varied selections but usually, 200dpi is the standard resolution for most printers. For most applications like barcodes and larger text on the label, this resolution is sufficient. These machines also tend to be less expensive. However, there are also label printers that can give your labels a more professional finish with crisper details as they offer higher resolutions like 300dpi or even 600dpi. These label printers are worth considering if you have a bigger budget and you want to make a really solid investment in the quality of your labels.
The Zebra ZQ110
Examples include the Brother RJ-2050 and RJ-2150 label and receipt printers (with Bluetooth, USB and Wi-Fi connectivity, including AirPrint support) and the Zebra range including the ZQ110, which is said to be the “smallest mobile receipt printer”.
The Brother PT-P-300BT
Examples include the Brother PT-P-300BT (which we reviewed earlier this year) and QL-810W (unlike most models in its category, this one can print in two colours), Epson LabelWorks LW-600P (which takes advantage of the voice recognition system on certain smartphones), and Zebra ZD500 (with optional 300dpi resolution).
ID card printers
Small businesses sometimes need to produce their own ID or membership cards – gyms are an obvious example, or you might want to restrict loyalty discounts or offers to the customers that earned them, not their friends or family.
Light and heavy media
Printers are designed to handle a certain range of paper thicknesses, and most manufacturers recommend against the use of very thin or very thick stock. For example, the Epson WorkForce ET-4550 in our office specifies 6to 95gsm (typical office paper is 80gsm).
But if you look around, you can find exceptions. One is the Oki C911dn which handles 5to 360gsm. It can also print on sheets as small as Aand on banner material up to 1.3m long. Gloss paper, film, transfer paper, waterproof paper and other types of material are supported.
We’re treating this as a catch-all category for wide-format printing for proofing, packaging and outdoor marketing, because we suspect that most of these printers go into businesses that provide print services for clients rather than for purely in-house use.
Here are some options that illustrate the diversity in this market.
The Epson SureColor P7070 is sold largely on its ability to deliver 9or 9percent of the Pantone range, depending on whether ‘light light black’ or ‘violet’ is selected as the tenth ink. The main applications are fine art printing and colour-accurate proofing.
The HP Scitex family comprises industrial-scale presses for printing signs, displays and packaging.
Why you should trust me
But it’s not just my own expertise you should trust. In addition to talking to several at-home labelers, I also interviewed Elizabeth Halen, owner of Flying Monkey Bakery in Philadelphia to get an idea of what small businesses could need from a labeler; as well as Amanda Sims, home editor of Food52; and Certified Professional Organizers Amy Trager, Ellen Delap, and Helene Segura.
Brother laminate labels were far superior to the Epson labels, which resisted removal and reapplication and failed the dishwasher test miserably.
The coated Brother labels performed well in our handling and durability tests. It was easy enough to lift up a corner and remove the label, and labels were still sticky enough to reattach. They suffered a bit during their time in the dishwasher, but if allowed to be left in place, they re-adhered as they dried. In this regard, Brother laminate labels were far superior to the Epson labels, which resisted removal and reapplication and failed the dishwasher test miserably: The Epson labels slipped off during the dishwasher test and one became stuck to the bottom of a plate. It took a razor blade to remove all remnants of the label.
The Brother PT-D2is easy to maintain. To access the tape and battery compartment, you push a clearly marked button on the top edge of the unit to release the latch. The back panel swings open, allowing easy access, while also remaining attached to the unit along the bottom edge. Once you’ve inserted the tape or batteries, it closes smoothly and with a satisfyingly sturdy click. The Gadgeteer review of the PT-D2has a good photographic rundown of how to do this if the manual isn’t enough.
An unanticipated, but welcome, side effect of having the tape on the back is the fact that the PT-D2doesn’t produce any noticeable fumes while printing. The same couldn’t be said of the Brother PT-D400 and D600 label makers, which have a separate tape compartment on the front of the machine. As a result of the tape compartment’s more prominent location, you get a faint odor of permanent marker when using it. This can be a huge turn off for those with sensitive noses.
Who else likes our pick
There aren’t a ton of editorial reviews of label makers in this day and age, but Dennis Moore recently reviewed the PT2at Gadgeteer and liked it a lot. He writes: “most people don’t scream woo-hoo at the thought of using a label maker to get organized. However, with the various frames, templates, and symbols at your disposal, the Brother PT-D2can make organizing a bit more fun.”
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Our biggest complaint about the PT2is that it prints more margin on each label than is necessary. This means you burn through tape a bit faster than you should. It is possible to set the margins to narrow, but that only shortens the right side of the label. Because of the way the interior was engineered, the machine can’t reduce the amount of label on the left side. Instead, it prints a cutting guide on the left side, so that you snip off a bit to make the label even on both sides. It’s a nice touch, but nicer still would have been a way to waste less label tape.
Another frustration is that the LCD screen doesn’t offer any kind of illumination; there were times I found myself wishing that it were backlit. I might not have even registered the issue, though, if I hadn’t been testing against other, higher-priced models.
Being limited to tapes no wider than a half-inch shouldn’t be a problem for most at-home labeling needs, but if you anticipate needing more space for whatever reason, you should read about our upgrade pick for business use.
Long-term test notes
The Brother PT-D2remains our top pick. The battery life is excellent, the finished tapes are durable, and we continue to appreciate how intuitive the device is to use, even after a prolonged labeling hiatus. Sourcing replacement tape is easy, and a set of third-party rechargeable batteries has solved the power issue for us.
If you’re planning on giving your label maker heavy use, or want one for a busy office environment, consider upgrading to the Brother PT-D400AD instead. It does everything the PT-D2does and has the same easy-to-use keyboard layout, but it adds the ability to print barcodes. It also accepts tape up to ¾ of an inch and can print up to seven lines of text per label instead of the PT-D210’s two lines. It also comes with an AC adapter, which helps offset its higher sticker price.
The PT-D400 (right) is significantly larger than the PT-D2(left). It’s more at home on a desk than in your hands. But the two have similarly intuitive keyboard layouts.
The PT-D400 is bigger and heavier than the PT-D210—like a fat iPad Mini—and designed for desktop as opposed to handheld use, which isn’t ideal for home users. But it would feel right at home in a mailroom or at an admin desk. It also comes with a quick startup guide that could be laminated and posted next to the unit, allowing it to become a labeling station that would be easy for the whole office to use.
For the labeling power user, a PT-D600 might be the right fit. It does all that the PT-D400AD can do, but adds the ability to connect to a PC for label layout and design. It can also accept tapes up to one inch wide and has an even easier to read, backlit color display. It’s a mighty machine (with a bit steeper learning curve) than the average home user needs but would be right at home in a professional setting.
While the Brother PT-D2remains our preferred label maker, I do want to give a shout-out to the Epson LW-400 for crafters and sewists. The Epson interface isn’t as intuitive as Brother’s, but Epson makes an array of labels made from ribbon and fabric, which allow you to print iron-on name tape for your kids’ clothes and make customized ribbons for scrapbooks and gift wrap. (Brother also makes an iron-on tape for labeling clothes, but it has more user reviews complaining that the labels fall off after just a few washes.) The LW-400’s slimmer form factor gave it superior ergonomics for handheld use when compared to the squatter shapes of the older Epson LW-300 and our Brother picks. Like the Brother PT-D210, it uses half-inch tape, but unlike the PT-D210, it can do barcodes—a feature only available on the higher-end Brother label makers.
The LW-400 (left) is more comfortable to hold than the LW-300 (right).
However, learning and navigating the Epson interface was a real slog. During testing, I could not change the font size without direct consultation with the manual, and it is frustratingly easy to accidentally wipe out the all the label formatting you’ve scrolled through menu after menu to construct.
Also worth noting, Epson tapes tend to sell for about 47¢ per foot compared to the roughly 37¢ per foot the other brands’ tape sells for. The Brother may be more limited in its abilities, but it is better at the things most people would use most of the time.
Choosing the Right Barcode Printer
Thermal based barcode printers provide a very economical way to create high quality labels, tags, wristbands, receipts, and tickets. Compared to other printing technologies, thermal-based options require less maintenance, have less expensive media, and print faster while maintaining excellent print quality.
Since these types of printers are different from your typical laser or inkjet printers, it can be a challenge to know which one will fit your business best. The first step in finding the right printer is to identify your specific need(s): • Where will the printer be used? Is it a rugged environment? • What kind of media will you make? Labels, tags, wristbands, receipts, or tickets? • How often will you print? • Will the printer be in a fixed or mobile application?
Knowing how you’ll be using a printer will help you decide what type, print method, and other features you’ll need. Understanding and going through the following features will help you determine the best printer for your needs.
Industrial printers are larger and more rugged than desktop models for high volume print applications. From a couple thousand labels per day to printing all day long, these printers are designed to hold more media and there are models that support printing from.5″ to over 8″ wide. You’ll find printers like the Datamax I-420in manufacturing and distribution centers as well as large retailers. If you are printing any type of media in large volumes, industrial label printers are your most reliable option.
Mobile printers are similar to thermal label printers but provide freedom from any cable connections to a PC. Mobile printers do have a few limitations due to their small size. They are not made for very high volumes, have limited roll capacity, and have smaller print widths, usually 2″, 3″, or 4″ max. However, if you need to make labels or receipts on the move, a mobile printer will provide you high quality print in a compact package that fits on your hip. These printers are perfect for delivery drivers or sales agents to create receipts in the field or a warehouse worker that needs to make labels on the spot. Since these printers are not tied to a fixed PC, you normally communicate to them wirelessly through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Pair a mobile printer like the Zebra QLn320 with a laptop, mobile computer, or smartphone for printing wherever you go!
Even though standard label printers can also create wristbands, a dedicated wristband printer offers several advantages and a lower overall cost. For applications that are making wristbands every day like hospitals, theme parks, and concert venues, a dedicated wristband printer is the perfect fit. While other printers have their media on a roll, wristband printers have cartridges that simply drop into place to keep you printing with almost no downtime. These printers also have a higher print resolution standard for clear, accurate printing of images or logos. Added to this, most models have a special anti-microbial case to meet the demands of any healthcare environment. If you need custom printed wristbands on a regular basis, a dedicated wristband printer like the Zebra HC100 will be the most efficient and easiest to use solution.
Ticket printers are another specialized thermal printer that excels at printing on thicker paper for ticketing applications. If you are making tickets for concerts, festivals, or any other type of event, a dedicated printer will help you make them faster with less hassle. Since most tickets come in a fan-folded stack instead of rolls, these printers have a taller case to accommodate more stacked media. They can also still use roll media but with a larger stack of tickets you will spend less time reloading the printer. These printers also have an opening on the back of the case to easily feed ticket stock externally. Models like Datamax ST-32are a high performance option for demanding ticketing applications.
Direct thermal printers utilize heat-sensitive media that blackens as it passes under the printhead. Because they print without a ribbon, direct thermal printers are noted for their simplicity. Direct thermal printed labels typically have a considerable shelf life but are not well suited for environments that expose them to heat, long periods of direct sunlight or abrasion. Because of this, thermal labels, tags or ticket stock are often top coated to resist these elements. Direct thermal printing produces sharp print quality with good scan ability using only one consumable. For any short term labeling application, like shipping labels, direct thermal is the most efficient print method.
Thermal transfer printers use a ribbon, similar to a fax machine, which is melted onto the label by the printhead. This method makes it easy to use label materials beyond paper including synthetic materials, like polypropylene and polyester, for outdoor and harsh environments. Beyond the added durability, thermal transfer printed media also has a very long shelf life making it perfect for product labels, asset tags, and outdoor wristbands. Since you are using a ribbon, you also have the option to change the color of your print beyond just black. With the right combination of labels and ribbon, you can make a label for any environment or application. Though it does cost a little more to print thermal transfer media, the added benefits ensure your label or tag is readable throughout its life without ever needing to reprint.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Address Labels wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Address Labels
- №1 — Return Address Labels – Roll of 500 Personalized Labels
- №2 — 6 Rolls Brother-Compatible DK-1201 29mm x 90mm Standard Address Labels With one Refillable Cartridge
- №3 — 15 Rolls; 400 Labels per Roll of BROTHER-Compatible DK-1201-R REMOVABLE Address Labels with ONE reusable cartridge