While you can print your addressing labels with a regular inkjet or laser printer, there are specialized label printers on the market. The most popular are the DYMO LabelWriter series printers, which are supported by Labels & Addresses and work well with the Mac. In this article we give a quick overview of these printers and compatible labels.
The DYMO LabelWriter printers are different from regular, general purpose printers. They are focused on a single purpose — printing labels. You can't really use them for anything else, they can be quite handy for your labeling needs.
The DYMO LabelWriters printers are small, cool looking devices. The unit measures just 5" wide x 7-1/4" long x 5-1/4" tall (Twin Turbo and 4XL are slightly bigger). They use thermal technology for printing, which means there are no ribbons, ink or toners. As they print they heat the label in required areas causing the heat-sensitive paper to turn black. The labels are made of such heat-sensitive paper. The print quality is quite good and can be compared to that of a laser printer. They only print in grayscale — you can print images, but not in color.
The current LabelWriter line-up is comprised of 5 models, all of which are compatible with both Macintosh and Windows and connect to a USB port:
A printer that stands out from the line is LabelWriter SE300 — it is aimed at UNIX and DOS developers and is equipped with serial (RS-232) interface only. It is a fully programmable printer capable of printing from virtually any device that is able to transmit output to an ASCII printer. It accepts labels up to 2-5/16" wide (about 60 mm) and prints 20 labels per minute.
You can use a DYMO printer for various labeling tasks — for printing address, return address and shipping labels, file folder, diskette labels, bar codes, internet postage, videotape labels, name badges. DYMO offers a range of labels for various purposes. You can only print in black — DYMO printers don't support color printing.
DYMO printers come bundled with their own software, that you can use to print addresses and for simple label design. The software has its advantages — it's free, supports various barcodes, allows to print counters and time stamps. However, you can't use it with printers other than DYMO, its design capabilities are limited, and for an obvious reason, it can't print on envelopes.
The alternative is Labels & Addresses — it supports the entire range of DYMO labels and printers, and you can use it with regular printers, envelopes and label paper as well. Labels & Addresses also comes with dozens of pre-drawn designs, can take addresses from Address Book, Entourage, Now Contact, Excel or text files.
You can use the DYMO's proprietary labels or compatible labels produced by other manufacturers. Whatever brand you buy, keep in mind that there just about 40 sizes, supported by the printer driver.
Address Labels, 1-1/8" x 3-1/2"
Return Address Labels, 3/4" x 2"
Large Address Labels, 1-4/10" x 3-1/2"
Large Address Labels 4" x 6" (LabelWriter 4XL only)
Shipping Labels, 2-5/16" x 4"
Internet Postage Labels
CD/DVD Labels 2-1/4" diameter
File Folder Labels
8mm Video Labels
1 Day Self-Expiring Security Stickers
Appointment / Business Cards
Various small labels
1/4" (6 mm) Standard Tape
3/8" (9 mm) Standard Tape
1/2" (12 mm) Flexible High Performance Tape
3/4" (19 mm) Permanent High Performance Tape
1/2" (12 mm) Permanent High Performance Tape
1/2" (12 mm) Standard Tape
3/4" (19 mm) Standard Tape
1" (24 mm) Standard Tape
For most purposes, LabelWriter 400 will be more than enough. The 400 Turbo model prints one and a half times as fast as the 400 (55 labels per minute compared to 40 labels per minute) but the price is $30 higher.
If you need to print labels of different sizes often or print large volumes of labels, then Twin Turbo with its two spools is a good choice. LabelWriter Duo can be recommended only if you are dealing with D1 tapes. And if you print large labels, consider the 4XL model.
You can buy DYMO printers directly from www.dymo.com
Last reviewed: February 2009