Dymo thermal label printers are the most popular on Amazon. However, those models have not been upgraded in a while, and so it would seem that they’re the only ones that the website continues to sell. Discerning buyers know that other thermal label printers can give more value for their money. And unless your business is not label-dependent—if there ever was one—you’re better off shopping for machines not made by Dymo.

Still, if you’re set on buying a Dymo unit for your office, we can at least give our views on which ones can help enhance your productivity. You do want to stop writing your shipping labels by hand, right? Here’s our honest review on best Dymo label printers.

 

Why Dymo?

 

Normally, buyers would consider Dymo because of the following features:

  • Images are crisp because their default resolution is 300 dpi.
  • They are all easy to set up.
  • Most are compact, as they are just slightly wider than your open hand.
  • They are compatible with the most popular online postage sites. You may need to be more creative to get other brands to work with many of those sites.
  • They can operate on both Mac and Windows.
  • Dymo offers a two-year warranty. Others, including Zebra and Brother, usually provide warranties for only one year.
  • Dymo labels are highly customizable as they come in different colors and sizes.
  • Die-cut Dymo labels look very professional.
  • Labels can be date- and time-stamped, which facilitates proper recording.

However, long-time Dymo users commonly encounter the following setbacks:

  • They jam easily, leading to much label waste.
  • They invariably have calibration problems, which wastes even more labels.
  • Label load is very low, so you have to keep refilling if you require more than 1000 labels a day.
  • They have no spools or cutters, making them less efficient to use. Without spools, label reloading becomes troublesome and slow. Without cutters, the die-cut labels are somewhat hard to tear off.
  • They are slower than competing brands.
  • They print only in black, although this is the case for most direct thermal printers. It’s not really an issue unless you want colorful labels.
  • Except for the Dymo LabelWriter Wireless, they all have to be connected to your computer by USB. Therefore, if you have quite a number of people on your staff, they might find it difficult to share one labeler.
  • None of the models are portable.
  • The software has hard-to-resolve glitches.
  • Dymo customer service is hard to reach.
  • For Dymo to honor their warranty, you need to be using authentic Dymo labels. They are costly compared to original Zebra and Brother labels. We pointed this out in our previous Zebra label printer review blog. So you will invalidate that warranty if you switch to a much cheaper third-party Dymo-compatible label. The label costs can hurt your business in the long run. 
  • Dymo has no fanfold rolls, which can save more space and reduce clutter.

Compared to the Zebra printers that we reviewed, Dymo label printers look cheap because of their lower initial outlay. Over time, however, the labeling costs and other hassles will prove to be counterproductive, something that growing businesses cannot tolerate. Dymo has not updated these units for years, and so the problems mentioned here have not been resolved.

Dymo label printers are thus more suited for personal use, home businesses and offices with low printing volumes. For small retail stores, the only ones that we can truly regard as acceptable are the turbo versions, but they don’t exist for every model.

 

LabelWriter 4XL

LabelWriter 4XL printer

 

Some Facts About the LabelWriter 4XL

Dimensions (inches)

7 x 5.5 x 7.38

Weight (lbs)

1.96

Compatible OS

Mac and Windows

Interface

USB

Maximum Print Width (inches)

4.16

Print Speed (2” labels per minute)

53

Desktop or Portable?

Desktop

Resolution (dpi)

300

Label Type/s Used

Dymo paper labels

Price Range

$270 – 470

 

The LabelWriter 4XL is at the top of our list because it’s the only Dymo model that can print 4 x 6 shipping labels. US businesses need to have a label printer that prints wide.

In our blog, Benefits of Shipping Online, we pointed out that USPS gives small businesses shipping incentives when they use the IMpb barcode. You can get one at your post office, but it is better obtained online for maximum cost reduction. Essentially, shipping labels with this barcode can only be printed on 4 x 6 media. 

Other than this function, the LabelWriter 4XL works just like the LabelWriter 450. It has a similar print speed, so it’s slower compared to rival wide printers. It has good resolution, so it can produce professional-looking labels. It is also compatible with most online postage providers.

The LabelWriter 4XL runs on both Mac and Windows, just like any other unit in this line. However, you may encounter problems connecting it with older Mac computers. Off-centered labels are also a frequent problem, so you may need to recalibrate every time you turn the printer on or change labels.

 

LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo

LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo printer

 

Some Facts About the LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo

Dimensions (inches)

8.5 x 5.33 x 7.38

Weight (lbs)

2.5

Compatible OS

Mac and Windows

Interface

USB

Maximum Print Width (inches)

2.2

Print Speed (2” labels per minute)

71 (on each print head)

Desktop or Portable?

Desktop

Resolution (dpi)

300

Label Type/s Used

Dymo paper labels

Price Range

$130-160

 

The LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo is high on our list because it’s the only Dymo model that can match competitors in terms of speed. However, just like most devices in this line, it cannot print wide. The unit has two thermal print heads that can function at the same time. You can thus make a single type of sticker fast by loading both media holders with same-size labels and using the two print heads simultaneously.

Alternatively, the LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo lets you print two different kinds of stickers without changing rolls. This is another advantage that it has over other Dymo units.

 

LabelWriter 450 Turbo

LabelWriter 450 Turbo printer

 

Some Facts About the LabelWriter 450 Turbo

Dimensions (inches)

4.88 x 5.75 x 7.25

Weight (lbs)

1.44

Compatible OS

Mac and Windows

Interface

USB

Maximum Print Width (inches)

2.2

Print Speed (2” labels per minute)

71

Desktop or Portable?

Desktop

Resolution (dpi)

300

Label Type/s Used

Dymo paper labels

Price Range

$100 – 260

 

The LabelWriter 450 Turbo is on our list only because it’s faster than its non-turbo version. It doesn’t require much space on your office table. It can print crisply just like other Dymo printers. However, it also shares the same flaws that most Dymo models in this line have.

 

LabelWriter Duo

LabelWriter Duo thermal printer

 

Some Facts About the LabelWriter Duo

Dimensions (inches)

5.5 x 8 x 7.25

Weight (lbs)

5.25

Compatible OS

Mac and Windows

Interface

USB

Maximum Print Width (inches)

2.2

Print Speed (2” labels per minute)

71

Desktop or Portable?

Desktop

Resolution (dpi)

300

Label Type/s Used

Dymo paper and plastic labels

Price Range

$200 – 365

 

The LabelWriter Duo is included here because it can create both paper and plastic labels. Its two print heads run on thermal technology, yet no competitor produces a similar device. Plastic labels are more durable and fade-resistant than paper ones, so this unit has more uses than other Dymo label printers. Plastic sticky tags are great for warehousing and industrial labeling.

Aside from these, it has the same advantages and disadvantages as the others in this line.

 

LabelWriter Wireless

LabelWriter Wireless Thermal Printer

 

Some Facts About the LabelWriter Wireless

Dimensions (inches)

5 x 8 x 4.9

Weight (lbs)

1.5

Compatible OS

Mac and Windows

Interface

Wireless-enabled

Maximum Print Width (inches)

2.25

Print Speed (2” labels per minute)

71

Desktop or Portable?

Desktop

Resolution (dpi)

300

Label Type/s Used

Dymo paper labels

Price Range

$130 – 170

 

The LabelWriter Wireless is on this list because it makes the widest variety of labels among Dymo’s wireless thermal printers. Wireless capability allows you to print from a remote area and share it with others in your staff. You can connect the unit to your mobile device through wifi.

However, despite its wireless feature, it’s still not portable as it does not have a battery. Yup, anticlimactic, right?

Again, it has the same advantages and disadvantages as other Dymo label printers.

 

Conclusion

 

Compared to their rivals, Dymo thermal printers create clearer labels. However, they are much slower and less cost-effective, making them unsuitable for fast-expanding businesses.

On the other hand, their relatively lower cash outlay makes them acceptable for home businesses and others with low labeling requirements. But a secondhand Zebra, Rollo or Brother will likely still perform better. So if you’re serious about cultivating your business, we suggest considering competing brands.

Finally, if you have a Dymo label printer, we can help you optimize its use. Original Dymo labels are quite pricey, but enKo Products offers the following inexpensive alternatives:

Buy enKo Products now and enjoy discounts on top of discounts! 

 

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