The Dymo LabelWriter 450 is one of the most popular label makers in the US and the online selling giant Amazon. This American-made machine is known for its ease of use, sharp prints and compactness. Additionally, it is compatible with both Windows and Mac—the two most commonly used operating systems in the country—and conveniently works on most US e-commerce sites.

However, as we mentioned in our blog, “Best Dymo Label Printers for Small Businesses in 2020,” Dymo products are also error-prone, and the LabelWriter 450 is no exception. In this blog, we discuss the most commonly encountered problems with this gadget and how to solve them without breaking a sweat.

A Quick Look at the Dymo LabelWriter 450

The LabelWriter 450 is one of Dymo’s small label printers. It creates labels with heights no greater than 2 inches, which are normally used for address labeling, barcoding, price-tagging, security labeling, etc. If you’re an Amazon seller, expect your UPCs, EANs, SKUs and 2D barcodes to be crisp using this gizmo because its default resolution is 300 dpi. It uses direct thermal technology and is one of the sturdiest machines of its kind.

However, the LabelWriter 450 is slower compared to its closest competitors in the Brother and Zebra lines, making it suitable only for businesses with low labeling demands. It cannot produce standard shipping labels because of its print size limitation. It lacks a battery and wireless connectivity, so it is not mobile-ready, either, unlike portable label makers.

Furthermore, the LabelWriter 450 uses sticky tags with Dymo’s proprietary markings, which are needed for sensor detection, though they also make the original labels expensive. Despite its snags, this machine is a trendy choice among small business owners. That is why, at enKo Products, we have our own label line compatible with Dymo devices. The labels have the same quality as the original, but they are not as pricey.

When you get a brand new unit, you should find the following in the box:

  • The Dymo LabelWriter 450
  • Power cord and adapter
  • USB cable
  • A packet with software CD, quick start guide and warranty
  • Dymo label rolls

The Dymo LabelWriter cleaning card is bought separately, but it is important for the printer’s proper upkeep.

Dymo LabelWriter 450 brand new unit

The device is easy to assemble and connect to your computer and power source. Setting it up is also straightforward:

  • Attach the printer to your PC.
  • Power it up.
  • Unbundle its driver from its software CD.
  • Follow the user-friendly installation instructions.
  • Put in a label roll, with the facestock facing down.
  • Feed a label through the print head and guide.
  • Calibrate the label.

After that, the machine is ready to use.

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Below are the most common problems encountered using the Dymo LabelWriter 450 and their quick solutions.

Dymo-LabelWriter-450

1.

Your Dymo LabelWriter 450 Does Not Print

When this happens, it can be due to the following:

  • No power or the device is unplugged.
  • It is disconnected from the PC.
  • You ran out of labels.
  • The printer’s cover is not closed shut.
  • No driver is installed.
  • A wrong driver is installed.

You can do the following:

  • Check your printer’s connections and secure them.
  • Put in the right Dymo labels.
  • Make sure that the printer’s lid is shut.
  • Install the driver from the enclosed CD.
  • Users sometimes download the wrong driver if their package does not include the software CD. If this is true in your case, uninstall your current driver and install the right one by clicking this link: Dymo LabelWriter 450’s software, drivers and user guides.

2.

The Light on Your Dymo LabelWriter 450 is Flashing Blue

This usually indicates that the printer has run out of labels or that the roll is not properly placed. You can do the following:

  • Open the lid.
  • If the media holder is not empty, take out the spool and reposition it. Recalibrate it afterward.
  • If the media holder is empty, put in the appropriate labels, making sure that the roll is positioned and calibrated properly. 

3.

Blank Labels Are Coming Out of Your Dymo LabelWriter 450

The possible causes of blank labels are:

  • You may have the wrong print settings.
  • The optical sensor may be dirty.
  • The labels may be placed in the incorrect orientation.
  • The sticky tags may be too old or damaged.

You can try to do the following to remedy the situation:

  • Check the print settings to see if you have specified the correct margins, the right number of labels to print, etc. If you have your document editor open in either Windows or Mac, you may click “File,” “Page Setup” and find the print settings from there.
  • A dirty printer sensor is the result of poor maintenance. To clean it, you may do the following:
    • Open the lid.
    • Take the labels off the feed.
    • Gently apply a q-tip to the sensor area, which is found on the left side, close to the print head.
    • Get a Dymo cleaning card and pass it manually several times through the label feed. You may repeat this 5-10 times.
    • If you don’t have a Dymo cleaning card, you may use a rough business card instead. Make sure that the rougher surface is oriented face down.
    • Put the labels back in.
    • You may check out our other printer maintenance tips from our blog, “10 Easy Ways to Maintain Your Direct Thermal Printer.”
  • Dymo labels must be fed with the facestock facing down and not up. If this is not how your labels are oriented, remove the roll carefully and put them in the proper position.
  • Dymo labels are chemically treated to change color on heating. The colorants are incorporated in the facestock and need to be activated by heat.

The thing is, direct thermal labels like Dymo’s have a shorter life span than sheet labels and are lightfast. Unlike direct thermal labels, sheet labels are made of ordinary paper and depend on an external colorant source (ink, toner, etc.) to produce images.

Direct thermal labels like Dymo’s can last only 6-12 months and so must be used within that time frame. Storage in cool conditions may delay spoilage for a couple of months. However, it is always better to use newer labels for the best results.

4.

Your Dymo LabelWriter 450 Feeds Multiple Labels with Each Print

This may be due to a loose spool or dirty printer sensor. You may try the measures below.

  • Follow the Dymo user guide for securing label spools.
  • Follow the optical sensor cleaning guide we described above.

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5.

The Prints Are Too Small

Prints that are too small may be due to incorrect mage size, font size or label settings. You can do the following:

  • On your document editor, enlarge the images and text until you get their correct sizes.
  • If the problem is from having the wrong label size, you can change it while your file is open. Click “File,” “Page Settings” and choose a smaller size.
  • Alternatively, if you don’t have a file open, you can change the label size from your system settings.
  • On Windows, you may find your system settings from the Start menu and Control Panel. 
  • On Mac, you may find the system settings from the Apple menu and System Preferences.

6.

Label Jams

This is the big momma of all Dymo printing errors, as it is a very common complaint.

Here are the steps for unjamming a jammed LabelWriter 450.

  • Unplug the printer.
  • Open the cover.
  • Cut off the intact labels.
  • Pull out the front panel, which is the part that bears the “LabelWriter 450” sign. This will reveal a lever and the label feed guide.
  • Pull the lever forward and gently pry the label guide away using a flat-head screwdriver. This will uncover the rubber guide roller, jammed labels and print head.
  • Take away as much of the jammed labels as you can. You may use scissors or a blade to cut them out but do so carefully to prevent damaging the roll guide or print head.
  • After taking out all the jammed labels, clean the print head and roll guide with a Dymo cleaning card (or rough business card). Do this at least 10 times to completely remove adhesive remnants.
  • Replace the label feed guide and front panel.
  • Make sure to re-insert clean, smooth labels. Do not put back wrinkled ones as they may jam the device again.

Printer jams are preventable. In our blog, “Continuous Media: Are Fanfold Labels Better than Roll Labels?” they are more common with fanfold labels, which users may inadvertently store in the wrong manner. However, roll labels like Dymo’s may also jam if the adhesive sticks out and clings to printer surfaces and other labels. One of the ways to prevent this sticky scenario is by stacking the labels properly during storage.  

Poor printer maintenance may lead to label jams, too. Adhesive residue that accumulates on surfaces close to the print head can get labels stuck. Cleaning and proper care can also prevent printer jams. 

7.

Bad Print Quality

Poor print quality has many causes, some of which may not be attributed to the machine itself. Below are the typical reasons why a Dymo LabelWriter 450 may print with poor quality and the ways to troubleshoot them.

(a) Incorrect File Format

Most images printed using the Dymo LabelWriter 450 are vector images because of the limitations of direct thermal technology. Examples are barcodes, cartoon logos and other line art graphics. As we pointed out in our blog, “Barcode Printing: 7 Easy Ways to Print Quality Barcodes,” vector images are best saved using the .eps or .emf file formats. Make sure that your label’s images are in these formats.

(b) Suboptimal Brightness and Contrast

Labels may appear faint. Adjust the image’s brightness and contrast from your label editor’s print settings. Avoid making the graphics too dark by changing the printer settings themselves, as this will wear out your thermal print head fast.

(c) Malpositioned Labels

Malpositioned labels usually lead to lopsided prints. Reposition the labels, recalibrating them when needed.

(d) Image and Label Size Mismatch

The wrong label size may produce not only too small images but also too big ones such that they are cut off at the wrong points or spread over multiple labels. To correct this problem, you may adjust your image and text’s size or that of the label.

(e) Improper Label Storage

Improper storage may produce blank or faint labels. Their storage area must be protected from heat and light. It is also best to use direct thermal labels that are less than 6-12 months of age.

(f) Print Head Issues

Static electricity, inappropriate operational conditions, and mechanical damage can create print head gaps, resulting in incomplete images. Dirt may also distort prints. Very dark graphics cause print heads to overheat and wear out easily. All these hassles may be avoided by good machine maintenance. Consider replacing defective print heads. 

(g) Software Problems

The signs of software problems are:

  • Not printing
  • Slow print speed
  • Blank labels
  • Overlapping images or text
  • Images and text are cut off on the wrong parts

To remedy these concerns, uninstall your current driver and make sure to re-install the proper one.

Dymo bad quality printing

If problems persist, it may be time to take your gadget to a qualified Dymo technician.

Conclusion

The Dymo LabelWriter 450 is a great device for printing business labels. However, problems may arise due to poor maintenance, improper label storage and various other reasons. We just presented here the most commonly encountered issues with this machine and exhausted all possible solutions. If none of these measures work, it may be time to take the gadget to a licensed technician.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can create labels  with heights no greater than 2 inches. This specification is commonly used for barcoding, address labeling, price-tagging, security labeling, and more. 

You can also buy Dymo compatible labels which is cheaper than the branded one.

No, the Dymo LabelWriter 450 printer doesn’t have an ink cartridge. Instead, the machine uses thermal printing technology.

Possible reasons why your Dymo printer is not working include:

  • It is not connected from the PC.
  • No power or the device is unplugged.
  • No driver is installed.
  • You ran out of labels.
  • The printer’s cover is not closed properly.
  • You’ve installed the wrong driver.
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