Dymo and Brother are two of the most in-demand label printer brands among small business owners. Both produce crisp images and are user-friendly, although they tend to be a little more expensive than others. One is an American brand, while the other is the product of Japanese ingenuity.

In this article, we compare the Dymo LabelWriter Wireless with the Brother QL820NWB. Both are small-label printers with Wi-Fi capability. Which one has more convenient features? Which one is more suitable for startups? Read on to find out more.

Dymo LabelWriter Wireless Printer

The Brother QL820NWB

Why Do People Buy Dymo?

If you check out Amazon’s top thermal printers, you may find the Dymo LabelWriter series hogging the top ten bestsellers’ list. The Dymo LabelWriter Wireless has a rating that ranges between 3.5 and 4.5 stars. People go for Dymo label printers because of the following:

  • Their default resolution is 300 dpi. You can craft fabulous thermal labels using a Dymo LabelWriter printer.
  • The installation process is easy as long as you have the right software.
  • Dymo thermal printers don’t take up much space or require extra label supports outside their bodies.
  • They are compatible with most shipping and e-commerce sites. 
  • They work with Windows and Mac, two of the most widely used operating systems in the US.
  • Dymo labels are highly customizable, coming in various colors and dimensions. They also look slick as they are die-cut.
  • Dymo’s design programs have wide customization features and are easy to use. 
  • Dymo offers a two-year warranty.

Dymo printers’ main setbacks include their price, slow print speeds, error-proneness and incomplete technical information on their website. Still, these issues are not enough to keep Dymo loyalists from buying them.

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Why Do People Go for Brother?

When it comes to thermal printers, Brother has far more units to offer than Dymo. The most loved among them are those in the QL series because of their price and cool features. Other Brother thermal printers are more expensive, but they have functions that make them more suitable for larger businesses. The QL printers are also top choices on Amazon.

People go for Brother’s QL printers because of the following:

  • They have print speeds ranging from 4 to 7 inches per second, making them faster than Dymo printers.
  • Their maximum resolution is 300 x 600 dpi, so they also create sharp images.
  • QL800 printers, like the QL820NWB, print in two colors: black and red.
  • QL printers have a wide variety. This product line includes wide- and small-label printers with different interfacing capabilities.
  • Some wireless QL printers have a battery option, making them mobile-ready.
  • They are readily compatible with most online sites. They do not need software extensions to access those sites.
  • Brother printers can interface with OS systems other than Mac and Windows.
  • Brother printers are less prone to logjams.
  • QL printers come with auto-cutters and optional peelers for enhanced efficiency.
  • Brother labels have ‘drop-in’ features because the rolls have their own spools. You only have to drop the labels into the printer.
  • QL printers have a two-year warranty.

The QL printers’ main drawbacks are their price and poor online technical support, but they are still some of the most reliable devices of their kind in the market.

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Head-to-Head Comparison: The Dymo LabelWriter Wireless vs. the Brother QL820NWB

Let’s examine the different features of each printer and see which one will come out on top.


Basic Functions

Both the LabelWriter Wireless and QL820NWB rely on thermal printing technology. Their print heads create images when warm and get in contact with heat-sensitive paper. Neither one needs ink, ribbon or toner to print labels. The QL820NWB does not have a thermal transfer function, unlike some models in the Brother TD series. The LabelWriter Wireless also lacks this capability.

Both units are small-label printers. The maximum print width of the LabelWriter Wireless is 2.2”, whereas that of the QL820NWB 2.4”. Neither one can print standard shipping labels, which are at least 4” wide. However, they are suited for printing barcode labels and other slim labels.

Comparing their print speeds, the LabelWriter Wireless can print as many as 71 labels per minute, which is slower than the QL820NWB’s 110 per minute when printing in monochromatic black. The latter device slows down significantly when it uses its two-color printing function.

Compared to the LabelWriter Wireless, the QL820NWB has a battery option. With that and its wireless capability, you can turn the Brother printer into a mobile-ready device. This makes it more suitable for large warehouses and hospitals, where portability and accuracy are both critical.  

Another QL820NWB feature that the wireless Dymo printer lacks is the auto-cutter, which can speed up labeling tasks.


Software and Hardware Interfacing

Both printers are compatible with Windows and Mac. However, only Brother can interface readily with gadgets running on Linux, Android and iOS. The LabelWriter Wireless needs Dymo Connect to link up with Android and iOS devices.

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In terms of hardware connection, both have wireless capability, but only the Brother device has Mfi that makes it ready to interface with any Apple device. The QL820NWB is AirPrint-enabled.


Print Quality

Both the LabelWriter Wireless and QL820NWB have a maximum resolution of 300 x 600 dpi. However, only the QL820NWB can print in two colors: red and black. All Dymo thermal labelers print in monochromatic black only. So in terms of print quality, you could say that the Brother printer is slightly better than its Dymo competitor. The two-tone printing capability also provides users another way of customizing their small labels.


Label Compatibilities and Loading

Both the LabelWriter Wireless and QL820NWB use proprietary labels only. That means that the Dymo printer works exclusively with Dymo labels, and the same thing goes for the Brother printer. Their labels have distinct markings that allow their sensors to function accurately.

Using proprietary labels makes printing with these gadgets more expensive than printing with one that can run generic labels. To lessen your costs, you may use third-party-manufactured compatible labels in their place.

The label sizes that work with these printers are only slim ones because of their short maximum print widths. Neither of them can create wider tags, e. g. shipping labels.

Dymo labels are die-cut thermal labels available in various colors and sizes. With these stickers, you can make professional-looking labels in various designs. Examples are the Dymo 30252, 30330 and 30332.

Meanwhile, the QL820NWB makes use of both die-cut and continuous labels. One type of continuous label compatible with this printer is the DK-2251, which lets you tap into its two-tone printing capability. Continuous labels also let you create non-standard size tags. These features add to the Brother labels’ design options. Brother labels also have the drop-in feature, so replacing the QL820NWB’s labels can be quick.

Both printers have limited media capacity when compared to competing brands. The maximum outer diameters of their label rolls do not reach 5 inches, so you have to change their labels frequently. Neither one has an external feed slot that allows users to increase their maximum loads. 

Neither printer uses fanfold labels, which are more practical to use when you have large daily printing volumes. Brother has a fanfold label line, but it is not compatible with the QL820NWB.

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As of this writing, the price of a Brother QL820NWB starts at $175, whereas that of the Dymo LabelWriter Wireless starts at $160. When you consider the features of both printers, it looks like the Brother QL820NWB gives you more of your money’s worth.

Here is a table that summarizes the critical differences between the Dymo LabelWriter Wireless and Brother QL820NWB:

Points of Comparison
Dymo LabelWriter Wireless
Brother QLNWB

Dimensions (inches)

5 x 8 x 4.9

5.0 x 9.2 x 5.7

Weight (lbs.)



OS compatibility

Windows and Mac

Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS

Hardware connectivity

USB and Wi-Fi

USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Wireless Direct, Bluetooth and Mfi

Maximum print speed (labels per minute)



Battery option






Print colors

Monochromatic black

Black and red

Compatible labels

Dymo and Dymo-compatible labels

Brother and Brother-compatible labels

Colored labels


Not Available

Price starts at



The price difference between the two is little, but Brother’s added features make it more useful for fast-growing businesses.

Dymo vs. Brother: Which One Does It Better?

The Dymo LabelWriter Wireless and Brother QL820NWB are two of the most popular small-label printers around. When compared side by side, the QL820NWB seems to have more advantageous features than the LabelWriter Wireless. It has wider interfacing capabilities, a faster print speed, a battery option, an auto-cutter and two-color printing. Its price is not much higher than that of the Dymo printer, so it can give you much more value for your money.

However, as always, if you’re shopping for a pricey gadget like a thermal printer, we recommend that you choose based on your present needs.

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