How long do direct thermal labels last?
Direct thermal labels are particularly vulnerable to heat and light. Eventually, these thermal transfer printed labels will start to darken, and the texts and images will become faded. Regardless if you carefully store them away from damaging elements, the labels will remain in good scanning condition only for six months or so after printing.
What are direct thermal labels?
Direct thermal labels are great economical label options because it uses direct thermal printing. In this printing process, a thermal print head accurately heats sections of a direct thermal paper with a heat-sensitive coating. As the direct thermal paper passes through the thermal print head during printing, heated areas blacken, creating the desired image.
Direct thermal printing also comes in two-color technology, which can produce not just black images but also red ones. Direct thermal labels do not require ink, toner, or thermal transfer ribbons and work with a broad range of printers. The labels exclusively use direct thermal paper that is chemically treated and made from heat-sensitive materials.
Do direct thermal labels fade?
Yes, direct thermal labels fade and are especially prone to fading and darkening when exposed to heat and sunlight. Images printed on direct thermal paper will fade over time. That’s why they are mainly used for short-term labeling applications.
What is the best thermal printer for shipping labels?
The Dymo LabelWriter 4XL is perhaps the best thermal printer for shipping labels. LabelWriter 4XL is cheaper than most of the competition, which is why it’s very popular in its segment. But despite being more affordable, it can match high-end thermal transfer printers capable of printing thousands of labels per month.
Additionally, the Dymo 4XL thermal transfer printer is the most user-friendly straight from the box, for both Mac and PC. There is zero calibration needed when setting up the label maker, and print performance is great. The 4XL is known for its ability to print shipping labels fast, including printing 4″ x 6″ shipping labels directly from eBay. Other popular thermal printers that work great for shipping labels include the Rollo Label Printer, Dymo LabelWriter 450 Turbo, Brother QL-700, and Zebra GK420D.