With all the different labelers and consumables (labels/tapes) available today, it can get pretty confusing to try to make the best selection for your specific labeling jobs. To help narrow the focus and determine the right combination of DYMO tools (labeler/printer) and DYMO consumables (labels/tapes) for your next job, below are a few factors to consider in your decision.
Most modern electronic printers/labelers fall into two categories - Direct Thermal or Thermal Transfer:
- Direct Thermal uses consumables that require NO separate toner or ink supply. The "ink" is a chemical that is part of the label itself; when run through the machine, the print head heats up and creates the images you have already designed/typed/selected on your computer screen. Typical consumables are rolls of paper (perfect for labels for ring binders, files, folders, addresses, boxes and other low-impact environments) or polypropylene (perfect for the same applications as paper, as well as warehouses, tool rooms, etc.). Direct Thermal printers and labelers are typically connected to a PC, laptop or network that creates and transmits the desired information to the machine. For this reason, they are not ideal when portability is a requirement.
- Thermal Transfer is a process that "transfers" the toner from a separate tape or ribbon onto the desired label tape. These label tapes can be continuous (which are cut to the desired size) or die-cut (also called pre-sized or dry-edge). They come in a variety of materials suited to their particular application and are typically much more durable and long-lasting than Direct Thermal labels; they are often used in manufacturing facilities, food processing plants and other harsh environments.
When selecting the best consumable for your next job, consider the following:
- Environment - inside/outside, clean/dirty, hot/cold, life of label, laws and regulations, ease of use, desktop/portable, languages, durability
- Color-Coding - departments, regulations, wires and cables, inventory, etc.
- Label Materials
- Indoor/Outdoor Vinyl - best for all-around applications due to durability, color options and flexibility
- Flexible Nylon - good for wire/cable wraps, especially those being pulled through long conduit
- Polyester - great for flat surfaces like faceplates, bins, switches, glass, etc.
- Heat Shrink Tube - excellent for wires/cables where extra durability and reinforcement is needed, such as making a "boot" over the termination jack, etc.
- Pre-Sized or Die-Cut - perfect for asset tags, barcodes and other applications where a consistent size and look is desired
- Warning or RTK - Right-to-Know labels (such as Arc Flash, DANGER, NOTICE, etc.) are essential in factories and work sites
- Self-Laminating - available in cartridge tapes for labeling machines or 11 x 8.5" sheets for large jobs or repetitive labels (printed on your office laser printer)
DYMO offers many labeling solutions to help you on your next project.