Good label maker to buy?
October 8, 2008 8:43 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to organize some boxes on shelves and would like a good, basic label maker to make it neat and tidy. What's a good home label maker to buy?

I've looked on Amazon and a lot of the complaints about label makers under $30 or so is that the tape has wide print margins and is wasteful and expensive, and the batteries wear out quickly, so you have to buy the A/C adapter, which is often another $20. If you have one that you love using, please let me know!
posted by izatchu to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have a Brother PT-65. It's got 4 stars on Amazon, but don't buy it there because it's available elsewhere for substantially less. I've had mine for a few years and have only changed the batteries once. The tapes do seem like a ripoff (much like razor blades) but I haven't gone through them fast enough for it to be a real problem.
posted by jon1270 at 9:17 AM on October 8, 2008

Same here. Brother PT-65. Go to Staples and pick one up, plus two or three cartridges, and you're set for a few years.
posted by greenland at 9:31 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

I had a PT-65, and the labels were good, but keeping it in batteries was such a pain I eventually upgraded to a bigger Brother (ha ha), the PT-1830, which was a lot more expensive, especially after the AC adapter, but I'm much happier with it.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 9:37 AM on October 8, 2008

Nthing Brother PT65. My wife has one for her photo kit on the go, and we have a PT1400 at the house that can label onto metal tape for weatherproof installation, etc.

TZ tapes are available at Costco in "bulk" (4 cartridges) for good prices.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:45 AM on October 8, 2008

I've been using a Brother PT-80 for the past few years. It fits nicely into my hands and I'm able to thumb-type into it quite quickly. It uses four AAA batteries which I've changed once since I purchased it despite heavy use. I've never felt the need for an A/C adaptor.

I've noticed that it will display a low battery warning but it will still keep accepting input, printing labels and remembering the previous label so I think a lot of the Amazon reviewers change their batteries too soon.
posted by jamaro at 10:15 AM on October 8, 2008

I have this one, by Dymo (only mine isn't purple). It works perfectly well. I haven't noticed any issues with batteries, or the print margins.

What I like about it is replacement tape cartridges are available everywhere - grocery stores, drugstores, Target. I don't have to make a special trip to an office supply store (a longer, less convenient trip for me).

If you are like me, and will only use the label maker if it is convenient and handy, check into the availability of the replacement tape. I labeled everything in sight when I first got mine.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 12:13 PM on October 8, 2008

We've got a PT-1750, works on batteries or AC adapter, seems pretty bulletproof.
posted by fixedgear at 1:04 PM on October 8, 2008

Have a pt-65 and use a pt-80 at work. I use the same dc adapter as an old flatbed scanner. No complaints, they have been very reliable. Refills go on sale often enough that I've never paid full price.
posted by KevCed at 3:20 PM on October 8, 2008

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