Anyone can buy a label maker kit, I tossed one together on the fly that I think is fairly slick with a lot of capabilities.
Inventory consists of:
- Hard Side Carry Case – This is actually for a Jackery Portable Power Station but it works nicely.
- Brother PT-D210 – Label Maker
- Brother Embellish – You could actually only use the Embellish. I just had a PT-D210 laying around. The Embellish is special because it allows you to print on ribbon material.
- AC Adapter– Don’t buy the “official” Brother one. It is too expensive. Get this one. $9 and it works with both label printers.
- 6 – AAA Batteries. Only for no power situations. Both machines EAT BATTERIES. Also I 3D printed a battery holder for an Altoids tin. Cool!
- Your favorite Tapes or Ribbons as needed. The case will hold maybe 3-5 tapes not counting the ones you can carry inside the label makers.
In my last couple of posts I’ve discussed some of the world’s best label makers and some of the features that make them the best.
Today I’ve decided to go to the lower end of the spectrum and buy one of those $20 label makers I always see in Walmart or Staples.
This is the Brother PT-D210. This is probably the most purchased label maker in the world because of its low price and availability. It can he had for about $20 and $30 if you buy a “kit” with a roll of TZE tape.
Actually $10 for a roll of TZE tape is darn near the best price you can get. It’s almost worth it just to buy the cheap label maker for a roll of cheap tape if you own other Brother machines that use TZE tape. It matches almost none of my “must have” features for a label maker but it is quite useful in many regards. I hope you’ll read on as I perform a deep dive on this label maker from a hardware standpoint.
In my last post I determined that there were several requirements that I needed a label printer to meet. Essentially any printer that I want to own will have:
- Ability to do labels up to 1 inch in width.
- Ability to connect to software for designing labels.
- Ability to do QR codes.
- Rechargeable Battery
- AC adapter included
- Ability to do print and cut heat shrink tube for wiring.
I had more items on the last list but these are must have’s for me. To get these features though means you’ll pay more. A label maker that just spits out simple labels can he had for as cheap as $20 or so. To get what I have listed above requires an investment of over $250 and even a bit more.
If you are willing to drop the requirement for a rechargeable battery, everything else on my list is available in the Brother PT-D600 making it a heck of a bargain at about $79.99 most places. To be honest with the first label maker I owned, a K-Sun 2001XLB I never put batteries in it. I would just plug it into the wall and use it. Yeah, it was a little more hassle but batteries are expensive, recharging takes time, and a label maker is something I may not use for long periods of time and I might get some battery leakage or corrosion.
I bought my first label maker, a K-Sun 2001XLB sometime in the mid-2000’s. I believe the main reason I bought it was that I was restoring a Dynaco ST-70 tube amplifier and I wanted to put heat shrink labels on all the point to point wiring connections.
As an electronics hobbyist having a label maker that printed on heat shrink was a valuable tool, and I still do that to this day on many of my projects.
Most recently I have been using it to build solar power boards which I put in my house and in my camper.
Here’s an example of why one would use a heat shrink labeller in electronics or electrical applications: