Yup absolutely nothing to dd woth a Glowforge, LOL.
I asked in a couple of other places but didn’t an answer. I think I was asking the wrong audience. So I figured with this community full of makers and crafters I might have a better shot at getting a hit from soneone who will know the answer.
Anywhoo, I have an old Dymo LectraTag handheld label printer. It’s been pretty handy to date but is limted in capability and does produce a lot of waste when not printing large fonts or long strings of text.
I was looking around for a good “modern” replacement that wouldn’t break the piggy bank. I’ve seen a lot of people use the Brother P-Touch label pritners and Brother is a good old brand brand, but they can be a bit pricy. Yet refills can be easy to find I guess. I did find some cheaper off brand ones that looked promising with some good reviews ranging in price from $25 to$50. The only caveat though seems that just about EVERY portable label printer out there while it IS bluetooth enabled HAS TO USE A BLASTED PHONE APP!
Now, I’m 50 years old, I grew up in an age where a phone wasn’t glued to your hand 24/7. Most of the time my phone and I aren;t even in the same room. These days it bothers me to all he-- and back to have to get up, wander around the house to find it just so that I can log into a website.
Yup, I’m “old school”. I would like to find a printer that I can CHOOSE to use my PC either with an application, a standard text editor or someting and then just send it to the laleler and then when I WANT to use my phone or tablet I can when I’m out and about with the the label printer. I do have a Dymo LabelWriter 4XL that works great for shipping lablels. But for tagging things like totes, wires, hard drives and other little things it is a bit much.
Any of you have any favorite little label printers suitable for a crusty old schooler like me?
I guess I must be “older school”. Growing up a computer was a job that you sat about and did math all day. A new-fangled label maker was when felt-tipped pens came out. When I was in college a computer was a building where folks did something called “Fortran”. Many years later there was a handy gadget that fit on your t-square that you could type the letter and there was a pen on a little arm that had a better print hand than the user. But a few years after that Autocad came out and the whole 36" wide sheet would be done by those same pens.
My housemate has one that turns the paper black when heated and is wired to her computer. However, when I want to print a label I just use my Glowforge. It cost more than $50, but I use it for a lot of other things as well.
I always reach for the wire cutter on stuff like this.
They like the PTD610BT, which runs about $85. It has Bluetooth, but it’s optional so it is the best of both worlds.
$85 is higher than your target 25-50 range so I checked ebay… sometimes you can score new or used and save a bunch. There aren’t any bargains for sale right now but if you look at completed items they seem to come up often and go for about $55. Might be a solid option if you’re not in a big hurry.
So yeah that’s probably what I’d do. I find that using the wirecutter for stuff like this has worked out well for me and saved me a bunch of time — I don’t agonize over decisions and spend less time choosing between models of items.
The price range wasn’t a hard limit. Just some nice prices I found that didn’t make me cringe, lol.
I did find the Brother P-Touch Cube Plus and the (looks like its older) PT1230PC. Both are PC connectable. A little higher on the price range, but expected for a Brother and supplies for them tend to be readily available “down the street” in a pinch.
I avoid e-bay like the plague these days. I’ve been burned one too many times by them. And not necessary by the sellers! Usually by ebay themselves and a couple of buyers and “buyers” (you know the ones, 'can you hold it?, ‘i’l buys it nxt wek’)
I also have a Dymo LabelWriter 4XL. Although I do use it for shipping labels, I also have the “file folder” labels that I use a lot to make labels (like for the drawers of my husband’s tool boxes). If you adjust the font size, you can type 3 lines or so on a file folder label. I used to use the file folder labels to make my business labels to put on my products when I sold them in a store. I adjusted the spacing so I could get two to three labels, 3-4 lines each, on just one label. But now that I added my logo design to my business stuff, which has color, I just use my color printer and label paper. If you have a program like Word, and you only need one or a few labels, just start at the bottom of the page, then you can cut that part off and still be able to run it through your printer. Or cut the sheets into something like envelope or photo paper size and run it through the envelope feed.
And I’m 68, so more of an old-schooler than you! I learned to type on an old manual typewriter (was absolutely thrilled when electric typewriters came out!), used IBM Keypunch, and cell phones didn’t exist at all.
I was going to tell you about my Epson LW-600P. But apparently I bought it in 2015, it has been discontinued, and the current replacement models are indeed mobile app only.
That’s a shame because Epson’s mobile app is terrible. I use mine connected to a computer and it’s just ok. I do miss having a keyboard on the device, and I probably wouldn’t buy another one without it.
I can only say that my Brother label printer has served me extremely well for over 20 years. The exact model is no longer sold but they have many equivalents, all waste tape at the start and end of every label. I just write that off as the cost of using it - you can get 3rd party tape for peanuts. I just recently re-stocked black on clear, red on clear, and two of both on white for $12, 6 rolls. Never given it a 2nd thought…
It would be cute to hook up to a computer and upload/print custom stuff, but for that kind of stuff, I just print it and apply with packing tape. Uses 6 AA batteries, and the last time I changed them was over 7 years ago.
I have a label maker similar to this (if not this exact one, it might actually be) and I love it. I don’t like the smaller handheld ones as much, i prefer this keyboard. There are times that making something fancier is not practical for the moment, but I want it to look nicer than paper printed and taped or a handwritten sticker.
One of the reasons that I am looking for one that uses a computer and not a phone or a built in keyboard is the difficulty I am having with my hands with tremor and neuropathy. I amke enough typos as it is on a FULL size keyboad. Dealing with an itty bitty touch keyboard on a phone that is always resetting to the blasted Google G-Board with each update instead of my resized SwiftKey (which is STILL not quite big enough without covering the entire screen). The little rubber built in ones on an all in one unit are a bit better, but can still be a challenge for me.
Ohh I’m sorry! That’s so hard. I have some minor issues myself, can’t even imagine how challenging that can be. I hope you find what works well.
I purchased some labels from OnlineLabels.com before (they might have been sold on Amazon, I don’t recall) and it gave me free access to their Maestro software. That worked really well for me, and it was on the computer. Would that work possibly?
Here’s a write-up for some various options and it includes this one in the article. 5 Best Label Design & Printing Software Programs For 2023
One of the biggest things is dealing is dealing with cable management. You’d think that after 40+ years I’d learn my lesson, lol. Those little tape labels work great to label a cable/cord/ethernet and whatnot behind computers. These days I just don’t have the patience to beat back the tremor and other pains to go digging amongst a spaghetti mess of cables, hehe. I’m not as young as I used to be.
Not to mention, they’d be handy in the workshop organizing our bins, buckets and totes. Both my Wife and I are trying to get better organized these days.
I’m not much of a natural organizer, but I’ve forced myself into a few good habits. One of them is labeling all my power adapters on both ends. It’s really helpful for “what does this go with?” as well as “what am I about to unplug?”
I know, I’ve done LOTS of labels over the years on various formats. The litte Dymo I have and the small tape lables kind of “erased” the excuse of not organizing the cable spaghetti under by desks and benches.
I figured one that I could connect to the PC, I could easily use a a program and quickly reprint different labels. With thye Dymo I ahve to recreate each alber EVERY time I print one. When you have hundreds of cables and tons of little boxes and totes of pieces and parts, that time adds up, lol.
Exactly! And yeah, I try to wall or shelf mount as much as possible. Gets things up off the floor and not piled on desks and stuff. Organize as much as possible. The only weak point is the mass of cabling under/behind it all.
I also put the charging time on a label on the wall wart for rechargeable tools or devices ( like my bicycle lights). That way I know if it needs an hour, three hours, overnight, etc. Not every charger & battery pair is smart enough to throttle charging when the battery in the device is recharged.
I’ve got the same Epson LW-600P @chris1 mentioned and while I’ve exclusively used it via the big iPhones (6 Plus & 13 Pro Max), the aforementioned stipulation for needing a big keyboard made me realize I’ve never tried to see if it played nice with the iPad.
Many mobile apps originated for the iPhone TYPICALLY open up on an iPad strictly locked in portrait mode. My iPad Pro is used in landscape mode 99.99% of the time attached to its keyboard. This presumption is what kept me from even bothering to open the Epson iLabel app on the iPad.
Color me surprised to see that Epson tailored the iPad version of its iLabel App to work in the orientation of my preference:
If there’s an iPad at-hand, its bigger keyboard can be used with their label printers as a better alternative to a smartphone keyboard.
I should also clarify that when I did a spotlight search for Epson on my iPad, the previously installed (but untouched) Epson iLabel showed up and that’s the demo screen above.
On my iPhone 13 Pro Max, it additionally has a newer Epson Label Editor app installed and I’ve prioritized using it since its debut. Both apps worked without issue. The latter provided some newer features/abilities. This realization made me go back to the iPad App Store and I can verify from their description that the Epson Label Editor on the iPad supports landscape mode.
Yes, I believe those two models are mobile only. They’ve now restricted using desktop computer software for their “work” line, including one that appears to be exactly the same as the LW-600P but with garish colors, a rubber enclosure, and a price hike. (Epson LabelWorks LW-PX400 + Durable 1" Label Maker)
If I ever buy a new one, though, I still want a keyboard on the device.