Ship Station is all about making your life easier, and that comes in handy as the holiday rush ramps up. This is the time of year when you want your order fulfillment to be as streamlined as possible, and one way to make it even more effortless is to invest in a shipping label printer such as a thermal label printer.
If you’re looking for a recommendation on a laser printer that can print on 8.5″ x 11″ paper, check out these great recommendations from The Wire Cutter and TechRadar.
Why You Should Upgrade to a Thermal Printer
If you have an ecommerce business, then you know that printing labels is a big part of your daily routine. Thermal printers are a huge help because they free you from having to use desktop printers, taping paper labels onto boxes, or buying expensive integrated labels. Thermal printers use heat to transfer pigments onto a surface instead of ink, so they can print much more quickly. Also, thermal printer labels can be surprisingly affordable. Some models of printers even support fanfold labels which cost less money per label than label rolls.
Recommended Thermal Label Printers For Printing Postage
There are a few different thermal printer manufacturers that are widely used and well-reviewed, namely the DYMO 4XL, the Zebra GK420, and the Rollo Thermal Label Printer. Each of them has their own strengths, and there are areas where other models may be better suited. These are models that we’ve either tested ourselves, use around the office to print labels, or that have been praised by ShipStation customers.
Recommended Thermal Printer Breakdown
If you’re looking for a best label printers for shipping, we’ve got three models that we either recommend or that our customers love. The DYMO 4XL is generally the simplest to set up, the least fickle, and doesn’t need to be callibrated. The Zebra GK420 is a great upgrade pick that prints faster, with more customizable options, but is much more expensive and can be difficult to set up. The ROLLO Thermal Printer is a great alternative to the DYMO in that it has more customizations like fanfold label support.
DYMO LabelWriter 4XL Thermal Printer
The DYMO LabelWriter 4XL is one of the most popular thermal label printers for ecommerce sellers. It’s easy to set up and use, and you won’t have to worry about misaligned labels thanks to the way the spool fits into the printer. Plus, you’ll get crisp, clear labels every time you use it.
DYMO 4XL Pros and Cons:
The DYMO 4XL is the best thermal label printer for those who want user-friendly features and high-quality printing. This model doesn’t require the occasional calibration that many other models do to realign the labels, and the print quality rivals that of the Zebra ZD series.
The only downside to the DYMO 4XL is that it has the slowest printing speed and doesn’t support fan-fold labels. Additionally, it is restricted to specific label rolls (must have perforations between each label) and is sometimes mistaken for The DYMO 450. It’s important to note that The DYMO 450 series, including the Twin Turbo, WILL NOT print 4″x6″ thermal transfer labels. Only the DYMO LabelWriter 4XL is able to.
Zebra ZD420 Direct Thermal Printer
The Zebra ZD420 is a workhorse of a printer. It is a bit pricier than the DYMO label maker, but it can be fine-tuned to print exactly to your preferences. It also is a bit more powerful and initiates print jobs more quickly. If you’re using something like Scan To Print, it can print out the labels as quickly as you can create them.
If you are looking for something that can handle the pressure of printing thermal labels all day, the Zebra ZD420 may be the best thermal label printer for you. Unlike the other two models being reviewed, the ZD420 also supports wireless and Bluetooth connections – making it even more versatile.
Rollo Thermal Label Printer
Rollo is the new kid on the block and it’s ready to make a name for itself. Not only does this compact powerhouse cost less than the DYMO 4XL, it also supports fanfold labels! So unlike the DYMO, which requires very specific rolls of labels, you can feed a box of 4″x6″ labels into your Rollo and get to printing.