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I have a label printer – a USB-connected device that prints out large labels for tool boxes, organizers, and other such things. I bought my Brother QL-700 10 years ago, and it has served me reasonably well since then. But, my needs have change.
At the time, I didn’t like the limitations of handheld label printers, or the smaller labeling capabilities of the models I was looking at.
But now, I need a versatile handheld printer.
After sorting through a couple of different options by Dymo, I found Epson’s PX series of handheld Labelworks label printers.
The Epson handheld label makers look to check off a lot of boxes for me, and offer added features and capabilities that further sold me on the brand’s models.
I was originally looking for a heatshrink printer, and this can do it. From their marketing materials, Epson has a wider range of sizes and colors than other brands.
It can also print to a range of label sizes. I have organizer with hundreds of removable bins. In some of those, only a slip of paper inside gives indication as to the contents. Being able to add 1/4″ labels seems convenient.
And, it can also print to self-laminating strips, where there’s black-on-white text and a clear wrapper that allows for easy cable identification. This avoids the need for pricier large-size heatshrink labels that can go over bulky pre-terminated end connectors.
I’m sold on the idea. I placed my order today, but wanted to see what you guys think about this type of product.
Epson also offers Bluetooth-connected and semi-stationary models, but I started to see the benefits in having a handheld unit.
There are two industrial models with built-in keyboards, and they both look to have similar graphics and symbols libraries. There’s the LW-PX700, and the LW-PX900. The main difference, from what I can tell, is that the PX900 can print to higher DPI and can work with a wider range of labels – up to 1.5″ as opposed to 1″ for the PX700.
Each model has two options – just the label maker with an AC adapter and starter label cartridge, or a “full kit” that adds in a rechargeable battery and carrying case.
- LW-PX700 – $129
- LW-PX700PCD Kit – $205
- LW-PX900 – $319
- LW-PX900PCD Kit – $399
At the time of this posting, Amazon has a $50 coupon on the “lite” kit version, bringing that price down to $269.
One of the things that helped me almost immediately dismiss other brands is Epson’s attention to customer education.
What are the differences between PX700 and PX900 models? There’s a video for that:
What exactly is self-laminating tape?
They show this clearly in a product brochure page on the Epson website.
There are other features I found appealing, such as the ability to self-rewind labels to help eliminate blank margin space.
It looks like the newer PX700 can save up to 5 image files to the device, but the PX900 can’t do that.
I went with the PX900 for its higher DPI printing and larger size printing capabilities. If ToolGuyd wasn’t footing the bill, the PX700 is much more attractively priced.
A label printer isn’t necessary – I’ve been using masking tape, taped-over paper, and small slips of paper for years. But for me, this looks like a problem-solver and a way to eliminate common frustrations.
If all goes well, I’ll be using it maybe 40% for parts bins, bags, and drawers, 40% for project wiring and cables, and 20% for misc workshop and supply labeling needs.
Prior to learning about the Epson printers, I had been considering the Dymo Rhino 4200 (~$67-$80) and 5200 (~$133-$155) models.