Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Label Maker of 2022

We tested label makers from Dymo, Brother, and Brady to find the best models
Best Label Maker of 2022
Credit: Laura Casner

Our Top Picks

By Ross Patton ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 17, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

We researched more than 50 label makers before we narrowed it down to the top 9 of these devices to purchase and compare for ourselves to see which are truly the best for different applications. We carefully unpackaged, set up, installed, and printed with each of these label makers until we thoroughly understood each device's strengths and weaknesses. Our expert product testers broke our assessment down into three metrics — ease of setup, ease of use, and features & settings.

Maybe you need to label your storage containers in your garage, some mason jars to organize dried goods in your pantry, or print shipping labels for your small business. No matter the application, our review aims to help you find the right product for you. For other supplies for your home office, we've tested everything from home printers to standing desk converters to paper shredders.


Best Overall Label Maker

DYMO LabelManager 160

Power Source: 6 AAA Batteries/AC Cord | Maximum Label Width: 0.5"
Very user friendly
No setup
Qwerty keyboard
One font
Can't print barcodes

The DYMO LabelManager 160 is incredibly easy to use. There is no setup process, and thanks to the device's large buttons and their intuitive symbols, the user interface is self-explanatory. The dedicated numeric keys, in combination with the qwerty configured keyboard, make entering characters a breeze. The LabelManager 160 also comes programmed with a decent collection of symbols and clip art that can indicate high voltage, fragility, and many characters that are just for fun.

The simplistic design and functionality of the DYMO LabelManager 160 mean it lacks some bells and whistles that others have. It can only print one generic font, which is sufficient for many but not ideal for those looking to get creative with your labels. Because this model lacks the ability to print barcodes, those seeking a label makerĀ for retail or warehouse applications may need to look elsewhere. However, we think that the LabelManager160 is one of the best label makers out there and will do an excellent job for most people, despite its short list of flaws.

best overall label maker
Credit: Laura Casner


Best Bluetooth Option

Brother P-Touch Cube Plus PT-P710BT

Power Source: Built-in Lithium Ion Battery | Maximum Label Width: 0.94"
Bluetooth technology
Array of templates
Requires app

The Brother P-Touch Cube Plus PT-P710BT is our favorite label maker that utilizes Bluetooth technology. This device links to a smartphone, tablet, or computer using a free app. Once connected, it is straightforward to create labels from your smartphone or tablet. We love the P-Touch Cube Plus's wide variety of pre-programmed templates for specialized labels such as cables, cabinets, files, and several sizes of barcodes.

The downside to Bluetooth technology is that it requires a third-party device to interface with the label maker. If you want a model with a keyboard on the maker itself, the P-Touch Cube Plus is not the best choice. This particular model is also a bit spendy. A more affordable model might make sense unless you're really after the latest and greatest in cutting-edge label maker technology. That said, this device is an excellent choice for those that want to use a smartphone or tablet to make labels.

label maker - best bluetooth option
Credit: Laura Casner


Best Manual Powered Model

DYMO Organizer Xpress Pro

Power Source: None | Maximum Label Width: 0.4"
Incredibly simple
No batteries
One generic font

The DYMO Organizer Xpress Pro is your best bet if you're looking for a bare-bones simplistic label maker. Entirely manually powered, this device will never require an additional battery purchase or an annoying battery change. To make a label, you just turn the dial to the preferred letter or character and emboss them into the tape by squeezing the handle one letter at a time. The Xpress Pro is also dirt cheap — you won't see much of a dent in your bank account if you choose this model.

The manual-powered design of this DYMO Organizer Xpress Pro has a few flaws. First, you have to turn the dial to emboss each letter, which is a bit of a slow and cumbersome process compared to using a keyboard or a smartphone to define text. Unfortunately, the Organizer Xpress Pro only offers one font — if variety is a determining factor for you, this is not the right choice. Still, we think that this model is perfect for a garage, shop, or those who don't want the hassle of dealing with batteries or apps.

label maker - best manual powered model
Credit: Laura Casner


Best Bang for the Buck

Brother P-touch PT70BM

Power Source: 4 AAA Batteries | Maximum Label Width: 0.47"
Qwerty keyboard
Time & date button
No setup
Limited functions

We recommend the Brother P-touch PT70BM if you're looking for a digital label maker on a budget. This device is programmed and ready right out of the package — slap some batteries in, and it's ready to go. We find that qwerty keyboards, such as the one on this model, are more comfortable to use than those with buttons in alphabetical order. The PT70BM has a button dedicated to a time & date stamp, which can be very handy for keeping things organized.

The PT70BM has a few shortcomings. There are very few options for letter sizing, fonts, symbols, and it can't print barcodes. We also weren't thrilled that a shift key is needed to switch between letters and numbers — other models have buttons solely dedicated to numbers that make typing faster and easier. The PT70BM has a bit of a lag time between when characters are entered and when they show up on the screen. Lastly, when it comes to printing, this device is outright slow. But the P-touch PT70BM handles most label maker tasks at a fraction of the cost of much of the competition.

label maker - best bang for the buck
Credit: Laura Casner


Best for Shipping Labels

DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo Direct

Power Source: Wall Plug | Maximum Label Width: 2.2"
Lighting fast
Laser printing
Can print postage
Difficult setup
Needs power source

It's hard to top the DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo Direct when printing shipping labels. The software for this model has several easy-to-use templates, one of which is dedicated to printing addresses. With the 450 Turbo Direct software, you can also buy subscriptions officially licensed by the United States Postal Service to print postage labels so you'll never have to visit the post office in person. This model uses direct thermal printing, so you won't have to worry about running out of ink. It's also incredibly fast — the 450 can print 50 addresses per minute, making it the ideal tool for boosting your shipping productivity.

There are a few elements of the DYMO LabelWriter 450 that we weren't very impressed with. For one, the software installation and setup process is time-consuming and complicated compared to models with phone apps or no setup at all. This model also requires a power cord and must be hard-wired to a computer with a USB cable, so it isn't meant to be portable. However, we think the 450 Turbo Direct is an excellent choice if you're looking for a super-fast shipping label printer that's very easy to use.

label maker - best for shipping labels
Credit: Laura Casner


Best for Tradeworkers and Job Sites

Brady BMP21-PLUS

Power Source: 6 AAA Batteries | Maximum Label Width: 0.75"
Presets for trade work
Many font sizes

We recommend the Brady BMP21-PLUS if you're looking for a label maker that can survive the everyday conditions of a dirty, dangerous job site. This device has passed military standard shock and vibration testing to 810G standards. In other words, it can take some physical abuse. The BMP21-PLUS has several presets for applications in the field of video & communications, sound, electrical, and it can print barcodes. If you're looking to print extra large lettering, the Brady BMP21-PLUS is the way to go — this device prints up to a size 40 font.

The BMP21-PLUS isn't exactly compact. This model weighs 1.6 pounds and measures more than 9 inches long and 4 inches wide with a thickness of 3 inches. If you're looking for a label maker that can easily slip into a desk drawer, we'd recommend going with a smaller, lighter model. This device is also a bit on the pricey side for the number of capabilities that it offers. Despite its flaws, we still think it is the way to go if you're working in the field.

label maker - best for tradeworkers and job sites
Credit: Laura Casner


Another Solid Bluetooth Option

DYMO MobileLabeler

Power Source: Built it Lithium Ion Battery | Maximum Label Width: 1"
Bluetooth connectivity
Plethora of fonts
Rechargeable battery
Requires app

Coming up just short of winning an award is the DYMO MobileLabeler. To print labels using this device, the user must install an app on a smartphone or tablet to connect to the label maker via Bluetooth. This technology has several advantages as opposed to a standard keyboard. In an office setting, several people can connect to the MobileLabeler, and you can leave it in a central location for everyone to use. The DYMO Connect App uses Apple and Google fonts in addition to the brand's borders and templates — this model offers limitless customization of labels.

The MobileLabeler is not the best option unless you are interested in using a smartphone or tablet to make labels. The main drawback we found with the DYMO MobileLabeler is the price. During our assessment, we found other Bluetooth models that offer similar performance at a significantly smaller cost. Still, this could be the right label maker for you if you are a fan of DYMO or already have other devices that use the DYMO Connect App.

label maker
Credit: Laura Casner


A Decent Option with a Magnetic Holder

DYMO LetraTag LT-100H

Power Source: 4 AA Batteries | Maximum Label Width: 0.5"
No setup
Magnetic holder
Lacks qwerty keyboard
Limited fonts

The DYMO LetraTag LT-100H offers some attractive elements. We love that this label maker doesn't require any setup — once the batteries are installed, it's good to go. The LT-100H is also very intuitive to use. Featuring large buttons, clearly marked symbols, and a cartridge loading system, you won't spend much time fiddling around with this device while printing labels. The DYMO LetraTag LT-100H includes a magnetic holder that can also be mounted to a surface with bolts or screws so that your labeler will always have a place to live.

We weren't thrilled to discover that the keyboard on the LT-100H is in alphabetical order. Most of us are accustomed to qwerty keyboards and find them much more efficient and intuitive to use. This model also only offers one font in five different sizes. If customization is vital for you, we recommend going with a model with more settings.

label maker
Credit: Laura Casner


Good for Frames and Symbols

Brother P-touch PTD210

Power Source: 6 AAA Batteries | Maximum Label Width: 0.5"
Several fonts
Variety of frames and symbols
Qwerty keyboard
Requires many batteries
Buttons lag a bit

We suggest you go with the Brother P-touch PTD210 if the ability to get creative with your label making is crucial for you. This device comes programmed with 600 symbols, 97 frames, and 14 fonts to suit the needs of anyone looking to get crafty with labels. Brother TZe tape comes in various colors, types, and sizes to match your wants and needs. The PTD210 keyboard uses a qwerty layout, which quickly became our favorite layout during our hands-on assessment.

The biggest downside that we found while testing the Brother P-touch PTD210 is that it requires 6 AAA batteries — this is an awful lot to deal with and inherently adds an operating cost for using this device. We also found a fraction of a second of lag between when a button is pushed and when it registers on the display. It's not a big deal, but it can become annoying if optimal productivity is the goal. However, we'd still recommend the PTD210 to those looking for a label maker with a ton of fonts, frames, symbols, and tape types.

label maker
Credit: Laura Casner

Why You Should Trust Us

To tackle the task of reviewing label makers, we chose our review editor Ross Patton. Ross has a long list of technical electric product reviews under his belt, including Bluetooth trackers, WiFi extenders, and cordless electric chainsaws. He has been testing products for more than a decade. With his extensive experience coupled with a formal education in environmental science, you can rest easy knowing that we put these products through the wringer. The first thing we did was put in hours of research to narrow the field down to the top models, we then purchased the best ones based on our findings, and finally, we gave them a head-to-head comparison by printing hundreds of labels in our testing lab.

We printed piles of labels in order to inspect their quality.
We printed piles of labels in order to inspect their quality.
Here at GearLab, we purchase our products to give them a true...
Here at GearLab, we purchase our products to give them a true side-by-side comparison.
Certain models are ideal for printing shipping labels.
Certain models are ideal for printing shipping labels.

Analysis and Test Results

We broke our total score down into three separate sections — settings & features, ease of setup, and ease of use.

Ease of Setup

To start our assessment, we considered how much time it takes to unbox each model and get them ready to start printing. Surprisingly, we discovered large differences in the setup process for each label maker. Some require an app to be installed on a desktop or a laptop computer, others require a smartphone app, some require charging or installing batteries, and some are ready to go right out of the box. Keep in mind — a model that takes longer for initial setup may ultimately save time and increase efficiency in the long run.

label maker - the dymo labelmanager 160 is ready to go once batteries are installed.
The DYMO LabelManager 160 is ready to go once batteries are installed.
Credit: Laura Casner

We recommend the DYMO Organizer Xpress Pro if you are looking for a model that is ready to go directly out of the package and doesn't even require batteries. This device comes with the tape preloaded, so you can start creating tags in a matter of seconds.

label maker - the dymo organizer xpress pro prints labels in seconds without the...
The DYMO Organizer Xpress Pro prints labels in seconds without the use of batteries or software.
Credit: Laura Casner

A few of our favorite models come pre-programmed and only require you to install batteries and take a glance through the instruction booklet before they are ready to go. This type includes the Brady BMP21-PLUS, DYMO LabelManager 160, and Brother P-Touch PT70BM models. The Bluetooth models, such as the Brother P-Touch Cube Plus, require you to install an app on a smartphone, tablet, or computer needed to print labels. You also need to pair the device to the label maker, which can be a bit of a pain sometimes — and don't forget that the lithium-ion battery needs to be charged before using most Bluetooth models. Scoring near the back of the pack for this metric, we found the DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo Direct to be slightly tricky to set up. An application must be downloaded and installed on a computer to use this model, and the label maker needs to be plugged into both the wall and USB port to receive data from the computer.

label maker - when it comes to models that require software, we think the dymo...
When it comes to models that require software, we think the DYMO program is great.
Credit: Ross Patton

Ease of Use

For this section, we subjectively judged how difficult each device is to use once it is unboxed, turned on, and all of the necessary Bluetooth connections, drivers, and applications are installed. We carefully examined the tape cartridges and assessed how difficult they are to install or remove.

For the models that require an app, we thought that the Brother P-Touch Cube Plus was incredibly simple. The tape cartridges are simple to install, and the P-Touch app is a very seamless user interface using iOS devices. We are also fans of the DYMO computer software used for the LabelWriter 450 Turbo Direct — this program is very efficient thanks to the use of an actual computer keyboard rather than buttons on the device itself. However, we found that loading label rolls into the 450 Turbo was not as easy as models with cartridges, and sometimes a few labels must be wasted to get everything aligned properly.

label maker - be ready to spend an extra bit of time installing the printing tape...
Be ready to spend an extra bit of time installing the printing tape if you go with the 450 Turbo Direct.
Credit: Laura Casner

The Brother P-Touch PT70BM and DYMO LabelManager 160 both have qwerty keyboards that are intuitive and straightforward. We love the extra-large buttons with elementary symbols on the LabelManager 160. The PT70BM has a time & date shortcut button for keeping tabs on those details. The label cartridges for both of these models only require a moderate amount of know-how and effort to install.

label maker - qwerty keyboards are a bit easier to use than those that have...
Qwerty keyboards are a bit easier to use than those that have letters in alphabetical order.
Credit: Ross Patton

The Brady BMP21-PLUS tape cartridge snaps right into place on the front of the device, which made the process of changing tape super simple. We found that the rubber jacketing surrounding this device's body, combined with its handy lanyard, makes it incredibly easy to transport and hold on to — traits that make it ideal for use in a warehouse or at a job site.

label maker - the lanyard on the bmp21-plus helps ensure you don't drop your...
The lanyard on the BMP21-Plus helps ensure you don't drop your investment.
Credit: Laura Casner

The most cumbersome out of our top ranking models is the DYMO Organizer Xpress Pro. This particular device requires you to turn a dial to each letter or symbol and then squeeze a handle to emboss them onto the tape.

label maker - to print labels with this model a dial must be turned to emboss each...
To print labels with this model a dial must be turned to emboss each character on the tape.
Credit: Ross Patton

Settings and Features

If you're looking for a simple label maker to keep things organized in the garage, you may only need the most basic of models. On the flip side, if you're looking for a label maker for arts & crafts or office use, it might make sense to get a model that offers a variety of fonts or Bluetooth connectivity. If you're looking to organize products or a warehouse, it'd be wise to get an industrial model with a lanyard that has barcode printing capabilities. For the last section of our review, we examined the features and settings that each model offers.

label maker - the time & date shortcut button on the pt70bm is a nifty feature.
The time & date shortcut button on the PT70BM is a nifty feature.
Credit: Ross Patton

Offering an unprecedented array of settings and options for label types and fonts is the Brother P-Touch Cube Plus. This device is compatible with most Google and Apple font libraries, there are tons of templates, and it prints several types of barcodes. It's also great for crafts or labels for applications such as gift pack labels, wedding seating placements, or retail needs, thanks to its ability to use various tapes, including bright colors and even glitter.

label maker - the pt-p710bt can use an array of tapes with virtually endless fonts.
The PT-P710BT can use an array of tapes with virtually endless fonts.
Credit: Laura Casner

Look no further than the DYMO Labelwriter 450 Turbo Direct if you need to print many shipping labels at a fast rate. This device prints 50 address labels per minute and can even print postage if you subscribe to a licensed post office service. The 450 Turbo also prints barcodes, name badges, file labels, binder labels, or custom labels created by you.

label maker - the 450 turbo can print 50 shipping labels per minute.
The 450 Turbo can print 50 shipping labels per minute.
Credit: Ross Patton

For those in the trade industries, the Brady BMP21-PLUS has several attractive features, including many presets for electricians, scientists, and AV specialists. This device can also print barcodes for those working in a warehouse or retail setting.

label maker - the brady bmp21-plus is great for the workplace.
The Brady BMP21-PLUS is great for the workplace.
Credit: Laura Casner


The primary goal at GearLab is to guide our readers to the perfect products for their individual applications and needs. During this assessment, we thoughtfully examined each device to provide you with the most accurate information that we can. We hope that having read this article, you now have the knowledge and information you need to buy the ideal label maker for yourself.

Ross Patton

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More