The Brother TD-4000 Label Printer doesn’t print onto DK rolls but will in fact print on to Brother’s RD labels. Its maximum print width is 102mm but labels of any size can be used. Even bespoke sizes that are not immediately available off the shelf!
None of these printers have Wi-Fi but the QL-1060N can connect via a wire to a wireless network and other wireless devices can print to it.
All the following printers can connect to a computer via USB and have a maximum print width of 62mm. They all use the Brother P-Touch Editor software which is a free download from the Brother website.
The Brother QL-500 label printer is the most basic label printer and is currently the cheapest. It prints quickly and has a manual cutter. This means you have to slide a thumb-sized tab to the right to cut between labels. This isn’t required but it helpful to separate labels or cut the continuous rolls to the desired size.
The Brother QL-560 Label Printer is the same as the QL-500 but has an automatic electric cutter instead. Again this isn’t required and can be switched off in the P-Touch Editor software.
The Brother QL-650TD Label Printer has USB and serial (RS232) connection. It also has built-in memory to save label templates to the printer to be printed without a computer connected. It also has a built-in clock to print labels with the current date and/or time. The dates and times can have calculations for use as expiry labels such as a car park expiry time or a “use by date” on food.
The Brother QL-700 Label Printer is the cheapest in the newer range. It prints very quickly and has a built-in automatic cutter. It also has the P-Touch Editor Lite software built-in to its memory so no installation is required for using the printer but for more advanced options the software can be downloaded quickly and easily from the Brother website.
The Brother QL-710W Label printer is the same as the QL-700 but has wired Ethernet connection to print from multiple computers on a network and from a compatible smart phone with Brother’s “iPrint&Label” App.
The Brother QL-720NW Label Printer is again the same as the previous QL-710W but with the additional serial connection and Wi-Fi to connect wirelessly to a network for multiple computers to access at any time allowing it to be moved around and with one less cable to lose.
The Brother P-Touch 7100 handheld label printer is the cheapest P-Touch specifically targeted at electricians. It will print on TZ tape sizes between 3.5 and 12mm. It has an ABC keyboard, large 1-line display, 9 font styles. It comes supplied with a hard carrycase and mains adaptor but can run from 6 AAA batteries.
The Brother P-Touch 7500 handheld label printer is much larger and heavy duty. It will print up to 7 lines on TZ tapes between 6 and 24mm. It has a large 2-line backlit LCD. It too comes supplied with a hard carrycase and mains adaptor but can run from 6 AA batteries.
The Brother 7600 handheld label printer has all the same features and the 7500 but also has USB to connect to a computer to design labels templates and upload company logos to the printer’s memory. It is supplied with the same hard carrycase, mains power adaptor but will also run off the included rechargeable battery pack instead of just 6 AA batteries.
Quick tip: The battery pack is not compatible with the 7500 so if you’re a busy electrician you need to decide if 6 AAs at a time is going to cut it for you in the long term. These printers will last a very long time, so the 7600 with a rechargeable battery pack is the way forward as you can use 6 AAs should the battery pack go flat or you forget to charge it while you’re out on a job.
The following printers can be connected to a computer via USB which will allow for extra fonts and font styles installed on the computer to be used. All printer-installed fonts are listed in the table below.
Print speeds: Fast = 10mm per second. Very Fast = 20mm per second. Super Fast HG = 80mm per second on HG tape and 20mm per second on TZ tape.
The Brother P-Touch 2730 label printer is at the low-end of the high-end scale. Its fast 7-line printing will give you 8 different fonts that you can preview on a large, backlit, 3-line display and will also produce 9 different barcodes types. It will print on TZ tapes up to 24mm with an automatic electric cutter. This comes supplied with a mains adaptor and a USB cable.
The Brother 3600 label printer is the same as the 2730 but will print on TZ tape up to 36mm (the model name is a coincidence though). It is one of four of the fastest P-Touch printers (known here as the “Very Fast” speed of 20mm per second). It has two extra fonts and a few more font styles. The display is not backlit on this unit.
The Brother 9600 label printer is again similar to the 2730 but is also similar to the 3600. It will print on TZ tapes between 6 and 36mm. Again it is in the fastest printing range and can print up to 16 lines of text. You have 10 fonts to choose from, 18 font styles and 9 barcode types. It features a QWERTY keyboard with hard keys (hard like a computer keyboard, not rubber like the other P-Touch printers) and the large 3-line display is backlit. The automatic cutter can also part-cut allowing a long string of labels to be printed without piling up in a big mess.
The Brother 9700 and 9800 label printer are the same but the 9800 has an RJ45 Ethernet connection for connection to multiple computers on a network (perfect for offices, factory or warehouse networks). These printers will print on both TZ tapes (in the “Very Fast” speed) and the HG tapes (in the “Super Fast” speed). The tapes can be between 3.5 and 36mm. It has an automatic cutter that will cut fully or part-cut. You can print up to 16 lines before it becomes unreadable. These can also be connected by serial (RS232).
The Brother 1290DT label printer is the second cheapest P-Touch printer that features an easy-to-use QWERTY keyboard. It provides a wide, clear LCD display, a selection of two fonts and will print up to two lines quickly on TZ tapes between 3.5 and 12mm. This printer will also power from the included mains adaptor or 6 AAA batteries. It is one of a very limited selection that includes a stand that is also a desk tidy.
A very big jump in the terms of features is the Brother P-Touch 2030VP label printer. This comes with a hard carry case and a power supply but will also run from 6 AA batteries instead. This fast printer is compatible with TZ tapes between 3.5 and 18mm. This can print up to 5 lines with 4 different fonts. The large LCD display also makes it a clear to use and preview your label. The window on the top means you can see which tape size and colour is loaded without having to fumble around turning it over.
The Brother P-Touch 1230 label printer is the cheapest USB-only label printer from Brothers’ range. It is fairly low-end so despite its fast printing and almost infinite supply of fonts (downloadable True Types fonts are available for your PC) it will only print on TZ tapes between 3.5 and 12mm. It requires 6 AAA batteries to run or the available AD24 power adaptor.
The Brother P-Touch 2430 label printer is the bigger brother (no pun intended) of the 1230. It too has an almost infinite supply of fonts but has the addition of printing 18 different types of barcodes. This fast printer can print up to 7 lines of text and is supplied with its own mains power adaptor but can also run on 6 AAAs instead.
The P-Touch 1230 and 2430 label printer are common purchases for electricians as they are compatible with some PAT testing equipment. This means an item can be tested and the printer will produce a “PASSED” or “FAILED” label with the company name, tester’s initials, test date and re-test date.
The difference between the Brother GL-100 and the Brother GL-200 label printer is the same as the P-Touch 1000 and 1010. The GL-200 offers an additional tape sizes, fast printing, more borders and a larger screen whereas the GL-100 has two fonts but won’t print onto 3.5mm tape sizes. Purchasing the GL-200 in kit form (GL-200VP) will also include the UK mains power adaptor and a hard carry case. Purchasing the GL-200 and the power adaptor separately could cost nearly £5 more* and you don’t even get the case for that price!
The P-Touch 90 label printer is the only printer available that prints on to “M” tape giving a limited selection of colours and sizes. It is, however, the cheapest P-Touch that features a QWERTY keyboard making it easier to use if you’ve ever used a computer (reading this would indicate you’ve used a computer at least once).
The P-Touch 1000 label printer uses “TZ” tape to give you a wide selection of colours to choose from the 6, 9 and 12mm tape sizes. It features an ABC keyboard which may be difficult to get used to (it was for me from using a computer with a QWERTY keyboard numerous times a day) but it soon becomes easy. This is the only printer in the lower range that features two available fonts.
P-Touch 1010 label printer is the 1000’s bigger brother. Fast print speed, compatible with “TZ” tapes of 3.5 to 12mm with a large easy to read LCD screen, more icons and border styles. This printer however only prints with one font but with a selection of over 50 different colours and sizes of TZ tapes to choose from.
P-Touch 1090 label printer is the sleek new better looking 1010. With all the same features in a more comfortable grip and stylish new look. Full features for low price! Its ABC keyboard has a more “clicky” feel to it giving you feedback that you actually pressed the button (almost like a smart phone when it vibrates on key presses).
The next printers in the range are similar but specifically designed and targeted at gardeners and their gardens.
Print speeds: Medium = 7mm per second. Fast = 10mm per second.
Brady are set to launch the all new Brady BBP85 Industrial Printer. This is the most exciting printer to come from Brady in recent years. It picks up where the aging PowerMark left off by bringing a more powerful and versatile system to market.
The Brady BBP85 promises to take “on demand” printing to another level. Using the latest touch screen technology with super fast image processing the Brady BBP85 is set to become a must have printing system for all MRO and Off-shore facilities.
With a choice of connectivity, the Brady BBP85 brings true networking printing to give wider access to the printer around you organisation, plus it features wireless connectivity too. The 56MB internal storage, flip down keyboard and the built in image library also makes this an ideal stand-alone print system. The Brady BBP85 will be available from Spring 2013. As the UK’s leading Brady supplier we will be pleased to offer you a competitive trade in against your old sign and labelling system.
For more information about the Brady BBP85 please call our Product Advisors on 0800 975 5040 or visit the Brady BBP85 product section on our website
Looking for a label printer? How to decide between Direct Thermal label printing and Thermal Transfer label printing, People are often confused about the differences between direct thermal label printers and thermal transfer label printers, and which type better suits their needs.
Direct thermal or Thermal Transfer?
Our short video below show exactly what happens with Direct Thermal Label Printing and Thermal Transfer Label Printing:
This video might become unavailable but will be replaced with a newer one soon.
Main thing to understand about thermal transfer printers is that they require the use of a carbon ribbon which gets transferred onto the substrate via heat, hence the name “thermal transfer.” The ribbons can be different colours, so the user is not limited to black print. The label printing quality will be very crisp and durable so this method is excellent for high density bar-codes and labels that require longevity.
When thinking of Direct thermal think of a till receipt you would get at a supermarket, Direct thermal printing is an excellent choice for many barcode labelling applications, this requires no ribbon and therefore is a cheaper option when printing labels. Though your labels will only be limited to black print, unless special, pre-printed direct thermal paper is utilized, and the printing is not as crisp as that of thermal transfer ribbon printing. Over time the labels will darken, particularly when the surface gets scratched, or is subjected to heat and sunlight. However, a true direct thermal label printer utilizes a print head that is made of thicker glass, for increased print head durability. Direct thermal printing is popular in the foods industry, since most items are stored away from heat and sunlight, and the label shelf life is less than 1 year. The primary benefit is an overall lower cost and easier media changeovers since ribbon is not required.