Paper labels have always been good for general, office, and courier use. The only down side is that paper is easy to damage. Dymo has been the odd one out in terms of material selection for their LabelWriter labels… until now.
Why choose a different material?
- Industrial adhesive provides a permanent fixture to more challenging surfaces like metal, textured PVC, glass and wood.
- Protective coating resists damage from abrasion, oils and cleaning products.
- High-grade material means the label can withstand temperatures from -18°C to +50°C.
- Moisture-resistant design withstands damp conditions and rain up to 85% humidity.
The new Dymo Durable labels are more resistance to cleaning, chemicals, rain, temperatures and challenging surfaces. It’s almost like you’re upgrading your printer by only upgrading your labels.
Use your labels for outdoors, on floors, on pallets and tools, on frozen items*, on laboratory equipment, on the exterior of vehicles, etc.
Similar to a test done recently, I applied the labels to a cardboard roll, doused it with warm water**, froze it, then refreshed the water every now and then to build up the ice.
After 24 hours and a few fresh coatings of water, we can see from the second two images that the labels are still holding on but it’s probably because of the layer of ice. Next is post-defrost.
After thawing out we can see that the regular label has faded slightly, lost some of its adhesive and is water damaged. Meanwhile, the durable label looks as good as it did before freezing and still has its strong adhesive. The roll they were stuck to is ruined.
Outside on painted metal
I dried an area on a shipping container in our back yard. The labels were applied and as you can see from the first photo, they were immediately exposed to the rain.
The next morning after a night of rain, the regular label has faded slightly and looks like it’s about to peel off, while the durable label looks as good as it did yesterday. I have no hope for the regular label as a previous test involving direct thermal labels applied outside, didn’t end so well.
After 4 days of exposure to the outdoor elements………..
Very rough abrasion
All the rough abrasion tests are done using a folded piece of cardboard. This test was very rough and certainly not as rough as any further abrasion tests.
You can see in the second photo, the paper label at the top was starting to rip at the right edge, while the durable label below it put up a fight and stayed stuck and one piece.
Alcohol + abrasion
Here we can see a fairly extreme test. The alcohol we’re using today is isopropyl alcohol (IPA) which does a superb job at removing dirt and adhesive. Most label removal solutions include IPA for its adhesive removal properties.
We can see in the second picture that the alcohol is penetrating the paper label at the edges. I left it like this for a couple minutes.
In the third photo I lightly dried the label and did a fairly rough abrasion test. The durable label took a little knock to the left and right edges, but otherwise held strong. The paper label looks a mess.
A second coating of alcohol and the paper labels abrasion evidence is starting to fade, but so is its print. No change to the durable label.
After a fairly rough wipe down, we can see the durable label is still looking almost exactly how it did when it was applied. The paper label is holding some of the alcohol which in a short amount of time will affect the adhesive. Removing the paper label required no effort while the durable label put up a fight.
White spirit + abrasion
This text is exactly the same as the test above, but with white spirit instead of alcohol.
In the second photo, we can see the durable label has an almost hydrophobic property against the white spirit. The paper label is absorbing some of the liquid which I expect will have an affect on the print and adhesive.
In the third photo the labels are wiped dry and then undergo an aggressive abrasion test. There is little effect on the durable label, but the paper label certainly absorbed a lot of white spirit which is likely to damage the label, as well as the damage by abrasion.
The second coating of white spirit in the fourth photo shows the paper labels absorbing even more of the liquid.
And finally after a vigorous wipe down, both labels have kept the print and stayed adhered to the worktop I applied them to. I did peel them off and the paper came off with no struggle while the durable was strong as usual.
We’ve done a floor test previously for the XTL vinyl. Dymo have specifically said these Durable LabelWriter labels are suitable for being stuck to the floor of a warehouse. You can see from the first photo that the labels were applied very close to one another. They are in a busy doorway so they’ll be stepped on, and probably scuffed quite a bit over time.
The labels have now had 5 days of being walked on. I was expecting more of a contrast between these two, but it seems our warehouse guys pick their feet up properly when walking. There’s also a trolley which doesn’t look like it’s had any effect on the labels.
This is a fairly short-term test and it would be more beneficial to run this test for longer. Maybe I’ll come back and update this blog post if both labels stay stuck and there is a significant difference between them.
I also tested an oil and WD-40 which had little to no effect on the labels.
Firstly, let’s have a quick look at the price per label. I’d like to point out first that as much as the sizes of the labels are the same, the price also differs for the quantity of labels per roll.
|Average cost per label||Regular||Durable|
|25mm x 25mm||1.47p per label for 750||2.76p per label for 1700|
|57mm x 32mm||1.35p per label for 1000||7.5p per label for 800|
|25mm x 54mm||2.2p per label for 500||10.5p per label for 160|
Now that we got the cost of the labels out the way, I can talk about the actual quality of them.
The print quality is certainly better on the durable labels compared to the paper labels. The edges of any text is more crisp and the contrast is a lot higher giving a more professional final product.
The adhesive on the paper labels is suitable for office and dispatch labelling, but for more extreme requirements the durable label won’t budge without a good amount of persuasion.
Since the release of these new labels we have seen a rapid incline of their demand. They certainly got popular quickly and I can see why.
To see a selection of sizes and purchase these labels, see our Dymo LabelWriter label shop.
*Applied before freezing.
** Warm water freezes more quickly than cold water (seriously, look it up).