Tag Archive: brother

How To: Brother HSe Heat Shrink Tubing Calculator

Brother’s heat shrink tubing has been around for over a year now, but has caused a little confusion about the sizes that are available, and for what size cable they’ll fit.
Here I shall briefly go over the sizes and how to work out which one you will need for what size cable. This guide isn’t limited to just Brother’s heat shrink tubing; it can be used to help decide on the correct size for Dymo, Brady, and LabelStation tubing too.

If you’re confused on cable sizing or are using the US measurements, it might be worth having a look at our cable sizing chart.

What you see is what you get

Let’s have a look at the HSe-221. It has a shrink ratio of 2:1 which means it will half in size. It’s rated at a size of 8.8mm, but what does that actually mean?

When flat, the tubing is 8.8mm in width. To work out the diameter of the tube when round, you need to times it by two and that will give you the circumference. Then divide that number by pi.

Width of tubing while flat: 8.8mm
Circumference of tubing while round: 8.8 x 2 = 17.6mm
Diameter of tubing while round: 17.6 ÷ pi = 5.6mm
Diameter at a 2:1 shrink ratio after shrinking: 5.6 ÷ 2 = 2.8mm

So if you have a HSe-221 cassette, this tubing will be suitable for a cables with a cross-section of 2.8mm to 5.6mm.
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P-Touch Desktop Label printer Comparison

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 smartphone 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.

Please note that some printers have been discontinued and replaced with the following:

Discontinued model Replacement model
QL-500 No replacement
QL-560 QL-570
QL-650TD No replacement

Brother P-Touch Industrial Desktop Label Printers Comparison

These products are discontinued. For our full range of current printers please click here.

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 = 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).

Please note that some printers have been discontinued and replaced with the following:

Discontinued model Replacement model
P-Touch 2730 PT-D600
P-Touch 3600 No replacement
P-Touch 9600 PT-D800W
P-Touch 9700 PT-P900W
P-Touch 9800 PT-P950NW