by Paul Sanders
It can be useful to print your own receipts and labels at home if you have your own business or want to use labeling to organize your home. Label printers and makers are available for a number of different applications. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions that may help you decide how to use label printers in your own home.
What is the difference between a label maker and a label printer?
Label makers are typically made to be stand-alone units. They usually have built-in keyboards and screens, which allow you to type and print labels without a computer. Label printers are typically designed to be connected to a computer.
What kind of labels can I print?
The most common types of labels are printed on self-adhesive paper or tape. You can print bar codes, descriptive tags, shipping labels and just about any other type of label you need. Your only label-printing limitations are the type and size of paper that your printer will accept and the color of ink it can use.
What is a thermal label printer?
Thermal label printers create labels by applying heat to thermal-transfer paper instead of printing with ink. This is the same technology that most commercial receipt printers use. Thermal printing is not ideal for long-term labels, however. Over time, exposure to heat and light can cause the printed pattern to fade.
Do I need special paper to print labels?
The type of label printer you use will determine the type of paper you can use for label printing. If your label printer can produce semi-gloss labels, you may need a specific wax or resin paper. Thermal printers require thermal-transfer tape to print labels.
Which label printers will work with my computer?
Each label printer may require that your computer runs a specific operating system and is capable of connecting to the printer. Your computer may also need to have specific software installed to run your label printer. Some label printers use USB or serial data cables to communicate with your computer.