Labeling devices

bronwynsmomJuly 22, 2008

I've just finished reading the thread from March '07 about labelers, and wonder if you junkies (and apparently all y'all who use them are addicted...) have updated recommendations for what to buy now?

I don't need address uses are kitchen, closet shelf, file, and various containers, but I'd like the option of iron-on tapes/fabric tapes, and more than one size. And I don't want it to be computer-dependent.

The models available are staggeringly confusing.


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Here's how I handle dealing w/ all the "staggeringly confusing" sets of options.

I identify the must-haves, and then I identify 3 "really would like."

Get a P-touch; it's very popular, and so its tapes are very widely available.

Here are the things I think are a minimum (unless you are really on a tight budget)

-3/4" capability
-new "super narrow" CD tape capability
-TZ tape capabillity (almost all the P-touches can do this)

The new splurge for me, but one I think I would insist on (and if I were doing it over, I know I'd DEFINITELY choose this. I don't want to waste money, but honestly, I can afford a small splurge)
-multiple fonts

All of them can do multiple STYLES (slanted, squeezed, stretched), but I have found that I would like to be able to use different typefaces in some more semi-decorative spots.

Probably the PT-1880, which has 2 fonts, would be as low as I would go.

But, for only $20 more, I could get more fonts to choose from, and I just might splurge and spend $70 (or $80 or so) to get the 2110, which comes w/ a case, but to me the case isn't that important)

That "multiple fonts" would be the big determiner; on the P-touch, the features that split the list up are tape width, and number of fonts. All the other features don't seem to change much from machine to machine.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 2:14PM
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T-Sue, I bow to your wisdom!
And I agree with your entire process...I decided that fonts were not so important to me, because I know I will have a lovely time wasting time messing about with them, and what I really need is to Get On With It.
So I used your process of deciding, and have chosen the PT-1280, as it does all the other things.
Have a martini on me.
Don't put a label on it...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 5:16PM
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At one point, I was about to just go out and get myself a labeler.

Then I decided that I already had the most versatile labeler around: my computer, with all of its fonts, and infinite gradations of size. I can print on card stock, labels or even get fancy and cover up a piece of card stock or a label with tape, and then I have a laminated label.

Perhaps it is more convenient to be in your kitchen and make labels right there, instead of having to run upstairs to the computer, and the laminated labels are probably more waterproof, but I am happy with my arrangement.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 8:35AM
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Maryliz, you are right about the simplicity of the computer.

I used it to completely redo my file cabinets when we moved last year, and my drawers look wonderful...but it worked because I was printing so many at once. For me, the drawback is that I am set up only to print sheets of labels, and the box says I can't run the sheets through the printer more than unless I am printing at least 20 labels (on a 30-label sheet), I can't justify the waste.

How do you handle doing just a few?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 9:06AM
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I just run 'em through anyway. (I didn't read the box.) My laser printer is a "write black" style, so it slowly adds a dingy gray cast to all the unused labels. I usually use card stock anyway. I have a MS Excel file that I use to print strips (3 to a page) that I cut off, fold and staple over the flap of a Pendaflex file. That's one of the essential elements of my filing system. I can change the name of the file quickly, if I wish. Handy if I wish to re-use it. I used to have strips of paper taped or glue-sticked to the tab, but then they'd get old and fall off.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 11:28AM
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I love my P-Touch (thanks again Talley Sue, it has held up perfectly for three and a half years). The only things I would want in any laebeling device, besides what Talley listed, is the option either to both plug it into an outlet or use batteries, that way, whether the power is out or the batteries are dead, you can still use the labeler. I have this option with my P-Touch. And I can get refills at Target or at an office store. We always store a new tape in the box since we always run out when we least expect it.

Our best use of the P-Touch has been labeling various elements of my children's school projects. Nothing looks as clean and finished as a P-Touch label, and when it's about 2:00 am you really, really don't want to make labels on your computer and cut/paste them onto a project. That is so time-consuming. A labeler becomes worth it's weight in gold under these circumstances. We even make the child's name/class information with the P-touch and just stick it to the project. It makes a very good impression this way. By the way, we only do this for our middle/high schoolers. Projects of my younger children are labeled in their own handwriting.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 6:47PM
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Another P-touch user chiming in.... I will never go back to computer-generated labels!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 8:47PM
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Here's one labeling trick i did that I think works better w/ the P-touch (though it CAN be done w/ clear packing tape)

I have a foaming-soap dispenser. It uses diluted liquid hand soap, which I dilute myself.

I worked out how much liquid soap to put in to get the right ratio in that side container(2 tablespoons), and I made a label that says "Soap" and is UNDERLINED.

I stick it to the bottle (which is clear) so that the underline falls exactly where the top of that amount of soap falls.

This morning, once it was completely empty, I filled it up w/ soap just to the line, added water to reach to the top of the bottle section, and put the top back on. Viola!

You can do that w/ the other equipment, but the P-touch is so much less involved (and a Sharpie's marking would eventually wear away).

The P-touch tape is expensive enough that I *won't* use it for stuff like science-project displays, or file folders (unless it's an extra-thick folder, or a plastic one, that will be a sort of permanent fixture).

But I label plastic toys that will get wet; stuff that will go in the dishwasher or freezer--stuff like that don't do well w/ the "paper under packing tape" lamination technique.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 10:59AM
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My favorite is a Brother P-Touch (various models). It works great, not too terribly expensive. Be sure to get the labels that have the backing that fold and peel in the middle. I use a labeler at work that I have to use a bent paperclip to get the blasted backing off!!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:39PM
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dancer, as soon as you use up the stash of labels at work, the replacement labels will split apart. You just have older labels. Make more labels; use up the tape faster!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:06PM
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I have my P-Touch, and after a Lucy-and-Ethel moment involving which way the batteries go in, I am labeling away!
Technical question, which I am betting Talley Sue can do I make the labels fit the text so that I am not wasting an inch of label tape on each end? The documentation is confusing me a bit on this one...


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 9:17AM
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You can set it to use *less* tape.

(total aside: Martha Stewart was crabby at Brother precisely because of that waste of tape on each end (she may seem like "luxury" sort of person, and she is, but she is also VERY frugal and HATES waste), but the company couldn't/wouldn't modify the P-touch machines sold through her Martha By Mail catalog. So she had a line added to the documentation to tell you how to do it.

I can't get the manuals to download from the Brother website. But somewhere in the manual, it's there.

Look for something like "continuous labels"--when you have a big batch to do all at once. That's the feature & setting you want. (my manual says the setting is indicated on the readout by "###" or "##"; if you're scanning your manual, you might look for anything w/ the pound signs like that)

However, to use it for a single label, you then will also have to code+feed some extra label out. But it will be less.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 10:19AM
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Thanks, T-S. I'll give it a go.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 10:55AM
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