K-Sun Label Printer 2001XLB
In either late 2005 or early 2006 I bought a K-Sun 2001XLB Label Printer from Image Supply. After all these years I realized I have never really written much about it.
Despite the fact it is so old, tape cartridges are still available for purchase. This means it is still a viable machine today.
I bought mine specifically because it can print on heat shrink tubing. At the time I was restoring a 1950’s era Dynaco ST-70 vacuum tube stereo. I marked both ends of every wire. I still have that stereo as well.
After the stereo build I took the K-Sun labeler to work. I was a DOD Electronics Tech Rep who worked on Aircraft Visual Landing Aids and Lighting systems.
All of our gear has heat shrink labels on every wire and when doing maintenance this allowed me to maintain that configuration control. My boss liked the idea so much he bought us some Kroy label printers. I took the K-Sun back home and used it for a few years.
In addition to heat shrink label cartridges the 2001XLB is pretty diverse. Labels can still be purchased from here. It takes from 1/8″ to 1″ labels. Additionally, the types of labeling materials include magnetic strip, fluorescent tapes, high strength tapes, and wire wraps.
Pictured above is 3/4″ heat shrink tubing. I forget what I paid for the machine but machines with similar capabilities are in the $250 or more range these days. There are a couple things it doesn’t do though:
- No rechargeable battery
- Cannot connect to a computer
Not sure what label makers back then had those capabilities, now that I think about it. I almost never put batteries in it and chose to just plug it in the wall with the included AC brick. Label makers are not used all the time and I’m the kind of guy who forgets to take the batteries out.
In about 2009, a pretty similar printer was released. The BEE3-EZ line was released with K-Sun branding. There was a 2011 and 2012 model of K-Sun’s as well. In 2014 K-Sun was purchased by Epson. It was decided that the printer lines would continue to be supported. Lucky for me.
When I bought my K-Sun 2001XLB it came with a thick paper manual. I did my best to find an online manual while I was writing this but couldn’t find one. Guess that wasn’t as much of a thing back then.
The 2001XLB is a very capable label printer that rivals the capabilities of newer printers. The list of labelers that accept 1″ tapes is short. Additionally, labelers that do magnetic tapes and heat shrink tubing is even shorter.
You probably can’t find a New Old Stock one anywhere but they do occasionally pop up on eBay. I saw one today for $75. Personally, I wouldn’t spend $75 on a nearly 20 year old label maker but finding something comparable is going to cost quite a bit more.
I think it is worth it to get one if you stumble across a cheap used one.