Brady M211 Label Maker Review
I have to admit that I was attracted to the Brady M211 label maker by an unusual feature. Magnetic mounting.
I own a fiber laser that is sitting on a rolling tool box. After laser engraving items I put a label on the item or the box it comes in. I own at least 12, and maybe more label makers but having a label maker magnetically mounted to the side of the tool box is HUGE for me. It is right there by the machine and the exit chute on the label maker is pointed straight at me. It couldn’t possibly be more convenient.
Brady Express Labels
PRO TIP: Even though the software app, Brady Express Labels is supposed to work from your iPhone or iPad, I have found that the app runs perfectly under Mac OS.
That means I can control my laser and then print a label off of the same laptop computer. That is super convenient for me. And it is much easier for me to navigate making a label on a laptop than on an iPhone.
Having a 13″ screen vs an iPhone screen is much easier on these 60 something year old eyes.
Brady M211 First Impressions
My very first impression was not positive. The enclosure shell has kind of a poor fit with a large gap that gets progressively larger.
Call me crazy but a label maker in this cost range should be more substantial in my opinion. And couple that with the fact that when you attach the magnetic mount, the alignment on it is atrocious.
It’s all crooked. That kind of stuff makes my OCD go nuts. Both of those things I mentioned are nit-picky and do not affect the function of the printer. Some engineer should have spent a couple more minutes designing this mount though. To be fair the same magnetic mount accessory seems to be designed for the M210 handheld label maker. And it fits perfect on the M210. I get the concept of having interchangeable parts but the fit is all wrong on the M211.
Like I mentioned earlier I slapped this thing on the side of my tool box and the positioning is PERFECT for me.
Lastly, when I turned the M211 on for the 1st time it made a mighty “clunk” sound. It works fine but makes a noise when you turn it on. Pretty sure it is the feed motor moving into the right place, and that it is normal. UPDATE: I confirmed with Brady Support that the start up sound is normal.
Here is a list of leading particulars that are important to me:
- Max label size 3/4″
- 203 dpi print resolution
- Can connect to only one computer at a time
- 1200 mAh rechargeable battery
- Auto cut
- Holds label after cut
- Uses Heat-shrink Polyolefin, Nylon Cloth, Paper, Polyester, Polypropylene, Self-laminating Polyester, Self-laminating Vinyl, Vinyl
I’m more of a fan of big old label makers that have keypads. It’s nice to make a label on the fly with no computer required. That being said i do own a few label makers that are app controlled via BlueTooth and find them to be quite useful.
The Brady Express Labels app is pretty intuitive and well thought out. The first couple of test labels I made were a snap, with no issues encountered. BlueTooth printing is pretty quick as well. Not much lag time after you hit the print button.
Number Of Connections
Unlike the Brady M511 which allows for 5 devices to be connected to the printer, the M211 only allows for 1 device connection.
And when they say 1, they mean 1. I connected via my laptop and then shut down. When trying to connect to my Mac Mini it refused the connection saying that my computer didn’t own the printer. To switch computers you need to hold the power button down for 5 seconds to reset the Bluetooth connection.
So, it isn’t that you can only have one connection, or one connection at a time, it is that you can only have one pairing. Honestly, it isn’t that annoying but I thought it was worth mentioning. If you absolutely have to have access from 2 computers simultaneously you’re going to have to level up, bro. The M511 is your level up.
Here’s an interesting discovery. The first label that comes out after start up has a respectable crease in it.
Subsequent labels are not creased. Just the first one. I suspect it has something to do with a combination of the label retention lever being engaged and whatever is going on here during start up.
Again, the start up sound is normal but somewhat loud.
Another gotcha is that 3/4′ labels are actually wider than 3/4″. Brady adds a small strip of backing material at the top of the label which facilitates easy removal of the label. It’s actually quite brilliant. However, almost every standard tool cart or tool box has a 3/4″ retaining strip that permits you to leave the backing material on a label and just slide it in. The Brady labels won’t fit.
Could you trim the label? Sure you could. But that’s extra work. Anyway if this is important to you, you might want to have another labeler handy that spits out 3/4″ material.
Brady M211 Label Maker Final Thoughts
The Brady M211 Label Maker is a decent label maker that produces great labels on the exceptional Brady label tapes. Despite the few things that I noted it is a solid machine.
I should say that I have a Brady M210 handheld label maker and I think it is awesome beyond belief. Brady wasn’t able to fully build on that with the M211 though. That’s my opinion anyway.