Dymo LabelManager 280 Review
I’m a label maker nerd and always looking for a new one to shake down. So stand by for this Dymo LabelManager 280 Review.
Dymo 160 & Dymo 280
I recently picked up a Dymo LabelManager 160 at Walmart for less than $30.
The Dymo 280 costs nearly double however, I’m going to try to convince you that the 280 is the better deal. Let’s get right to it.
Total Cost Of Dymo 160
If you walk in the store looking for a label maker you’ll likely be impressed at an under $30 one. Until you get it home and realize that it is only a machine and a single tape cartridge that is about half length. There is no power adapter and no batteries included. Also the tape cartridge that came with mine was Silver Glitter. I don’t want Silver Glitter. I want black on white.
So right off the bat you’ll probably want to buy:
- Batteries – It takes 6 but batteries come in 8 packs usually. Rough cost is $10
- AC Adapter – Buy Dymo’s and it is about $20
- Tape Cartridge – $23
If you buy all three you just spent $53 plus the $30 you paid for the LabelManager 160. Now for the 280.
Dymo Rhino 6000+ Review
Dymo Rhino 6000+
When I die, my wife will curse me for all the label makers I own. Every house should have a label maker for simple organization. Geeks should have an industrial label maker for networking, cable management, and for heat shrink labelling electrical connections. While there are label makers aplenty out there, only a few do cable wraps, or heat shrink or 1″ wide tape. I currently own a Dymo XTL 300 which is now discontinued. The replacement seems to be the Rhino line of label makers. I just had to get one. So here is my new Dymo Rhino 6000+ review.
I don’t need another label maker, but I do need the very best label maker. And I need new gear to blog about. There is a gigantic quality gap between a $20 label maker from Walmart and a $300 industrial label maker.
Where To Buy
In my opinion there is only one place to buy a label maker or supplies. Image Supply. While Amazon and Label City were offering this kit for $299 and Image Supply had the kit listed at $349, they do have a price matching policy. When I inquired I got an email back from the company CEO telling me Amazon and Label City had Dymo rebates and while his best price was $19 higher that was with tax and free shipping. Bottom line. The price came in at $1 cheaper than those other places.
I bought my first label maker, a K-Sun 2001XLB, eons ago from Image Supply. I still have it. It still works great. And they still sell supplies for it.
And they price matched it back then as well if memory serves me correctly. You will not get treated better in the Label Maker world than at Image Supply.
Dymo 160 LabelManager Review
I am a label maker geek. Everyone should own one. The price point of these devices run the gamut from really inexpensive home machines, to very expensive industrial label makers. I decided to grab one of the low tier, entry level, Dymo LabelManagers. So here is my Dymo 160 LabelManager review.
I bought it at Walmart for $29.83 sans tax. It came with one Dymo D1 cartridge which was “Silver Glitter”.
On the surface $30 for a solid performing label maker machine is a very good price.
Sadly, the surface has a basement, and a sub-basement, and a sewer.
Literally all you get in the package is the labelmaker and the single cartridge.
You cannot just open the package and begin making labels, which seems strange to me.
BEST LABEL MAKER IN 2023
One of my obsessions regarding tech is having a darned fine label maker available at all times. Nothing helps with organization better and the results can be impressive and professional. I’m always on a quest for the best one that there is. I’m probably not the average user though and as Mom said I am a special needs child. Wasn’t she sweet?
There are lots of new Label Makers that have been introduced but it seems like the trend is towards bluetooth controlled devices operated from IOS and Android. Meh. I require a manly label maker for manly tasks.
MY REQUIREMENTS FOR BEST LABEL MAKER
Dymo 160 – $30
You can go to Walmart or any office store and buy a cheap label maker for $30. That will actually suffice for most users. But as we said, “I ain’t most users”.
Depicted is the Dymo 160 and to its credit is uses fairly inexpensive D1 tape cartridges that you can find anywhere.
From a functional standpoint something like this probably suits most users just fine. It would probably suit me as well for most tasks but I like to push the limits of all my devices.
Here’s what I need in a label printer:
Anyone can buy a label maker kit, I tossed one together on the fly that I think is fairly slick with a lot of capabilities.
Inventory consists of:
- Hard Side Carry Case – This is actually for a Jackery Portable Power Station but it works nicely.
- Brother PT-D210 – Label Maker
- Brother Embellish – You could actually only use the Embellish. I just had a PT-D210 laying around. The Embellish is special because it allows you to print on ribbon material.
- AC Adapter– Don’t buy the “official” Brother one. It is too expensive. Get this one. $9 and it works with both label printers.
- 6 – AAA Batteries. Only for no power situations. Both machines EAT BATTERIES. Also I 3D printed a battery holder for an Altoids tin. Cool!
- Your favorite Tapes or Ribbons as needed. The case will hold maybe 3-5 tapes not counting the ones you can carry inside the label makers.
In my last couple of posts I’ve discussed some of the world’s best label makers and some of the features that make them the best.
Today I’ve decided to go to the lower end of the spectrum and buy one of those $20 label makers I always see in Walmart or Staples.
This is the Brother PT-D210. This is probably the most purchased label maker in the world because of its low price and availability. It can he had for about $20 and $30 if you buy a “kit” with a roll of TZE tape.
Actually $10 for a roll of TZE tape is darn near the best price you can get. It’s almost worth it just to buy the cheap label maker for a roll of cheap tape if you own other Brother machines that use TZE tape. It matches almost none of my “must have” features for a label maker but it is quite useful in many regards. I hope you’ll read on as I perform a deep dive on this label maker from a hardware standpoint.
BEST LABEL MAKER
In my last post I determined that there were several requirements that I needed a label printer to meet. We are looking for the best label maker there is. Essentially any printer that I want to own will have:
- Ability to do labels up to 1 inch in width.
- Ability to connect to software for designing labels.
- Ability to do QR codes.
- Rechargeable Battery
- AC adapter included
- Ability to do print and cut heat shrink tube for wiring.
I had more items on the last list but these are must have’s for me. To get these features though means you’ll pay more. A label maker that just spits out simple labels can he had for as cheap as $20 or so. To get what I have listed above requires an investment of over $250 and even a bit more.
If you are willing to drop the requirement for a rechargeable battery, everything else on my list is available in the Brother PT-D600 making it a heck of a bargain at about $79.99 most places. To be honest with the first label maker I owned, a K-Sun 2001XLB I never put batteries in it. I would just plug it into the wall and use it. Yeah, it was a little more hassle but batteries are expensive, recharging takes time, and a label maker is something I may not use for long periods of time and I might get some battery leakage or corrosion.
I bought my first label maker, a K-Sun 2001XLB sometime in the mid-2000’s. I believe the main reason I bought it was that I was restoring a Dynaco ST-70 tube amplifier and I wanted to put heat shrink labels on all the point to point wiring connections.
As an electronics hobbyist having a label maker that printed on heat shrink was a valuable tool, and I still do that to this day on many of my projects.
Most recently I have been using it to build solar power boards which I put in my house and in my camper.
Here’s an example of why one would use a heat shrink labeller in electronics or electrical applications: