Best Color Label Printer for Small Business [Reviewed & Buyer’s Guide]

Are you a business owner and are considering buying a printer for your business but don’t want to risk picking the wrong printer?

If so, then you’re in the right place. Because I have reviewed 8 best color printers for small business and also have included a buying guide which will tell you what all factors you need to consider before buying a label printer. Hopefully, my article can save time and help you pick the best option from the start.

Epson TM-C3500 – Top Pick

Epson TM-C3500 (also known as ColorWorks 3500) is one of Epson’s best-selling color label printers for the small businesses to date. It is a pigment-based printer that uses inkjet print head technology that uses four individual ink cartridges (CMYK) to print durable full-color labels. It is suitable for printing durable labels on matte based labels.

TM-C3500 has a very compact design that doesn’t take up much space. It is 12.2″ x 11.1″ x 10.3″ (W x D x H) in dimension. It prints at a rate of 4 inches per second and can handle label widths from 1.2 to 4.1 inches. With it, you can print product labels, bar-codes, and industrial labels.

The TM-C3500 label printer has a 720dpi color that prints smudge-free, instant dry color labels, tags, barcodes, tickets, name badges, and wristbands quickly and easily.

The Epson TM-C3500 can print two kinds of labels: pre-die cut labels and constant label rolls. The difference between them is that with die-cut you can cut labels with rounded corners and with constant roll labels you can cut labels with square corners.

With Spare In the Air guarantee, you receive a replacement printer within 2 biz days and you can buy a warranty upgrade of up to 4 decades. If in this warranty period Epson can’t resolve the problem on the phone, then they will send you a replacement printer via FedEx for the next day delivery at their price.

It has a very reliable software and drivers compared to other printers. The maintenance box catches all the ink wastage and flushes all the ink that is stored during print head cleaning.

The per label cost: coverage of ink and label size for Epson is based on 4 factors of coverage:

Low Ink coverage – 0.02 cents per square inch
Medium Low Coverage – 0.05 cents per sq inch
High Medium coverage – 0.11 cents per sq inch
High coverage – 0.21 cents per sq inch.

You can purchase label rolls from LabelBasic Matte PP Inkjet Labels 4″ x 6″ for Epson TM-C3500, TM-C3400, and Primera LX500 and Other Printer Brands, 100 Labels/Roll on a 2 Inch Core from Amazon.

Pros
  • 4 cartridge system ink-saving design
  • Good warranty and customer care
  • Compact design
Cons
  • Prints up to 4.1 inches wide

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Epson TM-C7500

The Epson TM-C7500 (also known as the ColorWorks C7500) is Epson’s premium color label printer for small business. It works best with the matte based labels to create smudge-free labels that won’t fade and can be applied instantly on any product. If your small business produces a large number of products every single day then Epson TM-C7500 is the best pick for you.

It can print hundreds, or even thousands, of color labels and bar codes at a rate of 11.7 inches/minute. TM-C7500 has a printing resolution of 1200 dpi and a label width of 4.25 inches.

TM-C7500 is a full-color inkjet label printer that uses the CMYK color model. The ink cartridges for this printer are much larger compared to other printers, which allows for much more efficient and continuous printing as you do not have to always keep on changing the cartridges as often. It is equipped with an automated cutter by default to streamline your printing process.

It has a built-in Nozzle Verification software which ensures that each nozzle is releasing ink evenly which helps print a clean and accurate label. With this feature, the printer detects any missing dots as a result of clogged nozzles and as soon as the printer senses it, it will supplement with a nearby nozzle.

The ongoing costs for Epson C7500 are replacement ink cartridges, blank media (labels), and together with the maintenance box. The best part about Epson C7500 is that you don’t have to replace the print head since its print head is designed to endure the whole life-cycle of this printer. If you are searching for a mass color label printer then Epson C7500 is the right option for you.

The setup disk includes drivers to support NiceLabel, BarTender, and CODESOFT label software.

Pros
  • Ideal for printing 3,000 to 100,000 labels per month
  • Uses four individual ink cartridges
  • Print head lasts the lifetime of the printer
Cons
  • Always run this printer consistently or else the nozzles will get clogged or jammed

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Primera LX500 – Best Budget Color Label Printer

Primera LX500 is the most sold color label printer on the market for people looking for a budget label printer. A lot of small businesses start making their labels with this printer.

The LX500 uses a single tri-color ink cartridge that needs to be replaced as soon as any color runs out of ink. If your design is primarily one color, this can add up in costs as there will be a lot of ink wastage.

It is small and compact in size and weighs 3.5 kg or 7lbs. It comprises of an integrated guillotine label cutter within the printer so the user can efficiently dispense individual labels or cut at the end of or involving label tasks.

If you just have to publish, 200-500 labels per month, and your labels measure less than 4 inches then LX500 is the best choice for you.

The Primera LX500 uses a high-yield, tri-color ink cartridge that keeps the cost per label low. The fast printing speed and an optional built-in guillotine-style cutter allow users to quickly and easily print the labels.

The printer comes with ink and a starter roll of labels to get you going. The starter roll measures 4×3 inches and is made of high gloss tuff coat material. It offers a print resolution of 4800×1200 dpi and is able to recreate over 16 million colors.

The printer can print a wide range of label sizes. It can print from 0.5×0.5 inches of label up to 4×24 inches of the label. It is suitable for printing labels for food packaging, promotional products, product labeling, manufacturing, medical labeling, retail labels, and so on.

It uses a Bar Tnader Ultra-Lite Primera Edition design software and it is compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 to 10.10 or Windows 7/8/10. It is easy to install and simple to operate.

Pros
  • Small and compact design
  • Very affordable
  • Prints high-quality 4800 dpi color labels
  • Can be used with various printing labels
Cons
  • If you have to print more number of labels per month then ink cost gets expensive
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Primera LX900

Primera LX900 is another best label printing machine for small businesses because it utilizes the latest high-resolution inkjet technology to print full-color product labels on-demand. In terms of cost per label and total cost of ownership, it is one of the best label printers available in the market. If you are a small business owner and looking for a printer with 25-50% label coverage on label sizes between 2″ x 2″ and 4″ x 4″, then this is the best printer for you.

It is a very economical printer that produces crisp and colorful labels within seconds. It comes with a semi-permanent print head and a USB cable. With this printer, you can create high-quality labels.

You can also use it for your personal use as it is very compact in size. With this printer, you can print at the rate of 0.8 inches per second (in best print quality mode).

Primera LX900 has 4 separate ink cartridges for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black so this prevents you from wasting any money on ink even if you run out of a single color. Another way to save money is to lower the ink saturation in the printer settings but then you have to compromise with the label quality.

Pros
  • Prints up to 4800 dpi
  • Incredible print quality with the most photo-realistic print
  • Contains four separate ink cartridges
Cons
  • High Ink consumption for high-quality labels
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Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

Brother is known for making high-quality, professional-grade appliances and the Brother QL-820NWB label printer is no exception. It is not only useful for small businesses but also for home use. It is very reliable and in a single battery charge you can print up to 2,000 black and 850 colored labels. It is best for printing labels and bar codes on packages, envelopes, file folders, and many other items. It is also one of the best shipping label printers for small businesses.

It is 5.7x5x9.2 inches and weighs 2.6 pounds, this shows QL-820NWB is small and lightweight. It supports die-cut and continuous label media up to 2.4 inches wide with a 2.3-inch printing area and can also print banners up to 3 feet long.

QL-820NWB has a built-in cutter at the end of the paper path that cuts continuous paper labels, quickly and efficiently. It has nine resolutions ranging from 100 to 600 dpi which you can use to your advantage.

With Ql-820NWB you can print at the speed of 100 (one-color, text-only “standard address labels” at 300dpi) labels per minute but it doesn’t include cutting.

It has an LCD screen, using it you can switch from one setting to another very easily.

It also has a pretty decent battery. The battery recharge time is only 2 ½ hours, which is ok, especially if you’re in urgent need of using the shipping label printer right away.

Talking about the connectivity it supports wired and wireless networking, as well as Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth, thereby allowing you and your team to design and print labels over a LAN or from a computing device very quickly without having to wait for their turns.

If you use an optional rechargeable battery, it will operate as a standalone label printer that you can take with you and use just about anywhere.

Pros
  • Can print labels at a rate of 100/minute
  • Includes LCD display fast and easy operation
  • Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
Cons
  • Drivers for Windows are not properly optimized
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Brother VC-500W Color Label Printer

Brother is a well-known brand in the label printers niche and VC-500W shows why it is one of the most popular brands. The VC-500W can produce a full-color glossy label from 9mm up to 50mm wide and 5m long using ZINK Zero-Ink printing (full CYM) which uses heat to activate color crystals in the paper and create a full-color label with no ink in sight.

You can print the photos on your labels which is very useful when you have to print photo ID tags and labels. Though the quality is not that awesome compared to the inkjet printers it produces a better print compared to other label printers that don’t use inkjet.

To get the most out of your printer you need to keep the image in the landscape format, though it prints the full width too. Speed-wise it prints at the rate of 8mm/s and can auto or manually cut the end of each label.

To change the rolls there is an eject cassette button that retracts the label under the print head back into the cassette so as not to waste labels. It uses Brother Genuine CZ and CK rolls available in 3/8 inch, ½ inch, ¾ inch, 1 inch, and ~ 2-inch widths.

Talking about the connectivity the printer creates its own Wi-Fi network, so you can print it directly, or you can set it up with a passthrough mode that lets you connect to your main Wi-Fi network at the same time.

You can download the Brother Colour Label editor app for Android or iOS or the P-Touch Editor software for Windows 10 or macOS. All these apps are very easy to use.

Pros
  • Design and print labels from 9-50mm and up to 5 meters long
  • It uses Zink technology to print the labels
Cons
  • Cost of label rolls is high
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Brother QL-700 Professional Label Printer

Brother QL-700 is a very versatile printer because with it you can print labels for file folders, envelopes, banners, discs, and a lot of other items. It can print at a resolution of 300×600 dpi.

You can create distinctive labels for file folders, envelopes, banners, discs, and other items with the Brother QL-700 label printer. Not only is this a versatile printer for your office or home, but it is also a convenient tool for quickly producing high quality printed labels. Capable of producing up to 93 labels per minute, the Brother QL-700 is regarded as one of the best thermal label printers on the market.

The printer comes with a starter roll containing 100 labels as well as continuous tape. When you buy replacement rolls, you get around 400 labels which are sufficient for whatever kind of bulk label printing you have planned.

The maximum width of labels you can use on it is 62mm but there are a number of varieties available below that maximum. With multiple sizes, you will also get different types of rolls, which makes this printer more versatile and flexible to all your needs. Since it supports continuous rolls, it can also print banners or signs spanning +900mm.

This printer is equipped with automatic label detection technology that makes it easy to replace and take away the constant irritant of misaligned rolls and wasted labels.

The device also has an automatic cutter that removes the risk of uneven label cuts so that the labels look clean and uniform in dimension. You just need to set the dimension and it will do all the work.

One of the limitations of the Brother QL-700 is that you cannot connect it wirelessly. This device only comes with the USB 2.0 connectivity option. Therefore, if you have a new computer with USB 3.0, then you’ll have to get a USB 3.0 cable to connect this device.

Pros
  • Can print 93 labels per minute
  • The automatic cutter cuts the labels in proper sizes
  • You can also use it to print stamps
  • Does not require any ink
Cons
  • Stamp printing option works only if you have a USB connection
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ROLLO Label Printer

If you are looking for a commercial label printer, you can rely on the Rollo Label Printer. It is used by major shippers for printing the labels. Rollo is also compatible with any direct thermal label. You won’t have to use ink or toner for this printer and, at an affordable price, you get a printer that has thermal technology long trusted by courier and shipping services.

The printer is sturdy and has a durable construction. You can use it for as long as possible since it can resist rough handling.

It is a high speed printer with a speed of 150mm/s which is far greater than its competitors. If you have a high printing need then you can address them using Rollo.

Compared to other label printers, Rollo doesn’t require ink or toner. All thanks to the state-of-the-art technology that it uses for creating fine prints. This benefits businesses that print in massive amounts.

It is equipped with an automatic label identification feature. It works such that by simply pushing a button, the printer will automatically determine both the weight and category of the package. it is capable of taking the print without the need to give specific directions.

ROLLO is a portable device that combines simplicity and functionality. In other words, the device’s size doesn’t compromise with the performance in any way. You can print as many as 238 labels per minute with it.

Setting up the printer is easy and the same can be said about using it. The manufacturer has created a very user-friendly guide that will walk you through every process all the way from installation to how to use it.

With Rollo, you can also print thermal labels. As a small business owner, you will like this feature because it will boost their employee’s work efficiency. That is to say, you won’t have to look for the labels that are specially produced for your printer. It will save a lot of your time and money.

Pros
  • Compact and sturdy design
  • Print 238 labels/minute
  • User-friendly installation process
Cons
  • It does not have an additional label holder
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How to choose the best color label printer for small business

Type of printer

There are various types of color label printers to choose from and some printers and printer inks are compatible with certain types of labels. Like matte labels are compatible with dye-based ink, while gloss labels are compatible with pigment-based ink. The last you want is to purchase a wrong label printer and have the ink smudge on your labels

The different types of color label printers are Inkjet and Thermal printers. The main difference between these two is the printing technology used.

  • Inkjet Printers: Inkjet printers are available in two types: the piezoelectric and thermal. It uses ink to print graphics and text on the different types of labels. These types of printers are most commonly used in the house and small offices. It is used to print jobs such as brochures, flyers, and labels.
  • Inkjet printers produce very sharp looking images because it sprays thousands of ink droplets on to the label, this is measure by the Dots Per Inch (DPI). If you have a printer at your office or college then do check the print quality of an Inkjet printer to that of laser jet or thermal printer.
  • These label printers are faster, accurate, and cheaper to use.
  • Thermal Printers: Thermal printers also come in two types: direct thermal and the thermal transfer printer. The direct thermal printer only produces black and white images that fade with time. It does not need toners or ink.
  • The thermal transfer printer applies heat to a wax or resin printer ribbon to transfer the melted wax or resin to the surface. It is very helpful to produce color designs. The good news about the thermal printers is that it is cost-effective.

Connectivity

Almost all printers nowadays offer multiple connectivity options. Though USB has been the standard interface for years and every computer is equipped with USB ports. But it is not suitable for various reasons such as it is a very short and direct connection that requires the printer to be located near the PC or laptop, what if you have already used all the ports on your PC for different purposes such as a mouse, keyboard connectivity, router connection, then it won’t be possible for you to connect the printer and third most important reason is since you are going to use this in your office at a time there will be a lot of computers in your office and not every computer can connect to the printer via USB.

The most common modern printers can be shared by multiple devices via a network. This could be via ethernet, in which you can connect a cable to the router or switch in your network. Ethernet also makes for a faster connection.

Another most common connectivity option is Wi-Fi, which is the most popular network for connectivity and almost all the printers sold for home or small business has Wi-Fi capabilities. A new option called WiFi-direct also allows you to connect your printer to your laptop or PC without having to connect the printer to a network first.

Frequency of use

If you have a warehouse or an ecommerce store then depending on the orders the number of labels you are going to print will vary. Some day you might print a lot of labels and other days you might print very less.

For high demand label printing businesses you require a sturdy and durable label printer that also enables the fast production of high-quality labels. A commercial color label printer would be the best color label printer for small business needs.

Printing speed

As mentioned above if your business has to satisfy a huge demand for your products then having a fast and reliable printer will make or break your business. You would want a color printer for your business that can produce labels at a faster rate and can work smoothly without breaking down frequently.

The printer speed is measured in labels per minute. The higher the labels per minute, the faster the capacity of the label printer.

Maintenance

Good maintenance of your printer will make sure your color label printer will continue to work in the top form. Good maintenance is important because it will help you to avoid any costly repairs or replacements and make sure your printer operates properly. Hence it is a good idea to check with your supplier on the servicing of the printer and the availability of the parts.

  • Print Media: You should clean your print-head each time you replace the ribbon or a roll of labels. Doing this will help you save hundreds of dollars on unnecessary replacements. Btw cleaning takes less than 5 minutes which is not a lot of time.
  • Label Media: Make sure you are using the correct label media, because in case you are using a wrong one then your printer might have to use excessive print darkness to compensate for labels that can not survive sunlight, moisture, chemicals, or other environmental factors.
  • Before you install a new media roll, use an air duster to clean the media sensor. This will make sure that no residue and dust is left behind. Here is a video that will teach you how to do it.

Warranty

Never make a mistake of buying any product online without checking the warranty and customer support of that product. If you find that there is no assurance of warranty or customer support then you should not consider buying that product.

Price of consumables

When you purchase a color label printer for small business, you also need to purchase a consistent supply of ink cartridges, label rolls, and other maintenance accessories.

  • Printer Ink: Before trying to print labels in bulk please make sure that you have enough ink to perform the task. Some labels use individual cartridges for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black and some that have Tri-color cartridges that combine Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow with a separate Black cartridge.
  • Coverage of ink and label size: It is another import factor you need to consider because if your label is full of colors and has no white spaces, then it will consume a lot of ink, whereas if your label design doesn’t use a lot of ink then the overall costs per label would be significantly cheaper.
  • Print head: According to Techopedia, a print head is a component within a printer that enables it to write, spray or put ink on the paper. The print head is the most delicate part of the printer. You need to calculate how frequently you will need to replace the print head and what the costs would be.

Choosing the type of labels

It is very important to know which type of label you will be using for your product/s. You will need a label that is compatible with the surface you are sticking it on. A label that’s is suitable for cardboard might not function as well on metal or plastic.

Polypropylene labels are best for durable products. It is water-resistant, UV fade resistant and durability is great for almost any type of application.

Glossy labels are labels that have a white shiny coating. The labels reflect light and help the colors pop. They are popular for their professional and sleek look.

Matte Labels offer the most organic look and feel as they have no gloss. They are most suitable for products that have a natural marketing position like food and cosmetic products.

Label size is another important factor to look into because the info you print on it has to be simple to read. It has to be large enough so that all the necessary information such as product description, ingredients, barcode, etc. can be read or scanned.

Benefits of using color label printer for small business

High-speed printing

With consumers shopping online for every product they purchase they expect the product delivery in as little time as possible. Hence you need to have a speed color label printer that can produce labels at a faster rate.

Cost Savings

The ability to print-on-demand will let you reduce your expenses and boost worker productivity. If you buy pre-printed labels (which need to be bought in bulk) it can be costly and wasteful if order requirements change or customization is needed, and new labels need to be produced. But if you can print labels in your warehouse you can reduce costs and errors and also customize it as you want.

Satisfy Your Customers

If you can print attractive labels then customers will keep coming back to you for more orders. You can take as many printing orders as you like since you have your printers at your disposal.

Customize Your Labels

You will have to perform some A/B tests to see which labels generate you more money and which don’t. But for that, you need to have your color label printer in your office so that you can design labels quickly and see the results instead of having to wait for the labels to arrive from the design company and delaying the whole procedure.

FAQs

Which label printer is the best?

If you know the answer to why you need a label printer then you can start looking for the right label printer for you. If you are interested in the best color label printer for small business purposes, then high-performance label printers that can work for long hours and produce a high number of labels per day is appropriate for you. These are sturdy, durable, and efficient label printers. These are mostly inexpensive and easy to maintain.

However, if you need to print a small number of labels occasionally then you don’t need an expensive label printer. An inexpensive or less costly label printer would be better for you. The end conclusion is that the best printer is the one that suits your purposes (cost, maintenance cost, size, printing speed, etc.) and meets your label printing needs.

Can any printer print labels?

Yes, you can use any printer for printing labels. But there are a few steps you need to follow:

  • Choose the right label paper
  • Inspect the label paper
  • Design the label
  • Test the label
  • Load the label paper
  • Set print settings
  • Print

To learn how to print labels on a HP printer visit this site.

Does Microsoft Word have a label template?

Open your Microsoft Word software in your PC and follow the below steps:

  • Open on the “Mailings” tab in the menu bar
  • Click on “Labels
  • Select “Options
  • Click on “New Label“:
    Label name: Enter the name of your label
    Top Margin: The space from the top of the sheet to the top of the first label
    Side Margin: The space from the edge of the sheet to the edge of the first label
    Vertical Pitch: The space from the top of the first label to the top of the second label
    Horizontal Pitch: The space from the start of the first label to the start of the second label
    Page Size: The size of your label sheet, usually Letter (8 ½ x 11 in)
    Page Width: The width of your label sheet, from the left side to the right side
    Label Height: The height of the label, from the top to the bottom
    Label Width: The width of the label, from the left side to the right side
    Number Across: The number of label columns on the sheet
    Number Down: The number of label rows on the sheet
    Page Height: The height of your label sheet, from the top to the bottom
  • Click OK

How do I keep my labels from smudging?

If you are experiencing smudging on an inkjet printer then this could be happening due to the ink not drying completely because the standard print settings are too high, causing over-saturation of the label paper.

Conclusion

Choosing a color label printer for your small business can be a big investment. Hence it is important for you to know everything about the printer such as its printing speed, overhead cost, connectivity, warranty, cost of consumables, etc.

I wrote this article keeping all this things in mind and I hope you liked my article on best color label printer for small business and you, a business owner can now take an informed decision before buying a color label printer.

Thank You!!!

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