A Direct Thermal Label Printer is a label printer that uses heat to print instead of ink. These types of printers were designed to print postage and shipping labels, making it EVEN EASIER to buy postage online with shipping software!
Brother QL-810W – $129.99
The Brother QL-810W printer is our top recommendation for direct thermal label printers. It’s affordable, it’s commercial grade, and it’s super fast! It also works great with both Windows and Mac computers, and it doesn’t require proprietary labels. Remember: this printer uses heat to print. That means you won’t ever have to re-stock on supplies like you would with a normal ink printer. Pretty cool, right?
One thing to keep in mind with the QL-810W is that you can only print 2×7″ labels, and not the standard 4×6″ size. The US Postal Service sells postage compatible with 2×7″ label format, so you won’t run into any issues there. However, the lack of 4×6″ capability may cause some problems when shipping internationally, since customs forms can only be printed on 4×6″ labels. So, we think the best of both worlds is using the Brother QL-810W for domestic shipments, and using a regular desktop printer for those one-off international shipments.
Alternatively, if most of your customers are international and printing on 4×6″ label paper is an absolute must, you could spring for the Dymo LabelWriter 4XL. The 4XL is a fantastic option for printing 4×6″ labels quickly and with ease…but you can’t print 2×7″ labels with it.