The Best Label Printer for Mac

Confused as to which label maker you should choose? Well, there are plenty of models out there and each one offers different features with prices that can vary wildly from one model to another depending on the functionality and brand. Normally, you don’t go looking for a label printer that is Mac-friendly because any good model from a reputable brand should be compatible with both PC (Windows + Linux), and Mac OS.

However, there are some poorly designed units which will try and force you to use proprietary software, and even lock you to one particular OS over the other. Mac users tend to utilize interfaces such as Thunderbolt and Air Transfer in order to transmit data between their Mac device and an external peripheral unit such as a printer/label printer, etc. If you are a Mac user, makes sure that the label printer which you’re buying is compatible with the latest or at least a recent version of Mac OS X.

You might need to install proprietary software in order to interface with the label printer, and in those cases you must ensure that the software which has been designed by the printer manufacturer is fully compliant with the Mac OS. Below, we have featured 4 of the most amazing label printers for Mac users. Take your pick based on budget and individual needs.

STAR PICK
Dymo LabelWriter Turbo Thermal Label Printer

DYMO Label Printer | LabelWriter 450 Turbo Direct Thermal Label Printer, Fast Printing, Great...
View on Amazon

Without a single doubt, this is our top pick when it comes to label makers for Mac systems. There are better, more expensive models out there, but they offer slightly more features for a lot higher price tag. The average user will find the specs of this label maker more than sufficient for his/her needs, and it can even handle professional grade workloads to a certain extent. We found that the 450 Turbo offers a nice blend of performance, portability, usability, along with some really solid build quality and a reasonable price tag.

It may not be the cheapest label maker around, but is surely the most feature packed machine for the price. You can create and print as many as 71 addresses, barcode labels, file/folder labels, name badges, and more per minute with this machine. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, DYMO even threw in their own software package (called DYMO Stamps), that you can use to print USPS-approved postage straight from your Mac system- there is no need for fees, contracts, etc.

If you’re the owner of a Windows PC, this is still a great choice for you as it fully supports Windows 7, and later operating systems from Microsoft. You can connect this to your Mac or PC and print labels directly from Word, Excel, Outlook, Quickbooks, and pretty much any program that is capable of designing and exporting labels/patterns. This is a thermal printer, so you will need special thermal paper (no inks or toners needed).

STAR BUDGET PICK
Dymo LabelManager Plug N Play Label Maker

DYMO Label Maker | LabelManager Plug N Play Label Maker, Plugs into PC or Mac with Built-in...
View on Amazon

While the 450 Turbo was a top of the line offering from DYMO that was geared towards productivity focused professionals and small home based businesses, the Label Manager Plug N Play label maker is designed for the casual user, who just wants a portable and affordable machine that is capable of printing labels on short notice. When we say Plug and Play, we mean it. You literally pull this unit out of its packaging, plug it into the Mac or PC via USB, and begin printing from Word, Outlook, Excel, or whichever software package that you used to design your labels.

The printing speed and capacity may not be the best, but if you are getting something this small and cheap, it is probably not expected to pump out large quantities of labels for commercial or distributive purposes. You don’t need to install any drivers or software to use this machine – it is just like plugging in a keyboard or mouse.

You can customize fonts, colors, and graphics on your label via the connection with your PC or Mac. This machine requires no external power source, instead it functions through the power from the USB connection (has a lithium ion battery pack inside). It is compatible with DYMO D1 labels in ¼”, 3/8”, and 1/2”.

RUNNER-UP
Brother High-speed Professional Label Printer

Brother QL-700 High-speed, Professional Label Printer
View on Amazon

Brother is renowned for manufacturing some of the best printers on the market, and their QL-700 lives up to this legacy. It is intended to be a compact, cost-effective, and simple to operate label printing machine. You can use this machine to create labels for envelopes, discs, banners, packages, postage, etc. It is only capable of black and white printing, which is why it can print at a high speed of 93 labels perm minute.

Also, this is a thermal printer so there is no need for inks and toners, although you will need to use thermal printing paper. It can print on continuous length paper as long as 3-feet for banners and signs, and can also print pre-sized rounded corner labels. You can drop-in the paper rolls whenever the machine runs low, or runs out of paper. This label printer is easy to refill, easy to operate. No drivers or software installs required, and it is fully compatible with both Mac as well as PC. You can print as few or as many labels as you want at a time, and there is an auto-cutter built into the machine.

RUNNER-UP
Seiko Instruments Smart Label Printer

Seiko Instruments Smart Label Printer 620, USB, PC/Mac, 2.76 inches/second
View on Amazon

What do you get when you combine incredible performance with a small form factor and versatility? Well, you get a pretty darn amazing product, which is exactly what Seiko Instruments have created with the model 620 smart label printer. What is so “smart” about this one though? Is it the impeccably designed software UI that delivers an incredibly intuitive user experience on both Mac and Windows? Or is it the Seiko Instruments thermal direct printing technology that delivers consistently great prints without the need for ink, toners, or ribbons?

Well, this machine can do a lot for you. And it does so while barely consuming any desk space. The software package included alongside this machine will allow you to select between clear, white, and assorted color options for mailing purposes. You also get plenty of options when it comes to designing labels for shipping, with the ability to select between clear, opaque, and removable bulk rolls. You can create 1, 2, 10, or 100 labels – just print, swap rolls, and print again.

If you wish to design your own labels instead of using the provided templates, that is incredibly simple. Just select what you want, which fonts you need, and specify where you would like to put the graphics, barcodes, etc. Then hit the print button, and watch your creation flow out of this little machine with incredible speed, time after time. If anything goes wrong within 3 years of purchase due to a manufacturing defect, the warranty is there to cover your Smart Label Printer 620.

Choosing the Best Label Printer for Mac

1. Determine the features that you will need – Do you need the ability to select from different fonts or text colors? Do you want to underline specific letters, paragraphs, or words? Maybe you need to be able to bold out or increase the spacing between letters and words. Check the label printer and see if it supports these features, also make sure to check the maximum number of characters that are permitted per label according to the manufacturer of the label printer.

2. Consider the size of your display and keyboard – Most label makers might include a built-in screen and keyboard on the top or back. This will allow you to enter the characters and see them as you type them in, so you can set the format, font, color, spacing, and other stuff right on the printer itself. Ensure that the size of the built-in keyboard and display suits your needs, and check if the label printer is capable of connecting with your Mac.

STAR PICK
Dymo LabelWriter Turbo Thermal Label Printer

DYMO Label Printer | LabelWriter 450 Turbo Direct Thermal Label Printer, Fast Printing, Great...
View on Amazon

3. Is portability important – Some smaller label makers will be limited on features and have low printing speeds, but come with portability-centric features such as built-in handles and a low weight. Portability is of paramount importance to some people, especially those who tend to travel a lot and like to do their work on the go. Many portable label makers will be battery-operated, with some models being much more efficient than others. In those cases, you need to compare charge times with run-times and calculate the charge time/run-time ratio. Look for higher run-times with lower charge times in order to boost productivity and decrease down times.

4. Consider the type of refill cartridges that you will need – Some printers will need a specific brand of printer ink in order to work, so check to see if the ink that a printer uses is appropriately priced and readily available. There are many models out there which feature low initial costs (the actual printer will be pretty cheap), but use extremely costly ink. If you are a person who prints lots of labels on a daily basis and buy a printer that is inefficient with ink usage, you will end up spending a ton of money on ink alone in the long run. Some printers can only print on a specific type of paper, such as thermal printers which need thermal paper labels to work with.

5. Special features matter – Want to print barcodes? Or symbols? Maybe you want to able to print colored pictures or special symbols on your labels. Well, not all label printers can do pictures, barcodes, symbols, etc. So make sure to check the specifications of your label printer before making your purchase.

Resources