Best Thermal Printers 2020

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Best Thermal Printers 2020

Having a hard time trying to decide what is the best thermal printer in 2020 for printing your shipping labels?

It makes perfect sense that you get a thermal printer.  There will come a day when you don’t want to keep using your inkjet printer to print off your shipping labels.

A thermal printer is the best option for printing off shipping labels.

Even if you are completely new to thermal printers I will show you the benefits of using them.  You will learn everything you need to know about them in this article.

Down below are the benefits of using a thermal printer:

  • No ink.  With a thermal printer, you’re never going to have to go out and purchase ink again.  Why?  A thermal printer doesn’t require ink.  It heats up and prints the ink that way.  Therefore, you can say goodbye to purchasing ink.
  • No tape.  If you printed a label off on your inkjet or laser printer you would still have to put tape over it to get it to stick to your package.  Believe it or not, that tape can add up.  Thermal printers, on the other hand, require you to purchase rolls and then you load them in your printer.  You peel off the label and stick it to your package with a thermal printer.
  • Print speed.  Typically, printer speeds are measured in PPM (pages per minute).  Meaning, that an inkjet printer might be able to print 8-15 pages per minute.  Laser printers can print anywhere from 15-30 pages per minute.  One really great thing about thermal printers is they print off stuff very fast.  Thermal printers can print 50+ pages per minute.
  • Ink doesn’t run when wet.  As I have already mentioned thermal printers don’t take any ink.  Therefore, there is absolutely no chance your thermal printer’s ink will smear and become unreadable.  Again, it’s a heat transfer so there is no risk of a label getting wet and becoming unreadable.
  • Low maintenance cost.  Inkjet and laser printers consist of lots of different moving parts.  Therefore, there is a lot that “could” go wrong with them.  However, a thermal printer is much different because there are not as many moveable parts.  They are considered to be more reliable.  You can expect that your maintenance cost is going to be reduced with a thermal printer.

Best Thermal Printers

Down below I am going to provide you with some great options.  These thermal printers down below get my recommendations.  It’s up to you to decide which one is right for you.

I would highly recommend that you purchase a SquareTrade protection plan when purchasing any of the thermal printers that I mention down below.

Rollo Label Printer X1038

Rollo Thermal PrinterThe Rollo label printer X1038 is a very popular thermal printer for shipping products online.

In fact, Ryan and Allie of Ralli Roots have reviewed it and do recommend it.  They do have a lot of really good videos on YouTube which provide advice for thrifting, reselling, using eBay, Amazon, etc.

It’s even been said to print labels faster than Dymo printers.  If you want to get all technical it’s 150mm/s.  This is a lot faster than other similar thermal printers.   It isn’t a printer that is going to cost you an arm and a leg.  Meaning, it’s a great thermal printer for those that are on a tight budget.

Rollo Printer X1038 Features:

  • Connects to your computer with a USB cord.
  • Compatible with eBay, Amazon, etc.
  • Uses 4 X 6 labels (don’t have to buy Rollo branded labels).
  • Works with Windows (XP and newer).
  • Compatible with Mac (10.9 and newer).

Again, I like the price of this thermal printer.  But, one thing I really do like about Rollo printers is customer support.  It’s all U.S. based.  You can contact them through the telephone, email, and even using a remote desktop application.  Lastly, they do have excellent how-to videos that show you how to use their thermal printers.

Zebra LP2844

Zebra LP2844 Thermal PrinterThe Zebra LP2844 is a very high-quality thermal printer.

This is an older thermal printer, but it’s known for its dependability and quality. I believe it was originally created over 10 years ago.

A lot of eBay and Amazon sellers actually swear by this thermal printer. For instance, this post on eBay’s community forum people are actually recommending it in 2013. Guess what they are still recommending it in the modern-day, too.

I have even read people on forums stating “that you need to get a real printer; make sure you get a Zebra”. Yes, it’s true nerds really call it a “real thermal printer”.

I like the price tag for the Zebra LP2844 because a lot of Zebra’s thermal printers are on the higher end. However, this one is cheaper because it’s older, but still a quality thermal printer. It’s older technology, but you are paying a cheaper price tag for it.

This is the actual thermal printer that I use for the products that I ship online.

Zebra LP2844 Features:

  • Comes with USB cord (even a parallel cord, too).
  • Works with eBay, Amazon, etc.
  • Prints labels 4 X 6 (industry standard).
  • Can use any brand of 4 X 6 labels with this printer.
  • Works with Mac.
  • Works with Windows.

Again, you have the flexibility to use the Zebra LP2844 with any brand of label. This includes Dymo, Brother, FedEx, etc. It’s an old thermal printer and if you are a tight budget you can get one on eBay for fairly cheap. Like under $100’s cheap!  I have seen people purchase them on eBay for under $75 at times, too.  Zebra for life!

Dymo LabelWriter 4XL

The Dymo LabelWriter 4XL is a awesome thermal printer!

Dymo makes some really good label makers and I’m a big fan of their thermal printers, too.  It’s a very dependable thermal printer that is extremely easy to use.  It prints of labels that are 4 X 6 which is the industry standard.  It can also print off smaller labels (1 1/8″ x 3 1/2″) which you can use for Amazon FBA.  According to this article on PCmag.com, the Dymo LabelWriter 4XL can print 50 labels per minute.  It did receive a 3.5 out of 5-star rating and the author David Stone gave it a “good” editor rating.

The price is always something I consider when purchasing something for my business online.  This one is a little more expensive than some of their other models but totally worth the money.  Don’t worry the price tag isn’t horribly expensive either.

This was the first thermal printer I used with eBay and Amazon.

Dymo LabelWriter 4XL Features:

  • It comes with a USB cord.
  • Easy to use software and drivers.
  • Prints labels 4 X 6 (industry standard).
  • Print directly from eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc.
  • Works with Mac OS X 10.10 or later
  • Works with Windows 7 or later.

The refill rolls are pretty inexpensive.  I would buy 4 rolls at a time to save you money, though.  However, you do have to use the Dymo brand of labels.

Brother QL-1100NWB

Brother QL-1100NWBThe Brother QL-1100NWB is a very solid thermal printer.

Brother printers are very good quality thermal printers.  I’ve used their inkjet ones for years.  So, it makes perfect sense that their thermal printers are also great. On PCMag.com it actually gets an “excellent” rating.

If you want to go the wireless route this is the thermal printer for you.  One of the coolest things about the Brother QL-1100NWB is you can print labels directly from your phone. You use an app called iPrint&Label and use a USBtoGO cable to print directly to it. The app works with both Android and iOS

Brother QL-1100NWB Features:

  • You can use it wirelessly and print from your phone.
  • Compatible with eBay, Amazon, etc.
  • Prints 69 labels a minute.
  • Works with Windows (Mac 10.11 – 10.13).
  • Works with Mac (Windows Vista, Windows 7,8,10).

If you have been using Brother printers you won’t be let down with this thermal printer. It does have a button to put the labels, too. Also, there is an auto-crop button which you can use for Amazon FBA or any other smaller labels that you need to use it for.  Again, it can be used wirelessly, but you can plug it in if you would rather use a cord.

Thermal Printers Final Words

A thermal printer is a must if you are selling stuff online. 

Eventually, you will get sick and tired of using an inkjet or laser printer once you ship so many orders.  I can’t think of one good reason why you shouldn’t get one.

Thermal printers save you lots of money in the long run.  You might have to spend more upfront, but it will save you lots of time, too.  You won’t have to tape on the labels yourself because they print out on a sheet of paper.  You just peel them off and stick them on your packages.

I would highly recommend that you get a SquareTrade protection plan for your thermal printers.  eBay makes it easy to purchase a protection plan.  It will cost you a little extra money but is really worth it.

It’s an investment for your business and a smart purchase.

If you have any questions please leave a comment down below.

Reseller Dude

Dude.......I have been selling online since 2002. I know my stuff and show you how to do it the correct way. For more about me click here and find out why I started ResellerDude.com.

4 Responses

  1. The thing I don’t like about Dymo printers is the cost and the fact that you have to buy Dymo labels that are for that machine only.

    I have used Dymo printers in the past, but I do highly favor the Rollo one. It’s the greatest thermal printer ever! I mean you can use any brand of labels, it’s faster, and cheaper.

    I just wish the Rollo printer was wireless at times, but then again maybe they do have other models that are wireless, beats me.

  2. I’m new to eBay.   Well, I am mean I have only been selling for about 1 month.  I have to admit I am getting kind of tired of printing them off on my inkjet printer.  It’s starting to cost a small fortune.  But, it’s really cutting into my profits.

    I wasn’t even aware that there was such a thing as a thermal printer.  But, I do like the Zebra LP2844 because of the price tag.  I have been looking at them on eBay.  

    It will work with a Macbook Pro 2010 right?  How do I install and configure it for my Macbook? 

    Sorry, I am completely lost when it comes to this stuff.

    • Hey Joy,

      I have been there and there is certainly a lot to learn about eBay. But, I can relate and I am sure many other people can relate in regards to inkjet printer ink. I would highly recommend switching to a thermal printer and go ahead and purchase the SquareTrade warranty. That way if anything happens you can just get it replaced.

      I love the Zebra LP2844. Yeah, it’s an older model, but it does the job and it does it well.

      Yes, it will work with a MacBook Pro 2010.

      All you have to do is go to add printer (of course plug it in and turn it on).
      Go to printers & scanners.
      Click add new printer (the plus box).
      For the drivers select Zebra EPL2 Label Printer.

      Then you are good to go!

      Gone are the days of using your inkjet printer for eBay labels.

  3. I have used the Zebra LP2844 for several years now and love it!

    I believe I got it for $35 or so on eBay.  It was an awesome find that has really helped save me a ton of money over the years.  The Zebra LP288 really does last forever.  I never once had an issue with it and use it with my 2015 iMac all the time.

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