NANOG poll: favorite cable labeler?

Hey everyone,

Many moons ago I worked in a place where we had a Brady LS2000 wire
labeler. So long as the supplies were fresh it was great.

In the storage unit I have a Brady TLS2200. Supplies are expensive,
but it works reasonably well. Unfortunately the battery is shot
(gotta replace that).

It seems to me that as cheap as the Brother P-Touch type labelers have
gotten that there might be some product by (Brady|Dymo|Brother|etc)
that everyone uses and recommends these days which is (a) cheap enough
that they can be deployed en masse rather than treated as a scarce
resource, (b) hopefully runs on standard (such as AAA) battery types,
and (c) has reasonably priced supplies.

Labeling cables is mostly what I'm interested in. The el-cheapo
p-touch seems adequate to putting hostnames on machines.



Having used quite a few of the wire label makers over the years I still like the TLS2200 the best. Mostly because the labels actually last in poor environments for long times. In conditioned indoor space you may very well be able to use cheaper equipment.

Brady makes a AC power adapter for the TLS2200. It's annoying that the charger won't charge the battery and power the unit at the same time.


Brother makes a P-touch that uses the TZ series label cartridges that works reasonably well for cables. That, plus some transparent wrap-around labels works fairly well for smaller cables such as LC fiber jumpers.

Brady labelers also work pretty well, but are more expensive.


P-Touch with TZe tapes for me. I have stuff on the roof labeled with TZe
tape and they still look new after about a year of exposure Disclaimer:
I'm in the high desert.


I bought the Brady BMP21 handheld labeler from Frys about a month ago.
It takes 6x AA batteries i believe. You can buy the power cable and
case for it if you want. I love it so far.


Robert E. Seastrom wrote:

Labeling cables is mostly what I'm interested in. The el-cheapo
p-touch seems adequate to putting hostnames on machines.


My Rhino Pro 5000 has printable, tubular, heat shrink cartridges available in white and yellow as well as the flat stuff in nylon and vinyl.

I have been using a Brothers PT-2430PC (usb attached) and the TZeS251 1 inch wide tapes. Printed with 7 rows horizontal text and vertical tape, I can wrap around a cable on each end for nice organization and it sticks very well to itself. With the cutline creation, I can print off about 60 labels at a time this way and give a minon something to do for an hour :slight_smile:

Fancy printers are fine, but if you buy sheets of laser printer self
laminating labels you have the choice of printing on a laser printer,
or simply using a sharpie (fine point recommended) to hand-write a label
and then self laminate.

Keeping a sheet in your bag makes for quick, cheap, durable labels
that require no batteries or machine to use.

Any machine that prints on the same type is a nice upgrade for
high volume labeling.

The BMP21 has kinda sucky cable labels, IMO.


We use the Brady IDXPERT label makers to create the self-laminating cable labels and Brother P-Touch to label devices, etc.

The Brady label printers and supplies are a bit more expensive than the Brother but it's worth it for the cable labels.

The Brother supplies are available at most office supply stores so you don't have issues with running out of label tape in the middle of a project; several different colors are available, etc.

Both machines run in AA batteries (or AC wall-wort)

There are lots of cartridge options for the Brady printers that we haven't explored yet just because we've been using the Brother printers for far longer.

This dual-box approach has been working for us for many years but if I had to pick only one, I'd probably go with the Brady.™-Labeling-Printers.html

I'm still a big fan of the brady. The wrap-around self-laminating cable
labels are really hard to beat.

I don't even use the battery in mine... I just keep it plugged in to power.

A $15 universal power supply from your local Fry's will do the trick.

I don't know about the LS/TLS2200, mine is an IDEXPERT.


printers always pissed me off when labeling tons of cables. i always
preferred those little plastic things that you clip on them. if you
want to be pro about it, i guess you can have something that is
printed and sticks to it, but i always just used a sharpie on them
(most of the time, the sharpie comes in the bag with it just in case
there is question about how to label them).

3M (Scotch) Color Coding Vinyl Electrical Tape 35. Cheap and
effective. Works like the color bands on a resistor.

Bill Herrin

Brother P-7600 + TZ tape works great for just about all cable in my
experience. They are pretty cheap too @ < $150


While Brother Ptouch are great, for labeling Flat Surfaces (equipment etc) their labels have a tendency to fall apart over a period of time (heat exposure ?) when used as cable identifiers. (rolling them around the cable width wise...and this was the more expensive tougher labels).

Between this and the very time consuming process of making the labels we have been using the pre-marked cable marker books available at Home Depot / Lowes. Typically used for Electrical Wiring Marking (Ideal Characters Wire Marker Booklet). These are Plastic imprinted cloth, very long lasting and durable.

We mark each cable end with the same unique Number / Letter or a combination of ..... Marking each cable with a full description was becoming tedious, and at the end of the day, the need was to identify the two cable ends of each cable.

There are also some 'Write on Self Laminating wire labels' available, if one wanted to be more descriptive, from other Mfg. These roll over nicely, and are also very durable.



Faisal Imtiaz
Snappy Internet & Telecom

We have had good luck with the Rhino series of labelers by Dymo. There
are a lot of different label types and the cost of the labels is pretty
reasonable. We bought ours through Grainger supply. There are a lot of
Grainger stores around here and we can usually pick them up out of stock
or we can buy them from CDW as well. We also have the Brady and
personally I like the Dymo better.


What are people using to label LC jumpers (simplex and duplex)? I like the Sheet idea from Leo but does it work well with things not cat5?


Jensen Tyler
Sr Engineering Manager
Fiberutilities Group, LLC

The Dymo Rhino prints small enough so that when the label wraps around
the jumper the text still shows. It lets you set cable diameter so it
knows how small the text needs to be to support the overlap.


In a message written on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 01:50:08PM +0000, Jensen Tyler wrote:

What are people using to label LC jumpers (simplex and duplex)? I like the Sheet idea from Leo but does it work well with things not cat5?

It works fine with fiber, you just get less space. If you think
about how the label wraps around part of the bottom" of the white
tab wraps over part of the top.

With a small amount of trial and error it's quite easy to hand-write
or make a machine print at the right spacing on the label to get
the words to line up with the "flat" sides of a duplex fiber jumper.

Simplex you get like one line if you wrap it tight to the cable. You
can "flag" them, put the simplex jumper at the bottom of the white,
wrap the clear around the back and up and over the written part so
it stands out like a flag.

I tend to go for the cheapest thing you can that will get the job done

Chances are any brand will get the same amount of abuse and need to be
replaced around the same time. We use the Brother PT-1400 and for the
price you can't beat it.

Does everything we need (has the features you want; rep-rotate etc),
cartridges swap out quickly, are inexpensive, runs on normal or
rechargeable AA, and has an AC adapter for when those run out on you.

Definitely get the optional case and AC adapter for it.

Over the last 10 years we've had 3; only one of them has had problems
and it's because it's been dropped one too many times. If you're not
careless with your tools *glares at coworkers*, it'll last.