OSI layer 1 and revisiting labelmakers in the year 2021

I am still using a Dymo 4200 1 which is generally okay. I am wondering if anyone or their field tech team has recently changed to a better label maker in terms of feature set, battery life/charging or label consumable cost.

Surely there must be something better out there. Strong preference for QWERTY keyboards, no ABCDE type.

Eric, hi. I was about to recommend the label makers that we use, until you mentioned the QWERTY keyboard. I do agree, for us that can touch type, the QWERTY keyboard is the best. I’m often confused by the ABC order keyboard on our label printers. Perhaps you can find one like we use, but with a QWERTY keyboard?

We use the Brady BMP21-PLUS - https://www.bradyid.com/label-printers/bmp21-plus-portable-label-printer-pid-139535. It’s specifically designed for electrical installations, and is easily adapted to labeling fiber jumpers, copper jumpers, and devices inside of a data center cabinet.

There are several options for self-laminating label cartridges for cabling, long-lasting label tape for flat-surface labeling, and even one option that attaches directly to velcro. Accessory options include carrying cases, rechargeable battery packs, AC charger, and a stand/magnetic mount/velcro mount/work light accessory (must have!).

I have one of the DYMO XTL 500 units -

The labels are pricey, but they have a wide selection, including 2” wide, laminating wire labels, and heat-shrink. There is a set of sensors which detect when a label cartridge is installed, which sometimes don’t make great contact, so I just keep some copper tape in the carry case and stick it on the cartridge when it’s being difficult…

As with all DYMOs, the software is somewhat annoying, and inserting symbols/punctuation is bizarrely baroque, but it is still the best labeler I’ve found; my previous favorite was the Brady ones, but they have become less good over time.

If this is for personal use you might want to keep an eye out for Amazon warehouse deals - I got mine for $275 instead of >$500 by doing this…