The Best Shipping Label Printers: 4-Inch Direct Thermal Printers
When choosing the best shipping label printer for your business, you’ll want to consider a few factors such as label size, print technology, and connectivity. For most businesses, the best choice is a four-inch direct thermal printer. Which 4-inch direct thermal printer is the best for your business will depend on your specific needs and budget.
Choosing the Right Size
Shipping labels come in various sizes, but the most popular size is four by six inches, so a four-inch thermal printer can print labels of that size without any issues. Some businesses may need to print larger labels occasionally, but four by size inches is considered the standard label size.
Why Direct Thermal Technology is Best for Printing Shipping Labels
There are two types of thermal printers: direct thermal and thermal transfer. Direct thermal printers use heat to print labels without requiring ink, ribbons, or toner. Thermal transfer printers use an ink-coated ribbon that is heated to transfer the image and print labels.
Direct thermal printers are best for printing 4×6 shipping labels because they’re easy to use, and there’s no ribbon to worry about. Direct thermal labels are short-lived since they’re less durable than thermal transfer labels. However, this isn’t an issue for most businesses because shipping labels are only used once and then discarded.
4×6 Shipping Labels
All the UPS printers listed below use standard direct thermal shipping labels on 1-inch cores and can hold label rolls with 4-inch or 5-inch diameters. Plus, they can also use fanfolded labels, which are fed from behind the printer. For example, the 4×6 shipping label used by UPS, FedEx, USPS, Canada Post, and DHL couriers is our standard 4”x6” direct thermal label on 1-inch cores. They are available with 220 labels per roll, 250 labels per roll, or 500 labels per roll. These labels can be purchased by the roll or by, carton, or pallet if you use a lot of 4×6 shipping labels.
The desktop shipping label printers listed below are recommended for printing up to 500 labels per day. If you need to print 1,000 labels per day, then we suggest ordering two desktop printers to keep your production going.
Recommended Shipping Label Printers
Many outstanding 4-inch direct thermal printers are available from some of the best brands on the market: Zebra, Brother, Citizen, Toshiba, TSC, SATO, and more. (Dymo printers are not recommended since they cannot print standard shipping labels on a 1-inch core. Purchasing a printer that uses standard shipping labels will save you money on the cost of the labels.)
With so many options available, choosing the best one for your business can be difficult. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of our top recommended printers for printing shipping labels.
GoDex DT4xW shipping label printer – The GoDex DT4xW (011-DT4F31-000) desktop shipping label printer is a compact 4×6 label printer that can easily fit on any desk. This printer offers fast printing speeds of up to 7 inches per second, making it a great choice for businesses that need to print a lot of labels quickly. It also has USB, serial, and Ethernet connectivity options, so you can easily connect it to your computer or network. Price $495.00
Zebra ZD220d UPS printer (ZD22042-D01G00EZ) – The USB Zebra ZD220d is a 203 dpi desktop shipping label printer that is perfect for businesses that need to print high-quality labels quickly and efficiently. The ZD220d can print up 4×6 labels at 5 inches per second. It also has an Energy Star rating, so it’s easy on electricity. Overall, this Zebra printer is a great choice for businesses that need a reliable and easy-to-use shipping label printer. Price $695.00
Zebra ZD421d shipping label printer (ZD4A042-D01M00EZ) – The Zebra ZD421d is a high-quality, versatile label printer that is perfect for businesses that need to print labels quickly and efficiently. The ZD421d can print up to 6 inches per second and has both USB and a modular connectivity slot for easy connectivity. Overall, the Zebra ZD421d is a great choice for businesses that need a reliable and easy-to-use label printer. Price$950.00.
TSC DA210 shipping label printer (99-158A001-0001) – The TSC DA210 is a 203 dpi desktop shipping label printer that is perfect for businesses that need to print high-quality labels quickly and efficiently. The DA210 can print up 4×6 labels at 6 inches per second and comes with a USB 2.0 port. Price $550.00.
TSC TDP-247 4×6 printer (99-126A010-0001) – The TSC TDP-247 is a high-quality, versatile label printer that is perfect for businesses that need to print labels quickly and efficiently. The TDP-247 can print up to 7 inches per second and has USB, parallel, and serial ports for easy connectivity. Overall, the TSC TDP-247 is a great choice for businesses that need a fast shipping label printer. Price $655.00.
Toshiba B-FV4D shipping label printer (B-FV4D-GH14-QQ-R) – The Toshiba B-FV4D is a 4-inch wide courier thermal direct label printer that can print 4-inch 203 dpi labels, It has USB, serial, and LAN connectivity options. Overall, the Toshiba B-FV4D is another affordable and easy-to-use label printer that is perfect for businesses that need to print labels quickly and efficiently. Price $495.00.
Brother TD-4410D 4×6 thermal printer – The Brother TD-4410D 4” desktop thermal label printer can print up to 8 inches per second and has both USB and serial connectivity options. It comes with a 2-year “Premier” warranty and has an affordable price tag. The Brother TD-4410D is a fast 4-inch direct thermal shipping label printer.
These are just a few of the best shipping label printers on the market. When choosing a printer for your business, be sure to consider your specific needs and budget. And, if you need help deciding which printer or 4×6 shipping labels are best for you, our team of experts would be happy to assist you. Contact us today for more information.