Ink and toner prices are ridiculous.
With a thermal label printer, you never need to buy any kind of cartridges.
Who doesn’t love that?
You can use Dymo’s for years and your only ongoing cost is the labels themselves.
They’re also fed by rolls, rather than sheets, so jams almost never happen.
Once I went from a regular printer to a Dymo LabelWriter, a lot of hassles went away.
So, you need to print labels. You know why thermal printers are better. Which model should you get?
Dymo has a number of good models for small office and home use.
I’ll compare two of the best Dymo LabelWriters in detail below.
They both connect via USB.
Each has a 2-year warranty.
They’re very compact in size.
You can easily print directly from Excel, Word, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Stamps.com, and more.
Below I’ll detail the differences in these models.
The main difference between the Dymo 4XL and 450 comes down to the label sizes.
Think of the 4XL as the “Extra Large” model that supports larger, 4″ x 6″ labels.
The big shipping labels you see on packages from Amazon, eBay, and other retailers are 4×6.
The 4XL works with this industry-standard label size (for Dymo, it goes by SKU 1744907).
This is important if you’ll be printing shipping labels for FedEx or UPS.
If you’ll be creating shipping labels for anything but USPS, you’ll want to go with the Dymo 4XL.
For USPS labels only, the LabelWriter 450 may suit your needs.
The Dymo 450 works with 2 5/16″ x 7 1/2″ labels (known by SKU 99019).
These are compatible with eBay, Endecia, Stamps.com, and more for printing USPS postage.
Now, there are plenty of other label sizes supported by the 4XL and 450. I just wanted to go over postage first, since that’s the most popular use of these label printers.
There are too many label sizes to list here, so I’ll give you ranges instead.
The 4XL works with labels anywhere from 9/16″ to 4″ wide.
The 450 can handle 9/16″ to 2 5/16″ wide labels.
Some popular labels that work with either printer include:
- Address: 1 1/8″ x 3 1/2″ (SKU 30252)
- Return address: 3/4″ x 2″ (SKU 30330)
- Name badge: 2 1/4″ x 4″ (SKU 30857)
- File folder: 9/16″ x 3 7/16″ (SKU 30327)
Printing speed is very similar between the two models.
The 4XL is just slightly quicker at 53 labels per minute versus 51 labels/min on the 450.
Both printers are very compact in size. They’re less than 6″ tall and 8″ deep.
To accomodate the wider labels, the 4XL is about 2″ wider than the 450.
Here are the exact dimensions:
- Dymo 4XL: 7″ width x 5 1/2″ height x 7 3/8″ depth
- Dymo 450: 4 7/8″ width x 5 3/4″ height x 7 1/4″ depth
The much larger label size support of the 4XL comes at a cost.
The LabelWriter 4XL is typically a bit under $300.
On the other hand, the LabelWriter 450 is often found well below $100.
It comes down to what size of label you plan to print.
If you only need small, address-sized labels, the 450 will save you a lot of money upfront.
If you need to print larger labels like shipping labels, then you’ll need to step up to the 4XL.
Dymo LabelWriter 450 vs 450 Turbo
Similar names, many similarities.
Here’s what’s identical in these two LabelWriters:
- Label support up to 2 5/16″ wide
- USB connection
- 2-year warranty
- Same dimensions (4 7/8″ x 5 3/4″ x 7 1/4″)
As you might have guessed from the name, the Turbo prints faster.
It’s rated at 71 labels per minute compared to 51 labels/min on the standard Dymo 450.
Not only that, but small print jobs are quicker.
When printing a single label, it takes just over 2 seconds for the 450 Turbo compared to 3 seconds for the regular 450.
Over time, both the 450 and 450 Turbo have come down in price.
Amazon seems to have better pricing than office supply stores on both models.
Typically, the price difference is less than $20.
Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo
If you’ll be frequently printing two different sizes of small labels, look at the 450 Twin Turbo.
The 450 Twin Turbo feeds two separate rolls, so you can send print jobs to either one.
For example, you can print postage labels to one roll and address labels to the other.
Printing speed is the same between the 450 Turbo and Twin Turbo.
Aside from being about 4″ wider to accommodate the extra roll, these two models are identical.
Pricing is about $50 higher on the Twin Turbo. If you’d otherwise be swapping out rolls frequently, I think it’s worth it to get the Twin model.
Dymo LabelWriter Wireless
Wireless can be convenient, but isn’t always the best choice.
First, the cost is about $35 more than the 450, or $15 more than the 450 Turbo.
You’ll still need to plug the printer into a power outlet, so there will be a cord no matter what.
Some owners have reported connectivity problems with the wireless model. This isn’t a problem unique to Dymo – Brother WiFi label printers have some issues as well.
There’s simply more that can go wrong with wireless, since your WiFi router, positioning, and interference can factor in.
With the standard wired models, the connection is even easier to set up. I’ve neither experienced a loss of connection with my own Dymo nor seen that as a common complaint.
One case where a network printer like the LabelWriter Wireless is needed is printing from a tablet or smartphone.
WiFi can also be handy when it comes to where to place the printer in an office setting. It can be set up on a central location where all users can get to it.
If you do feel wireless is a must-have, the LabelWriter Wireless is a fine pick – just be prepared that you may need to do a bit of troubleshooting to set it up. The 2-year warranty and good support from Dymo should help with that.
The Dymo 4XL is the most versatile model with the ability to print to labels both large and small.
If you’ll be sticking to smaller labels such as postage, address, or barcode labels, you can save some money and go with one of the LabelWriter 450 models.
The 450 Turbo is fast and reasonably priced, and is my pick for smaller label sizes.