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What heat shrink printer do you recommend?

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What heat shrink printer do you recommend?

Old 03-01-2017, 10:53 AM
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Default What heat shrink printer do you recommend?

I would like to start printing shrink tube labels. What heat shrink printer what do you use or recommend? I have been looking at the Brother PT-E300. It looks easy to use, and is portable. This takes Brother shrink tube cassettes.

Ideally I would like a tubing marker that could feed straight heat shrink so I would not be stuck using branded cassettes. Any recommendations?
Old 03-01-2017, 12:31 PM
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:22 PM
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:29 PM
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With the Brother heat shrink label printer, it also prints regular labels. If you all ready have a supply of Brother labeling tapes, this is convenient. I notice that there are aftermarket heat shrink cassettes that work with Brother label printers. They bring the cost down to a reasonable price.
Old 03-01-2017, 02:32 PM
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I'm looking at this and the Brother PTE-300 looks best at the moment.

It has a rechargeable Li-ion battery as standard, where as the entry level heat shrink printer from Dymo (4200) doesn't.
Old 03-01-2017, 02:47 PM
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:59 PM
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Brother brand is notorious for intentionally wasting label stock of any type...the blank leader is often longer than the actual label, and they add way too much blank space between consecutively-printed labels.

I've used their label portables and USB PC models for 20+ years...there is a complicated hack to defeat their "feature", but it won't survive a re-start, and has to be done again every time the printer is started.

I will be looking for another brand once my label stock is used-up. As bad as certain HP inkjet printers which "expire" and won't function, even if there is 90% of ink remaining.
Old 03-01-2017, 09:50 PM
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We use the Brady BMP-21.

We have also used Dymo before, but it wastes labels and the rechargeable battery pack doesn't last very long. The BMP-21 runs a very long time on 6xAA.

Also, the BMP-21 has the most electrical symbols and other special characters available by spec function key on its keypad. The Dymo needed to enter several sub-menus just to get basic symbols and punctuations.
Old 03-01-2017, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Karl in NY View Post
Brother brand is notorious for intentionally wasting label stock of any type...the blank leader is often longer than the actual label, and they add way too much blank space between consecutively-printed labels.
I've noticed the excessive spacing too. I type in multiple labels at once and use the space bar to separate
Old 03-02-2017, 08:07 AM
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The Brady unit looks good. Where do you recommend buying heat shrink cassettes?

I look somewhat online, and the price of material appears to be twice what is available for Brother.
http://www.cableorganizer.com/p/brad...shrink-labels/
Old 03-02-2017, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by c1steve View Post
The Brady unit looks good. Where do you recommend buying heat shrink cassettes?

I look somewhat online, and the price of material appears to be twice what is available for Brother.
http://www.cableorganizer.com/p/brad...shrink-labels/
They are all expensive. We have used Brady, Brother and Dyno. The cartridges between brands have different lengths, and different printers waste different amounts. Some printers have a bad tendency to jam when swapping around used cartridges, some waste the first print, some the print head gets dirty too often, some leave long tails of unprinted material.

The Brady is the least bothersome on all accounts, and can make labels for about the same cost per label as the more troublesome printers.
Old 03-02-2017, 08:58 AM
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TMpills,

How have the Brother units been? I have a PC-9500 that has been excellent, but has been only used in a clean environment. Like MikeAqua, to save material I usually type out a string of labels and then use scissors. With the Brother units one can buy aftermarket material for half the Brother prices. I do not know about the quality of the, probably Chinese, aftermarket shrink tube.

Looking into the Brady products, they do look pretty good. The heat shrink is 3:1, while some others are 2:1.
Irradiated polyolefin heat shrink tubing (3:1 shrink ratio)

The cassettes are available from many suppliers, even Home Depot online.
-----------------------
I ordered the BMP21, but then cancelled because I could not find large diameter heat shrink for the Brady unit. If TakeMorePills knows of Brady shrink tube that will start at 3/8" ID, or larger, I would like to hear about it.

Last edited by c1steve; 03-02-2017 at 10:39 AM.
Old 03-02-2017, 09:04 AM
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Another shrink tube question: Is there any writable shrink tube that will fit over Cat 5 cable ends, and shrink down to the cable size? One would probably need 4:1 white heat shrink of the correct diameter, but I have not found any. This could be either hand writable or used with a printer.
Old 03-02-2017, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by c1steve View Post

I do not know about the quality of the, probably Chinese, aftermarket shrink tube.
My plan is to not rely on the printed heat shrink for any water proofing. I'll use regular heat shrink for that. I'm just going to use bands of printed heat shrink 5 letters long as labels.

Or I may just use durable sticky labels. They will be in nominally sheltered and shaded location. Save $160 by not buying a heat shrink labeller.
Old 03-02-2017, 05:14 PM
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I have a brady I really like it. Use the labels as labels not insulators.

I have tried to use tape and a sharpie before with poor results
Old 03-04-2017, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by c1steve View Post
I ordered the BMP21, but then cancelled because I could not find large diameter heat shrink for the Brady unit. If TakeMorePills knows of Brady shrink tube that will start at 3/8" ID, or larger, I would like to hear about it.
Steve, you are correct, the Brady heatshrink labels max out at 0.250" (I think) so the labels need to be applied prior to terminating in most cases.

I haven't used any larger systems, I know they exist but I think the cost goes up a bunch for the systems that support bigger tapes.

I have used the Brother HSe system briefly, and it seemed OK, they get up to nearly an inch.
Old 03-05-2017, 03:20 AM
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We use K-Sun printers at the shop, they are excellent. Check out https://www.hawklabeling.com. Granted their stuff is more at the professional end of the spectrum but it is very good. If you're going to use shrink tube labels I would recommend getting some raychem RT375 clear heat shrink to go over the labels to keep them looking good.
Old 03-05-2017, 07:00 AM
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What I have done is use a standard label cartridge and then, after I apply the label I cover it with a piece of clear heat shrink...
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Old 03-05-2017, 11:32 AM
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Well I purchased the Brother E500, as it will work with the Brother heat shrink that comes in the large sizes. I usually mark the cable itself, such as marine grade 12-2 and 14-2, as well as the individual positive conductors. I also would like to be able to mark battery cables.

The Raychem clear heat shrink sounds excellent for battery cables, as cables in the engine room may be exposed to dirt and grime occasionally. Thanks for all the replies, I am saving all the advice here for current and future use.
Old 03-05-2017, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Navatech View Post
What I have done is use a standard label cartridge and then, after I apply the label I cover it with a piece of clear heat shrink...
Thanks for your post. I didn't even know there was such a thing as clear heat shrink.

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