As this decade ends and the 2020s begin, we wanted to take a look back at the top three color label printers of the 2010s. Limiting it to just three printers was tough as there were so many excellent models over the past ten years. After much debate in our office, we settled on the following three. Here’s why we ranked them among our favorite color label printers of the decade.
Epson TM-C7500 Color Label Printer
The Epson TM-C7500 color label printer is a desktop model offered in both a matte and a gloss version (Epson TM-C7500G). A graphics edition (Epson TM-C7500GE), which is a gloss version that includes additional graphics software, is also available. The matte and gloss versions are mostly identical with the exception of the inks and media used by the printer. As the name implies, the matte version uses matte labels while the gloss version uses glossy labels. Both use pigment inks; however, the inks for the Epson TM-C7500G are modified for use with glossy media.
Thus, the Epson TM-C7500 printers appeal to two distinct segments of the market:
- GHS / industrial label printing (Epson TM-C7500 matte) — Prints GHS BS5609 color labels up to 4 inches wide.
- Prime / product label printing (Epson TM-C7500G gloss) — Prints full color product and food labels up to 4 inches wide.
Another deciding factor in our decision to list the Epson TM-C7500 as one of the top 3 color label printers of the 2010s had to do with its print speed. The Epson TM-C7500 and Epson TM-C7500G feature Epson PrecisionCore technology and one path printing for a print speed of nearly 12 inches per second! We also love its integrated unwinder and the fact that you can add an optional external rewinder to the front for roll-to-roll printing.
It goes without saying that print quality is another deciding factor. All three of the printers we chose have excellent print quality and produce professional labels on demand.
Afinia L801 Color Label Printer
The Afinia L801 color label printer has been a customer favorite for years, and it’s one of our favorites too. The Afinia L801 prints full color labels up to 8.5 inches wide and is built for both speed and volume. Its five large ink tanks are just that: tanks. They hold a combined 1.25 liters of ink! Speaking of capacity, the Afinia L801 holds large label rolls with a diameter of up to 8 inches. It is also blazing fast with print speeds of up to 60 feet per minute.
The L801 is commonly paired with an external rewinder for roll-to-roll printing. Because of its 8.25 inch width, many customers print multiple labels across the roll and then use a label cutter / label finishing system to slit the labels. This dramatically improves production rates as you can fit two to three (or more depending on the label size) labels across, effectively doubling or tripling production.
Primera LX900 / LX910
The Primera LX900 and LX910 are 8-inch color label printers designed for printing “prime” labels. These are labels that absolutely must look their best as they are prominently placed on products and include colorful graphics and branding elements. With a print resolution of up tp 4800dpi, there’s no denying the print quality of the Primera LX900 / LX910.
Though the LX900 is not as fast as our other picks, it’s quite fast for a desktop on-demand color label printer with speeds of up to 4.5 inches per second. The Primera LX900 is ideal for small businesses that want to produce their own professional quality product labels as needed on demand.
We have been thoroughly impressed with all three of these color label printers over the past decade and expect them to hold up to the test of time. While new models are sure to come, you can’t go wrong with these color label printers.