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Why I love my heavy-duty label maker so much

Everyone could benefit from an industrial grade label maker like this.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Min Shin
Brother PTE300 Handheld Industrial Laminate Label Printer with label "I love my label maker" printed on it

Brother PTE300 Handheld Industrial Laminate Label Printer.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I admit that I can be somewhat untidy. Projects always on the go, items going back and forth for review, things that need repairing and fixing.

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And as a result of all these goings on, my workbench can get a little… disorganized.

But there's a tool that's cornerstone to helping me stay organized, and that's my label maker.

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But this is no ordinary label maker, this is an industrial unit that produces really resilient, hard-wearing labels.

I'm using the Brother PTE300 label maker, and it's awesome. 

Note: My label maker -- the one that features in the photos I've taken -- is the European version sold as the P-touch E300, but it's functionally identical to the US version.

Brother PTE300 tech specs

  • Power: AC Adapter (12VDC, 2A).
  • Battery: Li-ion.
  • Screen resolution: 180dpi.
  • Keyboard: QWERTY style keyboard.
  • Display: Backlit LCD screen.
  • Max print speed: Up to 0.78 inches per second.
  • Max print width: 0.62 inch (15.8 mm).
  • Printing technology: Laminating thermal transfer.
  • Cutter: Built-in.

I love this label maker. 

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

So, why do I love this label maker so much?

First, the design.

The big, chunky rubberized QWERTY keyboard that's perfect for using with gloves and my fat fingers. There's nothing I hate more than label makers that have an ABCDE keyboard layout, and what makes that worse is when that layout is used on tiny keys.

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There are also buttons for specific types or label layouts and even barcode printing.

Along with the keyboard inputs, the label maker has time and date printing function, and 168 electrical as well as audio and visual specific symbols.

The keyboard of the Brother PTE300 with label "I love my label maker" printed on it

The keyboard on the Brother PTE300 is perfect.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Then there's the roomy display, backlit. I've had phones with smaller displays. Along with displaying what's going to be printed on the label, it also shows information such as font and font size.

There's no need to squint at this display.

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The PTE300 also offers the convenience of being powered from a mains adapter or a rechargeable battery. It can also take six AA batteries too.

Back of the label maker

Power options include mains, rechargeable battery, and six AA batteries.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The labels are also industrial -- they are high-grade and fully self-laminating tapes designed to resist wear, fading, and chemicals. They are so tough that I use them to label the bottles I keep chemicals in.

The laminated labels for bottles containing chemicals

The laminated labels are hard wearing and resist fading and chemical attack.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Oh, and the backing on the labels is easy to peel off. I have to mention this, because I've had plenty of label makers where it's near impossible to peel the backing off the label.

Label with peel on the back

Easy-peel labels are a joy.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The PTE-300 can print on a variety of different labels, and can even print on special heat-shrink tubing labels -- perfect for labeling cables. 

The label maker is supplied in a hard-wearing carry case to keep everything organized.

Carry case for the label maker

Tough carry case keeps everything organized.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The PTE-300 is awesome, and I can recommend it highly enough. I've put several dozen print cartridges through mine and it still performs amazingly. The keyboard has resisted both wear and exposure to weather and harsh chemicals. The unit itself has been dropped and banged about and kicked a lot and it still looks like new. Finally, the rechargeable battery still holds charge well.

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For $120, the Brother PTE-300 is the perfect label maker for both the home, office, and workshop.

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