Using a DYMO Printer to Print Labels

While you can print your addressing labels with a regular inkjet or laser printer, there are specialized label printers on the market. The most popular are the DYMO LabelWriter series printers. In this article we give a quick overview of these printers and compatible labels.

What Is a DYMO Printer?

The DYMO LabelWriter printers are different from regular, general purpose printers. They are focused on a single purpose—printing labels. You can’t really use them for anything else, they can be quite handy for your labeling needs.

The DYMO LabelWriters printers are small, cool looking devices. The unit measures just 5″ wide × 7 ¼″ long × 5 ¼″ tall (Twin Turbo and 4XL are slightly bigger). They use thermal technology for printing, which means there are no ribbons, ink or toners. As they print they heat the label in required areas causing the heat-sensitive paper to turn black. The labels are made of such heat-sensitive paper. The print quality is quite good and can be compared to that of a laser printer. They only print in grayscale—you can print images, but not in color.

The current LabelWriter line-up is comprised of 5 models, all of which are compatible with both Macintosh and Windows and connect to a USB port:

  • LabelWriter 400 is the base model. It can print on labels up to 2 1/3″ or 60mm, at the speed of 40 labels per minute, at 300 dpi.
  • LabelWriter 400 Turbo has exactly the same features as LabelWriter 400, but is faster—up to 55 labels per minute.
  • LabelWriter Duo combines two printers in one—the top portion of the Duo performs as LabelWriter 400 Turbo, printing die cut paper labels up to 2-1/3″ or 60 mm wide at 55 labels per minute. The bottom portion prints plastic, nylon and permanent polyester DYMO D1 cassette tapes (¼ to 1″ wide) at ½″ per second (with 150 dpi resolution).
  • LabelWriter Twin Turbo has two spools allowing you to print at two different labels sizes without switching rolls. It is also good for batch printing—when the first roll is finished, it automatically starts the second roll. The printer handles labels up to 2¼″ or 56 mm wide, printing up to 55 labels per minute.
  • LabelWriter 4XL prints 4″ × 6″ labels plus all other LabelWriter labels, at 300 dpi and up to 53 labels per minute.

A printer that stands out from the line is LabelWriter SE300—it is aimed at UNIX and DOS developers and is equipped with serial (RS-232) interface only. It is a fully programmable printer capable of printing from virtually any device that is able to transmit output to an ASCII printer. It accepts labels up to 2-5/16″ wide (about 60 mm) and prints 20 labels per minute.

What Tasks You Can Use Them For?

You can use a DYMO printer for various labeling tasks—for printing address, return address and shipping labels, file folder, diskette labels, bar codes, internet postage, videotape labels, name badges. DYMO offers a range of labels for various purposes. You can only print in black—DYMO printers don’t support color printing.

What Software Supports DYMO Printers?

DYMO printers come bundled with their own software, that you can use to print addresses and for simple label design. The software has its advantages—it’s free, supports various barcodes, allows to print counters and time stamps. However, you can’t use it with printers other than DYMO, its design capabilities are limited, and for an obvious reason, it can’t print on envelopes.

What Kinds of Labels Can I Use?

You can use the DYMO’s proprietary labels or compatible labels produced by other manufacturers. Whatever brand you buy, keep in mind that there just about 40 sizes, supported by the printer driver.

Compatible Labels:

  • Address Labels, 1 ⅛″ × 3 ½″
  • Return Address Labels, ¾″ × 2″
  • Large Address Labels, 1 ⅖″ × 3 ½″
  • Large Address Labels 4″ × 6″ (LabelWriter 4XL only)
  • Shipping Labels, 2-5/16″ × 4″
  • Internet Postage Labels
  • CD/DVD Labels 2 ¼″ diameter
  • File Folder Labels
  • 3.5″ Diskette
  • Audio Cassette
  • 8mm Video Labels
  • VHS Spine
  • VHS Top
  • ZIP Disk
  • Name Badges
  • 1 Day Self-Expiring Security Stickers
  • Appointment / Business Cards
  • Receipt Paper
  • Various small labels

D1 Tapes (LabelWriter Duo only):

  • ¼″ (6 mm) Standard Tape
  • ⅜″ (9 mm) Standard Tape
  • ½″ (12 mm) Flexible High Performance Tape
  • ¾″ (19 mm) Permanent High Performance Tape
  • ½″ (12 mm) Permanent High Performance Tape
  • ½″ (12 mm) Standard Tape
  • ¾″ (19 mm) Standard Tape
  • 1″ (24 mm) Standard Tape

What Printer to Choose?

For most purposes, LabelWriter 400 will be more than enough. The 400 Turbo model prints one and a half times as fast as the 400 (55 labels per minute compared to 40 labels per minute) but the price is $30 higher.

If you need to print labels of different sizes often or print large volumes of labels, then Twin Turbo with its two spools is a good choice. LabelWriter Duo can be recommended only if you are dealing with D1 tapes. And if you print large labels, consider the 4XL model.

Where to Buy?

You can buy DYMO printers directly from

As for the labels, you can buy them from:
USA and Canada: [Label City] [DYMO] [Staples] [Label Value]
UK: [UK Office Direct]

Looking for software to design and print labels?

Try Swift Publisher, which offers a wide range of features to design and print all kinds of labels.