Understanding Roll Label Printer Specifications

Roll label printers are becoming more popular due to the ease of use, low cost and ability to print on demand. But not all label printers are made the same. Prior to purchasing your roll label material, there are a few things you will need to know.

You will need to go online or find the hard copy of your printer specifications. The first thing you will need to check is, can my printer print the label size that I need for my project. You can find this out by looking for the Minimum Media Print Width. (Please note that when looking at sizes, the label width is the first number followed by the label depth into the roll). These widths will vary widely from printer to printer going from minimum width of 0.5″ all the way up to 8.5″. What Minimum Media Print Width means is the overall width of the roll. Typically you will have 1/16″ to the left and the right of a label on a roll. This means that if you have a 1″ label, your media width will be 1.125″. So if the printer has a Minimum Media Print Width of 1.5″, the smallest label you could use is 1.375″

There is also a Maximum Media Print Width that you will need to be aware of. These also have a wide range of sizes depending on the type of machine you purchased. These sizes can range from 4.25″ to 48″. What Maximum Media Print Width boils down to is basically how wide of a label can the printer fit inside, print and roll out of the front. If your Maximum Media Print Width is say, 8.375″, then using the same 1/16″ on left and right of a label, your maximum label size would be 8.25″.

Using the dimensions from above with a minimum media width of 1.5″ and maximum media width of 8.375″, then we know that you can only use the printer to print labels that are between the widths of 1.375″ and 8.25″.

Another important factor you will need to look up in the manual is if your printer takes the media on a 2″ core or 3″ core. What this is telling you is what size spool your printer uses to hold the rolled up labels. Machines that use a 2″ core are typically smaller printers.

The last detail you will have to look up in the manual is what is the maximum roll diameter that can be used in the printer. These also have a wide range of dimensions. If you have a printer that uses a 2″ core, the typical maximum roll diameter is 4″ to 5″. On printers with 3″ cores, the maximum roll diameter ranges from 6″ all the way up to 18″.

Taking a few seconds to learn the specifications of the media width a printer uses will help you determine what printer is right for you as well as saving time and money by purchasing the correct labels the first time.

Below is how LaserInkjetLabels.com categorizes our Roll Labels.

Mini Roll Labels – 2″ core with 4″ max OD

Standard Roll Labels – 3″ core with 6″ max OD

Double Capacity Roll Labels – 3″ core with 8″ max OD

Triple Capacity Roll Labels – 3″ core with 10″ max OD