A label printer is not something I’d have thought I can use much of. One, I was under the impression that label printing is only for office work and my work is mostly digital. Two, I did not really think that this is something I can use at home. But I’ve had the Epson Label Works LW-300 for several weeks now and I’m surprised at just how many uses it can have.
As much as a lot of us are digital, there is still that aspect of paper work that is not going away soon. Offices are still using files and a label printer is most useful for cabinets and filing systems. With rows and rows of them, labelling is a must and handwritten ones do not look as professional as neatly printed ones. As mentioned, we’ve had the Epson label printer in the office for a few weeks and other than files, we were also able to label assorted assets like phones and laptops. We even labelled a colleague’s forehead in case he gets lost and we need to look for him. 😀
The Epson LW-300 is a simple label printer and therefore does not have any elaborate designs. This makes it very easy to use even for someone completely new to it. Though it can only print in black and white, there are provisions to change fonts, font sizes and design of the print. For example, you’re able to change style for the print to have shadows, print in italics or bold. The printer has 14 fonts, 457 symbols, 87 borders and 10 printing styles. One is able to type out and save upto 30 label designs so when needed again they can just be recalled and printed. I liked most the bold solid styles and did not particularly like the shadow and outline which did not sharp and clear.
The printer uses ribbons and this is where the most visible difference in output is because ribbons come in different colours and effects. There is black print on white, black on yellow, black on fluorescent, black on silver and a most interesting one, black on white iron on which we’ll be looking at at a different date. You can also get pastel coloured labels.
The printer can be powered with electricity and inside the box there is a cable for this. It can however also use 6 AA batteries for those in areas with no electricity. Batteries do not come included in the box though.
It will print labels as short or as long as one would like and after printing, there is a huge clear button on the side of it which you press to cut the printed label. You then need to peel off the label to reveal an adhesive side which you stick on whatever you’re labelling.
What really interested me most is how useful the printer can be at home! We had some fun in the office coming up with a list of things you can do with it.
Spice containers – We’ve all been there. Mixing up spices and putting pilau mix in tea thinking its tea masala. Sending someone new to your kitchen to make some tea and they can’t figure out your kitchen. You can label these containers so that working in the kitchen is a breeze both for you and for your guests.
Drawers – This would mostly be for children so they have a fun way to identify their socks drawers, t-shirts drawers, underwear drawers, etc. You could also go ahead and have the kids make fun labels for the doors to their rooms.
Books – Either for yourself and your children. This could be school books or novels. We did quite a lot of them for a 10 year old novel enthusiast. The printer is so easy to use that said 10 year old figured it out by himself.
Dust Bins – For those homesteads that separate bio degradable and non-bio degradable rubbish as we all should, you could label dustbins so you, or a guest knows which one is for paper, food waste, plastic waste etc.
Frozen foods – Sometimes food freezes in such a manner that you may not be able to identify them well. If especially your freezer is very full with different foods stored at different dates, it would be a good idea to label the type of food and the date on which it was stored so you don’t end up storing food for months. This is especially for food stored in opaque bags/containers, or for different cuts of meats.
Moving house – Moving house is a headache in itself without having to get to the new house with no idea what is in which box. Label those boxes and containers so you know where the bedsheets are and where your clothes for the next week are.
Presents – Not sure this is for the home unless your lifestyle is such that you churn gifts ever week but the label printer will do give that extra class if used to label presents like birthday and wedding gifts.
Travel – First of all we know the clever hack of pouring out small potions of your shampoos and other skincare products into smaller bottles so don’t have to carry the whole bulk of the original containers if you’re only traveling for a few days. Print little labels for these bottles so you don’t end up using your expensive cleanser as a shampoo 😀
Children’s toys – We had this discussion with my siblings and we could not really agree on whether it is good or bad to label which toys belong to which child if you have several children in the house. If your style is to keep things separate for kids though, you can label them so that each child knows what belongs to them.
Meal planning – Meal planning has always made sense for the busy office woman and especially one who wants to keep her healthy eating in check. Do a cookout on Sundays and have yourself sorted for the whole week. Label the containers with dates before refrigeration.
The printer goes for Kshs.9,485/- and the ribbons go for Kshs.3,835/- for 8mm and Kshs.5,225/- for 12mm. They’re available at Officemart and Textbook center. Please note that there may be slight price variances depending on the store.