Top 7 Best Barcode Label Printers in 2021

Top 7 Best Barcode Label Printers in 2021

Label Printers, Best of 2021 | 2 December 2020

Posted by John Masica

Top 7 Best Barcode Label Printers of 2021

Here at Computype, we offer more than just barcodes and labels, we also offer a variety of label printers to ensure that your in-house label printing processes are optimised and meet the demands of your application, budget, and throughput.

After the decision has been made to print labels on-demand, we are often asked “What are the best barcode label printers and how do I know which is right for me?” The answer to this question certainly depends on your specific work environment, and the needs of your organisation.

Here we list our top seven picks for the best barcode printers of 2021. This list includes a range of printers suitable for a broad array of applications so you can find a good fit, no matter your needs.

Different printers have different capabilities and printing technologies that could better suit your needs. There are four different types of print technologies available for the printing of barcode labels:

  • Thermal Transfer
    Thermal transfer print technology uses heat to transfer the ribbon to the label material.

  • Inkjet
    Inkjet uses liquid ink and is more prominently used for printing in colour.

  • Laser
    Laser is similar to inkjet, but uses coloured powder and a laser to fuse ink onto the label material.

  • RFID
    RFID print technology writes data to RFID chips embedded in smart labels. The printer is typically able to transmit the data to the chip and encode it.

    RFID Printers generally include a secondary print technology (such as thermal transfer) to provide human readable information and/or a back-up barcode.

Read about the strengths and weaknesses of each technology here >

Regardless of technology, below is out "best of" list (in no specific order) of barcode label printers that we believe to be top of the line for on-demand barcode label printing.

1. cab SQUIX 4

Cab SQUIX Barcode Label Printer

The cab SQUIX 4 barcode label printer combines innovation, ease of use, accuracy, reliability, quality and speed into one label printer. This is an industrial printer which uses thermal transfer print technology to provide crisp, black and white results.

A great feature on this printer is the interactive screen, similar to an iPhone, that provides video instructions for how to stock your printer, clean your print head, and print labels. Another benefit of the cab printer is the adapter which allows you to add a cutter or a peel and present option, both of which can offer time savings for your company.

Watch our detailed review video here >

2. Zebra ZT Series

zt400 series

The Zebra ZT Label Printers are great printers if your operations require labels to be printed day and night. The printers are designed to accommodate high-demand situations, promoting flexibility, integration, ease of use, and simple management.

With a compact design (for an industrial printer) you are able to obtain high resolution labels up to 152mm wide, at speeds of up to 152mm per second. The series accommodates printing of both linear and 2D barcodes. Illuminated media and ribbon paths enable easy internal inspection.

Check out our review for an in-depth look at the entire ZT Series

3. Epson C6000/C6500CW_C6000_Side

Epson printers, unlike Zebra and cab, are inkjet printers rather than thermal transfer. This allows you to add detailed coloured elements to your labels. The Epson C6000 and C6500 specifically, is extremely fast and provides very clean, clear colour imagery.

This printer is a good match for any facility that needs to print colour labels on a regular basis. If the printer isn't operated frequently, maintenance uses up a lot of ink. Hundreds of label formats are able to be uploaded to the printer, and changeover is easy and infrequent as ink cartridges are large.

Read our review for our full opinion on the Epson C6000

4. cab Hermes+Cab Hermes Automated Label Applicator

The cab Hermes+ is an industrial printer which can be upgraded to include a label applicator; The applicator offers precision placement, and increased efficiencies. This printer greatly increases productivity and efficiency in the plant as it is very fast and versatile.


5. cab Mach 4S

Cab Mach4SThe cab Mach 4S offers the highest-class print quality and up to 203 mm per second in print speed. Additionally, this printer has RFID printing capabilities.

With this thermal transfer printer, you can achieve up to 24 dpm print resolution, versatility, and dependable performance.

Watch our review video to find out what we think about the cab MACH4S

6. Zebra ZD Series

Zebra ZD 620

As an upgrade to its fan favourite predecessor, Zebra ZD Series label printers bring the same high quality and efficient thermal transfer printing abilities as the GX series with a longer list of options.

Just like the GX, the ZD series features a compact clamshell design. Optional cutting, peeling and an adjustable media sensor are also available to better accommodate your processes.

However, unlike the GX there are multiple interface options, one including a colour screen for at a glance status recognition. Additionally, these printers offer improved speeds and an optional healthcare model capable of  withstanding harsh sanitisation processes.

Check out our review of the ZD series for more  details on its features, benefits and limitations

7. Sato CL4NX

Sato CL4NX Label Printer

The Sato CL4NX is capable of printing RFID labels--making it a great fit for applications where extra security, increased data storage or improved automation compatibility are necessary (or at the very least, useful.)

Three different DPM options are available to ensure crisp imagery for various label sizes--from the very smallest cryo-vial labels to those used in postage or warehouse applications.

This printer is very durable, and offers great print quality. Additionally, the printer will confirm that it is able to write to the tag or barcode before printing; should there be an issue, it will display an error message on the screen.


We hope you now have the necessary knowledge to determine the right printer for you and your business. If you have any additional questions about the models listed here send us a message, or schedule a free consultation with one of our label pros to discuss your specific printing needs. 

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John Masica

Based in St. Paul, MN, USA, John Masica is Computype’s Technical Support Specialist. Specialising in label printer maintenance and engineering, John is the go-to person for all things label printing. Through his 24 years here at Computype, he has learned many tips and tricks to make your label printing easier and more efficient.