Monday, October 18, 2010

Label me satisfied

A month and a half have passed, and it's true what they say: once you buy a label maker, your life is never the same. What did I ever do before this little bundle of joy brightened my world?

Even though I knew that no matter what type of label maker I bought I would probably be satisfied, I have to say that my label maker (Dymo Personal Label Marker LT-100T) is truly gifted and talented and exceeds my expectations in so many categories (and it's smarter than your honor roll student, wah wah). Here's what makes my label maker truly special:

1) The labels come out clear and easy to read.

2) The labels can print in five sizes, with the option of printing two lines on one label.

3) There are six writing styles: normal, shadow, outline, italic, bold and vertical (an especially nice option).

4) The labels adhere easily to most surfaces (except wicker baskets, but I guess there isn't much that adheres temporarily to wicker).

5) The labels do not easily fade.

6) The QWERTY keyboard is a better option for me than the ABC keyboard of some of Dymo's smaller, skinnier models.

7) Although I haven't used many of them, the label maker comes loaded with lots of symbols, some useful, some simply fun.

I also appreciate that the refill cartridges are easy to find -- I got a packet of two white paper refills for a little over $6.50 at Target (though, somewhat surprisingly, a single clear refill cartridge costs almost the same as two white paper refill cartridges, so I'll be steering clear of those unless I need them for some really specific project).

I have two small complaints (everyone can stand a little constructive criticism, right? I still love you, Label Maker!):

1) There's a button on the left-hand side of the label maker that allows you to cut your label once it has been printed. For some reason, this was difficult to do with the first label cartridge, and all the labels came out with little nicks where I had to yank out the stubborn label. With my current cartridge, though, this doesn't seem to be a problem.

2) There is a number lock button you must press whenever you want to include a number on your label. I always remember to turn the number lock on, but I usually forget to turn it off, and then I get confused why the label maker is only typing numbers. This is, of course, human error, but perhaps it's not the best design either.

Perhaps even more shocking than the fact that 29 years of my life passed sans label maker is the fact that I have not labeled a single item in my home. Right now everything has its place and our house is pretty clutter-free, so labels seem redundant. I have, though, gone label-maker-happy in my classroom, as my journalism students can attest (hey, guys!). Specifically, I have labeled all their camera, tripod and microphone equipment; their press pass hangers; their computer monitors (we assign desktop stations to different editors); various bins in my classroom for all kinds of items: writing folders, newspapers, graded work, special pens for drawing cartoons, batteries, my lost and found...if I don't stop myself, every day I could find something else to label. Because one of my main goals as a journalism teacher is to encourage my students to become independent and self sufficient, labeling the supplies my students use limits the number of times I hear my name called across the room as another student searches for something right in front of her.

I am sure there are bigger, better, more expensive label makers on the market, but if you're looking for a moderately priced label maker, this Dymo Personal Label Marker LT-100T, my friend, is for you.

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