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Best Direct Thermal Printer for Shipping Labels

From my previous posts I have established that if you are a medium sized online business (sending 21-50 parcels/day) or a large sized eCommerce business (sending over 50 parcels/day) you should be using a Direct Thermal Printer for creating shipping labels for its speed, reliability, cost effectiveness and longevity.


The standard size for a Shipping label in Australia is 100mm width x 150mm length and can come in a variety of rolls with different number of labels on each roll. Below are 3 of the most common shipping label rolls:

  1. 350 Labels/roll
  2. 500 Labels/roll
  3. 1000 Labels/roll

Please note: for Dymo 4XL Printer, it only takes Compatible Dymo labels 104 width x 149mm length and ONLY comes in 220 labels/roll


In order to find out which Direct thermal printer best suit your business, we firstly need to know the size of your business or in other words how many parcels you send a day. We have broken up the Printer suitability to the following business sizes:


Small Online Businesses sending out 1-20 parcels a day might get by using an A4 Laser printer but since you want to give your online business a good go an Easy to use Dymo 4XL Printer that you can get from Officeworks for $298 or Amazon for $209 (Last checked September 2019) The printing is sharp but there's not much point given it is only used as a shipping label but it is widely available so if it breaks down you can easily replace it.


Medium eCommerce Businesses pushing out 21-50 parcels a day now you are scaling your business we suggest you get serious and upgrade to a Desktop Direct thermal Printer Zebra GC420D which is recommended by Startrack a division of Australia Post. The Free printer that Fastway give you Toshiba TEC B-FV4 Series is also decent. A part from the above 2 printers there are also other good direct thermal printer brands like Rollo, Intermec, Sato etc, but if you have to buy one we recommend the Zebra GC420D which is often described as a Workhorse as it the cheapest one out of their extensive range, doesn't break down, above average printing quality, and again it doesn't break down. If your Label Printer is down you cannot printer shipping labels = business shutdown.


Large eCommerce business bulking out 51- 500 parcels a day you have 2 choices, either buy a few of desktop direct thermal printers like Zebra GC420D or TSC DA210 are perfect for businesses that need several packing stations within their warehouse or if you only need one packing station then buy an industrial direct thermal printer like the Zebra ZT200 Series. The industrial ones have more options and compatible with more devices but generally they do the same thing, print shipping labels.


Compare the 3 Printer Types

  DYMO 4XL Desktop Direct Thermal Printers
ie Zebra GC420D
Industrial Direct Thermal Printers
ie Zebra ZT200 Series
Ease of Setup 9/10 8/10 7/10
Cost approx $298 approx $450 over $1500
Size of Business Small Medium Large
Consumables  approx $0.035/label approx $0.025/label approx $0.025/label
Ink Required? Direct Thermal means NO INK REQUIRED
Change-Over Rate High
220 labels/roll
350/500/1000 labels/roll
350/500/1000 labels/roll
Easy to Break? YES
Designed with Printer Head at the bottom can cause:
misfeeds, stuck labels often
Designed with Printer Head at the Top which Minimises misfeeds & stuck labels are easily fixed
Designed with Printer Head at the Top which Minimises misfeeds & stuck labels are easily fixed


I hope the above information gave you a rough guideline on deciding which Direct Thermal Printer to buy for printing Shipping Labels.


Of course if you need any further assistance please email me at bill@awesomepack.com.au


Always here to help,




Awesome Pack

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