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Added this review to my ciao account as well (on 17/10/14)
I can recall the old dymo my mum had - you know the ones where the black tape was clipped onto one side and fed through. Then turn the wheel to select the letter and press the clicker to emboss the tape then repeat with the next letter. Whilst there was nothing wrong with these the labels always looked a bit cheap and nasty as well as taking a long time. Well technology has moved on and now with this much neater labels can be produced quickly and easily.
This item cost me £29.99 from an online stationary company (name available on request), however, I have now seen it on sale for £17.53 directly from Dymo (typical isn't it)
What is in the pack?
The label maker is a reasonable size with a good sized screen (13 characters) but the lettered buttons are perhaps a little small. Whilst these buttons are fine for my dainty (for a man) fingers those with larger fingers or those with arthritis may find this a bit of a problem. There is also a single white paper label tape which is 4m in length so this is enough for many labels.
Clipped into the inside of the lid of the tape housing is a print head cleaner. This can be kept there for safe storage if, like me, you are always losing things like this.
The instruction manual provided is also nice and clear as is the warranty cards. If you register the item within 14 days of purchase you get a free 2 year warranty. I know this is pretty standard these days but if it is going to get a lot of use it is well worth it.
Whilst you can use a mains adapter to power this unit you have to buy this separately. Alternatively you can use 4xAA batteries (not supplied). The batteries are, at the moment, my favoured method of powering it. You can buy a mains adapter for £28.79 from the same company I bought the machine from but you can probably find one cheaper elsewhere.
If you are going to use this to make labels for files in an office and it gets daily use then an adapter may be a good investment. I do feel that for the occasional home use the battery method is the best as you can always take the batteries out when it is not in use and you don't have another adapter in the draw to get all tangled up with the others.
The unit is heavier than it initially looks but some of this will be the batteries and it is not like carrying a brick and it does fit well in your hand. Although it is just as easy to use for both left and right handed people up to pressing the 'print' button I think the right handed have a slight advantage after as the label does come out on the right hand side.
Setting it up is fairly easy and installing the tape is easily done and does not require any fiddly lifting of x, pushing of y etc. which many things appear to have these days. After that and inserting the batteries you can set the size of the letters (5 sizes to choose from) I tend to stick with the default size as it is just easier and whether you want upper or lower case. There are also a set of 'special' characters you can use such as mathematical symbols and the Greek alphabet. International characters such as accents can be used simply by holding down the letter key and holding it until it scrolls through to the one you want so adding the umlaut etc. is nice and easy.
I am used to a QWERTY keyboard, as most of us are, so I was a little put off with the alphabetical order keyboard but this is a very minor gripe.
One thing I like about this is that you can do a two row label so you can fit twice as much on the same length of the tape. The 'style' of lettering can be changed from normal to italic and also so you can have just an outline of the letters (useful for multi-coloured labels - print on white paper tape and colour in yourself as it will only print in black) and also to have the letters printed horizontally along the length of the tape rather than the standard vertical (useful for labelling blank dvd cases)
If there are any labels you will want to print again and again you can store up to 9 in the memory of the machine so you don't have to type them out each time.
You can also add boarders to the words for the label including a crocodile and train (well a sort of crocodile and train). Perhaps useful if labelling up things belonging to young children.
Other bits to buy:
There are many different types of tape you can buy and use in this machine these include the paper tapes and plastic ones. Whilst the paper one only comes in white the plastic ones come in a range of colours. Also available are iron on labels - ideal for labelling your son or daughters school sports kit and school uniform.
On dymo's own website the tapes are priced from £3.23 for the white paper one to £4.33 for the silver 'metallic' one. (Prices include VAT but not delivery). Although you only get 2m of tape for the iron on one the rest are all 4m. The tapes are available from a good number of high street stores and they are at times on offer.
The print quality is good considering the price of the machine and it is an improvement on the old manual dymos. The label backing is reasonably easy to remove as it is in two halves so lightly bending the label makes the backing come up along the divide to this aid removal.
If you do use the 'two line' setting on the label please note that the printed letters are half the size in order to fit both rows on the 12mm width of tape.
I have mainly used the labels I have made for things in my kitchen as I have that many storage jars for things like lentils, rice etc. not to mention the different types of sugar I use for different cakes so getting them all clearly labelled was important. When it comes to herbs and spices I tend to keep them in the jars I bought them in and then simply buy refills but if you have a special set of jars for them then this is ideal for labelling them clearly. Also I have replaced my old hand written labels for my files in my filing cabinet.
The plastic tape is wipe clean with a damp cloth but I doubt the adhesive will survive very long if the item e.g. storage jar is immersed in water for too long or too often.
Well the body of the unit just wipe over with a slightly damp cloth. You are advised to clean the cutting blade every time you replace the tape (so after every 4m of tape used). However, if you use a number of different colours or types of tape this is more difficult to do. I would say clean it once every two months if it is used fairly often. Doing this is a bit fiddly the first time but easier after that all it takes is a cotton wool bud dampened with a little alcohol (no vodka DOESN'T count). I tend to use the alcohol that comes with those cd cleaning kits. Also when the print quality looks a bit off the print head can be cleaned using the head cleaner provided. Just make sure the cloth like side is lightly held against the print head, so facing away from the keyboard.
Screen size: 2.5" (6.5 cm) diagonal
Unit size (lxwxh) : 9"x3.5"x2.5" (23cm x 9cm x 6.5cm approx.)
Unit weight (including tape and batteries): 390g
Although not exactly a must have item it has made my kitchen cupboards easier to organise and I no longer have to have my illegible handwriting on the tabs of my files in the filing cabinet.
I would give this 4.5 stars if half stars were allowed but this is mainly just because it isn't a QWERTY keyboard so it is closer to 5 than 4.
review also appears on my ciao account
Once you have a label maker, it's amazing how many things you can find to label! From the plugs in the rats nest of wires behind the computer so that you know which is which, to tent poles so you can match them up correctly. The Dymo LetraTAG will label pretty much anything.
This is a hand-held machine (just a bit too big to be comfortable in one hand), it doesn't need a computer to make it work so you can use it anywhere. It takes a variety of colours and textures of tape - white paper, coloured plastic etc. all of which are sticky on the back. The tape comes in easy-to-load cassettes, they just clip in and you can change over part way through a cassette with no problem. It is battery powered - I've had mine a year and not yet needed to change the batteries.
The tapes are all the same width, so if you want a tiny label you can use the smaller font sizes but have to trim the tape, but that's about the only problem I've had with it. And if there were a variety of tape widths you'd never have the one you need anyway!
This machine is the natural and much more flexible successor to the old manual dymo tape machines where the letters were raised. There are various font sizes and decorative borders/edges including a steam train, hearts, flowers or a crocodile if you're labelling for kids. It also includes a reasonable set of symbols, rather like wingdings - things like smiley faces, a skull and crossbones and various arrows.
I can't really find any faults with this machine, if you want to label stuff or just play about it's great.
I bought my Dymo LetraTag about a year ago and it works like a dream. I originally bought it because I do a lot of baking and like to label items when I bake for friends. The Dymo is a hand-held device that allows you to create your own neat, self-adhesive labels. You have a choice of white or clear labels (the refill tape can be interchanged at will). It also allows you to format the size of the letters and style of the writing (6 settings for each), and also allows you to choose borders for your labels (8 different settings as well as simple underlining). The best feature is that it has a 9 label memory for those labels which you might need to use often.
The design of the Dymo is stylish and user-friendly. It has a lovely blue surface with silver along the sides. The buttons are clear and easy to use. The screen is not high-tech, but is clear and does what it is meant to do. The batteries also last reasonably long (I use 4 rechargeable AA batteries). The Dymo is quite expensive at about £30.
An excellent choice for those who want to label school stationary for their children.