Easy to use
Huge selection of customizable options
Screen is reflective and hard to see
AC power adapter is not included
We purchased Brother's PT-D210 Labeler so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
When it comes to household organization, a label maker can be a tremendous help. The Brother PT-D210 Labeler offers an almost staggering array of fonts, frames, and symbols. With a simple keyboard interface and menus that are easy to navigate, reviewers say it’s very user-friendly. We put this gadget to the test for over a week, using it to create labels for various household items. After thoroughly assessing the setup process, design, and overall performance, we determine if the Brother PT-D210 Labeler is worth buying.
Setup Process: Easy
It only took us a few minutes to get this Brother labeler up and running. This unit requires 6 AAA batteries, which are not included. We were disappointed that it doesn’t come with an AC power adapter, although you can purchase one at an additional cost (about $12). It runs on batteries enhances its portability, but batteries can be expensive to replace regularly.
The instructions provide helpful diagrams that explain how to install the batteries and the sample tape cartridge (which is wrapped separately in plastic). The tape cartridge pops in and out very easily. We had one little snafu with the batteries, which we accidentally put in upside down. The batteries on the bottom row are complicated to remove by hand. Instead, we had to pry them out with a tweezer. Aside from that minor inconvenience, setup was a breeze.
Design: Lots of convenient features—just a few caveats
Weighing just over a pound, it is fairly lightweight and easily portable. For a small machine, the Brother PT-D210 Labeler certainly has a lot of features. It includes 14 fonts, 97 frames, and over 600 symbols, offering a seemingly endless amount of customizable options to choose from. The QWERTY keyboard makes it easy to create text. You use the arrow keys to scroll through the various menus and hit the OK button to select.
We thought the look of the screen could be improved. The text is a darker gray against a lighter gray background, so it lacks contrast. This makes some of the text difficult to see, especially in a bright room. Because the unit faces upward, you also get many reflections on the screen’s surface, further reducing visibility. We adjusted the LCD contrast to its highest setting, but the display still wasn’t as sharp as we would have liked.
This was our first time using a label maker, and we were a bit overwhelmed by all of the options. One particularly helpful feature is the preview tool, which allows you to see what the label will look like before printing. Since replacement cartridges are costly, you never want to waste tape. The machine has a built-in cutter, which neatly slices and detaches your labels with the push of a button.
Performance: Perfect for file folders and gift labels
The Brother PT-D210 inspired us to get organized. We found the interface easy to use. In a matter of minutes, we had some sharp-looking labels printed. We really liked the look of the default font—prominent black letters against a crisp white background for labeling basic items like file folder tabs and envelopes. Since the backing paper is split down the middle, removing it is a snap. The labels stand out nicely, especially on our brightly colored folders. The Brother PT-D210 Labeler has a decent amount of memory, too: It can store up to 30 labels. If you plan on reprinting the same labels multiple times, you won’t have to recreate them from scratch.
After printing out some simple labels, we wanted to get a little more creative. This unit has many custom templates to choose from, but you are limited to two lines of text per label. For the holidays, we thought it would be a good idea to make labels for our Christmas gifts. The templates took a bit of trial and error—some looked better than others after printing. The font on the custom templates can’t be adjusted (and, if it can, we haven’t figured out how). We loved the fairytale template, which features a horse-drawn carriage, but we didn’t like the first and last name printed in two different fonts. Instead of a custom template, you can also add symbols before or after a name. There are over 600 symbols to choose from, and they are organized by theme into various menus. The snowman, Santa, and Christmas tree were perfect for labeling the younger kids’ presents. (You can find those in the Event/Season section.)
The labels aren’t as elegant or artistic as we’d prefer, but we can only expect so much from this little gadget. After all, it’s a label maker and not a high-tech printer. We could improve the labels' look by ordering tape in different color combinations, such as red on white or white on green. The sample tape cartridge provided only prints white labels with black lettering, which limits us. Since this is a thermal printer, the labels' color will depend on the tape cartridge installed. When purchasing additional cartridges, there are plenty of color options to choose from. The sample that comes with the unit contains 12mm of tape. We’re not sure how long it’s going to last us. So far, we’ve printed about 20 labels, and we haven’t run out yet.
Price: Very affordable
At $35, the highly versatile Brother PT-D210 Label Maker is well worth its affordable price tag. If you’re looking for a label maker with more advanced features, such as computer connectivity or high volume printing, more expensive models are worth considering.
Competition: More technology means a higher price tag
Brother PT-D600 Label Maker: At $65, the Brother PT-D600 Label Maker comes with a significantly higher price tag and more high-tech features. It can connect with your PC or Mac for additional functionality. It features a full-color, high-resolution screen, an automatic tape cutter for high volume jobs, and a larger keyboard for easy typing.
Dymo LabelWriter 450 Turbo: Retailing around $86, the Dymo LabelWriter 450 Turbo is better suited for small businesses. It can print at lightning-fast speed—up to 71 labels per minute. The included software allows users to create advanced labels like barcodes and USPS-approved postage. Since it relies on thermal printing technology rather than ink or toner, you will save money on supplies.
- Product Name PT-D210 Labeler
- Product Brand Brother
- MPN PT-D210
- Price $34.99
- Weight 1.1 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 6.2 x 2.7 x 5.9 in.
- Color Gray/white
- Material Plastic
- Requires 6 AAA alkaline batteries
- Warranty 1-year limited