Alternatives to DYMO Label Printers

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For years, DYMO has been the only known brand of label printer to work with OSCAR and other EMRs. In the past few years, many printers that weren’t as popular before have surpassed the DYMO series in terms of features, quality, price, and software.

Since DYMO is expensive, forces you to buy their labels, has poor software, and frequently breaks, here are some tested alternatives for label printers that work with OSCAR and other EMRs.

  • USB only: Brother QL-800
  • USB + WiFi: Brother QL-810W
  • USB + WiFi + Ethernet: Brother QL-820NWBc

These Brother label printers also work perfectly with my Patient Demographics Label eForm. Depending on what labels you get, these Brother label printers can also print RED (red and black thermal). The label size to use with OSCAR is 29x90mm standard address label (monochrome). The Brother model number for these labels is DK-1201.

These Brother label printers include auto cut, so it cuts after each label is printed (or the interval that you customize in the software if you choose to).

Brother label printers also work with cheaper generic labels – these are 1/3 the cost of DYMO labels. You can easily find hundreds of value packages of the DK-1201 generic compatible labels online and on Amazon.

You can connect the Brother label printers to your network to print labels from multiple computers, for the models that have WiFi or Ethernet.

DYMO printers frequently jam because they have many moving parts in the feeder mechanism (the label has to go through a serpent of rollers), plus a fragile plastic cover. As a result, they waste labels and aren’t as sturdy. The Brother label printers have no moving parts except for one roller which does not interfere with labels (they DON’T wind through a series of turns or rollers), so you easily pull through the label yourself when you feed it upon installing a new roll, and it does not jam like the DYMO. Brother label printer automatically recognizes the label size as well, and includes a button on the top to launch the “P-touch editor” label studio software on the connected computer.

Brother has a better design for the label printers, and better software. The software has more label customization options and does not constantly advertise the labels store like the DYMO software does. For the models with network connectivity, Brother has several additional network monitoring and configuration software tools available as well which make it much better for group deployment.

Important Settings on Brother Label Printers

Brother label printers are set to NOT power on automatically, and they power off automatically after 60 minutes. These settings should be changed. Install the Full Software & Drivers package from the Brother support website for the label printer model, then open the “Printer Setting Tool” from the start menu. Click “Device Settings” then set “Auto Power On” to “On”, “Auto Power Off (AC/DC)” to “None”, press Apply.

Also, the printer CANNOT be in “Editor Lite” mode for printing from OSCAR / Windows to work. If the green lamp above the “Editor Lite” button on the printer is lit/green, hold it until it turns off. Then it should show as “Idle” (normal) in Windows (if it’s in Editor Lite mode then it will show up as “Offline”).

Further instructions on these settings and for Mac: The power turns off automatically | Brother