Just before Christmas, Brother got in touch with us to see if we'd be interested in reviewing one of their handheld label printers. As they pointed out, they’re ideal for labelling everything from leftovers in the freezer to files in the home office and at this time of year, they’re also great for labelling Christmas presents!
Well, this made me feel a bit nostalgic. When I was a kid growing up in the 1970's, I remember being very impressed with a clunky old label printer that we had that had a wheel you had to turn around to mechanically select the letters before stamping them on little strips of red or black tape. If you messed up a letter, you couldn't delete it - you just had to snip it off and start the label all over again. These were used for labelling cine films and putting the dates on Top 40 tapes recorded off the radio on a Sunday night and various other things that modern kids won't have heard of. (I found a picture of the labeller that we had on the hilarious You Know You're Over 40 When blog. You think that's bad? Click through to have a look at this picture of my first ever computer - the Vic 20. Yes, that's right, you had to load programmes from a tape deck !)
Well, my obvious first reaction when I laid eyes on the Brother P-Touch PT-H105 Handheld Labelling Machine was wow, it's gone all hi-tech ! Inside the box, you get a sleek silver handheld unit (more about that in a moment), an instruction booklet and a sample of Black on White Laminated tape - enough to get you started but you will need to buy more. I thought this was a bit stingy actually - they could have provided a full-sized tape cartridge, knowing that you'll be playing with it lots when it first arrives !
The user-friendly control panel is simple enough to find your way around and allows you to change the size and font of your letters. You have a choice of nine fonts and you can even add little symbols next to your text.
It also has a built-in cutter which is handy but I did find that it wasted quite a lot of tape before and after each label so I found it more economical (in terms of tape) to print several labels at once and then snip them apart. It is also quite greedy when it comes to batteries - it needs 6 x AAA batteries and they don't last very long - so it might be worth investing in a power lead, which can be bought separately.
As you can see, it fits easily into one hand and is comfortable to use. It looks quite chunky but isn't heavy. Madhouse Daddy took it to work and promptly used up all the tape that was provided so I'll have to wait and buy some more so that I can have a proper play with it ! He was very impressed with them though - they stick well and look much more professional than his usual hand-scrawled Post-It notes on top of his wallet folders !
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £40