Brother P-Touch PT-E550W

Calling all electricians! Give your expert work the professional look it deserves.

Once again I've been lucky enough to get my grubby paws on another fantastic printer before it hits the shelves. Brother's P-Touch E550W is the new big boy of their hand-held label printers. Targeted mainly at electricians, this printer is going to be a big hit on the market as it's packed full of features and is a very affordable competitor on the current market.

Here is a rundown of the main features this printer has to offer:

  • Rubber clicky QWERTY keyboard. Unlike their previous, cheaper and competitor's models the rubber buttons click to confirm its been fully pressed, almost like a mechanical keyboard. It's in the standard QWERTY layout that will be very familiar to you as computers and most smartphones use this layout.
  • Lithium Ion battery. This battery lasts a very long time, possibly the longest lasting out of Brother's P-Touch range. It also provides the extra power required for the heat shrink marker tapes.
  • Large backlit display with real-size label preview. Label preview on previous models hasn't been up to scratch but this time it's real-sized so what you see is what you get. This sized screen also helps make the menus clear and easy to read. The backlight makes the printer useable in little to no light environments.
  • Only uses the TZe tapes. Brother's patented TZe tapes are long lasting, strong and versatile. This also means there are no compatibles which we're sorry about; but what we're not sorry that you'll be getting the highest quality consumables available for your printer.
  • Automatic electric cutter with part-cut. The cutter is automatic but can also be activated at a press of a button. It also features part-cut which will cut the tape but not the backing paper; this is useful if you're printing a lot of labels in one go and don't want them falling on a dirty floor of a basement, being blown away in the wind up scaffold tower or wherever you are.
  • Quick labels type buttons. Normal, vertical, set size, repeat (wire wrap), wire flag, patch/fuse panel and punch down blockNEW. These are the label types you use most often so to help you switch between them quickly there's preset buttons across the top in white.
  • Preset wire sizes. When printing flag or wrap labels you are required to know the diameter of the cable but not anymore! The printer has a memory of preset cable diameters including but not limited to CAT5e & coax.
  • Mini USB. Use this connection to transfer and save your most common label designs, company logos and database tables (Excel & Access) for easy access on the move. The saved label designs allow you print the same labels with or without editing them first. The database connectivity makes use of the label templates so you can print a long string of different labels at the press of a button without having to enter all the details again.
  • WiFi. When out on a job, you may wish to use your smartphone to get the job done whatever the reason. With the E550W you can print from a smartphone using the free Android app or iOS app. You can save, recall and insert images from the app.
  • All symbols now listed under their categories. Electrical, safety, etc. What more can be said. It's all the symbols you'll ever need as an electrician and some extra!
  • Large memory capacity. Enough memory for 99 labels. It's highly unlikely you'll save that many labels but just in case you do there's enough memory for it. This is also the shared memory for custom logos and databases.
  • Heatshrink wire marking. Brother's HSe heatshrink tubing have been a long time in the making but they're finally here!* They're a perfect non-adhesive alternative to marking your cables.**

I had fun playing with this printer and to anyone thinking of getting a Brother P-Touch or similar competitor, I would recommend this over all of the models; I doubt you'll regret buying one!

Check out their promotional video:

*The heatshrink tubes are only compatible with the P-Touch E550W as it is physically more demanding on the hardware. Using the heatshrink tubes with another model may cause printhead damage, motor damage, faster battery drainage and decreased life of the cutter blade. **These tubes will not slide over most plugs or sockets and are more commonly used on cables before a plug or socket has been attached.