Customer Reviews: Brother P-Touch QL-500 Manual-Cut PC Label Printing System
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Style: QL-500|Change
Price:$60.57+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on November 6, 2006
Have owned this printer for about 3 months now. This printer has been a very handy and useful tool for rapidly creating address labels, file labels, etc. I typically create one off labels, not mailing lists or batch lable jobs. I also frequently switch between label rolls and this is a pretty easy and fast process. I use this printer from multiple workstations on a single network. There is a driver on Brother's website that will allow you to install the printer driver for network usage. It uses Window File & Print sharing.

UPDATE: Owned now for 2 years. This label printer has worked flawlessly and Brother even provided updated Vista x64 drivers when I needed them. No complaints on this printer and I would still recommend it for perspective buyers.

** UPDATE **
Owned now for 3 years. Still no problems with this printer. Now using with Windows 7 Ultimate X64. I have had excellent experience with Brother printers.

** UPDATE **
Owned now for 4 years. Still no problems with this printer.

** UPDATE **
Owned now for 5 years. Still no problems with this printer.
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on August 25, 2004
I recently purchased this machine for around $100. I have owned label writers in the past and this machine is performing even better than the much more expensive Dymo models. Some of the features that I find unique and usefull are the continueous tape option for banners and the speed at which this machine prints. It prints much faster than previous models I have owned. This label printer has been very easy to set up. The only thing is I might opt for the step up QL-550 next time because it has an auto cutter build in. But in defense of the QL-500, it's manual cutter is very easy to use too and has been a non issue.
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on August 22, 2005
This has proved to be an excellent buy - we use this all the time for our address labels, but also labelling everything we need around here from Jam, to bags to our business - and it runs so quickly and easily.

What do I really like about this - well it was quick and easy to set up - not just load the software on to the computer, but to fit the consumables in - it needs special spools to run - they slip in and out in a flash so if you are printing different sized labels you can refit them quickly

The size of the printer itself is great, it is light and compact which means it can be slipped into a corner when not in use, or quickly plugged in

I love the fact it doesn't use ink so no replacing ink cartridges or watching flashing lights etc.

It didn't take too long to find my way around the software, I was a bit annoyed at first you couldn't easily access a box for number of labels you want printed - but then you can't have every feature right there on the desktop - and there is already a great deal to cope with in terms of options.

We were printing simple labels with clip art within minutes and haven't stopped finding uses for it since (neat for backs of photos for instance)

It runs easily from Microsoft software which is also great - printing from letters etc is a breeze.

...and the speed! I couldn't believe how quick it was - it just shoots them out, cutting between labels as it goes

Overall I think this is a very versatile machine with great cross over for business and home use. It has all the elements I like - fast, efficient, easy-to-use, versatile and compact.
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on April 18, 2006
I purchased this printer to print shipping labels for packages we ship out for our Ebay on line business. It works great with the ship feature in Paypal and has been trouble-free ever since I bought it. Use the continuous 2-3/7" labels DK-2205 for the Ebay shipping labels, fully compatable with the USPS Priority Mail system. I have also used this to print address labels (with the postnet codes as a feature of the excellent software which comes with this unit), CD labels and file folder labels. The manual cutter works just fine for me and I did not need the auto cut of the more expensive model
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on June 28, 2005
If you've been holding off getting a label-printer due to price, this is the printer for you. Not only has Brother lowered the price point on the printer itself (with rebates it often dips below $50), but Brother's standard address label refills are reasonably priced - about 3-cents each.

Setup on Windows XP is simple, but the iconography in the quick-start instructions manual can be a little frustrating. The printed instructions for label printing are anemic; the on-line (PDF) manual is better. Printing simple address labels is sufficiently intuitive that it can be accomplished without ready the manual.

Finally, this printer is fast! The first time I printed a label I thought the printer was just spinning the roll - turns out it was printing! The only downside I've found so far is that the printer's footprint is larger than some of the more expensive competitors.
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HALL OF FAMEon May 10, 2007
The P-Touch QL-500 is a label printer that connects to your Windows 2000 or XP PC (not sure if Vista is supported) and allows you to print custom labels with text and graphics. The labels will be printed on blanks sold by Brother but they are reasonably priced. As another reviewer points out, this label printer doesn't use ink, so that's a big saving in itself.

The QL-500 uses a manual cutter: there's a lever at the bottom front that you move to cut a printed label. It's very easy to use. Its more expensive sibling, the QL-550, has a cut button that you press to "automatically" have the label cut.

The QL-500 turned out to be bigger and heavier than I had expected, but not unduly so. Setting it up took about 10 minutes from opening the packaging to having the first label printed. Half of that time was spent on reading the typical originaly-written-in-Japanese user's manual and another 30% of the time on installing the included software (I chose standard installation even though I don't think I'll ever use the P-Touch Addressbook).

Installing a label cartridge couldn't be simpler: the spool has guides that slide easily and effortless into the guide slots on the QL-500. And there's only one way you can insert the cartridge, so you won't do it wrong. You then feed the label tape into the printing mechanism, pulling the first tape just past the cutter slot. The QL-500 is smart enough to sense where the cutting position on the label tape should be, so for the most part it's a truly worry-free experience.

I use the included P-Touch program to design, lay out and write up my labels. (The program has half-baked integration with Microsoft Office programs.) So far I've printed only address labels. The included starter label roll is similar to the DK-1201 roll: each address label is 1 1/7" x 3 1/2", good for 4 lines of address text in 12-point Arial. The starter roll has 100 labels, whereas the $12 DK-1201 has 400. I bought the $18 DK-1208 roll (also with 400 labels) which is wider (1 1/2" x 3 1/2"), since I often print addresses with 5 lines or more of text. But I think for most purposes, the DK-1201 suffices and saves you 50% in cost.

You should read the manual to ensure a hassle-free setup. The most important thing with the setup process is: do NOT connect the QL-500 to your PC via the included USB cable until after you've installed the software suite, which includes the crucial driver that's needed. The installation program will prompt you to connect the printer to the PC. I installed the software on Win2K and WinXP machines, and never had to restart any of the PCs (even though the manual says you might need to reboot).

The QL-500 is easy to set up and very easy -- and fun -- to use. Making customized labels has never been so easy. I wish the QL-500 could operate on batteries and were slightly slimmer and lighter, and I wish the labeling program were a little more user-friendly -- but for less than fifty bucks, this is the best PC peripheral I've bought in a long time. Plus, Brother makes and sells all kinds of label blanks at reasonable prices, so your creativity is your only limit.

I whole-heartedly recommend this product to anyone who prints labels.
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on November 7, 2006
This machine is AWESOME for eBay sellers. If you use PayPal or take money orders, you can print out postage with this machine using the continuous tape (about 100 labels for every roll). You can chose to remove the amount of postage on the label so nobody can see & print multiple labels using PayPal. Brother has made it very easy & compatible with this service. I am glad I did not spend the extra money on the machine with the self-cutting tool. It is easy to slide the protected razor across & cut the tape. I tried it once on the USPS site but did not get it to work so for personal items, I'm still using stamps. But, it saves me the long lines at the post office and now, I just have to drop the packages off.

It is very easy to use, "plug & play" out of the box. I have had no problems with it & have made over 100 labels over the past month. Have not used any of the software features or any of the small label features. But this is a cheap & useful machine for the eBay sellers out there. It allows me to get my items out in the post in record time & therefore has boosted my sales & paid for itself.
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on January 18, 2007
Works great, but was a hassle. Just make sure you install the latest software from the brother website if you have an intel-based mac.

Sweet printer though!
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on February 14, 2007
The pluses: Fast, convenient, compatible (more or less) with Word and Outlook. One of the best features is the quick switch capability from label to label. If I'm using address labels and want to print a file label, I lift the top, slide out the address label cartridge, slide in the file labels, close and print. The device recognizes the labels and I don't have to change the software at all. But the software is not my favorite. I'm usually pretty good at figuring things out, and sometimes I even refer to the manual. But I have yet to master this software, and I've had it over a year. I just tried the updated software and now it won't print a range of labels in Outlook. I have a Brother laser printer, a Brother all-in-one, and I had a Brother fax before the all-in-one. I bought the Brother label maker because I was pleased with the other products, and the tech support. I am not as pleased with the label maker software, and have been very disappointed with the tech support I've received so far. I'd recommend the printer. Unfortunately, I can't recommend the software.
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on December 29, 2004
I've wanted a label printer for a long time because I hate having to manually load envelopes into my printer. A printer with multiple trays would have been one solution, but I already have too many printers the way it is. The Dynamo was the only one I'd seen and at $200 it was just too much, but this nifty little Brother model at $79 (after a rebate) was too good to pass up.

I've only just set it up, but it's easy and it's FAST. Speed doesn't really matter to me (not sending bulk mail) but it's impressive one the less. The only thing I don't like (so far) is that it doesn't add the postal bar code to the label like Microsoft Word did. There might be a way around this, and in all honestly I'm not convinced it make the mail faster anyway, but I like to use it and with this would do it too.
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