Brady BMP21-PLUS Label Printer Quick Review

p1030087The good folks over at Brady were kind enough to send me over one of their label printers for review, the Brady BMP21-PLUS Label Printer.

Full disclosure:  Brady supplied the Label Printer for review at no cost however Tool Craze was not paid or sponsored to write a positive review. Tool Craze cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information/specifications/features of any tool listed in this article. Please do your full research before buying any products. Tool Craze is an Amazon Associate and places paid links including those from other retailers Tool Craze is an affiliate partner with. If you purchase something through a link on the Tool Craze site, Tool Craze may get a small share of the sale.

This label printer uses continuous tape cartridges with a sticky back and can not only print out the regular numerical and alphabetical text, but it can also print a variety of symbols, and even bar codes. This will definitely help keep things organized and labeled properly.

Who’s it designed for?

Anyone can use this labeler but it has features that are geared for jobsite use, specifically electricians (more on that in a bit). It offers a large rugged body with plenty of rubber overmold to handle drops and lends to a firm grip.

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It has an easy to read LCD screen that’s backlit for easy viewing when it’s dark. The backlight is set to always on out of the box and can be disabled to conserve battery life. It takes 6 AA batteries and also shows the remaining battery power (fuel gauge) on screen. The LCD screen is easy to see out in the bright sun and even with the backlight turned on, although you’ll want to turn the backlight off when using outdoors during daylight to conserve battery.

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The buttons are nice and oversized which makes them easy to press independently without having to worry about pressing the adjacent buttons even when wearing gloves.

The tape itself is interesting because I expected it to be sticky backed paper tape but it’s actually much better than paper tape. The tape is nylon cloth making it flexible and tough. I tried ripping it and I failed miserably, which is a good thing for the tape. No need to worry about how to cut it from the label printer as the printer has a pair of easy to push buttons on the back that when squeezed cut the tape.

As I was saying earlier, anyone can use this labeler but it’s got a ton of settings that would make an electrician happy. If you go to the label type menu, you can choose various settings such as wire marker, terminal block, patch panel, vial, breaker box, along with a flag setting and the usual banner settings for portrait and landscape printing. There are also many symbols you can choose from in various categories from Datacomm, electrical, home electrical, and warning along with arrows, greek, and miscellaneous.

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Electricians will love the various settings to label wires, electrical panels, fuses, terminal blocks, etc.

I liked that you can set the printer to print text horizontally or vertically and can even change the size of the text with various sized fonts and bold font options and can also print several lines at a time.

The barcode print feature was also interesting. It’s not a feature I could take advantage of since I don’t have a barcode scanner but you can print your own custom barcodes with this labeler. This would be perfect for a small office or store that’s equipped with a barcode scanner for making good use of inventory tools and such.

It’s also great for general use for labeling just about anything such as utensils, drawers, etc. I also used it for some good old fashioned pranks at a family member’s office putting an enter at your own risk labels on the bathroom door, mis-leading odd labels on file cabinet drawers, and adding captions to pictures. Good times!

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Other features include printing time and date stamps on print outs. You can enter the current date and time in the system menu so it’s always current so you don’t have to manually enter current times and dates. You can also save the text on screen as files that you can pull up later making it easy to print common used text without having to re enter it each time.

The cartridges are replaceable and come in different thicknesses. It comes preinstalled with a 3/4″ tape cartridge but there are thinner and larger sizes available.

As you can see I’ve had a positive experience overall with the Brady BMP21-PLUS Label Printer and it does everything it’s intended for and more. Everyone will enjoy it’s features but not as much as elecricians with it’s many electrician focused features. Brady also sells tape cartridges that use heat shrink tape perfect for using on cables and heat shrink tubes.

As far as negatives go, I had to be picky to be honest. I found the unit a bit too oversized (big). I’ve never used a labeler before so I have nothing to compare it to. For all I know it may be similar in size to other similar featured units but I thought it was too big to fit in a small tool bag or tool box. I’d certainly have a hard time fitting this thing in even a large tool belt pocket. The buttons are a good size but I didn’t like that they are arranged alphabetically. Anyone familiar with a qwerty keyboard on a traditional keyboard or an on screen keyboard will have to get adjusted to the non standard letter placement. After picking up the unit, I spent too much time typing each word because the letters aren’t arranged like a qwerty keyboard.

I also didn’t like the battery holder compartment. I had a hard time installing batteries without the batteries popping out each time before I could place the battery door. The battery compartment needs better design to hold the batteries in place better so they don’t pop out before you place the cover.

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Pricing for the unit is around $90-ish and it comes with the Brady BMP21-PLUS Label Printer, lanyard, and comes with a cartridge preinstalled. Batteries don’t come installed so you’ll need to supply your own, or you can purchase Brady’s own rechargeable battery pack. Other accessories include a magnet you can attach to the back of the unit so you may attach the Brady onto a metalic surface such as an electrical panel while your working.

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Ron

Mine quit mid job, low printing time on this unit. Generated a ERROR when printing.
Brady doesn’t service these, they tell you to purchase a new one.

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