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Epson LabelWorks Safety Kit review

epson labelworks safety kit-01I’ve had the same “Brand B” big-name label maker for nearly 15 years.  Why would I need another one?  Sure, my old one is heavy, hard-to-read, and often frustrating to use… Okay, maybe it’s time to give the Epson LabelWorks Safety Kit a look.

All images can be clicked to view in full size.

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From the Epson website:

  • Convenient — printing labels that help make your home safer is fast and easy
  • Versatile — create personalized labels for every safety measure in the home; choose from a variety of labels available including glow-in-the-dark, reflective and fluorescent
  • Stay safe — reflective labels on bikes and strollers; glow-in-the-dark labels for emergency supplies in dark storage rooms
  • Clearly communicate — “caution” labels alert others to water, thermostat and heat settings
  • Stay organized — clearly label all pill containers and medicine bottles
  • Durable — industrial-strength labels you can depend on
  • Customize — over 300 symbols let you print exactly what you need
  • Full featured — kit includes label printer, 2 tape cartridges for instant, customized labels, and carrying case which also holds 6 AA-sized batteries (not included) and an optional AC adapter (not included)

In the box:

  • LW-400 Label Printer
  • 12 mm (~½”) Glow-in-the-dark cartridge
  • 18 mm (~¾”) Black on Silver (Reflective) cartridge
  • User’s Guide

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The Epson LW-400 is the printer included in the Safety Kit.

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A large, green “cut” button sits on the right to trim the tape.  The round green button on top is the print button.

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A quick tip reference guide is printed on the back.

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Two tapes are included in the Safety Kit:  An 18mm (3/4″) reflective tape, and a 12mm (1/2″) glow-in-the-dark tape.

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To open the LW-400 printer, you press the push tap near the bottom.  The two halves come apart.

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The LW-400 takes six AA-size batteries (not included).

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A closeup of a tape cartridge in place.  Note the small leader sticking out of the slot.

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Cover closed.  A window shows which tape is inserted.

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The keyboard reminds me of an old smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard (remember those?)  I noticed there were two shift keys (blue up arrows) on the bottom row, which was a nice touch.

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Another nice touch:  The LCD is backlit!  I did not expect this.  You can opt to turn this off under settings.

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First, I tried the included reflective tape.  The tape isn’t laminated with a clear film, but the print felt plenty sturdy.  There are some “jaggies” in the text, but you really only notice them if you look up close or print big.

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A majority of the functions on the LW-400 printer were pretty standard for a label maker.  You get a bunch of different font styles and effects, memory settings, and so forth.  However, the “flag label” option caught my eye.  Print a wire label?  I had to try this.

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This was my first attempt.  A vertical line is printed to indicate the “fold” point.  Peel back the adhesive, and…

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Presto!  You’ve got a wire label.  I messed up somewhere on my first try, as the text is more centered towards the cable, not on the edge of the flag, but that’s okay.  You can also print a wrap-around label, also shown here.

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The Safety Kit comes with glow-in-the-dark tape, ideal for hunting down cables in the inky shadows behind your desk.

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You want symbols?  The LW-400 printer has more symbols than I could possibly describe, so here they are!  I’ll bet you think “Hey, I have a use for a ___ symbol!”

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As if pages of icons weren’t enough, you can combine them in pre-programmed “borders”.  I’ve added a reflective label to my coffee container at work.

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I’m not a font freak.  The default one is just fine by me.  At least there’s no Comic Sans.

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The Epson LabelWorks Safety Kit with the LW-400 printer is a compact yet impressive set.  I kept finding ideas and things I wanted to label.  I liked it so much I insta-ordered a handful of other label cartridges.  In addition to the reflective and glow-in-the-dark, you can get them in Iron-on, Metallic, Strong Adhesive, Pearlized, Tab, Fluorescent and Clear.  The LW-4oo printer is lightweight, very quiet and easy to use, too.

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One more thing:  I just HAD to try this with the glow-in-the-dark tape.  This was taken in complete darkness.  The tape glows quite nicely even after being exposed to indirect light, and ducking into a garage or tunnel (shown here).

For more info about Epson LabelWorks Safety Kit visit Epson.com

 

Product Information

Price:$109 MSRP (LW-400 is less than $40 by itself at Amazon)
Manufacturer:Epson
Requirements:
  • Six AA batteries, Epson LC tape (up to 18mm)
Pros:
  • Kit comes with reflective and glow-in-the-dark tapes and a carry case
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Over 300 icons
  • Can print borders, wire labels, and more
  • No Comic Sans font
Cons:
  • Tape cartridges average about $20 each, depending on style
  • Batteries not included

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Steven April 28, 2014, 10:41 am

    Does it waste tape like the “B” branded label printers? On those about 25% of the label is usually cut off at the end of each print, but is necessary as it acts as a leader for the next label.

  • Andy Chen April 28, 2014, 10:42 am

    @Steven: That’s another thing. I find the Epson doesn’t waste so much. Maybe it’s because my old Brand B printer is set wrong, but I always had a pair of scissors handy when I used it to snip off the excess. Not so with the Epson. Print, cut once, done.

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