Friday, May 22, 2015

FNB Review - LabelWorks™ Printable Ribbon Kit

Thanks to the folks over at Epson, my wife was given the chance to test out a new product they recently released called the "LabelWorks™ Printable Ribbon Kit." For those that don't know, my wife is an avid crocheter who creates and sells her work on her Facebook page: Pocket Full O' Poseys. I'm not the craftiest person around, but my wife has made some amazing items and takes great pains to make sure the products she sells look awesome when she ships them to her customers. It was a no brainer that the LabelWorks kit would work perfectly in this role. After finishing up her most recent creation, she decided to play around with the device and see just how versatile it would be for someone who enjoys crafts and then presenting them in some way. Her results are below.

Using the ribbon as a label
The LabelWorks™ Printable Ribbon Kit is similar the label printers you have seen in the past, except you're printing on ribbon. Out of the box you will receive two 30 feet ribbon/ink cartridges that come in both navy and white. Installing the ribbons into the device was incredibly easy and after putting two batteries into the device, she was printing in no time at all. We were given batteries with the review copy of the device, but it looks like an AC adapter may be able available as well (although we can't speak to this). Turning the device on and starting your first print job is incredibly easy and very user friendly. The instructions that came with the device was actually destroyed by our toddler within minutes of receiving it and we didn't even need to use it (although you can find a PDF version online here if you have a mischievous toddler as well.) The font choices and extra characters are varied enough that depending on what type of project you were planning on using this for, you would be able to find something that fit your needs. My wife's business is Pocket Full O' Poseys, so she decided to create her name in ribbon and use the ribbon as a sort of business icon on the product she made. You can see in the image to the right the finished printed ribbon on her most recent piece (a blanket) and how good it looks there.

Using the ribbon as a tie
While the ribbon printer does a great job at creating ribbons with your slogan or message on it, it also has some nice touches that create a great user experience. For instance, between uses, your last entered phrase will be saved so that you can pick up where you left off. You can also tell the printer to print something a number of times if you want utilize the ribbon as a tie like my wife did for her crocheted children's nesting bowls she sells (see image to the left.) The ink printed onto the ribbon is also already dry when it prints and is very easy to see/read.

The LabelWorks™ Printable Ribbon Kit is a solid tool, but there are some things that my wife wanted to point out that aren't quite there yet with this product. The blade on the the device (which cuts the ribbon when done) isn't the best quality. We were able to cut a few times, but after that the cutting mechanism did more of a tear than a clean cut and hindered further feeds of the ribbon. We ended up using small craft scissors to get better cuts and it wasn't a hassle, it's just unfortunate the blade wasn't up to snuff. The only other downside would be that you can't preview what you're final ribbon will look like due to the limitations of the screen. There was a few times my wife spent printing and then throwing away a couple ribbons because she didn't like the final product. Overall though, not too many negatives to list out on this product, so that's a good thing.

Overall, my wife was incredibly impressed with the LabelWorks™ Printable Ribbon Kit. What initially started out as just a tool to print a single piece of ribbon to attach a company name on something turned into a tool that could do much more - like my wife's idea to print a ribbon to tie up her product. The average consumer will probably get limited uses with this and Epson's other products that print, like the Safety Kit or the Iron-on Kit, will probably be more up their alley. For people with a craft business or crafty individuals who can think of unique ways to use ribbon on gifts/clothing/etc. the  LabelWorks™ Printable Ribbon Kit is an awesome tool that will surprise you with it's many uses.

Disclaimer: Epson sent me this product to review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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