Dymo Rhino 5200 and 6000 Labelers Reviewed



Audioholics Robot
Staff member
Rhino has long been the serious user's choice in label creation for quite some time now. I say this for several reasons. One, the company has an extensive line of products that are specifically targeted for the professional and "pro-sumer" markets, and two, the Rhino brand is backed by labels that will work in a variety of applications and environments. From simple nylon tape that is available in many colors, to flexibly vinyl tape that can handle curved surfaces, outdoor use and rough surfaces, Dymo has paid attention to the needs of custom A/V installers, electricians and journeymen everywhere.

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Audioholic Field Marshall
Noooo, no masking tape! That stuff doesn’t stick long term, and leaves a gooey mess when you take it off (or it falls off)! Ugh! I use white 3M Scotch 35 electrical tape. You can get it at Lowes hardware stores. It’s not cheap, about $3+ a roll, but it sticks very well and leaves minimal residue if you remove it. I have cables that’s had it on for over 10 years. The only issue I’ve seen with it is that the Sharpie writing fades over time.

Wayne A. Pflughaupt
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Audioholic Spartan
4,727 21 4
Masking tape won't fly on a million dollar commercial / industrial job.:)
I use one of these (not that exact model) It's older, I think it's the 5000.
It works well; it sure beats writing on motor controls or panel doors with a sharpie.
On lower end printers the heat activated ink is built into the label, so it can be smeared after installation by heat or pressure.
Just keep extra batteries and consumables handy. I ended up getting the ac adapter, the batteries don't last when it's really cold and it's been out in the truck.

The EZ Code wire marker books by Thomas & Betts work nice for some applications: http://www.tnb.com/ps/endeca/index.cgi?a=nav&N=571+4294952250&Ntt=
Writing on pieces of NM sheath and sliding it over the hot works well when first tying in a panel; if you're using Romex.


Nothing but trouble

I've had poor results from a couple of different Rhino label makers and switched in Brother instead.

A couple of years ago I purchased both the Rhino 6000 and 6500 units for everyday field use. The ability to use a 1" label was the deciding factor in the purchase. Both of these units had rechargeable batteries, software, etc and were the top of the line units. Both have suffered the same issues and after talking to other users of the same models, the problems seem to appear across the line.

One issue is the cartridges, I use the flex nylon exclusively since it's designed for cable wrap applications. I've had dozens of the 1" nylon cartridges refuse to dispense the first foot to 18" of label. They need help getting started and will not self feed.

The cartridge itself only holds 18 ft, so you are throwing away quite a bit of tape from a brand new roll. Remember this is about a $30 cartridge and you just threw away a chunk of it.

Even if you manage to get a cartridge that feeds correctly, odds are that the black transfer tape is going to get caught in the cutter assembly and be cut with the label. This cut prevents the transfer ribbon from being wound back into the cartridge as it's used, so you end up with short, statically charged ribbon pieces which end up all over the place during a label session, if it doesn't get caught around the outfeed roller instead. . .

Imagine the sticky tenacity of packaging peanuts as small slices of plastic ribbon and you'll have a good idea of how long it will take to clean up.

Both the 6000 and 6500 have difficulty maintaining the print contrast on flex nylon 1" labels. The starting 1/3 of a cartridge will be printed very lightly on most units, even manually adjusting for contrast rarely fixes the issue. The resulting light print is difficult to read and suitable only for temp labels.

Cutter Errors,
These are the bane of the my issues with the Rhino's. Constant cutter errors which prevent the devices from printing. Even if you disable autocut, you still can't print because the machine thinks there is an error. Careful examination usually shows no error at all, but good luck convincing the unit to clear the error and return the printing. Leaving the battery out overnight might clear the error if you are lucky.

Even when the cutter is working correctly, Flex Nylon is rarely cut 100%, leaving a small thread of label which must be trimmed up with scissors or it will curl around the outfeed roller and jam the unit.

I've attempted to work through these issues with tech support, to no avail. They just don't care.

I'm in the process of changing over to the Brother models and so far it's been an improvement. The cartridges themselves retail for about the same price, but the Brother units include almost 2 times the label (30ft?) in place of the 18ft of a typical Rhino cartridge. No issues with the print contrast so far and the DPI appears to be higher on the Brother with a much better print quality, especially if you use graphics.

I think the design of the rhino units is nice but everyday use has brought up a number of issues which are show stoppers if you need something that works everyday.

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