Brady M211

I got a new toy. A Brady M211.

I used to have the hand held thing, the BPM21-PLUS (so not even the M210), with A-Z keyboard.

Label printers are handy, honest, but the labels are stupidly expensive for what they are.

So what is different about this?

The good things are, it is a robust unit, with rechargeable batteries (USB-C socket), operated by bluetooth from a phone app. Works well. Built in cutter. The app has a lot of options, including many barcodes, more fonts, images, lots more symbols, and so on. The fact you can save labels and formats is great. So yay, nice. love it.

Also seems designed for workmen, and can come with a belt clip and the like. Sold as "robust", toolkit type device, and looks the part.

The down side?

One of the main issues I found was this new "authentic™" thing. I wondered why a new logo. Turns out the old label stock had simple electrical contacts to tell the labeller which it is, but now they have something "smart", compatible with the old labeller still.

So I gave the old labeller to my son, and found that I ended up with 9 label cartridges that actually don't even work with the new labeller - so he is doing well out of this. A couple are clones, but the rest are genuine BRADY®, just older stock. At something like £30 each, that is annoying.

I don't expect it will stop clones, but is rather annoying.

There are also a list of issues I have emailed them about. I think they can fix all, and will be interesting to see if they do. No reply yet!

  1. It has date/time options, which is great, and has a load of formats. But lacks the one and only format I would ever use, the standard, ISO8601. How did they forget that?!
  2. It does barcodes, loads of formats, and can even scan an existing barcode and make one, but the default font uses crossed zeros, even for EAN which is meant to be OCR-B and very much not crossed zeros.
  3. They have a lot of symbols, including a load of COVID19 warnings, but don't have antistatic sensitive device symbol?!
  4. They do QR codes, but they are not well coded and so way more dense than they need to be. I suggested my QR library.
  5. I installed some extra fonts on my iPhone (that is a faff), notably OCR-B. They show in other apps, but for some reason the Brady app does not see them - arg! I found a font menu, which allows me to install more fonts - why not use the iPhone fonts system, but OK! I now have OCR-B as default, which is cool.


It's a label printer, and prints labels, it works. I really like (as before) the self-laminating cable labels (one of my main uses). It does "just work", and is very nice. Just expensive to use, and those niggles. But, overall, very cool. And yes, I got fonts working. Just don't ask about recycling!

No, not this, SMBC...


  1. So are you going to wait for a reply from them before you pop the case and look for serial/jtag/etc options ?

    1. Well they are almost all iPhone app, so maybe just hack the Bluetooth side and write my own C/unix tools.


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