Afinia L501 Product Review

Print both vibrant and waterproof labels on the same machine. The Afinia Label L501 is the first color label printer, designed to use both pigment and dye inks to create waterproof and highly vibrant labels. 

Afinia Label L501 Color Label Printer
Review Summary

Product Name:

Afinia L501

Product Type:

Inkjet Label Printer


With the ability to utilize both pigment and dye-based inks, the Afinia Label L501 with DuraPrime Duo Ink Technology is the first of its kind

About the Afinia L501

This Afinia L501 color label printer is compatible with CMYK dye ink cartridges and CMYK pigment ink cartridges. This L501 setup allows you to print vibrant, high resolution, full color product labels (or “prime” labels as they’re often called). You can also swap out the print head and inks with either the pigment print head and inks or dye print head and inks. 

The Afinia L501 dye ink color label printer features the latest HP print engine for blazing fast print speeds and reduced ink costs. Use with the L501 dye ink cartridges to produce beautiful coffee and tea labels, wine labels, beer labels for your printing project.

Using the latest HP print engine, the Afinia L501 has the clear advantage both in speed and in its reduced ink consumption. It’s faster and cheaper to operate because of a lower ink cost per label.

Duo Ink Technology Doubles the Value

The Afinia L501 label printer has one main advantage to the competition: Duo Ink Technology. This version can double as a dye ink label printer and a pigment ink label printer simply by changing out its print head and ink cartridges. You can purchase the print head and ink cartridge kit and swap out as needed. This can save potentially thousands of dollars versus buying a standalone product label printer.

Why Buy the Afinia L501 Label Printer?

The Afinia L501 prints on rolls of blank labels (both continuous and die-cut) ranging from 1 to 8.5 inches in width and 0.75 to 48 inches in length. For labels, the Afinia L501 utilizes sensors that detect label gaps and black marks, so make sure your existing media has the black eye mark for label detection.

The integrated, powered unwinder and an automatic cutter allow for easy removal of printed labels. The L501 label printer is capable of printing up to 4800 x 1200 dpi, with print speeds of up to 26 feet per minute.

This printer an affordable unit that can be converted to use dye inks. It uses tried-and-true HP thermal inkjet technology and can print at a speed of just over 5 inches per second. It can print large format chemical drum labels in bulk thanks to its unwinder, which accepts 8” OD label rolls.

The Afinia L501 Pigment competes with the Primera LX2000 color label printer in the GHS BS5609-compliant label market. Both of these printers use HP pigment inkjet technology. They have the same print technology and the print quality and print speed are very similar. However, the operating cost will differ - The Afinia L501 has the lowest ink cost per label.

Ink cost is an important factory when purchasing a color label printer since the annual ink cost can add up to much more than the original printer cost.

Pigment Based vs Dye Based Ink

Pigment inks are much more durable than dye inks which can smudge, smear, and fade. Pigment inks are also designed for use on matte finished label stock versus dye inks which bond better with glossy or high gloss finished labels. If you need labels that will be exposed to water, sunlight, oil, chemicals, scratches and abrasions, and other harsh conditions, you need a pigment ink color label printer like the Afinia L501 Pigment. The colors aren’t as vibrant as dye inks, but they are the much more durable choice, and when paired with certain matte label materials, can be used for waterproof, GHS, chemical, scientific, and other labeling applications requiring extreme durability. Pigment inks bond best with matte finished label stocks, where dye inks work best with high gloss shiny label stocks.

If the person has an immediate need for printing chemical-resistant or waterproof labels or primarily prints industrial labels, then we’d suggest getting the Afinia L501 with the pigment print head and pigment inks. Later, if they want to print photo quality product labels, they can buy the dye print head and ink cartridge kit and swap out as needed. This can save potentially thousands of dollars versus buying a standalone “prime” product label printer.

  • Print vibrant and colorful prime labels with dye-based inks
  • Use pigment inks for exceptional water, abrasion, and UV resistance
  • Print up to 4800 x 1200 dpi
  • Easy-to-use front panel touchscreen - setup and adjustments quick and painless
  • Individual Ink Cartridges
  • Best for short- to mid-sized print runs


The Afinia L501 color label printer is an innovative dual-purpose label printer that can be equipped with either a dye print head and dye-based inks or a pigment print head and pigment-based inks. This capability allows companies the flexibility to produce labels for a broader range of applications than was previously possible with a single printer. The Afinia L501 has the lowest ink cost per label compared to similar priced color label printers. 


The Good Stuff:
  • Accepts both pigment and dye based inks
  • Prints high quality vibrant colorful labels
  • Touch screen easy to use for troubleshooting
  • Individual Ink Cartridges
The Bad Stuff:
  • Print head replacement costs are pretty high
Selfie of me, John McIntyre

John McIntyre, Writer

John is a American who grew up to be a nerd with a philosophy degree and too many hobbies to count. He emigrated from California to New York in 2013. While he is not writing he is busy taking care of his two kids Claire and Vicky.