Adam Savage’s Favorite Tools: Labelmaker

You know those little square black power transformers that come with nearly every new electronic you get? We call them “Wall Warts”. The problem is that they often don’t have written down on them which device it charges. That’s why every single new adapter that comes into Adam’s house gets a small label made for it, describing exactly what electronic thing it belongs to. These label makers can make very small labels (Adam puts his name on all camera equipment in unobtrusive spots) or larger and colorful labels depending on the make and model you want to invest in.

Comments (10)

10 thoughts on “Adam Savage’s Favorite Tools: Labelmaker

  1. I hope/expect to see wall warts slowly disappearing in favor of more things being USB-powered – USB-C power delivery especially is a game-changer in terms of standardized DC power provisioning. If it needs less than around 100W of power, a cheap chip and a female USB-C port will let it be powered by any (sufficiently powerful) USB-C charger. Which sounds like it’s just trading one wart for another… until you realize that it allows you to change one USB-c charger for _multiple_ existing wall warts. At which point it’s useful to have multiple chargers around your house…. just like power outlets.

  2. SO TRUE! One of the BEST lifehacks. I started doing that eons ago and have never looked back.

    LIFEHACK ADDENDUM: I also will use labels on standard plugs in a desktop power strip to know which plugs I should never just casually pull (ie my computer) vs those where it doesn’t matter (ie my pencil sharpener), in case I need to make use of a plug quickly And no, you don’t need to do every single one–just the cords you wouldn’t want to unplug by mistake.

  3. Assume I am speaking in a total Nerd Engineer voice…..

    This is a great life hack – BUT for those of you who like to read small print – most all electronics and Wall Warts have the voltage requirements written on them. You will soon find that many wall warts and devices all use the same voltage. Thus MY LIFE HACK is to have BOXES of 12 volt, 5 volt, 9 volt wall warts in them. This way whenever I lose a power supply, I don’t need to find the exact one that came with the device, I just need to grab one with matching voltage.

  4. To piggyback on Dan’s comment…

    Remember Adam said to add a carriage return to get a label to print at half the size? Well, if you were to add the voltage and the amperage on that second line, you’d kill two birds with one stone. You’d get a smaller label, AND be able to read the capacity in larger font that typically comes on the manufacturer’s label.

    Also, I have found that some wall warts run pretty hot, so if your label isn’t staying in place, a gold or silver Sharpie and your best gradeschool penmenship works as well. 🙂

  5. I’ve labeled my adapters for a while now, it’s so nice to know which goes with which device.

  6. Labelling power bricks is an excellent idea…. I started by labelling the brick for…. my label maker ,-)

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