CD/DVD Stompers

craftech wrote on 12/17/2003, 1:18 PM
Does anyone know of a CD/DVD label stomper which has a spindle that is actually the same size as the hole in the labels. I have a no-name stomper, a "CD Stomper" brand stomper, and a Belkin stomper gun. NONE OF THEM are the same size as the holes in the labels. I use Avery labels. All of the spindles are slightly smaller than the holes in the labels. To get them perfectly centered is a PIA and it doesn't always work. There has to be someone in China who has manufactured these correctly. Do any of you have ones that fit well?



Jsnkc wrote on 12/17/2003, 1:27 PM
I used to use the Sure Thing CD labeler and didn't have any problems with it, apart from the fact that now, a couple years later, all the labels have started to come off and I would never EVER use paper labels again.
randy-stewart wrote on 12/17/2003, 1:28 PM
I have the CD Stomper Pro and haven't had any problems with alignment. The labels barely fit over the spindle. In fact I have to wiggle them back and forth to get them on. After printing, I take them off of the sheet and push them over the spindle all the way down with the sticky side up. Seems to work fine. Here's the site where I get my labels from:
Hope this helps.
riredale wrote on 12/17/2003, 2:54 PM
I also use the "CD Stomper" and my Meritline labels are a tight fit.
farss wrote on 12/17/2003, 3:16 PM
Best solution:
stop sticking things onto CDs and DVDs, get a printer that'll print onto the media. Plenty of Epson and Cannon printers that'll do it for a reasonable price. You'll soon recover the cost of the printer just in the saving on labels.

Interesting to hear that someones had them start to peel off as well, glad I've stopped using them. Always had my doubts about their long term viability.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 12/17/2003, 3:23 PM
> You'll soon recover the cost of the printer just in the saving on labels

Yea, but how much more expensive are the CD/DVD’s you can print on? I’ll bet the labels are cheaper than the extra cost of a printable CD/DVD.

I’ve heard that printing directly to the CD/DVD looks a bit washed out. Does someone have a pointer to a picture of a CD/DVD that has been printed on so we can see what the colors look like? I’ve been wanting to get one of these printers but have been turned off by these comments. Is this true?

craftech wrote on 12/17/2003, 6:20 PM
I can tell you this much. The reason I use Avery "Permanent" labels is because they won't come off even if you stick the CD/DVD in an oven. I use them for that reason. Since I also have the CD Stomper and they fit loose on the spindle, maybe the problem is the Avery brand. The CD Stomper came with the "Click' n Design 3D" software.

By the way, I just bought an Epson R300 to do direct CD printing. Hope they come out nice, although I have at least 75 non-printable DVD blanks left over.

Anyone ever tried spraying a white coating or printing on a non-printable DVD? Probably smears I would guess.

Thanks for all the input....

farss wrote on 12/17/2003, 6:42 PM
We've tried printing on a non printable CD, it just rubs off.

Because the media has a synthetic porous finish the result is nowhere as good as printing onto glossy photo paper. I'd say the results are about the same as priniting onto heavy weight matte paper. Photoes are not a good look although I've done a few hundred corporate DVDs with a mix of photos and graphics but the whole artwork was done by a pro who knew how to get the best out of the medium.

Sending a scanned image isn't goign to prove much either way. On the Epson you can wind the ink level up to suit the media, I usually only have to wind it up a little to get it looking OK.

Customers are thrilled, it does look better than stick ons. For a really smick finish you can get stick on glossy covers and I've heard of people spraying clear lacquer over the printed media as well.
Jessariah67 wrote on 12/17/2003, 7:54 PM
Avery labels (at least in the past) weren't designed to be used in stompers...which is probably why they don't fit right...

I still use non-printable DVDs for work prints, etc., so they're never gonna be a waste. As for price, if you go online, you can get printable DVDs for a buck & small change (and the price seems to go down on a daily basis). Remember how thrilling it was when CDRWs dropped below the $5/each level...?

Printable is the way to go. It IS cheaper, because you're using the same amount of ink, and the cost of a sticky label (and the time messing with it) is more than the difference between a non-printable & printable disc.

The spray lacquer is an interesting idea...would definitely cut down on the smearing that occurs...

Ohm wrote on 12/17/2003, 8:30 PM
I use a "NEATO" stomper by Fellows. Works great with Avery #8696 labels.

I'm going to get a printer though.
nugent wrote on 12/18/2003, 6:16 AM
I have used the Avery AfterBurner system. The applicator seems to align and apply the labels quite accurately. The labels also go close to the center hole.


I recently tried viewing some DVD's I burned and labeled a few months ago. I had all kinds of problems with playback - stuttering, freezing, not working at all - in standalone players and computers.

I thought the media had gone bad (Ritek), but found numerous posts on the forums claiming that labels are the culprit. So with nothing to lose, I laboriously peeled and scraped off the labels. Lo and behold, the DVD's work!

Now this is very strange to me, and I was very sceptical until this experience. YMMV, but I am using a Sharpie!
craftech wrote on 12/18/2003, 6:33 AM
I thought the media had gone bad (Ritek), but found numerous posts on the forums claiming that labels are the culprit. So with nothing to lose, I laboriously peeled and scraped off the labels. Lo and behold, the DVD's work!
The Avery 8692 "Permanent" labels which I use cannot be removed. What I don't understand is why the ink coating fromthe CD printers doesn't affect them as well.
riredale wrote on 12/18/2003, 8:58 AM
I have become very attached (!) to Meritline glossy labels. Many people have commented on how nice the finished disks look. You can get a 100 pack (50 sheets) at Fry's for about $16.

I use a Stomper tool to place the labels precisely on the disks. I then use my "rolling pin" technique to make sure the labels are securely and evenly fixed--

(1) Place a thin cotton cloth (old T-shirt or whatever) on the work table

(2) Place the DVD with label on top.

(3) Put a thicker cloth (small towel) on top.

(4) Roll the rolling pin on the sandwich three times, in slightly different directions, starting from the center hole of the disk.

I know it sounds dumb, but the labels are firmly attached as a result, and without any bubbles.

Nugent: There is a far easier way to get the labels off if necessary. Just spray the label liberally with WD-40 and let it sit for a while. The label will literally slide off. The trick then is to get the WD-40 off. I just do a couple of hand-washings in a kitchen sink using regular dish soap. Use only your hands, as a brush or even a paper towel will mar the glassy appearance of the bottom surface (it won't affect readability, though).

After two thorough washings, dry the disk with a clean cotton cloth. Done.
craftech wrote on 1/21/2004, 12:13 PM
Well I finally got an e-mail reply from CD Stomper regarding the spindle size. They said that the size was geared toward the stomper label sheets which are not the same size as the spindle hole in standard Avery CD label sheets.

woodrose wrote on 1/21/2004, 12:52 PM
I was told and understand that you should not put labels on DVDs, and for $230 bucks you can get the epson r300m that has a cd/dvd tray, and sample that I looked at looked fine. You can get the r300 without the 2.5'' color monitor for $180. these printers have flash card ports and will work as a stand alone. Now the trick is finding them in stock, Best Buy is out and so is B&H.
Jsnkc wrote on 1/21/2004, 12:58 PM
"Yea, but how much more expensive are the CD/DVD’s you can print on? I’ll bet the labels are cheaper than the extra cost of a printable CD/DVD."

The Cd's I buy are 33 cents each, they are Taiyo Yuden's, top of the line.

The DVD's are around 85 cents - $1.20each depending on what brand I decide to buy.

You'll find that the media is usually pennies more, but you'll save that on the cost of labels so it is definatly worth just printing directly on CD's instaed of wasting time and money with paper labels.
richard-courtney wrote on 1/21/2004, 2:07 PM
Hope nobody says I am way off in left field.....

My wife has a screen printing background and we have made some
disks using small screen printing equipment. For most small projects
I use an ink jet printer and ink jet printable media. But if you want really
good printing and you have someone that has screen printed or your
local community college offers an art class.

You can get pallet info or even a small press (expensive) from:

Silk screen DVD ink info:
Coates DVD printer's ink

These were the two hardest items to get started in disk printing.
Obviously this is not for everyone or if you have a large run a production
house would be your best solution.
craftech wrote on 1/21/2004, 3:43 PM
for $230 bucks you can get the epson r300m that has a cd/dvd tray, and sample that I looked at looked fine. You can get the r300 without the 2.5'' color monitor for $180. these printers have flash card ports and will work as a stand alone. Now the trick is finding them in stock, Best Buy is out and so is B&H.
I have one and they are as dull as dishwater. I run them through twice to get decent saturation. I still use the labels for CD's and some DVD's, but they have to be perfectly centered. Incidently, I paid $172 from Gateway for the printer. Hope I don't regret it in the long run. If the SIX separate cartridges for that printer aren't used in another yet undeveloped Epson eventually or if the R300 doesn't sell well I am screwed. Epson will probably then only sell them in complete sets instead of individually. Currently they are $13 each and no generic equivalent yet.
With two passes required for decent coverage, they won't last that long.

markrad wrote on 1/21/2004, 9:30 PM
I am also using the Epson R300 but, unlike John, my results are Not "dull as dishwater". I have printed on several brands of printable DVDs and CDs and am satisfied with the results. For those considering this printer or other injets, don't expect glossy results. This is because the only printable disks available are a matte type finish. This may well change as the industry evolves but who knows. For now I find the R300 to give good results especially at its price point.

Caruso wrote on 1/21/2004, 11:35 PM
Needed to print up some demo cd's for my son. On a lark, I purchased a package of Avery Afterburner Clear CD Labels. The package shows some cheezy looking tool that you're supposed to use to apply then, but I figured I could get by with my Neato tool (it's one of the old black ones).

My experience:

The package includes literature that instructs you to apply these labels like you would apply Neato labels. . . after printing, lay the label, sticky side up, on your applicator tool, lay the CD "label" side down, push the CD onto (into) the label adhesive, and you should be done.

I only needed to make 10 demo cd's, and the package of Avery labels contained 30 labels. It's a good thing the package contained thirty labels, because I burned through all but two of them in making my 10 demo cd's.

Problems included:

Finding the right print setting. I have the Cannon i850 and also the i960 printers. I believe I lost four labels trying to figure out which settings would yield pleasant results.

Then, one of the center dots came off and got stuck in the area of the print head - another four labels lost.

Most frustrating of all, applying these labels according to the provided instructions yielded less than satisfying results. You are supposed to apply them as you would Neato type labels, laying the label on the application tool with adhesive side up, then, pressing the CD into the label.

Unfortunately, that procedure leaves bubbles trapped underneath the label that cannot be massaged to the label edge.

I ended up laying the CD on the application tool, label side up, and eye-balling the alignment while keeping the label in a semi-folded state so that I could work it onto the CD after I was satisfied with the alignment.

This allowed me to prevent trapping air beneath the label.

To make a story, already too long, short, I expended 26 labels to complete 10 CD's, but, I am very pleased with the appearance.

I like solid color backgrounds on my CD labels, against which I print white text. When using these clear labels, the white text becomes clear, so that the metalic surface of the CD shines through - a nice look, IMO.

Grayscale photo printing looks almost holographic - another nice effect. I've perfected my techinique in applying these labels, but am always open to additional suggestions.

There is certainly nothing speedy about my method of applying these labels, so, if someone can offer some advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

If anyone has experience with Avery's application tool, I'd like to hear about that as well.


farss wrote on 1/22/2004, 12:36 AM
I used to use printed labels and there is a definate trick to getting them on as per instraction without air bubbles. The trick I found is how you peel the label off. Peel the backing off the label that way you don't curl the label. Once it's got a curl in it you're in trouble.
craftech wrote on 1/22/2004, 6:48 AM
Farss is right, the key is to peel off the backing without allowing them to curl.
The air bubbles have not been a probelm for me. Centering has been the problem with the Avery labels because the three applicators I have all have spindles which are smaller than the holes in the labels. The reason I chose the Avery "Permanent" labels is that as the name implies, they cannot be removed and will not come off under any circumstances.

As far as the disks I was using (Taiyo Yuden), they were great; but I didn't have 100% compatibility with standalone DVD players. I literally send out dozens of free DVDs to be tested by customers in exchange for information about their DVD player and the types of problems (if any) they were having.
I have been striving for 100% compatibility. The printer was the next step and the results are that the printed DVDs do not look as good as the labels unless you run the DVD through twice. Unfortunately, that saturates some colors (usually the darker ones) too much and renders the others perfectly.
First time it goes through at the "Normal" setting, and the second time at -2.
It may be that I will have to keep experimenting. In addition to the other caveats regarding the ink cartridges there is also no way to print dead center with the R300. It can be made to print close to center, but not dead center. I can live with that. If The Producer likes the way his inkjet prints come out on the DVD blanks I am happy for him. Maybe his works better than mine or he is using different media (I use white printable Ritek G04 DVD-R). John Beale made the same comment on this forum regarding the dull output on his Epson Photo 960 so he probably is seeing the same thing I see with the Epson R300.
I have said this before. All this discussion regarding DVD media and compatibility is a result of the attitude of the industries which produce the media itself. There is no consistency and no real standard. It's all about marketing and competition.
What we want are reliable and attractive DVD's to give to our customers.
Because of the industry's attitude we have to waste endless amounts of time and money doing the experimentation and testing which they should be doing. The number of factors which determine whether or not a DVD will play in virtually everything is getting mind boggling. Let me name a few which are a result of monitoring and/or participating in endless forums:
1. Manufacturer (which can only determined with a utility such as DVD Info or DVD Identifyer)
2. Burn Speed
3. Individual burner and which firmware it has
4. Bitrate and various other settings when rendering and encoding too numerous to list or even accurately name.
5. Whether the DVD has a label or not.
6. Whether the label (if labels are actually the culprit) is centered or not.
7. Whether the same media with a white printable backing is as compatible as the same media without a white printable backing.
8. Whether the media with the white printable backing with ink on it changes the compatibility depending upon the amout of ink applied.
9. Whether ordinary permanent markers (for those too freaked out about the labels vs Direct Print issue) "penetrate" too deeply and therefore cause playability problems.
10. Which program you are burning with.
11. Which revision of that program you are burning with.
12. Whether Core or Hub labels actually improve compatibility over regular labels.
13. Whether its a combination of 1, 4, 7, and 11 or 2, 3, 5, 6, and 10.


Oh and PS: Do the same factors apply to DVD+R or do we need a new set of variables? And how 'bout those RW's?
riredale wrote on 1/22/2004, 10:32 AM
I've done 300+ labels in the past month or so (200+ DVD, the rest CD), and, like most tasks, it's evolved into a sort of factory-line technique. My results have been flawless so far, so for what it's worth, here's the technique:

(1) I burn using excellent media (Ritek G04 for DVD-R, Fuji for CD). Use blanks that don't have any obvious printing on the label side, since labels are not completely opaque.

(2) I print using "Meritline" glossy labels ( and an Epson C80 pigment ink printer. The layout is handled using Nero Cover Designer, an excellent program supplied with Nero.

(3) The labels are peeled by laying them face-down on the table and pulling the backing back and away from the scoreline edge of the label. In this fashion the label itself never suffers any crease or crinkle, which could show up in the final product.

(4) I use a Stomper tool because I already had one and the Meritline labels fit nice and snugly on the center spindle.

(5) The label is attached to the disk by pressing down on the spring-loaded spindle. I do not press firmly; the idea is to just tack the label onto the disk for the next step.

(6) I then place the disk face-side-up on a thin cotton cloth on my worktable. It is then covered by a thick cotton fabric (a washcloth or dishtowel).

(7) A rolling pin is then used to firmly attach the label to the disk. I start at the center and roll fore-and-aft, then change the angle and roll fore-and-aft again. One third time in the other direction, and I'm done.

With this technique, there are never any bubbles, the label is definitely permanently attached, and the disk looks beautiful (bright, saturated colors that won't come off and a nice glossy white background).

I think the trick to avoid bubbles is to make sure the label is just tacked on until reaching the rolling pin step. Good luck.


I agree, it's a mess. But things seem to be getting better. In my experience, I found that compatibility was based on several factors:

(1) Blank media (that's why I use only Ritek G04)

(2) Authoring program (Can't speak for DVD-A; found a copy of "Maestro" on eBay and it's wonderful.)

(3) Burning program (Some disks last year had compatibility issues with some players; updating my Nero burning program instantly solved it. Again, can't speak for the burning program within DVD-A.)

I, too, was curious about the "balance" issue. I experimented by putting a 1"x3" address label on a working DVD-R disk; it still played fine. I added another label on top of the old one; same result. I found that I needed many labels to make the disk fail. My conclusion is that balance may be an issue on some players, but definitely not on others. I was using a cheap Apex AD-1500 for this test.

As for permanent markers affecting play, I suspect there's no effect. Unlike CDs, DVDs put the delicate recording layer in the middle of the disk "sandwich." You could probably use a pocketknife to write on the top of the disk without affecting playability.
watson wrote on 1/22/2004, 11:01 AM
I use the Premera Bravo....Burn and print fully automatic. Love it very sharp printing.
Paid for 2nd job.
Caruso wrote on 1/22/2004, 3:48 PM
If someone has used the Avery Clear labels and can offer further tips to avoid air bubbles specific to those labels, I'd appreciate it.

Like most of you, I've a lot of experience with paper labels and agree that (as is suggested in the instructions) it's best to peel the backing away from the label than the other way around.

But these clear labels are a different beast. They don't bend or curl at all. They have two tabs that extend beyond the actual label surface by which you are instructed to handle the label after you peel it away from it's backing.

I can actually center and adhere these labels to the disc, then, use one of the tabs to peel back the newly applied label half way and re-adhere it to remove the bubbles. So far, that method has worked better than anything else I have tried. Once I get the first half down flat, I peel back the opposite half and repeat the same procedure.

Generally, I have had no problems with bubbles in the Neato paper labels I've used.

BTW, I just returned from having to take back a package of Neato glossies because the label would not separate from the backing - the backing would tear, parts of it remaining stuck to the adhesive side of the label. The only way to save the label would be to scrape the backing off, but, inevitably, there would be some debris left behind to cause a lumpy, unprofessional appearance after application.

Bought these at Office Max who happily exchanged them. I also emailed Neato and, within 24hrs, they, too, replied, explaining that my package probably was bad due to some defect in the adhesive. Neato also offered to exchange them for a new package.

Pretty good service all the way around, if you ask me.

Need tips on the application of these new-fangled clear "plastic" labels from Avery.

One more thing . . . I love tinkering around with the various software packages available for layout/printing of CD labels/jewel cases, etc. My main complaint about the Neato offerings is that they tend to handle memory inefficiently on my system (I have only 128 mb on my 900mhz machine). I also own WaveLab 4.0 that has a very good labeling function, does the front insert, the back 'J' label as well as the cd label. It is much more able to handle the import of larger graphic files without bogging down, but it seems the template for the CD Label must be for some "foreign-made" label, as I cannot calibrate the center hole diameter to a small enough dimension to make the WL output fit a Neato label.

I was pleasantly surprised to find on the Avery website, a set of templates for Pagemaker (6.5), my favorite page layout tool. These templates worked wtihout need for printer calibration on my system, and, of course, Pagemaker is extremely capable and exacts almost no drag on my system. For special text extrusions and other text effects, I use CorelDraw (version 4.0 . . . don't laugh), and copy/paste elements created in that program to PM65. Works quite well. I'm a happy camper.

Just need to conquer the challenge of applying this new plastic label from Avery.

Any comments/suggestions welcome.

Thanks to the original poster for an interesting (if OT) thread.