I got the Brother P-Touch P700 about a year ago, based on some suggestions and also the price and convenience of buying the labels here in South Korea. Until yesterday, my wife had been using it to print drawer and plastic bin labels for my from time to time. I needed to label some PCBs yesterday, and installed it on my computer. First impressions…
It wastes tape, indeed. Every label is preceded by about an inch of blank leader which (it gets cut off, but still, it’s a waste). I don’t see any setting in the Brother-provided P-Touch label editor software to adjust / disable this. If you print multiple copies of the same label, however, the leader only gets printed once per “print job” (bad memories of waiting for my computer printout in college, where the first page contained the user name and print job number).
I looked briefly, and there are some programs out there which let you print directly to the printer without using the P-Touch software, and maybe these give you more control over the tape waste?
The narrowest tape I have is 6mm, which fit just fine on a SOIC-24 package. Looking at the software, apparently a 3.5mm tape is available, too. If I wanted more permanent adhesion, I would consider painting it over with clear fingernail polish or the proper electronics-approved equivalent thereof.