The Best Copier Manufacturers for Small Businesses
When it comes to buying or leasing copiers, most small businesses share the same concerns. They all want a machine that's inexpensive and durable. Some offices need a copier for internal tasks like making copies for contracts and files, while others need their copier to produce prints, presentations, and marketing materials that can stack up to the output of their competitors. Above all, small businesses expect a high level of customer support from the companies they work with.
With these three things in mind, which copier manufacturers should a small business consider? What are other small businesses recommending - and avoiding? We visited multiple small business discussion forums on LinkedIn, CNET, and Metafilter to take notes on what small businesses are recommending to each other. Here's what we found.
What copier manufacturers are small businesses recommending?
- HP - Best All-Around
- Canon - Most Reliable Customer Service
- Konica Minolta - Reliable Customer Service
- Epson - Lowest Cost Ink Cartridges
- Dell - Inexpensive and Great Support
- Lexmark - Great Customer Service and Durable Machines
HP: best all-around copier manufacturer
In all the forums, the name HP turned up most frequently. Multiple business owners recommended HP copiers for affordability and durability. One person went as far as to call the company "the best" of all the copier manufacturers. Another vouched that they've owned their HP copier for five years with only one hard drive replacement.
- Recommended models: The HP LaserJet 2840 and Konica Minolta Magicolor 1690MF were recommended color copiers. In terms of black and white, the HP LaserJet 3055 was recommended, with the HP LaserJet M2727 recommended for high volume users. Expect to pay around $270 to $300 for the HP 2840 and Konica 1690MF, as well as $850 to $900 for the 3055 and M2727.
Canon and Konica Minolta: most reliable customer service
Other than HP, a range of other copier manufacturers were frequently recommended. Canon was the second most frequently acclaimed copier company, with six different business owners recommending Canon copiers in one forum. Efficient customer service and support were the two most prominent qualities of this copier company.
Great customer service and technical support are imperative to small businesses that are considering a copier lease or copier service agreement. And when it inevitably comes time to replace a part, Canon parts are easy to come by since the brand has such a huge presence in North America. Konica Minolta was also recommended by three different people in the same forum for its superb customer service.
- Recommended models: Many users have found the Canon ImageCLASS series, in particular the D1350 and MF7460, capable of handing most documents in a small business setting - with the MF7460 offering duplexing and additional sorting features. Both are monochrome laser printers, and therefore capable of saving money when compared to other models requiring multiple ink cartridges. Both are also a combination of fax, copier, and printer. Expect to pay around $400 for the D1350 and upwards of $1,200 for the MF7460.
Epson: lowest cost ink cartridges
If the cost of ink isn't a concern for your business, it should be. The cost of ink is a huge part of the total cost to maintain a copy machine, and it's important to choose a machine that's thrifty with ink and doesn't have a huge price tag on its replacement cartridges. One business owner on a CNET forum said that his company has used Epson copiers for the past three years because the machines are "easy on ink."
- Recommended models: Some of the most ink-friendly models are found in the WorkForce series and include the WF-7520 (retailing for around $230) and the MF-3520 (available for around $120). These models offer wireless networking to link up with a number of users in a small business setting and are combination machines, providing printer, copier, scanner, and fax all in one.
Dell and Lexmark: inexpensive and great support
Other recommended copier manufacturers were Dell for its inexpensive copiers and great support, and Lexmark for "amazing" support, high quality, and reliability. If you want to see all the options, we've put together a guide to finding the best copier companies which includes a list of the top brands in the industry.
- Recommended models: Cost-effective models include the Dell B1165, a monochrome laser printer also capable of scanning, fax, and copying (retailing for less than $150) and the Lexmark CX310, a larger model that offers duplexing and an output of 25 ppm, all for around $420.
Brands to avoid
There were mixed reviews about Xerox. Though the company was recommended by five people in the same forum that gave flying colors to Canon copiers, a business owner on a Metafilter forum said he experienced "nightmares" while dealing with Xerox. Other forums describe several functional issues with Xerox copiers.
Whether you've narrowed down your list of copier manufacturers or you're still on the fence, make sure to compare copier price quotes between companies before you buy or lease. Compare manufacturers, prices, and copier lease rates for your small business.Ready to Compare Digital Copiers Price Quotes?