There are many factors to consider when buying a business printer. From deciding on which brand you want, to figuring out your exact needs and desired specifications, the whole process can get a little daunting.
Before purchasing a business printer, be sure to compare prices, as they can vary considerably across different suppliers. We can make the process easier by connecting you with multiple suppliers in your area. Enter your requirements in the quote request box, and we’ll get back to you with their best no-obligation quotes. The service is free, and can help your business save as much as 30% on the printer purchase cost.
What kind of a printer do you need? Business printers can be broadly divided into industrial printers and office printers. Check out this guide with a selection of the best business printers available in the UK.
Office printers are a piece of equipment that few businesses can do without. The main points you should consider when shopping for an office printer are:
- your monthly print volume
- desired printing speed (pages per minute and first-page-out time)
- colour or black & white
Perhaps the most important factor, and the one that most affects the price of an office printer, is the monthly print volume. High-volume printers are much more expensive than low-volume desktop models. It is important to be realistic when estimating your printing needs, because exceeding a printer's monthly recommended volume will lead you to significantly overpay for consumables, and the service life of the printer will be reduced.
Secondly, decide whether you only require printer functionality, or if the capability to scan, copy and fax with the same device would also be useful for your office. If that is the case, look at multi-function devices (MFDs), which have these features integrated.
Another choice you'll have to make is between laser and inkjet. Traditionally, inkjet printers have not been recommended for office use. In recent years, though, the price gap between laser and inkjet machines has shrunk, and inkjet printers can be a viable option if your monthly print volume is relatively small.
Colour or black & white is another major choice for office printers. While it is nice to have the option to print in colour, often b&w is sufficient for office purposes. Black & white printers also have a higher pages-per-minute speed than comparably-priced colour printers.
Beyond these main considerations, think about what extra features and add-ons you might need.
- Wireless connectivity, automatic duplexing, extra paper trays and other options can make your day-to-day work with the printer more productive.
- A variety of specialty add-ons are also available for business printers to enable smooth integration into your workflow.
As a side note, before making the purchase, it is wise to check operating system compatibility.
- The availability of drivers and software support is more often an issue with systems running Linux or OS X, but it is something you should keep in mind even if your office uses Windows only.
- For instance, a particular printer model might not have yet been updated by the manufacturer to fully support the latest Windows release. While basic printing functionality should always remain available, some special features might not work.
To avoid potential issues, always consult with your supplier, who should be able to recommend the best solution for your particular office IT setup.
Industrial printers are designed for specific applications in various industries, including
- transportation and logistics (shipping and receiving, compliance labelling)
- retail (receipt printing, back-of-store-operations, distribution centres)
- health care (labelling of prescriptions, laboratory samples, medical records; asset tracking)
- manufacturing (product labelling, work-in-process tracking)
- architecture, engineering and graphic design (large-format printers)
Wide-format or large-format printers are commonly used in architecture, engineering, and graphic design.
Label printers and barcode printers
Barcode printers and other label printers are perhaps the most common type of industrial printers.
- Heavy-duty barcode printers with large paper capacity are used in large warehouses and manufacturing facilities.
- For retail and office environments, smaller desktop barcode printers are typically used.
Printer service and maintenance
You’re probably already aware that most of the expenses of a printer arise not from the initial investment, but from its continued use. The long-term spending on consumables can quickly exceed the price of the printer.
If your printing volume is low, you may take care of routine maintenance yourself. However, with high volumes it can be useful to conclude a service & maintenance agreement. A service agreement with a supplier can make these expenses more predictable, helping to avoid unexpected repair costs.
When estimating the cost of print supplies (e.g. ink or toner), keep in mind that the yields specified by manufacturers will not necessarily match your real-life results. Consultation with a supplier that has real experience with a variety of printer models in different office settings is the best way to determine whether a particular printer will be suitable for your needs in terms of printing volume and speed, and what kind of long-term expenses you should expect (on consumables, service and maintenance, etc.).
Buy, lease, or rent
Depending on the needs of your business, buying, leasing or renting a printer may each have its advantages.
- If your business has a good credit history, lease is almost always an option, and can have certain tax relief benefits. It is also a way to avoid immediately tying up a large amount of capital in a single piece of equipment. A typical lease period for business printers is between one and five years.
- Printer rental can be a way to meet short-term demands for intense document production. During periods of increased activity, or when your business is faced with a sudden surge in workload, renting can be a cost-effective choice. Short-term rental can allow you to use the printing equipment you need for anywhere from1 week to 12 months.
Selecting a supplier
Finding a reliable vendor is important. In fact, this choice can be more important than the selection of a particular printer brand or model. By using our service, you can quickly get an idea of the best offers of multiple pre-screened suppliers. However, the choice is ultimately up to you, and, of course, the lowest price should not be the only factor.
- Look for a printer supplier that takes the time to genuinely understand your needs and helps you find the best solution, rather than pushing for a quick sale.
- The technical specifications of business printers don’t always tell the whole story. A good supplier will be able to clarify your technical questions, as well as give recommendations, taking into account your business's monthly printing volume and other details.
To make the selection process easier, enter your requirements in the quote request box to receive several non-binding offers from business printer vendors in your area. It's quick, simple, and completely free of charge!