How to Choose The Best Small Business Printer

Article last updated March 7, 2023

Choosing the best small business printer can be daunting. Between the confusing technical specifications and the wide range of modern printers available, shopping around for a new printer can get overwhelming.

However, choosing the right type of printer for your needs is important, and with a little extra research, you can save money on not only the device itself, but also print supplies and even on repairs over time.

So if you are ready to shop around, our blog post this week can hopefully steer you in the right direction.

Determine your needs

How much you are going to print is just one of many questions you need to answer. What will you print? How many of your staff will be printed from the printer unit you plan to buy? These are important questions you need to answer before you start looking for new office printers.

Other than your usual everyday office print job, would you still have a lot of additional printing needs? Or do you need a device that can have other functions? If yes, then going to an all-in-one printer that can do copying, scanning, faxing, and even emailing documents may be a good idea.

What type of documents do you and your staff print on a regular basis? Would you require full color printing in your daily business, or will black and white printouts be enough? Is your printer going to be networked among all your staff or will be used by just one person?

Also do you have enough space for multiple office printers? Small businesses often work in small spaces, so you need to remember that some printers are bigger, heavier than others, thus requiring additional space in your office.

After you have taken note of what type of printing you do in your office, you are now ready to start shopping around. The next thing we are going to do is discuss the terms and features of printers to help narrow down what type of printer is best for your needs.

Color or monochrome printer?

The first thing you need to decide on is whether you absolutely need to print in color or not. Most businesses (even big companies) print in black and white, which explains why a monochrome laser printer is popular among businesses. So if you are mostly printing documents with no graphics, laser printers are faster and more affordable per black and white print compared to inkjet printers. This is also true if you want a cheaper, lower-duty office printer. After all, even low-cost inkjet printers need a lot of ink, which can increase your running costs if you print a lot of documents.

However, if you are mostly printing color pamphlets, presentations, and graphs, a color laser printer is a good option. Color laser printers produce vibrant images that, while not photo quality, are efficient and print quickly.

Inkjet printers on the other hand are a great option for photographers and businesses who do not require high-volume printing. These devices print great quality images and cost less than laser printers.

Single function or multifunction printers?

woman using a printer in an office

Printers, if you do not already know, can do more nowadays than they ever have in previous years. Printers today can scan, send emails, copy, and connect wirelessly. In other words, most of your office needs can be done by one device. An affordable, all-in-one printer comes with USB slots that allow you to print documents directly from a flash drive.

But if you are looking for a printer that does not have all bells-and-whistles, you can get a straight up inexpensive printer that will get the job done. That simply means you will not pay for features you are not going to use. Maintenance-wise this also makes sense because there are fewer components that would likely break down and need repairs or replacements.

Do not forget the duty cycle

man laying his head on a desk

A printer's duty cycle is the number of pages the device can print out per month without getting damaged. Keep in mind though that duty cycle numbers are relative and mainly provided to give you an idea of what your device can handle.

Printing more than the device's duty cycle can cause early damage, or the printer breaking down often. This is particularly important for companies that have high-volume needs every month.

Ink costs

image of printer ink cartridges

The rule of thumb is: if you buy a low-cost printer, the more you will end up spending on ink. This is because affordable printers are designed for users who have low-volume printing needs. So, if your small business does a lot of printing, getting a low-cost printer is not going to be a cost-effective solution for you.

A lot of manufacturers these days include the price-per-page in the device's specifications list. Compare your printing needs every month and the printer's duty cycle to the indicate price-per-page is a helpful resource when deciding on the right printer for your business needs.

Laser printers also print more pages for every ink cartridge for less than an inkjet printer does. For either option, buying compatible ink cartridges from a trusted store can save you a lot of money right away. Compatible or remanufactured ink print as well as OEM cartridges, but cost half as much.

Consider print speed

person using a black office printer

Waiting for a long time for your printer to complete a document is not good for business. Choosing a printer that can keep up with your business' needs is critical, especially if you have all your staff networked through and using the same device.

Printer manufacturers will indicate the pages per minute (PPM) in the specs list for every model so you would get an idea of how fast they print. Generally, a laser printer works at or around twice the speed of an inkjet printer, but that gap is closing as printer tech evolves.

Consider how much replacement parts will cost

printer parts

You need to anticipate the device's wear and tear and consider the cost of replacing printer parts, when necessary. A lot of times, replacing toner drums and print heads will cost as much as replacing the printer itself, especially when you start talking about the larger, heavy duty printers.

Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity

wifi and mobile connectivity image

Almost all printers nowadays have Wi-Fi connectivity. Deciding on a printer that allows you to connect wirelessly means you can put your printer in more convenient locations in your office. This also makes it easier to network the device among your staff.

Modern printers often come with software that makes it easy to connect to mobile phones or tablets, and even allow you to print using mobile apps. As mobile technology becomes an essential part of doing business, buying a printer that can connect to your phone or tablet puts your small business ahead of the game.

Take time to read reviews

woman using a computer

You know - even when a printer looks really good in advertisements, or even when you are being sales talked into buying on, it does not function that well when you start using it. Taking the time to read consumer reviews is an easy way to learn about the quality of the printer you are interested in. A little extra research can save you from a lot of problems down the road.

Get quality, affordable printers at InkJets

photo of a printer on a desk

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These printers are in like-new condition and come with genuine OEM ink cartridges, making them a great value for your money. Plus, each printer is backed by a 90 day warranty, so you can buy with confidence.

Refurbished printers from InkJets are thoroughly tested and inspected by the manufacturer before being listed for sale, so our customers can be confident that they're getting a reliable product.

Whether you are looking for an all-in-one printer for your home office or a high-powered machine for your small business, refurbished printers from offer an incredible value.