Buyers Guide to Business Photocopiers

buying a photocopier

Buyers Guide to Business Photocopiers

The photocopy machine market is blessed with a healthy touch of competitiveness, photocopiers these days are made with multifunctionality at their core, machines that copy, print, scan and fax. 

Given the competitive market, you will find many machines and models to choose from, from a number of quality and trusted brands. With such a breadth of choice, choosing the most suitable photocopier for your business might feel overwhelming, this guide is intended to help guide you through the process of making the right choice when picking out an office copier.

Recent Advances in Functionality

While the fundamental functions of photocopy machines haven’t changed, the industry is constantly moving forward. The recent advances of copy machines are outlined below:

Touchscreen Control Panels 

Photocopier manufacturers are taking advantage of the rapid advances in smartphone technology. Printers are more and more being controlled in the same way a smartphone is, with user friendly touch screen interfaces. They are becoming more like smartphones and allow the used to control everything from this user-friendly touchscreen.

Mobile Printing 

Mobile printing capabilities have now become commonplace in modern printers. No longer do you need to print via a computer, documents can be printed directly from your mobile phone or tablet. 

Cloud Printing 

Cloud printing allows printers to be easily accessed through cloud computing. It connects a network of computers, smart phones, tablets and workstations to dedicated print stations. It offers and easy and convenient solution for everyone, as no drivers or software are involved.

cloud printing

Features To Compare

When choosing the right printer for your business it’s important to take a close look at the features which you will require.

Paper Tray Capacity

In general, most photocopiers have rather generous paper trays, so you likely won’t need to worry to much. But if you are printing larger volume jobs, such as booklets and documents in bulk, then you need to make sure you find a photocopier with paper trays of suitable volume. 

Toshiba’s e-studio range allow for additional output trays to be installed if required, which can be a life saver if you need to increase your paper trays volume at any time.

Print Speed & Volume 

The required print speed really depends on the demands of your office, if your office is one which needs documents printed regularly and at a fast speed, than a high print speed volume in crucial.

Print speed is measured as PPM (pages per minute), so keep an eye out for this number. 

Keep in mind also, that an office machines warm up time will also have an effect on overall print speed.

Cyber Security 

You should always remember that a modern photocopier is also a computer. It contains a hard drive for storing print jobs and faxes and this, stores sensitive data which needs to be protected. Just as security is vital for your office computer, so too is it vital for your photocopy machine. 

When choosing a copier, make sure it provides the necessary data security.

Wireless Connectivity 

The majority of photocopiers these days are equipped with wireless connectivity, it’s a necessary feature that is too important to skip.

Wireless connectivity allows you to easily print, wirelessly, from any device.

If you not only need the ability to print from anywhere within the office, but also print from anywhere in the world, you will need to find a machine with cloud printing capabilities.

copier features

Cost Breakdown

The costs between photocopiers varies greatly, as will largely depend on the specifications and build quality of the machine.

Below is a break down of the photocopier tiers and their costs:

Cheap Photocopiers 

You can buy an incredibly cheap, basic desktop photocopier for as low as $200, but expect a very low copy rate of around 20CPM and low resolution. 

Free Standing Black and White Copiers

These office machines will meet the requirements of a small office. They are generally equipped to be multifunctional and can network them for scanning and printing. Starting prices for these machines is at around $1500.

Colour Photocopiers 

A quality stand alone colour copier, with a high work rate, will cost you upwards of $3500. A good example of copiers in this range, would be the Konica Bizhub series. These copiers have a work rate between 36CPM and 50CPM, the cost ranges from between about $4000 to $8000.

High Performance Copiers 

The high performance machines have a much higher work rate from 60CPM as well as additional features. They come in at around $10,000 to $20,000.

costs of copiers

A Competitive Market

The photocopier space is a competitive industry, there is pressure on pricing. Because of this, there has been a wave of top value price points of around $4500, offering networking and multifunctionality as standard. 

Photocopiers offer consolidation of printers, scanners & fax machines. Since new models of copy machines allow seamless networking within your internal business IT system, this means offices can replace individual machines, for a single office photocopier. Copy machines also use toner rather than printer ink, which is quite cheaper. So the cost for small businesses to own a high range copy machine actually decreases their total costs and justifies the higher cost of a photocopy machine. 

Photocopier manufacturers understand that offices are able to consolidate all their current machines into one. This means it’s especially crucial that they build machines with full functionality, which are well equipped enough to handle the consolidation and replacement of various other machines. They can not afford to cut back on features or quality. 

Running Costs

When purchasing a new copier, it’s running costs are an important thing to factor in. Photocopier maintenance is a completely essential part of owning a photocopier. One should factor in the maintenance costs with outright cost of the copier, to get the total cost of purchasing and running a photocopy machine. 

Regular maintenance costs involved with photocopier maintenance are:

  • Toner replacement 
  • Fuser assembly replacement 
  • Rubber rollers replacement 

Other possible maintenance costs involved:

  • Printing problems
  • Paper jams
  • Network connectivity issues
  • Fast Ink depletion
  • Blurred printing 
  • Printer belt issues 

Some photocopier providers will offer extended warranties with their machines, this is worth looking into as it may work out cheaper than paying for the ongoing maintenance yourself. 

Some machines have higher maintenance costs than others, this is important to remember, as a cheaper machine might actually end up costing you more in the long run if the maintenance fees are high.

Brand Comparison 

There are a few key players in the photocopy machine industry, the top brands all build quality machines, but we will take a closer look at the 6 biggest brands.


Brother offer great machines at low prices. They mostly specialize in smaller models, suitable for personal use or small businesses. They are probably the most competitively priced machines on the market.


Canon build both monochrome and colour photocopier machines. These machines offer some of the highest resolution of all photocopiers in the industry, great for design companies or any business which focuses on colour prints. 

Konica Minolta 

The largest selection of Konica Minolta photocopiers are black and white, they also offer a number of colour models. Konica Minolta copiers run on the Bizhub open platform, meaning users can easily change machines without having to learn a bee system.


Ricoh’s mantra is to offer more than just photocopiers, with tailored solutions. Explore the many options available to find the right machine for you or your business.


Sharp have been making quality photocopiers since 1972. They have a wide range of copiers that can handle every job, with varying speeds, volumes and colour options. 


Xerox is a highly research focused company, so they are always one step ahead in terms of technology. They offer a wide range of photocopiers. 

Leasing Vs Purchasing Outright

Fully decked photocopy machines are a must for many businesses, especially those with high copying and printing demands. While top of the range photocopy machines come with a big features set, they also hold a big price tag.

For larger businesses and companies, the price isn’t an Issue and outright purchase is the obvious choice. But for smaller businesses or individuals, the cost of purchasing a copier outright can really take a bite out of their budget. 

Benefits of Leasing 

  • Leasing allows businesses to acquire an office copier with low upfront costs. 
  • Most providers offer some kind of maintenance plan
  • Don’t need to worry about resale value


Drawbacks of Leasing 

  • More expensive in the long run. 
  • Get locked into a contract 


Benefits of Purchasing 

  • Purchasing outright is cheaper in the long run.
  • A photocopier is an asset and can be sold once it’s no longer needed.
  • No contracts. 
  • A purchases printer is not under any type of contract, meaning the owner is free to perform any type of maintenance on it.


Drawbacks of Purchasing 

  • The initial cost of purchasing outright can be too much for some small businesses. 
  • Replacement costs need to be covered by the owner. 

Brand New vs Refurbished

With the high cost of office photocopier machines, it’s good to have some other options, buying a refurbished photocopier is a great and economical alternative to buying new.

Refurbished Photocopiers 

Refurbished photocopiers are a great alternative to buying brand new office copiers. A refurbished copier, is a used photocopy machine that has been completely revamped. It has been inspected by a professional, with all damaged or worn parts replaced. 

Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of buying a refurbished photocopier. 


This is likely the biggest perk of purchasing a refurbished machine… they are almost always cheaper and more economical.

Monthly Costs

Although refurbished photocopiers are cheaper, they often require regular maintenance and servicing to keep them running smoothly. 


This is an extremely important thing to consider before buying a refurbished machine. New photocopier machines, although more expensive, generally come with warranties covering machines breakdowns. With refurbished machines, most dealers will only offer limited warranties and for shorter periods of time.

If your able to find a refurbished model at a great price and with a decent warranty, than a refurbished model is truly and excellent option.


Your office photocopier just might be both the most important and most expensive piece if equipment in your office. But just as a car needs regular maintenance and repairs, so do photocopy machines.

Here are a few maintenance techniques to jeep your machine functioning well.

  • Use high quality paper. Make sure the paper is always dry and be sure to load it properly.
  • Keep dust away from the ink cartridge head. 
  • Clean the copier glass regularly, you can do this using a cloth which has been lightly dampened with glass cleaner. 
  • Dust inside the machine, including; paper trays, ink cartridges and any other areas which aren’t regularly cleaned.
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