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Any suggestion for Quality Priner for a Sole Practitioner

Hello Experts,

I'll be replacing my printer and need any suggestions.  Looking at high street stores, unable to decide whether to go for just printer only or with multi-purpose  printers with fax, copy and scan functionality.  I am interested to know what other sole practitioners/small firms use for their printing needs....




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05th Sep 2011 06:41

Brother Multi function

We use Brother laser multi-function duplex machines (print, copy, scan). They are very economical in use and fairly quick. We have a separate high speed scanner, but the Brothers are fine for the odd page, and scanning driving licences, passports, etc. as they have flat-bed scanning as well as auto sheet feed.

We don't use fax, but I believe some Brothers have this facility.

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05th Sep 2011 07:30


We use a brother laser printer as they are very economical for consumables.  We have a separate scanner and ditched the fax several years ago...

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05th Sep 2011 07:45

i use an HP office jet its fine

you can also use this as a fax tho i use as i am around and about a lot - if only HMRC would accept emails - at least you would know that the post had arrived rather than waiting weeks but yes you should have a multi function device

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By lja20
05th Sep 2011 10:00

Brother DCP 9040CN

I am another Brother user - works well, I don't have the fax facility but can't say I have ever needed it.

I did try and save some money by buying refilled printer cartridges (so much cheaper than the Brother ones) BUT a complete false economy as the print quality was awful so returned them and purchased the Brother ones.  No problems since.

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05th Sep 2011 10:33


Multi Function - Y

Brother - Y

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I am printing very little nowadays ...

but the brother MFC-790 I have is great ,,, Telephone, copier, scanner, fax .... it is long-term reliable and the consumables are OK as well. Bits feel a little flimsy but nothing has broken after about 2 years of use. 

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By ExSync
05th Sep 2011 11:10

The Best Most Economical Printers

Without a doubt the best most economical Mono printers are made by Kyocera.

Whilst brother is good and HP have world domination.

Kyocera are better because they print more pages per toner, not only so they use a ceramaic drum which are good for anything from 500,000 pages before they need repalcaement and most other laser printers need repalacement drums from 20-30 thousand pages. If durability and cost are on your list this is a no bariner.

So if relaiability, cost and qulaity are on your list take a look at Kyocera. The best place to to look and get a deal is

I have no connection to the aboove and they may well try and sell you something else.

If you are looking for an all in one laser solution then try OKI they often have rebates,on the purchase of printers

We recently bought an OKI all in one colour laser copier scanner fax, and it is simply amazing and we got a £50 rebate.

The questions to ask is how much per page, or haow amnay pages per toner and how many pages per drum. This is where cheap gets expensive.



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You also need a new keyboard...

... as your "T" key doesn't seem to be working properly.  I only visited curious what a priner was! :)

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By DMGbus
05th Sep 2011 13:39


Personally I wouldn't buy a printer that doesn't have duplex printing as a feature.  Double-sided printing helps keep files "thin" (1 sheet of paper instead of 2) for those occasions when a printed copy is regarded as essential.

Having a built in scanner is also essential unless a standalone scanner is owned.

Regarding minimising printing costs I keep reading reports that Kodak printers are recommended - never had one myself,  I've always had HP printers this past decade or so (currently Photosmart HPC7280).

For high volume printing I think that Laser printerrs are recommended, but not for me as the trend is for much less printing and aiming to be as paperless as possible.



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05th Sep 2011 13:55


Your comments surprised me as I have found that a laser printer is the only reliable printer when you are not printing regularly.

Do you use inkjet? I have found these sieze up/dry up fairly quickly and I waste endless time & ink trying to get them going again (our A3 scanner/printer/copier is inkjet). I think there are other options, especially regarding colour printers, and would be interested in hearing about them, if they apply.

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05th Sep 2011 14:51

Have always used brother and would still recomend them...

... about 2 months ago brought the Brother MFC-8370DN (fax,scan, print Black and White only). I have had no problems with this one since buying it and the consumables seem cheap enough.

Still use the Bother HL 2030, which I brought in 2005 and also use the brother DCP 7010 which I brought in 2006 (now our home office printer). In 2008 brought brother DCP 7025 (all 3 work off the same toner and drum).


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05th Sep 2011 18:25


A big thanks to all the contributors for sharing their genuine experiences and recommending economical printer!

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06th Sep 2011 10:44

Printer guide

Hi Gladstone,

Thanks for your query - you might be interested to know AccountingWEB will be publishing the 2011 business printer guide later this month, which will highlight and recommend a range of printers.



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By ExSync
06th Sep 2011 14:01

Inkjet for low volume is a false economy

If you calculate your total consumable spend on ink jet replacement cartridges over 5 years on low volume printing and then compare your estimated page count to cost against a reasonable laser printer, you will find that you could have had a high end laser and still be printing from the savings.

Doing the maths on page count against toner/inkjet cost plus additional consumables such as drums and fusers will give you a very clear indication of what is right even for low volume.

The winners in real cost are Kyocera (most are duplex), OKI, Konica Minolta and some Canon.


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By chas01
08th Sep 2011 11:57


Tired of replacing inkjets when they were just out of warranty, I purchased an HP2605DN to cope with the volume and duplex printing.  It was cheap enough after the rebate.

A year on and the consumables were costing twice the price of the inkjets.

Now we keep the HP in reserve and are on a second Epson PX820fwd.  Pixmania sold us the first and sending it back under extended warranty cost £50 as they do their repairs in France!

We found a great little local shop who  sell us compatible ink sets for £10.

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Printer v Scanner

As Steve H above, we hardly print anything these days, maybe 4-5 sheets a month so it's the scanner that's most important, essential to have duplex/document feeder.  We have a neat & tidy (and cheap) Canon.  It has fax but we don't...fax that is.

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08th Sep 2011 12:19

recommended priner - go with Kyocera

agree with exSync above.

Kyocera offer fantastic value. What I don't understand is why more people don't use and recommend them.

I would be a little embarrassed to say how little the running costs are, but believe me, they offer excellent value and they are good priners.

What Moneysoft has done for payroll software, Kyocera has done for priners.

Go out and buy your Kyocera priner today.

PS if you need a scanner go for the Fujitsu Scansnap.



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08th Sep 2011 12:41


In the past we have used brothers and can confirm what is said above.  But one poster has hit the nail on the head.

Do the mathematics before buying.  I would suggest

1 Cost of printing 1 page B& W and how many pages per annum(ie how many packets of paper)

2 Cost of printing i Colour page and how many pages per annum(ie how many packets of paper)

3 Postage -Bear in mind that two pages are haevier than I so is duplex an issue?

4 Scanning - Again will duplex save time and therefore money.?

5 Cost of ink, drums and any other consumerables.  Inkjet is very rarely cheaper than laser for a business

We invested in a Cannon 2570ci secondhand, more upto date models can be found in your local copy shop.  Its superior scanning speed and tolance of documents saves a lot of time.  It is duplex throughout and colour laser.  Annual cost including engineers and all repairs and Toner £800 inc VAT.

A OKi was mentioned but a client has recently bought such a machine and commented on the expensive cartridges.


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By cbales
08th Sep 2011 14:04

HP Officejet Pro 8500

New at less than £110 in December 2009, our first business multifunctional inkjet for everyday b+w and colour use is fast, produces excellent quality fast drying output, is very economical in use and with an effective duplexer built in.  So much so that the mono laser on the same system is now very little used. 

Ours is a wired connection but a wireless version would certainly be worthy of consideration if running on a wireless network.  It has fax facilities built in so can be readily left running 24 hours a day to accept incoming fax transmissions.  It has replaced our office photocopier and like our other HP multifunctional can be used a scanner for occasional use but it is not fast enough when scanning to be part of a fully paperless office system.

Only sealed original HP ink cartridges are used but these are sourced from ebay with the result that the average cost has been maintained at around 3.5p per page to date.

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08th Sep 2011 20:08

Professional solution

For a professional multi-function duplex printer/copier/scanner/fax


I agree with the comments above that Kyocera are a quality business printer with low running costs.  Although they can sometimes be a little more expensive to buy, the lower running costs far make up for this in the long run.

We currently have 9 Kyocera printers in our office, ranging from small desktop printers to the multi-functions which we use for copying and scanning, through to the 45 page/minute printer and also their colour printers.

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By Old Greying Accountant
08th Sep 2011 21:03

I am a Brother fan

Recently bought a DCP-9055CDN, extremely pleased with it. I got a great deal as it was around £400, but was able to claim £200 cash back.

Many great features include potential for 1300 sheet capacity, it is quick, it scans (flatbed or sheet feed), prints duplex, excellent quality colour and is network enabled. 

As a side issue, who do you use for consumables, I used to use Viking but they have been getting progressively more expensive and I rarely use them now, generally for small item emergencies as I have no minimum spend for free carriage, but I find Eurooffice better for most items, but for printer consumables I tend to use printerbase now as they are significantly cheaper. There are some cheap deals on Amazon or E-bay, but I am unsure of the provenance so am wary!

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09th Sep 2011 19:13

Just going off on a tangent.......

I know this is a little out of date now but when self assessment first came out I was told by a tax inspector that the Revenue (as it was then) would not accept anything printed on an ink jet and it had to be laser because inkjets ran if they got wet?????? (Sorry that last bit was not quering if they ran when they got wet which most do - but whether they could demand lasers!)  Certainly this is now obsolete with filing on line but those words still rattle round my mind when people mention ink jets.

Overall lasers do ultimately work out cheaper but when doing the costings remember many printers have to have their drums changed which can be both expensive and sometimes time consuming. 

As for the cartridges I prefer to use originals as I have tried several compatibles which quite often start off decent but then deteriorate with each sucessive one almost as if they have superb ones to get you hooked then make their money later.  I am now using Toner Giant for originals and will probably give their compatibles a try next time.

My advice to any one considering a new machine is create an original file on a memory stick and ask them to print it off on the new machine and see if the new machine is better than your old one.  A good salesman can sell you something which is not really right for you - in my mind it is the finnished result that counts!


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By ExSync
10th Sep 2011 12:43

Tangent Consumables

Consumables is something to think about.

Using compatibles apparently saves money.  But beware. The quality of the compatibles is an issue. Quite often you will find that compatibles leave behind more waste toner powder which gets into the printer and causes long term damage or the ink jets leakage causes a buildup of jammy goo that ruins the printer.

And recycled consumables have similar effects that whilst ‘cheap’ eventually ruin the printer.

The only way, in my opinion is to hunt for consumable vendors that discount originals. They are out there!

The definition of cheap has to looked at in the context of TCO (might be an IT term Total Cost of Ownership)

The consensus here is that Brother is a great, reasonably priced laser or multi-function, with reasonable toner costs.

If you are spending over £250 then Kyocera for printers and OKI for multi-function are simply amazing.

Certainly our OKI with its ability to scan contracts with 99% accuracy for OCR across the network or remotely with FTP and high quality duplex printing for brochures and proposals is a great all-rounder.

It is a myth that low volume printing is cheaper on inkjets, because the ink dries up and you throw away more than you use.

What I would say is that if you go into a print agency and look at what they use you will see:





Konica Minolta



Why? Quality, Cost and performance. And they use different printers for different jobs.

At the end of the day you gets what you pays for, there are always deals to be had if you hunt around.

Do the math on what you print against the costs of the printer and all its consumable parts. It is quite surprising.

With  3 year warranty on quality printers. Paying more up front is cheaper in the long run. 

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10th Sep 2011 13:10


I agree, consumables can make a cheap printer very expensive in terms of running costs.

Being virtually 100% paperless now, we only really print for the benefit of our clients, and getting hard copies signed, but we printed much more a few years ago.

We bought a batch lot of 4 Brother 8065DN's 5 years ago. I think it is more efficient for each employee to have their own printer, copier, scanner by the side of their desk. We get double sized toners because they are better value, and only one of the 4 has ever needed a new drum. They are still going strong and haven't caused any problems whatsoever.

We always use makers original toners/drums as we have always been disappointed by the quality of compatibles.

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10th Sep 2011 13:17

I only EVER use originals

I used to have a mono HP 1200 series (the best they ever made in my opinion) and dated my cartridges when I put them in (sad!).  In very heavy commercial office use a high capacity one once lasted from march to Sept the FOLLOWING year!

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19th Dec 2013 16:11

It is Advised Bro:)

Dear it is totally on you descretion that what exactly you are looking for  i.e  Low rate of printer or heavy and long run assets these are two different approaches. I always prefre canvas accessories rather than printer accessories because i know how to and what to do.

So, it is advised you that you must see your budget and nature of your work then step down in this daldal.


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