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Good office printer that prints decent quality

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by john1, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. john1

    john1 Guest

    Hey guys, Anyone have a favorite brand/model desktop printer that prints decent quality?

    Would mainly use it for invoices and occasionally flyers for myself in small runs (100 or so).

    Was looking at the Epsons and HP's today but those types of printers i know nothing about what makes them better than another. I don't know how ink goes down on regular printers like that vs getting a print shop to do them but it would be nice to make stuff on the fly for myself that didn't look half bad.


    WYLDGFI Active Member

    Oct 27, 2006
    Linden, NJ
    Get a place that has a color laser printer/copier to run your flyers for you and stick with a B&W laser for in house unless you really need color to show clients stuff. You already have the 30 in printer....
    My personal fav is a Brother MFD. Been reliable for going on 7 years now.
  3. CP Signs

    CP Signs Member

    Sep 15, 2012
    +1 for Brother. Inks last longer then most others and are not that expensive. And new ones are wifi, I leave it in the front reception area for invoicing but can also send to print from my office or production area,,,,, beats buying a few printers.
  4. DizzyMarkus

    DizzyMarkus Active Member

    Jan 23, 2012
    Epsons for me -- individual tanks and great ink :0)

  5. Matt-Tastic

    Matt-Tastic Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I picked up a HP Laserjet 2605dn on Craigslist for $50. it's Color, prints 2 sided, connects to a network, and pretty reasonable per print.

    Those 3 qualities above will (along with a laser printer), are the main things that make a desktop printer better than another. If you're looking at it for invoices and proofs, it will do the job just fine.
  6. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    Ive been using samsung color laser all in ones - they seem to last a year or two before dying, and at $250 or so that aint bad :thumb:
  7. CentralSigns

    CentralSigns Very Active Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Golden BC
    Kodak are kind of nice, ink costs are real cheap compaired to HP. Close to 10% the cost
  8. thewvsignguy

    thewvsignguy Active Member

    Feb 21, 2008
    Grantsville, MD
    We use Brother lasers for invoices and estimates and Cannons for proofing. Our Brother 7420 MFC B&W laser is over 4 years old now and after 12k copies it needs a fuser ($130). I think we paid $250 for it way back, when I have the time and money I'm buying a color laser to replace all four printers. Buy the best that you can afford.
  9. sfr table hockey

    sfr table hockey Very Active Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    I think looking at a laser printer is a must. You can use them for flyer runs, takeout menu, labels etc and the toner is way cheaper to run than the ink jet printers.

    If you only need a color laser and not a scanner and the extras, $300 can get a fairly good quality print and reasonably fast.

    I am running a Dell 2150cn. Like almost all printers, their toner is way to high at $80 a cart where you can get other 3rd party that work well as low as $20 a cart. This is huge in the overall cost run of the printer. After the 2nd set of carts you have saved more than the printer cost you.

    Mine does not do a very good job at gloss photo papers but the standard paper or card stock prints very nice and works well with what I am doing.

    I would say before you buy an office type printer, look at the quality of print first, then the cost of the toner to run it. In order to be able to produce the .10 cent B&W copies or the .15 - .20 cent color you need toner that is reasonably priced. Mine say 2500 color copies or 3000 b&w but those numbers are based on 1/4 or less coverage so watch that area before thinking you will actually get those numbers.

    I would not look at the laser printer as making you a lot of money on the flyer runs and all but more how much it saves for the average printing you would do otherwise on an inkjet. It is nice to offer these options to the customers you already have as an add on.
  10. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    I ran a Xerox DC12 colour printer/copier for years but finally got tired of the cost per copy and decided to stick cheap aftermarket inks in an old sheetfed Epson 4000 inkjet and use that for daily invoice and email printing.
    I prefer inkjet printers anyway.
    It seems with lasers there is always something wearing out or needing replacement because of the heat fusing process.
    If we need cards or flyers done we can always get them done cheaply without headaches by a trade printer.
    It's now nice to tell people "no, we don't do copies/business cards/brochures.. we just do large format printing".
  11. john1

    john1 Guest

    Thanks Pat and everyone, Yeah i got married today and it was awesome. Everything went perfect.
  12. mameighan

    mameighan Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    My vote is for okidata color lasers. Real workhorses. Great color. Faster than HP and many of the models have generic toners available.
    For basic black and white - any one that has cheap toners will do a decent job. look for sub $100 ones on Black Friday. Cheap enough to get a new one if it messes up.
  13. lazaros

    lazaros Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    I run konica minolta machines the past 7 years and have been happy with them. Toner for the machine i have now(c454) costs around 350 euros to replace but it gives me 10 000 full color copies. Konica minolta says the toners should run to about 27000 but with a 5% coverage. The good think about these printers/copiers is that they can handle rough paper and therefore you can print not only flyers but business cards, invitations and all kinds of digital prints. i paid for the machine 6000 euros but it open many jobs for me in the digital printing world. short run and small quantities is what these copiers were made for. If you don't need the faster machine, you can get the c280 which will do the exact same jobs just slower. I think it runs for about 3000 euros here(but i'm not sure).
    Quality wise these printers are excellent. It all depends what you want to do and how much you want to spend. In general i found out that the bigger the machine the lower the running costs.
  14. 2B

    2B Moderator

    May 5, 2011


    we run several konica minolta 4695mf and could not be happier with them
  15. f3rri

    f3rri Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    dont waste you time and money with small printers or multifunction throwaways. I have a biz hub 360. prints 8.5x11 and 11 x17. scans faxes as well as stores files and emails. was about $4000 worth the money!!!! My only regret is we also have a bunch of OsX Computers and it doesn't have the fax app for them. Consumables are very inexpensive and it is meant for an office especially if you have to print out engineering prints. Color is superb.
  16. f3rri

    f3rri Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    If you are a Mac / osx environment I say spend the extra money on a canon unit. The Minolta was not user-friendly compared to the canon screens.
  17. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    For what you are wanting I'd personally go with a single pass color laser. Either Xerox or Okidata. Both of the brands upper tier models are proven reliable industrial grade workhorses. Not sure on the Oki models but on Xerox find a used 7750 or 7760. You can find them for well under a grand and these 2 (depending on the config) sold new for nearly 10k. They do full duplex single pass color, up to tabloid extra (12x18) at nearly 30ppm in color. We have 2 7750GX ones here and they just go and go, produce excellent prints, and if you know what to look for you can get toner labelled for a different model (xerox lease program) machine for dirt cheap. :) I can run 110lb card stock which is still thinner that you average business card but not too thin, transparency, heavyweight glossy brochure papers, and other nice papers all with pretty excellent quality. Both the Oki's and the Xerox's are also well regarded as the best for laser heat transfers if you are into that. I got our 7750GX machines for just a couple hundred each from a govt' surplus sale but I've seen them on ebay and craigslist for ver reasonable prices as well.

    As far as used goes (any brand), make sure you can see it print and print out the config that has the consumables life levels. Some of the consumables in lasers (as applicable) like the fuser, transfer belt, imaging drums, even toners, etc. can be pricey. If you are looking at a machine where some of the more expensive bits are about to need replaced that will greatly affect the price it is worth. Also look at the page count. While these higher end machines will easily go over a million pages it's not at all uncommon to find them under 20k or so but I'd shoot for at least under 100k. Finally keep in mind that these big lasers are not tiny machines that sit on your desk. These 7750's I have weigh a few hundred pounds each and roll around on their own lower paper handling units. You will need help loading one into a truck to bring it to your shop.

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