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Updated Nov 17, 2022 1:08 PM

Copy machines are an office equipment staple. Businesses large and small and many families use an office copier every day. The best copy machines usually do more than make copies. They’re printers, fax machines, and scanners that create an all-in-one digital hub for office busywork. Reliability, connectivity, and versatility are the factors that make a difference in your copy machine. You’ll also need to consider the copier’s size. Copy machines can be behemoths that do everything but type the words or take the pictures for you. That might be great, but do you have the room (and budget) for a machine like that? Consider what you need the copier to do versus extra perks that might add dollars to the price. We’ve rounded up some of the best copy machines on the market and included tips to help you make your pick. 

How we picked the best copy machines

I’m an experienced reviewer of tech and smart office gear. In making our recommendations for the best copy machines, we considered more than a dozen options from leading brands, including HP, Brother, Xerox, and more. We also weighed a variety of consumer needs. The best copy machine for a mid-sized business office might not be the best option for a home office. Keep reading to get a few tips on how to handle your copy volume, quality, and which extra features are worth a splurge. 

The best copy machines: Reviews & Recommendations

The best copy machines offer consistency in copy quality, but there’s more to consider than just quality. The kind and number of copies you need can also help determine the machine that’s right for you. If you make and copy 11-inch by 17-inch posters, you’ll need a wide-format copy machine. These models are found in mid- to large-sized offices. They have wheels, multiple paper drawers, and are some of the fastest models available. 

However, if you don’t need a large format, a digital copy machine that scans documents to create a perfect copy might be more within your budget and needs. They’re more affordable and create excellent copies. 

Another option is one of the best all-in-one printers. These machines copy, print, scan, and fax. They’re smaller and more of an all-purpose office workhorse that doesn’t have the speed or quality of some of the more expensive photocopy machines. 

You also have to think about laser versus inkjet copy machines. The best (and fastest) quality will also come from a laser printer. They can also print a high volume in a short amount of time. The best laser printers have the distinction of quieter operation, too. However, laser printers are more expensive, have expensive replacement cartridges, and tend to be larger. With all that in mind, here are the best copy machines.

Best overall: Canon PIXMA TS8320 All-In-One Wireless Color Printer

Canon

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Why it made the cut: This all-in-one wireless option copies, scans, and prints high-quality photos, making it a great choice for the whole family. 

Specs

  • Type: All-in-one inkjet
  • Pages per minute (PPM): 10 color, 15 in BW
  • Paper capacity: 100

Pros

  • Touchscreen is large and easy to use.
  • Prints high-quality photos
  • Works with Wi-Fi and virtual assistants
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Expensive

If you’re looking for a device that can not only make copies for a home office, but can also scan and print to serve the needs of an entire household, the Canon PIXMA TS8320 is a top pick. The all-in-one printer is compatible with dual-band Wi-Fi, so you can print and make copies from your devices and using virtual assistants. The large LCD screen makes it easy to use for a range of ages. The TS8320 also comes with a blue ink tank that reduces shadows and noise to allow you to print beautiful photos. And even when it’s not on, you can just press print on a smartphone or tablet and the TS8320 will turn on and provide the printing on command.

Best commercial: Brother MFC-L8900CDW Color Laser All-in-One Printer

Brother

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Why it made the cut: This all-in-one laser printer is designed for office use, with high print output, capacity for up to 1,300 pages, and great connectivity.

Specs

  • Type: All-in-one laser
  • PPM: 33 in color and BW
  • Paper capacity: 300 pages (up to 1,300 by adding additional trays)

Pros

  • High print capacity
  • Speedy performance
  • Provides extra layer of security
  • Works with Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet

Cons 

  • Bulky at 63 pounds

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is a commercial copy machine that offers top-of-the-line features like remote control through an app and cloud printing. A five-inch touchscreen makes it easier to scroll through options and change settings. It’s got great connectivity and runs much quieter than comparable industrial copiers. The downside is that there can be some color issues like the machine using color ink to print black unless you change the settings.

Best for speed: Brother Monochrome Laser Printer

Brother

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Why it made the cut: If fast printing is your priority, this laser printer provides up to 36 pages per minute. 

Specs

  • Type: Laser monochrome
  • PPM: Up to 36
  • Paper capacity: 250 sheets 

Pros

  • Fast
  • Affordable
  • Prints from desktop, laptops, smartphones, and tablets

Cons 

  • Only prints in black and white

The Brother Monochrome Laser Printer provides far more than just fast printing, but that’s where it begins. It offers 36 pages per minute of black-and-white copies (no color copies with this one). It can handle different types of paper like cardstock and envelopes. This multifunctional printer also includes a 50-sheet document feeder for copying and scanning. Keep in mind that this printer can be a bear to set up.

Best for small office: Brother MFC-L3710W Compact Digital All-in-One Printer

Brother

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Why it made the cut: This device provides the all-around functionality needed in a small office and provides a respectable printing speed for a small number of users. 

Specs

  • Type: All-in-one laser
  • PPM: 19 in color, 29 in BW
  • Paper capacity: 250

Pros

  • Has copy, printing, scanning, and faxing capabilities
  • Comes with color touchscreen
  • Works with the cloud and Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote

Cons 

  • Heavy

The Brother MFC-L3710W Compact Digital All-in-One Printer’s color touchscreen makes it easier to program your copying jobs, as well as connect to cloud services to download documents. It’s also equipped with WiFi so that a team of people can connect from laptops and mobile devices. This Brother document copier produces excellent color and black-and-white copies with a 19-page-per-minute speed. However, the replacement toner can get pricey if you’re printing in high volumes.

Best with cloud printing: HP Neverstop 1202w Wireless Mono Laser Printer

Why it made the cut: This eco-friendly printer works with an app that allows users to quickly print from a wide variety of devices and is also wallet-friendly. 

Specs

  • Type: All-in-one laser
  • PPM: 21
  • Paper capacity: 150

Pros

  • Works with HP app for easier setup and cloud access
  • Printing costs less than one cent per page
  • Energy-Star certified

Cons 

  • Doesn’t print color
  • Not super fast

The HP Neverstop 1202w Wireless Mono Laser Printer does a little bit of everything from a compact package. This laser printer prints 21 pages per minute and connects to an HP app for wireless control, including scanning and saving documents to the cloud. Of course, it can also access documents in the cloud for printing and copying too. This HP is an eco-friendly option that uses less ink, with a toner cartridge that happens to be easier to replace than other models. However, it does lose some print quality, and the Neverstop can’t print double-sided unless you manually feed the paper. 

Best portable: HP Tango Smart Wireless Printer

Why it made the cut: This voice-activated printer syncs with a range of devices and allows you to make copies from virtually anywhere. 

Specs

  • Type: Inkjet
  • PPM: 11
  • Paper capacity: One at a time

Pros

  • Easily portable 
  • Works with USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth
  • Prints high-quality images
  • Climate-Pledge-friendly

Cons 

  • Slow print speed
  • Low output

The HP Tango Smart Wireless Printer offers WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can access copying and printing from mobile devices. It weighs in at only 6 pounds and prints 11 pages per minute. The Tango can print on more than paper, working with cardstock, envelopes, and labels, too. However, this little powerhouse is an inkjet, so quality and speed can’t rival bigger machines. For more options, check out the best label printers.

Best budget: HP DeskJet Plus 4155 Wireless All-in-One Printer

Why it made the cut: This affordable all-in-one option gets the job done if you don’t want to spend a lot and don’t mind a slower print speed. 

Specs

  • Type: Inkjet 
  • PPM: 5.5 color; 8.5 BW
  • Paper capacity: 35 pages

Pros

  • Has all the basic functions (copying, printing, scanning, faxing)
  • Works with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB
  • Prints in color and black and white
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Slow print speed
  • Lower quality prints

The HP DeskJet Plus 4155 Wireless All-in-One Printer provides a little bit of everything at a price most people can afford. It’s more than just a copier. It also prints, scans, and sends mobile faxes (but you only get free mobile fax for 24 months). A slower print speed of 8.5 pages per minute means you’ll need to plan in advance for large print jobs. HP recommends it for homes where you print 100-300 pages per month.

Things to consider when shopping for the best copy machine

Speed

Sometimes, you need 200 reports in ten minutes, and not every copier machine can pull that off. Copy speed is measured in pages per minute. Machines that produce 25 to 40 pages per minute are on the high end of productivity. However, speed alone isn’t your only consideration. 

You also have to think about copy quality, cost, and your monthly copy volume. A printer that pumps out fast copies may be great, but if the ink is uneven and blotchy, the copier printer won’t help your business’s professionalism. The point is to balance speed with quality.

The last consideration when it comes to speed is your monthly volume. Are you making a steady number of copies every day, or do you make the majority of the month’s copies at certain times of day, week, or month? If you need 1,000 copies per day, a slow machine can do it as long as time isn’t an issue. However, if you have days where you need 10,000 copies by 11 am, you’ll need more speed to meet your volume on time.

Office size

Small-medium businesses (SMB) put their equipment to the test. They typically need one of the best digital copiers to keep up with demand and stay within a smaller budget. Small businesses often need higher volume and faster speeds than a home copier, too. All-in-one digital copy machines offer copying, printing, faxing, and scanning at speeds that meet business needs. 

Features like touchscreens, multiple drawers, and cloud sharing can make it easier for a team of people to use the copy machine. Models with cloud sharing can connect to programs like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneNote so that shared documents can get copied or printed by anyone on the team. It helps if these copiers are wireless so that mobile devices can communicate with the copier, too.

Wireless printing

Copy machines come with some pretty amazing features, including digital sharing and cloud printing. These machines can work with cloud platforms like Google Docs and Dropbox, making it easier to copy on the go, work with clients, or a team. Anyone on your team can tap into the document, print, or make a copy on the office copy machine. 

These machines also connect to mobile devices from anywhere in the home or office. Models that also happen to be all-in-one may be able to scan documents, save them to the cloud, and print them later. They can become a vital source of managing documents and paperwork.

Portability

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, a portable copy machine can save you in a pinch. These small copy machines/printers can help you before a big presentation or let you print receipts and tickets while you travel. They’re pint-sized in comparison to a full-size office copier and weigh as little as six or seven pounds. These models may offer scanning, faxing, and printing, too. 

However, these aren’t the copiers for high-volume jobs. They can print around 10 to 15 pages per minute, so stick to an office printer for the high-volume printing and copying. 

Price

Cheap copy machines work when you don’t need to make hundreds of copies every day. They can still offer multiple functions like printing and scanning. Where you’ll see some differences is in the size of the machine, the tray capacity (if there’s a tray at all), and they may not make the cleanest copies. 

You’re also more likely to see inkjet copiers at this price, which also means slower printing speeds. There are some laser copiers for under $100, but a laser copier at this price typically has sub-par copy quality.

FAQs

Q: Which copier brand is best?

The best copier brand depends on the type of copy machine you’re looking for. Brother and HP rule with the larger copy machines while Canon is starting to make a dent in the small, portable model market.

Q: How long should a copier last?

Most copiers last around three to five years. However, that time will depend on copy volume—the more copies you make, the faster the copy machine will wear out.

Q: What is the best copy machine for small businesses?

Small businesses will get fast, high-quality copies with the Brother Monochrome Laser Printer. If you need a little more, like color, look at the Brother MFC-L3710W Compact Digital All-in-One Printer.

Q: Is it safe to use public copy machines?

Using public copy machines can be a risk for your personal information. The Federal Trade Commission points out that digital copiers are essentially computers that store data. The FTC recommends that a company’s IT team oversee the use of copy machines and recommends the use of security measures such as encryption.

A final word on the best copy machines

The best copy machine for you will depend on your copy volume and how you intend to use the machine. High-volume copying requires a combination of fast copy speeds, while businesses that copy presentations may need to focus on quality and color. Whether you’re looking for an office copy machine or one for personal use, there’s a model with the right size, speed, and quality waiting for you.