Best photocopier for SMB (Small-medium businesses)

The humble photocopier has come a long way. While it remains a staple for any small business, the many functions the modern photocopier is capable of, makes it an essential item in the office.

Digital photocopiers are capable of printing presentation-ready graphics and images, it can print and scan ultra-high-resolution images, send emails and much more. Quality digital office photocopiers have all but eliminated the need for print shops and can make even the smallest business capable of producing high volumes of marketing, training, and presentation material.

There are numerous options on the market from different brands, all with their own unique qualities, and all with pros and cons. There is also a wide gap between the prices which can make it challenging for a small business to make the right decision on a digital photocopier that matches both their budget and requirements.

Answering the question "what is the best copier available?" can be challenging. It depends on your budget and your requirements. Choosing the wrong option can be detrimental to your business. Having your copier fail at a critical time is going to result in a loss of productivity. Constant repair and maintenance issues are going to cost you money, as will a machine that consumes high volumes of ink and toner.

Whilst there is no copier that is going to meet all the needs of every single small business out there, there are certain things to look for in order to get the right solution for your SMB. This article will act as a guide on how to find the right copier for you.

Features to consider when shopping for the best digital copiers

Best photocopier for SMB Small-medium businesses

Because modern color copiers come packed with so many features, the necessary first step is to understand what they all mean. Are they required by your business? Or are they just expensive extras that are surplus to your requirements?

By understanding these key copier features, you can shop for a machine that has the features you need, whilst ruling out the features that you don't need.

Link to cloud services: Are you storing documents, images, and graphics on cloud platforms like Google Drive, Google Docs, Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox? This feature will allow your copier to link to those cloud services for rapid printing and copying.
Multi-layered security: Because your copier is internet-connected, it is an intrusion point for cybercriminals just like your computers and other devices. The more robust the security protection the better, or advanced criminals can access all your company data through your copier.
LCD Touchscreen: With so many features in the modern copier, this is not just a fancy extra, it is essential. This also means that multiple users can log into the copier and have their own personal saved preferences. It also stops unauthorised people from accessing the copier and company data.
Wireless Connection: WiFi is handy and reduces the number of cables in the office, which reduces potential tripping hazards, however this is not an essential feature. An ethernet connection will give you a more reliable and faster connection.
Direct printing/scanning with USB drives: Ensure that only authorised staff members are able to access this feature, as it has the potential for trojans and viruses (deliberately or inadvertently). Many small business security policies these days, have outlawed USB storage devices.
Consistent colour quality and top-notch photocopying: Always try before you buy. Try a range of different print and copy jobs with different colours including black and white options, pages that use colour heavily, and pages that have very high levels of detail. If the prints or copies are consistently different to what you see on screen, you may not want to consider that copier.
Optimal photocopy speed for small businesses: The recommended average speed is 25 to 45 pages per minute.
Optimal photocopy speed for medium-sized and large-sized businesses: Look for a copier with an average speed of 50 to 120 pages per minute.
Budget: Choosing a copier that is cheap might mean inferior quality and more frequent requirements for ink and toner replacement - as well as servicing and repairs. If your company does not have the required budget for a quality copier, you can consider hiring one that also includes service expenses built into the monthly price.
Multifunction capabilities: Modern copiers have the ability to copy, print, fax, email and scan at high speeds. Even the most basic copier should include all these features.
Mobile printing: This is very similar to USB drives; it can be a good feature as long as you have the right security in place. Connecting safe company mobile devices to your copier can allow workers to print and copy from their phone - even when they are outside of the office.
Equipment integration: Consider which devices you want to link to the copier. Computers and tablets will usually integrate with any copier, but if you are looking at unique devices to connect to the copier, ensure they are compatible first.
Colour or monochrome (black and white) printers: Most modern businesses are going to require colour printers, but if you are only going to print basic documents that are not for presentation purposes, a black and white printer is a much more inexpensive option. You can always upgrade later as your business scales up.
Printer quality: The quality of your copying and printing will be measured by dots per inch (DPI). The higher the DPI, the more detailed and high-resolution your printouts and copies will be. Look for a copier with a minimum DPI of 600.

Top brands used in Australia based on servicing, maintenance, and spare parts

There are many brands in the copier and printer business, but you should isolate your search to these brands: Sharp, Canon and Epson. They are the clear industry leaders and are the best option for your business because:

1. Sharp copiers: This range of printers and copiers have been specifically engineered for office use. They include all the features that used to be carried out by multiple devices, are high quality, high speed and won’t take up much space - essential for a small business with a smaller sized office.

2. Canon copiers: If you require photo-quality printing, Canon is the best in the industry for this level of precision They are also optimised to use less ink than other photo-realistic printers, which makes them a more cost-effective option in the long run.

3. Epson copiers: These office printers deliver two qualities every small business will find useful; speed and value. These heavy-duty printers boast incredibly high printing rates, whilst also having some of the most efficient ink consumption rates.

Because all three options are considered popular, parts are easily purchased and are available at affordable rates. Their high quality also means they are less likely to break down and will cost you less in servicing and repairs in the long run.

Top 10 Photocopiers for Small and medium sized business (Print speed 24 to 70 ppm) based on most purchased Copiers and High Reviews:

  1. Canon DXC3826
  2. Sharp MX2651
  3. Canon DXC3830
  4. Canon DXC3835
  5. Sharp MX3071
  6. Canon DXC5840
  7. Canon DXC5850
  8. Canon DXC5860
  9. Canon DXC5870
  10. Sharp MX4071

Top 9 Photocopiers for Small sized business (Print speed 24 to 45 ppm) based on most purchased Copiers and High Reviews:

1. Canon iR-ADV DX C3826i / 3830i / 3835i Photocopier – Print Speed 24 to 30ppm, 35 to 45ppm

Canon iR-ADV DX C3826i / 3830i / 3835i Photocopier

2. Sharp MX-2651 - Print speed 24 to 30ppm

MX2651 Photocopier

3. Sharp MX-3061/Sharp MX-4061 - Print speed 24 to 30ppm

Sharp MX-3061 / MX-4061 Photocopier

4. Sharp MX-4071/ Sharp MX-3071 / Sharp MX-3571 - Print speed 35 to 45 ppm

5. Canon iR-ADV DX C3720i /3730i - Print speed 24 to 30ppm

6. Canon iR-ADV DX C3730i / Canon iR-ADV DX C3720i - Print speed 24 to 30ppm

Canon iR-ADV DX C3720i / 3730i Photocopier

7. Canon iR-ADV DX 4735i - Print speed 35 to 45 ppm

8. Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C879RTC

9. Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C529R

Top 9 Photocopiers for Medium and Large sized business (Print speed 50 to 120 pages per minute) based on most purchased Copiers and High Reviews:

1. Canon iR-ADV DX 4751i - Print speed 50 to 75ppm

Canon iR-ADV C475i III Photocopier

2. Canon iR-ADV DX C7770i/Canon iR-ADV DX C7765i/Canon iR-ADV DX C7780i - Print speed 50 to 75ppm

Canon iR-ADV DX C7765i/7770i/7780i Photocopier

3. Canon iR-ADV DX C5870i/ C5840i / 5850i / 5860i - Print speed 50 to 75ppm

Canon iR-ADV DX C5840i / 5850i / 5860i / 5870i Photocopier

4. Canon iR-ADV DX 8705i/ DX 8786/8795 - Print speed 80ppm to 120ppm

Canon iR-ADV DX 8786/8795/8705 Photocopier

5. Sharp MX-M6071/ MX-5071 - Print speed 50 to 75ppm

MX-5071 / MX-6071 Photocopier

6. Sharp MX-7580N/ MX-6580N - Print speed 50 to 75ppm

MX-M6570 / MX-M7570 Sharp Photocopier

7. Sharp MX-7580N/ MX-6580N - Print speed 50 to 75ppm

MX-6580N / MX-7580N

8. Sharp MX-8090N/ MX-7090N - Print speed 80ppm to 120ppm

MX-7090N / MX-8090N

9. Sharp MX-M1205/ MX-M1055 - Print speed 80ppm to 120ppm

MX-M1055 / MX-M1205 Sharp Photocopier

Photocopier finance options - Compare copier brands, quotes and save

There is more to choosing your copier than just the initial price tag. There are many considerations to factor in, so you are not bleeding money in the long run. These include:

Service and support: If you are purchasing outright, some copiers come with ongoing service and support while others do not. Always look for an option that includes as much ongoing support as possible, or you may have to pay for a technician every time they come out.

Photocopier Leasing options: As mentioned previously, you can rent, hire and lease copiers which is often a more cost-effective solution. You should ensure this also includes full servicing and repairs and look for an option where you get a new machine every few years.

Managed print services: To optimise your office printing you can hire an external party that will monitor your usage and issues associated with your printing. Usually, managed print services is an option taken up by larger companies that need to manage high volumes of printing and multiple machines.

Customer service: What is included in the contract? Is there a support or helpline? How helpful are these support lines? Look for reviews to gauge the opinions of other businesses, as good support is essential.

Repair costs: Some machines may have a cheaper initial price tag, but their parts may be more expensive and harder to obtain. It is always best to research the price of consumables like ink and toner and replacement parts before purchasing.

Frequently asked questions

Which copier brand is best?

In Australia, the best copier brands are Sharp, Canon and Epson. If you are considering another brand, always look for customer reviews on Google and social media first to ensure they have a good reputation.

How long should a copier last?

You can expect around five years of reliable life from your copier in a business environment where it is being used regularly. If you are looking to lease a copier, ensure you get a new machine at least every five years.

What is the best photocopier to buy?

The best copier will have all the functions you require (listed above). It should meet your budget, be a reputable brand, have a warranty and should also include ongoing support and servicing.

What is the best copy machine for small businesses?

This depends on your requirements. At a bare minimum, your copier should be able to print, copy, scan, email, and fax documents at a resolution of 600dpi minimum.

What is the difference between a photocopier and a printer?

A printer has limited functionality. They are only designed to print, although many can also make copies (albeit at a much slower rate). Modern photocopiers can print, copy, and perform a range of other functions including sending high-resolution documents directly to clients, customers, suppliers etc.

How is a photocopier used in an office?

The modern photocopier has assumed the role of many machines that were previously used in the office. It has rendered standalone printers and fax machines redundant and made it a simple process to send copies of physical documents directly via email.

Get in touch

If you're looking for local, Australian professionals in print management and document infrastructure, contact us today at DDS. We offer managed print services that are tailored to the needs of your business, whatever they are. Our managed print services include workflow optimisation, full IT services, support, maintenance, and hardware upgrades from world-leading brands including Sharp copiers and Canon copiers. Call us today to discuss our managed print services now.

To know more about our flexible print and photocopier leasing plans, get in touch with our customer support team today.