Office Printer – Your Ultimate Buying Guide

office equipment buying guide

When it comes to buying an office printer, there are many factors you need to consider. For example, should you purchase a multifunctional printer? Do you need a separate copier or fax machine? Will your business benefit from buying refurbished office equipment? We’ll cover a few of these questions and plenty more in our ultimate guide to buying an office printer.

Inkjet or laser?

One of the first considerations you’ll need to make when looking to purchase an office printer is whether to buy an inkjet printer or a laser printer. Understanding the different types of printers available is the first step to help you make better-informed decisions that will positively impact your office environment.


Laser printers become popular office equipment in the 1990s when their ability to fuse toner onto printer paper was a highly sought after process. This type of office printer is able to print large volumes of documents, which makes them a great choice for high print volume offices.

Whilst slightly larger in physical size than an inkjet printer, a good laser printer will have a high printing speed – usually somewhere around 15-100 pages per minute. This makes laser printers a great investment for when you have more than one person pressing print on their computer at the same time.

A colour laser printer is a brilliant addition to any office and will print good quality images. However, if you’re looking to print a high volume of photos, we’d recommend looking at buying an inkjet printer.


Affordable and smaller than a laser printer, an inkjet printer will squirt ink through a tiny nozzle onto paper in order to print a document.

Inkjet printers are great for printing photo quality prints and a light volume of documents. Generally speaking, inkjet printers print at a slow page per minute rate than laser printers. They also use ink cartridges, which will need replacing whenever they run out.

You’ll often find an inkjet printer is geared more toward smaller offices or offices that will use their printer not too often.


The Internet is commonplace in many offices across the globe, but not everyone is dialed into Wifi. There are some office spaces that still use an ethernet connection for getting online, mainly for security purposes.

Whatever your Internet set up, think about how your office printer will network into your office. Think about whether you need a printer that can print documents over a WiFi connection? Should your new office equipment support Samsung’s airdrop feature? Will your office printer need to be able to support email printing?

There isn’t much point in buying a new office printer if it won’t be able to connect to your office space, so think carefully about office connectivity before purchasing.

Multifunctional printer

A multifunction printer is a machine that provides an array of services, for example, printer, copier, fax machine, and scanner. Multifunctional printers often have a higher price tag than a laser or inkjet printer, so it’s worth considering whether or not your business will need these additional features.

Do you need a fax machine?

Sending a fax may sound like a process that belongs in the 1980’s, but there are some businesses that rely on fax to share important or personal information, for example, law offices and hospitals. There are many benefits of using a fax machine, including the ability to securely send information and fax being a form of communication for business owners in rural areas.

Think about whether your office will benefit from investing in an office printer that comes with a built-in fax machine. And consider this – what method of communication will be useful if the Internet goes down for a long period of time?

Operational costs

Buying an office printer is all good and well, however, business owners need to think about the additional costs of running the machine. A good point to keep in mind is that generally the lower the cost of the printer, the most expensive the supplies. This is because older models tend to be cheaper, but their parts cost more to buy. Factoring in the ongoing cost of ink cartridges or toner can help make which printer to purchase a lot easier.

There’s always the option of leasing an office printer, instead of making a purchase outright. There are a number of benefits that come with leasing office equipment, including smaller upfront costs, easier tracking of monthly expenses, and the fact that your office will always have the most up-to-date office equipment.

You should also consider buying a refurbished office printer. Any decent business product supplier will be able to tell you the complete service history, original copy count, and lifespan of any refurbished printer model, therefore giving you peace of mind before purchasing.

Office needs

Every office is different. Some will only need a simple black and white printer, whereas others will need a multifunction printer that has WiFi connectivity options. Before you go racing out and purchase the first printer model you see, think carefully about what specifically your office needs are. Here are a few key things to consider:

  • How many people will be using the printer on a daily basis?
  • Do you need the document to be printed quickly?
  • How many print outs do you estimate per day?
  • Does your office need a printer with the ability to print in colour?
  • Does your office need a printer that has a scanner?
  • Does your office need a printer that has a copier function?

By having a clear picture of the specific type of printer your office needs, it’ll make choosing the right printer for your office a whole lot easier and ensure you keep within your budget.

Steelhead can help you choose the right business products for your office. Get in contact to find out more.