Inkjet or Laser Copiers? Which is Best?

November 10, 2016

Inkjet or Laser Copiers? Which is Best?

November 10, 2016

If you’re planning on purchasing or leasing a copier, printer or multifunction device, you’re likely wondering if you should go for an inkjet copier or a laser copier. 

Before we compare, let’s take a quick look at how each one works:

Inkjet copiers

Inkjet copiers shoot liquid ink onto a page to replicate documents. They are typically smaller machines and their cartridges have a very low output rate, making the cost per page high. They are also often slow.

Laser copiers

Laser copiers use an electrostatic digital printing process, where dry ink powder is heated up (fused) to replicate documents. They often produce faster, higher-quality documents and are a good business workhorse machine. The downside is they are initially more expensive.

Inkjet Copiers or Laser Copiers?

At first, it might be tempting to think that inkjet is cheaper, so go with that. While the initial machine cost might be less, there is much more to look at.

Here are 5 areas to compare inkjet copiers and laser copiers:

Inkjet or laser copiers? Purchase cost: Inkjet copiers are often cheaper upfront than their laser counterparts. This is because they are often smaller machines, designed for desktop or home-office use. Although an important consideration, purchase cost is not the whole picture.

Print costs: Inkjet printers cost about 20 cents per page because their cartridges are smaller and tend to need replacement more often. This is a primary reason they are not cost-effective office machines. Laser printers range closer to 6 cents per page. Laser copiers may also have additional maintenance costs, as they require replacement fusers, but this still can often be more cost-effective for businesses over inkjet machines.

Speed: Laser printing is faster than the inkjet, with your most basic printer producing 20 pages per minute. Compared to inkjets, which start at about 6 pages per minute. While speed may not sound important, it can make a big difference in how long people gather around communal printers and copiers waiting for their documents.

Quality. In the quality competition, inkjet cannot compete with the more advanced laser printers. Inkjet printing is less precise as it uses a spray and dry mechanism, whereas laser and digital rely on a more exact ink powder and heat fusion method. In lower quality machines, some inkjet printers can offer a more subtle color gradation than laser, but if you’re looking for a business machine, this is often not the base.

Digital laser printers are more reliable than laser printers that use rotating optical components, but regardless, laser is going to outlast an inkjet printer that is being overworked. 

For business printing, laser is usually the best bet. However, to really determine the best machine for your business, you need to be able to select from the best options across multiple manufacturers. If initial cost is a concern, leasing is always an option that can help keep your overall costs low.  Work with someone who understands the different manufacturers and copiers and who can help you make the most strategic choice available. 


Milner is one of the largest independent copier dealers in the USA. Whatever your business copier needs are, our consultants can help you pick the machine that best aligns with those needs. Contact us today


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