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The best printers for small businesses in 2021

One of the most important pieces of equipment for any small business is a dependable printer. But many small businesses don’t have the space or budget for certain printers. Luckily, there are plenty of models available. Whether you need a laser printer or one that fits in a small office, you’re in luck with our guide to the best of the best. Take a look and see if our top pick is perfect for your office!

You should also check out our full guide to the best printers of 2021.

The best all-round small business printer: Canon Pixma TR7020

Small businesses often dream of an all-in-one printer at a low price with reliable performance: This Pixma printer is that dream come true, with its tech-friendly design that works with common Wi-Fi Direct options (including AirPrint and Cloud Print) as well as via Canon’s own app, which supports a variety of downloaded templates for all kinds of work, from certificates to memos. The printer also supports square photo printing from a variety of sizes if you have some of Canon’s photo paper.

The all-in-one printer uses a 36-sheet auto document feeder for quickly scanning or copying multiple pages at once, plus two paper input tray options (front and back) and configurations for photo paper, etc. The printer can hold 100 sheets in each tray, 200 in total.

For such a low price, the Canon TR7020 does make some concessions on printing speed, reaching 13ppm for black-and-white printing and 6.8ppm for color pages. But the modern office doesn’t have as many printing needs as it once did, so we suspect this model will still be right at home. If you’re looking for higher capacity or greater speeds, read on …

The best laser printer for small businesses: HP LaserJet Pro MFP M227fdw

HP can make a mean office printer, and this LaserJet Pro model is an excellent example. It’s a 4-in-1 laser printer, scanner, copier, and fax machine with a 50-sheet auto-feed tray and a large paper tray that can hold up to 250 sheets plus a 10-sheet priority tray. As you might expect, it’s fast, too, sporting a 30-pages-per-minute (black and white) speed and snappy startup, with all different kinds of paper sizes supported for various projects. Two-sided printing also is supported, and like other modes, it’s notably fast compared to competitors.

The printer also comes with all the latest connection technology, no matter what you prefer: It can connect via your Wi-Fi network, NFC connections, Wi-Fi Direct connections, and USB. It’s great at powering down into hibernation to save energy when not in use, and that small LCD touchscreen is perfectly capable of controlling any mode that you prefer.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a laser printer for your business, the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M227fdw should be one of your first stops. The biggest downside is that the design isn’t exactly compact — it’s tough to fit this printer on a shelf or desk, so you may need to make some changes when making room.

The best printer for high-speed business printing: Brother HL-L5100DN

This Brother printer also offers speedy laser printing with options for two-sided print jobs, but one of its greatest advantages is the price: It’s hard to find a cheaper printer that sports this much power, and Brother is a very reliable brand to choose for businesses. It’s also very quick: Printing goes up to 42 pages per minute with black-and-white printing.

While the paper tray is smaller than HP’s model at 250 sheets maximum, there’s also a 50-sheet multipurpose tray for printing envelopes and other smaller side projects that have special requirements (you can also upgrade to a larger tray if you really need to). Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Ethernet as well as compatibility with Wi-Fi Direct services like AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and others.

Additional business-friendly features include a function lock that allows administers to limit what specific user groups can do or change and secure printing via a PIN for particularly sensitive documents. However, note that the HL-L5100DN is one model that doesn’t come with scanning or copying functionality.

The best printer for saving ink and printing color pages: Epson EcoTank WorkForce ET-4750

Epson’s 4-in-1 printer is another strong option if you prefer ink printing to laser printing but still want a model that’s business-ready for everything from photos to document signing sessions. It offers a 250-sheet paper tray and a 30-sheet automatic feeder, with an option for two-sided printing. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi Direct, USB, and Ethernet.

This is an excellent choice if you are worried about color resolution, and it’s ideal for saving money, too: It’s an EcoTank model, which means it is designed to use ink very efficiently and it uses refillable tanks instead of cartridges — the included ink can last up to 11,200 pages for color printing and 14,000 pages for black-and-white printing!

The WorkForce ET-4750 model is efficient and accurate, but that leaves it a bit on the sluggish side. It’s not ideal for excessively bulky printing jobs, but it can handle up to eight pages per minute for color and 15 pages per minute for black-and-white.

The best printer for small but busy offices: Brother HL-L8360CDW Laser Printer

For offices that still need to save hardcopies of documents, print frequent flyers/exams, or similar projects, a smaller printer isn’t ideal. This Brother laser printer strikes the sweet spot by still being compact and affordable enough for a small office, but capable of dealing with demanding printing needs.

The printer has a 250-sheet capacity tray, with an output capacity of 150 for larger jobs, but allows for expansion trays to hold much (up to 1,300, if neccesary). There is also a 50-sheet multipurpose tray for smaller, more customizable projects. Printing speeds reach up to 33ppm, an excellent rating for a printer of this size. It’s also entirely compatible with AirPrint, NFC connections (which can be used for badge authentication to limit printer access), and Brother’s own printing app, among other options. Wireless or Ethernet connections are also supported for tapping into your office network.

The Brother HL-L8360CDW Laser Printer may need a little extra room on a desk, especially if you purchase additional paper trays, but it has the power and capabilities that a busy office needs.

The best DTG printer for small business: Brother GTXpro

If your small business is active in marketing or similar branding pursuits, you may be interested in a direct-to-garment printer for swift printing on T-shirts and similar items. Prices on these hefty commercial printers can get quite high, but Brother has a solution: The GRXpro is specifically designed to help smaller businesses get high-tech DTG capabilities for mass production.

The printer includes a very user-friendly, compact design with effortless cartridge loading, automatic cleaning processes, and a variety of sensors, including a new height sensor to make sure positioning is absolutely correct. It also includes a white print head with internal ink circulation for more efficient printing and a high-speed print mode that makes things go a bit faster when time is of the essence.

The GTXpro can handle cotton, silk, and polyester and is also suitable for printing on trousers, shoes, and caps as well as more traditional DTG clothing, all without needing to substitute special inks. Brother is also running a deal that throws in a free “pre-treater” that helps prepare garments for printing. Keep in mind that these printers need to be professionally installed by Brother, with a follow-up training program for use.

The most economical printer for small business: Brother Compact Monochrome MFC-L2710DW

If you are interested in commercial-grade printing but would like to save as much money as possible, this compact monochrome laser printer hits the sweet spot. It’s ready to handle high-volume printing at 27 pages per minute, but the toner cartridges that can handle up to 3,000 to 8,000 pages (depending on the type of cartridge you choose) are highly efficient and will save money on recurring supply costs. Plus, the compact version is a bit more affordable than other laser printers, so a business can save money upfront as well. It also includes faxing, copying, and scanning capabilities, which many offices will also need.

The Brother MFC-L2710DW also supports duplex printing via the 250-sheet capacity tray, which is a handy way to save money on paper. It also includes a deep sleep mode to save on electricity when not in use. If your business is willing to give up color printing for an office alternative that can save money, it’s an excellent option to consider. However, you will need to rely solely on Brother for new toner cartridges.

Research and buying FAQ

How do I choose a printer for a small business?

Look for models that can handle a high workload over time and come with the technical features that your office needs (Wi-Fi compatibility, etc.). If speed is especially important for your business, look for a high pages-per-minute count, too. If you need color, avoid monochrome models. It’s also a good idea to seek out printers from reliable brands that come with good support and widely available ink or toner.

What is the best type of printer for a small business?

That really depends on the business. Companies that need to do a small amount of high-quality printing for limited flyer campaigns or similar projects should stick with a reliable all-purpose model like the Epson WorkForce ET-4750. Companies that print a high volume of pages but aren’t as concerned about quality should look at an affordable laser printer.

Inkjet vs. laser printers: What are the differences?

Inkjets use ink cartridges, and laser printers use toner cartridges, which are essentially made of dried-out ink powder that’s applied with heat. Generally speaking — and there are plenty of exceptions these days — laser printers are a bit faster, more affordable over the long term, and better at handling a heavy workload, while inkjet printers are smaller and better with colors.

What are the best printer brands to consider?

Brother and HP are some of the most commercial-friendly printing brands and have a variety of excellent options, especially if you are looking for a speedy laser printer. However, Canon and Epson also have high-tech, dependable, business-friendly models that may be perfect for a modern office with fewer printing needs.

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