The range of options is vast when it comes to choosing a photocopier for your office. For starters, there is an extremely large number of actual photocopiers on the market to choose from, all of which have different speeds, functions and prices. Then there is the manner in which you purchase it; either buying it outright, leasing or renting. And finally, you will need to consider the maintenance and service arrangements to deal with the inevitable hiccups that will occur during its operational life. This guide aims to discuss some of these options and help you make the right decision when choosing your photocopier.
Your photocopier requirements
Assessing your needs is the key to choosing the right photocopier, as the volume and type of copies you need to make will ultimately determine the machine best suited to your office. Thinking about the following points should help start that process: How many copies will you need to make on a monthly basis? Will you need both colour and black & white copies? What size copies will you need to make and on what sort of paper would you like them? Will you need additional functions such as image editing or double-sided printing? Will you expect your photocopier to also act as a scanner or fax machine?
This term can be misleading, as although desktop photocopiers are smaller than their floor standing counterparts, they will normally take up the best part of an average desk. For small to medium sized businesses with a limited number of users, these can be a very reasonable option. Although their tray capacity, print speed, and sorting options are often more limited than that of floor-standing photocopiers, at the top end of the market desktop photocopiers offer just as many image editing features as their larger counterparts.
Most medium to large offices or those with a high demand for print services will find that a floor-standing photocopier is best suited to their needs. As the name suggests, these are larger, stand-alone machines which, due to their size, generally have much larger tray capacities and can print on larger paper formats.
Floor-standing copier rental typically has printing speeds of 20-105CPM and a maximum print volume of 1,000,000 copies per month. At the very highest end of the market are giant printing hubs capable of 110CPM+, but generally, these are used by professional printing companies rather than in offices where printing and copying is not the first and foremost task of the day. Most copiers also feature an ADF (Automatic Document Feeder). This means that the machine can make multiple copies of multiple different originals, so there is no need to actually stand next to the copier and replace the document being scanned. Floor-standing copiers are also often known as MFDs or multi-function devices. This is because they also incorporate a scanner, a fax machine or a printer (or all of the above). Often these features are accompanied by OCR (optical character recognition) software, which can recognize text and convert paper documents into an electronic format for editing. Obviously the more features you want in your machine, the more you will have to pay (see Pricing). Copier rental can also offer a number of print sorting options that are unavailable with smaller models, including hole punching, stapling, booklet making, laminating and comb binding.