Brother (or other) B&W Laser Printer that has Legal and Letter Trays

I’m looking for a new B&W Laser Printer that can do legal-size printing as well as letter-size. I don’t mind swapping trays, as I won’t be printing legal-size often but I would like the option.

Anyone have one they like?

Is a bypass “tray” not sufficient for what you need?

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Indeed use the bypass tray for all non-standard paper sizes, envelopes and labels. Standard laser printers should be able to deal with legal size paper

Fun fact - many of them can even do things as small as 4x6 postcards. There’s a minimum length based on distance between feed rollers, and a maximum width - but as long as that’s covered, the paper will work. :slight_smile:

Are you suggesting a simple, easy, free, workable solution to a tech problem instead of something that I could spend a significant amount of money on?

I mean… I guess I could do something like that.

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Yeah, I know it’s not as fun as buying new toys. :smiley:

All kidding aside, if you’re already buying a new printer it never hurts to check into that type of stuff. Personally, for laser printers I’m using a color Canon that I almost always print black & white. That way the extra features are there if I want them, but I’m not paying for color toner if I don’t need it.

Yeah, I’m looking to hand-down my current printer to my mom who needs a good B&W printer anyway.

I have the Brother HL-L2350DW, which is the budget pick on the wirecutter. Looks like prices have jumped. I bought it for around $80

I’m a fan of buying something interesting to solve this problem, but prices for dual tray lasers are too high right now, if they’re available. Buy HP because automatic tray switching based on document size isn’t reliable for Brother dual trays on macOS, or at least wasn’t. Phaser is best but even more expensive and it sounds like your volume isn’t high.

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Camel³ says that it was $83 in 2018 and the average since Feb 07, 2018 is $217.53.

Well, crap. I have a legal tray coming for my current printer. It arrives Friday. I guess I’ll need to test that it actually works before deciding to keep it.

Unless it’s actually improved. :crossed_fingers:

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I have never used dual tray Brother printers. But for the HP printers I’ve used, the way it works is that you go into the printer settings and tell the printer what size you have in each tray (as a one-time setup). Then, every time the printer receives a print job, it looks at the size of the document to be printed and matches that with the size configured for the trays and picks the tray that matches. If there is no match, then you need to manually select the tray, which can be a pain, depending on which printer model you have.

So long as you always use standard sizes, never change the size in a given tray, and have the sizes you need, it works great. I have gotten into problems when trying to use some non-standard size which was not supported by the printer. Yes, there was a way to create a custom size in the settings, but it never properly matched up the print job with that size and I had to manually force the print by pushing a series of physical buttons on the printer for every single page. Eventually I figured out a way to trick it into printing without my interaction, but then that broke after an update. Thankfully, I no longer use that non-standard size. Fortunately, you appear to only be interested in standard sizes, so that shouldn’t be an issue for you.

By the way, something I learned while researching how to work around the problems I was having is that laser printers care about the weight/thickness of the paper you are using. If the printer knows you are using a heaver paper (like bond paper) or multiple layers (an envelope) it will adjust by slowing the print down so that the paper spends enough time getting sufficiently heated to properly bond the toner to the paper. Otherwise, the toner will more easily flake off. Therefore, you should always include what type of paper is being printed on in any print job. The better printers will provide that option in their configuration settings in addition to the paper size. Therefore, you could have two trays with the same size, but different weight paper. Then in your word processor, in the document settings you include what weight paper the document is expected to be printed on (or if it is an envelope, etc) and the word processor will include that info in the print job sent to the printer. The printer can then use this info to both match up the tray and adjust the print speed. Unfortunately, not all word processors offer this as an option. Personally, I have only ever used MS Word and HP printers where this mattered (in the office), so I can’t speak to any other software or hardware.

In fact, paper weight was what I used to trick my printer. I set MS Word to believe that my non-standard size document would be printed on bond paper and configured the printer tray to match that paper weight (I was printing to a non-standard envelope size so this actually improved the print quality). I left the paper size as letter and just adjusted the margins in Word to print only where the paper was. However, after a software update, the printer noticed that the actual paper size didn’t match the configured size and protested with every print. I had to push a series of buttons to tell it to “use tray 2 and yes, I know it doesn’t match the configured size, but print anyway.” And then after the print finished, it protested again that the paper was to small to complete the print and would insist on printing again, but only after I confirmed that I had changed the paper in the tray or selected a different tray (with more button pushes). I would just cancel the print at that point (with another button push). Fortunately, my printer was in easy reach, but it got old real fast. I have recently switched to using a label printer and no longer need to pass the non-standard size envelopes through my printer.

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Stupid question: why do you have 2 paper sizes? Is one for more “formal” stuff?

I’ve seen the same thing happen. I bought a Brother DCPL2550DW for my wife in November 2019 for $100 (from Amazon). It’s now $215. Like most things “business” the discounts went away and prices went up when everybody started working from home.

Not stupid at all, really. Right now it’s experimentation.

Weekly calendars.

Sunday’s readings — easier to read off one long page rather than two.

Mind maps.

Poster-sized PDFs.

Who knows what else I might think of once I am no longer constrained by 8.5x11-inches?