Laser Printer Recommendation

I am trying to buy a Laser color printer. I don’t need a multifunction device.

I have had HP in the past. In my experience they get flaky as they get older.

Any recommendations?

I’m interested too as our old Xerox is starting to have issues. I wouldn’t mind an AOI but isn’t a hard requirement.

My experience differs from yours, in that I’ve typically found HP to be pretty reliable. My current one is a Canon multifunction, and it’s going strong after a few years. The printers I’ve always had bad luck with were the Brother ones.

But again, that’s all personal experience. :slight_smile:

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Personal experience: I have had the opposite with Brother printers. I have found them to be very reliably and mine have generally lasted >10 years. I had one that died only a few months after purchase, and Brother replaced it for me. Most recently I bought a wireless duplex printer for less than $100 (on sale) and so far I am quite happy with it. I have found the Brother printers to work well to date with MacOS (not yet tested with Big Sur).

Obviously, experiences will vary. In the past I was a big fan of HP printers. I remember when the LaserJet III would never die; I bought two used for my office and we finally gave them away, still working, when new software required us to buy updated printers (which of course have needed replacement as they don’t last like the old ones did).

I also have a Canon color laser which I am quite happy with as well, but I have only had it for about 6 months so I cannot comment on longevity.


Ask yourself, if you really, absolutely need a colour printer.

Many people initially think they do, cause they’ve always had one - but are hard-pressed to come up with convincing reasons, once you question them about it. For personal use I can’t really imagine one would need one. And photos often don’t look that great on printers anyway, compared to a professional printing service.

Monolasers are cheaper, less expensive (not having to print the yellow government tracing dot patters), more reliable, smaller, more lightweight.

While I can’t say the same for their inkjets, their laser printers have proven very reliable to me, especially the monolasers. Bit on the noisier side in comparison to others - though in the other hand driver installation and OS support has been comparatively “sane” with Brother printers.


I have had an color laser, HP CP2020dn, for probably 10 years. I bought it for business – I would not have bought if for purely personal use. It has been extraordinarily reliable – no failures for any reason even though it has been used daily for 10 years.

Be prepared for the cost however. A full set of toner (4 cartridges) runs $300+. Burn rate depends on number of pages and content. I always keep a spare set in inventory.

(My model is no longer in production.)

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I don’t wish to hijack this thread, but I’m curious how much home printing is done these days. I have a Brother wireless printer but I can’t recall the last time I printed more than 50 or so pages a year. And most of those were a hard copy of my tax return.

I have a kid at home and with online school, printer activity is exponentiallly increased from few pages a year to more than 50 a month.

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‘Nuff said, college was in my rear view mirror when the Apple II was introduced.

  • Out of touch Boomer, signing off :blush:
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Well my home is my office and I usually go through about a ream of paper a month.

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Brother 3170 model line has been very reliable for me. There are also dependable non-Brother refills available on Amazon.

Work I understand. We had 6 Xerox workgroup printers in our front office that collectively printed 1 million+ pages a year.

I couldn’t get anyone else to read “Paperless”. :smile:

With all respect – “paperless” paperless is a myth. There’s always a need to have and store documents. That “we have computers and do not need paper anymore” idea was an 80’s fantasy. I suppose there’s a lot less printing than there otherwise would have been - but computers didn’t get rid of the need. Rather, the number documents exploded by orders of magnitude.

For the most part, that’s true. I have read of small businesses that don’t own printers, and many individuals, like me, can easily do without one.

My bills are delivered digitally and I pay them online. I’ve been doing my taxes on a computer since the 80’s when we printed the forms on dot matrix printers. And I’ve been filing them online since I was a beta tester. These days I can even get documents notarized online.

OTOH, I read this a while back.

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With kids, we use about a ream a month. About half is printed, the rest mysteriously disappears. :slight_smile: I’ll print out a difficult article or paper periodically and need physical paper for business maybe every other year.

We’ve had great luck with b&w duplex Brother lasers.

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Second that. The last 2 decades, I only have a BW laser for the occasional document/label/whatever. I try to be “paperless”, so I don’t print out that much. BW: only one toner cartridge. And it lasts…forever.

What I look for in a printer:

  • Ethernet (stands next to the switch, so no need for WLAN): I’d never buy a printer that is not network capable
  • PostScript or PCL (will always work, no driver issues)
  • Third-party (cheap) cartridges

Right now I have a Samsung M262x, which has been my home printer for ~10 years and still is going strong.

Brother, Kyocera,…all of them make great BW lasers.

As for color:

  • For documents I never miss it
  • If I really, really need a document with/in color, I can always print at the office (or some print shop)
  • For proper photo printing, a laser doesn’t do the job, that’s why I have a dedicated printer for photos (useless and too expensive for documents)
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Even if you don’t have access to a color printer at work, you’ll probably still come out ahead printing color at a print shop (FedEx, Office Max, local pack n’ ship, public library, etc.) You handle it online and either pick it up or get it shipped to you. I think we spend $5-10 per year doing that. And as mentioned above you get the benefits of your job being run on a professional, calibrated machine.

I could see having a dedicated photo printer, though. We order prints online but that sounds very nice to have on a cozy bookmaking day…

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Just adding to the above that some print shops even have software integration stuff that make it easier for you to send them documents. We used to have a local shop that had some sort of app for uploading the documents. If you can send them the documents that need color, black and white may be a viable option.

Black & white lasers are cheaper to run overall, and have many, many less pieces / parts that could have problems.

The only reason I have a color one was because I got an absolutely killer “end of the model line” deal on one with a multi-year manufacturer’s warranty and a full set of cartridges. :slight_smile:

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Well, recently I’ve been printing my grocery list every 2 weeks (paper doesn’t require FaceID to unlock).

Pre-pandemic, I probably printed 2-3 things a month, including an envelope to send in my rent check.

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I use Buy me a Pie for a grocery list. It has a watch app so I use that while in the store. No Faceid required.

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