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Best printers for small business 2022: Quality, reliable and easy-to-use printers for your business

Your small business needs a quality printer that won’t let you down - these are the best business printers around

A photograph of the Canon Pixma TS8350, overlaid with the IT Pro Recommended Award logo

Looking for the best printer for your small-to-medium-sized business? Look no further. We’ve rounded up the best small business printers from our selection of reviews, with prices ranging from a couple of hundred pounds all the way to breaking the four-figure mark.

Each product in our list links to a full review so you can learn more about each printer’s pros and cons in more detail, but we’ll provide the top-line information below so you can buy with confidence. When it comes to the best small business printers, we’re especially interested in things like resolution, speed and tray capacity, and you’ll find all of those highlighted in the table at the end.

What to look for in a small business printer 

When it comes to printing, the needs of a small business will be different to those of a home user - even one that’s using it for work purposes. For starters, small businesses will need a printer that can service multiple users, which means network connectivity is a key feature. Support for cloud printing will also be handy.

Similarly, running costs are more important than they would be for individuals, as small business printers will see greater print volumes over a longer period of time. For this reason, it’s worth considering either a tank-based inkjet or a laser printer, both of which can offer exceedingly good value for money in terms of consumables over their lifespan.

Serviceability may also be worth considering, depending on the structure of your internal IT operations. Organisations with a robust IT department will likely want something that can be centrally managed and monitored, as well as something that permits easy servicing and repair, whereas organisations that rely more on MSPs and third-party technicians may not need this as much.

Finally, if your print needs are going to include customer-facing marketing and promotional materials, you may want to invest in a more capable machine that can also handle tasks like larger A3 documents and good-quality photo printing. This will allow you to quickly generate impressive-looking marketing documents without needing to outsource the task to a third-party printing company.

FAQ

Do I need a colour printer for my small business?

It may seem like getting a colour printer for your business is a no-brainer - after all, a colour printer can handle black and white documents while still giving you the option of colour prints when you need them - but there are actually some good reasons to deliberately choose a mono machine. For starters, you tend to get better quality for your money, as there’s a dedicated focus on one thing; this usually means higher quality and faster print speeds than you’d get with mono prints on an equivalently-priced colour machine, and it can also mean more features like duplexing and ADF that you may not get at a similar price point.

It also means better value on consumables, as most colour printers will still use a certain amount of their coloured consumables even when printing in grayscale, meaning you’ll need to order replacements more regularly. While having the capability to print colour documents is useful for a business, if most of your documents are intended for internal use, consider using mono printers for most of your fleet with one or two colour machines as backup.

How many printers does my small business need?

Digital documents may rule the roost these days, but paper still has a place even in a modern office. Some people simply prefer working with hard-copy documents, but there are also instances where you may need to physically sign and send off a form, or attach a tracking slip to a package. Every workplace should have at least one printer just in case of emergencies, but depending on the size of your organisation, you may need more than one.

How many you’ll need depends on a number of factors, of course, including the number of employees you have and how often they need to print, but you should also think about the physical space they’ll be occupying. If your office includes multiple floors, you may want to have a printer on each one, to minimise the time employees spend travelling to and fro.

Should I buy a laser printer for my small business?

Historically, laser printers have been the go-to machines for businesses wanting a sturdy and reliable option, thanks to lower running costs, faster speeds and excellent performance with mono documents. Lasers are no longer the unseatable emperors of business printing, thanks to the increasing sophistication of mid-range inkjet devices, but a laser printer may still be the best option for your small business.

Lasers are usually designed for high-volume document printing, so if you’re likely to be processing stacks of reports on a regular basis, this will be a faster option, and they’re often better value for money when it comes to consumables, too. Less moving parts can also mean better reliability, although this isn’t a given. The downside is that lasers are generally (although not always) larger, more expensive and less feature-packed than their inkjet cousins, and aren’t as versatile for things like photo or graphics jobs.

The best printers for small business 

Canon Pixma TS8350

Best small business printer for photos and graphics

A photograph of the Canon Pixma TS8350

If money is tight, then look no further than the Canon Pixma TS8350 which comes in at under £150 after tax, despite supporting a range of exotic media types and a strong focus on delivering bold photo prints. 

And for the low cost of entry, you simply can’t go wrong. Yes, the build quality is a touch flimsy in places, but it offers superb print quality and can output up to 13 pages per minute in black and white, or four if you need a colour print. While there’s no automatic sheet feeder, if you just need light printing duties, then this should be near the top of your list.

Technology

Inkjet MFP

Maximum print resolution

4,800 x 1,200dpi

Maximum paper size

A4

Input tray

100-page input tray, 100-page rear feed

Speed

13ppm mono/ 4ppm colour

Price when reviewed: £100 exc. VAT

Read our full Canon Pixma TS8350 review for more information.

Epson EcoTank ET-5880

Best small business printer for low running costs

A photograph of the Epson EcoTank ET-5880

At the other end of the spectrum is the Epson EcoTank ET-5880, with a cost that creeps just into four figures. However, if you print a lot, then it will pay for itself eventually: the EcoTank part of the name refers to its ink reservoirs, which you refill simply via bottles with no cartridges required. It’s easy to do, with no scope for spills, and means that it’ll cost you just 0.2p per mono page, or 0.8p for colour.

It also offers plenty of flexibility with copy, scan and fax functionality alongside the standard printing. Its networking capabilities are top notch, with the ability to remotely print documents, and you can even protect top-secret files by requiring the entry of a four-digit PIN on the printer before the page is released. With a top speed of 25 pages per minute, it’s not the fastest, but its low running costs and plethora of features make this an easy recommendation.

Technology

Inkjet MFP

Maximum print resolution

4,800 x 1,200dpi

Maximum paper size

A4

Input tray

2 x 250-page input trays, 50-page rear feeder, 50-page DADF

Speed

25ppm mono/colour

Price when reviewed: £1,076 exc. VAT
Read our full Epson EcoTank ET-5880 review for more information.

Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw

Best small business printer for fast performance

A photograph of the Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw

The Canon i-Sensys MF744Cdw is a good choice for a busy office where speed and print quality are of paramount importance. Both colour and mono prints are of outstanding quality, and it can churn out 27 in a minute (or 21 for colour).

While its cloud options aren’t the greatest, it makes up for that with its extensive local connectivity options, with USB 2, Gigabit Ethernet, NFC and 802.11n wireless all built in. Even more pleasingly, a number of free apps are pre-installed and accessible via the 12.7cm touchscreen, letting you do everything from reprinting common templates to instantly sending scans straight to a fax destination at the touch of a button.    

Technology

Colour laser MFP

Maximum print resolution

600dpi

Maximum paper size

A4

Input tray

250-page input tray, 50-page MPT, 50-page DADF

Speed

27ppm mono/colour

Price when reviewed: £335 exc. VAT

Read our full Canon i-Sensys MG744Cdw review for more information.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5210

Best small business inkjet for value

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5210DW side angle

If you’re looking for a combination of small initial outlay and low running costs, then look no further than the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5210. Available for just £142 before tax, Epson’s own XL 5,000-page cartridges mean you’re looking at costs of just 1.3p per mono sheet, or 5.7p for colour.

It’ll hold 250 sheets out of the box, plus another 80 in the rear holder, but if that’s not enough you can buy a 500-sheet cassette for an additional £130. Wireless connectivity has all the standards you’d expect, and the print quality is excellent. It’s not the fastest at 24ppm (dropping to 6ppm at high quality) and it’s lacking a touchscreen, but it’s hard to go wrong at this competitive price.

Technology

Inkjet

Maximum print resolution

4,800 x 1,200dpi

Maximum paper size

A4

Input tray

250-sheet drawer, 80-sheet MPT

Speed

24ppm mono/colour

Price when reviewed: £142 exc. VAT

Read our full Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5210 review for more information.

Canon iSensys LBP664Cx

Best small business printer for security

The Canon i-Sensys LBP664Cx in front of a white background

The Canon iSensys LBP664Cx offers a lot of bang for your buck. Priced at a very reasonable £253, it nonetheless offers speedy 27ppm print rates for both colour and mono, and a solid range of security features that set limits for specific departments should you wish. 

It can be expanded with extra apps, and the 12.7cm colour touchscreen makes it nice and easy to use. The only blot on the printer’s copybook is its limited cloud support, with only Google Cloud Print natively supported. But if that’s not a problem, then this is an excellent printer for the price.  

Technology

Laser

Maximum print resolution

600dpi

Maximum paper size

A4

Input tray

250-sheet paper tray, 50-sheet MPT

Speed

27ppm mono/colour

Price when reviewed: £253 exc. VAT

Read our full Canon i-Sensys LBP664Cx review for more information.

Brother HL-J6100DW

Best small business printer for A3 documents

The Brother HL-J6100DW against a white background

If you need A3 prints on a budget, then the Brother HL-J6100DW is for you. It can print A4 just as happily, of course, but if you need A3, it’s rare to find a quality printer this cheap.

And it really is very good indeed. In our tests, we found it was capable of printing 20/22 colour/mono pages per minute as advertised (though this drops to 2.5ppm if you need high quality, double sided documents) and high-yield ink cartridges keep the ongoing costs down to 0.9p per mono sheet and 4p for colour. Connectivity is exceptional too, with support for USB, ethernet, NFC, 802.11n wireless and a number of cloud storage providers. 

Technology

Inkjet

Maximum print resolution

4,800 x 1,200dpi

Maximum paper size

A3

Input tray

3 x 250-sheet A3 trays

Speed

20/22ppm A4 colour/mono

Price when reviewed: £322 exc. VAT

Read our full Brother HL-J6100DW review for more information.

Kyocera Ecosys M5526cdw

Best small business printer for busy offices

The Kyocera Ecosys M5526cdw printer

The Kyocera Ecosys M5526cdw is a good, cost-effective choice, provided you aren’t constantly scanning and have plenty of room. We had issues with scanning in our tests, and, at 26kg, the printer is not exactly what you’d call lightweight.

But it does print quickly and efficiently with pleasingly low running costs. We hit 23.1ppm in our black and white print test, and this only dropped to 18.5ppm for more complex colour pages. Toner replacements promise 4,000 black pages, or 3,000 for each of cyan, magenta and yellow, meaning the price is just 1.3p per page of the former, or 8.9p for the latter.

Technology

Laser

Maximum print resolution

1,200dpi

Maximum paper size

A4

Input tray

250-sheet input tray, 50-sheet multipurpose tray

Speed

23.1ppm/18.5ppm (colour/mono)

Price when reviewed: £335 exc. VAT

Read our full Kyocera Ecosys M5526cdw review for more information.

Brother MFC-J1300DW All in Box 

Best small business printer for instant setup

A photograph of the Brother MFC-J1300DW All in Box

The Brother MFC-J1300DW’s £241 price is slightly below average for this list, but it’s actually even better value than it sounds. That’s because it comes with enough ink to last 7,200 colour prints, and when that supply is eventually exhausted, XL cartridges are available to bring the costs down to about 2.3p per colour page which is superb value.

It’s far from the fastest listed here, however, delivering 12 mono pages per minute or just 5.2 complex colour prints, and the quality of each is merely so-so. Still, if you’re on a budget or don’t print all that often, then the Brother MFC-J1300DW is a printer that’ll run and run.

Technology

Piezo inkjet

Maximum print resolution

1,200 x 2,400dpi

Maximum paper size

A4

Input tray

150-sheet input tray

Speed

12/5.2ppm (mono/colour)

Price when reviewed: £241 exc. VAT

Read our full Brother MFC-J1300DW All in Box review for more information.

Brother X-Series MFC-J6947DW

Best small business printer for extra features

The Brother X-Series MFC-J6947DW printer

At £512, the Brother X-Series MFC-J6947DW certainly isn’t the cheapest, but it offers a whole lot of bang for your buck. Not only is it capable of printing A3 sheets with three 250-page trays, but it has a duplex automatic document feeder, integrated fax and extremely low running costs. The cartridges it comes with are full to the brim, and the high-yield replacements give you costs as low as 0.8p per mono page and 3.5p for colour.

Quality is excellent, but it’s not the fastest. While with normal settings it does deliver the promised 22 mono pages per minute (colour was closer to 17), if you up the quality to fine or best, it plummets to 5ppm and 2.3ppm respectively. But if speed isn’t the be all and end all, you'll be delighted with both its extensive connectivity and excellent additional security features.

Technology

Inkjet MFP

Maximum print resolution

4,800 x 1,200dpi

Maximum paper size

A3

Input tray

3 x 250-page input trays, 100-page MPT, 50-page A4/A3 DADF

Speed

22/20ppm mono/colour

Price when reviewed: £512 exc. VAT

Read our full Brother X-Series MFC-J6947DW review for more information.

How we test small business printers

Like any hardware that we review, printers are put through a number of standardised tests to ensure comparable results across different products. We test black and white print speeds by running a 25-page document through the unit, timing how quickly it produces the first page after hitting print, and how long it takes to deliver the full job. These tests are also repeated at draft quality for inkjets.

For colour machines, we’ll also repeat these tests with 24 sheets of magazine pages, web pages and presentation slides, running the first ten pages again to test duplex printing where available. To test image quality, we look for any evidence of colour banding or fuzzy text in a series of colour photos, greyscale images and mono text documents.

Where printers also include the ability to scan documents, we’ll also test the quality by looking at the results from scanning an office document, a colour photo and a colour input target chart. To test the speed of its scanning operations, we’ll time a single photocopy, the speed with which it produces preview images and how quickly it delivers scans at varying resolutions.

For models with an ADF as well, we’ll copy a ten-page document in both mono and colour (if possible) to test its speeds, and if both printer and ADF functions are duplex-enabled, we’ll time how long it takes to process a ten-page double-sided document batch.

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