Skip to main content

Best small business printers of 2021

Included in this guide:

A person operating a printer.
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

If you're looking for the best small business printers, then you've come to the right place. On this page we've listed the best printers currently available on the market for small businesses, including links to in-depth reviews for each product.

These are printers that are built to cope with the continued daily use that a small business demands, while also offering a cost-effective way cover your printing needs.

So, what makes the best printers for small businesses? Every business is different - you may be looking for a compact all-in-one that can handle printouts, scanning, photocopying and faxing while saving you space and money, or perhaps you're on the lookout for a dedicated printer that excels at print quality - and can handle the demands of an office. This means it will need to be able to produce printouts quickly and from a number of different sources.

The best small business printers, be they all in one (AIO) and multi function printers (MFPs) for SoHo and SMBs should also be able to scale as your business grows as well, and can keep up with the increasing demands of your office.

It should also find the right balance between affordability, features and performance without needing to drop to the best cheap printer level. You want something that doesn't cost a lot to buy or run, but you don't want it to sacrifice quality, speed and extra features either.

The best small business printers should also be economical to run – so they won't cost a lot in electricity bills or going through ink or toner cartridges – and they should also offer fast print speeds that's not at the expense of image quality.

So where do you need to start? Even the most modest office will likely be networked, and sharing a resource as useful as a printer is an essential. So you should only be looking at printers that are capable of networked use. Wired offers speed and robust function for a fixed office. Wireless is flexible, cheap to deploy but not as fast in use.

Here are the best 10 printers for small businesses - as chosen by the TechRadar Pro team - large and small, from a basic monochrome lasers suitable for a small business and a home office through to a small departmental multifunction printer.

You may also be interested in the other printer related buying we have produced:  best all-in-one printers, best A3 printers, best large format printers, best photo printers, best workgroup printers, and best home printers.

divider

(Image credit: techradar)

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

Prompt and economical laser printing

Specifications
Category: mono laser printer
Print speed: 55ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 500
Weight: 16.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Fast print speed+Low running cost
Reasons to avoid
-No inbuilt Wi-Fi-Small display

The minimal design of this mono A4 printer looks smart and feels well made, as you might expect, given the premium price tag. It lacks a flashy touchscreen, or even inbuilt Wi-Fi but it can turn out very high quality black and white prints quickly and economically. We calculated the per page cost to be as little as 0.4p per page. And with a paper tray deep enough to hold a whole ream of paper and a maximum print speed of 55ppm, this high-capacity printer is ideal for servicing a small office with high print demands.

Read the full review: Kyocera Ecosys P3155dn

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

Premium colour printing for the small office

Specifications
Category: colour laser printer
Print speed: 35ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 550
Weight: 26kg
Reasons to buy
+Vivid Pantone colours+Smartphone-style interface
Reasons to avoid
-Wi-Fi costs extra -Bulky design   

Aimed at the busy SMB, the VersaLink C400 offers features not seen on your average A4 laser printer. For instance, the interface is a smartphone-style touchscreen to which you can download apps that add functionality. It prints fairly quickly and there’s room for 550 sheets of A4 in the main paper tray. And thanks to its modular design, you can add further paper trays and a wheeled base unit. It is not particularly cheap to buy, or run, but the print quality is excellent, especially its Pantone-approved colour performance.

Read the full review: Xerox VersaLink C400DN

(Image credit: Kyocera)

Robust laser printing

Specifications
Category: Color laser printer
Print speed: 21ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 250 + 50 sheets
Weight: 21kg
Reasons to buy
+Rapid color printing+Rugged build quality
Reasons to avoid
-Small display-Small paper tray

This hefty color laser printer is Kyocera’s entry-level model aimed at the small business, though it looks and performs like a premium printer. The print rate is quick at 21ppm for both color and mono pages. It can auto duplex and Wi-Fi is built in. It also offers the connectivity needed to join a workgroup with Ethernet and USB ports at the rear. There’s a second USB port conveniently located at the front for walk-up printing from a thumb drive. Kyocera’s high yield toner cartridges will keep you printing at a reasonably competitive per page cost, while the bundled starter cartridges provide enough toner for 1,200 monochrome prints and 2,200 color.

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

Fast and affordable printing in the small office

Specifications
Category: mono laser printer
Print speed: 40ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 300
Weight: 10.7kg
Reasons to buy
+High print speed +Compact unit
Reasons to avoid
-No inbuilt Wi-Fi -Tiny display

It looks rather drab and unassuming in its battleship grey livery, but this little mono printer can really churn out the paper. The print speed is fast at 40ppm and duplex pages are not much slower. Despite the deceptively small size, you can fit 500 sheets of A4 paper inside. It is rather light on features with no Wi-Fi or a front USB port, but the quality is consistent and the per page print cost is attractive making it a good choice for the small to medium-sized business.

Read the full review: Brother HL-L5100DN 

(Image credit: Oki)

Super compact A3 with plenty of options

Specifications
Category: A3 colour laser printer
Print speed: 26ppm
Paper sizes: up to A3
Paper capacity: 300
Weight: 37kg
Reasons to buy
+Smallest A3 printer+Upgradable
Reasons to avoid
-Not the fastest

A3 printers that can meet the needs of a small to medium-sized business usually demand their own corner of the office, but not this miniaturised laser printer. And despite its impressively small footprint, its appetite for paper is considerable. You can fit 300 sheets in the main paper tray, 100 more in the multi-purpose tray and another 535 if you buy an additional tray. It’s also possible to add up to four of these and a paper roll accessory for printing long banners. This Oki isn’t the fastest laser out there, but it is the smallest A3 printer and one of the most flexible. 

Read the full review: Oki C844dnw

(Image credit: HP)

6. HP PageWide Pro 477dw

An inkjet printer that performs like a laser

Specifications
Category: 4-in-1 colour inkjet printer
Print speed: 55ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 500
Weight: 22.2kg
Reasons to buy
+Very fast print speed  +2-sided copying  
Reasons to avoid
-Noisy in operation 

HP’s PageWide technology uses inkjets, but because the print head is the full width of the paper, your documents don’t need to stop and start like a normal inkjet. Instead they glide through like more a laser. Because of this, the quoted print speed of 55 pages per minute is no exaggeration. Bing an inkjet, it can handle photo paper and deliver vibrant colour images up to A4 size. It can also copy duplex pages by scanning both sides of the paper automatically. The paper capacity is a generous 500-sheets with upgrade options available, but even without them, this fast and innovative four-in-one will suit a busy small to medium sized business.  

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

Miniature MFD suits a small office and small budget

Specifications
Category: colour laser printer
Print speed: 55ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 500
Weight: 16.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Fast print speed+Low running cost
Reasons to avoid
-No inbuilt Wi-Fi-Small display  

HP claims that this 4-in-1 colour laser printer has the smallest footprint of any in its class, so if space is an issue in your office, this could be the answer. It is also competitively priced with relatively low running costs if you switch to the high capacity toner cartridges. It has your printing, scanning, copying and faxing needs covered with Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct built in, so that you can access all of this functionality via HP’s excellent companion app on your smartphone. It prints fairly quickly (18ppm) in black and white, but note that this model is only able to print on one side of the page.

Read the full review: HP Color Laser MFP 179fnw

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

An affordable colour printer for the SMB

Specifications
Category: colour laser printer
Print speed: 20ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 250
Weight: 23.8kg
Reasons to buy
+Vivid colour pages  +Duplex and Wi-Fi 
Reasons to avoid
-Noisy and slow -Unintuitive interface

At a competitive price point, Ricoh has kitted out this colour laser printer with all of the key features, including Wi-Fi connectivity, auto duplex mode and essential security features such at PIN identification when picking up your print job. It looks a little dated with that tiny display and the print speed is somewhat slow for a laser, but the print quality is strong when it comes to both mono and colour pages.  

Read the full review: Ricoh SP C261DNw

Brother HL-L5100DN

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

Compact unit for the very busy SMB

Specifications
Category: mono laser printer
Print speed: 40ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 300
Weight: 10.7kg
Reasons to buy
+High print speed +Compact unit
Reasons to avoid
-No inbuilt Wi-Fi -Tiny display

Who says a workgroup printer has to be big and bulky? The Brother HL-L5100DN is a compact printer, but don't be put off – this little workgroup printer can handle plenty of jobs, with a high print speed and large paper capacity. It does lack some features, however, such as Wi-Fi, so you'll need to make sure you can plug it in to your wired network. But for small offices where space is a premium, this is one of the best workgroup printers you can buy – and it's pretty cheap to run as well!

Canon i-SENSYS MF742Cdw

(Image credit: Future)

Smart design and touchscreen convenience

Specifications
Category: All-in-one color laser printer
Print speed: 27ppm (mono)
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 250 + 50 sheets
Weight: 26.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Great touchscreen+Expandable design
Reasons to avoid
-Not the fastest laser-Scanner is not duplex

The crisp design of the Canon i-SENSYS MF742Cdw would not look out of place in the office or the home office and it comes with all of the features you could need for either situation. There’s duplex printing, a fifty-sheet ADF and a front USB port for walk-up printing printing from a thumb drive. The print speed and print quality are good enough for any small to medium-sized business and the running cost is competitive. You can load 250 sheets of A4 paper in the main tray and add further paper trays if required. It’s also very easy to use thanks to the excellent touchscreen interface.  


Are all-in-one printers any good?

The small business printers on this list can also cope with handling multiple tasks from multiple people throughout the day. Even the smallest of businesses will be sending documents from networked PCs all day – and if they can also offer photocopying, faxing and scanning features as well, that's even better. 

We've got some brilliant multi function printers on this list which are space and money saving devices for the smallest of offices. All-in-one printers that offer photocopying and scanning not only can save your small business money compared to buying the devices individually, having them all in one compact device will save space as well.

If you're not sure about what type of small business printer you need, head to the bottom of our guide, where we explain the best ways to find and buy the best small business printer that suits your needs.

How to buy a business printer?

Multi-function features can be found across the board and at all cost scales. Basic features start with USB Key and card readers for PC-free printing, moving to scanner and copier functions. At the higher end, automatic document feeders (ADF) can manage 50 copies in a single go and produce booklets including duplex printing, stapling and folding. Often the basic ADF features will accommodate most medium-sized offices.

In the past there has been a marked difference in Cost Per Page (CPP) between lasers and inkjets but in recent years, inkjets have managed to drop their prices to compete. Either way it's important you carefully assess the CPP of each device.

Manufacturers measure the toner or cartridge yields with an industry standard ISO rating. So you can safely assess the total price of replacing all the cartridges or toners divided by the print yield across all the potential models.

The total volume of prints you're going to make also needs to be taken into account. Devices often quote a "duty cycle" monthly maximum and recommended figures. These are the total number of prints it's designed to handle per month. If possible assess the number of prints per employee for the office and ensure the device is capable of meeting your current and future demands.

Finally in the past colour especially for laser printers has demanded a premium, that's not so much the case these days. However these models are still more expensive due to the additional materials required for the toners and printer manufacture. There's still a big enough differential that if you don't need regular colour you should opt for a mono model, perhaps using a cheaper inkjet or even out-of-house printing for occasional colour requirements.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.