How Do I Choose the Best Home Office Copier?

Dan Cavallari

A home office copier will allow a user to make copies of documents or print off new documents from a computer. Before you choose the best home office copier for you, you will need to make a few decisions about your budget and your needs for the copier. Some machines, for example, are very basic and feature only copying capabilities; others feature copying capabilities as well as printing and scanning. The size of the machine can vary significantly as well, so it helps to take careful measurements of the space in which you will place the copier.

Home office copiers use a standard size of paper.
Home office copiers use a standard size of paper.

One of the most important specifications you will need to take note of is the pages per minute (PPM) measurement, which will give you an idea of how fast the home office copier will be able to make copies. A higher PPM copier is likely to be more expensive, but if you will be making a significant amount of copies regularly, you may want to consider investing in such a machine. Most people who will be using a home office copier will only use the machine occasionally, or for light-duty jobs, in which a lower PPM is sufficient. Determine how you will use the home office copier on a regular basis to figure out how many pages you are likely to print at once.

There are a variety of copiers on the market designed specifically for the home office.
There are a variety of copiers on the market designed specifically for the home office.

Sometimes it is necessary to copy pieces of paper of various sizes. Make sure the home office copier you choose can accommodate the paper sizes you are likely to copy. If you will be copying legal size documents, for example, the copying table will need to be large enough to accommodate these long pieces of paper. Some machines feature a manual feed function, which means you will need to feed in the copy paper as the machine does the copying, while others feature an automatic feed. The automatic feed features a tray in which the paper can be stacked so you do not have to attend to the machine as it copies.

Think about whether you will need collating or stapling functions included with the home office copier. Collating is the process of organizing the printed documents according to the order in which they were copied. This allows you to print several copies of a multi-document bundle without having to organize the individual pieces of paper yourself. Many copiers also feature stapling functions so you do not have to manually staple documents together. These features will add cost to the machine, but again, if you will be doing these jobs often, the investment may be worthwhile.

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