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Colour or Monochrome Photocopier

The question to purchase or lease a colour photocopier or monochrome photocopier depends on your business needs, and how much print and copy volume you produce is colour or monochrome.

To choose the right photocopier for you, try and project your colour output needs over the next few years by including outsourced jobs and existing in house.

Colour photocopier considerations

Coloured photocopiers provide enhanced presentation of your documents, making it a worthwhile consideration for any business.
There are many affordable colour photocopiers available offering low pay per click costs, speed, quality and reliability that easily compete with print shop prices. Low-end technology is less expensive, but copier speeds are slower.

Generally, you can expect to pay a similar amount for colour photocopiers as black and white photocopiers with similar speed and volume ratings.

Colour photocopier consumables

You must factor the cost of supplies into the overall purchase price of your colour photocopier. These will need to be replaced at times and be more expensive than a monochrome photocopier, such as:

  • Paper. Manufacturers recommend that you use heavier and brighter paper. This will be the most significant part of your overall copying costs.
  • Toner. There are 4 colours used referred to as CMYK and each comes in a separate cartridge, so you can replace colours as they run out.
  • Developer. Most colour photocopiers require a separate developer for each toner colour.
  • Fuser oil does not need to be replaced often - one bottle will last twice as long as developer.

Generally, materials for black and white copies range from 0.3p per page. Colour copies run 3p per page.

Colour photocopier features

If you are looking to keep costs down, you can control colour privileges for users. It’s also possible to disable the colour option on some models if you don’t need it now but will in the future.
Standard features on new digital colour photocopiers include:

  • Automatic document feeders
  • Network printing
  • Colour adjustment and balancing
  • Image centering
  • Border erasing

Additional editing functions are available on some makes and models such as creating colour documents from black and white originals. Any add-ons you choose will come with a higher price tag such as colour scanning and faxing.

Monochrome photocopier considerations

  • Costs. If the colour volume your business needs to produce is small, and your costs have to be kept as low as possible - then a monochrome photocopier may be the best solution for you. Colour is cheaper than it was, but it isn’t free. However, retiring printers or migrating printer colour output to a larger multi-functional photocopier may be a better solution here.
  • Features and futures. Many black and white photocopiers today include advanced editing options. Add-ons can also be purchased that combine the functions of copiers, network printers, scanners, and fax machines. These enable you to update your photocopier at a later time. Remember to ask about the specifics of the upgrade process to ensure you get what you need.
  • Complementing your monochrome. If you rarely need to use colour, then perhaps an inexpensive inkjet colour printer with scanning capabilities that complements your monochrome photocopier would better support your business needs. If it is overused, the speed, reliability and cost of consumables for this type of inkjet may be an issue.

Hybrid photocopiers

Black and white/colour hybrid photocopiers are also available for businesses that need some colour copying or printing. It’s easy to switch between modes and save money on expensive consumables.