Best Black and White Printers in 2023

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Updated March 3, 2023

What are the features that make for a high-quality black and white printer? First and foremost, you should expect your monochrome printer to be the best when it comes to printing black ink. Your prints should be crisp and clear with a solid black color that doesn’t look faded.

The best black and white printers for home use also offer a fast printing speed. Since you’re not using color ink, your printer can focus on a single task, which usually results in faster printing overall. Depending on the type of monochrome printer you purchase, you will likely still maintain a high level of print quality with speed, as well.

Finally, top-rated printers like black and white printers still offer multifunction capabilities. If you purchase an all-in-one black and white printer, then you’ll be able to send faxes, scan documents, and store higher amounts of paper and ink. You may even get advanced connectivity options like wireless and Wi-Fi Direct.

Keep reading to learn more about the best black-and-white printers for any application, whether at home or at the office.

Top Black and White Printers

 #1   Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: This printer comes with a fantastic auto document feeder that helps to handle high-volume workloads without missing a beat. It also supports a wide variety of paper sizes right out of the box without modifications.

  • Extremely fast printing speeds
  • Exceptional ADF for high-volume printing workloads
  • Has support for up to 2400 x 600 DPI resolution
  • No wireless connectivity or WiFi, can’t connect to smartphones/tablets over the internet
  • Does not come with any included USB cable

The Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer is a high-speed, high-volume printer with many printing functionalities to get the job done as fast as possible. However, that does not mean that it lacks in the print quality department. It can go as high as 2400 x 600 Dots Per Inch in terms of its printing resolution and handles text very well. However, it does not have any form of wireless connectivity.

It produces those sharp results extremely fast, as it can print out 26 A4 sheets full of text within one minute. And best of all, it has auto-duplexing for printing both sides of a paper without any hassle. And it does not slow down by a considerable margin even there, as it can easily print out up to 13 A4 sheets full of text within the same one minute in the auto duplex printing mode.

 #2   Pantum P2502W Wireless Laser Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: We love this printer’s WiFi connectivity, as it is fairly necessary for printing out forms and essential documents directly from your phone or tablet. And we also love the fact that it comes with an included cartridge starting kit.

  • Excellent WiFi and USB 2.0-based connectivity
  • Superb 23 PPM (Pages Per Minute) printing speeds
  • It comes with a cartridge starter kit that can handle up to 700 pages
  • Low paper input capacity
  • Limited functionality
  • No auto document feeder

The Pantum P2502W Wireless Laser Printer is a reliable black-and-white printer that features a reasonably fast printing speed. Unlike many of its competitors, it features a built-in WiFi chip that is capable of directly connecting to a multitude of wireless devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops, WiFi-enabled DSLR cameras, etc.) for hands-free printing. But, its lack of an auto document feeder hurts this printer’s performance badly when it comes to high-volume printing.

This printer is capable of printing out up to 22 pages per minute when you feed it A4-sized sheets. However, when it comes to printing letters, it does an even faster job by achieving speeds of up to 23 pages per minute on a continuous basis. Best of all, it comes with an included ink cartridge set (starter kit) that can handle up to 700 pages on its own before the user needs to put in their own ink.

 #3   Canon ImageCLASS LBP6030w Monochrome Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a long-range WiFi chip built-in for hands-free printing. And thanks to its auto document feeder, this printer can print out up to 19 pages per minute without slowing down. It is also more power-efficient than its competitors.

  • Superb long-range WiFi connectivity
  • Exceptionally portable design
  • Fairly fast printing speeds, 19 pages per minute
  • Low paper-holding capability
  • Does not perform well during high-volume printing work
  • Somewhat hard to set up

Even though the Canon ImageCLASS LBP6030w Monochrome Printer is mainly a laser printer, it is extremely power efficient. It consumes below two watts in the energy saver mode. It also has a reasonably compact body, which is fantastic for carrying it everywhere as a portable printer. However, as a direct consequence of the small body, it does not handle high-volume printing workloads well enough despite having ADF.

This printer also has a long-range WiFi chip built-in, and once you get it all set up along with your home network, you can easily connect it with any smartphone or tablet and Canon cameras. It is exceptionally efficient in terms of ink usage as well, as it is capable of printing out up to 1600 pages per Canon 125 cartridge. Its printing speed is no slouch either, as it can print out up to 19 pages per minute.

 #4   HP LaserJet Enterprise M406dn Monochrome Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: This printer can print out up to 42 pages per minute, which is fantastic for high-volume printing projects. It also supports almost all paper sizes, from 3 x 5 to 8.5 x 14 inches.

  • The excellent printing speed of up to 42 pages per minute
  • 350-sheet input tray
  • 2.7″ color graphics display
  • Does not have an auto document feeder
  • Expensive replacement toners and cartridges

At about 42 PPM, the HP LaserJet Pro M406dn Printer is one of the fastest printers you can get your hands on. This model handles high-volume printing workloads exceptionally well with its 350-sheet top-feeding paper tray. And best of all, it completes almost every job reliably fast without any hitches.

Despite not featuring WiFi, it does take a LAN-based wired ethernet connection. And as long as your smartphone, tablet, or laptop is connected to the same home network (WiFi router), you can easily control this printer wirelessly. In addition, although it is a laser printer, it is also very power efficient. And it also does not consume a ton of ink from its toner cartridges, unlike many of its competitors’ models.

 #5   Xerox B205NI Monochrome Multifunction Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a 40-sheet auto document feeder, which is superb for handling extremely high-volume printing work. Its top paper tray can also hold up to 250 sheets for fast-tracking the process. It also protects sensitive data through security measures.

  • 40-sheet auto document feeder
  • 250 sheet top paper tray
  • Mac address filtering and IPV6/IPsec filtering for secure print and secure fax receive
  • The copying functionality does not work well
  • Complicated user interface
  • Guzzles a ton of ink

While the Xerox B205NI Monochrome Multifunction Printer might be a laser printer, it does not consume a lot of electricity. It has built-in auto duplexing functions for seamlessly printing both sides of a paper, which also saves costs in the process. And it has wireless connectivity for hands-free printing using smartphones and other smart devices. This printer is very lightweight as well for easy carrying. But its copying function does not work very well.

It can print out each page fully within 8.5 seconds, which equates to about 30 black and white A4 prints per minute. However, it can go at an even faster rate of 31 pages per minute when it comes to letter-sized sheets. Moreover, it has security measures like Mac address filtering and IPV6/IPsec filtering for protecting your important documents, and it automatically activates these features while uploading. It also has a built-in scanner.

 #6   Lexmark B2236dw Monochrome Compact Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: This printer is highly efficient both in terms of ink usage and electricity consumption. It reliably prints up to 2500 pages per month without facing any issues.

  • Excellent built-in 1 GHz processor and 256 MB RAM for editing content beforehand
  • Superb WiFi and ethernet based connectivity
  • Amazing printing speeds of up to 36 PPM
  • It does not handle high-volume printing workloads well due to its low paper capacity

The Xerox B205NI Monochrome Multifunction Printer is an exceptionally efficient laser printer with high printing speeds. It can print out up to 36 pages per minute reliably and can handle up to 2500 pages per month without facing any hurdles. However, it does not do well during continuous high-volume printing workloads.

It has a built-in 1 GHz SoC and 256 MB RAM, which is highly beneficial for editing content directly from the printer before printing. In addition to that, it easily connects to smartphones and other smart devices with WiFi for hands-free printing, and it even supports AI voice assistant-based printing.

Beginner’s Guide to Black and White Printers

What Are Black and White Printers?

Black and white printers are the same as traditional office printers, with one exception. They don’t print in color. Unlike great teacher printers, monochrome printers come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll even find some listed under the best laser printers, but they all still offer the same core functionality as a run-of-the-mill office printer.

These types of printers also offer a wide variety of functionality, depending on the model you purchase. You’ll be able to purchase all-in-one black and white printers that give you scanning and faxing options. You’ll also be able to purchase options that are good for photo printing, as long as you’re fine with black and white pictures.

Black and White Printers vs. Traditional Printers

Monochrome printers and traditional office printers offer the same core functionality. Ultimately, the reason for purchasing any kind of printer is to print black and white documents and photos onto paper. In this regard, black and white printers don’t differ much at all from traditional printers.

However, looking at the two categories from a bird’s eye view, you start to see more noticeable differences. For example, the best monochrome printers are most often laser printers instead of inkjet printers. This is simply because the best black and white laser printer can generally print faster and sharper than a black-and-white inkjet printer.

Many black and white printers are also larger than traditional printers, allowing them to print faster, store more paper, and store more ink. This is why you’ll often find black-and-white printers in commercial settings. However, consider the top-performing Bluetooth printer if you need to print in color.

Of course, there’s also the question of the overall cost of operation. The best black-white printer will almost always win against traditional office printers when it comes to affordability. This is because monochrome ink cartridges and toner are much cheaper options than color ink. Thus, the price of black and white printers is ideal, especially for small businesses. 

How Black and White Printers Work

As might be expected, black and white printers work in the same essential way as traditional office printers. In layman’s terms, the printer receives data from your computer about the image or text you want to print. Then, it tells the printhead how to deposit the ink in that specific pattern.

Whether they’re wireless printers, networked via ethernet cable, or even manual, basic printers without a wireless connection, they can still print easily. 

Let’s take a look at the most common types of monochrome printers and how they work:

  • Monochrome Laser Printer: This printer type is the most common for the black and white category. A mono laser printer charges a cylindrical drum in the pattern of whatever you want printed. The drum then attracts toner, a microscopic powdered ink, and rolls over the paper to create your print.
  • Monochrome Thermal Printer: This printer type doesn’t use any kind of ink. Instead, it uses heat-sensitive printer paper. Once your computer tells the thermal printer what to print, it heads up the paper in the pattern of the text or graphics you want to be printed. Monochrome thermal printers are best suited for printer labels, barcodes, and QR codes.
  • Monochrome Inkjet Printer: This printer type uses liquid ink to complete your print job. The ink resides in ink cartridges attached to a printhead, which moves horizontally across your paper, depositing the ink in the appropriate place as it goes.

Do You Really Need a Black and White Printer?

If you’re looking for a fast, efficient, and cost-effective printer, then a black and white printer is an excellent choice. These reasons and more are why monochrome printers have still remained popular, even after color printers became widely available. If you need to print barcodes for your items, always use a high-quality barcode printer to ensure that the printout is perfect.

Is a Black and White Printer Worth Buying?

  • You Don’t Need to Print in Color: The most common reason for purchasing a black and white printer over a color printer is that you simply don’t need to print in color for any reason. Black and white printers offer a simple solution to that need.
    • Some may argue that you’ll get speedy printing or faster print speeds using a black & white printer, but that’s up for debate. 
    • On that note, should you only need monochrome printing, then have a look at our Canon ImageCLASS MF445DW review.
  • You Need a Printer for a Commercial Office: Monochrome printers tend to be very efficient because of their fast print speed. They also tend to be on the larger side and can hold much more paper. If you’re printing a lot of text documents for busy offices, like legal documents, then a black-and-white printer is a great choice.
    • However, while fast speeds are good, you’ll also want your B&W printer to have an automatic document feeder (ADF), which makes it simpler to feed it paper without doing it manually. You may not always find this option on cheap printers, but the printer you need totally depends on your overall print costs.
  • You Want to Save Money on Printing Costs: Printing in color ink can get really expensive really fast. If you want to save money on your overall printing budget, black-and-white printing can help you.

Why a Black and White Printer May Not Be For You

  • You Need to Print in Color: The most common reason for not purchasing a black and white printer is that you need to print in color. If there is any situation you might run into that would require color printing, then your best bet is to stick with a color printer.
    • Moreover, if you need a high-end color printer with a touchscreen, you won’t benefit from a black-and-white budget printer. 
  • You Don’t Print Regularly: A black-and-white printer may not work best for you if you’re only printing here and there. This is because you aren’t really seeing any long-term cost savings that you would typically experience from avoiding color ink. If you print only occasionally, then the versatility of a color printer may be better for you.

How Long Will a Black and White Printer Last?

Most black & white printers will last you a grand total of three to four years, according to studies by leading technology consulting firm InfoTrends. However, this total lifespan can be extended or decreased based on your usage and the place where the printer is stored.

In general, it’s a good idea to keep your monochrome printer in a clean and dust-free environment. The dirtier the surroundings, the more likely your printer is to experience debris in the printhead or other internal components. As such, keep the area around your printer clean and free from other non-essential items.

The lifespan of your printer can be affected by how frequently you use it, especially if it uses a laser toner cartridge. If you’re running the printer all day long, every day of the year, you can expect to see a diminishing lifespan. Fortunately, wear from continuous printing usually affects the printhead, which can be repaired or replaced.

For those interested in more details about black-and-white printers, check out our resource guide to learn what is a monochrome laser printer.

How to Choose the Best Black and White Printer

When it comes time for you to make a purchasing decision, there are a few key considerations to make. This buying guide section will explore these considerations in-depth, so you know what to look for.

Black and White Printer Key Factors to Consider

As you research the different black and white printers available on the market today, ask yourself these questions to help determine your needs.

1. What type of black and white printer do you need?

There are a few different types of black and white printers to consider. This is an important first point to determine before making a purchase because it will affect nearly everything else about owning a printer moving forward. Take a look at the different types of printers:

  • Black and white laser printer: Laser printers are the most common printer type in the monochrome category because of their fast print speed and high print resolution. Instead of using liquid ink, laser printers use a powdered ink called toner to create your prints. The best B&W laser printer also tends to offer lower overall maintenance and operating costs.
  • Black and white inkjet printer: While you can find black and white inkjet printers, they are few and far between. These printers use liquid ink to create your prints. Inkjet cartridges can get expensive on these options, so we recommend finding the best black and white printer for home use with cheap ink if you go the inkjet technology route.
  • Black and white thermal printer: Thermal printers are a specialized option that uses heat to print your text instead of ink. These printers are an excellent option for retail or warehouse scenarios where you need to print barcodes and labels.

2. What kind of features and functionality do you want?

While every black and white printer you purchase will offer the core functionality of printing text or images onto paper, there are a wide variety of additional features and functionality that you should consider. Let’s take a look at the most common things you might see in multifunction printers:

  • All-in-one functionality: For the best monochrome laser printer, all-in-one functionality means you’ll also get built-in scanner capabilities, copying capabilities, and fax capabilities along with printing. An all-in-one printer is incredibly useful in office settings as it offers all the essential features a business may need from a printer.
  • User convenience features: There are a wide variety of convenience settings that black and white printers can offer. These include auto document feeders, automatic duplex printing options, LCD screen interfaces, and more. These features increase the overall user-friendliness of your printer.
  • Print speed: Most printers measure their speed in pages per minute. In general, you can expect the best black and white laser printer for home use to print around 20-40 pages per minute. Commercial options will print faster if you need a higher print speed.

3. What kind of connectivity do you need for your printer?

Connectivity is an important aspect of any black and white printer you purchase. Connectivity refers to the way your printer connects to your computer for printing purposes. Let’s take a look at some of the most common connectivity options:

  • USB: Most black and white printers offer USB connectivity to your computer, which uses a USB cable physically connecting the two devices via a USB port.
  • Wireless: If you need a little more versatility and flexibility, purchasing a printer with Wi-Fi connectivity is a great option. These printers connect to your computer’s Wi-Fi network and communicate through that network. Wireless printing can take your printing capabilities to the next level. Some may offer Wi-Fi as well as an ethernet port for more secure ethernet connectivity.
  • Wi-Fi Direct: If your black and white printer offers Wi-Fi Direct functionality, it can connect directly to your computer without the need for a central wireless network. This offers the most versatile wireless connectivity.
  • Bluetooth: Some black-and-white printers may even offer Bluetooth connectivity, which is perfect for mobile printing black-and-white documents from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. If you enjoy having wireless devices in your home or work, then you should try a Bluetooth printer.
  • Cloud: If your printer offers cloud printing, you’ll be able to connect to cloud printing options like Google Cloud Print. Google Cloud Print allows you to print black and white documents directly from your cloud storage accounts.

4. How much paper capacity do you need?

Another important consideration to make when purchasing a new black and white printer is how many sheets of paper it can hold. Most monochrome printers for home use only offer a single paper tray that can hold a single ream of paper. However, if you venture into the industrial printer realm, you’re more likely to find multiple paper trays that can store a ton of paper for those that have a high print volume. This way, you won’t need to refill paper as often.

5. How much ink or toner storage do you need?

Similar to paper storage, different black and white printers can store different amounts of ink or toner. If you don’t want to refill ink as often, consider printers with ink tank features like the Epson EcoTank or a high-capacity black toner cartridge. More ink means your printer can handle larger print jobs with ease.

Black and White Printer FAQs

Are there printers that use only black and white ink?

Yes, absolutely! There are plenty of printers that only print in black and white ink. We cover them thoroughly in this buying guide. Read through the guide to learn about what monochrome printers are available and what options are the best for your printing needs.

Is inkjet vs. laser: which is better?

Both inkjet technology and laser printers offer their own set of pros and cons, but for black and white printing, laser printers tend to do better. This is because they offer high-quality monochrome printing and higher speeds. Monochrome inkjet printers are still good printers, but they tend to have higher operating costs than laser printers since the ink is more expensive than toner.

What is a thermal printer?

A thermal printer is a printer that uses a heating element to create text or images on paper instead of ink or toner. They use a special kind of printer paper that reacts to heat. These types of printers are best to create labels and barcodes.

What is a tank printer?

A tank printer is one that uses ink to print. However, the way the ink is stored inside the printer is different than the typical ink cartridge approach. Instead, tank printers use a refillable tank system. They often are a higher capacity than ink cartridge printers.
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