Laser Printer vs Copier Machine

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated February 15, 2023

The best printers aren’t hard to find if you know what you’re looking for. However, the right option for you might not be a primer at all. Depending on your needs, you might be better off looking into a copier machine. To help you decide which is the best option for your needs, today we’ll compare a laser printer vs. a copier machine to see which comes out on top.


  • The first point of comparison is the speed of their operation. A quick operation is a must, especially for office printers. In this round, you’ll find that copier machines are the better option.
  • Next, the cost of ownership is called into question, which is essential to most consumers. At the end of the day, laser printers cost less upfront and can be relatively affordable moving forward.
  • If you’re looking for high print quality, look no further than a high-quality laser printer. These models will replicate imagery beautifully and are capable of providing perfect prints.

Comparing Laser Printers and Copier Machines

When looking into laser printers and copier machines, you must first appreciate them for their different purposes. Laser printers are made to create stunning documents with high-quality colors. They make great office printers, so long as the print demand isn’t too high. On the other hand, copier machines are built for speed and quantity. For another interesting comparison, look into a thermal vs. a laser printer.

Insider Tip

If you need a copier that can print, too, consider buying a multifunction printer instead of buying two separate machines.

Quick Operation

Those who need speed will find that a copier machine is far better equipped to satiate you than a laser printer. A digital copier is created to produce large volumes of documents, making them highly efficient at this task. You may also want to compare a digital printer vs. a laser printer or an ethernet printer vs. a wireless printer if you’re looking for speed.

Cost of Ownership

Between ink cartridges and paper costs, it can be tough to determine which option is less likely to break the bank. Luckily, we broke down that cost for you. Overall, you’re better off with a laser printer if you want to cut costs. These options have a far lower initial price, which offsets the ongoing cost of operation. A copier machine is going to be the more expensive of the two.


Keep in mind that laser printers (including large multifunction office laser printers) and copier machines are not the same things; a true copier cannot print but can only replicate an already printed document.

Print Quality

Printing technologies have improved rapidly over the last few years. Because of this, you can generally find excellent options for either option at a relatively affordable price. However, laser printers still come out on top in this category because of their ability to create stunning imagery that copier machines can’t replicate. If you’re looking for high-quality color prints, research the best printer ink.

STAT: Over 1.6 million laser printers were supplied to Russia in 2021, the majority of which were multifunction devices (MFPs). (source)

Laser Printer vs Copier Machine FAQs

What is a multifunction printer?

A multifunction printer is a device used to save space by incorporating multiple functions into one machine. These are fantastic for smaller offices or businesses that don’t have a lot of room to spare.

Should I invest in an inkjet printer?

An inkjet printer is a model that uses tiny jets of ink to transfer your imagery or text onto a sheet of paper. You’ll find that an inkjet printer is a great investment for those looking to create the perfect photo print.

What are toner cartridges?

A toner cartridge is used in laser printing. This component melts the toner powder that creates your image or text. The biggest hurdle to laser printing is the cost of toner.

Is it worth investing in an inexpensive printer?

The cost of operation is a big deal, especially as the cost of toner and paper costs increases. An inexpensive printer is fine if the ongoing costs seem daunting and you don’t need anything fancy.
Beth Huston Profile image