Printer recommendations?

Does anyone have a printer that they’d actually recommend?

Seems like the last few ink-jet printers I’ve purchased quickly stop working. I tend to prefer all-in-ones so that I can scan materials and email them when needed.

I’m also not married to the idea of an ink-jet. A dependable, affordable laser printer that can scan PDFs when my signature is needed would also be fine.

I’m not someone who prints a ton, so I’m not looking for a high-end machine to handle the kind of capacity that a large office would need either.

I have a Brother DCP-J552DW inkjet, that is reliable though I don’t use it much. Brother updated the driver last year, with the result that it no-longer scanned directly in apps like Graphic Converter, so I installed [VueScan](, which does a really good job and I will continue to use it even if I have to replace the Brother at some time with a better supported (on MacOS) printer/scanner.

The DCP-J552DW is quite some years old now, so I don’t know what similar models there are now. It uses separate CMYK cartridges, so you can replace them piecemeal when they run out.

Most of our printing is done on an HP Color LaserJet Pro M252dw (F8E72E), but that doesn’t scan.


VueScan is available for Windows too, and I think it’s well-worth looking into.

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You can keep your old printer as a scanner.
In which case, if you print a lot of drafts for editing/personal usage, that low-fi looking thingy is surprisingly good and long lasting:

Hp DeskJet 1112

Plus, it occupies very little space.
I have been submitting mine to extensive (abusive) printing for close to three years and it is still going.
I can’t count how many expensive “quality” printer I’ve otherwise annihilated prior to that.

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Back in 2018 we bought a Brother HLL2395DW that’s still going strong. It’s laser, monochrome, and scanner. We use it with Windows 10 wirelessly.

I would recommend it, with some caveats. We rarely print more than 20 pages/month. The scanner works fine, but these days when I need to scan something, I typically use the DropBox scanning app on my phone. (OneDrive also has a scanning app. And there are probably many other scanning apps available) And the printer is currently priced more than double what we paid for it 5 years ago!

When the day comes that I have to buy another printer, I would certainly start by looking at Brother devices, as I am happy with how well ours has held up. But I would also likely do as @Vincent_Vincent suggests and buy a printer-only device, and continue scanning with my phone or iPad. I just don’t see the need anymore for scanning with a printer, unless you’re scanning entire books or something. But in that case, I’d think you’d want a higher end device with automatic sheet feeding.

ETA: Apparently, for some models, Brother has implemented a technological barrier to using third-party toner cartridges. My printer did not have this ‘feature’ when we purchased it, but it may have been introduced in a firmware update. I don’t know for sure. However, I really don’t care as we so rarely print. But you should take this into account in your research. Other manufacturers may do the same.


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If I ever decide to opt for a more high end printer, I will look for eco-tanks.
I’ve been having an eye on those for a while…


In my experience, ink jet cartridges simply evaporate fairly quickly if you don’t use them. Laser is the way to go for printing. Also, if you want color, get a CMYK printer with a separate black cartridge. Black is generally used much more often, and “faking it” by blending the three colors uses huge amounts of toner without really producing a good “true” black.


This is not what you asked for, but…

If you are a writer, I say: No one’s inkjet printer can give your text the dignity it deserves!

Low-cost laser printers are a step up. Brother has been popular for a while for good look and economy. I went through a couple of Brother laser printers which periodically just dumped toner all over their innards, so I can’t really recommend.

After years of unhappy printing on low-cost laser printers, I started thinking back to how expensive a laser printer was in the early days, and thinking on my last Apple Laserwriter – which had real metal parts, was heavy as the dickens, and cost an arm and a leg. What I remember about it is that it just worked forever and the printing always looked good (at least as “fabled by the daughters of memory”).

I said to myself, I was willing to fork out real money back then when I had less, and I got a good printer for that. Maybe my problem was not that they don’t make 'em like they used to. It is just that I don’t buy 'em like I used to – because now there are laser printers available for pretty cheap and so I keep buying cheaper and am always correspondingly disappointed.

So, I finally buckled down and bought a decent printer for rather more money (though still hundreds of dollars less than those old Laserwriters). I plunked down for a Kyocera ECOSYS P3155dn/P3150dn/P3145dn (not sure which model specifically b/c am far off on the coast of somewhere and cannot check). OMG. Like night and day. The printing is sharp and solid and exquisite and life is worth living again!


Have you considered getting a new printer—sounds like laser best for you—without scanner and all that? Just a printer.

Use you phone or your current printer with scanner for those occasional scans. Or get a stand-alone scanner as part of your infrastructure upgrade.

I am happy with my Brother HL-L2350DW, with third party toner cartridges. Brother cartridges expensive. Any toner leakage will be down to the cartridge probably and so far so good (2 years).

And my HP4p purchased in 1995 doing well!


Thank you all. Lots of good suggestions in here, both for actual hardware and for tools that might reduce or eliminate the need for a scanner.

I’m putting together a list of these suggestions, and I’ll be consulting it when researching printers.

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I wanted to echo the suggestion of foregoing the flat-bed scanner. The cameras in phones now are so good, and scanner apps are so efficient with angle correction and auto exposure. My standalone flatbed scanner gets no use anymore.

I use an app called Scanner Pro and have no complaints. iPhone has a built in scanner-app functionality (in Notes?)


I like this one quite a lot.

I also installed an auto clicker app (name: clickclick, can’t find it anymore, maybe discontinued), through which I was able to set an headphone cord with built in buttons to trigger the scan.

I bought a dollar store cheap cell phone holder for the car (you know, the ones with the long rod that you can twist any way you want?), so that I can have my phone facing my desk, at proper height.
The auto clicker + headphone chord makes it that I don’t have to touch the phone, and therefor I don’t have to wait for the contraption to stop wobbling between each scan.

After that I just place my manuscript under the phone, click, turn a page, click, turn a page, and on and on.

Once I am done, the scanner app fixes everything (angle, alignment). It also has options for B&W, contrast, etc.

I basically built my own image for cheap. (Phone aside: +/- 10 CAD$)

The scan app also has options to upload to my google drive. I use that for backups when writing longhand on the road.