Most of us have been through several different printers in our lives. We’ve struggled with changing ink cartridges that we spent way too much money on. So, wouldn’t it be nice to know there’s a better way to do your printing at home? Well, there is. Enter the laser printer. Laser printers can make the printing you do at home easier, quicker, more efficient, and all with less hassle.
Then the question is, what is the best laser printer for home use? There are types to choose from—mono-only (no color), color, printer-only, or all-in-one (AIO) models. You can also look at the connectivity options available, such as ethernet ports and WiFi integration, or even USB connections. Look for WiFi to be already integrated, or else you could be looking for a card to add it later. The printing speed is very important, as well. Lastly, look at the paper trays, the duty cycle, the interface, and the built-in security.
We’re going to look at some of the laser printers on the market currently. But before we do that, let’s look at some of the things you should know about before you choose the best laser printer for your home.
Laser vs. Ink—Are Laser Printers Better Than Ink Printers?
There are certainly some things laser printers do better than inkjet printers. First, they print by using toner, not ink. That means your text will show up crisp and clear with no color bleed.
Laser printers will typically provide more printed pages per toner cartridge than ink printers will, too. The reason is that the toner is more of a dust that gets laid on the paper by the laser, while the ink has to be sprayed in minuscule droplets. It takes more of the ink to print the text than it does toner, too. Also, while ink is prone to drying up, toner is not.
Those who have owned an inkjet printer know that if you leave it sitting for weeks at a time, you will lose ink through drying. You may then be dealing with clogged sprayers. The toner used by a laser printer doesn’t dry out like that. You can go weeks or months even without printing anything and you shouldn’t have any issue with your next printing job.
The speed at which a laser printer can produce your documents will be higher than an ink printer. It takes a lot more time for the sprayer to distribute the droplets on the paper that will make up your text or picture. The sprayer arm has to go all the way across the page and back over and over again to lay the ink droplets. The laser is capable of laying down toner so much more quickly so you don’t have to wait as long.
The duty cycle of a laser printer is generally higher than that of an inkjet printer. What do we mean by duty cycle? This is the workload the manufacturer will indicate to be the maximum you should put on the printer in a month so as to maintain it in good working order. Laser printers have a higher capacity of print workload in their duty cycle so you can get more pages from this type of printer.
The one area we will say the inkjet printer wins out in is printing photos. This is because a color ink printer can produce many more color combinations than a color laser printer because of that bleed factor we mentioned above. The colors will also appear more vibrant than what you’ll get from a color laser printer.
What Should I Look For When Buying A Laser Printer?
It’s tough to know what kind of features to look for when you might be trying something new. These days there are so many choices of products from different manufacturers, the choice can be overwhelming, in some cases. Here’s a list of features and other factors you should consider before deciding on the best laser printer for your home.
- Use – Try to get an idea of how much use you’ll need your laser printer for. If it’s going to be used frequently, then you need the best laser printer with a heavy duty cycle to keep up with the workload.
- Type – You have to decide what you want your printer to do. Are you going to want to scan things, make copies, and print pictures on your printer? If so, you have to choose an AIO model that includes a color laser printer.
- Print speed – The best way to figure out the print speed is to do a test page, if you can. The printer speed will be indicated, though, by the number of pages per minute or ppm. Many of us are working from home now and may need to print things quickly. Or, we may just prefer not to wait for things we don’t have to.
- Paper trays – If you have a need for printing pages in different sizes much of the time, you may want to look into laser printers that include different paper trays so you can stow various paper sizes.
- Toner capacity – Look into how much toner different laser printers can hold. If you’re doing a high volume of printing, it’s more economical to go with a printer that has a high capacity for toner.
- Interface – There are some printers that work strictly from the pushing of buttons. The more recent and advanced laser printers include touchscreens with more extensive options to choose from and multiple menus.
- Price – Always compare prices when you’re shopping for any type of consumer product like this. You’ll want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, though, not apples to oranges. Look for models in the same range of functionality when you’re comparison shopping so you narrow down to the best value.
Best Laser Printer Options
Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer with Duplex Printing - Business Office Bundle ( See Customer Reviews & Pricing)
This is a monochrome laser printer, meaning it does not print with a color laser. It’s intended use is for printing text documents. It can print at a rate of 27 ppm. You’ll have a 4 foot USB printer cable, as well as a 64GB flash drive. As a bonus, this printer comes with a 3-in-1 stylus pen. You can use it with any touchscreen device, as a ballpoint pen, and a USB flash drive. The print resolution is 2400 x 600 dpi so you get clear text on every page. The paper tray has a 250 page capacity, too, so you don’t have to keep refilling it.
- Low-cost printing
- Duplex printing capability
- Included high-speed USB cable for easy connection
- Straight-through paper path
- Toner save mode
- No WiFi integration
- Paper guides can shift
- No color laser
Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer, HL-L2350DW, Wireless Printing, Duplex Two-Sided Printing, Amazon Dash Replenishment Ready ( See Customer Reviews & Pricing)
This printer has a small footprint and prints very economically. It can be used with the Brother high-yield toner option so you get more bang for your buck. You can print from all of your mobile devices because this compact laser printer is WiFi capable. You can use different types of paper and different sizes. And, it prints at a rate of up to 32 ppm. You can choose to print from the paper tray, or manually feed sheets through so you can print on any size sheet you’d like.
- Wireless printing capability
- Very affordable
- Automatic duplex-printing to save on paper
- Toner save mode
- LCD display and interface
- USB connection included
- Super fast print speed
- Connecting to WiFi can be tricky
- Manual feed documents can get wrinkled
- Deep sleep mode causes some issues
HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw Wireless Laser Printer, Remote Mobile Print, Duplex Printing, Works with Alexa (7KW64A) ( See Customer Reviews & Pricing)
This is the first color laser printer on our list. The HP Color LaserJet Pro costs about a $100 more than either of the ones listed above, but you get color printing along with wireless printing capability. You can also download the HP Smart app and control all of the settings for your color laser printer right from your phone. There is an ethernet port, too, if your home is wired with ethernet already. The print speed is at a rate of 22 ppm and with auto duplex printing. The Color LaserJet Pro has built-in security, too, so you can connect your devices without any worry. The versatility of the Color LaserJet Pro allows you to print all sorts of different sizes of documents and on different types of paper.
- Can print photos with color laser
- Easy setup and operation
- Small footprint
- Mobile device printing
- Built-in security
- Power save mode has flashing LED light
- Loud operation
- Interface screen is small on LaserJet Pro
HP LaserJet Pro M404dn Monochrome Laser Printer with Built-in Ethernet & Double-Sided Printing, Works with Alexa (W1A53A) ( See Customer Reviews & Pricing)
Unlike the LaserJet Pro above, this one is monochrome so it prints without color. It’s intended to be an office, or home office, printer for those who have a need to print many documents full of text. It has a printing speed of up to 40 ppm. The paper tray has a capacity of 350 sheets, while the output tray can hold up to 150 pages. There is a small 2 line LCD display screen for viewing settings. The LaserJet Pro Monochrome laser printers come with a black toner cartridge, a starting guide, and a power cord. There is a USB port, but no cable is provided.
- Super fast printing
- JetIntelligence for efficient toner use
- Strong security
- High capacity printer
- ENERGY STAR certified
- No wireless printing
- No USB cable included
- Replacement LaserJet Pro toner is expensive
The best laser printer will be one that is fast, cost effective, prints the type of documents or pictures you need it to, and priced to fit your budget. Look at the specs of laser printers to see what ppm rate they print at, if they print with a color laser, how much space they need, what their capacity is, and what kind of recommended duty cycle they have. The best laser printer can make your work, school, and personal printing much faster, more economical, and more efficient.
Which is the best laser printer for home use?
The best overall laser printer for home use is the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw.
Which is better, HP or Brother laser printers?
HP is better for ease of use and low maintenance. Brother costs more up front but isn’t as expensive in the long run.
Which laser printer has the cheapest toner cartridges?
Go with the Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer.
Is a laser printer worth it?
It could be very worth it. As long as you choose the type of printer that will give you the most use. If you want to print photos, you can use a color laser printer to do so, however an inkjet printer may be a better option. Overall laser printers are more economical than ink printers.
What is the disadvantage of laser printer?
The biggest thing is these printers aren’t a good choice for printing pictures. The colors aren’t nearly as bright and vivid as what you’ll get from an inkjet printer.
Are Brother laser printers any good?
Brother is a very reputable company that makes both monochrome and color laser printers. They cost more than some other brands of laser printers, but end up being cheaper in the long run because the toner cartridges don’t cost as much.
Do laser printers dry out?
They do not. Toner is technically already dry. There is no risk of toner drying out like ink does.
Do laser or inkjet printers last longer?
Generally, laser printers last longer because they require less maintenance and they don’t clog with ink.
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