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Last updated: 3 August 2021

Black and White Printers: Cost & Quality Guide

The Right Printer For Your Business 

In the process of purchasing a printer or photocopier, one will inevitably come to the point of choosing between a colour model and a monochrome one. If you are leaning towards the opinion that printing only in black and white is a thing of the past, you may want to consider some of the benefits of having such a machine in your office.

As with most conventional business printers, you have a choice of two types: inkjet printers and laser printers.

Mono laser printers can print high volumes of documents in a swift manner - therefore they are far more cost effective for businesses that need to print in bulk. This means that unless you need to print in colour on a daily basis, a black and white printer is the optimal solution for you. Here is a more detailed description of some of the benefits.

Price of Black and White Printers

Printed mono laser document

The main advantage of black and white printers is that they cost significantly less to own. Even though their purchase price is higher than that of inkjets, the more significant difference can be seen in the running costs of toner and replacement of components, which results in an overall low price per print for non-colour units.

When it comes to printers, you typically have a number of payment options: from buying to printer lease and hire.

If you are looking for the cheapest value for money, especially if you need the additional functions like scanner, copier and fax, a laser black and white photocopier will definitely deliver.

Running Costs

The cost of supplies as well as repairs and maintenance adds to the overall price per print. The easiest way to compare printers is by their basic price per print. You can calculate that by taking the given printers’ toner cost and dividing it by the page yield (the approximate number of pages that can be printed before the toner runs out).

The price per print generally depends on the size of the machine. Small volume printers are cheap to buy, but more expensive to run, namely 0.7-1.1p per page printed with a new cartridge or around 0.4p with a recycled one. Whereas a medium volume printer may be more expensive and bulky, but can deliver prints at prices as low as 0.2p per page.

Furthermore, a colour inkjet printer needs 4 cartridges (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) which yield significantly fewer pages than simple black ones, resulting in more often need of replenishment. Not to mention that if your printer runs out of a certain colour, it will not be able to finish pure black prints either.

That is why it is important to thoroughly review your business’s printing needs both colour and volume-wise and decide whether investing in a more powerful mono printer would not be the better and cheaper option in the long run.


The forte of black and white laser printers is printing plain text. The lower end monochrome printers can deliver speeds of about 16-20 pages per minute, which is quite far from their inkjet rivals in the budget price range, which struggle to go over 7-8 pages per minute. Not only are they faster, but they can handle small font size without creating a blur, like most inkjets would.

547Mono Laser Printed  Spreadsheet pie chart


When considering printing materials that contain elements other than plain text (e.g. pictures, graphics) monochrome printers can only handle documents intended for internal use in the company, because the quality would not catch the eye of or impress any client. The graphics, whilst readable, would not have the same impact on the receiver as when printed in colour and pictures may not even be recognizable if the printer is of extra low quality.


The size of the office printer depends on the number of functions it can perform. That is not to say that black and white printers are naturally smaller than their colour equivalents, but it is easier to find a basic black and white model that can serve a few functions and fits on top of your desk than it is with a colour one. Of course, if you require printing in a larger format than standard A4 sheets, your A3 printer or other large format printers will take up more space.

Paper Handling

Monochrome lasers have the biggest variety of paper handling options. Their maximum paper capacity largely depends on their size but can reach well over 4,000 sheets split into a few cassettes. They can also have built-in features like double-sided-printing (duplexing) both by printing on each side simultaneously or automatically reversing the page to print on the other side. Additional options include stackers, sorters, staplers and hole-punchers, providing complete control of the project and giving it a complete finish.

All in all, if your business is in need of a fast, reliable and efficient photocopier for everyday print jobs that do not require colour, a black and white laser printer is the way to go. The overall savings on toner make up for the higher initial price in the long run and place these units ahead of any colour or mono inkjets out there.

Considering that any business needs to print in colour occasionally, the best advice would be to either get a small colour printer that given a low volume of printing would not become a financial sinkhole, or to outsource your projects that require colour printing to a printing house, which albeit inconvenient will save you money overall.

You can compare prices of black and white printers easily and free of charge, by filling in a quote request form. We can aid you in your decision making process by providing up to four quotes from trusted suppliers in your area. Our service does not incur any further obligations.

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