Photocopying vs Printing: Which Costs More in the Modern Office?

Printer and photocopier machines.

Step into any bustling office, and you’ll likely hear the familiar hum of machines at work. But here’s the age-old conundrum: Is photocopying really the cheaper option, or have modern printers taken the cost-effective crown? Let’s unpack this, shall we? It’s time to take a closer look at Photocopying vs Printing.


It’s easy to think that photocopying, the go-to for bulk duplication, would naturally be the wallet-friendlier choice. It’s just making a copy, right? Wrong. Sorry about that, but it’s a common misconception. To truly understand, we need to peel back the layers. And that’s exactly what we’ll do.


At their core, both photocopiers and printers, especially the laser variants, have a lot in common. 


They’re like siblings in the world of document production, using toner, drums, and a bit of heat to work their magic. However, it’s the subtleties in their operation that might surprise you. And these differences, as minute as they may seem, can sway the cost pendulum.


Ever heard of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)? In a nutshell, TCO isn’t just about the sticker price on a machine. It’s about the bigger picture. Maintenance, supplies, occasional hiccups – they all count. So when you’re comparing costs, remember to think long-term. 


Ask yourself: What might look cheap now but could bite back in the future?


Above all else, at Evolve Document Solutions, we know this: Every business has its unique needs. That bulk batch of black and white copies for internal meetings? 


Perhaps the trusty photocopier is your best bet. But those high-res, colour-intensive presentations to woo clients? 


A modern printer might be the secret sauce. What’s key here is understanding your needs and matching them to the right machine. No shortcuts. Imagine, for a second, handing a pixelated, poor-quality report to a client. Not good.


Now, while we’re on the topic of modern printers, they come with a little extra – software. Picture this: printers that let you switch to draft mode, using just a smidge of ink or those that embrace both sides of a paper. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? These aren’t just fancy add-ons. 


They’re cost savers and, when used correctly, can make a printer as cost-effective, if not more, than a photocopier.


But wait, there’s another side to this coin. Think about the unseen, the intangible costs. How much time is wasted waiting for a slow machine? What about when that ancient photocopier decides to have a meltdown on the eve of a major deadline? 


Not fun. And then there’s the brand image. High-quality, crisp documents convey professionalism, while their sub-par counterparts? Well, let’s just say they don’t.


The Real Deal: Cost Comparisons Revealed


Ever wondered about the details of photocopying and printing costs? Well, let’s break it down. Let’s say you’re churning out a 50-page black-and-white report. Photocopying might set you back about 3p per page (including toner and paper), amounting to £1.50. 


On the flip side, a modern laser printer, equipped with cost-saving software, could deliver the same report for about 2.5p per page, a total of £1.25. The gap widens with colour. A vivid 20-page presentation? Photocopying could cost up to £1 (5p per page), while the savvy printer might ask for just 80p (4p per page). 


Small differences? Perhaps. But they sure do add up, especially if you’re a document-heavy enterprise.


The Green Perspective: Photocopying vs. Printing


Now, for the eco-warriors among us (or those just keen to shave off a bit of carbon footprint), here’s the environmental lowdown. Photocopiers, especially older models, tend to consume more power, even when idling. And if it’s not Energy Star rated? The power-guzzling could be substantial. 


Printers, particularly newer models, are often more energy-efficient and come with eco-friendly settings. And that’s not all. Think of ink and toner cartridges. The production, refill, and disposal of these can leave a hefty environmental mark. 


The good news? Many modern printers now partner with eco-initiatives, encouraging cartridge recycling, slashing waste, and reducing the environmental hit. So if Mother Earth is on your mind, it’s worth considering not just the cost but the planet-friendly quotient of your document-producing partner.


Photocopying or Printing: The Verdict


It’s not as black and white as it might seem. Sure, at face value, one might seem cheaper than the other. But factor in the details, the long-term, the software, the intangibles, and the answer gets murkier. 


So next time you’re weighing your options, think deeply. Reflect on your needs. Consider the long haul. And most importantly, remember that in the world of document production, the cheapest option might not always be the most cost-effective.

Better still? Ask the friendly team at Evolve Document Solutions to take a look for you. We know this business inside out. We are happy to give you all the insights you need to make a smarter decision for your business.


It’s a jungle out there, but with a bit of insight and careful consideration, you’ll find the perfect match for your needs. And who knows? You might even save a pretty penny in the process. 


Happy printing (or photocopying)!