One thing that nearly every office, whether large or small, requires is the ability to copy documents. However, with so many different options on the market, deciding on a copy machine to purchase can sometimes be confusing. Here are a few things you should know.

First, you can choose between an analog copier and a digital one for your office. At this point, digital has gone on to dominate the market. It’s easy to understand why. Digital copiers produce far more accurate recreations of documents. Still, analog may be a good solution for many situations. It does tend to be a lot cheaper for one. All copy machine companies now make digital copiers. However, you can still find analog models new and used from brands like Canon, Xerox, Toshiba and Riso.

Second, a copier can either copy in black and white or color. As should be expected, black and white is the cheaper option. In many situations, black and white will suffice. However, other offices may want to be able to reproduce the color of copied documents. Color ink and toner costs more than black, and the price per page printed will be increased as a result. Certainly weigh the benefit of color against the increase in overhead color ink or toner will produce. Manufacturers of large scale copy machines that can take on large office workloads include Canon and Xerox.

Many choices for copy machines do more than copy. These are sometimes referred to as multifunction copiers. Many of them can double as a fax machine and as a printer for an office’s computer network. This can save money versus buying individual hardware for each of these different features. However, as the number of features available in a copier increases, the customer can expect to pay a higher premium in return. Hybrid machines are available from Canon, Xerox, Toshiba and more.

Lastly, the inclusion of scanners with much smaller printers has allowed very small offices to forgo the expense of investing in a much larger and expensive piece of equipment. Most printer scanners are designed to work with a desktop PC and can do all of the same functions as a regular copy machine at a fraction of the fixed hardware expense. This includes models from brands like Epson, Brother and Hewlett-Packard. However, these smaller devices may also not be up to the task of performing a workload as large as those seen by more expensive standalone models.

Overall, a copy machine helps an office perform its work efficiently. If you have a busy office, a copy machine is an absolute must. Just make sure you find the right machine for your needs. There are many choices.