There is no doubt that we are generally not printing as much these days with e-books, e-tickets, lightweight laptops, and tablets becoming trendy. Perhaps to some extent being environmentally-conscious has also meant that we are moving towards a paperless and green world.
Every once in a while we find that some document needs to be printed, be it your child’s school homework or your home office project, however.
When a printer is only intermittently used, you may find to your great disappointment and, not to mention, distress that your printer cartridge has dried out.
Or worse still, that your printer has kicked the bucket without so much as informing you because you cannot remember the last time you used it to print something.
It is for times like this that investing in the best printers for infrequent use can save your day. While inkjet printers tend to dry out sooner than laser ones, the latter tend to be more expensive but also long-lasting than the former. This is because the latter variety of printers come with a toner powder that does not dry out as a result of not being used for extended periods of time.
Best Printers for Infrequent Use Comparison Chart
Printer Connectivity Type
Canon Pixma TS9120
Discs, Wireless, Bluetooth, USB, Ethernet, Cloud
6 color individual ink, LCD touchscreen
Automatic Document Feeder, Duplex Printing
HP LaserJet Pro M254dw
Wireless, USB, Ethernet
Black and white
Single fuser unit
Black and white
Printers for Infrequent Use Reviews
1. Canon Pixma TS9120 Wireless Inkjet Review | Best All in One Printer for Occasional Use
With the lightweight and compact Canon Pixma TS9120, you can print from media cards as well as from CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray Discs.
This six-ink printer is primarily designed to print highly detailed, vibrant images in color.
However, it does not have an automatic document feeder and is relatively slow in printing compared to other printers.
You can connect wirelessly via your smartphone, tablet, PC, and other devices to air-print with ease.
Printing is hassle free as you can print from social media, the Cloud, via Bluetooth, and even on the go. Equipped with the document removal reminder, the Canon Pixma TS9120 has two input trays. Also, with the auto-expandable output tray, the printer is always on standby to print.
The two-tone design means that the Canon Pixma TS9120 will blend in with any decor. With this printer, you can print out anything from photographs and business cards to more simple black and white documents.
1. Comes with an LCD Touchscreen and an enhanced user interface.
2. Provides the option of connecting from various devices via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB.
3. Has a document removal reminder.
4. Tray output is auto-expandable.
5. Color individual ink system.
6. Supported by Ethernet.
7. Available in 3 colors.
2. Brother MFC-L2700DW All-In One Laser Printer Review | Best Printer for Occasional Printing
The Brother MFCL2700DW All-In One Laser Printer is ideal for black and white printing. Apart from printing, this printer can also be used for scanning at a 600 x 2400 dpi resolution as well as for sending faxes quickly.
Moreover, it has valuable features like ID copy, sort/stack, and reduce/enlarge documents from 25% to 400%, and N-in-1 copying, including a blank page skip option and auto duplex printing.
Also, being able to connect to the printer with your mobile device makes for super-fast and low-cost output.
This printer has a fast printing speed of 27ppm and a standard 250-sheet input capacity, making it best suited for both home as well as a small office use.
Apart from this, the printer is equipped with a 35-page capacity mobile device automatic document feeder, which makes the printer useful for both scanning and faxing lengthy documents.
1. Black and white printing with color scanning and faxing ability.
2. Comes with a blank page skip function.
3. Laser technology high speed printing at 27ppm.
4. Capable of receiving print commands via mobile devices.
5. Compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.
3. HP LaserJet Pro M254dw Wireless Color Laser Printer Review | Best Occasional Use Printer
If you are looking to maximize output from a small printer, then the HP LaserJet Pro is the one for you. It is suited for personal or light duty use in the home office.
While it does not have a built-in scanner, it comes with the ability to provide wireless printing, such as from your mobile or through the Cloud.
The touchscreen control panel is very easy to navigate and makes troubleshooting simpler. This printer has near perfect text quality, the fastest in-class double-sided printing, and first page out.
For instance, it can print up to 22 pages per minute in black and white; it takes 11.8 seconds per page to print in color. But while it is not as good in printing photos in color as other printers, it can satisfactorily produce documents containing graphs and charts.
The HP LaserJet Pro is less expensive than other printers when it comes to monochrome printing, but fairly expensive in cases color printing. It is also fairly slow compared to other laser printers.
1. Fastest in-class First Page out Time.
2. Prints from USB drive, mobile device, from the cloud, or wired network.
3. Color touchscreen control panel for easy navigation.
4. Provides Ethernet networking and a Wi-Fi connection.
5. Equipped with HP Web apps.
6. Only works with original HP cartridges.
4. Dell E310DW Wireless Monochrome Printer | Best Home Printer for Infrequent Use
Meant for personal use or a small office, the Dell E310DW Wireless Monochrome Printer may be small but is priced lower than other printers and is relatively fast. The single fuser unit in the Dell E310DW Wireless Monochrome Printer will last the entire lifetime of the printer.
This laser printer is able to print up to 27 pages per minute while the optional high-yield toner cartridge has the capacity to print up to 2600 pages.
However, the graphics and photo quality of the printer is subpar, making this printer something that you would not use if you need to send documents out to a client.
The Dell E310DW Wireless Monochrome Printer can issue print commands through the cloud if it is connected to a network that is, in turn, connected to the internet.
However, it will not be able to print from the cloud if it is connected to a single personal computer through a USB cable. But you can still print from a smartphone if you use the printer’s Wi-Fi Direct.
1. Provides cloud connectivity option.
2. Single fuser unit will last the lifetime of the printer.
3. Duplex printing can be done.
4. Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity available.
5. Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer, HL-L2350DW | Best Printer for Occasional Home Use
The Brother Compact Laser Printer is perfect for those on a budget and have a small workspace and appropriate for use at home or even a small office.
It prints 32 pages per minute, has a 250-sheet paper capacity and duplex printing feature, with a maximum monthly duty cycle of 15,000 pages and a recommended monthly print volume of up to 2,000 pages. Both letter and legal-sized printouts can be taken.
This means that you will be able to enjoy high speed quality printing and spend less of your time refilling the paper tray.
Also, with the high yield replacement cartridges (TN-760) can produce double the volume of printouts at lower costs.
The Brother Compact Laser Printer can print only in black. You can, additionally, send printing commands wirelessly from your laptop, smartphone, and tablet.
1. Wireless printing options available.
2. Automatic duplex two-sided printing with high yield replacement cartridges.
3. Recommended monthly print volume of 2,000 pages.
4. Maximum monthly duty cycle of 15,000 pages.
5. Handles letter and legal-sized paper.
Best Printers For Infrequent Use Buying Guide
1. Types of Printer
Inkjet printers tend to be more common in homes than laser ones as they are also the more versatile of the two. They are cheaper, also able to produce high quality images, and suited to printing small volumes of documents.
Laser printers, on the other hand, are more expensive and use toner cartridges. However, as stated above, the inkjet printer’s ink tends to dry up if it is not used regularly.
In addition to this, the price of laser printers have of late come down making it possible to purchase them for your home and are the best printers for infrequent printing.
2. Type of Document
The type of printer you should consider investing in depends on the sort of document you expect to print. In most cases, your intended audience to a large extent will determine the quality of your print-outs. Obviously, there is a world of difference between your child printing their school homework and you printing documents for your clients.
3. Paper Handling
Another matter that will determine the kind of printer you will ultimately purchase depends on the kind of paper you will print on. Some printers are mainly for printing on photo paper; others are perfect for printing business cards.
Additionally, the size of the paper you regularly print on will determine the kind of printer you should purchase. What this means is that if you print on anything larger than an A4, you should obviously invest in a larger printer.
Also, if you are considering a printer for your office then one major concern is that there should always be enough paper in the printer at all times. Indeed, having to fill up the paper tray is probably one of the most important and simultaneously irritating tasks that there can ever be.
For this instance, it is best to get a printer that can be loaded with a capacity that is in line with the number of users who on average print on a regular basis. A printer that comes with a second or third tray can be ideal in this context.
A major factor to consider when deciding to buy a printer is whether you will be printing in color or monochrome. If you regularly print documents containing images, graphs, or charts, then your printer will need to print in color for this information to be understandable to yourself and your intended audience.
Some printers print at a high resolution and are ideal for printing images, while others do so at a lower resolution. Alternatively, many printers now allow you to print at a range of resolutions. While laser printers produce the best quality of output, they happen to be the most expensive of the lot too.
The size of the printer is another factor to consider as well. Infrequently used printers tend to be compact, making them ideal for both home and small office use. Moving such printers around from room to room or fitting them into a small space is less of a challenge.
The speed at which your device is able to print can sometimes be quite important. This is particularly the case in a small office environment where you are expecting to regularly print documents.
The volume of paper you need to print will determine how fast you want your printer to be. Alternatively, even if you want to purchase a printer for your home, a printer that is quick can still be one reason to opt for a certain model.
8. Multi-Functional Printers
Whether the printer can also be used to scan documents or not can be another deal breaker or maker. More and more printers will have the ability to scan, fax, print, and even photocopy.
But if you already have a scanner or perhaps you do not really need a fax machine at all, then you can consider getting a printer sans any of these additional functions.
Another important feature is duplexing. What this refers to is the ability of the printer to print on both sides of the paper without you manually turning over each page. This feature is helpful as it allows you to scan two sides of the page and feed this information to the printer.
Ultimately, only you can determine the functions that you require from your printer once you have done a ‘needs’ analysis and matched this with the sort of equipment that you already possess.
The kind of connectivity you need will depend on the location from where you are going to print and the kind of devices you are going to print from.
Being able to access a printer from smartphones, tablets, a desktop or a laptop, through Bluetooth and the Cloud is fast gaining importance as wires are increasingly regarded as a hassle and an eye sore.
While some printers offer all of these options, others will provide only a few of the above. All printers will have a USB port for wired connectivity to your computer.
10. Control Panel
Also, the ease of setting up and navigating the control panel will essentially determine how you feel every time you have to use the printer.
Some printers have LCD or color control panels that display texts and images selected for printing. Less fancy printers will have only a few buttons that you have to navigate.
11. Running Costs
In most cases, you will find that manufacturers that sell their printers at a relatively affordable price will put a price tag on their cartridge. This is one way in which they recover their costs.
Sometimes users try to mitigate this by buying their cartridges from a cheaper seller. However, some printers will not let you use cartridges from other brands. It is necessary to consider this roadblock before investing in a printer.
Even as we are moving towards a paperless world, printers are and still remain an integral part of our lives which we cannot do without.
We have reviewed the best printers for occasional use at home and small offices, and provided the most important things to consider when buying such printers. We trust that you will be able to choose the printer that best meets your requirements with the help of the buying guide that we have provided.
While it is no doubt necessary to print out documents when you need to, especially when it involves work at an office, we hope you will be mindful of your environment when you choose to print and make sure to recycle scrap papers that you are no longer in need of.