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Types of Photocopiers and Their Uses

A photocopier is a machine that makes paper copies of files, documents, images, etc. quickly. It is also very cheap to use that is why it has been around for decades. It is also known as a copier or a copy machine but should not be called as a “Xerox machine”. Xerox is a brand that manufactures photocopiers.

Most machines use the xerography technology. This is a dry process that uses heat fusion. This is the standard for office copying. Some models use ink jet technology like printers but this is typically used in lower-end models which are used for home offices.



These are old types of copiers. There are very few units of this type that are sold today because they are very prone to mechanical failure. Also, more moving parts are used to make a copy so it is not necessarily a practical machine to manufacture especially with the availability of technology today. It uses lights, mirrors and lenses to reflect the image of a document that is placed on the platen onto a photo receptor for printing. These machines are being phased out so parts and support will become more difficult to find. It is not advisable to get this type of machine especially if it’s a second hand model. You will save money now but you will get a lot of headaches in the long run.


This is the digital age and it’s no surprise that photocopiers also use this technology. A digital copier is a multi-function device that has the ability not only to make copies but to fax, scan and print. It fulfils several office functions.

These devices usually have greater paper capacity and tools to make daily processes easier. They are easy to use in spite of their advanced features.


These machines use only one toner color and that is black that is why they are called monochrome (mono for short). These are made for office use. They come in different capacities from low-volume to high-volume. Some models can copy 100 pages per minute. Any business size can benefit from this type.


As the name suggests, this type can produce coloured copies. It can also print in black and white. These copiers are usually multi-function devices. They have 4 drums and 4 cartridges or toner reservoirs. Some models have more. The four primary colors are CYMK or Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black. The equipment mixes these colors to create other colors.


This type of copier can perform several functions aside from the basic copying. They are also known as Multifunction Products or Printers or All in One Printers. Manufacturers are making the shift towards this type.

Basic functions include copying, scanning, printing and faxing. The latest models even have Internet access. You can connect them to your office network to send documents using the scan to email function. There are other scanning features available depending on your machine. You can print from a laptop using a USB or wireless connection. You can also install customized document management software in some models. While some even come with booklet folding with saddle stitch or stapling. These are complete document print management and archiving tools for the office.


These are small, space-saving photocopiers that can be placed on a desk. They can be a basic device or a multifunction one. These are usually designed for A4 papers. They cannot accommodate A3 sizes because they would be too big and too heavy to be placed on a desk. These A3 copiers come with a stand or cabinet that can be used as supplies storage. You can also configure it to accommodate additional paper tray modules allowing the machine to be raised to a normal height usage.


You can connect this equipment to your office network to allow you and your employees to print remotely. You can also use this for PC faxing. Most digital copiers and multifunction devices have this feature.

Which type is for you?

There are several factors to consider when choosing a photocopier. First, you must determine the volume of copies you need each day. You should also consider the possibility of growth in the next 6 months or so. This will allow you to choose a model that can keep up with your future demands. It’s better to invest in a higher level model now than to change machines after a few months or so. You should also consider your office space and your budget.