What is the Best Printer Brand?

Best Printer Brand for Overall Customer Satisfaction

Brand loyalty is for dummies. I said it, and I meant it.

I’ve talked to reps from some of the biggest tech companies in the world, and they will all tell you the same thing. Their company’s main concern is creating a valuable product for their customers. And it’s all bull.

These companies care about making money, and nothing else. They aren’t loyal to you, so there is no reason to be loyal to them.

Now that Negative Nelson’s rant is out of the way, I am curious to see what the best printer brand is. I’ve got my personal favorite, and I’m going to see how that is challenged.

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Best Printer Brand: How the Ranking Works

I’m going to analyze the top four printer brands; Brother, Canon, Epson, and HP. First, I’m going to award points on a scale of one to five in multiple printer aspects. Then, I’m going to rank the overall quality of each companies laserjet and inkjet printers. These will be rated between one to twenty, so they carry more weight.

In the end, we’ll tally up the points, and whoever achieves the highest points wins. Best of luck to each of the competitors, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Print Quality

Brother – 3

It’s not that Brother doesn’t have great print quality; they do! However, Brother tends to focus more on cost than print quality. Add to that the fact that Brother focuses mainly on the laser printer sector, and they just aren’t the best printer brand in this category

Canon – 5

I’ve ripped on Canon in the past for having ridiculous cartridge systems. You don’t need seven cartridges to print amazing photos. However, Canon printers do print incredible photos. Even their printers that utilize a two-cartridge system have a great print quality.

Epson – 5

It doesn’t get better than this. For a home printer, you won’t find higher quality or higher resolution printing. If an Epson doesn’t print good enough photos for you, then you need a professional print shop.

Caveat: Keep your print heads clean!

HP – 4

HP Printers have great quality across the board. The laser printers create crisp text documents, and most of their photo printers create high-resolution borderless prints. They aren’t quite as precise or rich as Canon or Epson, but they are still very high quality.

Scan Quality

Brother – 3

This is similar to the former category. It isn’t that Brother printers have poor print quality. It’s just that it isn’t a priority. Brother printers are focused on cost-saving, with the ability to scan as an additional attribute.

Canon – 4

Typically, when you have a good photo printer, you have a good scanner. What I’ve noticed is that Canon laser printers also have an incredible image scanning ability. They might even scan better pictures than their photo printers.

Epson – 5

Epson printers are just miles ahead of others in terms of scan quality. They should get a 10 here. I believe part of this is because Epson builds professional dedicated scanners. They employ the same tech to put super high-resolution scanners into all of their printers.

HP – 4

HP builds all of their printers for value. So, their scanners are good for the price. You couldn’t buy a professional scanner for the price of these printers, so you can’t expect them to have one built in.

Total Cost of Ownership

Brother – 5

For this category, I had to think of the average cost of ownership across the manufacturer’s whole product line. This is where brother shines. Their laser printers save you money, and their inkjet printers save you money. Brother is top of the line for printing on a budget.

Canon – 1

Canon will murder your family with their ink prices. Seriously, whichever of your children is best with a shovel may need to be sold to a ditch digging company to afford your ink. Hopefully, you have a spare.

Epson – 3

Epson isn’t much better than Canon or HP when it comes to ink. The reason it is middle of the road is because of the EcoTank printers. They save you a ton of money on ink and the total ownership cost of your printer.

HP – 4

As much as everyone likes to complain about HP’s cartridge costs, they are almost always even or cheaper than comparable models from other brands. Add to this the cheap total cost of owning an HP laserjet or having an Instant Ink subscription, and HP is better at saving you money than you thought.

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Customer Service

Brother – 3

Brother customer service is pretty basic. They try to help you fix problems over the phone, try to get you to return to the store, and on rare occasions, they may replace your defective product. Nothing special, but better than most printer manufacturers.

Canon – 3

Canon is in the same league as Brother. For printer manufacturers, the bare minimum is the best you can hope for. They’ll answer the phone at some point, humor your questions, try to help. Yay.

Epson – 2

Epson’s tech support is garbage. I hate it. As a retailer, I can barely get answers, and I have reps I can call. Customer support for printers is just terrible, and I’m sorry.

HP – 1

I feel like I should have ranked these on a zero to five scale, because HP deserves a zero for customer service. It’s garbage. 99% of the time they tell you to take it back to the store, and the other %1 they try to charge you for a warranty claim. They should burn down their call centers for the insurance money, because they serve no other purpose.

Inkjet Printers

Brother – 12

This feels a bit unfair. Brother just doesn’t spend a lot of attention on their inkjet printers. They do make some inkjets that have very competitive print costs. However, lasers are still their bread and butter.

Canon – 15

Canon makes better inkjets than anything else, but they still aren’t amazing. They have a big problem with the cost and efficiency of their cartridges. This makes it difficult for me to recommend them.

Epson – 18

Epson is best known for making inkjet printers which create gorgeous prints. It’s why they also have a professional series of large format printers. They make a great quality product for a lighter user.

HP – 20

HP makes better inkjet printers than anyone else. You can be salty about it, but it’s the truth. There’s a reason they sell more inkjet printers than anyone else. It’s because they are the best printer brand for inkjet printers.

Laserjet Printers

Brother – 20

Brother is the best printer brand for laser printers. I doubt you’ll find anyone that will argue with that. They are fast, they are low cost, and they are reliable. Like their sewing machines, and like their typewriters, Brother makes the best laser printers because it’s what they care about.

Canon – 8

Canon does make some laser printers, and they aren’t terrible. They just aren’t that good either. They’re very middle of the road, and their line is very limited. I feel if Canon wants to continue in the laser printer market, they need to jump in with both feet, instead of flirting with the line.

Epson – N/A

Epson doesn’t make consumer laser printers. Sucks to suck.

HP – 18

HP makes great laser printers. Most of my customers don’t even know HP makes laser printers because Brother has such domination in the space. However, HP builds a great product that truthfully gives Brother a run for their money. A lot of their models are actually better than Brother’s comparable model. If you need a color all in one laser printer that saves you a lot of money, give HP a shot.

The Verdict

4th Place: Epson (33 pts.)

This feels dirty, but Epson definitely suffers because they don’t offer laser printers. And, while that seems unfair, the best printer brand can’t be one that doesn’t offer everything. Sorry, old friend.

3rd Place: Canon (36 pts.)

I’m surprised Canon isn’t last, because I kind of hate their printers. I guess I have to admit, while they are often a rip off for ink, they have great print quality.

Runner-Up: Brother (46 pts.)

Before doing the math, I was sure Brother would win. I love their machines. However, they put most of their focus on laser printers, so I think that hurt them a bit. Oh well, second isn’t anything to be ashamed of.

1st place: The Best Printer Brand: HP (51 pts.)

Type away haters, but I didn’t choose this. For me, HP’s customer support should be disqualifying, but I can’t cheat the numbers. They excel in being good enough across the board, and that’s why HP is the best printer brand. Sorry, not sorry.

If you’re looking for an awesome HP Printer, check out the HP Officejet Pro 8720 on Amazon. It’s the printer I use at home.

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Also, sign up for my email list. It lets you know when I publish reviews and I keep you posted on Amazon printer sales.

As always, check out my other reviews, and happy printing!

6 thoughts on “What is the Best Printer Brand?”

  1. Hi,
    Great article! I completely agree with you on HP’s customer service. They might as well just not have customer service for their printers.
    I do think you missed mentioning one key positive to Brother’s customer service though. They will talk to you when you are out of warranty and try to help you fix the issue! My brother laser printer MFC-84880 DN just stopped working after 8 years. They rep tried about 4 different things and took his time with me which I very much appreciated because I love this printer and don’t look forward to buying a new one.

    I’m going to look through your site to see if you have any Brother Laser printer reviews now.

    Thanks for the article!

  2. Great article. My experience exactly with HP. It’s how I found this article… for the umteenth time, have decided to get rid of our HP Officejet Pro 8500A due to error messages, alignment failure problems, etc and NO customer service. Just a runaround that ends in being pointed back to a website virtual technician that does nothing. And in the end, I wound up ‘fixing it’ by throwing money at it: replacing $90 printheads and expensive ink cartridges to clear the messages and just get it working again. When it works, it’s great. When it doesn’t, it takes money, a great deal of time, patience, and some computer smarts. Many customers are seriously lacking in one of these resources, which creates a huge opportunity for a new concept… a company to sell AND SUPPORT a simple line of printers with reasonable ink/maintenance costs that average home users with low print use (and maybe business users too) can keep working.

  3. A guy at Office Depot strongly recommende Brother. So I tried them. MFC-J5845 ink jet stopped printing. I returned it. I still have the HL-L3270 laser which I’m fairly happy with. Both printers suffer from the same microcode bug. When doing printing on both sides of the paper it makes no difference whether you say “flip on long edge” or “flip on short edge” the print comes out the same. This is not true of the HP printer. The support staff is an unfunny joke. Something like a chimp who lost his rolodex when he fell off the turnip truck.

  4. I wish Apple and Google made their own printers. Their customer support for consumers is very good compared to HP. With Apple and Google, their support is very orderly AND you get a real person on the phone to assist you. Unlike HP, you’re given the virtual agent, which is not very helpful when you have a complicated printer issue. Unless you’re an enterprise customer, you can forget about getting a real person on the line to help you. I’ll stay away from HP printers for my next one.

  5. Thanks for your article. Over the years all I’ve ever wanted was a simple print direct hook up printer. They start out ok but end up stuck on copy , or some code you can’t get out of. It seems like such a waste,and landfill pile up that the best service seems to be pitch it and buy a new one.

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