When shopping for a printer, it's difficult not to notice the brand names popping up. However, a shorter list of companies doesn't make shopping for a new printer any easier since they all make a wide range of options that cater to different needs, making it difficult to determine the overall best printer company. That said, each company has its take on the same technologies, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.
We've tested over 125 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best printer brands to buy from. Their position on the list isn't indicative of any type of ranking; they're listed alphabetically. You can also check out our recommendations for the best printers, the best all-in-one printers, and the best home printers for more options.
Brother is a Japanese company that started making sewing machines under the name Yasui Sewing Machine in the early 1900s. The Brother name has been around since 1955, and the company has since expanded its portfolio to include products like typewriters, desktop computers, and printers. Currently, their printers are in two categories: home and business. Most of their home printers are inkjets due to their versatility and lower cost, while their business-oriented printers are mostly laser models, like the Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser, which are better at quickly handling big print jobs. Brother printer cartridges generally last a long time, making them cost-effective options for those who print a lot.
The best Brother printer among all the models we've tested is the Brother MFC-J4535DW. It uses Brother's INKvestment Tank, which yields over 2000 black pages and around 800 color pages, making the cost for each print remarkably cheap. It also prints at a great speed overall and produces decent-quality photos. It has a high-resolution flatbed scanner with an automatic document feeder, allowing you to copy or digitize a variety of media, and you can print from a variety of devices thanks to its wide connectivity options. The downside is that it has poor color accuracy, meaning photos won't look like their originals. It's currently hard to find in stock, so if you want a similar model that's more oriented towards general home use, check out the Brother MFC-J4335DW. If you need something for a small office, check out the Brother MFC-L2710DW, a monochrome-only all-in-one laser unit that excels at printing black and white documents.
Canon is a Japanese company that has been in the imaging business for a long time, producing numerous products like cameras, lenses, projectors, and printers. Given their expertise in photography, it isn't surprising that their printers are generally better at printing photos, with their PIXMA line being the most popular. Although a large portion of their printers are inkjet models designed for home use, they do make laser printers for small offices, like the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw. They also make professional photo printers like the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300.
The best Canon printer we've tested is the Canon PIXMA TR8620. It's a great all-in-one inkjet model designed for general home use. It has tons of connectivity options, allowing you to connect to the printer via USB or Wi-Fi, and you can even print directly from a USB flash drive. It supports Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service, and it's compatible with Canon's PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY mobile app, which you can use to print, copy, scan, and order replacement ink. Its flatbed scanner scans at a high resolution, which is great for digitizing photos, and it has an automatic document feeder should you need to scan long, multi-page documents. It's excellent for photo printing as printed pictures look detailed and vibrant with decent color accuracy. Its ink cartridges yield a little over 200 black or 300 color pages, which is fair, and the cartridges are relatively cheap, resulting in a low cost-per-print over time. Its printing speed is just okay, so you'll have to be patient, but it can perform automatic double-sided printing, which will help save some time.
Epson, another Japanese electronics company, is part of the Seiko group. The company started making printers in 1964 when Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics, and Seiko, the official timekeeper for the games, needed to make an electronic printer for timesheets. By 1975, Seiko came out with the name Epson, short for "Son of Electronic Printers," and since then, they've been a leader in the world of printing. Their printer lineup features a wide range of models aimed at home or business use, and they even have dedicated photo printers. Their supertank lineup is popular since its refillable ink tanks yield significantly more pages than ink cartridges, which is also less wasteful.
The best Epson printer we've tested is the Epson EcoTank ET-3850. The replacement to the Epson EcoTank ET-3760, it's also an all-in-one model featuring a cartridgeless supertank ink system. It gives it a yield of over 7,000 black pages and more than 4,000 color pages from just one set of ink bottles, meaning the cost-per-print is incredibly low. It makes it a superb choice if you need to print in bulk and don't want to spend a fortune. It prints decent-quality photos, great for printing lots of flyers, while its ADF and high-resolution flatbed make it easy to bulk-print copies of scans or to digitize different media types. For connectivity, there are a variety of options, including Wi-Fi Direct and an Ethernet port. Sadly, it's a bit slow to print, so you'll need to set aside some time for large print jobs. Also, its color accuracy is poor, and photos have a slight bluish tint. For a more similar but office-oriented option, there's the Epson EcoTank ET-4760, which has a built-in fax and prints faster but is hard to find in stock at a good price. Overall, the ET-3850 is a great choice, with many different features that make it great for many uses.
Hewlett-Packard, better known by the initials HP, is an American company founded in 1939. They began by producing electronic test and measurement equipment, then moved on to other technologies like audio oscillators and atomic clocks before finally expanding their portfolio to include laptops, monitors, and computers. They introduced the first desktop laser printer in 1984 with the HP LaserJet. Although they continue making laser models like the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw, they've also expanded to make inkjet printers for office solutions. HP makes printers for home or office use, and they also make cheap options for students, like the HP DeskJet 3755.
The best HP printer we've tested is the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e, the successor to the discontinued HP OfficeJet Pro 9025. The 9025e comes with HP's Instant Ink subscription, which gives you six months of free ink delivered to your door. It prints impressively quickly, with very fast printing speeds for documents and photos. The cartridge system yields a great number of black and color pages, and even if you don't apply for the included ink subscription, the cost-per-print is still outstandingly cheap overall. The scanning features are fantastic, with a flatbed that captures good colors and fine details and an ADF that can scan both sides of a multi-page document in one pass. For connectivity, there's an Ethernet port, support for wireless printing via Wi-Fi Direct, and it can also print via USB flash drives. Unfortunately, it produces tilted ADF scans like the older 9025, which is a widespread, well-known issue with the model. The 9025e is still a great option if you need a general-purpose all-in-one inkjet printer.
Jun 02, 2022: Replaced Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw with Canon TR8620 because the MF743Cdw is discontinued and hard to find.
Apr 06, 2022: Replaced the Brother MFC-J4335DW with the Brother MFC-J4535DW, and the Epson EcoTank ET-4760 with the Epson EcoTank ET-3850. Verified availability and accuracy of picks.
Feb 04, 2022: Added the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 alongside the Canon MAXIFY GX7020, and removed mention of the Brother MFC-J995DW. Verified availability of picks and updated text for clarity.
Dec 07, 2021: Verified availability and accuracy of picks, and updated text for clarity.
Oct 08, 2021: Replaced the Brother MFC-J995DW with the Brother MFC-J4335DW due to the former's reduced availability. Also replaced the Canon PIXMA G7020 with the newer Canon PIXMA GX7020.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best printer brands and the best printers for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.
If you'd like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our printer reviews for these four brands. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While it might be impossible to say exactly which is the best printer company, it's equally important to keep in mind that no printer is perfect for every use. Most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.