When shopping for a printer, it's difficult not to notice that the same names keep 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 printers that cater to different needs. That said, each company has its own take on the same technology, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
We've reviewed over 40 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 merely listed alphabetically. For other options, you can also check out our recommendations for the best photo printers, the best all-in-one printers, and the best home printers.
Brother is a Japanese company that started out 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 such as typewriters, desktop computers, and of course, printers. Currently, their printers are separated into two categories: home and business. Most of their home printers are inkjet printers due to their versatility and lower cost, and business-oriented printers are mostly laser printers, as they're usually better at handling big print jobs quickly. Brother printers are typically well-built, and their cartridges generally last a long time, making them cost-effective options for those who print a lot. Also, they have one of the largest selections of monochrome laser printers for those who print in black only.
The best Brother printer we've reviewed so far is the Brother MFC-J995DW. This is a feature-rich inkjet printer that's mainly made for home use. It features Brother's INKvestment Ink Tank System, which allows its cartridges to hold more ink in order to achieve a higher yield, so you don't need to replace them as often, even if you print a lot. Its overall printing speed is good and it prints great-looking photos. The scanner comes equipped with an automatic document feeder for processing long, multi-page documents, but sadly, no duplex scanning capability. Its wide connectivity options include support for USB thumb drives and SD cards, and it also has NFC support, making the connection process even easier. Like all Brother printers, it's compatible with the iPrint&Scan mobile app, which lets you perform most tasks from your smartphone, including maintenance tasks.
Canon is a Japanese company that was first founded as the Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory in 1933, and the Canon name was trademarked two years later in 1935. It's a company that's well-known for making cameras and lenses, but they also make products such as projectors, calculators, and even MRI machines for medical use. Like most other manufacturers, Canon has printers that are aimed for home use and business use. There are nearly four dozen inkjet printers under their hugely popular PIXMA line alone, and another few dozen laser printers meant for small businesses. Unsurprisingly, Canon's inkjet printers are usually better at printing photos than the competition and their cartridge system tends to yield more color pages.
The best Canon Printer we've reviewed so far is the Canon PIXMA G7020. It's an all-in-one inkjet printer that sports a supertank ink system, which you can fill up as you go with bottles of ink. In addition, replacement ink is very cheap, making it an excellent choice for those who frequently print in bulk. It has a great build quality, the scanner has an automatic document feeder, and its wide connectivity options include support for printing from mobile devices using AirPrint or Mopria. Unfortunately, it's very slow at printing black and color documents, but it's decently fast at printing photos. Although its color accuracy is mediocre, it's able to print good-looking photos, with plenty of detail and vibrant colors. Canon's exceptional mobile app allows you to print, scan, and copy, and you can also use the app to order replacement ink directly from Canon.
Epson, otherwise known as the Seiko Epson Corporation, has been a well-known brand for a number of years for a wide variety of products. The Epson name itself came into being in 1975 and they have been a pioneer in the field of printing ever since. They also make projectors, cameras, and in recent years, wearables such as activity trackers and smart glasses, to name a few. Epson has a wide range of printers, ranging from budget options to dedicated photo printers for professionals; however, they no longer make any laser printers. Epson is also one of the few companies that make monochrome inkjet printers that are designed to compete with monochrome laser printers, which are popular for small offices. One of Epson's most popular line of printers is their supertank printers. The refillable ink tank system can yield an incredible number of pages, and it's also less wasteful, as each bottle of ink can replace multiple individual cartridges.
The best Epson printer we've tested so far is the Epson EcoTank ET-4760. This is one of Epson's supertank printers that you can fill up as you go with bottles of ink, which makes it a cost-effective option for those who print a lot. It's decently fast at printing black only documents; however, it's much slower at printing color documents and photos. It has a large 250-sheet input tray, it can perform duplex printing, and it supports most paper sizes, including photo papers. Printed photos look decent, but the colors lack vibrancy and there's some banding in the grayscale. Unfortunately, although the scanner has an automatic document feeder, it can't perform duplex scanning. For connectivity options, it supports most wired and wireless connections, except for Bluetooth and external storage devices.
HP, short for Hewlett-Packard, is an American company that was first founded in 1939 and was then incorporated in 1947. Like many other companies, it started out making very different kinds of products. Audio oscillators, atomic clock, LEDs, personal computers; HP's portfolio is long and varied. They introduced the world's first desktop laser printer and was instrumental in making inkjet technology as popular as it is today. HP has had a few controversies over the years, but it remains one of the biggest companies to this day, with one of the biggest market shares of personal computers and printers worldwide. HP has a wide range of printers for home, businesses, and enterprises. They also make supertank printers under the 'Smart Tank Plus' name and even some pocket-size photo printers that are designed for use with mobile devices.
The best HP printer we've tested so far is the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025. It's an all-in-one inkjet printer that performs impressively well for a wide range of uses. It has an excellent build quality, a large and colorful display screen, and a full-feature scanner that can perform duplex scanning. Its cartridges can yield a good number of pages and it accepts high-yield cartridges. It has two input trays that can hold up to a total of 500 sheets of paper, and its overall printing is great, especially when printing photos. It prints pretty decent-looking photos; however, there's some banding in the grayscale and some loss of detail in darker areas. Its printing color accuracy is mediocre, so it isn't recommended for any type of professional work that requires precise coloring. It has wide connectivity options and it's compatible with the HP Smart mobile app. You can perform most basic tasks from the app and also manage your ink subscription, but unfortunately, it can't print Microsoft Office files, text files, or webpages.
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 would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our printer reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While 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.