If you're constantly printing off multi-page forms or lengthy articles, a laser printer can be a quick and efficient way to process a high volume of pages. Put simply, unlike inkjet printers, these printers use a laser beam to produce text and images. Toner sticks to the areas of the drum unit that the laser traces content onto, then is transferred onto a sheet of paper. Finally, the paper passes through fuser rollers which permanently fuse the toner to the paper. In most cases, the result is a higher page yield and a faster print time. Although laser printers are generally expensive to start, they tend to be more economical in the long term as their cartridges need replacing less often.
We've tested over 110 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best laser printers you can buy. Check our picks for the best wireless printers, the best all-in-one printers, and the best home printers.
The best color laser printer for small or home offices we've tested is the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw. Its cartridges yield an outstanding number of black and color pages, so you can print out plenty of documents before needing to replace them. It produces color documents incredibly quickly, making it great for printing graphs or presentations in bulk.
It has an ADF with duplex scanning, so you can easily digitize double-sided, multi-page documents. Its flatbed scanner works fine for scanning documents, and it also has built-in fax, which is helpful for workplaces. The touchscreen display is large and responsive, so it's easy to navigate through scan and print tasks. You can connect it to a network via the Ethernet port or Wi-Fi, and you can also print directly from USB flash drives.
Unfortunately, it prints black pages rather slowly compared to other models. Also, it can be expensive to replace all three color cartridges once they run out, but since the cost-per-print for color pages is still good, it's easy to stay within budget in the long run. Like most laser printers, it isn't suited for printing photos, but it produces colors accurate enough for adding a logo or graphic into a document. All in all, it's a remarkably good laser printer for use in small workplaces.
If you need better scanning features, check out the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw. It doesn't yield as many black pages as the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw, and the cost-per-print is marginally more expensive, but it has a better flatbed scanner due to its higher scan resolution and color depth. This means that it can capture very fine details that would otherwise be lost on the Canon. The higher color depth means you won't see any color banding in scanned photos or logos with color gradients. Also, it prints black text documents significantly faster, allowing you to get through large print jobs without having to wait around.
If you want to replace your printer's cartridges less often and spend less money on consumables in the long run, go with the Canon. If you need a flatbed that can make out fine details in scans, the HP is a better option.
The best all-in-one laser printer for monochrome printing that we've tested is the Canon imageCLASS MF445dw. It yields an incredible number of pages at an outstanding cost-per-print, which helps keep you within budget in the long run. The cartridge has a built-in drum unit, so you don't have to worry about replacing it separately.
It gets the first page out very quickly and prints at an amazing speed, which is great for all types of documents if you need them fast. The scanning features are impressive, including a flatbed scanner, automatic document feeder, and built-in fax. It feels remarkably well built and solid, and the touchscreen display is large and has easy-to-navigate menus. The connectivity options are great, including Wi-Fi and an Ethernet port, and it can print directly from USB flash drives.
Unfortunately, like all monochrome laser printers, it prints awful-looking photos. Also, the flatbed scan resolution maxes out at 600 DPI, which is fine for documents, but won't capture small details like fine print and photos. Also, you need to hard-wire your PC to the printer via USB if you want to take advantage of all the scanning features. That said, it's a superb printer for monochrome printing, and it's one of the best office printers we've tested.
The best laser printer with a budget price point that we've tested is the Brother HL-L2390DW. It's an all-in-one, monochrome unit that has a high-resolution flatbed scanner. You can raise the scanner lid's hinges to fit thicker items, so you can easily digitize pages from a textbook or catalog with good details and clarity.
It feels excellently well-built, and it offers easy access to paper jams and the toner cartridge for easy installation. Its cost-per-print is incredibly low thanks to its high page yields, meaning you don't have to replace the cartridge frequently. Although it takes a little while to warm up and print the first page, subsequent pages come out quickly, so you don't have to wait long for a lengthy document.
Unfortunately, you'll have to replace the drum separately from the cartridge, which adds costs in the long run, but this also means that the toner cartridge price is lower. It also lacks an automatic document feeder, so scanning multi-page documents could be a tedious task as you'll have to manually place each sheet on the scanner. With that said, if you're on a budget and need a black and white printer, this is an excellent choice.
If you're on a tight budget and don't need a scanner, consider the Brother HL-L2370DW. While it's a printer-only unit, and it doesn't feel as well-built as the Brother HL-L2390DW, it's even cheaper to buy initially, and its page yields are significantly higher. Thanks to the higher page yields, its cost-per-print is lower. It also has a faster print speed. There's even an Ethernet port to connect the printer with a wired connection, which the HL-2390DW lacks. Unfortunately, it has a smaller display screen, which could be harder to navigate since it's only a single line.
If you want a black and white printer on a budget and need scanning features, go with the HL-L2390DW. However, if you want something even cheaper and yields more black pages, and you don't need to scan at all, go with the HL-L2370DW.
Jan 07, 2022: Picks verified for availability and accuracy; no changes.
Dec 10, 2021: Verified availability and accuracy of picks, and updated text for clarity.
Nov 12, 2021: Verified availability and accuracy of picks, and updated text for clarity.
Oct 15, 2021: Verified availability and accuracy of picks, and updated text for clarity.
Sep 16, 2021: Verified availability and accuracy of picks, and updated text for clarity.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best laser 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 laser 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.