Brother MFC-J6945DW Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.1
Reviewed Aug 04, 2021 at 10:17 am
Brother MFC-J6945DW Picture
8.4
Family
8.8
Small/Home Office
9.3
Student
8.6
Black & White
7.1
Casual Photo
Type All in One
Technology Inkjet
Wireless Yes
Color Yes
SuperTank
No

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is an excellent printer for small or home offices. Its scanning features are exceptional, including built-in fax, a flatbed with hinges that raise for thicker media, and a duplex-scanning automatic document feeder that exceptionally scans up to 1200 DPI. It supports both scanning and printing of 11" x 17" tabloid sheets, with outstanding page yields, a remarkably low cost-per-print, and a very quick warm-up time to print the first page. Unfortunately, it produces grainy photos with visible banding and sub-par color accuracy. Also, it prints black text documents slowly. During testing, we encountered frequent paper jams, and we also needed to perform print head cleaning during our yield tests to resolve vertical white lines that would appear.

Our Verdict

8.4 Family

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is an impressive printer for family use. It has both a flatbed scanner and a duplex-scanning automatic document feeder, so you can easily digitize old photos. The cost-per-print for black and color documents is incredibly low, and it can print directly from USB flash drives. Although it prints fairly good-looking pictures, the accuracy of colors is sub-par and might be noticeable even during casual use.

Pros
  • Superb page yields at a remarkably low cost-per-print.
  • Can print directly from USB flash drives and Wi-Fi.
  • Flatbed scanner has good scan resolution and color depth.
Cons
  • Visible banding and graininess in photos.
  • Disappointing color accuracy.
8.8 Small/Home Office

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is an excellent printer for small or home offices, with fantastic page yields, a very low cost-per-print, and a quick warm-up time to print the first page. The automatic document feeder can duplex scan, supports 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets, and exceptionally, can scan with a resolution of up to 1200 DPI. There's easy access to paper jams, an outstanding touchscreen display with easy-to-navigate menus, and it has an Ethernet port and supports Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, the printing speed for black text documents is disappointingly slow.

Pros
  • Superb page yields at a remarkably low cost-per-print.
  • Outstanding touchscreen.
  • 11" x 17"–format printing and duplex scanning.
  • Warms up impressively quickly to print the first page.
Cons
  • Disappointing printing speed for black text documents.
  • Relatively frequent paper jams.
9.3 Student

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is a superb printer for students. The cost-per-print for black and color documents is outstandingly low, and the warm-up time to print out the first page is great. Also, it has a flatbed and automatic document feeder that both support scanning large 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets. Although it can print directly from USB flash drives and Wi-Fi Direct, it doesn't support Bluetooth.

Pros
  • Superb page yields at a remarkably low cost-per-print.
  • Can print directly from USB flash drives and Wi-Fi.
  • Warms up impressively quickly to print the first page.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Bluetooth.
8.6 Black & White

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is excellent at printing in black and white. There's easy access to paper jams, and it feels excellently well built. The page yield is outstanding, the cost-per-print is remarkably cheap, and it warms up quickly to print the first page. Also, the automatic document feeder supports duplex scanning of large 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets up to 1200 DPI. Sadly, it's disappointingly slow to print black text documents.

Pros
  • Superb page yields at a remarkably low cost-per-print.
  • Outstanding touchscreen.
  • 11" x 17"–format printing and duplex scanning.
  • Warms up impressively quickly to print the first page.
Cons
  • Disappointing printing speed for black text documents.
  • Relatively frequent paper jams.
7.1 Casual Photo

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is only decent for printing casual photos, as pictures look reasonably good but have visible banding, graininess, and sub-par color accuracy. However, the cost-per-print for photos is outstandingly cheap, and it supports 4" x 6" and 5" x 7" glossy photo paper.

Pros
  • Superb page yields at a remarkably low cost-per-print.
  • Supports 4" x 6" and 5" x 7" glossy photo paper.
Cons
  • Visible banding and graininess in photos.
  • Disappointing color accuracy.
  • 8.4 Family
  • 8.8 Small/Home Office
  • 9.3 Student
  • 8.6 Black & White
  • 7.1 Casual Photo
  1. Updated Aug 16, 2021: Retested duplex scanning and printing to confirm results. Updated Scanner Printing Speed box.
  2. Updated Aug 04, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Jul 30, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.5
Design
Build & Design Quality

The Brother J6945DW's build quality is excellent. The entire body is made of solid-feeling, thick plastic. The rear multi-purpose tray and the output tray can extend when printing or collapse when not in use, and both front paper trays are fully removable, with sliders for selecting both the length and the width of the paper. There's easy access to the ink cartridges using a door on the front right, and you can access potential paper jams by removing the front paper trays, lifting the scanning flatbed itself, or opening the rear latch door. Unfortunately, the power cord isn't detachable, and because the Ethernet, USB, and fax ports are under the flatbed scanner as seen here, the usable length of cables is greatly reduced.

Also, during testing, we experienced frequent paper jams with our unit, particularly during our yield tests. We would need to clear these jams often, either from the front or the rear of the printer.

Design
Dimensions
Height 14.9" (37.8 cm)
Width 22.6" (57.5 cm)
Depth 18.8" (47.7 cm)
Weight
50.0 lbs (22.7 kg)
9.0
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
3.7" (9.3 cm)
Touchscreen Yes

The Brother MFC-J6945DW's display features are outstanding. The menus on the color touchscreen respond quickly and are easy to navigate, and you can also tilt the entire display panel up and down. The screen has good visibility whether seated or standing, but it's only okay from the sides. The full physical keypad and the physical buttons for Back, Home, and Cancel should help make printer operation easy.

Design
In The Box

  • Product Safety Guide
  • Reference Guide
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • 8.5" x 11" maintenance sheet for paper jams
  • Software installation disc
  • Telephone line cord
  • Brother starter ink cartridges:
    • 1x LC3037 C
    • 1x LC3037 M
    • 1x LC3037 Y
    • 1x LC3037 BK

9.9
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
3
Black Cartridge Model
LC3037 BK
Tested Black Page Yield
161 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
3,059 prints
Color Cartridge Model
LC3037 C/M/Y
Tested Color Page Yield
80 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
1,833 prints
Third Party Cartridge
Yes
High Yield Cartridge
XXL ULTRA
Drum Unit
No Drum Unit

The Brother MFC-J6945DW's cartridge system yields an incredible number of pages. Brother's proprietary INKvestment Tank system uses expanded-capacity ink cartridges together with internal ink storage tanks. Although the smallest-size replacements are Brother's "Super High Yield" cartridges, you can get an even larger size, known as "Ultra High Yield", which should produce even more pages before needing to be replaced, although we haven't tested them. Unfortunately, even though third-party ink cartridges work with the printer, it doesn't recognize them as genuine and can't detect the volume of ink in them. Keep in mind that using third-party cartridges in this printer may void your warranty.

We experienced paper jams every 10 or 15 pages during our black page yield test and every 50 to 60 pages during our color page yield test. Vertical white lines would appear every 50 pages but would be resolved each time by performing a quick print head cleaning. Also, the output tray would get jammed, and papers become folded, as seen here, if the printer was left unattended. If you have the same model and experience similar issues, let us know in the discussions.

10
Design
Scanner
Scanner
Yes
Scan Flatbed
Yes
Scan Sheetfed
Yes
Automatic Document Feeder
Yes
Duplex Scanning
Yes
Scan Resolution
1,200 DPI
Scan Color Depth
24 Bit
Flatbed Scan Size
11" x 17"
Fax
Yes
Copy
Yes

Update 08/16/2021: We retested this printer to verify if it can scan tabloid-sized sheets with its automatic document feeder. We confirm that it can.

The Brother MFC-J6945DW has incredible scanning features. The automatic document feeder can scan 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets, and its duplex-scanning feature should make processing double-sided, multi-page documents easy. Although Brother specifies that the ADF can only scan up to 600 DPI, we found that it scans at 1200 DPI. The flatbed scan lid's hinges can lift to scan larger media like books, and it's also big enough to scan large 11" x 17"–size sheets. Also, Brother specifies that the flatbed has an interpolated scan resolution feature supporting up to 19,200 DPI, resulting in extremely high-detailed, crisp scans, but we don't test this.

Printing
9.9
Printing
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
32.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
64.49 US$
Black Only Printing
0.011 US$/print
Color Printing
0.035 US$/print
Photo Printing
0.09 US$/print
Ink Subscription
Optional

The Brother MFC-J6945DW's cost-per-print is fantastic. You can buy the color cartridges individually or in a bundle if you want to save some money. It's also compatible with the Brother Refresh plan, which alerts you when the printer is running low on ink and automatically orders replacement cartridges. Unlike other ink subscriptions, there aren't any recurring fees, and you only pay for the ink you ordered.

Even if you print only in black, most inkjet printers continue using the color cartridge for servicing tasks, so you may still need to replace it eventually.

7.5
Printing
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
10 PPM
Color Document
11 PPM
Photo Printing Time
68.0 s
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
8.0 s
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
600 pages

Update 08/16/2021: We retested this printer to verify if it can automatically duplex print tabloid-sized sheets. We confirm that it can.

The Brother MFC-J6945DW prints black text documents at a sub-par speed, so you might have to wait for very long reports. The printing speed for photos is passable, and on the bright side, it's decently fast for color documents. The two front paper trays hold up to 250 sheets each, and the rear multi-purpose tray can hold up to 100 pages of regular paper.

5.6
Printing
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
11.09

The Brother MFC-J6945DW reproduces colors with sub-par accuracy. It might be noticeable even in casual photo prints, and we don't recommend it for tasks that require precise color reproduction.

6.9
Printing
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing
Yes

The Brother J6945DW produces reasonably good-looking photos with well-identified colors. Unfortunately, there's grain in most of the picture that's apparent especially in faces, and there's visible banding in some areas.

We base these results on the actual physical photo, not the scanned image provided for reference above, which may not represent the printer's photo print quality.

Printing
Printing Size
Letter (8.5" x 11") Yes
Legal (8.5" x 14") Yes
Tabloid (11" x 17") Yes
A6 (105mm x 148mm) Yes
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Yes
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Yes
Photo (2" x 3") No
Photo (4" x 6") Yes
Photo (5" x 7") Yes

The Brother MFC-J6945DW can print on large, 11" x 17" tabloid-format paper. Also, 8.5" x 11" letter-size paper is loaded horizontally in the front input trays and is output horizontally.

Mobile App And Connectivity
9.0
Mobile App And Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
Yes
USB Input To Computer
Yes
Bluetooth
No
Wi-Fi via Router
Yes
Wi-Fi Direct
Yes
External Storage Support
Yes
Apple AirPrint
Yes
Mopria Print Service
Yes

The Brother MFC-J6945DW has outstanding connectivity options. There's a USB slot on the front left side for printing directly from USB flash drives. However, according to the manual, it doesn't support the NTFS file storage format, commonly used with Windows storage devices.

10
Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App For Home Use
Mobile App Yes
App Name Brother iPrint&Scan
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Yes
PDF
Yes
Microsoft Office Files
Yes
Text Files (TXT)
Yes
Webpages (HTML)
Yes

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is compatible with the Brother iPrint&Scan mobile app. You can print, scan, copy, and fax directly from your mobile device, check ink levels, and verify the ink cartridge model and printer firmware version.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Brother MFC-J6945DW in white and grey, which is the only color scheme. It's closely related to the Brother MFC-J6545DW, which has only one paper input tray, and whose automatic document feeder doesn't support duplex scanning. You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is an amazing printer for small or home offices. Unlike most office printers, it supports printing and scanning 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets, and its duplex-scanning automatic document feeder can scan up to 1200 DPI. Like other Brother printers that use the proprietary INKvestment Tank, it has fantastic page yields, but it still isn't as good as dedicated supertank printers. Unfortunately, it reproduces colors with disappointing accuracy.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best office printers, the best all-in-one printers, and the best 11x17 printers.

HP OfficeJet Pro 7740

The Brother MFC-J6945DW and the HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 can both print 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets. The Brother is better for small or home offices due to its significantly higher page yields, much lower cost-per-print, and larger display with a full physical keypad. Unlike the HP, its ADF can duplex-scan tabloid-format sheets at a much higher resolution of 1200 DPI. The HP prints better-looking photos, prints faster, and produces much more accurate colors.

Brother MFC-J995DW

The Brother MFC-J6945DW and the Brother MFC-J995DW use the proprietary INKvestment Tank hybrid cartridge–tank system for superb page yields at an outstandingly low cost-per-print. However, the J6945DW is better for small or home offices, while the J995DW is better for families and students. The J6945DW can scan and print 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets, and it holds significantly more sheets in its input trays. On the other hand, the J995DW produces significantly better-looking photos with much more accurate colors, and it can print directly from SD cards.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7840

The Brother MFC-J6945DW and the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7840 are both capable of scanning and printing 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets. The Brother is better for small or home offices, with significantly higher page yields at a much cheaper cost-per-print, and a faster color document printing speed. On the other hand, the Epson is better for casual photos, with far more accurate colors, and it prints black text documents much faster.

Brother HL-L2350DW

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is an all-in-one color inkjet better for small or home offices, while the Brother HL-L2350DW is a printer-only monochrome laser unit that's better for black-and-white printing. The MFC-J6945DW has better page yields at a cheaper cost-per-print, prints fairly good-looking color photos, and supports printing and scanning 11" x 17" sheets. Also, it has a flatbed scanner and duplex-scanning automatic document feeder, an Ethernet port, and can print directly from USB flash drives. On the other hand, the HL-L2350DW prints black text documents significantly faster.

Canon PIXMA G7020

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is better for small or home offices, while the Canon PIXMA G7020 uses a supertank and is better for casual photo printing. The Brother warms up much more quickly to print out the first page and prints documents much faster. Also, it can print 11" x 17" sheets and scan them using both its flatbed scanner and duplex-scanning automatic document feeder and can print directly from USB flash drives. On the other hand, the Canon has much better page yields at a cheaper cost-per-print, and it prints photos more quickly, with much better quality and much more accurate colors.

Brother MFC-J4335DW

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is a much larger and heavier printer compared to the Brother MFC-J4335DW, but the J6945DW is also much better overall. The J6945DW supports printing and duplex-scanning large tabloid-size sheets, feels better built, has a much larger input tray capacity, prints better-looking photos, and can print directly from USB flash drives. Although both printers use the INKvestment Tank hybrid cartridge–tank system, the J6945DW has far superior yields at a much cheaper cost-per-print. On the other hand, the J4335DW prints documents much faster and produces significantly more accurate colors.

Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser

The Brother MFC-J6945DW and Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser are both amazing printers for small or home offices, but the J6945DW is an inkjet that can scan and print 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets, while the L3770CDW uses laser technology to print. The J6945DW has higher page yields, a lower cost-per-print, and it prints far better-looking photos. Also, its flatbed scanner is larger, and it can print directly from USB flash drives. On the other hand, the L3770CDW prints much faster, and it produces much more accurate colors.

Epson EcoTank ET-4700

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is designed for small or home offices and performs better overall than the Epson EcoTank ET-4700. The Brother feels solid and much better built, has an outstanding display interface, and prints much faster. Also, it can print 11" x 17" sheets and scan them using both its flatbed and duplex-scanning automatic document feeder and can print directly from USB flash drives. On the other hand, the Epson has better page yields, a cheaper cost-per-print, and it produces slightly better-looking photos with much more accurate colors.

HP OfficeJet Pro 9015

The Brother MFC-J6945DW and the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 were designed for offices, but the Brother is better for small or home offices, while the HP is better for casual photo printing and families. The Brother yields significantly more pages at a much cheaper cost-per-print, it warms up much faster to print the first page, and it also supports printing and scanning larger 11" x 17" sheets. On the other hand, the HP prints faster and produces significantly better-looking photos with more accurate colors.

Epson EcoTank ET-15000

The Brother MFC-J6945DW and the Epson EcoTank ET-15000 are both small/home office printers with different features. The Brother prints color documents faster, its display features are better, and it can print directly from USB flash drives. Also, its flatbed scanner is larger, and its automatic document feeder can duplex-scan up to 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets. On the other hand, the Epson is better for casual photo prints as it produces much better-looking photos with more accurate colors, and it also prints black text documents much faster.

HP OfficeJet Pro 8025e

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is a much better printer overall than the HP OfficeJet Pro 8025e, but the HP is still better for casual photo printing. The Brother has far superior page yields at a significantly cheaper cost-per-print, prints documents faster overall, and warms up more quickly to print the first page. It can print larger 11" x 17" sheets and scan them using its flatbed and duplex-scanning automatic document feeder, and it can also print directly from USB flash drives. On the other hand, the HP prints better-looking photos with far more accurate colors, and it comes with a six-month ink subscription through HP Instant Ink.

Canon PIXMA TR8520

The Canon PIXMA TR8520 is much better for casual photo prints, while the Brother MFC-J6945DW is significantly better for small or home offices. The Canon produces far better-looking photos, with vibrant, much more accurate colors and no banding. Also, it prints photos faster, and it can print directly from SD cards. The Brother yields far more pages at a much cheaper cost-per-print, prints faster, and can print directly from USB flash drives. Also, its flatbed scanner is larger, and the automatic document feeder can duplex-scan up to 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets.

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