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Brother MFC-J6945DW Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Aug 04, 2021 at 10:17 am
Brother MFC-J6945DW Picture
8.3
Family
8.7
Small/Home Office
9.0
Student
8.5
Black & White
7.7
Photo
Type All in One
Technology Inkjet
Wireless Yes
Color Yes
SuperTank
No

The Brother MFC-J6945DW is a wide-format printer designed for home offices and small businesses. It can scan sheets sizes up to 11" x 17" with both its flatbed scanner and its automatic document feeder, which is important if you need to scan large blueprints, posters, brochures, or other oversized documents. Of course, you can also print on 11" x 17" paper yourself, so you can print bulks of shipping labels, postcards, or anything else on these large sheets. Like most Brother inkjet models, it uses the INKvestment Tank, a hybrid between traditional cartridges and supertanks. These cartridges hold more ink than the cartridges on most other inkjets, and once you install them into the printer, the ink empties out into internal reservoirs.

Our Verdict

8.3 Family

The Brother 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. It prints fairly good-looking pictures, and while colors are a bit off, it isn't bad enough to make your photos look weird.

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

The Brother 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 very low cost-per-print.
  • Outstanding touchscreen.
  • 11" x 17"–format printing and duplex scanning.
  • Warms up impressively quickly to print the first page.
Cons
  • Slow printing speed for black text documents.
  • Frequent paper jams.
9.0 Student

The Brother 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 very low cost-per-print.
  • Can print directly from USB flash drives.
  • Warms up impressively quickly to print the first page.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Bluetooth.
8.5 Black & White

The Brother 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 very low cost-per-print.
  • Outstanding touchscreen.
  • 11" x 17"–format printing and duplex scanning.
  • Warms up impressively quickly to print the first page.
Cons
  • Slow printing speed for black text documents.
  • Frequent paper jams.
7.7 Photo

The Brother J6945DW is decent for printing casual photos. Pictures look reasonably good but have visible banding and graininess. Also, some colors look a bit off from their originals, but they aren't inaccurate enough to make your photos look bad. 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 very low cost-per-print.
  • Supports 4" x 6" and 5" x 7" glossy photo paper.
  • Decent color accuracy.
Cons
  • Visible banding and graininess in photos.
  • 8.3 Family
  • 8.7 Small/Home Office
  • 9.0 Student
  • 8.5 Black & White
  • 7.7 Photo
  1. Updated Sep 08, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Updated Aug 25, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  3. Updated Aug 04, 2022: Added mention of the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5180 in the 'Cartridge' section as an alternative with better page yields.
  4. Updated May 03, 2022: Since we updated this printer to the new test bench, we added text to the new tests. We also updated some of the older text to be more in line with our current guidelines.
  5. Updated Apr 08, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  6. Updated Aug 16, 2021: Retested duplex scanning and printing to confirm results. Updated Scanner Printing Speed box.
  7. Updated Aug 04, 2021: Review published.
  8. Updated Jul 30, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.5
Design
Build 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, the printer kept getting paper jams, particularly during the page yield tests.

Design
Dimensions
Height 14.9" (37.8 cm)
Width 22.6" (57.3 cm)
Depth 18.8" (47.7 cm)
Height When In Use
18.4" (46.8 cm)
Width When In Use
22.6" (57.3 cm)
Depth When In Use
32.8" (83.2 cm)
Weight
50.0 lbs (22.7 kg)
8.0
Design
Expected Maintenance
Ink Related Maintenance
Expected
Drum Unit
No Drum Unit

Like all inkjet printers, the Brother J6945DW requires some maintenance to prevent printhead clogging and ink drying up. There are a few built-in tasks to help improve print quality, like printhead cleaning, printhead alignment, and paper feed corrections. There are also settings to reduce smudging and uneven lines, and you can turn on an option that helps increase the print quality on uncoated paper, which needs more time to dry. The ink cartridges are easy to replace by pulling down a cover on the right front side of the printer and simply clicking them in and out.

Also, you don't have to change them too often since you can get lots of pages out before the cartridges run empty. There are two input trays that hold 250 pages each and a manual feeder that holds 100 pages, so you don't need to worry about the paper levels often. You can access the sheet rollers by removing both input trays, and you can also remove a cover in the back, so they're easy to clean or remove jammed paper from.

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.

9.9
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
3
Black Cartridge Model
LC3037BK
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
No Cartridges
Ink Type
Dye And Pigment
High Yield Cartridge
Yes

The Brother MFC-J6945DW uses high-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 prints even more pages before needing to be replaced. 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. If you want an inkjet printer with better page yields, check out the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5180.

The printer kept getting paper jams every 10 to 15 pages during the black page yield test and every 50 to 60 pages during the 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.

9.5
Design
Scanner Features
Scanner
ADF + Flatbed
ADF Capacity
50 pages
Scan Speed
11 PPM
Duplex Scanning
Automatic (Single-Pass)
Max Flatbed Scan Size
11" x 17"
Max ADF Scan Size
11" x 17"
Flatbed Hinge Adjustability
1.20" (31 mm)
Fax
Yes
Copy
Yes
OCR Included
Built-in

The Brother J6945DW's automatic document feeder can scan 11" x 17" tabloid-format sheets, and its duplex-scanning feature makes 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" 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; however, this also makes the file size very large.

5.5
Design
Scan Quality
Max Scan Resolution
1,200 DPI
Max Scan Color Depth
24Bit

The default scan resolution is 200DPI, which causes slightly blurry scans like you see above. While it's good for most simple text documents, you might need a higher resolution for photos or text you want to retouch or resize. In that case, you can increase it to 1200DPI. While Brother advertises the ADF's resolution as 600DPI, it can actually scan up to 1200DPI.

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

Design
Battery
Advertised Battery Life
N/A
Tested Charging Time
N/A
Document
7.0
Document
Black & White Documents
Color Ink Needed For Black & White
Yes
7.5
Document
Color Documents
9.9
Document
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
32.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
64.49 US$
Black-Only Printing Cost
0.011 US$/print
Color Printing Cost
0.035 US$/print
Photo Printing Cost
0.090 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 lets you know 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.

7.9
Document
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
13 PPM
Color Document
11 PPM
Photo Printing Time
68.0 s
Single Page Out Time (Black Only)
8.0 s
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
600 pages

The Brother MFC-J6945DW prints black text documents at a sub-par speed, so you might have to wait for very long reports. 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. Also, it can automatically print double-sided tabloid-sized sheets, meaning you don't need to flip over the pages yourself.

Document
Document Printing Sizes
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
Max Paper Weight
260 g/m²

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.

Photo
6.0
Photo
Color Gamut

The Brother MFC-J6945DW's color gamut is mediocre. The tell-tale zig-zag line is hardly noticeable, and it only shows up in the red-to-pink, dark blue, and yellow-to-orange areas. This means the printer can achieve the most saturated point of those hues but none of the others. The black area extends too high into the colors in the blue-green area, meaning it tends to make those dark tones too black. Likewise, the white extends too low into the purple area, so it isn't good at reproducing light colors. While the transitions between colors is smooth, some colors extend too much to one side. For example, the pink extends too much into the purple/blue section, meaning the printer can't produce a wide range of colors between pink and blue.

6.3
Photo
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
7.60

The Brother MFC-J6945DW has decent color accuracy. While some colors don't look exactly as they should, they still look good enough that your casual photos will still look nice.

8.5
Photo
Small Details
Max Print Resolution (DPI)
1200 x 4800
9.5
Photo
Photo Printing Sizes
Glossy Paper (4" x 6") Yes
Glossy Paper (5" x 7") Yes
Glossy Paper (8" x 10") Yes
Glossy Paper (8.5" x 11") Yes
Glossy Paper (13" x 19") No
Borderless Printing
Yes
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

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

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

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.

Mobile App And Connectivity
OS Compatibility
Windows Fully
macOS Fully
Chrome OS Fully

You need to manually install drivers on the Brother MFC-J6945DW to print on Windows. However, you don't need any drivers for macOS or Chrome OS.

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.

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. Also, unlike the HP, the Brother's ADF can duplex-scan tabloid-format sheets at a much higher resolution of 1200 DPI. On the other hand, the HP prints better-looking photos, but it prints color documents slower and holds 100 fewer total sheets in its input trays.

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, and it can print directly from SD cards.

Brother MFC-J4535DW

The Brother MFC-J6945DW and the Brother MFC-J4535DW are similar all-in-one inkjet printers. The J6945DW has a larger display screen and a Numpad, and its ADF can scan double-sided sheets. Also, it prints more pages before its cartridges run out, especially for color pages, so its cost-per-print is much lower. On the other hand, the J4535DW prints documents slightly faster.

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.

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.

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 prints black text documents much 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 prints single pages much quicker, and it prints longer documents much faster, too. 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.

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 and a cheaper cost-per-print since it uses tanks instead of cartridges.

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 prints black text documents much faster.

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, 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.

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 prints one-page documents faster after going unused for a while. 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, HP comes with a six-month ink subscription through HP Instant Ink.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4830

The Brother MFC-J6945DW and the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4830 are both all-in-one inkjet printers, but the Brother performs better for printing black-only text documents. The Brother has incredible page yields for both black and color documents, and an exceptionally low cost-per-print overall. Also, the Brother has a larger flatbed scanner than the Epson, and its ADF can automatically duplex scan in a single pass, which is much faster than the Epson's dual-pass automatic duplex scanning. On the other hand, the Epson has a slightly faster print speed for photos and text documents. 

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, more accurate colors and no banding. Also, it prints photos faster, and it can print directly from SD cards. On the other hand, 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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