The Copier Guru’s step by step guide to choosing the right all in one A3 multifunction copier printer for your business

The Copier Guru’s step by step guide to choosing the right all in one A3 multifunction copier printer for your business

There is an extensive range of multifunction copiers and printers available on the market, choosing the one that’s right for your business can be difficult. The Guru makes it simple to choose the right printer or multi-function device for your business along with the right service contract.

Multi-Function Copier Printers come in all shapes and sizes, the common factor is that they all print, copy and scan as standard.

Many A3 Multifunction devices can be fitted with an array of accessories that make work life more productive and automated. There is also a huge range of software available that can integrate with your Multi-function Printer. Many manufacturers are also offering Apps that you can upload to the machine to increase functionality and productivity.

Immediately below is a guide intended for standard office users. We’ll be adding a specific guide for print professionals, graphic designers and Print resellers.

3 simple steps to choosing the right Multi-function copier printer scanner

  • Do you need colour or just mono?
  • Do you need A3 or just A4?
  • What will your average monthly print / copy volume be?


If you require any accessories or additional functionality see the options below.


All in one Multi-Function Copier Printer – Monthly volume guidelines

A4 only models are generally suitable to lower volumes of up to 2,000 pages per month; this is because most manufacturers design their A4 multifunction printers on an A4 printer and put a scanner on top of it. There are now a few heavier duty A4 machines that can handle a higher workload, although we are yet to see their long term reliability. A3 machines tend to be built from the ground up as multi-function printers with higher volume users in mind.

Assuming you are producing over 2,000 pages per month the following volume ranges for A3 machines are a good rule of thumb. We have placed alongside each category a recommended machine type and a model from Xerox that you can use as a benchmark.

  • Up to 5,000 per month         = Entry level A3 (Xerox 7220i & Xerox 7225i)
  • 4,000 – 8,000 per month      = Low volume A3 (Xerox 7830i)
  • 7,000 – 12,000 per month    = Mid Volume A3 (Xerox 7835i)
  • 10,000 – 17,500 per month  = Upper Mid Volume A3 (Xerox 7845i)
  • 15,000 – 25,000 per month  = High Volume A3 (Xerox 7855i)
  • 20,000 + Per month             = Upper High Volume A3 (Xerox 7970i)
  • 25,000 + per month             = Light Production Colour (Xerox C60 C70 Versant 80)
  • 25,000+ per month              = Mono Light Production (Xerox D Series)


Copier Printer Multi-function Accessory guide

Document Feeders

All A3 multifunction Devices come with a Document feeder as standard. A Document Feeder is the device on top of the machine that you feed your originals into that need copying. They are also referred to as ADF, RADF, DADF. Some of the latest machines have a document feeder that can scan both sides of a double sided image in a single pass; these are known as Single Pass Document Feeders or SPDF.

For most users a standard document feeder is usually sufficient, if you copy lots of double sided documents you should consider a Single pass Document Feeder.

A small office multifunction printer will take around 50 sheets of paper in the Document feeder, larger machines hold up to 250 sheets of paper. You need to make sure that the machine you choose has a feeder capable of handling the quantity of documents in your bundle.

For example, even if you’re a small law firm your “bundle” for a case can comprise of hundreds of pages, so you should consider something that can handle high volumes of scanning, whereas a small business may only ever need to copy four or five pages at a time.

If you’re a busy accounts department you may be copying or scanning single invoices, but the constant volume means you will need a machine with a heavy duty document feeder and sufficient processing power to manage the endless flow of scanning.

Paper Supply

One ream of paper is 500 sheets; A3 machines come with varying sizes of paper capacity but usually have two 500 sheet cassettes as standard. You can add as many as seven or eight paper drawers to a single machine.

Some machines are capable of being fitted with side paper decks. These are additional paper supply units that attach to the side of the machine and increase the overall paper capacity for high volume users.

You should consider the different types and sizes of paper that you use on a regular basis. If you only use plain A4 and one other type of paper regularly then two drawers would be sufficient.

If however you regularly use multiple paper types and sizes then choose the amount of additional paper drawers and side paper decks matched to your needs.

Bypass trays are special paper trays usually located at the side of the machine that are designed to be directly in line with the paper path. These trays are designed to be used for non-standard sizes and weights of paper and different media types. You should check with the manufacturer of your machine what the recommended media types and paper weight limitations are.

Finishers, Staplers, Booklet Makers and Hole Punches, Collators

Finishers are the devices attached to the output end of your multifunction device. They perform a variety of functions, the more expensive they are, the more they do.

OCT – Offset Catch Tray: This is s simple tray that moves from side to side as each completed set of documents exits the machine. You will end up with a neat pile of sets of documents with each set slightly offset prom the previous set – hence the term Offset Catch Tray. No stapling is performed.

Internal Finisher: There are internal and external finishers. Internal finishers can usually be found on smaller lower volume machines. An internal finisher will sit inside the machine and has a lower stapling capacity, typically around 30 sheets. Internal finishers are ideal for low volume stapling. External Finishers have a higher stapling capacity of 30 – 100 sheets and can sometimes staple in multiple positions. External finishers can also be fitted with booklet makers and hole punches.

Booklet Maker: A booklet will fold your sheet of paper and place two staples in the centre, also known as a saddle stitch. The number of sheets a booklet makers can staple varies, but 16 sheets is a typical average office machine capability. Some machines can also be fitted with a square edge trimmer which makes a very neat and professional looking finish. See the Xerox C60 / C70

Hole Punch: Most A3 machines can be fitted with a 2 or 4 hole punch. This will punch your output pages automatically and is ideal for users who make lots of copies for filing in lever arch folders.

If you want to know how to get the best deal for your business, how much to pay for an office multifunction copier printer, whether to lease or purchase a machine, how to get the best price and how much to pay for service –  check out the Copier Guru’s FREE buyers guide.


This blog is based on an original article first featured here