Seven Copier Features You Can't Live Without

by Rich on May 7, 2009

When you’re considering buying a new copier, the wide range of features available can be overwhelming-but worth sorting through, as some copier features can help you save considerable time and money.  Here’s an overview of some of the most useful features out there for office copiers.

An automatic feeder. With an automatic document feeder, you can copy multi-page, multi-sided documents without having to copy each page individually.  With an automatic document feeder, all you need to do is feed a stack of documents into the feeder and start the copying process. The automatic document feeder will automatically copy and sort each page. This can be a huge time-saver if you pan to copy lots of double-sided originals and multi-page documents.

Unlimited sorting. Standard copiers have numerous separate sorter bins that allow you to sort your copies automatically.  But if you need a larger number of sorted pages than the number of bins allows, you’ll have to perform more than one copy job-which can take a considerable amount of time for larger jobs.  To get around this, look for a copy machine that sorts copied pages without need for sorter bins. Instead, these copy machines set each sorted section at a right angle or offset from the next, allowing users to tell easily where each section starts and ends. This way, you’ll be able to sort in endless combinations without being stuck making only as many sections as available bins.

Finishing features. Features such as automatic staplers, three-hole punchers, saddle-stitch binders, folders, and other finishing steps can save you a great deal of time after you copy. These are great options for anyone printing multi-page reports or worksheet packets, bound proposals, marketing materials and brochures, and other more complex business communications. Some machines can be bought with or without the option of included finishing features such as these, which will cost more-but can be well worth the cost in some offices.

Different types of paper supply trays. If you’re planning on using numerous types of paper in your copy jobs, you may need paper trays customized to different paper stocks.  In a regular copy machine, you’ll usually find at least one-sometimes more-fixed size paper trays as well as an adjustable-sized tray you can theoretically use for different paper stocks. The problem is that if the paper loading apparatus isn’t designed specifically for heavier paper stocks, it can jam frequently. Look for a copier with a bypass tray designed for heavier paper.  If you’re planning to copy on numerous paper stocks including letterheads, legal size papers, transparencies and so on without having to reload the machine each time, look for a copy machine with several different paper sources that can handle these types of papers.

Wireless connections. The latest development in office technology is wireless functionality-allowing you to copy a document simply by sending a file to the copier from your computer. This can be highly useful and can eliminate the necessity of waiting in line to use the copier.

Energy-saving capabilities. Most copy machines come with automatic turn-off features that power the machine down at specified times or after prolonged periods of idleness. While traditional copy machines don’t save significant amounts of energy during “sleep” phase, energy-saving copiers will typically offer a “sleep” mode that conserves energy while the machine is not in use.  These can save you money on your energy bill as well as reducing your office’s ecological footprint.

Printing, scanning and faxing. Some copy machines double as printers, scanners, faxes, and even digital imaging machines. Consolidating your technology by buying a multi-function machine can save you office space for separate machines, and it can also save you money-using your copier as a printer can save approximately 20% of per-page costs compared to printing separately with a laser printer which uses toner cartridges that are more expensive to print with.

Not every copier has the same features.  While shopping for copiers can be a little overwhelming at first, it’s worth sorting through the available features to find a copy machine that’s perfect for your office.  If you take the time to do some research, you’re likely to find a copier that saves your employees time and your office money in the long run.

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