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  1. #1
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    Black & white vs Color machines? what is most reliable

    Im looking to set up a home business printer and I will admit my knowledge with these big business class units is negligible. Would a black & white printer/copier/scanner be more reliable than a color unit? How big of a difference is the maintenance and down time between the two? Also who make the most "reliable" machines? I will be buying a used machine anywhere from 4-10 years old. What do I need to look for when purchasing? Ive seen everything from the xerox 3535, xerox C2128, kyocera 3035 to the Ricoh 3260c all in my price range... I will be buying third party so any maint. and issues with said printer will have to be sorted out and fixed by myself. Are there any units out there you would consider "old faithful" as in just a good built reliable setup? reliability is my main concern, cost of toner and maintenance is second, and image quality is last.



  2. #2
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    Re: Black & white vs Color machines? what is most reliable

    Im thinking I may just want to go black and white. are there any units that print and copy b&w but scan in full color?


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    Re: Black & white vs Color machines? what is most reliable

    If you are going to attempt to do everything yourself, then I would suggest B&W over colour. Then again I also would suggest trying to do the ongoing maintenance yourself either.

    Soon you won't be able to buy a B&W copier, I think that the industry will end up going all colour like the ink based devices have. You will probably only get black and white in the production class machines.

    There are many machines that are B&W with colour scanners, but you would have to do your research as I you might not find one that does this that is 4years old or more.

    At the end of the day, find a dealer to buy from, tell them what you want and discuss maintenace or click plans with them. It will be worth getting the maintenance done by a trained tech in the long run.

    Please don't ask me for firmware or service manuals as refusal often offends.

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    Re: Black & white vs Color machines? what is most reliable

    Quote Originally Posted by treysoucie View Post
    Im looking to set up a home business printer and I will admit my knowledge with these big business class units is negligible. ...... I will be buying third party so any maint. and issues with said printer will have to be sorted out and fixed by myself. .
    You're looking at up to 60ppm console colour machines, have zero knowledge, and intend to service it yourself? Yeah, there's nothing to these things....
    As Owl says, find a reputable dealer, buy refurbished , and get yourserlf on a maintenance contract -whether you go black & wwhite or Colour.
    Buying 3rd party, as is/ where is, especially where colour is concerned, could (will) prove to be an extremely costly venture when consumables fail - there's a reason why cost per page is 6-8 times higher on colour output


  5. #5
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    Re: Black & white vs Color machines? what is most reliable

    Dealers are out of the question. I've talked with many local ones and the cost is to great. I have No problem reading a manual and fixing these things. So the consensus would be definitely go with black and white.... thanks for the help


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    Super Tech 250+ Posts CompyTech's Avatar
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    Re: Black & white vs Color machines? what is most reliable

    Quote Originally Posted by treysoucie View Post
    Dealers are out of the question. I've talked with many local ones and the cost is to great. I have No problem reading a manual and fixing these things. So the consensus would be definitely go with black and white.... thanks for the help

    Good luck. Even then, you may run into a problem and can't get manufacturer suppport. Cause they consider you an enduser. Problem is, (which i don't mind the DIY additude, more power to you) Is being experienced and knowing how to effectively troubleshoot a problem. for example: the machine displays a malfunction code. Even though in the manual is says it points to a part. It may only be a symptom and not the problem its self. Like I said before, good luck.


  7. #7
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    Re: Black & white vs Color machines? what is most reliable

    I really do appreciate the help guys. I know the ideal situation would be to go through a dealer. I'm personally one of those kinds of people that does everything myself. If my pc tanks I fix it. I build my own computers. Rebuild my own vehicle engines and trannies, etc. To me learning to repair my own Equipment is just as rewarding as the initial purchase. I realize these machines are not simple or easy for your average Joe to maintain. With all of this said do any of you know of any specifically "robust" or reliable units off the top of your heads?


  8. #8
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    Re: Black & white vs Color machines? what is most reliable

    First thing you have to consider is what your volume will be. Copiers are in catagory according to volume. This will help you not to under buy or over buy. The next thing is application (color or black and white, speed, finishing options) and so forth. You may have already achieved this, just thought I would mention it. I have seen people buy a 40,000 copy per month machine and run 2,000 per month. Then again, they buy the reverse. Either way, its not pretty. Remember the saying "Let the buyer beware".

    Buying a used machine is like buying a used car off the street. Once you bought it, Its yours, good or bad. If you buy a used, or better yet, a refurb machine from a dealer and get a maintenace agreement (supplies included), you will be better off. Why is that? The dealer cannot afford to sale you junk. If they are constantly having to put man hours and parts in the machine, they lose money.

    As far as servicing it yourself, I wish you the best. I have been servicing this stuff since 1982 and I still run into things that baffle me. So, to not have the basics, which is usually learned over a couple few years of doing it day after day, also attending the manufactures classes, you are setting yourself up.


    One thing you may want to try, is letting these guys on this site know where you are. You may be next door to one that can help you out. Just a thought.


    I hope you do well in your business, good luck.


  9. #9
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    Question Re: Black & white vs Color machines? what is most reliable

    Thanks for the insight copiman. My current situation is as follows; my current home mfp setup is a consumer grade brother mfc6490. From the very beginning it seemed cheap and flimsy. The 11x17 scanning function is useless. It scans crooked and can take up to a minute to process 1 11x17 color drawing. I've played with the settings and tweaked it to get it to scan as fast as possible. The printing on this unit is dismal. I would imagine I will be printing 4-8k 11x17 drawings a month. Another 4k or so in 8.5x11 a month. This would be the height of my needs. There may be months where I print a fraction of this. On my current printer I get about 200 11x17 sheets per fillup. This is simply ridiculous. 30 bucks a pop for ink cartridges and sometimes I can go through as mush as 10 in a single day.What worries me with laser is that many of my engineering manuals at work have pages that stick together. These were all manuals printed off a Minolta bizhub 550. Not only that but most have ruined first pages that stick to the inside of binders. This may be due to sitting in front of a window or having a reaction to the plastic in the binder materials. I would need to find a way to solve this issue as well. I guess simply using different binders and not storing in an area where heat may be an issue would be a start. I often markup engineering documents and need to copy or scan in color so I may have to bite the bullet on this issue. I think since I do not have to learn multiple machines this task will be pretty easy to accomplish. I will need to learn how to diagnose and repair my single machine. I will learn all the sounds it makes, all the small details about my little machine, and learn how to fix it properly. Whatever I get I will find maintenance and repair manuals and study vigilantly. I'm located in Houston Texas. Do any of you reside in my neck of the woods?


  10. #10
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    Re: Black & white vs Color machines? what is most reliable

    You should consider a mid range printer based mfp...maybe a xerox phaser...most of the parts are replaceable units so you'd probably have less problems but maint. expense might be higher.


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