Not everybody needs a printer that is going to have to spew out reams and reams of paper over its lifetime.
If you are someone who only needs to print out the occasional email, concert ticket or document for submission, then what you need is the best printer for infrequent use.
You need the confidence that whatever printer you buy is not going to breakdown when you press that power button following weeks of it sitting forgotten and idle on your desk.
Which printer is going to be the right one for you?
Let’s get into this list and see if we can answer that question!
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Are laser printers better for infrequent use?
Inkjet printers use a type of liquid ink cartridge that will dry with time, especially if rarely used.
A laser printer is a much better option as an occasional use printer. Laser printers use toner cartridges, which don’t need to be used regularly. As opposed to inkjet, a toner cartridge users a fine power to create text and images.
Always consider a laser printer if you don’t print often. It could save you a lot of money on wasted cartridges.
Do laser printers dry out if not used?
Laser printers use a toner cartridge. Unlike the cartridges used for inkjet printers, these do not dry out.
This longevity is because the toner cartridges use a fine, dry powder to create an image on the paper. This fine powder (the toner) gets transferred to your print media through the drum unit, which is electrostatically charged. Heated rollers fuse the toner to the paper, which gives you the end result.
What should you never touch on a laser printer, and why?
One of the most dangerous parts of a laser printer is the fuser-roller compartment. You do not want to open this. This fuser-roller gets incredibly hot during the printing process. For this reason, it has been covered – it’s for your safety.
If this is accidentally uncovered and touched even up to an hour after the last print was completed, there is a chance you could get burns even from the best printer for rare use.
Should printers stay on all the time?
Even if you have a printer for rare use, keeping your printer on all the time is actually better for the printer in the long term. The print head of the printer will stay cleaner if the printer is on, making them less liable to break.
Print heads need regular cleaning and maintenance. Keeping the printer on leaves it in a healthy state and won’t cost you as much as you think. A few dollars per year at most.
You will also save ink in the long run. Frequently turning the printer on and off causes the printer to do maintenance cycles that can use up to 30% of your cartridge. That’s a lot of money being wasted.
So yes, it is best to keep the printer on all the time.
Comparison Table For 10 Top Printers for Infrequent Use
5 Best Printers for Infrequent Use Reviews
1.Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Printer | Best Printer For Occasional Use
Epson EcoTank printers are the type of printer that you can definitely use once or twice a month only, and not have to go through the worry of whether the ink has dried up during its dormant period.
The ink is the key feature of the EcoTank ET-2720. The printer, rather than using those expensive cartridges that really impact your bank balance, uses a system of ink tanks that Epson say can save you up to 90% the cost on cartridges.
With the ability to print up to 6500 black pages, and 5200 color pages on one fill of the four-color set ink tank, an infrequent user won’t need to order new ink for a very long time.
Speed of printing is up there with the best in this price range, with the printer able to produce 10.5 pages per minute in black, and five pages per minute in color. So, there will be no waiting around after you’ve hit that print button.
When needing a printer for only infrequent use, the extra features your printer has could determine just how useful the machine is going to be for you.
This printer is an All-in-One printer meaning it is also able to scan and copy so you have multiple usages.
If you are looking for the best color printer for infrequent use, this printer is suitable for you.
- Printing resolution 5760x1440dpi
- 1200dpi optical resolution flatbed scanner
- Wi-Fi, Wi-FI Direct and USB 2.0 connectivity
- Mobile printing for iOS and Android
2.HP OfficeJet Pro 8025 Printer | Best Printer For Home Use
This all-in-one printer from HP is perfect for someone printing once in a blue moon.
The first thing to mention here is the size of the machine. If you are rarely going to be using something, you do want it being a giant eyesore in whatever room it inhabits.
With dimensions of 18.11×13.43×9.21”, the OfficeJet Pro 8025 is one of the smaller all-in-one home printers on the market, and isn’t going to take up a huge chunk of your desktop.
When printing infrequently, you want a printer that has a reliable wireless connection. What’s the point of having to spend forever trying to connect the printer for one document?
This HP printer has self-healing Wi-Fi, which should prevent the need for you to scramble for a user manual and figure out what is going wrong with any connectivity issues.
When time is of the essence, and you’re looking for speed, this printer is able to print 29 pages per minute in black and 25 pages per minute in color when using draft mode. You will be getting your printout in an instant.
Should you require a printout of higher quality, the ISO print speeds see 20 pages per minute in black, and 10 pages per minute in color. You’re getting great speed and great quality at the same time from the best printer for minimal use.
- Print resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi
- Automatic 2-sided printing
- 2.65” color touchscreen
- Wireless connectivity and prints from mobile devices
3.HP LaserJet Pro M15w Printer | Best All In One Printer For Occasional Use
If you are unlikely to be printing anything in color then the best printer for infrequent home use might by this nifty little LaserJet Printer from HP.
Coming in at 13.6×7.5×6.3″, the LaserJet Pro M15w is one of the smallest home printers you can buy, making it convenient for keeping out of the way at the back of your desk only to bring it out when you actually need it.
This LaserJet printer, using toner cartridges rather than ink cartridges, should be able to give you up to 1000 pages on a standard yield toner cartridge.
For the infrequent user, you should hope to get a years’ worth of printing at least before a cartridge change.
Efficient black and white document printing is what this particular printer has been built for. You will be able to print 19 pages per minute ranging from 4.13×5.83” documents up to a maximum print size of 8.5×11.69”.
The HP Auto-On/Auto-Off technology is very useful if you or any family member is the sort of person that turns a machine on and forgets to turn it off. It means you won’t ever again get that sinking feeling or realising one of your devices has been devouring electricity for a week while doing nothing at all.
- Print Resolution of 600x600dpi
- Wi-Fi and USB 2.0 connectivity
- Direct printing through Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and Mopria
4.Canon PIXMA TR4520 Printer | Best Printer For Occasional Printing
The PIXMA TR4520 has been designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind. What we think that this is your best printer for seldom use.
For a start, there the number of ink cartridges this printer requires.
Users who print more frequently and require higher quality print outs would ordinarily require a printer with at least a 4-ink system as a bare minimum, though a 6-ink system is highly recommended.
However, the infrequent user doesn’t require such complexity, with the two-cartridge system that this printer boasts being more than adequate for your printing needs. By minimising the number of cartridges and ink-tanks, you’ll be saving yourself time and money.
Infrequent users are regularly printing only a single document. Luckily for you, this printer doesn’t need too long to warm up. Able to print its first document after 20 seconds, you won’t be waiting around forever for one piece of paper to come through.
Overall speed sees the PIXMA TR4520 able to print 8.8 images per minute in black and 4.4 images per minute in color, meaning that if you ever do need to print multiple pages, speed is on your side.
Finally, this printer offers a range of features and options in terms of print type, print size and print media, so you are unlikely to get caught out if you ever find the sudden need to print of something different to your normal printouts.
- 4800x1200dpi printing resolution
- Duplex 2-sided printing
- Wi-Fi, USB 2.0 and Bluetooth connectivity
5.Canon PIXMA iX6820 Printer | Best inkjet printer for infrequent use
The PIXMA iX6820 is the home printer you need for infrequent, yet high quality printing.
Of all the printers on this list, it is the one that has the specifications needed for someone who will need a professional printing job.
Immediately the 9600x2400dpi color resolution sets it apart. Whether color or black, you are going to be able to get extremely fine detail in your documents. Very useful for pictures of graphs that you might be using.
This printer uses a 5-color ink system, which will produce excellent results but also means greater ongoing expense in relation to the number of cartridges you may need to buy.
Remember, that while this is a high-quality printer, printing is its only function. You won’t be able to scan and copy meaning the machine will as a whole be sitting idle a lot of the time.
However, if you really do only need a device solely for high-quality prints, then this is absolutely the machine for you.
Additional great features with this printer are the quiet mode, which means you won’t be disturbed, and nor will anyone else who is near the printer; and the auto on/off function which means you won’t be wasting electricity should you forget to hit that power switch.
- ChromaLife100+ system means prints that last 300 years
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
- Print from a range of mobile devices
Best printer for infrequent printing Buying Guide
Ink and toner are going to be your biggest ongoing cost once you have chosen your printer.
First, consider carefully whether you are going to require a color printer or whether a black and white printer is going to be enough.
If black and white are enough, then buying a LaserJet printer with a 1000 page yield will be cost-effective.
However, should you need a color printer, the next question to answer is whether to go with an ink tank printer or a cartridge printer.
Ink tanks will produce a high document yield for a fraction of the cost of cartridges.
2.Number of cartridges/tanks
The number of cartridges or color tanks that your printer has will impact the quality of print out you get.
You can find printers that have a 2-ink system, 4-ink system and 6-ink system when looking for the best infrequent use printer.
If you’re printing in color, and need more professional looking work, even if it is infrequent, then a 4-ink or 6-ink system is going to help you produce print outs with color saturation and shades that more reflect what you are seeing on your screen.
On a personal level, if I’m looking for a machine that is going to be used rarely for printing, I want something that has additional capabilities. Otherwise, what I have is a relatively dear piece of technology sitting idle in the corner of a room.
As such, I look for scanning and copying capability as much as printing. Just so that I have that option available if needed.
If you’re absolutely certain that you’ll never need to scan and copy, then there’s no need to get anything that works beyond printing.
Do you really want something the size of an elephant sitting on your desktop hardly ever being used?
The answer to this question is likely a resounding no.
Look at the dimensions of the printer you are thinking of buying.
For infrequent use, a smaller printer is not going to be as much as an eyesore as a whopping great machine.
This may seem like an unimportant feature. But how often have you, or someone in your house, left a device on for days at a time just due to forgetfulness?
How much has that cost you in electricity?
It’s always horrible when you turn on the printer after a while, hear gears grinding in pain, and then end up with a terribly faded patchy printout because the ink head has dried out.
Hopefully, this list of the best printers for occasional use will have helped you find the printer you need, whether it be for minimal casual use, or infrequent professional use.
All these printers are capable of longevity, so you won’t be banging your head against the wall in frustration because the machine has gone on strike due to being left alone for prolonged periods!