Best Printer for Occasional Use: Top Picks

Want the best printer for occasional use? Is it too difficult to find the perfect model that matches your requirements? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

With the current paradigm shift towards the digitalization and hybrid work model, we have observed a sudden decline in home and office printers’ conventional use. Most of us are now opting for infrequent printer usage to save paper, and more importantly, our planet earth. This review’s central theme is to categorize the best printers based on their features and infrequent use.

You must be conjecturing about the occasional use case of the printer in offices and homes. These printers aren’t designed only for infrequent use; instead, they are more suitable for special printing requirements, such as school assignments, WI-FI direct, voice activation, duplex printing, printing app, etc. more.

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Which Printer is Best for Infrequent Use?

It would help if you kept in mind the following factors before selecting the best printer for infrequent use:

Ink storage tank

An ink storage tank protects the ink from drying out quickly. A durable ink storage tank is a must-have for any printer for infrequent use to reduce ink.

Quality

It’s a diverse feature, including the printer build quality and the output print quality of black and white and color documents and photographs.

Paper Handling

This feature includes a paper type, paper format handling capability of the printer. Not only that, but you should also consider the paper tray capacity to accommodate paper sheets.

Automatic/ Duplex

People prefer the automatic paper input option to minimize manual operation. Also, a printer that prints on both sides significantly reduces paper costs.

Inkjet or Laser Printer

You can select an inkjet or laser printer depending upon your budget. It would help if you also chose between an ink or laserjet pro-technology.

Some other factors include the printer size, weight, and ink cost of the printer. The following review contains one of the best printers for infrequent use based on the features discussed above.

HP DeskJet 2622: Affordable printer for infrequent use

HP is considered one of the pioneer manufacturers of printers for decades. HP has maintained its legacy of creating compact and all-in-one HP DeskJet 2622 printer for infrequent use in offices and homes.

One of its best features, which makes it one of the top-ranked printers, is its compatibility with various devices and OS, including XP, Vista Windows, Win Server, and Mac. You can occasionally download and print photographs and other documents from social media and Google drives. That is why you don’t need to worry about the OS or system compatibility issue with the HP DeskJet.

The printer weighs only 7.55 pounds and doesn’t occupy much space on your desk because of its smaller dimensions of 16.74 x 11.97 x 5.87 inches. When not in use, you can fold both the input and output paper trays to save more of your desk space.

The HP DeskJet is one of the most budget-friendly printers for infrequent use. The cherry on top is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money buying HP 65 ink cartridges. Luckily, this printer comes with Instant Ink.

You can print eight pages per minute at the cost of 15 pence per page. The printer connects via different connections such as Wi-Fi, AirPrint, or USB.   

Pros

Copy, scan, and fax functions
Compact
Multiple device connection support

Cons

Manual duplex printing

Brother MFC-J995DW: Best All-in-One Printer for Infrequent Printing

The Brother MFC-J995DW is one of the best printers for infrequent use due to its 4-in-1 functionalities of printing, copying, scanning, and faxing. Brother has incorporated technology, features, outlook, and convenience in this compact and robust printer.

An exciting feature of this one of the best printers for infrequent use is its INKvestment Tank cartridge. The printer comes with internal ink storage to print documents for up to 1 year. The cartridge which comes with the box can print 150 pages per month for a year.

The printer comes with a 2.7-inch color touch screen, which lets you access all of its features and settings.

The cost of a monochrome print is $0.01, and a color print is $0.05. Another function named ‘Page Gauge’ allows you to monitor the ink utilization and remaining ink.

The availability of an ethernet port makes it one of the best home printers. The choice is yours to wirelessly connect your devices, tablets, and other smartphones or locally to a single computer.

The automatic double-sided printing saves not only paper and cost but also our time. You can feed unlimited pages in the automatic document feeder (ADF) to print, scan, or copy a pile of pages in one go. But, the ADF is unable to scan or copy two-sided pages.

The copying function includes three types of features, such as:

  • 1200 x 600 dpi resolution
  • Sorting
  • ID copy functions

Highlighting the printing speed, the Brother MFC-J995DW can print 12 ppm in monochrome and ten ppm in color print.

Pros

Unbeatable output quality
Ink cost saving
Support for Ethernet port
Multi-functional features to print, copy, scan, and fax.
High print speed

Cons

Low input and output capacity

Best Home Printer for Occasional Use

When it comes to printers’ best buys, we have hand-picked some models to match your home and home office’s infrequent printing requirements and other school assignments.

Compact Monochrome HL-L2350DW by Brother: Buy Best Printer

One of the best home printer for occasional use to print black and white text on both sides is the Compact Monochrome HL-L2350DW by Brother. This laser printer is designed to provide neat monochrome documents at 32 ppm speed using 2400 x 600 dpi resolution coupled with laser printing technology. You don’t need to manually flip the papers courtesy of the double-sided automatic printing capability.

Despite being a compact printer, it can hold 250-papers in its front input paper tray and a 100-paper capacity in its output tray.

One of these laserjet pro printer’s most incredible features is its three modes of wired, wireless, and app-based connectivity options. In addition to the incorporated Wi-Fi, you can print your documents using Google Print, Apple AirPrint, and Brother’s proprietary iPrint&Scan. The 2.0 USB hub makes this printer compatible with any OS, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The Brother compact monochrome comes with a maximum printing capacity of 15,000 pages. However, Brother recommends its users to print 2000 pages per month to ensure consistent print quality. You can print various papers, such as envelopes, and straight, bond, recycled, and thick papers. This printer accepts all types of paper sizes, such as letter A, legal, A4-6, and folio.  

Pros

Exceptional print quality
No ink spatters
Affordable
Excellent running cost
Print speed of 30 pages per minute

Cons

Non-availability of Ethernet port

Canon PIXMA TR4520: Best Home Printer for Color Photographs

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 comes with the automatic IFTTT (if this then that) technology. The printer’s smart home functionality allows the Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to operate it anywhere in the home. In addition to the black and white and color printing functionality, you can also copy, scan, and fax your printed documents.

One of the features that distinguish this printer among the other occasional top printers is its multiple color printing formats. This rare printer can print consistent photographs of 4 x 6, 5 x 7, and 8 x 10 inches format. You can print pictures on super glossy or matte papers for different purposes like greeting cards, envelopes, and T-shirt transfers.

On the downside, it prints a 4 x 6 inches colored photograph in 128 seconds. This print speed is double the time as compared to the rest of the competitive models.

As far as the static paper tray capacity is concerned, the Canon PIXMA can simultaneously accommodate 100 papers. But the printer doesn’t support automatic duplexing so, you may need to intervene to flip the papers. Another disadvantage is the limited capacity of the automatic document feeder (ADF) to hold only 20 letter-size sheets of a 4 x 6 inches photo paper.

The operating cost of this infrequent printer is around $0.58 per 4 x 6 inches color photograph. The Canon PIXMA TR4520 is suitable for your occasional color or monochrome photograph printing requirements.

Pros

Excellent photograph print quality
Automatic duplex printing
20-pages ADF

Cons

Absence of Wi-Fi direct
Slow printing speed
High running cost

Expression ET-2650 EcoTank by Epson: High Print Speed Home Printer

Let’s move one step further from monochrome towards infrequent color printing household requirements. If you want to buy the best printer for occasional use, then the Expression ET-2650 by Epson is the best choice for you. It’s not just any regular color printer, but it comes with additional functionalities to scan and copy your documents.

The Epson Eco-tank four ink bottles of black, yellow, magenta, and cyan colors makes it one of the best printer for home. These extra-large ink tanks have super capacity, equivalent to 20 ink cartridge sets, can easily be refilled for up to two years. You can save up to 80 percent of your ink cost by opting for reliable, inexpensive spare ink tanks.

It is compatible with all sorts of wireless and wired devices, including your PC, laptop, smartphone, iPhone, and iPad. The standard USB port also serves as a charging port for your MP3 players and mobile phones. The printer also comes with a card reader allowing you to print your DSLR photographs.

Color printing means you can print your vibrant photos on various papers such as white, glossy, matte, and double-sided matte papers.

You can send printing instructions to the Epson Expression with your voice. Or your Amazon Alexa can command the printer on your behalf to print your shopping list and other documents.

The 1.44 inches LCD touchscreen is relatively easy to use and allows you to scan, copy, and print with one-touch commands. To ensure a self-sustainable environment, the Epson Expression exhibits environment-friendly performance due to its compliance with ENERGY STAR.

The only drawback of this infrequent color printer is the lack of an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). Unlike the Brother Compact Monochrome HL-L2350DW, you have to insert the pages into this home printer manually.

Pros

Smudge-free colors
Light-weight
Cartridge-free printing
Voice activation feature
Ten ppm print speed

Cons

Absence of automatic document feeder (ADF)
No support for duplex printing

FAQs

How often should a printer be used?

Our buyer’s natural tendency influences us towards choosing an all-rounder budget printer to cater to all our printing requirements. It’s essential to address this misconception by evaluating our daily or infrequent printing needs. 

The usage of the printer directly affects the performance and functionality of the printer. Selecting an inkjet printer for infrequent use isn’t a wise choice because the ink cartridge dries out quickly when not in use.

On the contrary, excessive usage of a printer can overheat the plastic pieces of the printer. The printer manufacturers provide information about the maximum monthly duty cycle. The monthly page volume generally lies between the range of 10,000 to 30,000 pages at max.  

Are laser printers better for occasional printing?

Yes, you can rely on laser printers for occasional printing. However, they are more suitable for offices and small businesses due to their large size and heavyweight.

The only problem with an inkjet printer is the type of ink and cartridge tank. The Inkjet printers which use oil-based ink mixture in cartridge perform well for infrequent use. The print head deposits microscopic drops of ink on the paper with the help of micro-nozzles.

In a laser printer, an electrostatic imaging drum rotates to spread the carbon powder on the page. The hot fusing element melts the carbon onto the paper to create a printed document or photograph.

The advantage of using a powdered toner in an air-tight dispenser reduces the adverse effects of humidity on the ink. Subsequently, a laser printer gives a consistent performance for a more extended period in case of infrequent use.  

However, Inkjet printers are comparatively less expensive than laser printers. The cost is an essential factor to consider before buying any printer for infrequent use. The additional cartridge ink tanks allow you to save more money by storing inks for a year or so.

Conclusion

Keeping in view your impromptu or infrequent printing needs, you can buy the best inkjet or laserjet pro printer, which is not just high-performing but also pocket-friendly.  

An inkjet printer is a best-buy printer because of its one-time cost and its affordable running cost per page. Most of the best printers discussed above in this review come with dedicated ink storage for infrequent use for a year or more.

If you want to print a handful of documents or some photographs, you can opt for an inkjet printer. All you need is to weigh the long-term operation cost involving ink refill, duplex-printing with a one-time upfront investment.