How Long Should You Expect Your Photocopier To Last?

October 15, 2019

On average, companies spend around $35,000 a year on copying and printing needs. For a small business, that’s quite an investment—one that could leave you wondering how much mileage you can expect to get out of your office equipment. Here’s a look at some of the major factors that could influence your equipment’s lifeline.

Frequency of Use

Like any other piece of equipment, heavy use of a photocopier can have a significant impact on its serviceable life. Every copier is rated for a maximum duty cycle, which is the number of prints it can create per month when running at full capacity. While this figure represents the upper limit of the copier’s capacity, it’s much higher than the manufacturer’s recommended volume. If you’re constantly running the device at its highest possible output, it can have the same effect as keeping your car’s tachometer in the red. Eventually, the stress will cause components to break down prematurely.

Age and Condition

When you first leased or purchased your company’s photocopier, was it new or refurbished? While previously-owned machines can save your business a lot of money, they don’t often last as long as new devices. Before you make a second-hand purchase, find out everything you can about the machine’s reconditioning process. Also take your anticipated print volumes into consideration. It might make sense for you to get a higher end machine that you can keep longer but use a little less if you tend to keep your monthly volumes low.


Like owning a car, you can maximize its life by following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. While photocopiers don’t necessarily need an oil change every three to five thousand miles, there’s still a checklist of maintenance services that should be performed by a certified technician. When you're in between service appointments, there’s plenty that you can do on your end to maximize uptime:

  • Keep your device and its surrounding area clean with frequent dusting.
  • Wipe glass surfaces with an ammonia-free cleaner.
  • Vacuum the insides of the unit’s paper trays to prevent dust particles from getting i the paper path.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe any open feeding trays just as the document feeder, output and bypass trays.

Relevance to Your Company’s Needs

In some cases, when a business grows, so do the needs for its multifunctional equipment. If your device can’t keep up with the daily tasks you many now be demanding from it, consider your options before you run it completely into the ground. Not only will running a device beyond its rated duty cycle shorten its life, but it will also frustrate your employees to no end.

Instead, consider leasing an upgraded mode that has the features you need and move the older machine to another area. Not only will your company be more productive with the tools designed specifically for their work needs, but you’ll also have a backup device should you ever need it.

Choose the Right Copier

Before you buy or lease, be sure to do your homework to ensure you are choosing the kind of device that can support you now and into the future should your business needs grow. If you need advice on which products might be best for your line of business, give the experts at Document Solutions a call. To learn about our full lineup of products, click here or call 1-877-237-0100 today.


About CDS

Beyond copiers and printers, CDS offers a full suite of technology solutions ranging from Managed Print Services, to Managed IT Services, and Project-Based IT Services, providing our customers a Single Source for all their business technology needs.

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