How Long Do Printers Last?

Submitted by Tech Support on Mon, 01/09/2023 - 12:04
woman in office waiting for printer to finish

When you add new printers to your fleet, the last thing on your mind is the end of their lives. After all, you just bought these machines--you're probably secretly hoping they'll last forever. Unfortunately, that's not the case for even the best makes and models. Here's how long your printers will really last--and how you might be able to extend that lifetime.

Different Printers, Different Lifespans

You've probably seen just how many printers are on the market these days. With so many differences, it's easy to see how lifespan could be one just one more variable--but it's often the most important.

In general, printers last between three and five years. Here are a few things that determine where your printer will fall within that range:

Make and Model

Some printers are built to last, and others simply aren't. That's why it's important to do your research ahead of time, read plenty of user reviews, and choose a reliable manufacturer and provider when buying your printers. You should also keep in mind that, in many cases, you do get what you pay for--so a more expensive machine will likely be a better investment because you won't have to replace it so soon.

Printer Type

Laser and inkjet printers have plenty of differences, but lifespan isn't usually one of them. However, let's say you bought laser printers when you really needed inkjet, and now you're pushing your machines beyond their boundaries or requiring them to do things for which they simply aren't ideal. In this case, the printer type does impact the lifespan, but only because of how the machines are being used.

Print Volume

Some printers are designed to handle huge print jobs at incredibly fast speeds, while others are ideal for a slower-paced office or even home environment. If you choose printers that can't keep up, your everyday print volume can start to wear on the machines, reducing their lifespan and overall performance.

Maintenance and Repairs

Printers are like vehicles: If you take better care of them, they take better care of you. That's especially true when it comes to maintenance and repairs. When you clean and maintain your printers regularly, perform repairs the right way, and call experts when necessary, your machines could last the full five years (or maybe a bit longer).

User Habits

At the end of the day, one of the biggest impact on printer lifespan is you. For example, if you use the right paper, ink, and toner types, you'll avoid issues that could add unnecessary wear and tear to your machine. Similarly, if you're gentle when fixing paper jams or pressing buttons, the machine will likely last longer.

3 Signs it's Time To Replace Your Printers

If printers last between three and five years, it should be obvious when you need to replace them, right?

Not necessarily.

The truth is that printers don't always fit neatly in that range, especially depending on how well you maintain them. It's also important to note that, in most cases, printers won't simply stop working one day; instead, they'll gradually lose speed and print quality--which means you might not even notice your printers are on their way out.

Here's how to tell if it's time to replace your machines:

#1: Low Print Quality

While some print quality problems can be solved with a little cleaning or maintenance, others are an incurable sign of age. If you notice your printers are consistently ruining documents, it might be time for an upgrade.

#2: Low Speed

Printer speed issues can also sometimes be fixed--but more commonly, they're a warning that your machines are nearing the end of their lifespans. It's easy to overlook this problem, especially if it happens gradually, so be sure to notice when printing becomes inefficient--as that means your printer might fail soon.

#3: Outdated Features

If you constantly find yourself wishing for better print features, or if you worry your machine can't keep up with all the latest security threats and approaches, you know the drill: It's time to upgrade.

In conclusion, printers generally last between three and five years--but that depends on how you use, maintain, and repair the machine. When it's time for an upgrade, your printer will usually let you know by gradually reducing speed, performance, and reliability.

Is it time for an upgrade? Contact us today to check out all the latest printers!

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