Copier or Printer or Multifunction Printer, Is There a Difference?

If you are a buyer looking into a copier, a printer or a multifunction printer, you may have wondered what is the difference. If you are looking into getting printing technology into your office, we can help.

We have been selling and leasing copiers, printers and multifunction printers for over a decade.

Let’s discuss the differences between these technologies so you can get the appropriate technology for your office.


A copier is generically the older term for the technology. This was back when there was a photocopy machine which would only copy. This term comes from the analog copier days. Once copiers were network attached, there started being new terms that were formed to describe the newer technologies.

Copiers, in general still have a lower cost per print than the Multifunction devices do because the drums and other supplies are all individual and not combined as part of the toner cartridge.

Multifunction Copiers

Next, there is a group if devices known as multifunction printers (MFP), Multifuction device (MFD), or multifunction copiers (MFC) – these are devices that do more than 1 function (printing or copying). When you are talking about an MFP, MFC or MFD, you are talking about a device that does more than 1 function (like print or copy).

Generally, these devices will have scan included. Scan can be scan to network, or scan to email.

If you need more than just printing or copy features, you probably want a MFC, MFD or MFP. The MFP, MFC and MFD units are generally desktop sized and smaller units with all of the features available. Most of the time the bigger units that do 11 x 17 are still called copiers in the industry. This is why we chose Copier Lease Center as the name for our site. We wanted to focus more on the bigger units because there is more revenue in them. If you do a lot of printing, the copiers still are a better deal today, in general.


Next, there are printers. These are a single function unit which normally just print. These units are not capable of scanning, etc.

We sell and lease printers, copiers and multifunction devices to our clients. If you need one of these, let us know what you are looking for and we are happy to help you get it!


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