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What is the difference between a photocopier, printer, MFD and MFP machine?

Copier King explain the difference

If you are looking to rent or buy a photocopier for your business, you may be confused as to the difference between a printer and a photocopier, especially as some people appear to use the two to mean one and the same product.

Furthermore, terms MFD and MFP are also used simultaneously, leading to even more scratching of heads and confusion as business owners and managers are left wondering what the best office solution would be for their business needs.

So here is a simple definition and explanation of the term’s photocopier, printer, MFD and MFP.

A photocopier (or copier), such as the Olivetti d-Colour MF223 Colour A3 Photocopier, is an electronic machine that makes photocopies of images and documents. A photocopying device allows the user to make duplicate copies without needing to be connected to a computer. While a printer is sent information from a computer which it prints out as directed.

Not so long ago, an office would have included several separate machines to undertake particular functions. Faxing, scanning, printing, and photocopying would have all been undertaken by cumbersome, sometimes noisy standalone machines. But these days many business photocopiers are usually networked and perform multiple functions. These multi-tasking machines are available as desktop or free-standing models. Machines that include photocopying as well as scanning, printing and faxing capabilities are often referred to as MFP, MFD or even multi-functional AIO office machines.

MFP (Multi-Function Product/Printer/Peripheral), multi-functional, all-in-one (AIO), or Multi-Function Device (MFD), such as the Toshiba e-STUDIO 2515AC Colour Photocopier MFD all refer to the same type of multi-functional office solution. They are all terms for an office machine which incorporates the functionality of multiple devices in one. With a smaller footprint these photocopying multi-functional devices not only provide centralised document management, distribution, and production. But they also manage a better use of office space.

Deciding whether to hire or purchase a stand-alone printer, photocopier or a multi-function printing device will normally come down to cost and your specific business needs. Generally speaking, standalone printers and photocopiers tend to be more robust than multi-function devices and therefore considered for heavy use. While MFD machines are often more economical.

Copier King is an independent business with experience and expertise offering an extensive range of photocopiers, printers, and multi-functional devices (MFD) machines throughout Kent, Sussex and the South East. As main suppliers for Konica Minolta, Cannon, Olivetti & Toshiba photocopiers and MFD machines, Copier King will always have a machine to save you money and time, to serve your particular business needs and budget.

Contact Copier King for some free unbiased friendly advice on 01892 597150. Or email us at