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19 October 2020

Most reliable printer brands

Unique Which? data can help you to choose a printer brand that lasts. We survey owners of HP, Epson, Canon, HP and Brother inkjet and laser printers to reveal the faults that develop, and how long you can expect them to last.
Best printer brands
HH
Hollie Hennessy

The most common issue people encounter with their printers is a problem with the paper feed. In fact our research indicates this accounts for up to 15% of faults in inkjets and 16% in laser printers.

Knowing how long a brand will last you, which brands develop the most faults and how long you can expect to see problems is invaluable to making a smart buying decision. That’s why we asked 15,000 Which? members to tell us about the problems and experiences they’ve had with brands over the last eight years.

Our unique survey data reveals when popular brands developed a fault, how serious this fault was and the reasons why products are replaced. We also look at brand loyalty to find out who you turn to time and again, and crucially reveal how long you can expect laptop brands to last.

How long do different printer brands last? 

To find out how long you can rely on your printer, we calculated an average estimated lifetime for each brand, based on how long respondents were able to keep a product before having to replace it because of an issue that was out of their control.

Estimated lifetimes should only be used as a guide – there’s nothing to say your printer will suddenly stop working when this time period is up, of course. But as a comparative indicator between brands, it’s a useful way to get an idea of how a product you own or are shopping for compares to others.

Inkjet printers estimated average lifespan

Brand Estimated average lifespan
M 8.59
M 9.16
M 9.6
M 10.09

The above data is based on a survey of Which? members in July 2020 covering 10,065 inkjet printers.

Laser printers estimated average lifespan

Brand Estimated average lifespan
M 7.85
M 9.61
M 9.92
M 11.53
M 12.05
M 12.73

The above data is based on a survey of Which? members in July 2020 covering 1,981 laser printers.

How quickly do different inkjet printer brands need replacing? 

The graph above shows how the brand that stays fault-free for longest compares with the worst brand, as well as the overall average. Which? members can see how brands compare for faults over an eight-year period in the table below.

Inkjet printers replaced due to fault

Brand One year Four years Eight years
M 0% 23% 59%
M 0% 30% 83%
M 1% 44% 86%
M 2% 34% 85%
M 2% 38% 88%
M 2% 39% 86%
M 4% 52% 94%

The above data is based on a survey of Which? members in July 2020 covering 10,065 inkjet printers.

How quickly do different laser printer brands need replacing? 

The graph above shows how the brand that stays fault-free for longest compares with the worst brand, as well as the overall average. Which? members can see how brands compare for faults over an eight-year period in the table below.

Laser printers replaced due to fault

Brand One year Four years Eight years
M 0% 28% 80%
M 1% 20% 65%
M 3% 26% 63%
M 3% 41% 81%
M 4% 37% 83%

The above data is based on a survey of Which? members in July 2020, covering 1,981 laser printers.

How satisfied are customers with different printer brands? 

Our survey also reveals how satisfied people are with a brand overall – we use this to calculate a customer satisfaction score, based on how likely people are to recommend it. 

Loyalty is also an important factor. Although it doesn’t always correlate directly with satisfaction, some brands have what it takes to keep customers coming back time and again. Our loyalty score is based on whether people stick with the same brand when they upgrade.

As you can see in the graph above, there’s not much difference between the best and worst inkjet printer brands when it comes to test score (62% vs 60%), but there’s more of a gap with lasers. The best brand averages at 75%, whereas the worst only manages 64%. However, customer loyalty can vary much more across the two types of printers, and there’s a big difference in how satisfied people are with the brands. 

Below, we reveal which brands ticked the boxes.

Inkjet printers customer scores

Brand Customer loyalty score Customer satisfaction score
M 23% 74%
M 59% 69%
M 36% 67%
M 55% 70%
M n/a 76%

The above data is based on a survey of Which? members in July 2020, covering 10,065 inkjet printers.

Laser printers customer scores

Brand Customer loyalty score Customer satisfaction score
M 53% 82%
M 40% 70%
M 23% 75%
M 25% 65%
M 58% 79%
M n/a 72%
M n/a 83%
M 48% 76%
M n/a 72%

The above data is based on a survey of Which? members in July 2020, covering 1,981 laser printers.

Common printer problems

Across both types of printers, inkjets and lasers, the most common problems were with paper. Some 15% of all faults with inkjet printers were due to issues with the paper feed, and 16% of laser models. Recurring paper jams also happen often – 7% of inkjet and laser faults were because of this. 

Clearing jams can be annoying, especially if it keeps happening. We check for this in our testing, and flag if models are jamming more often than others. 

Other common issues, with inkjets, were with wi-fi. Some 11% found that the wi-fi connection wasn’t working properly and a further 8% of faults were down to being unable to connect to another device to print from. 

With laser models, wi-fi connection issues weren’t as prolific, but they did make up 8% of problems. More common with lasers (12%) are components needing to be replaced, like the drum or roller, so bear in mind that this could be an extra cost if you want to keep your laser running for longer. Lasers also were more likely to deteriorate in terms of print quality - 1 in 10 faults were due to this.

Whereas, with inkjet printers, they have print heads, or jets, which can get clogged and no longer work. This cropped up quite a bit, making up 12% of faults. Some inkjet models have the print heads included in the cartridge, so once you change it the issue will be fixed. 

Finally, printers completely failing isn't very likely, but still more common than we would have hoped. Some 7% of faults with laser printers were complete failure and 6% of inkjet faults.

Inkjet printer brands rated

Choose a brand from the list below to find out more detail about its performance in our survey.

Brother printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 3
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 428 Brother inkjet printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Brother printers score for reliability, and how Brother fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Brother printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Brother fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Brother printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Canon printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 29
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 3,693 Canon inkjet printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Canon printers score for reliability, and how Canon fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Canon printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Canon fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Canon printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Epson printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 35
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 2,142 Epson inkjet printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Epson printers score for reliability, and how Epson fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Epson printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Epson fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Epson printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
HP printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 18
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 3,735 HP inkjet printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well HP printers score for reliability, and how Hewlett-Packard fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with HP printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how HP fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with HP printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Samsung printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 11
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 30 Samsung inkjet printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Samsung printers score for reliability, and how Samsung fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Samsung printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Samsung fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Samsung printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Laser printer brands rated

Choose a brand from the list below to find out more detail about its performance in our survey.

Brother printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 16
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 424 Brother laser printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Brother printers score for reliability, and how Brother fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Brother printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Brother fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Brother printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Canon printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 4
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 116 Canon laser printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Canon printers score for reliability, and how Canon fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Canon printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Canon fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Canon printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Dell printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 0
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 38 Dell laser printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Dell printers score for reliability, and how Dell fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Dell printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Dell fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Dell printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Epson printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 0
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 50 Epson laser printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Epson printers score for reliability, and how Epson fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Epson printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Epson fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Epson printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
HP printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 15
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 658 HP laser printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well HP printers score for reliability, and how Hewlett-Packard fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with HP printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how HP fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with HP printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Lexmark printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 2
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 46 Samsung laser printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Lexmark printers score for reliability, and how Samsung fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Lexmark printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Lexmark fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Samsung printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Lexmark printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 0
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 32 Oki laser printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Samsung printers score for reliability, and how Oki fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Oki printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Oki fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Samsung printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Samsung printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 0
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 544 Samsung laser printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Samsung printers score for reliability, and how Samsung fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Samsung printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Samsung fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Samsung printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Samsung printers overview
Number tested in the past three years 0
Number of Best Buys
Member icon
Estimated lifetime
Member icon
Customer score (%)
Member icon
Customer loyalty
Member icon
Table notes The customer score and estimated lifetime are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2020 of 35 Xerox laser printer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and the estimated lifetime is based on how long on average the brand's printers lasted before a fault meant the printer had to be replaced. Table last updated 14 October 2020.
  • Find out how well Xerox printers score for reliability, and how Samsung fares against rival printer brands.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Xerox printers as users report on a range of faults, including paper jams, slow wi-fi connectivity and hardware failures.
  • See how Samsung fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Xerox printers, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

How we calculate the best and worst brands

Which? has a wealth of information on Britain's favourite computing brands. Every year, we ask Which? members to tell us about the technology products they own - from how likely they would be to recommend a brand to how reliable the products are once they get them home. This year, more than 15,000 Which? members told us about nearly 100,000 devices. We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey.

Our brand surveys, combined with our extensive lab tests, mean we can recommend the best printers you should buy.

This data is crucial for our testing, too. If a brand falls far below the category average, we take away the manufacturer’s Best Buy and won’t recommend any of their products unless a marked improvement in the longevity of its products is shown.

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