Selecting the Right Fax Machines


In the digital age, the fact that fax machines are still in use is a testament to their necessity and convenience in our society. Faxing is much quicker than snail mail, and is still a better way to instantly share contracts and important documents.

Documents are sent over the phone lines via audio tones, translated from patterns of dots converted from scanning the images as they are fed through the fax machine. On the receiving end, the tones are heard, a grid is pieced together, and that machine prints out the compilation of dots.  


Purchasing the right office equipment for your business boils down to knowing what you need to run your office smoothly, taking your budget and the bottom line value of each machine into account. Fax machines aren’t any different than other equipment in this respect.


Costs Involved

Though inkjet or thermal transfer fax machines are available for less than one hundred dollars, they are more appropriate for home use rather than an office environment. A business grade fax machine will stand up to the frequent use of an office and is not only more durable, but also will be faster and have additional paper trays, broadcasting and additional memory.

Initial - Business fax machines can run anywhere from $400.00 to $2,500.00. The faster the operation, the higher the price. They should have higher durability as the cost rises, and also upgraded features extending the capabilities of their broadcast and memory functions.  


Ongoing -A strong consideration in choosing the fax machine for your company is the price per copy it comes down to, when the cost of ink or toner is calculated. Though the price of a toner cartridge for a laser machine may seem prohibitive, remember it can produce around 5k pages, which makes the per copy expense less than other cheaper ink replacements.


Added Features

Two minor features to give some consideration are paper sizes - choose standard or legal - and broadcast support. The broadcasting feature allows one scan to be disbursed to all the recipients you select; an obvious benefit for sales firms or multi-location companies.

Color - Though possible, color is seldom available. Currently color faxing is only successful when the pages are sent between two color machines made by the same manufacturer. It is anticipated that color faxing will become more popular in the future, which will drive up the technology and lower costs.


Memory - The main reason memory is important is to be able to store incoming or outgoing pages while the fax machine is printing, or busy on either end. Standard capability is storage of 512 kb for 20-25 pages of memory. You can purchase memory cards, for up to $100.00 per megabyte, depending on the make and model of your machine.

The 3 types of memory features include out-of-paper reception, which holds the data until the paper tray is replenished; quick scan, allowing scanned pages to be held prior to pushing send; and dual scan, a real time saver which lets you scan one transmission while one is being received.