The Difference Between An Industrial Copy Machine and a Commercial Copy Machine


industrial copy machineAn industrial copy machine is built to handle a substantial volume of copies and prints per month. Around 40,000 copies per month at minimum.

These types of machines can also handle thicker stock than the average commercial machine is built to work with.

When Would I Need to Consider An Industrial Copy Machine?

A copier’s “class”, so to speak, goes up in three levels. You have the consumer level, which are copiers commonly found in peoples’ homes. You have the commercial level, which is the type most businesses need. Then there’s the industrial level.

What makes an industrial copy machine different? Would you ever need to consider one for your business?

What sets an industrial copy machine apart from others is the ability handle tens of thousands of copies per month, with a high degree of quality and speed.

They can also complete jobs that other copiers can’t. Industrial machines can copy on thick paper, card stock, coated paper, and more.

In order for a machine to be able to complete an entire job full of card-stock prints, for example, it needs to be quick and heavy duty.

It goes without saying that industrial machines are more expensive to buy, but they are among the least expensive to run. Between industrial and commercial machines, industrial copiers have a lower total cost of ownership.

Who Are Industrial Copy Machines For?

Industrial machines are heavy duty pieces of equipment. These machines are meant for those who don’t just make copies as part of their business, making copies is their business.

Your local print-for-pay store has industrial machines for customers to use all day. Wal-Mart’s photo center is likely using industrial machines to produce high volumes of photos prints.

A school’s library may have an industrial copier to keep up with the amount of time it gets used in a day.

If your business revolves around making copies, or if your copy machine sees way-above-average use throughout the day, then an industrial copier may be for you.

Misconceptions About Industrial Copiers

Occasionally customers will ask if they need an industrial copier because it will be put in an industrial environment. Truth be told, that’s not what “industrial” means in this case.

An industrial copier will hold up only marginally better under harsh work conditions. With a strong chassis, it will be able to take more abuse than other copiers, but internal damage is still a concern.

If the copier is put into an environment where it will be exposed to an abundance of dust, dirt, or debris in the air, it will still need to be maintained like any other copier.

Your office copier can be put in less-than-ideal environments if needed. Don’t upgrade to an industrial copier because you need something that’s designed for dusty work environments.

Durability in ‘industrial environments’ should not be a factor when making a purchasing decision.


Industrial copiers are about volume, speed, and quality. If you need a machine make tens of thousands of high-quality copies each month, then it may be worth looking into getting an industrial copier.

Contact me to discuss your options.

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