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The Top 4 Qualities Notary Signing Agents Look For When Buying A Printer

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Updated: 8-7-19. Notary Signing Agent supplies include a dependable printer, but what's most important to them? Cost?Capability? We reached out on social media to ask what qualities Signing Agents look for when choosing a printer. Here are 4 of the most common responses:

Dual Tray Capability

Several signing professionals said that being able to print both legal and letter-sized paper is crucial for their work.

In Burnham, Maine, Donna J. Runnels finds "ease of use" most important, adding if she could do it over again, she would choose dual trays. 

“The most important thing I was looking for was a dual tray with the ability to print legal and letter all at once,” said Rita Cannava of San Diego, California, who recently purchased a new printer based on feedback from other signing agents.

Becky Zazueta Sebreros of Los Angeles, California, says "dual trays," along with "ink, and the number of copies" are the qualities she looks for in a good printer.

Print Speed And Quality

Signing agents are usually under very tight deadline pressure, so fast printing speed while producing quality, clearly legible documents is essential. Joy Olsen of Lakewood, Washington, needs a "fast, powerful workhorse designed to do 200,000 (pages) a month."

Multifunction Capability

Rachel Schock of Soper, Oklahoma, says it's important to her that her printer has "printing and scanner speed, and double-sided capability." Rachel also mentions "wireless printing capability" as an important printer quality. 

Theresa Neal of Kent, Washington not only prints loan documents with her printer but also uses it as a scanner and fax machine when companies ask her to fax back copies of loan documents. “Also, the automatic document feeder needs to hold more than 30 pages for fax backs,” she said.

Toner/Ink Cost 

Signing agents work in a highly competitive market where business expenses need to be carefully budgeted. Printers that use affordable toner or ink are essential to keeping costs reasonable.

Susan Petrie of Madison Heights, Michigan, says she always checks how many pages she will get out of a particular brand of toner before buying. “The toner may be inexpensive, but how many actual pages can be printed before shaking is a big cost factor,” she said.

On the other hand, in Greenville, South Carolina, Rebecca Herrera tells us "Cost of replacement ink" is what's important to her.

What qualities do you look for in a printer? Join the discussion with other Signing Agents on Facebook.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

58 Comments

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Linda Sercia

05 Jan 2015

Has anyone used a Okidata laser printer

V.T. Speight

05 Jan 2015

What the name of a good printer with all the four qualities?

Audrey Jane Spaulding

05 Jan 2015

A good reliable Printer is a must. With time being of the essence its important that your have a two tray printer that puts out high quality copies, with out having to add paper constantly. Large Trays and the ability to print excellent quality copies. I have had several printers. I used Dell for a long time, but since they switched to India for their Base, I went to a Brother Printer, I can get my supplies locally.

Juan Mendoza

05 Jan 2015

What brand printer and model is recommended.

Claire Davis

05 Jan 2015

Does anyone know of a printer that is mac compatible printing loan docs without having to manually switch from letter to legal? I have to go through all my docs and select letter or legal and then collate manually. It's getting old.

erin.allen@sheahomes.com

05 Jan 2015

"Printed before shaking" - best phrase ever! :)

Jean hillsgrove

05 Jan 2015

I have never heard of a okidata laser printer. How much is it, where can you find it and how good is it.

Jeff Hebert

05 Jan 2015

I hve use a Brother HL 6180 DWT for several years now, with much success. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase and I haven't had many issues. Tech support is typical of 90% of today's tech support - a little iffy. I had an issue with my printer running "hot" and pausing itself to cool down. The techy couldn't give me a satisfactory answer, so I asked for a supervisor. They were on another call, but I was promised that they would call me shortly. Never heard from anyone.

rick wessell

05 Jan 2015

I've been using a Brother dual tray printer for the last 4 years with no problems. I buy my ink through Super Media Store.

steve sorkin

05 Jan 2015

What you really want to look for in a printer. How much are the toner cartridges and what is the page count per cartridge. Thirty pages is about average for a adf on all-in-one printers. The dual tray is a window function.

Tiffany

05 Jan 2015

Does it need to be a laser jet? I was told some recording offices only accept laser printers

Wayne Brunelle

05 Jan 2015

I have found all the features mentioned within this thread on my Brother MFC 8950dwt. I bought this dual tray 42 ppm monochrome laser printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax at my local Staples store while it was on special, with a price match for yet a lower price along with opening a charge account for yet another $50 off. I also buy my paper at the local Staples store when they have cases on special, but I always check their price matching first and they apply coupons or specials before paying. I use the same procedure with toner and feel I maximize coupon use while keeping my printing costs to a minimum. I have found Amazon having the lowest toner prices which Staples gladly matches BEFORE applying coupon discounts. If Staples does not match, then I would order on Amazon. In small town America we only have the one office supply store here with small office supply sections in the local box stores so we don't have much of a competitive market to choose from. A very small amount of time spent price comparison on my computer has saved me hundreds of dollars.

Michelle Dunn

05 Jan 2015

I would like to know the name/brand of the printer that's recommended as well. Thanks!

Allison

05 Jan 2015

Article isn't very helpful. ...unless it has model name.

Cynthia Stair

05 Jan 2015

To Claire, I also had a Mac which I loved but it would not switch from legal to letter properly. After many days and weeks of talking with Geek Squad, Brother many other people I now have a PC and all is well. Sorry!

Dianne Lue

05 Jan 2015

My husband and I are both signing agents. We use a Brother HL-6180DW for printing. The machine is dual tray and auto selects the paper when printing and can do both sides. The toner cartridges, if you purchase high yield, will get you 10,000 pages. We order from a toner vendor so pay less for cartridges than at an office supply store. The only problem is we have to have a separate scanner for fax backs as this one is not scan capable. This is a plus in our eyes because we can be printing docs on one printer and scanning for fax backs on another. The scanner is also a printer (not dual tray) so we can print from it as needed. We love the Brother printer and have very few issues with it.

carole tillisch

05 Jan 2015

I use a Brother HL-5470DW duel tray. I got it shipped from Costco.com and I'll tell you they are the lowest price. I also get toner and paper shipped for free and it has always come the NEXT DAY!! It's amazing!

C Chambers

05 Jan 2015

I have had excellent performance with my HP4200....has dual tray, and is very fast. I am on my 2nd printer, and I've been in the business since 2005.

Barry Robbins

05 Jan 2015

I use a Brother 5470, and I love it. I purchase my toner from www.klassicspecialties.com. Their prices are good. I hang never had a bad laser or ink jet cartridge from them. Their prices are less than 50% of retail.

Julie

05 Jan 2015

I have an Okidata C5100 that I've had for many years and it's a real workhorse.

MONA MEZA

05 Jan 2015

I have been using a Samsung which prints both legal and letter, due to much printing my imaging unit would not print after 9k pgs. very frustrating!!! I couldn't work for more then 7 days. Not a good way to start the new year. However, it is all been resolved and I have learned to keep stock of ink cartridges and now imaging units. BTW, I get my paper @ Sam's Club: Legal a case is $36.00 and Letter only $15.

Edwin Johnson

05 Jan 2015

I would simply recommend a decent laser printer over an ink-jet printer. Not only are they faster, but the cost per page is much lower. Also, if you don't have multiple an advanced printer with multiple paper trays or want to spend the extra money on them, consider purchasing the "Page Separator" program (Windows PC's only). Basically it takes a PDF file that is not sorted by page size, separates the file into multiple PDF's (letter and legal size) and then you print the files separately. Then you put the pages back together in order. We bought the Pro version ($69) because it gives you a report on how to stack the pages back together in proper order after printing, making it very easy. It sure saves a lot of time and it paid for itself on the first loan doc signing assignment. With this program it doesn't really matter what kind of printer you have. The website is http://pageseparator.com/ - By the way, I'm not affiliated with them, but just a satisfied customer!

John McCoy

05 Jan 2015

I have to switch trays for letter and legal, but I use a program from www.notaryrotary.com that sorts legal and letter (PDF) so that you can run your legals, switch trays and print letter. Works good, but it is tricky to "save-as" the docs and find the file to analyze. There are other programs on the market for the same thing.

Earitha Anderson

05 Jan 2015

I actually have an HP Laser Jet 4350DTN which prints up to 55ppm. It's monochrome but the extended life toner gets 20k copies. It is Mac compatible. It's an older model but it's a workhorse. I love it.

Irene Knowles

06 Jan 2015

I started this business with a Brother Mfc 8410DW. It is rated 5 stars and accomplishes all of the above tasks. No need to worry about page size, it will choose for you. I have never had downtime because of malfunction. Customer service has been very supportive and helpful. You cannot go wrong with this one.

Gail

06 Jan 2015

To Claire Davie - After I check with the assignment person and/or the Loan Officer for an okay, I print on all Legal. It saves a lot of time, energy and frustration!!

Tom Kelley

08 Jan 2015

I am in the process shopping a printer now. Is there anyway NNA can list the names of manufacturers and if possible the cost of the recommended printers.

National Notary Association

08 Jan 2015

Hello! You may want to check out some of the printer brands recommended by Notaries in the comments section of this article.

Cynthia Nettles

10 Jan 2015

This is such valuable information especially for a beginner.

lawarren55@yahoo.com

30 Jan 2015

I just purchased a Epson Workforce Pro WF4630 and I was wondering if anyone has used it and how does it work out for the NSA business?

Brenda Ewin

08 Feb 2015

I have used HP wireless Officejet all-in-one series 8600 for years & have had excellent success with low maintenance and cost.

ROBERTA

20 Mar 2015

I love my Dell3330DN I have used this printer for almost 2 years without any problems. It is really user friendly, easy to setup and to use. It is exactly as described, The thing that I like the most about this purchase is that the unit comes with a new cartridge that is "full" size (7,000) not just a "starter" sized cartridge. That alone made this purchase an exceptional deal. This printer has easy to refill paper trays When there is a occasional paper jam it is easy to clear and the buffer can retain the miss-fed pages for printing when the jam is cleared, This printer is one of the best laser printers, for the price, that I have ever used. Works better than some of the high end brands that are better know for their laser printers. I have to print 150+ pages at a time and this laser printer is fast enough to get the printing done in a matter of minutes. I would recommend this printer for anyone that needs a non-color, fast, dual paper feed printer. The price, full sized cartridge and FREE shipping make this a great investment.(See the reviews on Amazon.com)

Roberta Moore

20 Mar 2015

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002UOKG3A/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_Ob9cvb0712GYQ 5.0 out of 5 stars NOTARY PUBLIC SIGNING AGENT SAYS: THIS IS THE BEST LASER PRINTER FOR LOAN DOCUMENTS, MEETS ALL REQUIREMENTS, March 18, 2015 By GRANNYGIRL67 Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: 3330DN Laser Printer (Electronics) I have used this printer for almost 2 years without any problems. It is really user friendly, easy to setup and to use. It is exactly as described, The thing that I like the most about this purchase is that the unit comes with a new cartridge that is "full" size (7,000) not just a "starter" sized cartridge. That alone made this purchase an exceptional deal. This printer has easy to refill paper trays When there is a occasional paper jam it is easy to clear and the buffer can retain the miss-fed pages for printing when the jam is cleared, This printer is one of the best laser printers, for the price, that I have ever used. Works better than some of the high end brands that are better know for their laser printers. I have to print 150+ pages at a time and this laser printer is fast enough to get the printing done in a matter of minutes. I would recommend this printer for anyone that needs a non-color, fast, dual paper feed printer. The price, full sized cartridge and FREE shipping make this a great investment.

Jennifer

30 Apr 2015

HP officejet pro 8600 premium is AWESOME! I believe it was between $300 and $400, but so worth it. Dual tray, wifi, etc.

Clay Taylor

15 May 2015

I'm a new Signing Agent and this discussion is very helpful. I just recently joined NNA and just did my first loan signing a couple days ago.

Llona

16 May 2015

What's a good printer for faxing that we fax up to 50 at one time?

Ellen

16 May 2015

I have HP2430tn, been using it with no issues for ten years. I use an HP1100 with color paper to print confirmations, that printer is 25 years old with no issues, the third printer is HP200 for faxing, scanning and wireless printing. PH, and my photo printer is HP 7530. I am an avid fan of HP printers.

Brenda

23 May 2015

how did you get your HP officejet pro 8600 premium dual trays to print correctly? I have one and it hasn't worked for me.

Caleb Dickenson

09 Jun 2015

I have no clue on how much to charge. Alos, I don't have a clue on what all documents I can notarize with my commission. Can I use an ink jet printer?

Lorraine Pereverziev

09 Feb 2016

It's very good news that so many have found printers that work for them. My question is how many of these are MAC users. I believe the problem lies with the Apple products, not the printers as it seems so many printers are compatible with PCs and will recognize and print the appropriate size page within a full set of documents. Has ANYONE found such a printer that works on the OS X platform?

Jerry Lucas

31 Mar 2016

Use 2 printers to cut printing time in half. Two printers printing at 25 pages per minute is better than one printer printing at 50 pages per minute, because if you only have one printer and it breaks, you can print 0 pages per minute. With two printers, you can print in parallel and you also have a backup printer if one printer breaks. I buy refurbished printers and PCs on eBay for low prices.

gloria darling

26 Jul 2016

I use the Brother printer MFC8940 DW and it works great. I have it for 3 years and print for title companies/300 pages at a time dual trays. The fusor went on it recently and was covered under warranty 3 working days down counting the day it went down. Service tech said they have improved these to last even longer. When there is a jam the machine tells you how to fix it. It has jammed 3 times in 3 years and believe possibly due to bad ream of paper from Staples. I would highly recommend this printer. I have always had good luck with cutomer service with Brother.

Kathy

26 Jul 2016

I have two Brother printers and love them. I also have a Mac I love. Loan docs are a problem with paper size so I bought a second hand laptop with windows and I use that to print docs and my Mac for everything else.

Julie Brickley

26 Jul 2016

I have had a Canon MF5950 since day one 4 years ago and I love it. I have added a Brother MFC8710 to it (cost and compare) and the Canon is still my favorite old reliable. I, too, recommend having two printers, especially for the full time signing agent. Two print faster than one, and you always have a back up when one is down. Also, make sure to have them available through Google Print (or other cloud application) so you can start the print process on the way back to office/house... if you haven't got one in the car that is :-)

Kimberly Price

28 Jul 2016

I currently use Brother Color MFC-9340CDW, wireless, fax, print & scan. Dual tray without changing trays, simply slide the guide from letter to legal. I also have a Brother B/W MFC-7830DW as a back-up. I've found both printer to well serve my need. I'm not only a Notary, but a Process Server as well. Printing is my life! These printers really help

Sean M Henigan

19 Aug 2016

Roberta Moore: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002UOKG3A/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_Ob9cvb0712GYQ The Dell printer you recommend may be dual paper feed. But, it's not dual paper tray. That's a huge difference. Dual paper feed means that one size or the other has to be handled manually. Since I print several thousand pages monthly, that's not an option. I need a printer with dual paper trays. The printer you recommend may offer a second tray as an option. But, it's not included as is. Thanks anyway for your review, though.

Roberta Moore

29 Nov 2016

Sean M. Henigan Thank you for your response. I did use the term "feed" for "tray" in describing the Dell 3330DN because the trays all feed automatically.. Yes, I did purchase an additional tray ($10.00 on E-Bay) which works as a dual paper tray. The 1st built-in dual feed tray is automatic feed but only holds 50 pages. The 2nd built-in tray holds 250 legal pages and the auxiliary tray holds 500 pages.. I can actually use all three trays automatically, if the PDF settings are indicated. There are two "build in" auto-feed trays and I added a 3rd High capacity tray. I, too, print thousands of pages and have been very pleased with this dual feed/dual tray laser printer. It has served me well for over 3 years and I never have to manually feed any size paper. I just load the trays and it prints the loan packages correctly every time. Just a side note: this printer is very economical to purchase and to operate. 14K H/C Toner on E-bay for under $100. You may find that this printer is worth a look. The specs are available on Dell.com Wishing you happy signings.

pdfender@yahoo.com

06 Dec 2016

I am struggling. Many of the recommendations here are not manufactured anymore. I've had to turn down jobs, because I don't have a printer (I just bought a wonderful Brother MFP M426fdw) laser printer with a dual tray, but unfortunately, it doesn't recognize letter and legal. I have a MAC and the only two that have been suggested to me is the Brother MFC-L6900Dw, which sells for $700 and an additional $200 for a second tray and an HP M521dn, which sells for $799. I'm at a loss.I'm also at a loss of income. I can't find any on Craigslist. PLEASE help!

Michael Ramirez

29 Dec 2016

I use an HP 4200N with an added 500 page tray for legal and the added 1500 page tray for 20lb letter. I keep 24lb in tray 2 for special projects. I also have it sitting on the rolling HP cabinet which holds an entire case of letter paper. I've added the duplexer unit, envelope unit, and stapler/sorter. All said and done, it's taller than my wife and would be like $3000 new but I bought the printer from a local printer/toner company and all the accessories from Amazon. You don't have to deck it out quite to this extent, but I recommend getting a workhorse enterprise printer and the local companies will generally have them for sale from when their corporate clients upgrade their printers. I never have any issues with it--it's been running for 8 years, has over 500,000 pages on it and a ton of life left in it. Toner is cheap from Amazon and yields 20,000+ pages. Maintenance kits are also cheap on Amazon. The only challenges I ever have are from the computer. Windows 10 meant I could only use the Universal PostScript Driver or it would print black streaks. I've given up on getting my Macs to work since they shrink the pages.

john corley

31 Dec 2016

MAC folks - I have a Mac with Bootcamp and Windows & MS Office installed on it. From there I am able to print the various page sizes to my dual tray Brother HL-5470DWT which I love!!! Downside is if you need to switch from Mas OS to Windows or vice veersa, you reboot then choose which to launch. The other option is to run parallels so Windows is like an app that you can toggle in/out of to print. Hope this helps!

john corley

31 Dec 2016

MAC folks - I have a Mac with Bootcamp and Windows & MS Office installed on it. From there I am able to print the various page sizes to my dual tray Brother HL-5470DWT which I love!!! Downside is if you need to switch from Mas OS to Windows or vice veersa, you reboot then choose which to launch. The other option is to run parallels so Windows is like an app that you can toggle in/out of to print. Hope this helps!

Christine Tapia

02 Jan 2017

I just bought a new printer a Brother L5200DWT. I haven't printed out any loan docs yet. I have another Brother, but it wasn't a dual tray printer. I was so worried, so today I purchased this new printer from Amazon and it was on special. Any good new about this dual tray printer? Thanks.

Jana

11 Mar 2017

Do any of the printers named here in the comments, happen to be wireless printers? I would prefer a wireless laser printer with all the necessary features if anyone has any suggestions. Thank you

Lisa Hunerlach

30 Aug 2017

I like John Carley's suggestion for using Windows on a Mac. Does anyone here know if an iPad 8 (2017 version) can be used instead of a Mac (desktop) to Bootstrap windows? Thanks

aadila

02 Feb 2018

"Thank you for sharing, keep bringing more!! Cheers!! :)"

tonya

19 Apr 2019

I am a new signing agent and I am having a hard time finding a printer that alternates between trays. I ordered a printer and I now have to send it back. HELP!

Sherry

12 Aug 2019

Brother is the way to go for multi function..I have only had to buy 3 in 20 years. (One didn’t make a move) other one just got tired but actually still works..You can buy duel tray separately and the toner is pretty cheap if you buy online.. through sites like ink grabber and using their coupons. The drum is an added cost and lasts abt 6 months- 1 year depending on how busy you are...very dependable...

Susan Ashworth

12 Aug 2019

I’m a new notary, Ashworth Coastal Notary Services, LLC

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