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Fax Machine Cost

How Much Does a Fax Machine Cost?

low costLow: Can Run $50-$95average costMedium: $100-$500 For Multifunction Scanner/Printershigh costHigh: High Speed Machines Can Run $750-$3,000
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While a great deal of business communication is now be done by e-mail, faxes are still excellent for immediate and relatively secure transmission of signed documents such as contracts, quotes or sales agreements. Sometimes called telecopying, fax is short for facsimile and involves the telephonic transmission of scanned paper material, although the process can also be done digitally over the Internet. Generally the choice is between buying a fax machine or signing up for an Internet fax service.

Typical costs:

  • Prices for a fax machine[1] start as low as $50-$95 for a basic stand-alone model, but generally run $100-$500 or more for either a stand-alone fax or an all-in-one fax-scanner-copier-printer; prices vary depending on printing type, modem speed, transmission speed, memory, resolution, sheet capacity (usually 25-100 pages) and other options.
  • A high-speed, high-sheet-capacity, high-resolution fax machine can cost $750-$3,000 or more, but leasing is an option. Lease costs vary considerably depending on the quality of machine, length of contract and location, but according to, a 36-month contract on a $2,000 fax machine with a 10 percent buyout runs about $60-$70 a month -- and monthly lease payments can be tax deductible. Supplies (toner, developer) are rarely included in a lease payment, but the equipment dealer (not the leasing company) may provide standard onsite maintenance.
Related articles: Fax Service, Inkjet Printer, Laser Printer

What should be included:
  • Faxing requires two machines, one on each end of a phone line. The first fax machine scans each outgoing page and converts the images on it into a series of light and dark dots. This pattern is translated into audio tones and then sent over regular phone lines to the receiving fax machine which uses the tones to produce the same series of dots, printing out a copy of the original document. The Singapore Science Centre provides an overview of the process.
  • Most fax machines now use plain paper, although less-expensive models may use thermal transfer paper, which curls easily and the tends to fade over time. Better-quality faxes use inkjet printing technology, and the best (and most expensive) use laser printing. Other features involve modem speed, answer modes, built-in answering machines, paper size, fax memory and more. A fax machine manufacturer provides an overview[2] of potential options.
Additional costs:
  • Low-end fax machines typically use ink cartridges, which can cost $20 or more per 150 sheets, while replacing a toner/drum cartridge in a more expensive laser fax machine averages $120 for 20,000 sheets.
  • Most modern fax machines easily share a voice phone line for low-volume faxing -- but this ties up the phone line while faxing. High volume faxing may require a separate fax-only phone line, at a typical cost of $35-$45 monthly plus any long-distance charges.
Shopping for a fax machine:
  • Major fax machine manufacturers include Brother[3] , Canon[4] , Hewlett Packard[5] , Panasonic[6] and Sharp[7] .
  • Suite101 provides an overview[8] of how to choose the best fax machine, and an Indiana office worker[9] shares her experiences selecting a fax machine for a co-worker's home office.
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