When you’re shopping for copiers you’ll often see a bunch of acronyms or terms that don’t make any sense to you, the layman. That’s what we industry insiders are for, to help translate these words and phrases into coherent thoughts. Below you’ll find most introductory terms and acronyms explained to make your printer acquisition process simpler.
In alphabetical order:
- ADF = Automatic document feeder. Every machine since the turn of the century has had one of these. There are variations of this term. See RADF and DHADF.
- Bypass Tray = an additional paper source that normally supplies envelopes, labels, or heavier paper. It can be used to supply any paper that you don’t have readily available in your regular paper trays
- CPM = Copies per minute
- Developer = A finely ground metal material that adheres to the drum magnetically to transfer an image onto toner, which makes an image on your paper.
- DHADF = Dual head automatic document feeder. Sometimes called scan squared, this feeder has two scanners that scan both sides of an original in one pass without flipping it around
- Driver = A print driver is installed on your computer to communicate properly with your model of printer.
- Drum = The drum is an essential part of the copy process because it “receives” the image from the developer and transfers it onto the paper with toner
- Drum blade = The blade wipes the drum clean on each rotation. If you have an old drum blade you’ll start to find lines on your prints.
- Duplex = 2-sided printing, copying, or scanning
- Finisher = An additional piece of hardware that enables the copier to staple and offset sort your printed documents
- Fuser = The hot section of the copier that fuses the toner off of the drum onto the paper.
- LCC = Large capacity cassette. This cassette will hold 3,000 or more sheets. It is an additional cost, hardware and adds to the footprint of the copier
- Ledger Paper = 11 x 17 is commonly referred to as ledger, although it’s more often just called “11 x 17”
- Legal Paper = 8 ½ x 14 paper is commonly referred to as legal
- Letter Paper = 8 ½ x 11 paper is commonly referred to as letter
- MFC = Multifunction copier. Implies that it prints and scans along with copying.
- MFP = Multifunction printer. Most “copiers” nowadays are MFPs.
- PPM = pages per minute, a modern day variation of CPM since it implies more than just copies
- RADF = Reversing automatic document feeder. This feeder will automatically flip an original to make a two-sided copy.
- Saddle Stitch = Another form of finisher that will fold and staple documents like a booklet
- Sorter = Another term for finisher. It will offset sort your documents and some manufacturers have a stapling function.
- Toner = Toner is the “ink” of laser printers. It’s a VERY fine powder that moves like a liquid, use caution when replacing your toner cartridge. Most toner cartridges nowadays have no open holes for toner to leak, but you should still be careful when handling one.
I’m sure there are more on this list, but this should be enough to get you through the purchasing process.