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Mari Martin, ECM Sales Development Specialist

What is the Best Scanning Device – a Copier or a Dedicated Document Scanner?

I know you lay awake nights and ask yourself….

“What is the best scanning device…a copier or a dedicated scanner?”


The first step is to evaluate your documents to see what you have…

  • Types of documents to be scanned
  • Document size, weight and paper color
  • Black & white, color or hard to read documents
  • Single, double sided documents or a mixture of both
  • Number of documents to be scanned
  • Condition of documents
  • Scanning speed required


A copier works best when scanning basic letter or legal-size documents in fairly good condition. New copiers now scan in color and have double sided scanning.

If you are looking to your copier as a sole source for all your scanning needs, think about the following;

  • If someone has the copier monopolized with scanning, will there be problems in the office with other staff members who need it for other things?
  • How comfortable will it be for a staff member to stand at the copier and scan box after box full of documents?


Document scanners can handle practically any type or condition of documents. These super stars can do the following;

  • Single & Double Sided Scanning including Folio Mode (scans a folded 11” x 17” putting it back together as a full-size image) and Skip Blank Pages
  • Feeders can hold up to 500 pages, depending on the model selected.
  • Scanning speeds from 25 to 130 pages per minute, again based on the model. Double sided would be twice as fast!
  • Deskew (straighten a crooked image), Despeckle (takes those extra “copier” spots off the original) and punch hole removal
  • Multiple “staple wounds” in the corners?Scanner rollers “pull” from the center of a stack of documents to avoid those wounds for clean scans.
  • Automatic Page Size Detection – only scan the size with no black borders!
  • They will scan card stock, pictures AND some of the lower end scanners will scan embossed insurance cards and drivers’ licenses!
  • Automatic Text Recognition – scan the document in portrait and it will “read the text” and rotate it back to “landscape” for easier viewing.
  • Staple Detection
  • Text Enhancement – for enhancing those hard to read documents
  • Count Mode/Verify Count Mode to ensure you have scanned all documents
  • Double Feed Detection
  • Ultra-Sonic Detection with sounds waves
  • Detection by length

A complete analysis of the documents to be scanned is critical. Once this step has been completed, an “educated” decision can be made on what scanning device would work best, a copier or a document scanner.  The answer could be both!

Applied Innovation would be happy to help you with your analysis and recommend the right scanning device for your needs.  Just give us a call or fill out the form below!