The Differences Between a Duplicator and a Copier

Copying remains to be one of the most crucial operations within many establishments. Especially in the world we live in today, there is a general need to spread information and reproduce materials as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Which is why copiers and duplicators are still essentials in most industries such as business and education. But how do they differ from one another and do they have similarities as well? Let’s find out.

Master Impression vs. Original Copy

Both printing machines share the same goal: to produce replications of an original document. A Duplicator does this by scanning the original and then creating a master impression of it which is then wrapped around its print cylinder and marked with ink. This master impression is what the Duplicator will use in making the rest of the copies for the entire process.

Meanwhile, a Copier scans the original document using its light-sensitive photoreceptor followed by the transferring of toner onto paper to produce a copy. This is made possible with the Copier’s electrically charged printer drum that attracts particles of the powdered toner to be transferred.

Non-heat vs. Heat

As mentioned, a Copier’s printer drum works to attract powdered toner particles into being printed onto paper. This process uses heat in order to electrically charge the drum and make the toner stick onto it. Once the process is finished, the removal of heat allows any remaining toner particles to fall off as the static is diminished. A Copier’s use of heat also makes it consume a large amount of power.

On the other hand, a Duplicator does not use heat making it a low power-consuming machine. During its process, the master impression wrapped around a print cylinder rotates to apply ink which is then stamped onto paper or other blank material.

Gel Ink vs. Powdered Toner

When it comes to the substance these machines use in order to produce its copies, they can not be any more different. A Duplicator uses gel ink that’s just as fast-drying as the toner Copiers use. These inks are also generally cheaper than toner plus, they won’t be producing any toner dust which can be harmful to your health.

A Copier uses powdered toner which, with the exposure of heat, melts onto paper as it passes underneath the printer drum. They’re more costly than gel inks although Copiers have the ability to do vibrant and defined multi-color printing in one go unlike with Duplicators that usually perform spot coloring which limits the colors it can showcase.

Volume Printing

When it comes to large volume printing, a Duplicator is what you’ll need. These machines have been specifically designed to withstand printing of a copious amount for hours on end. This is also why they’re capable of faster printing especially given how they repeatedly just press their inked up print cylinder on paper to create copies.

Although a Copier is obviously capable of creating more than one copy, it’s just not as capable of the volume printing that a Duplicator can achieve. Then again, if your business does not need super large volume printing on a daily basis then this machine is what you’ll want to invest in.


You would think that since a Copier has the smaller volume printing capacity then it would be more cost-effective but that’s not the case. When creating copies, a Copier generates the same equal cost per copy making it less cost-effective than a Duplicator. Yet, the silver lining is that Copier machine prices are typically cheaper than Duplicators.

A Duplicator is the more cost-effective one since, as Vincent Woodall mentions, “The cost of the stencil or master used in a digital duplicator is divided amongst all of the copies or prints of that particular document.” Simply put, the more copies produced makes the cost per copy less. Then again, Duplicator machines are also more expensive than Copiers.

Printing Range

Finally, a Duplicator can provide a larger printing or output range — apart from paper, it can also produce copies on cards, labels, envelopes, and more. Overall, it’s the best investment for print shops and big industries that require high performance printing everyday. Although it must also be taken note of that Duplicators can only do printing unlike Copiers which offer other processes.

A Copier, as stated earlier, is a better investment for those simply in need of paper copying and not the extravagance that Duplicators provide. Offices and schools who usually copy paper documents and book pages would greatly benefit from having a high-quality Copier readily available. Additionally, these machines also offer printing, scanning, and faxing to its users.


At the end of the day, both can do terrific work at creating multiple copies or duplicates of an original document. Determining which you should invest in is still a matter of personal preferences in line with what your business truly needs.  But now that you have an idea on their differences and what they’re capable of providing, we hope that it’ll be easier for you to decide which one to get for your printing requirements!

You can inquire on the Duplicator (Duplo) and Copiers (HP, Fuji, Lexmark) we offer at our hotline: (0905) 434-0623 or by sending us a message at our official Facebook page:

GAKKEN (Philippines), Inc. is an Exclusive Distributor of various, world-class printing machines primarily for the Philippine Printing Industry. To know more about the brands we offer, visit our official website:

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