The Best Fax Machine

Brother IntelliFax-4100E High Speed Business-Class Laser Fax

Our Top Pick for 2016: Brother IntelliFax-4100E High Speed Business-Class Laser Fax
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $255.07*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

The fax machine has been around for several decades. It used to be one of the only ways to distribute information at a rapid pace. Although the Internet and email are prime conduits today, most offices still need a fax machine for those important document transmissions. In fact, many home offices also need fax machines too. Before you invest in the newest model, take a good look at all of the amazing features that modern fax machines offer almost every user. From scanning capabilities to rapid distribution among various parties, fax machines are more than just communication devices.

Table of contents

200 Page Memory
Black-and-white Laser Fax
Thermal Fax Machine And Telephone Combined
100 Speed Dials And 20 Broadcast Locations
Also Copies And Prints
Automatic Paper Cutter
15 Page Automatic Document Feeder
Transmission Speeds Up To 3 Seconds Per Page
10-page Automatic Document Feeder
50-sheet Paper Tray
600 X 600 DPI Resolution
25-station Automatic Dialing
Small Footprint And Compact
Auto-dial Up To 132 Numbers
Receive Fax And Voice Calls On A Single Phone Line

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Brother IntelliFax-4100E High Speed Business-Class Laser Fax

Brother IntelliFax-4100E High Speed Business-Class Laser Fax Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $255.07*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerThe best fax machine on the market today is the IntelliFax-4100E by Brother. This fax machine may have the same appearance as its predecessors, but don’t let the old-fashioned look fool you. This machine has numerous features that are inherent to its everyday use. Although this fax machine is priced relatively high, it’s perfect for a busy business or home environment. Weigh all of your faxing needs today and match them to the IntelliFax’s features. You might find all of your needs fulfilled with this one product design.

This Brother fax machine allows you to fax to any party, and the functions don’t stop there. You’re also able to print or copy from this machine too. The papers simply need to be loose so that they can be scanned through the machine’s slot. It’s not possible to scan a page that’s bound within a book, however. This particular model doesn’t have a flat surface for that type of copying need. For most users, however, printing and copying from one or several loose pages is perfectly functional.

Older fax machines used to take full minutes to transmit a page. Today’s models are completely different. You simply need a basic phone connection in order to benefit from the product’s rapid transmission speeds. It’s the fax that performs the fast work and not the phone line. In fact, you’ll notice that most pages transmit at three seconds or less. This machine is meant to be a heavy-duty solution for high-volume businesses or home offices. Send a huge proposal over the fax, and it will only take a few minutes of your time.

You may never run out of paper with the included tray. Enjoy a front-loading tray that holds up to 250 paper sheets. Don’t limit yourself to the basic, letter-size paper either. The tray can be adjusted to hold legal-size forms as well. If you work with any legal documents, this feature is priceless for your faxing, printing and copying needs. Keep your paper supply full by adding the optional lower tray. This compartment is identical to the included tray, which offers you another 250 pages of paper for your faxing needs.

The machine may have 500 pages inside of its trays, but running out of paper will happen to almost every business or home office. Don’t worry about missing any faxes, however, because Brother has outfitted this fax with 8MB of memory. As faxes are received, the information is simply stored until you can refill the paper trays. It’s possible to save up to 500 pages of information before the memory is completely filled. In most cases, you won’t even come close to that number before the tray is quickly filled once again.

In the past, faxing was a nightmare as the machine was busy sending or receiving information. You might stand there for a long time before your current fax can go through. Brother designed their fax with a short-term memory function. When the machine is busy, simply scan the new pages into the memory. Each page should take about two seconds to scan. When the machine has a break, it will send those pages out. As a result, you save time with this fax “waiting” in your place.

Some consumers have reported that the machine might grab two pages at a time as it tries to print out an item. However, this issue typically occurs when the machine is a few years old. Keep up with regular maintenance, such as cleaning out the fax’s interior, so that paper issues don’t become chronic. A well-maintained machine will perform like brand-new in the busiest of offices.

If you work in the field for most of the week, you may not be at the office to receive your faxes. The manufacturer thought of this scenario and added a fax-retrieval feature. Simply call into your fax machine, and you can access the faxes from any location. This feature is critically important if you need to access faxes from either vendors or clients. Businesses rely heavily on faxes for every transaction, from huge projects to small orders.

A small yet important feature remains the auto-dial function. Add up to 132 phone numbers to this fax, and dial everyone when necessary. You don’t have to fumble with phone numbers unless it’s a new client or vendor.

Some consumers have reported that it’s difficult to read the machine’s LCD screen at various angles. As you install the machine at your home or office, temporarily plug it in. Take a close look at the LCD screen. Try to adjust the table’s height in order to make the LCD screen as clear as possible. Ask other users to stand in front of the machine as well. You want everyone to be able to read the screen with ease. Once the fax is properly installed, you don’t have to worry about moving or adjusting it ever again.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): HP 2140 Professional Quality Plain-Paper Fax and Copier

HP 2140 Professional Quality Plain-Paper Fax and Copier

View it on Amazon for $346.52*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerThe 2140 fax by HP is a traditional pick that still impresses most consumers when they need a solid product. When you take a glance at this device, it looks like the original faxes from yesterday. A wide, control panel offers clear buttons for your dialing pleasure while the left side cradles a basic, phone receiver. This fax machine doesn’t take up too much room on a desk so you’re free to use the extra space for stacked paper or files. As you compare different fax machines in the market today, don’t overlook the key features found in this HP gem.

Your new HP fax is equipped with a 14.4 Kbps modem. Although this specification isn’t a lightning-fast T1 line, it’s adequate for the phone-line connection that’s designed with this device. Your fax will be able to simultaneously send and receive data with relatively good speed. It’s important to remember that this machine isn’t meant to be a computer with exceptionally fast downloads. The fax will print out your documents as they’re received, and you probably won’t notice any speed issues in most cases.

The machine’s speed is often questioned when consumers consider its connection capabilities, however. This fax doesn’t connect to the Internet for those “online” faxes. The HP model is simply a basic phone system that uses traditional lines to transmit information between locations. If you want an Internet-based fax, another model selection is necessary. HP uses the phone lines because they’re a reliable, hard-wired pathway for all of your communications.

When you try to send a fax, you might be greeted by the busy signal on the other end. You don’t have to be frustrated with this signal because the 2140 model will automatically redial on your behalf. Simply leave your fax in the tray and allow the system to continue its dialing procedure. When the line is finally free, the fax will go through. You’ll notice the paper is on the opposite tray with a verification noted on the fax’s screen. Save time by relying on the redialing option each day.

You may want to send your fax out to many different recipients. In the past, you were forced to stand by and dial each number as the fax moved the information across the line. HP designed their machine to take over this process with fax broadcasting. Select up to 20 locations for your fax, and let the machine do the work for you. You can see the fax’s progress on the control panel as you pass by. When you’re announcing a sale or important event, this broadcasting feature is one of the best designs added to this machine.

Some faxes are simply long documents. You may need to hand feed the paper into the tray with some machines. This HP model, however, offers you a 50-sheet input tray. Stack your papers in this location, and they’ll move efficiently through the fax. It also has a 15-sheet automatic document feeder, which frees up your hands during a busy business day. Most consumers report that the feeder works as designed with only a few issues over time. Keeping the feeder clear of any paper debris, for instance, is critical to its reliable operation. Be aware of the machine’s maintenance schedule, and your faxes will transmit without any problems.

When you receive the HP 2140 model, you’ll have all of the basics for its use. Although it doesn’t come with paper, the machine has an introductory cartridge already installed. You can technically print a fax after simply plugging the machine into an electrical outlet. Along with the included power cord, you’ll receive a phone cord too. Because these cords are almost a rarity in today’s modern offices, it’s helpful to have it included with the fax.

You won’t miss a fax with the included memory in this machine. HP provides you with a 200-page memory so that an empty paper tray doesn’t mar your business efficiency. Simply fill the machine with paper when you notice that it’s empty, and all of your faxes will print with ease. HP is on the side of the consumer when it comes to reliable communication and printing clarity.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Brother FAX275 Personal Fax and Telephone

Brother FAX275 Personal Fax and Telephone

View it on Amazon for $89.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe FAX275 fax by Brother is a perfect addition to any small, home office. In fact, you might mistake this fax for a standard, office phone because of its sleek, exterior features. The machine is white with colorful buttons indicating some of the most important functions. Although this fax doesn’t have a high capacity for a corporate environment, it’s perfectly suited for those independent consultants who still need a reliable communication device. Examine the machine’s features, and you might become a fan of Brother today.

Looking at various fax machines through online shopping can be deceptive when it comes to size. In fact, this machine looks large as a picture but it’s not. This fax’s desk footprint is barely larger than a standard sheet of paper. At 12-inches long and 9-inches wide, this fax will fit onto nearly any desk. Simply clear out a corner space, and you have a professional way of communicating with others. It can fit under a shelf too because it’s less than 6-inches tall.

In the past, you used to have one fax and a separate phone system for any home office. This Brother fax, however, combines the two systems. You can use it for faxing and phoning others because it has an embedded switch for this purpose. While you make a phone call, the fax machine can save or delay a transmission. With a clear phone line, the fax takes over and prints out the information as necessary. You don’t have to worry about missing a fax with the technology within this machine.

As a fax prints out, it’s added to the included ThermalPlus paper. This paper is designed for this fax machine so that all of the pages are clear to read. An entire roll comes with this fax along with the specialized Anti-Curl System. Your pages won’t come out in tight rolls anymore. The automatic paper cutter separates all of the pages as they rest in a flat condition within the tray. This fax machine won’t feel like yesterday’s models when you see the transmitted copies.

Enjoy the convenience of caller ID with this fax machine. You’ll know who is calling or transmitting any information, and you can also set them up with a distinct ring tone. You don’t have to see the control panel and the incoming phone number anymore. Listen for the distinct ring, and you’ll be notified of that caller in a second. This feature is particularly helpful if you’re waiting for an important fax, but the machine is busy with other calls that aren’t as necessary at the moment.

One unique feature that may not be well-known regarding this fax is its email capabilities. Some consumers don’t feel comfortable using a computer, but they still need email in today’s technologically driven world. Set the fax up to receive email, and it will print it out. This function makes this device stand out among the others, and it will thrill you if you choose it for your home-office environment.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Brother FAX-575 Personal Fax, Phone, and Copier

Brother FAX-575 Personal Fax, Phone, and Copier

View it on Amazon for $44.98*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickAt a little under $50, the FAX-575 by Brother is a value purchase when you need a machine that works for just occasional use. Ideally, place this fax in your home office where you can receive some faxes when you aren’t available at the corporate office. It has most of the features included on the more expensive fax machines, but with some variations. If you need a fax at home for a reasonable price, this machine is sure to please any household.

One of the first features that you should check on any fax machine is the transmission speed. This fax is a budget model, so it only has a 9.6Kbps modem. Connect the fax to your home phone line, and it will diligently send and receive any data coming your way. As a result of this modem speed, you’ll notice that each page takes about 15 seconds to transmit. Although this speed is slow for a corporate environment, it’s entirely efficient within a home office.

You also benefit from this fax’s other main feature: the copy machine. Place a document to be copied in the tray. The machine copies it with relative speed, and you have a 400 X 400 dpi copy for your records. This copy resolution is crisp and clear for anyone to read.

Most fax machines use traditional ink for any printed documents, but this Brother fax is different. This model offers you a print roll that’s reminiscent of carbon paper. It transfers the ink onto the paper with ease. Consumers report that this ink alternative allows the fax to sit for long periods without any printing issues occurring with dried-up ink supplies.

With a budget price, you might think that this machine has a limited memory. However, Brother designed this machine with 512KB of memory. If it runs out of paper, it can hold up to 25 pages worth of information before the memory is full. Home offices don’t receive many faxes, so 25 pages is sufficient for most consumers.

Enjoy a one-year warranty when you purchase this Brother fax. This guarantee normally includes product defects and certain malfunctions. Read through the user’s manual, and get familiar with the information regarding warranty repairs. You want the machine to be properly serviced whenever necessary.

This Brother fax comes with a 30-page user guide and registration card. It’s helpful to send in the registration card as soon as possible. Although you have your purchase receipt, an official registration card filed with the manufacturer can make any claims much more streamlined in the future. With a quality product and strong customer service, Brother offers you some of the best machines in the industry.

Pre-purchase considerations

Multifunctioning Machine

It used to be normal to have multiple machines that took up an entire room for your faxing and copying needs. This old-fashioned notion isn’t true anymore. In fact, you want a machine that offers several functions so that you only require a small, office corner for your fax. Look for a machine that offers copying, scanning, faxing and printing services. Although you might believe that every machine has these features, be careful about your selections. Some low-cost machines may lack one or two of these functions. If you’re running any viable home or corporate business, you’ll need all of the functions possible in order to remain productive.

Ample Memory Storage

Your reputation can be quickly damaged if you appear unorganized to either clients or vendors. Don’t miss any faxes by purchasing a machine with ample memory. Many of the top brands have memories that can hold nearly 10MB of information. If the memory is lacking in your fax, you’ll have to be diligent about replacing the paper. When a fax is missed entirely, you might lose out on a major sale or vendor meeting. You might test the memory on a regular basis, for example, which verifies that it’s continuing to function as advertised by the manufacturer.

Print Quality

It’s important to realize that a fax’s print quality is directly related to its price point. Generally, a more expensive unit will have better quality print. As a professional, you always want a machine that prints with clear lettering. Laser faxes are the best in the industry, which provide you with crisp resolution between black and white. You might look at a few sample pages printed by various faxes before you buy a model. If you can’t read small fonts across the fax, that machine isn’t for your needs. Miscommunication from a blurry fax can cost some companies a lot of money in the end.

Easy Troubleshooting

You may have purchased the best fax on the market, but every machine will have some complications over time. Read over the machine’s reviews, and note if the product is easy to troubleshoot. The paper tray should be simple to slide out and remove. Instructions for rebooting the fax must be easy to follow too. If a product is too complex, employees might spend several hours just trying to make the fax work. In the end, you need a reliable and intuitive fax that can be fixed in a matter of minutes.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

As reflected by the top picks in this list, high-quality fax machines are usually offered by some of the most experienced and well-known manufacturers in the industry. However, that fact doesn’t mean that you should entirely overlook other makers. As you shop around for that perfect machine, examine both the features and users’ reviews. You might find another product that’s similar to these top picks, but at a better price point. Keep in mind that well-known manufacturers will usually have a better warranty than lesser-known names with enhanced customer service. Make an educated decision about your fax-machine purchase, and it will serve you well for many years.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!


  1. CDW, Brother IntelliFax-4100e High-Speed Business-Class Laser Fax Machine,
  2. Brother, Personal FAX-275 Personal Fax Machine,
  3. Staples, Brother Personal Plain-Paper Fax Machine (575),

Pin It on Pinterest