Fax machine recommendations


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Apr 26, 2002
De Pere, WI
I'd like some recommendations on which fax machine to buy. Nothing fancy, I just want to send and recieve faxes. Phone company said I should get one that has built-in fax signal detection.

do you have a Windows based computer? If so, you can save a lot by using the computer as a fax. The software is already in Windows. Just plug the phone jack line into the computer and run the setup for operating as a fax.

The advantage will be previewing before printing - saves paper(don't print what you do not want) - storage of what was sent and what was received.

The fax mode can be set up as a printer - so that a paper copy does not have to be actually printed - straight from the computer to the receiving (other) machine. I fax invoices - proposals - statements to customers wothout paper.
How do you send faxes of documents not on your computer? As in a fax machine that will scan the document to be sent.

Thanks for the idea.
Like Jerome, my faxes are through my computer (Mac) using the software, FAXstf.

I don’t find the lack of paper too inconvenient. Generally, the only times it would be helpful to have a dedicated fax machine is when I have to return a document with my signature. In those events, I either have a pre-generated signature (scanned and traced with Illustrator so that it can be scaled) or I will print it, sign the document, rescan and send it.

I use the fax most frequently for placing orders to vendors so that I can have a record of what I sent. For that I have generated stationaries so typing in the order is quick and relatively pain free. That way there is no confusion as to my often illegible handwriting being misinterpreted.

And the quality of sent and received faxes is way superior to paper fax machines IMHO.
Any fax machine made after the 80s will have the CNG (fax tones).

In our shop, we're using an inexpensive BROTHER MULTIFUNCTION LASER unit which prints the LifeSaver workorders, daily closing reports, and is also a fax machine/scanner/copier. She has been working flawlessly for more than 4 1/2 years so far. The brothers optionally tie into a computer, so you can transmit and receive faxes on the screen, scan, fax directly from any Windows program, etc.

Just avoid any unit that uses thermal paper, carbon transfer rolls, or inkjet technology. The "cost per page" for these technologies is too great in a business environment, and reliability is a problem. Plain paper black and white laser is currently the way to go, IMO.

Best regards
Another option is to get a cheap fax for out-going and use windows for incoming and what out-going you can send from your puter.
I love my HP Officejet 7410 All-in-One...
Scan, Copy, print, fax and duplex print.
I can also use the RTV print carts for photos.

Best of all, it's wireless (bluetooth) so I can print from my laptop when I'm two floors up and working.
A lot of people have trouble with the 'all in ones' printer, scanner, fax including me. I have tried several and they all fail after a short amount of time.

If you want to use Windows Fax Service, witch I highly recommend, buy a descent laser printer and scanner. Just not a combo.
Consider using an internet service like J fax for receiving faxes. For sending faxes any inexpensive fax machine will work.

J Fax has a free fax service that works great. Receiving faxes on a shared phone line can be a real pain in the neck. A dedicated phone line solves the problem but the cost of the phone line is high.

J Fax sends you an e-mail and a link for downloading when you get a fax. Very easy and free, of course they are hoping you will upgrade the service for an extra cost.


If you send many faxes that you need or want to use a real piece of paper as the original, the extra time spent scanning and then sending it via Windoze will be quickly paid for by using a real fax machine. I bet that even at one fax a day you'd pay for the extra in a very short time (unless your time isn't worth much...).

If you want cheap, buy (or find someone dying to give away) a thermal fax for outgoing faxes and use windoze for incoming (and print the ones you want on your Laser printer).

We have both Dell 1600n and Epson CX11NF multifunction lasers (B&W and color, respectively) and have not any a single problem with either. We also still have an HP 3100 that's probably over 5 years old now still going strong - the main reasons it was replaced was that it's pretty slow (6 PPM) and it has only a sheet-fed scanner.
For a dedicated fax machine, I would recommend one like mine. It's a Panasonic KX-F1000, B&W Plain-Paper machine. It does use carbon transfer roll as its ink source, but these last a LONG time and are very easy to replace. I've had this thing since about 1996 and have never had a hint of trouble with it.
:cool: Rick
BTW, we have only one phone line, but I got a distinctive ring number for the fax machine. It has its own phone number, and you can tell when an incoming call is a fax bec. it has a double ring before it answers automatically.
Just like everything else here on the G, we are all in total agreement.

I send more faxes than receive... and the machine I have is the Panasonic KX-FP151.

I can't say it has been trouble free - it does work okay 90% of the time.

The cost on this level fax machine has gone down over the years and are so affordable - it's the replacement film that costs me and I go thru about 1 roll a month = $15 or so.

I use my 2nd phone/"data" line for the cc processing and fax - and they are rarely in use at the same time. I have my fax machine set to automatically receive faxes without ringing.

If you only have 1 phone line you can set it so it automatically answers a fax; and only rings if it is a phone call.

Good luck

I like the idea of using the computer. The computer that came with the shop is outdated, Win98, Pentium II. I was looking at replacing it.
And of course then I'd have to get internet access. (Maybe the landlord will let me skip the first months rent).
Originally posted by JFeig:

I fax invoices - proposals - statements to customers wothout paper.
Do vendors provide electronic versions of their order forms or do you create them yourself?
Originally posted by Dancinbaer:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by JFeig:

I fax invoices - proposals - statements to customers wothout paper.
Do vendors provide electronic versions of their order forms or do you create them yourself? </font>[/QUOTE]its part of my POS system - the POS prints (generates) the form. I happen to use FrameReady. LifeSaver, Speciality and Quickbooks etc. will do the same.