The digital revolution is changing how we do business every day, and document scanners are a useful tool in keeping up with the times. Whether you’re a small business owner working from home or in a corporate office setup, you’re going to need a powerful document scanner to take you from hard copy—to digitized hero.
Keeping good records as an independent contractor or a small business owner is a necessary part of running a business, but managing a ton of paper can make your office space feel cluttered and confusing. With the help of document scanners, however, you can digitize your documents and organize them in your preferred storage solution. Gone are the days of bulky file cabinets seemingly overflowing at the seams. Now you can store and organize your documents with a touch of a finger.
What makes a good document scanner?
Now that we’ve covered how document scanners are a necessary tool in business, you might be wondering which scanner you should buy. Here are questions to ask yourself regarding specifications when comparing document scanner features:
- Does it have the ability to detect document size?
- Can it scan large stacks of documents at once?
- Can it scan multiple pages per minute? And at what rate?
- Can it digitize data (OCR scans) into a variety of exportable formats?
- Can it scan to third-party programs like Shoeboxed, QuickBooks, and Google Drive?
- Is it Wi-fi enabled?
The importance of these questions will vary relative to the user’s needs and budget.
Coming up next, we’ll be breaking down the top document scanners in the market for every business need.
The best affordable document scanner: Canon CanoScan LiDE400 Document Scanner
Price: $106 on Amazon
The Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 is a flatbed scanner with intuitive software adept at scanning documents and photos. Typically, flatbed scanners are used for photo scanning, but this can also serve as a good document scanner for occasional use. However, volume scanning is not advised as it is not ADF-supported. Despite its limitations, this is a good affordable basic scanner with a high resolution and exceptional software package.
Ideal for: Work from home or working professionals looking for an affordable scanner for their home office.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Comprehensive software package.
- High-resolution photo scans.
- Space-saving solution for flatbed scanners.
- No mobile and wireless connectivity support.
- Inaccuracy in scanning serif typefaces.
The best small business document scanner: Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600
Price: $449 on Amazon
Coming in with a relatively affordable $449 price tag, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX 1600 is an excellent desktop option for those looking for a high-volume scanner for their small business. This flagship model has a high cycle rating of up to 6,000 scans per day. It also uses the ScanSnap software, which is highly regarded for its extensiveness and its ability for quick and accurate scanning. Small business owners will love this device because of its ease of use and quick setup—no need to waste time configuring your device, leaving you with more time to manage your business.
Ideal for: Small business owners.
- Easy to use and set up.
- Wi-Fi enabled.
- Multi connectivity options are available for mobile and computer devices.
- Extensive ScanSnap software.
- High duty cycle rating of 6,000 scans per day.
- Great volume capacity of 50 sheets in the Automatic Document Feeder.
- Streak reduction scanning.
- Does not support Ethernet.
The best office document scanner: Raven Pro Document Scanner
Price: $649 on Amazon
The Raven Pro Document is a great stand-alone document scanner prized for its quick and precise scanning. It is a powerful, comprehensive document scanner and archiving solution best used as an office scanner. It has an easy-to-use interface and robust document management features that will keep your business documents organized and your office running smoothly.
Ideal for: Those looking for a good office scanner for a medium-sized workforce.
- Intuitive and sleek LDC touchscreen.
- Offers free Raven Cloud Document Storage.
- It supports Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, sending documents directly to your preferred storage solution.
- Built-in document editor for easy fixes on documents.
- AI-Powered Optical Character Recognition enables you to find any document text quickly.
- Smart scanning ensures that pages are aligned, straightened, and blank pages are removed.
- Multi connectivity on Raven Desktop.
- High volume capacity of 100 sheets in the Automatic Document Feeder
- No mobile support.
- Additional accessories are costly.
The best portable document scanner: Brother DS-640 Compact Mobile Document Scanner
Price: $89 on Amazon
The Brother DSmobile DS-640 is a great affordable option for those looking for a mobile document scanner. It is a simple barebones document scanner that is essentially plug-and-play. This document scanner scans quickly and accurately and comes in handy for limited use. Due to its compact and lightweight design, it can even serve as a good portable scanner option for those shopping on a budget.
Ideal for: On-the-go professionals, sales representatives, or those who go on business trips looking for a compact document scanner.
- Affordable, no-fuss device.
- Quick and accurate scanning.
- OCR technology for accuracy.
- Compact and lightweight for portability.
- Supports USB connectivity.
- Only scans documents one at a time. No option for two-sided scanning.
- No wireless or mobile connectivity.
- No automatic document feeder. Documents need to be loaded one by one.
The best professional business document scanner: Visioneer Patriot H60 Duplex Scanner
Price: $1,399.99 on Amazon
The Visioneer Patriot H60 Duplex is a robust scanner that boasts an extensive 10,000-page duty cycle and comprehensive software package. It can scan documents efficiently and precisely. It is the best professional scanner for businesses to use that have high-volume scanning needs. The user interface by OneTouch is also easy to use and employs an impressive OCR and document-management capability.
Ideal for: those looking for commercial business scanners or high-volume business scanners for an office with a large workforce.
- Robust software with edit and document management capabilities.
- Easy point-and-click solution. User friendly.
- Quick, efficient, and reliable scanning and saving for document management.
- Accurate Optical Character Recognition.
- An extensive duty cycle that can scan up to 11,000 pages daily.
- Steep price tag.
Bonus: Shoeboxed is a document scanning service with pre-paid envelopes for sending in your documents to get digitized
Shoeboxed provides a pre-paid Magic Envelope service that allows you to conveniently mail your documents, receipts, and business cards to their processing center. They do the hard work of manual scanning, and you enjoy the magic of having your documents digitized, searchable, and backed up to your preferred online storage space. They also have an app for your mobile device to take pictures of your documents and receipts from anywhere! No need to carry a portable scanner with you on business trips—when you can have the convenience of it all on your phone. It also uses your device’s GPS tracking to easily and accurately track distance for your mileage tracking.
Ideal for: On-the-go, busy professionals and business owners with a large backlog of documents to scan and digitize.
Frequently asked questions
As you go comparison shopping for the right document scanner for your needs, here are 7 features to look at:
1. Document size detectable
2. Multiple document scans at once
3. Multiple pages scanned per minute.
4. OCR-scan enabled
5. Digital data exportable formats
6. Third-party software integrations
7. Wi-fi connectivity
1. Canon CanoScan LiDE400 Document Scanner—most affordable document scanner
2. Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1600—best small business document scanner
3. Raven Pro Document Scanner—best office document scanner
4. Brother DS-640 Compact Mobile Document Scanner—best portable document scanner
5. Visioneer Patriot H60 Duplex Scanner—best professional business document scanner
6. Shoeboxed—best alternative to document scanners, a document scanning service
It’s time to go digital! Paperless is definitely the way to go. Stop wasting time managing piles of paper, and let technology do it for you with the help of these top 5 document scanners available on Amazon or by using Shoeboxed’s scanning services for your business needs.
Shoeboxed is a receipt scanning service that supports multiple methods for receipt capture: send, scan, upload, forward, and more!
You can stuff your receipts into one of our Magic Envelopes (prepaid postage within the US). Use our receipt app (iPhone, iPad and Android) to snap a picture while on the go. Auto-import receipts from Gmail. Or forward a receipt to your designated Shoeboxed email address.
Turn your receipts into data and deductibles with our expense reports that include IRS-accepted receipt images.
Join over 1 million businesses scanning & organizing receipts, creating expense reports and more—with Shoeboxed.
Try Shoeboxed today!