Sheetfed Document Scanners: How to Find the Model That Moves at the Speed of Your Business

Learn the key characteristics of a scanner that will let your business digitize all of its documents quickly and accurately

Even in an increasingly digital world, paper still fills a large part of our day-to-day lives.

U.S. offices use a combined total of 12.1 trillion sheets of paper every year. If you work in law or a medical field, you know just how much of your job is surrounded by stacks of forms and documents that need to be processed. It can be frustrating and time-consuming to sift through reams of paper to find that one receipt for billing or that final chart to finish up your report.

That's why many businesses use sheetfed document scanners to help process the volume of paperwork they encounter during operation. Sheet feed scanners can digitize thousands — if not tens of thousands — of documents a day, allowing for easier archival and retrieval of information, providing more versatile sharing options between co-workers and clients, and allowing for more dynamic applications of paper documentation in your work.

There are a variety of scanners available, and knowing which one to choose can be difficult. A good scanner should be able to fit your needs, move at the same speed you do, and remain reliable under heavy workloads. Read on to learn more about what to look for in a multi sheet scanner, and how to find the perfect one for your workplace.

Jump to a section…

What is a sheetfed scanner?

What are the benefits of having a sheetfed scanner?

How to choose a sheetfed scanner

Make sure your scanner can keep up with the speed of your business

Don't sacrifice image quality for speed

Find a sheetfed scanner that will last

Our recommendation: Image Scanner fi-8170


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What is a sheetfed document scanner?

A sheetfed scanner, also known as an automatic document feed scanner, is a digital document imaging device designed for offices that deal with a high volume of paper. Sheetfed scanners hold small to large stacks, 20 to 500 sheets, of paper to digitize dozens of times faster than a flatbed scanner.

What are the benefits of having a sheetfed scanner?

Dealing with large volumes of paper — whether that's internal documentation, legal or medical forms, receipts, passports, and other assorted documents — can be cumbersome and slow; sheetfed scanners speed up your digitization processes.

Once digitized, files can be transmitted via email or stored on internal networks and can be easily integrated into digital reports or presentations.

How to choose a sheetfed document scanner

Make sure your scanner can keep up with the speed of your business

One of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a multi sheet scanner is knowing what kind of documents you work with, and how quickly you will need them digitized. Consider the scanner’s speed, paper-size, batch size and daily volume.

Does your business mostly process standard letter-sized pages (8.5 in. by 11 in.), or will you be dealing with double-letter pages (11 in. by 17 in.) too? Are you scanning single or double-sided pages? Do you also need to scan irregularly-sized or thicker pages, like receipts, passports, or laminated cards? How much paper do you receive in a given day or week that needs to be scanned, and how quickly does it need to be digitized?

A good sheetfed document scanner will be able to handle all of these situations and more. You'll want a scanner that can hold hundreds of pages per job, and move through them quickly and accurately. Look for scanners that have larger trays to help catch lighter or strangely-shaped papers so you don't have to snatch them off the ground as they finish scanning. And make sure it can handle thicker documents, so you don't have to wonder whether or not your passports, credit cards, booklets, or envelopes will fit — or whether they'll stay intact when they come out the other end.


Did You Know? The fi-8170 can scan up to 70 pages per minute and 10,000 pages per day. Click here to learn more.


Don't forget about image quality

Inaccurate or poor-quality scans can lead to wasted time as you attempt re-scans, and unclear images can lead to misinterpreted data.

Multi sheet scanners should provide a good balance between the number of pages they can scan per minute, while also maintaining image quality. This is usually handled via a combination of scanning hardware, which provides clear, high-resolution captures of your data, and software, which can use post-processing to improve clarity and compress file size without sacrificing quality.

For example, the fi-8170 offers overscan detection to extend the scanning range beyond the default paper size to capture corners of misaligned documents. Its Clear Image Capture technology ensures accurate scans of your documents and is even able to remove watermarks or artifacts. It also uses PaperStream IP, a TWAIN/ISIS® compliant driver that can clean up and enhance your scans even further.

Whatever scanner you go with, make sure it can process your documents cleanly and accurately, without introducing errors of its own.

Find a sheetfed document scanner that will last

Medium to large-sized businesses receive so much paperwork for processing that their sheet feed scanners will likely be in constant use during the workday. You need to make sure that the scanner that you purchase can handle this kind of rigorous daily operation for years to come, so you don't have to worry about downtime or repair costs.

Look for a device that advertises strong urethane rollers and motors that can withstand large workloads which may include thicker and heavier paper. The product description should tell you the daily volume and give you a sense of how many pages can be processed in a given day, or provide an estimate of how long it can operate. Consumable parts should last long enough to handle hundreds of thousands of operations before being replaced. If misfeeds do happen, they should be easy to clear so your day doesn't grind to a halt.


Did You Know? PCMagazine called the fi-8170 their “newest favorite high-volume document management solution.” Click here to learn more and learn why it earned a 4.0 out of 5.


Our recommendation: fi-8170

Those in the market for a sheetfed document scanner have no shortage of options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our production-grade fi Series scanners.

Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, fi Series scanners are capable of processing tens of thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.

The fi-8170 can handle the workload of any size business, processing 10,000 documents of various sizes and thicknesses every day. With patented Automated Separation Control to prevent misfeeds and Clear Image Capture technology, you can ensure your business' documents are being scanned quickly and accurately, on a device that's built to last. Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our production scanner line.