Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Brother HL-3170CDW Digital Color Printer with Wireless Networking and Duplex
Style Name: PrinterChange
Price:$239.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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458 of 466 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2013
Style Name: PrinterVerified Purchase
Was looking for an automatic duplex color laser printer for the fiancé who is in med school. Last year, she printed over 10,000 pages. It's important she has color so she can see the details of the anatomy or cardio diagrams she has to print out. She used to have a color Brother 3045CN but there was no auto duplex mode (sucks the paper back in and prints on the other side). She had to manually refeed the paper in to print on the other side and at times would make errors because she put in the wrong way. There goes 20 sheets of paper in the recycle bin. and I realized she needed a better printer.

This printer is amazing. Has great color and auto duplex works like it should. If you know how to setup a router to have wifi password, setting up the wifi on the printer shouldn't that difficult. When you first plug it in, (no need to plug it into a computer or anything), it'll ask you to setup WLAN. Press ok, find your wireless network name, press ok, put in password, press ok, done. Now all the macbooks, windows, iphones, and ipads in the house can print wirelessly.

My only complaint is the starter cartridges that came with it. Like how most printer companies make their money, this printer decided to stop working because the black toner was low. I checked printer status and it shows it printed 600 pages of black! That's it for a starter cartridge?! It refuses to print unless I change the cartridge! I searched online and figured out how to reset the cartridge making it think it has a new toner inside. What you need to do is lift up the top cover and leave it unhinged. Simultaneously press the Secure and the Cancel button at the same time (with top cover open). You will see option to choose which toner you want to reset. Select the one you want, press okay and press the + to confirm reset. Done. Now you can keep using what's left in the toner cartridge which in my case had at least 50% left.

As for refills, this is going to be a tad more difficult than typical Brother cartridges. You are going to need to drill a hole a size of a dime on the top of the cartridge and then pour the ink in. Use same tape to cover up the hole you make. No need for resets gears or any of that. Just do the same procedure as above to reset it and your good to go.

All in all, I'm happy with my purchase. If you print a lot and need decent color printing (not photo quality) and want to print wirelessly, this is the printer to get.

-=UPDATE 1/24/2015=-

Very sad to say but the printer bit the dust today after a little over a year of use. Printer count shows just 10,000 pages printed, but the printer started printing crinkly pages. I opened the back of the unit and the fuser (black and orange hot bars) were torn to bits. Did some research and it seems common with people who excessively print and never let the printer cool down. Was never aware of this. Just a warning for everyone!

-=UPDATE 2/7/2015=-
Called Brother up, they sent out a new empty (no ink or ink tank) refurbished printer out (within 2 days) and I shipped back the broken printer. Easy peasy and Brother paid for all shipping costs. Warranty is extended extra 30 days after my ORIGINAL 1 year warranty. Although the replacement printer is refurbished, I'm satisfied with Brother's customer service.
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500 of 510 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2013
Style Name: Printer
Great printer, but the toner life is based (as far as I can tell) solely on pages printed. So if you print x number of pages even with only a single dot of color on it, the printer will count that as a page printed in that color. My starter black toner quit after 250 pages.

Here is how to fix this - open the top of the printer, then simultaneously press the "Secure" and "X Cancel" buttons. This will put the printer into a special service mode. Use the + and - buttons to scroll to whichever toner you want to reset. Each color should have three options which, I believe, allow you to tell the machine what type of 'new' toner cartridge is installed. I think "Y.TNR-STR" is yellow cartridge standard, "Y.TNR-HC" is for the high yield yellow cartridge and "Y.TNR.STD" is for a standard yellow cartridge. Once you've selected the cartridge you want to tell it you're installing hit the "OK" button and will get an "OK reset cancel" type screen. Hit the up arrow to reset. Now you're back to printing in style!

Replace your toner cartridges need to be replaced, not when it tells you to.
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124 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2013
Style Name: Printer
I bought this model when it has 20% off sale (not Amazon sorry), so I was pleased with its quality and value. Two functions caught my attention when I chose this model, besides being a color printer, the duplex and the AirPrint.

Laser color printer will be useful for kids projects and commercial announcement that I was looking for a long time. I am tired of Samsung's high cost on toners and poor durability so anything buy Samsung will be good for me this time around.

So far so good: the Wi-Fi setup was easy without any intervention: all I need was to press the WPS button on my Cisco router and it is done. No password needed. The duplex works, but need good papers. The initial print time is not a concern for me at all: none of the 4 laser printer works fast on the initial page anyway.

The AirPrint works with iPhone and iPad, which solved my long struggle of frustration. I have to say to Apple though: silly ideas of lacking any control.

Though the initial toners are meant for "starter" the counter built in still show a regular toner capacity. Only time will tell what it is.

The down side for color laser is the cost of toners: you need to replace 4 toners and the waste pan and another something from time to time, which cost more than the printer itself. I already picked up spare toners at about $60 each on-line so the total cost for 5 years is $500. I can accept that.

Another point I need to point out is the weight: just heavy and bulky. But I am glad to finally find a spot for it.

Finally I have to say to Brother about their menu design: poorly designed and hard to master.
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94 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2013
Style Name: PrinterVerified Purchase
First of all, people keep calling this a laser printer. Its not- its an LED printer, which is newer tech. Like a laser printer, it melts toner onto the paper, but instead of a laser, it uses a page-wide array of LEDs, which allows the device to be more compact and cheaper to make. Given the longevity of LEDs and the fact that there are fewer moving parts, I'm hoping the printer will last a looong time.

Some reviewers complain about the higher cost of the ink, which in most cases are valid. Did a quick cost analysis using prices here on Amazon, looking at a variety of HP inks, Brother laser toner, and the toner available for this printer. HP ink was the most expensive, Brother laser the cheapest, with the black toner for the HL3170CDW hitting in the middle. The HL3170 color toner, alas, was about the same price per page as HP color ink, at about $.11 a page. BUT.....its toner. How many pages do you think you'll get out of an inkjet before it dries out on you? I bought this printer because I've suffered through years of inkjets that start getting flaky when the ink is only half empty. Don't even want to think about all the ink I wasted running the cleaning utility and such. Was ready to drop $400 on a laser, but I jumped on this when I saw it.

Print quality? Just fine, thank you. 600x600 dpi output standard, higher than my inkjet. The manual feed is finicky as other reviewers have mentioned, but works with a little finesse. Wireless was easy to set up.

To sum up: Great printer, glad I bought it. Loses a star for temperamental manual feed, and slightly more expensive toner.

Edit, 9/3/13: switched to verizon FIOS last week. As others have said, getting the wireless working again took some monkey business, but I didn't need to fiddle with any port forwarding. For some reason, the printer had a different IP address with the new router. Uninstalling the drivers and reinstalling the printer from scratch seemed to fix the issue for me.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2014
Style Name: Printer
Loved this printer while it worked. Unfortunately it either has a very serious engineering defect or it's built to fail. Read the other reviews. All the 5 star reviews will be back soon.

I used only OEM toner, had just replaced the starter black and was still on the original colors. The rubber paper grabbing rollers that touch the fusion roller disintegrated after less than 1200 prints, leaving pieces of rubber all over the fusion roller. Wrinkles and crumbles the paper, spit the remaining pieces of rubber throughout the printer, etc. Clearly the rubber used on the paper rollers use a non heat-resistant rubber or are a designed-to-fail part as it has happened to many (most?) of these printers sooner or later. When mine started exhibiting symptoms, I figured it wouldn't be an issue to get a replacement part since it's now a known defect and not anything that could even be taken to be user abuse. I contacted Brother and asked them to send me a replacement roller so I could replace myself, but upon learning I was only a few months out of my warranty (I bought it last summer), they told me to take a hike. $200 paperweight before getting through its original starter cartridges.

Avoid this printer if you need it for longer than a few months. And frankly, I'm very disappointed in Brother customer service. I had the small business I work for switch to using one model up from this one. Since it uses the same print engine, I suspect it may have the same defect.


On the 2nd try, Brother went ahead and replaced my unit. Said they're aware it's a manufacturer defect and they're replacing units when this pops up. All in all I would rate the experience positively if it hadn't been for the first rep who basically told me to take a hike. They need a more consistent decision making/training approach. But I do have a working printer now. Based on the 2nd rep really going out of his way to make it right, I'm improving my rating back up to 3 stars, because I do like my printer.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2014
Style Name: Printer
As long as the printer functions its great. The problem for me is the rollers to the fuser got over heated and melted. When I called customer service they could not decide if it was under warranty or not. Said the fuser is not part of the warranty. If you buy this printer be warned that if it over heats for you as well you probably are not going to get it fixed under warranty.

Brother printers are a great price and for the most part I have been happy with the 3-4 I have but if one does go down on you, getting support is not easy.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2013
Style Name: PrinterVerified Purchase
Let me say first off that I am giving this 4 stars and not 5 only because I have only had the printer for one day; after I have used it for a while my opinion may change, so keep this caveat in mind.

When I bought this printer I had already checked to make sure Brother had a GNU/Linux driver (Brother seems to be pretty good about "unofficially" supporting Linux), so I was pretty sure it would work with my GNU/Linux system. I also liked the fact that it supports both wired and wireless networking, since I planeed to connect it to my wired network (but I also have wireless).

When I received the unit I unboxed and set-up per the Setup Guide. I connected it to my wired network (Note: you have to provide your own ethernet cable - which is what I expected). I went to Printers in Ubuntu and the system immediately found the printer on the network. I selected the printer and the system found a driver (on the Internet), downloaded it, and tried to install it, but the install failed. Disappointing. No matter - I downloaded and installed the the LPR and Cupswrapper drivers (in that order) from the Brother website, re-booted, and the printer was installed and working. The printer not only shows up under Printers, but also shows Ink/Toner levels and various options.

Printing is reasonably fast (pretty much as advertised), and the print quality is good. I'll be interested to see how long the toner lasts; I plan to refill the toner cartridges to reduce cost; without that option I would have thought twice about getting this as new cartridges cost as much or more than the printer.
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69 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2013
Style Name: Printer
Obtained this printer new locally at a "super" sale ("read that as very inexpensive"). The printer printed 516 total B&W pages, including 65 color pages, before it stopped printing with a message of "out of toner". I had hoped to print more pages from the printer's starter toner.

An internet search indicated that this printer determines replacement of toner not on the quantity of toner remaining but on page count. I have not been successful at getting the printer to "reset" the page count.

I discovered that the regular Brother toner costs more than the retail price of the printer (ouch). That does not include the price of the additional printer supplies (sigh). Due to the price of the replacement toner, I find my self forced to retire and recycle this printer and purchase another color printer since the new printer toner combination is less than the price of the replacement toner. This game that Brother plays with the price of the toner is very wasteful to our economy.

I do note that the printer did a nice job on printing. My biggest gripe is the low yield of the Brother toner cartridges and the cost to replace the toner cartridges.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2013
Style Name: PrinterVerified Purchase
For print quality, price, and packaging I rate this as 5 stars. I only took off one star because it is slow to start printing once you click "print" on your computer. That is using Wi-Fi and I didn't try it with direct network or USB cable.

Packaging was excellent with hold down tape all over it and special clips to hold down the installed toner cartridges during shipment. The clips take a moment to figure out the easiest way to remove them as they are one piece and have slide locks on both ends. You have to remove the cartridges to "shake" them level anyway and I guess they are only installed to save room in the shipping box. Cartridges just slip in relying on gravity to hold them down until you close the lid.

Installation using the enclosed CD and a USB cable was smooth and using this procedure is a lot easier than the method of connecting to one's network using the tiny screen on the printer. Using the USB method requires nothing more than running the 'start' on the CD, connecting the USB cable (not included), and a number of 'clicks' and you're done. It searches for and finds your Wi-Fi network and automatically connects. Then it reminds you that you can disconnect the USB cable and you're good to go unless you want to change the default settings. I prefer to use black toner only and duplex printing 'On' so I changed the default. If you want to add color or other changes to your defaults it's simple to change back to color prints or what ever on the print screen that pops up when you choose print on a document. Adding paper is another plus compared to many printers. It holds up to 250 sheets which means you won't spend much time fanning paper and running out of paper very often.

If you don't mind the initial 3-4 second wait for the first print job to start, you'll love this printer. With the great price and the ability to print in color when you want it, you can't beat the price and quality of this Brother printer. The quality of color prints is excellent but you may want to 'lighten' it up some for photos. I have a Brother QL-500 label printer I've owned for many years and it's still cranking out hundreds of labels without one glitch so I'm sold on the quality of Brother printers.

EDIT 10/24/13:

Well I've been using this for almost a week now and thought I would add my comments after extended use.

I'm very impressed with the color prints. I've used both cheap Office Depot paper and more expensive Epson photo paper and there is little difference in the print quality. I've printed test pages from sites on the Web which test the ability of laser color printers and they all came out great with no visible problems with banding and also used a magnifying glass for a closer check of color charts.

Normal everyday B/W Web pages and documents:
I've printed over 500 pages and still satisfied with this purchase. Print quality on typed text is excellent with no fading on the edges of the letters. Printed 2 batches of 150 each of documents for a mail-out and it clipped along at a reasonably fast pace especially compared to a high end ink jet printer but somewhat slower than my previous Canon B/W laser. I didn't time the large print out jobs so don't know if it meets the published 23 pages a minute.

The same as the first day...You just can't find a better printer for the price, quality, ease of set-up, and operation. We'll see on how long it lasts but it seems from reading other's reviews that it should last a number of years with normal office printing. So I'm very satisfied and impressed with the quality from Brother. I had little experience with Brother other than the Q-500 label printer which has lasted for years using daily. Sure hope this printer lasts as long with not trouble. Such a relief to get away from ink jet cartridges and the hassles they cause, especially the ink expense.

Update on 8/22/2014:
After 10 months the printer is still going strong after 4 black cartridges (rarely use color). Had a minor problem twice when it started putting a faint vertical line on the print outs which I followed the cleaning instructions which didn't help but after about 10-15 more pages it seemed to fix itself. I use the non-OEM cartridges sold here on Amazon (Hi-Vision about $30 for black) and they have the same print quality as the OEM cartridges and much cheaper. Overall I would buy over again if I could get it at the same price (I paid $179 + free shipping when on sale).
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49 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2013
Style Name: PrinterVerified Purchase
This is replacing an HP Photosmart D7460 that uses six individual ink cartridges. While the HP was doing just fine, it was becoming harder to find OEM replacement cartridges.

I setup the Brother using wireless directly from the built-in LCD. It was very easy to do even with my "hidden" wireless network. Wireless connectivity is rock solid and I have not noticed any type of disconnects.

I only installed the print driver on both of my Win7 x64 machines since I did not need any of the other bloat-ware that typically comes with a full installation. The installation was quick an easy.

The noise level is very quite and when it wakes from its "deep sleep" mode, the first print only takes about 10 seconds to come out.

The automatic duplex is working great and was a major selling point for me. The HP did not have this function. I am using Hammermill laser paper that is 24lb and 98 brightness. Text is crisp and clear and color images are fantastic. Sure, it is not "photo quality", but we stopped printing pictures a while ago.

As far as toner cost vs. ink cost, for my printing needs, this particular model will print 20% more pages when like-for-like cost of toner and ink is compared. This will reduce my overall expenditures.

Looking at the Drum and Belt unit maximum page counts (15,000 and 50,000 respectively), it will be years before I have to replace either of those.

The setup, speed and overall impressions are very favorable, so I would recommend this product.
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