Brother MFC-5460CN Much Less Than a Printer

Follow the Logic Brick Road

I’ve never been the kind of person to use a knife for a screwdriver, well maybe a couple of times.   But that’s not the point.

While the ladies of the house might go to the mall to “Shop”   they wonder why I don’t want to come along.   You know, walking from store to store watching them try on an assortment of clothes.  

Why I’ve even got a seat in American Eagle Outfitters with my name on it.   I watched my first ever music video in American Eagle.   I saw some guy injecting a carrot with his DNA and the Carrot began to look and sing like him.   That was my last music video as well.

Then when the day is done, they haven’t bought a single thing.   Or if they do, I can almost be 90% certain they will take it back before the week is over.   For some reason they look different at home than they do in the store.   Go figure.

Ok, I digress,   I would love to take the girls for an afternoon at Ace Hardware and Home Depot.   I’ve had them there on a couple of occasions to pick up things for the house and they get the same look on their faces I get when we are at the mall.   Can you imagine a whole afternoon going from the tool section, to the screw isle, then the plumbing pipe area, you can make a lot of cool stuff out of PVC pipe and fittings.

Yes, I know, what has this got to do with the Printer.   I’m almost there.

 Scan To Email

Last year our office got a new copy machine, I don’t mean our home office I mean the one we visit once a week to water the plant on our desk.   The copier had a new function.   We could scan a contract, enter our email address and a PDF of the contract would be sent to our email.   Agents fell in love with this feature almost immediately.

However, you have to use a pencil eraser to enter the email address since the onscreen keyboard is so small only ladies with pointed fingernails can enter an email address.   We “Big Fingered Guys”(BFG’s) have to use the eraser.

Several times over the past year I’ve made the trip down to the office, scanned the document, entered my email address, drove back to the house, and found it wasn’t here.   So I get to go back to the office and do it again.

Everytime I have made that trip I’d say to myself, I’m going to be able to do this at home very soon.

We have an all in one  HP  machine someone threw away because it quit printing.   I dug it out of the garbage, found drivers for it on line, and have used it for our scanner.   It works fine for one or two page documents.


  • Estimates
  • BINSR’s
  • Addendum’s
  • Counter Offers

But for Contracts or The Seller Property Disclosure Statement, it is down to the office.

I found a printer driver called PrimoPFD, it lets me save scanned documents as PDF’s by selecting PrimoPDF as the printer.   (It’s free)   you’re beginning to see a theme here aren’t you.

I Hate Ink Jets

Yeah, now you know something personal.  

I hate them because:

  • They clog up
  • They leak
  • They are messy
  • They run on the page when wet
    (yes we do get some rain in Tucson)
  • They run out at the worst time
  • They require a lot of maintenance
    clean the head, clean the head, clean the head

I’ve had all kinds, my favorite is the Epson 880 sitting in the other room, but even that one I hate.   I’ve had Canon, HP, Brother, Oki, pretty much you name it at some time I’ve had one of their ink jets.

I’m a laser kind of guy.   I have three of them,

  • 2 Oki C5200 Color Lasers  
  • 1 Brother HL-2040 for pure black and white.

The Hunt for the Scanner

For months I’ve looked for a scanner that would auto document feed up to 35 pages and save as a PDF.   All I found were flatbeds, with Document feeders you could buy as an accessory.   All of them were way more than $100.

Brother Ink Jet ScannerLast week Office Max ran in their Sunday add the Brother MFC-5460CN all in one wonder machine marked down from $140 to $99.   I didn’t need a fax.   I didn’t need another ink jet printer.   I didn’t need an ink jet copier.   I did need a scanner with a 35 page document feeder built in.

Some would think it is crazy to buy a four in one and only use the one, but I figure if it cost more to buy just a scanner, then DUH!!

I brought it home and you should have seen the look on the girls faces when I walked in with it.   They looked at me, then at each other and the “What the heck is he up to” look  appeared on their faces.   They think I’m a gadget freak, or at least a printer, camera fetish kind of guy, sorry I digress again.

I took it out of the box very carefully, after all if this thing doesn’t do what I want it to do, back in the box it goes.

  1. I installed the drivers,
  2. the software package,
  3. plugged it in,
  4. plugged in the USB cable.

 Up popped the command center and a reminder that all the ink cartridges were empty. I’m not installing those things, I don’t need ink for a scanner.

BTW, the stupid machine won’t even turn off if I don’t put ink in it.   I hate machines that think they are smarter than I am.   Ha! Stupid machine beep all   you want when I hit the power switch, I can still pull the plug.   It is sitting on the floor right now scrolling the message, “No Cartridge… Open the cover…Install ink Cartridge…”

 The command center pops up and I see Scan and Custom Scan configurations along with other stuff I don’t need, at least I don’t need them right now.

Control Panel for Scanner  

I set it up as you can see with two b/w and two color scan settings.  

Scan configure
Check out this configure panel.

I set the file type to PDF

Destination Folder

Save As Window ON so I can name the document and change the folder if I want.

Set the resolution

Scan   Type to True Gray

I put 10 random pages in the document feeder.

Clicked on “Average Scan BW”

And in less than one minute I had a PDF file named as I wanted it in my folder of choice.


You can scan images of course if you want to.   You can even scan to email.   It names the document and saves it as an attachment on a new email message.   But for me all I need is to feed in those Contracts and SPDS and get a beautiful PDF file in my folder of choice.

For those documents that are faxed from inferior machines,   I hate bad fax copy, especially the ones with a line down the page.   I can set the scanner to 300 X 300 or even 1200 X 1200 to get a better copy of the bad fax.

I’m in love with this thing.   OK, maybe I am a hardware freak.   I’ll probably go ahead and feed the baby her ink cartridges before I put  her to bed for the night.  

I wonder if it will quit blinking if I only put one cartridge in. . . hum. . .


  1. Aww come on, just put in the ink cartridges and make it happy!! You have them already anyways! I have one of these also and I just love it and the best thing is that with separate colors it doesn’t cost that much to replace the ink. The only bad thing is it doesn’t want to print if one color runs out. But keep a set of spares on hand and it’s no problem. I’ve even found a company with ISO 9001 compatible ink so I can buy generic cartridges in bulk that work great. By the way, color prints turn out nicely on glossy paper – just don’t buy the super glossy paper, the prints will run and look horrible. But since you aren’t printing anyways – don’t worry about it!

  2. Joe,

    I put them in yesterday morning, and turned it off last night.

    My only concern with the cartridges in place and not printing is the ink drying out and clogging the heads. So now that I’ve put them in, just like the shredder, I feed a print job to it at least once a day.

    I buy bulk, I’ll have a spare set of cartridges here in a week. I usually get mine from who do you use?

  3. I use – free shipping over $50 and the ink is good quality. The cartridges actually looked a little different than my original brother and I thought they weren’t going to fit but they work fine. The way they seal to the printer may not be as tight as the originals and actually the price isn’t that bad for OEM. You may be going a little paranoid printing once/day. I think once every 2 weeks is fine. You might want to check but I know some printers have built in head cleaning on a periodic basis, so you may not have to worry about it. Plus if the print quality isn’t good you can run a manual print head cleaning.

  4. i’m about to trade in my ink jet printer for a laser printer. it has taken a beating and it’s time for a change. i’m probably going with a dell.