I have over 300 paper documents. Some are single-sided and many are double-sided. I need to scan them into individual PDF files, with each file containing all the pages for each document (and only those pages).

I need to get this done quickly and efficiently.

I prefer automatic OCR as well, but this is not a requirement.

I also prefer a device that can also print, but that is also not a requirement.

Lower cost is preferred, but open to all options.

What hardware can accomplish this?


I am looking for something that if the document is one sided, will only put one page in the PDF, or if it is double sided, will put both sides in the single PDF.

  • 1
    So to confirm, you have a double sided document that you want to scan into two separate PDF files, with each side of the document being in a file of its own? Or are you looking for something that if the document is one sided, will only put one page in the PDF, or if it is double sided, will put both sides in the single PDF? Aug 19 '17 at 11:05
  • @EdwardNunn Great questions. I will update my posting to improve clarity and answer your questions. Aug 19 '17 at 16:13
  • OK, would it be an option to sort the documents into two piles before scanning? One pile double sided one pile single sided? Aug 20 '17 at 7:35
  • @EdwardNunn Yes, that's an option. Not ideal, but definitely doable. Ideally, it could also handle double-sided documents that contain multiple pages, but that requires it to somehow know when one document ends and the next begins. Aug 20 '17 at 17:19

I have used a few different models of Scansnap from Fujitsu and they have been great.

They are expensive (4-5 hundred $), but well worth it in my opinion. If you put a document with writing on a single side, and the back of the document is anything other than white, it will scan it as well. I just delete the white pages from the pdf after. If you put in 5 pages, all double sided, it feeds them through a single time, and gives you back a 10 page PDF. :)



I cant go ahead and recommend any particular devices, as I have never owned one, but I think what you are looking for is a

Duplex Scanner

I should imagine anything with a well know name will do the job for you. Im not sure there is any specific device that actually knows document size/length/no. of pages without some kind of user input, which wasnt what you were looking for.

On the other hand, duplex scanning will do that for you, giving that no document is more than 2 pages long (double sided).

Hope that makes sense and helps.


If you're willing to sort the documents as suggested in the comments by Edward Nunn, then my answer here should be of help to you:

Document Scanner with specific modes

You can definitely find cheaper units that don't use features like Auto Document Feed (ADF) and whatever else you don't need, but if you need to get this project done fast in a business setting then I'd recommend something with ADF at least. Considering the apparent scale of your project, the cost of additional man hours put in due to the absence of those features would probably approach or exceed the cost of just buying the scanner.

Original Question From Link:

We are in search for a business document scanner with following scan options, all done over a ADF.

Simplex: front side

Duplex: front and back side

  1. Simplex scan of every sheet to its own PDF.
  2. Simplex scan of all sheets to one PDF.
  3. Duplex scan of every sheet to its own PDF (One PDF with front and back side).
  4. Duplex scan of all sheets to one PDF.

We talked with a supplier of ours and got a Brother ADS-2800W from him, but its incapable of mode nr 3. After some research and getting back with the Brother Support, none of Brothers Scanner is apparently capable of nr 3.

Of course we also tried the usual ways (google, product comparison websites and all those "Best Scanners of >>insert year here<<"-Reviews) but none of those gave the information needed or didnt comply with at least one criteria.


  • ADF
  • A4 sheet size
  • Modes listed above
  • Desktop size
  • WLAN / LAN
  • Save to SMB Network Share
  • Price of 600€ / $ top

Thanks in advance for any kind of help!

Full answer below:

My office recently grabbed an HP ScanJet 3000 S3. It's a bit above your price range (closer to $800-900), but I've been in charge of developing our scan process and I can tell you with confidence that it does everything you listed.

We specifically got it to digitize old paper records, and it is set up at a small stand-alone desk with a computer.

  • ADF = Included
  • A4 sheet size = Included, also has other custom paper sizes. Smaller sheets can sometimes have trouble being grabbed by the feed mechanism, but it's functional.
  • Modes listed above = All included.
  • Desktop size = Fits on a pretty tiny desk with plenty of room to work. Very space efficient.
  • WLAN / LAN = This feature exists but you have to buy a $40 wireless adapter that is made special just for this unit, and you can only scan to mobile devices using this method. I know don't even get me started right now, but this thing works and finding a wireless workaround solution was extremely simple since we work from a server platform. We returned the stupid $40 USB dongle.
  • Save to SMB Network Share = Included.
  • Price of 600€ / $ top = Nope.

It's far from a perfect solution and you usually won't find me recommending products that don't fit the user's question, but we had a particularly long and arduous experience trying to find something that would fit our needs. I see similar conditions in your post. We had to make a few compromises, but at the end of the day we needed something and this little headache of a scanner made our project possible. Perhaps it can do the same for you.

I can definitely tell you that unless you're looking for something used, duplex auto-document feed scanners that can handle even a 50 page count stack at a time don't exist for under $600. Well, they may exist, but there wasn't anything I found that was suitable and trustworthy enough for business use.

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