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Old 9th January 2017, 21:35   #1
DynamicSpirit
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Default Printers and Printer Ink

Does anyone have any good recommendations/tips for getting printer ink to last? Or any suggested printers that are good for this?

I currently have a Canon printer. However I don't use it very much - typically I need to print 3-4 sheets once or twice a month. The printer invariably reports the ink as having run out and demands I buy a new cartridge within a year or so of buying each cartridge. However, at the rate I print, that's usually no more than a few dozen sheets - despite the ink packaging typically claiming it can do a couple of hundred pages. I suspect (but not certain) what's actually happening is the ink dries out after a while because I don't use it regularly enough. But whatever the reason, £15 for at most 30-40 sheets works out very expensive on ink! I had the same problem with my previous printer (which IIRC was an Epson one). And before anyone asks, mostly I print out text documents on white background, so not demanding on ink. I've tried genuine manufacturer cartridges and 3rd party refills with the same results.

So my question is: Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas on how to avoid this, and have cartridges that last reasonably well even with only intermittent use? I'm open to buying a new printer if there's a good chance it'll solve the problem (I really should at some point because the paper feed on my current printer is extremely temperamental - you basically have to feed it one sheet at a time or it mangles everything, but that's another story).

(If anyone wants to do general bitching about printers and printer companies, I'll consider that on-topic for this thread too )

Last edited by DynamicSpirit; 9th January 2017 at 21:38.
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Old 9th January 2017, 21:50   #2
Ash Bridge
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Do you keep the printer in a warm room when not in use? If so try storing it somewhere that's cool and ventilated and if possible dark, it perhaps also helps if the ink cartridges are kept upright, I can fully sympathise with you as I've had the same problem.
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Old 9th January 2017, 22:03   #3
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If you don't need colur text print, then a monochrome laser printer is a no-brainer. You have a few to choose from for under £50. Here is the first one i found from a Google 'cheap laser printers' search:

https://www.box.co.uk/Ricoh_SP211_Mo...FY8Q0wodbIsE_g

I've been using a cheap (£120) Dell colour laser for over 10 years, sometimes having several months between printing. The worst that might happen is I need to give the cartridges a gentle shake after such a long period. The four colour toner cartiridges cost about £9 each and last for more than two reams of paper.
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Old 10th January 2017, 07:14   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AM9 View Post
If you don't need colur text print, then a monochrome laser printer is a no-brainer. You have a few to choose from for under £50. .
If you're not too bothered about print speed and don't do tons of printing when you do use your printer, a multi-function monochrome laser printer might be worth a look
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Old 10th January 2017, 08:21   #5
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Or just bin the idea and use a local printing company for what little you do do. Your local library my also offer printing at a minimal cost.
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Old 10th January 2017, 08:30   #6
Harpers Tate
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The biggest hint I can offer is never to use branded OEM ink catridges.
My Canon uses 4 separate colours. I bought FOUR SETS of four catridges from an Amazon Marketplace seller for less than £11. They have worked up to now (~18 months) without issue. No need to pay more IMO.

Even if you fear the "it will invalidate your warranty" thing - what is the price of a new printer, complete, vs the price differential of branded vs lookalike catridges? It's more economic to buy a new printer every year or so.....
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Old 10th January 2017, 08:42   #7
DynamicSpirit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AM9 View Post
If you don't need colur text print, then a monochrome laser printer is a no-brainer. You have a few to choose from for under £50. Here is the first one i found from a Google 'cheap laser printers' search:

https://www.box.co.uk/Ricoh_SP211_Mo...FY8Q0wodbIsE_g

I've been using a cheap (£120) Dell colour laser for over 10 years, sometimes having several months between printing. The worst that might happen is I need to give the cartridges a gentle shake after such a long period. The four colour toner cartiridges cost about £9 each and last for more than two reams of paper.
Ah yes, thanks. On doing a bit of Googling, it seems several places online suggest that laser printers cope better than inkjets with only being used occasionally without cartridges drying out. There seem to be some suggestions of higher maintenance costs though for laser printers, which I haven't fully understood. I do sometimes want colour. But maybe I could live without that.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
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Or just bin the idea and use a local printing company for what little you do do. Your local library my also offer printing at a minimal cost.
lol, that thought has occurred to me too. There are also a few Internet cafe's which I've used for printing on occasions. Unfortunately, they, along with the library, are 3 miles away. The advantage of the printer is not having to plan to make that trip (and possibly wait until a time when they are open and not too busy) every time I suddenly realize I want to print something. Would probably work out cheaper in the long run if I did just use the library/internet cafes though.

Last edited by DynamicSpirit; 10th January 2017 at 08:43. Reason: Double post prevention system
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Old 10th January 2017, 08:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpers Tate View Post
The biggest hint I can offer is never to use branded OEM ink catridges.
My Canon uses 4 separate colours. I bought FOUR SETS of four catridges from an Amazon Marketplace seller for less than £11. They have worked up to now (~18 months) without issue. No need to pay more IMO.

Even if you fear the "it will invalidate your warranty" thing - what is the price of a new printer, complete, vs the price differential of branded vs lookalike catridges? It's more economic to buy a new printer every year or so.....
To counter that, with HP printers I have had *terrible* trouble with compatible ink ruining printheads. I would only therefore use compatible ink on a printer that has the printhead built into the cartridge, as replacing it on printers where it is standalone is massively expensive (read: cheaper to buy a new printer).

FWIW, HP Instant Ink may work for you - you pay per page, they post you cartridges when required (either because you ran out or because it isn't working).
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Old 10th January 2017, 13:04   #9
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As others have said, Laser Printers are the way to go for infrequent printing. They don't suffer from clogged heads from underuse.

I'd suggest that they are the way to go for all printing, unless you regularly need to print good quality photos. Plenty of photo printing opportunities on the high street or supermarket.
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Old 10th January 2017, 14:58   #10
Harpers Tate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
To counter that, with HP printers I have had *terrible* trouble with compatible ink ruining printheads....
...which is why I chose Canon - they appear to "behave" with lookalikes.
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Old 10th January 2017, 17:10   #11
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There is usually always more ink in the cartridges than what the software says on your computer.

Also, run your "clean print head" function every once in a while to keep things moving.
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Old 10th January 2017, 18:53   #12
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Be wary of using non oem cartridges, not only is the quality of ink inferior leading to lower number of pages printed, the worse ones can clog and also "spray" leaving blotches on the page, they also invariably use recycled cartridges which can fail and cause damage to the print heads. Definitely stay away from those that are refilled by syringe.

The best non oem cartridges are those for laser printers. With regard to invalidating warranties, don't believe what the likes of HP Canon etc say about using non oem's its just bulls**t to "scare" you
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Old 10th January 2017, 20:49   #13
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I presume you are turning the printer off between use? That uses more ink because the printer has to repressurise / refill the print heads each time the power is cycled. You can lose up to around 5% on each power-on.
Best to leave it powered on, on standby - but of course that uses more power.

Best answer is ditch the inkjet and get a lazer
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Old 10th January 2017, 20:57   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DynamicSpirit View Post
Ah yes, thanks. On doing a bit of Googling, it seems several places online suggest that laser printers cope better than inkjets with only being used occasionally without cartridges drying out. There seem to be some suggestions of higher maintenance costs though for laser printers, which I haven't fully understood. I do sometimes want colour. But maybe I could live without that. ...
Laser printer mechanisms are designed for large volume business use with low-cost consumables. Those in low volume service don't usually have maintenance issues. Other than toner cartridges which I can get compatibles for £9 per colour, - giving about 2000-5000 sheets per refill, there is the imager/fuser assembly that in domestic terms will outlive the printer (50k sheets?).
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Old 10th January 2017, 21:09   #15
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I'm fed up with my HP running out of ink quickly (they don't even show the volume on the cartridge any more) streaking, colours not showing etc; my next one I'm gonna fork out £150+ for an Epson printer with 4-colour tank which you refill at will - one refill should last a low user 2 or more years.

As for the HP, you can get good recycled refills, and bad ones. Time to cut the losses...
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