Printers and Printer Ink

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DynamicSpirit, 9 Jan 2017.

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  1. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    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: 9 Jan 2017
  2. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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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.
     
  3. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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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_Mono_Laser_A4_USB_Printer_1727613.html?gclid=CPWK7MWHttECFY8Q0wodbIsE_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.
     
  4. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    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
     
  5. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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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.
     
  6. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Member

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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.....
     
  7. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    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 ---
    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: 10 Jan 2017
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    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).
     
  9. Puffing Devil

    Puffing Devil Member

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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.
     
  10. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Member

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    ...which is why I chose Canon - they appear to "behave" with lookalikes.
     
  11. GB

    GB Established Member

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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.
     
  12. Lankyline

    Lankyline Member

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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
     
  13. randyrippley

    randyrippley Member

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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
     
  14. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    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?).
     
  15. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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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...
     
  16. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Mine's a Samsung CLX-4190; that's a combined small high quality laser, fax, photocopier and flatbed scanner. Had it nearly a year now and only just had to change two of the cartridges - which were of course the part filled "supply" ones.

    Both those that needed changing lasted several weeks beyond the "empty" message on the screen - when they really are empty the machine will simply stop, so I would certainly agree with not looking at the toner level on the screen.

    The two replacements are not manufacturer branded, but they're not generics either - they're a brand new bulk supply branded version ( Q-Connect ) and it accepts them perfectly well.
     
  17. dgl

    dgl Member

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    Been using lasers for years and currently have an OKI MC342dn and has been brilliant, the first lot of chepo toner I've brought works fine even on card. Does Print/Fax/Scan/Email, not that cheap at £220 but got £50 off on a cashback deal. It also does full speed in colour which some models can't do and has a pretty much fully flat paper path when necessary.

    The only thing to watch out for is some cheap lasers have tiny cartridges that aren't cheap and best to have one with a decent amount of memory (RAM) as it can speed up printing no end.
     
  18. CarlSilva

    CarlSilva Member

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    The first printer I had was an HP scanner printer and after the ink ran out, I kept refilling the black one, and resetting it. The colour wasn't important to me so I didn't bother with that. I probably refilled the black cartridge over 30 times before the print head died. After that I got a non genuine replacement off ebay and used it until the printer wore out.

    I once bought a nice Cannon printer which could print on CDs and DVDs. It had a separate ink cartridge for each colour, which was useful at first, but after about the 3rd cartridge replacement, something went wrong with it and it refused to print, even though the cartridges were fine. It turned out to be the print head, which on that particular printer, wasn't part of the cartridges. A replacement would have cost almost as much as a new printer, so I got rid.

    For a few years I had an Epson photo printer that wasn't too bad. You can refill the cartridges but they have a micro chip on them, which can get fried if you try to reset them with those foreign ebay resetting tools. But you can trick the printer into thinking it's a different cartridge by putting a different chip on your own refilled cartridge, subject of course to you having a spare chip the printer hasn't previously met.

    My current one is an HP Envy 4500 scanner printer. It's alright but there's no way as such to reset the cartridges after refilling them. I found out there is a workaround though. This model only remembers the last 2 cartridges which have been installed in it. So if you have a few spare empty cartridges, you can refill these and the printer will accept them due to them never having been in that actual printer before. Once you've used two different cartridges, you can put the original one back in once you're refilled it and the printer has very kindly forgotten it was in there once before. It does sometimes throw up an annoying nag screen about the cartridge being a used one, but you can disable that in printer properties.
    If you only use it once in a while, a laser printer is probably a bit of an overkill, but they are slightly more economical and more reliable for larger print runs.
     
  19. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Either bin the idea if that is all you print and just use a print shop, or get an Epson printer, for which replacement cartridges are plentiful on ebay at minimal cost.

    Printer ink is the single most expensive liquid per litre I think, when someone did an investigation a few years ago.
     
  20. Puffing Devil

    Puffing Devil Member

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    Not the case - Inkjets can be a nightmare when not printing on a regular basis. Printheads clog with dried ink and/or the printer burns up ink self-cleaning.

    A laser printer sits happily until needed with its dry toner. Plenty of cheap lasers on the market now which make them ideal for the occasional user who does not need HQ photo printing. £99 will get you a decent colour laser - more upfront costs, but cheaper over a 5 year life.
     
  21. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    There's a reason for the big difference in price. The printer may have costed Canon £100 to make but they may have sold it for £50. Why? The lower price is more likely to attract people to buy new printers. So how do they recover the loss? Huge mark up on the ink cartridges. The other company making Canon compatible cartridges don't need to try and recover the losses made by Canon in the sale of printers.

    I used to get Lexmark cartridges refilled. On some occasions they worked just as well as the originals and lasted longer than originals but on other occasions the print quality wasn't as good as with originals.
     
  22. gazzak

    gazzak Member

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    Another vote for a laser printer here. I got so fed up with my inkjets giving me untold problems that I splashed out a bit and haven't regretted it one time.
     
  23. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    I bought a cheapo HP 1510 Printer that actually came with it's first set of Ink already loaded - all for about £40.

    These lasted for about a year until I had to replace them :idea:
     
  24. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    You had to replace the printer? :o
     
  25. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    Ho Ho :p

    Just the cartridges !!
     
  26. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    I was being serious! Looking at my printer it looks like it will barely last the week, let alone the year! Had the feeling that printers are so cheap it gets like ink, we have to replace it every month....
     
  27. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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