Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/174232/htg-explains-why-is-printer-ink-so-expensive/
Printer ink is expensive, more expensive per drop than fine champagne or even human blood. If you haven’t gone paperless, you’ll notice that you’re paying a lot for new ink cartridges — more than seems reasonable.
several times i've purchased a new printer for $19 instead of the $60 ink cartridges. i rarely use a printer and most of the time i never have the printer software installed until i need it.
Or just buy an external cartridge. One time install, then just pop open the cover and refill yourself. Cheap, easy, awesome.
best thing that happened!! Changed all our office printers to this! Don't know if this is available in the US.
This is Epsons way of..... if you cant beat them... JOIN THEM
- Go to Work
- Print things
Or, as The Oatmeal puts it, printers are from Hell
You shouldn't do that @theMike . Just buy a good printer and refills from a shop.
The ink that comes with a new printer is usually 1/4 to 1/5th of a regular cartridge. Normally a cartridge from HP will be 3ml, a XL will be 6ml, and a trial is 0.5ml.
Get your refills from a third-arty 'printer-ink' selling shop. They will refill and give out new cartridges that work for far cheaper. Now, I normally get 15ml cartridges for my HP printer at a third of the price... getting refills is cheaper still.
I'd like to add: Wax "inks" or color blocks, synonymous with Xerox's ColorCube line of printers, also falls under this category. The blocks are formed to be "keyed" to only fit specific models of the printer, and the sets range from $300-$500US. They're litterally block-shaped crayons! Well, maybe a little harder than crayons, but colored wax none-the-less.
While the print quality is amazing, I'm stuck buying from the OEM as aftermarket is almost nonexistent (unless I import from HK. No thanks.).
When I need a new printer I shop around and create a short list. From the short list I search for the available of 3rd party ink cartridges thru a creditable seller like Amazon. Printers with no 3rd party cartridges come of the list.
My last printer a Brother for $49. I purchased 10 3rd party LC61 ink cartridges for less than $15. I've been using them for over a year without an ink problem.
I will NOT pay twice the cost of the printer for ink refills. If push come to shove I'll throw away the $49 and buy a new one. But I've never had to do that.
I've known about the Lexmark cartridges for years and that is why Lexmark was not or every be on my short list. $25 for an ink cartridge is out and out robbery.
I've owned one inkjet...never, EVER again! My printing demand is irregular; I might print one document, go a week or two before printing another one, then two or three weeks later, print the equivalent of a small novel. The nozzles in the inkjet I had (an Epson, btw) would clog in a little as a week of disuse and required massive amounts of ink to clean.
A good laser printer isn't cheap and is bulky but is by far much more cost effective, especially if one prints infrequently. I will never own anything but laser printers. Laser printers don't make as good photo prints as inkjests (misspelling deliberate) but those can be farmed out. The tone cartridges for lasers aren't cheap but the cost of use per page is much cheaper than for inkjets.
Of course, going paperless is the most cost effective whenever that is practical (I've done that to a large degree). However, one thing that will save money that the article doesn't mention is farming out your printing to a print or copy shop. If you have only an occasional need for color prints, such as photos, etc. it is much less expensive to just get a B&W laser jet and farm out any color print jobs to a copy or print shop. I have a color laser that cost me an arm and a leg (and a few other body parts I shan't mention) but I got it for the convenience of always being able to print at home on demand even though I rarely use color.
Also, color laser is coming down in price. When we got our new printer, we wanted scanner (so we could use it as a copier) networked, and color. Unfortunately, we could only find any two (not all three) without the price doubling. We ended up getting a black and white laser. I was going to start up my old inkjet and plug it in via USB any time color was needed, but with the chance of the ink being dried up each time, farming that out is much smarter. Thank you.
BTW, the laser is a Brother MFC-7460DN, and not only does it work fine with Windows, but the built in print server very closely resembles CUPS (it may even be CUPS) so Mac and Linux support is a breeze too. The Linux scan drivers work better than the Windows ones, but other than that, it has been good cross platform.
You are correct about color lasers coming down in price. I paid very little more for my color laser than I did for the B&W it replaced (I run my hardware as long as I can).
I always recommend that people stay away from the so called three in ones (actually, they are two in ones used three ways) unless space is a serious problem. One problem with the integrated units is, if one portion fails, you generally have to replace the whole thing, including the part that still works (it's rarely cost effective to take one in for repair). Another problem with them is they tend to be poorer quality than discrete components; that's one reason they are cheaper. They usually don't have as many features as discrete components do.
I have a color laser, a high speed ADF (Automatic Document Feed) Duplexing scanner I use for most of my scanning needs (I love that machine!) and a flat bed scanner I use for scanning jobs the ADF is not suitable for, such as thick originals, fragile documents, or extremely high resolution scans. Although I rarely do so, I can operate all three simultaneously, an advantage more suited to a multi-person office setting. If any one unit goes down, I can still use the other two until I can repair or replace the down machine.
Actually, one way to save on ink is to always keep your printer on. I am not kidding. This depends on your specific printer brand, and how often you print, of course, but according to a computer magazine (forgot which one), the start-up procedure of some ink printers consumes a lot of ink, performing some kind of cleaning or aligning printer heads, or whatnot.
At least my Canon multiprinter uses up a lot of ink in the startup-procedure. According to the calculations in the magazine, the power consumption cost of keeping the printer always-on was very small compared to the wasted ink cost. The printer will go into stand-by mode (hopefully) and reduce the power consumption substantially.
Never print photographs especially small ones. Unless you shell out for pigment inks they won't last anything like as well as real photos will.
We rarely scan. The reason we wanted both a scanner and duplex printer in one was to use it as a photocopier without the computer being involved. Although I agree that the stand alone scanners are better, being able to copy with just the one machine is worthwhile to us.
We have had it for several months, and just tried the scanning for the first time. The trouble we had was getting network, color, two sided, and scanner/ADF (to use as a copier) all in one. We gave up color because it would have been about a factor of 4 in price. One more advantage of laser: If you only print occasionally, the toner does not dry up and clog like ink does.
I got tired of the printer ink costs years ago. I purchased a Canon Imageclass MF4150 series laser printer over 5 years ago and it is still going strong. I get a 2-pack of laser cartidges from Amazon for less then $40 and I'm good to go for about a year, sometimes longer.
I had a HP LaserJet that lasted that long. I Probably would still be using it but the people of questionable parentage at HP chose not to upgrade the drivers for Vista and Win 7 (HP is notorious for that), one of the reasons I stayed with XP so long. Also, it became impossible to find unexpired toner cartridges (I could find plenty of expired ones). The expired carts would still print but the expired chips blocked access to the toolbox, which is where all the settings were made. The time dated chips were a stupid attempt to prevent people from refilling the carts; stupid because the transfer drum wore out about the same time the toner was running out.
I have a Brother HL-4070cdw color laser mainly using it for high volume color printing with duplexing. Originally had a brother B&W laser. While the color is not that great, the cost of toner is high. Have not tried refilling the toner cartridges - yet. But I like it due to the duplexing and speed which would kill an inkjet. And it works on Linux and Windows.
Does your Brother actually print on both sides automatically or do you have to feed the first side printouts back into the machine to print the second side? That's what I have to do with my Samsung CLP 415NW.
Most laser printer toner carts are expensive but, when you break down the cost to per page, they are far more economical than inkjets, and that's without factoring the wasted ink from cleaning the heads. There are occasional exceptions, however. The IT department decided to standardize all printers with Lexmarks. They came unexpectedly one day and took the HP LaserJet 4 I had just put a new cart into and replaced with a Lexmark that had a starter cart in it, which started running low almost right away. I was shocked to find out how much a new cart cost when I ordered one. One piece of advice I now give to people shopping for printers (and some other hardware) is to calculate the cost of consumables per page.
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