Which printer is most economical for ink costs

  trasnit 13:40 03 Feb 2011

I am looking to buy a wireless inkjet photo printer/scanner. I print a reasonable number of photos, probably 30 - 40 a month, and would like a good quality reproduction, but does not have to be lab quality.Other printing on paper probably averages about 10 pages a day, some of which will have colour . Which of the printer brands are most economical for ink costs?

  jakimo 13:49 03 Feb 2011

Look-up printer reviews,members can only give you a biased opinion of the printer they use, e.g. IMO (my printer is better than the rest,even though Ive never used the rest)

  961 16:03 03 Feb 2011

I would suggest HP printers which use 2 cartridges. 1 black and one 3 colour

There are generally different capacity cartridges on sale, both original HP and compatible

The larger capacity cartridges (often 21ml black and 14ml colour) are very economical

For the most part I use compatibles and find them absolutely fine

Equally it is possible to buy HP high capacity cartridges on special offer in twin packs which bring the price down to very reasonable levels. Much cheaper than printers that use a separate cartridge for each colour

As to quality, for the most part there is little difference in day to day work. On occasion I use HP for very highest quality but you are then getting to the stage where you possibly need to use HP paper as well

  spuds 17:14 03 Feb 2011

If you want to save on ink costs, then look at printers that are capable of using CISS (Continuous Ink System) or alternatively ready supplies of suitable compatible cartridges.

I have a number of printers, mainly 3/4 in ones, of various makes. All have their own little oddities of working. Cheapness of ink Epson and Brother, but Epson can have print-head problems if left unused. HP and Lexmark, a little more expensive to run. Canon are okay. I have a very old (12+ year?) HP OfficeJet that is still chugging away merrily, and I also have a more modern Photosmart C3180 which would not work properly after a short time. In the end I gave up on HP support for the later model.

At present I find the Brother DCP 135C a superb general usage printer, with CISS capability, cheap compatibles, good manufacturer support, and a low initial purchase price. Must perhaps add, that this particular model might now be superseded by another similar model, but would be well worth considering.

If you are looking solely for wireless, then the Epson SX515W took a lot of beating, and just before and slightly after Christmas, there was a number of wireless printers available at greatly reduced prices (check Amazon), but the prices are on the increase again. If you are going for an Epson, then check out their own on-line store for prices before going elsewhere.

  KremmenUK 07:13 04 Feb 2011

I run 2 printers ........ A HP LaserJet for day to day stuff where black and white is ample and a Canon InkJet for when I want colour (not that often).

On average I buy a new Laser toner cartridge every 3 years at circa £70 and a set of Canon Inks about every 3 to 4 months at £30 a full set (3 colour and 2 blacks).

Without the Laser in the equation it would cost a fortune.

  Woolwell 10:25 04 Feb 2011

It is probably cheaper not print the photos off at home but to use a local facility or upload them to be printed by an online company like Snapfish or Kodak (there are others too). The printed quality is often better too.

  Chris the Ancient 10:40 04 Feb 2011

Having read the spec...

While a 2-cartridge system sounds fine, bear this in mind...

If one of the three colours runs out, you have to buy a complete replacement cartridge and waste what was left of the other two inks.

Initially it may sound daft (and potentially slightly more expensive) a reasonable 6-colour machine could work out cheaper to run in the long term.

  spuds 13:26 04 Feb 2011

Appears as though trasnit as asked a question, then resolved the issue?.

  choicestationery 12:11 06 Feb 2011

Hi Transit

Have you looked at some of the Kodak printers out there at the moment?

These are very economical to run at the moment and are certainly one of our best sellers when it comes to replacing the inks.

Failing that Epson have some good models as well.

Advantage with Epson over Kodak is that the ink tanks are all separate so you don't waste ink when only one colour runs out. The Kodak colour is all in one so if you run out of Yellow for example it all has to be changed.

Have a look at our site with regards to running costs - click here - enter a few printers and you will see the cartridge prices and be able to get a better idea of the actual running costs.

Dont be fooled by a cheap printer being cheap to run, its not always the case...


Paul Andrews
Choice Stationery Supplies

  bremner 14:09 06 Feb 2011


  961 15:01 06 Feb 2011

Chris the Ancient

I've heard this argument many times. And of course it is true that when one colour runs out you need to replace the cartridge

However, if you look at the cost of 3 colour cartridges and compare them with the cost of replacing a full set of individual colours I'm still not convinced the argument stacks up, because...

I've never really found a 3 colour cartridge fails to do the business. I admit I don't print stuff that uses one colour more than the others but, to me, they seem to last well

And the other thing, of course, is that it is more likely to be regularly used and replaced more frequently than separate colour cartridges

Additionally, the one I suggested has the print head in the cartridge rather than in the printer. Every time you buy a new cartridge you get a new print head

That's good value


I'm not sure about spam

Many of us have bought from C.S and found them good value

The points he makes are worth considering even if I suggest that Kodak printers get poor reviews even if they are cheap to run. And, from my previous point, I don't agree 3 colour cartridges are bad value

Is this spam? I don't know, it makes some valid points

F.E...over to you

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