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I'm sick of ink-sucking printers, buying advice needed

by CNET Event admin / March 25, 2011 7:17 AM PDT
Question:

I'm sick of ink-sucking printers, buying advice needed


I am so frustrated with printers and the amount of ink they now use, not to mention the cost of the ink. I don't do much scanning or printing in color and no faxing, so I don't need a high-end printer. I do a fair amount of grayscale printing each day. My problem is that the printers I have had in the past couple of years guzzle ink and use almost as much color ink as black ink, even though I am not printing pages in color. That was not the case in the past with my older printers. My color ink seemed to last forever. Not true, these days. Now that I have Windows 7, I haven't found a compatible printer that is efficient without costing an arm and a leg to operate. Can anyone give me any suggestions on what kind of printer I should purchase? Thanks.

-- Submitted by: Allison H.

Paper sucking ink --Submitted by: blmonster
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-7590_102-5106391.html

Money robbing printers--Submitted by: flrhcarr
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-7590_102-5106311.html

Inkaholic printers --Submitted by: Sidewinder34
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-7590_102-5106321.html

Why color ink runs out as fast as the B/W ink. --Submitted by: blmonster
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-7590_102-5106401.html

Laser, really?? NOT so fast. --Submitted by: jonsantacroce
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-7590_102-5106429.html

Thanks to all who contributed!

If you have any additional advice or recommendations for Allison, click the "reply" link below and submit away. If referring to product, providing a link to the product will be very helpful. Please be detailed as possible when providing a solution. Thanks!
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Re: printer
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 25, 2011 7:26 AM PDT

Buy a low-end laser printer for your B&W printing. They are cheaper per page.
Keep your inkjet for the occasional colour printing (be sure to do it at least once a month to prevent clogging).

You'll have the best of both worlds.

Kees

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look at laser printers
by William Sommerwerck / March 25, 2011 10:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: printer

I don't know what /you/ mean by grayscale printing, but a B&W laser printer would be a good choice. The cost per page is significantly lower than ink-jet.

The least-expensive laser printers use the computer's CPU to format the image. If you do a lot printing, you'll want a model with its own CPU. Such a printer is also less likely to become obsolete with operating system changes.

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Make sure that's a plain old BLACK Laser Printer....
by Clemmie3 / March 25, 2011 11:14 AM PDT
In reply to: look at laser printers

The basic Laser Printer is a good suggestion for primarily Black printing. Just be sure that you stick to a single cartridge, Black-only model.

Color Laser Printers, in my experience (HP Color LaserJet 1600), also 'suck ink' from all of the colors (FOUR toner cartridges) even when printing just Black. A full changeout of all four cartridges costs over $300!!! And when any one goes, the other three rapidly follow. Granted, that's after 2000 pages or so - so the ink cost per page is actually less than with an inkjet. But it's still a serious bite all at once - especially if they run dry when you don't have the cash (which is ALWAYS the case).

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About grayscale
by kzolady / April 30, 2011 4:02 AM PDT
In reply to: look at laser printers

In case no one else has answered your question about grayscale, it is a term used in the inkjet or laser printing setup process. It uses less black or less black instead of color. It makes the printing a dark gray instead of black or colored

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You can but that also has it's problems.
by chadhammer-21042688146786397949495461110541 / March 26, 2011 4:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: printer

I have a 13x19 Cannon to print large schematics and because it uses separate tanks unlike the Epsons used to and because of the "user" replaceable print head.

I also have a very expensive to feed HP duplex printing DN3600 color laser because I need to print color PDF service manuals. It can cost more to replace the cartridges than to buy a new laser with cartridges (less the duplexing).

Not wanting to use the 13x19 for bulk B&W printing and wear it out causes the print heads to clog when I do need it. To prevent this I must remember to clean the print heads once in a while OR print with it once week at least.

There is no easy answer and let's face it, they have us by the cahonies and they know it! The greed factor on their part is a fact of life.

And the part that gets me is HP sends a label to return the cartridges so that they can refill it and send it back to me at a new cartridge price.

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Oh and BTW...

It can cost $500 dollars (1 set of cartridges that are good for 5,000 pages color and 6,000 Black) to print 400 full color flyers. I tired it once because I had to have them done the same day. I even reduced the ink useage by 40%. Cheaper to take them to the local printer. Much cheaper.

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Epson printer
by cdhanks / April 29, 2011 2:27 PM PDT

Not seperate tanks on the Epson? You are confused. I have an R1800 13" wide and it has 8 seperate tanks. I bought a set of refillable tanks and bulk ink. It is fairly easy to refill them with supplied syringes, the set of 8 bottles of 100ml cost $27 and gets many refills. There is no difference in the print quality. I also bought an inexpensive chip resetter, less than $6 so the printer recognizes full tanks. Anyone who buys brand name ink is either very wealthy or foolish.

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Epson Printers
by Rubberman643 / April 29, 2011 4:17 PM PDT
In reply to: Epson printer

I have used three epson printers and they have been very easy on ink and I now use auto reset cartridges and my 800 in one year has only used less than 40 ml of ink and as cdhanks mentioned the quality is great so why buy A 49.00 printer and then spend 40.00 on one set of ink cartridges that are only going to last less than a month.

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It was useful to me, as far as it went.
by Payz / May 6, 2011 11:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Epson Printers

I am not sure what you meant about "auto reset cartridges?" Are they available for Epson All-In-One series CX9400FAX. The problem I have is how do I by-pass the low ink cartridge if I want to use the FAX mode or Scan mode. I have not had much success with its appetite for ink. I usually print B and W. Alternate choices is to keep buying cheap machines since they're cheaper than the cartridge set.

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Cartridge chip resetter
by jhampa / May 2, 2011 12:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Epson printer

Hi, The chip resetter, can you elaborate on that. Where did you buy, was it a program you load or a physical resetter? Thanks for the heads up on that.
Jhampa

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Cartridge chip resetter
by mamontero / May 2, 2011 3:52 AM PDT

I own an Epson R1900 and got a continuous ink system from Inkjet Fly which comes with a physical chip resetter. The ink tanks (100 ml) last forever and the quality of the prints is exactly as the ones made from factory ink.

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Thanks for the GREAT answer!
by Payz / May 6, 2011 11:39 PM PDT

This was extremely useful. You rock!

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I'm with mamontero on this one...CIS all the way.
by Atemycat / May 18, 2011 4:20 PM PDT

I'm a bit late on this one but am compelled to chime in. CIS Continuous Inking System is
the way to go. They cost around $35 on ebay and come with about 10 refills of ink in the
tanks. I got 1L of each color for $20 each on sale and since have worn out 3 Epson printers
mainly printing CD's. I still have half of the ink left. I now print whatever I want no ink worries.
The main thing is to make sure it is available for your model before you buy it. I usually
get 2 printers so that my CIS will work with the backup...they are cartrige specific. A CIS is
a set of ink tanks with hoses that go to modified cartriges that replace the original ones.
It feels great to wear out a printer instead of it clogging from disuse.

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HP printers
by Rhawnie-von / April 30, 2011 6:11 PM PDT

I too have owned several HP printers and was notified of a class action suit awarding ink discounts to people because the printer called for the cartridges to be replaced when the ink wasn't even gone. I got so mad with that that I bought a used Brother 4120 like the one we use at work and have been very happy with it. I bought the used Brother 4120 for 21.50 and have been very pleased with the cost and the quality of the printing that the machine has done. So happy in fact that I bought my 78 year old Mother in Montana the same machine. No problems with either machine.

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Good solution unless print more than 10 c/month
by Goldfinch33 / April 29, 2011 1:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: printer

There is a point at which you ditch the ink altogether and get a low end color like an HP 2600 (refurbished by a reputable local dealer, of course) and figure you won't need toner for a long time. It prints better and costs less per page.

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Agreed
by unclepauly11 / April 29, 2011 10:03 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: printer

I have Oki 4w plus laser for B & W letters.

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Go Laser - less expensive than you might think
by Doug643 / April 29, 2011 10:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: printer

I have to agree here. I got an HP laser printer for 50 bucks (on sale at Office Depot and price matched at Staples) for my office. It only has USB and not network hook up, but I have to say I am impressed. I got a high yield replacement for about 75 bucks on line but have not needed to replace the starter cartridge yet. I have an Epson all in one at home and feel like even with the light printing I do I am spending a ton of bucks on ink. I do use the scan feature so it's worth keeping, but I wish I had a laser (and the desk space for both printers:-)) at home as well. Good luck

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Laser Printer & Color AIO
by christinawatkins_76116 / April 29, 2011 11:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: printer

This is the route we use - I have a Samsung ML-2010 laser printer for most of my black & white printing and we have a Kodak ESP5250 AIO inkjet printer for everything else. The Samsung has lasted for years, reliably, and I love it and the Kodak printer is very good on ink and prints pretty good photos. Both compatible with Windows 7. I'm not sure what all you use your color printer for, but have you considered using an online printing service if it's for photos and such?

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Lasers are best
by CalStateChico / April 30, 2011 12:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: printer

You can get a Laser printer for about $100, and you will get more bang for the buck print per page wise.

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Watch the paper
by mbreaton / March 25, 2011 10:32 AM PDT

Make sure you are using paper designed for an inkjet and not copier paper (which is designed for toner). Inkjet paper has a slight sheen to it and the ink rests on top. Copier paper tends to be a bit more porous and can *suck* the ink out of the cartridge (check the underside of the printed page and see if the ink has come through).

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Paper???
by jimjutte / March 25, 2011 11:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Watch the paper

I'm not sure I follow this. For my printer, I choose the paper type. I assume that it applies ink according to the type of printer that I tell the computer it is printing too. Is this what you actually meant? Paper can't (on its own) "suck" ink out of the printer.

Cheers

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(NT) Paper sucking ink
by blmonster / March 25, 2011 11:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Paper???
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Paper sucking ink
by blmonster / March 25, 2011 11:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Paper???

On all modern Inkjet printers, they have a scanner built into the carriage that scans to see if the ink is "dense" or solidly printed enough. On copy paper, the ink soaks into and through the paper, so it doesn't seem "dense" enough for the scanner, which tells the printer to overprint, or send more ink, onto the paper with each pass. On a paper designed for inkjet printers; multipurpose, all in one, ink jet, and so on; the paper is coated so that the ink can't sink though and drys on the surface, so the scanner sees the printing as being solidly printed and doesn't overprint the page. A good paper will potentially save you upwards of 60% of the ink that you would use on a sheet of copy paper, and produce less dust to gum up the machine. The best is to watch for it to come on sale and stock up. At such times, you can usually get it for the same price as cheap copy paper.

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Paper sucking ink
by jimjutte / March 25, 2011 2:49 PM PDT
In reply to: Paper sucking ink

Wow!! Thanks for the info. I did NOT know that.

Cheers

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Paper & Ink
by M4RiE / March 26, 2011 12:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Paper sucking ink

Also keep in mind that better quality ink will last longer and is more cost effective overall. In this area, I've found HP and Office Max carry ink which does not dry as quickly as some other store brands, as well as your printer's brand probably (being made for each other,) while many ink refillers carried product which dried the fastest, particularly when they first became popular.
Still, as blmonster stated, not using inkjet paper is likely your biggest reason for the high ink usage. An outstanding reply! Thank you!

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aha! so that's the whyfore of the wherefore
by sunon / April 29, 2011 12:38 PM PDT
In reply to: Paper sucking ink

i'd always heard you should use a compatible paper and had no reason to doubt this bit of tech wisdom but now it's good to know the reason behind this advice. thanx. mac

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Inkjet vs Laser Paper
by Tony Salso / April 29, 2011 2:50 PM PDT

In the printing industry we need to pay attention to type of paper or you end up with problems with the paper curl. Years ago paper manufactured for Mimeo use was much more porus to obsorb the thick mimeo ink. Paper manufactured for offset printing needs more water content than that manufactured for copier use. The same is true for laser vs inkjet. Inkjet ink needs to dry upon hitting the paper and not be absorbed, thus needing more water content in the paper and a coating on the surface. In laser printing the paper gets zapped with lots of heat, such that the paper needs less water content and the ink gets fused into the paper, needing less coating on the paper. Bottom line...If we presume that the paper designated for laser is different than that manufactured for inkjets, then buy the inkjet paper so that it will not absorb so much ink. Also, ignore all those low ink warnings. When the printed sheet looks like it lacks some ink color, then replace the cartridge. Personally, I have both a B & W laser and a color ink jet. I only use the inkjet when I need color printed as when prducing photos. Otherwise I am using the B & W laser. I use the laser daily and the toner cartridge will last about 9/10 months (about 7/8,000 sheets). Do I use special inkjet paper? No! I buy the cheapest copier paper Costco sells. If you go to Staples you'll probably pay 1/3 more for the same type of paper, or even more for some specialty paper, supposedly manufactured for inkjet use. So what you save in ink use, was spent on paper cost.
Tony

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...paper comments.... and, inkjet can be cheaper than laser
by mmlewis7 / April 30, 2011 5:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Inkjet vs Laser Paper

I watch for sales at Staples. I also signed up for their "Rewards" program, so I get email coupons and sale info. Then I stock up on "multipurpose" 94 or 96 bright (usually Staples brand) paper (recommended as an alternative to inkjet paper in another post in this thread) for less $ than about any other option I've seen.
I use a HP 8500 all-in-one, which I also got on sale. It uses less ink, and the cartridges are large, with the 940xl black being rated for about 2200-2500 copies per cartridge, which Staples sells for about $36 online, and with rewards coupons it can be even less. The 8500 also allows me to use either "b/w" or "color" settings for all printing, copying, etc. It also allows me to choose a "fast" quality setting which I find gives good quality for most copying, as well as giving a faster copy, while also using less ink for either b/w or color The "properties" setting on my print menu also allows for a "fast, economical" setting for printing, as well.
Hope this helps.

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Paper Sucking Ink
by cybanon / April 29, 2011 4:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Paper sucking ink

I take it you're referring to branded paper(s)..the other area of printing that inkjet manufacturers rip $$$ from our wallets. I'm aware there are standalone companies producing only inkjet paper. I've used several. But these are still relatively expensive and I've not struck one the equal of (in my case) Canon and HP inkjet paper. What you say about 'soaking' on copy paper is true and you can often see the ink 'bleeding' or spreading out from each letter or into colors. Even so, proprietary paper is much too expensive for everyday use and the sales you mention are only occasional, at least in Australia, a comparatively small market compared with the U.S. and Europe. In any case, it seems consumers everywhere are tired of exorbitant inkjet cartridge and paper prices. Unless 'a good paper (which) will save up to 60% of ink' can regularly be bought cheaply then what you save on wasted ink is lost on paper cost. My compromise is to buy 'denser' 100-120gsm copy paper (standard is 80gsm.) Some are better than others (trial and error.) I stress 'compromise' because these papers are not coated/designed for inkjets. Ink may sit on top of a copy paper which resists soaking and therefore smudge, though I haven't found this a major problem. Another better workaround is the now affordable b&w and color laser printer. I use a Brother which prints a treat on ordinary copy paper - so much so that the inkjet is off to the side and used with photo or glossy inkjet paper only for special projects. I can see it being replaced completely as even better laser printers continue to reduce in price.

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A new thing to me
by busybody / April 29, 2011 10:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Paper sucking ink

How can i recognize this type of paper?

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