The Great ‘The Most Economical Printers’ Hunt



  • allanmc
    allanmc Posts: 98 Forumite
    Rule 1. NEVER, EVER, BUY A LEXMARK. In my experience the refill costs are horrendous as their cartridges come complete with a new printhead as well as the ink. It was going to cost me over £40 for proper Lexmark replacement cartridges for my £35 printer.

    Rule 2. BUY A CANON. Spend as much as you want to, or can afford. In my experience, they generally use simple ink tanks, the print quality is fabulous and they seem to be very reliable. For what it's worth, Canon inkjets are ALWAYS very highly rated by Which? magazine.

    I use cheap compatible inks as I don't need the best quality. I have bought proper Canon refills from and they were very reasonable. If you are printing photos you would probably be better with the proper Canon inks.
    No reliance should be placed on the above.
  • Petree
    Petree Posts: 139 Forumite
    If you get a laser make sure there is a refill from the kits are really good and cheap too. Got a brother 2030 (cost about £45 a year back) refill costs about £15 and so far lasted over 5000 pages.

    For colour inkjets, get a Canon with the BCI6 range of cartridges as these are just a sponge in a box. The head bit is in the printer, thus there are no 'this cartridges is empty' chips on the cartridges. They cost about £6-9 from somewhere, or simply pop a hole in the top, squirt in some ink and put some sticky tape on the top. My refil kit was tesco value, and cost a couple of quid.
    Have a look at some printers then goto to see the refill process and if you need to zap the chip.

    If you plan on printing a fair amount, then go for a colour laser, the cheapest at PC world is £120, which isn't far off the price of an everyday inkjet, something worth thinking about, plus the ink can't dry out....?

    Regarding buying a new printer since it costs the same as toner, your getting ripped off, new printers come with a 'starter' cartridge which is about 25% full, so the toner seems pricey but you get 4x's more prints.


  • ads677
    ads677 Posts: 15 Forumite
    If you are considering laser devices rather than ink-jet you can get a cost-per-page analysis from On the assumption that their calculations are reasonably accurate you can then do an analysis depending upon the number of pages you anticipate printing over, say, 3 years and what type of printing you will be doing (eg mono, moderate, medium or heavy colour usage, etc). You will need to check the size of the toner cartridges provided with the machine (they are often smaller than the most economical high capacity toners) and decide whether you will use the 'hi-cap' toners in the future.

    As an example, if a machine comes with toners lasting for (a quoted) 2,500 sheets (manufacturers normally assume just 5% covereage - fine for black print, probably not for colour) and you reckon that you will print 15,000 sheets over 3 years you can calculate that you will need to buy toner for an additional 12,500 sheets.

    Whilst the usage of the initial toners has assumed 5% coverage you can be more accurate with the follow-on toners because Ameiva show the cost per page assuming 5%, 15%, 20%, 40% and even 90%. So, simply multiply the cost-per-page for your estimated coverage by the additional sheets you reckon you'll use, add the purchase price, and you will have the total cost over 3 years.

    What this has shown is that many initially cheaper devices will actually cost you much more over their life.

    A final point with laser devices is the additional costs for some of the other parts. Some printers will never need such replacements during their useful life, others may need them fairly frequently and yet others may automatically replace such parts every time you change toners (I think HP may do this). By the time these extra parts need replacing it is likely that it will actually be cheaper to buy a new printer (good old throw-away society!).
  • Beate
    Beate Posts: 3,522 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I had an Epson Stylus Colour 640 (inkjet) for countless years. A few weeks ago it died. I still have loads of cheap ink cartridges which I used to buy at the computerfair in Birmingham. I don't seem to be able to find a printer anymore that takes those cartridges as obviously time has moved on and the new printers have new names.

    Would it be cheaper to try and repair the old printer or buy a new one? Are the all-in-one printers that incorporate copiers and scanners, a good idea or are they more expensive to upkeep or more prone to faults?
    Reclaimed thanks to this site:
    £175 Abbey Mortgage Repayment Fee, £170.03 Capital One Bank Charges £418.07 Lloyds TSB Bank Charges, £2,671.55 Mis-sold Endowment Policy, all for OH
  • caliston
    caliston Posts: 173 Forumite
    Car Insurance Carver! Cashback Cashier
    Old mid-90s lasers are often bombproof, cheap to run and frequently given away from offices... my current printer is an HP Laserjet 4 which was an office throwout. It's made in 1992 but built like a tank (weighs 20kg), and the black and white laser prints are as good as anything a new printer would produce. It's done 100,000 sheets in its lifetime and is still going strong. Many older printers are thrown out due to paper feeding faults, but if you look on the net there are often roller kits available for £10-15 to fix this. Toner is about £15 a pop for 7-9,000 sheets and includes a new drum.

    My previous printer was an Apple Laserwriter Select 360 - printer cost a tenner secondhand from a college where it had done 144,000 sheets. It printed 7,000 sheets in my time on the original toner cartridge (the one it had already been using in the college) and then succumbed to a paper feeding fault that I couldn't find a fix on the net for (it wasn't as popular as the HP so not much about it on the net) But three years of printing for a tenner ain't bad, and toner doesn't dry up.

    Cost comparison of consumables for different HP lasers.
  • payless
    payless Posts: 6,957 Forumite
    Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    "edit amazing - I posted this at same time as calistan's post , so did not see it first - basically confirms each others)
    HP BW Laserjet 4SI

    cost £30 second hand from ebay ( collected) about 5 yrs ago

    Cartridges are supposed to be about £80 each, ( only every purchased one at that price as I then got a load for £5 each
    offically 10K pages per cartridges ... but don't count , I doubt I get that much... but not to concerned !

    Spent about £20 on parts in last 5 yrs..

    Pararell port ( using a usb converter) .. but previously run off a router via network cable , so other could use as well

    although it does take up a lot of space!
    Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as (financial) advice.
  • Sooler
    Sooler Posts: 3,108 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Using an HP printer have found WH Smith & PC World re-manufactured brand cartridges totally useless.

    Recently found the refill ink that you inject £6 for 3 bottles of black ink from Asda (effectively 6 refills) works perfectly.

    Also set the default settings to the most appropriate for your use … ‘fast draft’ and may be ‘print using black only’
  • i have always found the Epsom R220 or R200 about £60 to £70 quid. Don't buy the epsom cartridges as they are too dear unless your desperate.

    i am now talking of compatable cartridges and getting them cheaper elsewhere.

    compatible cartridges are £1 each takes 5 cartridges = 5 individuall colours.
    black yellow magents cyan and so on. the advantage is if your just running out of 1 colour then you only replace that cartridge. however like others if the colour example yellow runs out from your other printers you ditch the whole cartridge now thats wasteful.

    again this all takes the big ink bottles for continuous ink if you need to do a lot of printing.

    all the cartridges compatible for epsom printers can be bought on line. or your cheapest bet is going to the computer fair which is held locally in various towns. you can usually buy the printers at the fairs as well.

    LEXMARK ARE THE WORST FOR THAT, REPLACEMENT CARTRIDGES COST A FORTUNE. Even though their printers are only £20 speculate to accumulate

    trust me i'm a bargain hunter. (lol)

  • I think there are a lot of redundant printers around which could be reconditioned and put to good use. Yet the cost of getting them mended is prohibitive. I've managed to acquire two printers for free - an Epson Stylus C62 and an HP deskjet 6122 - from generous friends who have upgraded and had no use for their old printers - the problem is that I seem to have jinxed them: both printers stopped working soon after I'd started using them. I've tried looking at the help section on the manufacturers' websites for hints of how to repair the damage but have not found the answers I need.

    I would prefer to get one or both of the printers mended rather than buy a new one; however I have not been able to find an affordable printer repair service. I understand that printer repair firms need to charge a call-out fee and can't guarantee to repair the damage I seem to have done to the printers - however I'm a struggling self-employee on a tiny, tiny budget. Can any Moneysavers suggest an affordable and reliable printer repair firm, preferably in London?
  • barneydog wrote: »
    The most economical way to print with an inkjet is to use a CISS (Continuous Ink Supply Systems).

    This is the one I use with my Epsom R220 (it came with 12 150 ml bottles of compatible ink, 2 of each colour) and cost £19.99.

    Replacement ink costs £5.99 for 6 150ml bottles.

    This particular model is currently out of stock at SVP but they are available at other retailers including Bigpockets or on E-Bay.

    These systems are available for a lot of Epsom printers but are hard to find for other makes (I have seen them for some Canons as well).

    If you do a lot of colour printing these are worth considering as it is the cheapest way to print.

    Mine cost me 149 printer & CISS with 2 spare bottles of each colour ink, I got 1 cd, 4 pictures, 6 letters printed before it all broke down, even the replacement didn't do any better.
    I took it all back to the icon13.gifComputer Stall in WIDNES Market,icon13.gif asking for it to be put right or replaced (still in warranty) I did get a receipt for it. After nearly 8 weeks of waiting I asked if it's ready for collection yet, In Short He told me he'd never had it. (After a few months had past) He even told The Trading Standards Office, I'd never bought one from him, even though being shown the 2 receipts Purchase & Return for repair. :eek:

    Does this count as a cheap printer? Tho not as cheap as yours @ 19.99?!!!
    (all fact and logged with Trading Standards Office)
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