Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

    • tsheils
    • By tsheils 15th Oct 17, 9:51 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Cheapest printer to run
    • #1
    • 15th Oct 17, 9:51 PM
    Cheapest printer to run 15th Oct 17 at 9:51 PM
    Hello all I need some recommendations. Other than epsom printers can anyone recommend a cheap printer to run. My budget is about £80, maybe a tad higher

    Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 15th Oct 17, 10:13 PM
    • 1,346 Posts
    • 809 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    • #2
    • 15th Oct 17, 10:13 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Oct 17, 10:13 PM
    It works in a sort of inverse tandem way.

    As a general rule the more expensive the (inkjet) printer to buy, the cheaper the ink it takes to run, and the cheaper the printer the more it'll cost in ink.

    Depending on the amount of printing you want to do you may do better with a printer that takes single ink cartridges - All Epsons work like this, some HPs and some Canons do this as well. The budget printers tend to take the block cartridges which can be expensive.

    Of course there are some cheap mono laser printers around, the toners cost more but you'll get more pages out of them but the cheaper ones tend not to scan or copy or do anything other than print.
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 15th Oct 17, 11:09 PM
    • 1,233 Posts
    • 1,057 Thanks
    • #3
    • 15th Oct 17, 11:09 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Oct 17, 11:09 PM
    Three choices.

    If you do a lot of printing. Find a printer with seperate inks (mostly Cyan, Mangenta, Yellow and 2 blacK, but could differ). And find one you can get cheap under £2 copy carts for.

    If you do medium amount of printer gen the cheapest inkjet you can with full carts (canons at aldi etc). When it dies get another.

    If you hardly print and can cope with b&w buy a cheap laser. Inkjets hate disuse and the cart either dies of the whole unit get ink issues.
    • SouthUKMan
    • By SouthUKMan 16th Oct 17, 8:29 AM
    • 381 Posts
    • 302 Thanks
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 17, 8:29 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 17, 8:29 AM
    Everyone makes really good points above. A couple of extra thoughts, if you decide to stick with an inkjet printer then bear in mind that some manufacturers produce 'standard' and 'XL' capacity cartridges for the same printer. Usually by paying around a third more for the XL version you get three times as much ink compared to the standard cartridge.

    Depending on what you want to print, you could choose to only print in B&W - and / or you can adjust the quality settings to use far less ink. Most printer software I've seen has options such as 'photo' 'high' 'standard' 'draft'. Draft uses very little ink. Some software has a percentage slider.

    You can also look at refill cartridges. However I have personally found these hit and miss in terms of reliability. For several years I bought refill cartridges but sooner or later I would always come across a cartridge that wouldn't work or one that would dry up and stop working far sooner than expected. Overall I probably didn't save any money by using these and just had additional hassle.
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 16th Oct 17, 9:27 AM
    • 1,346 Posts
    • 809 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 17, 9:27 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 17, 9:27 AM
    Draft mode might use little ink, granted, but on some printers it may be too light to read on a white piece of paper. Still it sounds impressive when the printer pulls the paper in at the speed of light, makes some noise and chucks it back at you just as fast

    With regards to refilling cartridges, you can get the continuous ink systems too, though you often have to botch these and the domestic printers to get them to work effectively and the end result can look a bit unsightly. They're expensive to buy initially but running cost wise it wipes the floor with the compatible cartridges - a 100ml bottle of printer ink can cost the same as 5ml compatible cartridge.
    • Frozen_up_north
    • By Frozen_up_north 16th Oct 17, 9:28 AM
    • 1,487 Posts
    • 722 Thanks
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 17, 9:28 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 17, 9:28 AM
    The OP doesn’t say if they need to scan/copy, print photos, or just print basic letters and documents... there are cheap scanner/copy/print units but they have poor photo quality and can be expensive on ink.

    I mostly use a Samsung mono laser printer, Amazon sell them for about £50 (latest version is the M2026, I think, mine is an M2022). Compatible toner cartridges are about £13 and can produce 1000 A4 pages at 5% coverage.
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 16th Oct 17, 9:36 AM
    • 2,255 Posts
    • 3,733 Thanks
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 17, 9:36 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 17, 9:36 AM
    We've just converted to this - new printer was £24.99 (half price at JS and price-matched by John Lewis)

    We're currently working on £1.99 per month vs the £8-£10 previously
    • psychic teabag
    • By psychic teabag 16th Oct 17, 11:21 AM
    • 2,679 Posts
    • 1,572 Thanks
    psychic teabag
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 17, 11:21 AM
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 17, 11:21 AM
    You might be lucky enough to find a mono laster on freecycle - I got one a while back, and there's currently another on offer in my area.
    • RumRat
    • By RumRat 16th Oct 17, 12:53 PM
    • 2,793 Posts
    • 1,599 Thanks
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 17, 12:53 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 17, 12:53 PM
    As the OP seems to have abandoned the thread and not given any further information (how much printing he does etc) it's not really possible to answer.
    The cheapest would be a HP printer on an instant ink free subscription.
    You get 15 pages a month for free with each additional 10 pages costing £1.
    Of course if he prints more there are different options as mentioned by others.
    Drinking Rum before 10am makes you
    Not an Alcoholic...!
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 16th Oct 17, 1:45 PM
    • 2,260 Posts
    • 1,529 Thanks
    My Brother HL-2130 monochrome costs £14 a year for toner, it's awesome.
    Originally posted by lomax512
    I have also had a brother printer for 10 yrs and only replaced the toner twice. Works everytime unlike the inkjets I had before.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 17th Oct 17, 12:18 PM
    • 3,054 Posts
    • 2,213 Thanks
    Second hand HP P3005DN mono laser, usually around £5-£10 from IT auctions. Third party toners are cheap as chips and you'll get well over 10,000 pages out of a toner cartridge.
    • tsheils
    • By tsheils 17th Oct 17, 7:27 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Thanks all for such good advice, sorry for not replying yesterday. The A and E admitted stepdaughter into hospital late last night, So I didn't get chance to reply
    • stator
    • By stator 18th Oct 17, 12:17 AM
    • 6,303 Posts
    • 4,195 Thanks
    How much do you print and what do you print?

    I rarely print and never print photos so the best printer for me is a colour laser. Toner doesn't clog up the printer if it's not used, so you save tonnes on ink (which you waste unclogging the print heads).

    If you want a photo printer I'd go with cheap and cherful inkjet.
    Some printers even have a built in kill switch that makes them useless after you've printed so many thousands of pages, regardless of the quality of the printers. The separate ink printers sound like a good idea in practice, but in reality the inks are even more expensive than the combined cartridges and you end up spending £100+ on a full set of colour inks.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Evil Olive
    • By Evil Olive 18th Oct 17, 1:06 AM
    • 317 Posts
    • 789 Thanks
    Evil Olive
    If you want to try the refilling route, I found my last Brother Inkjet which has *just* died on me (printhead gone so not worth repair), quite good for this as the cartridges don't contain a sponge (they're just a plastic box full of liquid ink), it had separate cartridges for each colour and the printhead was part of the printer - not integrated into the cartridges. This all resulted in easier refilling and less issues with cartridges clogging or poor print quality after refilling etc. I only ever had to buy 2 sets of new cartridges in the 15 years I had it due to the cartridge literally wearing out at the connection point to the printer (due to constant removal, refill and replacing into the printer). I was constantly refilling as I do quite a lot of printing including flyers for my husbands band. I bought 500ml bottles of refill ink at about £8 a pop and used up 1 and a bit of each of the colours and 2 and a bit black bottles in that time. I don't even want to think about what that amount would have cost in cartridges! Sadly, my model is discontinued so I am currently looking for something similar and Brother isn't the only brand that use this type of cartridge, but that's what you need for refilling well - a printer that takes spongeless cartridges, a printhead that's part of the printer not the cartridge and separate colour cartridges.

    This printer did 'die' at one point (about 10 years in) due to a mysterious 'fatal' error which I suspected was the previously mentioned automatic kill switch but a bit of googling and it turned out that the big sponge inside it, that the printer discharges ink into when cleaning itself, was 'full'/saturated, but you can take it out and 'wash' and dry it (VERY messy hands-on job under the tap) and then I was able to use the engineers instructions (google again) to reset everything to zero.
    "My biggest achievement, is creating a situation for myself whereby I can get up of a morning and decide to go and tackle Bwlch Pen Barras on the bike, rather than report to a superior to await orders"
    Nigel Blackwell, Half man, Half Biscuit
    • EmsJordan
    • By EmsJordan 10th Jan 18, 9:04 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Brother printer
    Which Brother printer do you recommend. I've been following this thread, and am definitely up for a printer which is cheap to run and don't mind spending a bit on an expensive printer if it is to save me money in the long run. Are the laser printers just black and white?
    Last edited by EmsJordan; 10-01-2018 at 9:10 PM.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,879Posts Today

6,624Users online

Martin's Twitter