There’s never a good time to find out you’re low on printer ink, or worse, you’ve entirely run dry. Beyond the hassle of ordering more ink, printing when the cartridge is low can damage your printer and result in poor quality documents and images. With so many people working from home or not having easy access to the office, being able to print documents readily and not break the bank on ink costs is essential.
Whether you have urgent print needs for your job or your kids’ remote learning assignments, you shouldn’t have to splurge on ink regularly. To save yourself time and money on printer supplies, here is our guide on what features to look for in a superb printer with affordable ink and reviews to help you identify what is the best printer with the cheapest ink cartridges to get you the most value for your money.
Know Before You Buy
As with any purchase, it’s helpful to consider what you want out of your printer and how you intend to use it before making your decision. Do you print large quantities regularly? Do you use a lot of color ink? Do you have a lot of space to store it? These are helpful questions to ask yourself to help you narrow your search and find the best printer that’s going to save you money on ink long-term.
While you may be inclined to look for a cheap printer under the assumption they also use cheap ink, that’s not usually the case. What may seem like a deal in the store may end up costing you more when you tally up the cost of ink after a couple of years.
What to Look for
If you want an ink-thrifty printer, look for ink-efficient models that have a lower cost per page. The cost per page is a leading indicator of a printer’s real cost. It is calculated by taking the price of the ink cartridge divided by the page yield.
The page yield is the number of pages a cartridge can print before the cartridges need replacement. By steering clear of printers with a low page yield, you’ll avoid having to continually replace your ink cartridges, which can add up quickly. To find the page yield, check the cartridge’s side or consult the printer’s user manual.
The lower the cost per page, the more ink-efficient the printer will be and the more savings you’ll see in the long-term. Rather than focus on only the cost of new cartridges, it’s most useful to look at how cost-effective the ink cartridges are over time.
If you’re willing to invest a little more upfront in your printer, laser printers tend to be more ink-efficient as these models use toner instead of ink, and toner cartridges have higher page yields. So, while you pay a bit more for the printer upon purchase, you’ll enjoy cost-savings in the long run.
If you opt for an inkjet printer and are trying to determine which inkjet printer uses the least ink, most inkjet cartridges are considerably more affordable than toner cartridges.
Larger Cartridge Size
Ink cartridges come in a range of sizes, but when it comes to spending less on ink, you benefit most from getting a printer with high yield or XL cartridge sizes. These high yield cartridges hold more ink and can print nearly twice the number of pages a standard cartridge can.
So, if you tend to produce high-volume print jobs, an XL ink cartridge is especially beneficial because you will get more prints than your average cartridge. And although they are a bit more high-priced than the typical ink cartridge, they tend to have a lower cost per page, which means you’ll enjoy more savings down the line.
If you need even more ink, some printers accommodate extra high yield cartridges which hold even larger ink quantities than the XL variety. If you have a Canon printer, a brand renowned for their quality, look for a “Y” at the end of the cartridge number when looking for extra high yield Canon ink cartridges.
Compatible Ink Replacements
Another easy way to save on your printer’s ink is to look for one that will use compatible ink replacements. These are ink cartridge replicas manufactured by third parties that typically have been recycled and refilled and developed for name brand printers at a much lower price. Unlike manufactured cartridges, which most name brand printers use for their printers, these remanufactured or compatible ink replacements are less expensive because the manufacturer doesn’t have to pay for the product’s brand name.
Most compatible cartridges fit in and work in name brand printers just as well as their manufactured counterparts. So, if you’re looking to save on ink replacement costs, consider purchasing a printer that will work with these ink cartridge alternatives.
Many office and home printers sold today include or offer the option for an automatic duplexer which allows you to print on both sides. While this won’t necessarily save you ink costs, it is an economical way to cut your paper costs. If you print many documents regularly, this is another helpful cost-saver to take into consideration.
Printer Duty Cycle
Another quality to look for in your printer when trying to save on ink is the printer duty cycle or the number of pages your printer can print per month at the printer’s rated quality.
If you or your operation produce a high volume of print jobs, it’s nice to have the peace of mind your printer can sustain the quality of work you need it to do without any issues, so you can focus your energy and money on replacing ink when you need it.
Top Printers with Cheap Ink Cartridges
For your convenience, we’ve outlined a handful of high-quality printers with ink cartridges that won’t break the bank.
HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 Wireless All-in-One Printer
This affordable HP printer is a wireless inkjet printer suitable for both home and office use. It has print, copy, scan and fax capabilities but, even more importantly, can offer serious ink savings. It provides a low cost per page and utilizes HP ink cartridges that can print a minimum of 300 pages with a standard cartridge and more than 800 pages with a high yield cartridge.
Of course, you can save even more by switching to compatible ink replacement cartridges. With its high page yield and reliable monthly duty cycle of 800 pages, this all-in-one printer is a reliable, ink-saving choice.
Brother MFC-J995DW Printer
This entry-level Brother inkjet printer is best suited for at-home use. On top of its automatic double-sided printing, scanning and Wi-Fi capabilities, it utilizes a handy bulk ink cartridge system that significantly increases its replaceable cartridges’ capacity.
Thanks to the cartridges’ high page yield, you won’t have to worry about replacing ink regularly. It also monitors Brother printer ink levels and lets you know when they are running low while allowing you to order replacements directly from the control panel. If you’re looking for ink cartridges that will last you a long time, this may be the at-home printer for you.
Canon Pixma iX6820 Printer
With exceptional printer resolution and five separate ink tank systems, this Canon printer offers high ink capacity that is sure to help you save on ink costs. Plus, you’ll enjoy vibrant colors and tones and high printing quality. It utilizes an XL black ink cartridge that can yield roughly 500 pages and a high yield color cartridge with an impressive 700-page yield. This printer is another solid choice for at-home printing that conserves ink.
Canon Pixma MX922 Printer
Like its fellow Canon printers, this printer also has high printing resolution with the added feature of being very economical for higher print volumes. With printing, copy and scan capabilities, it offers five ink cartridges that support extra capacity ink tanks. These XXL cartridges can yield up to 800 pages in black ink and 700 pages in color. If you tend to produce high-volume print jobs at home, this printer’s high capacity ink tanks can be a real money-saver.
Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Color All-in-One Printer
This Epson printer is another economical entry-level printer with print, copy and scan capacity. As one of Epson’s EcoTank printers, it promises high page yields—up to 3,000 pages per each color cartridge—that will save you hundreds long-term.
With an EcoTank printer, you can reap even more significant savings by opting for compatible ink refills that fit your printer and provide the same results as the originally manufactured cartridges. If you opt for this or another Epson printer, we can help you save even more on Epson printer cartridges.
Other Ink-Saving Tips
Beyond getting your hands on an ink-efficient printer and scouting out the most affordable ink cartridges, you can always take measures to use less ink. Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your ink usage and make your cartridges last a little longer.
Determine Your Printing Needs
Take a good look at your document before you go to print. By previewing your documents before you print them, you may find blank spaces between text or pages of material you don’t really need, such as large graphics. In the end, this will help you spare yourself unwanted materials and save on ink and paper in the process.
Unless you direct your printer to use “grayscale only,” you might be printing documents in higher quality than you need. If you are running low on black ink but have color ink to spare, print in grayscale to reduce how much black ink you use. Grayscale combines colored inks with small levels of black ink to mimic gray.
Track How Much You Print
Having a sense of how frequently you print materials and matching your cartridge capacity to how much you’re printing can go a long way. For instance, you don’t want to get XL ink cartridges for your printer if you only do occasional print jobs, as the ink can dry and clog the printhead. This means you may need to replace your ink cartridges prematurely, wasting time and money.
By tracking how often you print, you can make a more informed decision about the cartridge sizes you need and make your ink last longer.
Care for Your Ink and Toner Cartridges
Over time, the ink and toner in cartridges can settle, or the cartridges themselves can become dirty or clogged. This can result in print issues like streaking or fading. Make sure you clean the cartridge nozzles regularly and occasionally shake the cartridges to prevent settling. This maintenance helps you stretch your ink even further, so you don’t have to replace the cartridges as frequently.
If you’ve ever been frustrated at how quickly your printer has run out of ink and how expensive it is to replace, you’re not alone. Over time, you can easily spend more on replacing your ink cartridges than what you spent on the printer when you first bought it. But if you do some digging beyond the original cost of the printer, you can find a great printer with budget-friendly cartridges that won’t bust your wallet.
Choosing a printer is easy when you pick among the most ink-efficient models and look at which ones use the cheapest ink. By selecting a printer that uses ink cartridges with a low cost per page, you can easily save on ink consumption. The lower the cost per page and the higher the page yield, the less you’ll have to spend on replacing ink cartridges.
You can also save money by being frugal with your ink when necessary. By printing fewer graphics, using primarily black or grayscale ink and adequately maintaining your ink and toner cartridges, you can stretch the life of your ink and go longer between refills.
For affordable ink cartridges delivered right to your door, explore the Inkjet Superstore’s online catalog. If you want more information on how remanufactured cartridges can save you money, call us at 888-745-4316.