Which printers for home use with cheap ink are best?
Whether you have ever worked in a business office, helmed the desk at a public or academic library or owned your own small business, one inescapable conclusion that you will reach is the frankly unbelievable cost of printer ink. As one of the world’s top ten most expensive liquids to purchase, constant printing will consume endless amounts of “black gold” at a staggering cost. To avoid your home printer costing you and your family an exorbitant amount of money, purchasing an Epson EcoTank ET-3760 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer with Scanner, Copier and Ethernet will serve you and your budget well.
What to know before you buy a printer for home use with cheap ink
Cartridge or reservoir tank, both have their pros and cons
For those who are unfamiliar with the internal working of printers for home use, they have two main methods that can be used to replenish ink supplies, namely cartridges and reservoir tanks. As their names suggest, cartridges are self-contained plastic packages which contain the various inks needed to print and create colored inks, whereas reservoir tanks simply need to be regularly refilled with ink.
It should be noted that while cartridges are generally easier to install and remove without causing a mess, ink reservoirs produce far less plastic waste for those concerned about their environmental impact. Furthermore, assuming that you can safely fill up your vehicle’s gas tank without causing a potential explosion, you will likely be able to fill a reservoir tank with relative ease.
What you save in ink, you sacrifice in printing ability and technology
It is a generally accepted fact that when considering the purchase of a product on the Venn diagram of fast, good and cheap, most people are limited to picking a model with only two of these qualities. With that in mind, you should be aware of the fact that because your computer has the ability to accept less expensive and even aftermarket ink refills, you shouldn’t expect gallery-level quality from your prints.
To clarify, a model of photo printer that is equipped with ink reservoir tanks will likely not be able to reproduce the same level of photorealism produced by a top shelf inkjet with frighteningly expensive ink. Furthermore, some printers that use cheap ink lack the connectivity options of their more expensive competition. As long as you are aware of the capabilities and limitations of your printer for home use with cheap ink, you should have no issues in the long run.
Consider the manufacturer and consider compatibility with aftermarket ink
When it comes to buying a good printer for home use with cheap ink, it is crucial to be aware of which manufacturers specialize in selling printers that run on cheap ink. For example, popular lines of printers offer models with significantly larger ink reservoirs such as the HP SmartTank, the Epson Ecotank and the Canon Megatank. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on pricey and proprietary printer ink, you can get years of printing or thousands of pages from a couple bottles of ink.
What to look for in a quality printer for home use with cheap ink
Offers significant financial benefits while providing multi-device utility
In addition to taking your printing and your budget for printer ink into the black, you should also consider whether your printer purchase can save you further costs on useful home office equipment. For example, some printers for home use with cheap ink are capable of printing both photos and documents as well as boasting the utility of a fax machine, scanner and copier in one affordable package. Furthermore, it is also well within your budget to purchase a printer which can be connected to your home WiFi to enjoy the convenience of wireless printing.
Can easily print a variety of useful documents, envelopes and more
Just because you aren’t interested in spending an absolute fortune on printer ink doesn’t mean you have to settle for a printer that can only handle printing the conventional 8.5- by 11-inch paper. Several models of printers for home use with cheap ink are capable of printing a wide variety of paper sizes, including letter, legal, 3- by 5-inch, 4- by 6-inch, 5- by 7-inch, 8- by 10-inch and No. 10 envelopes.
Also, why bother messing around with adjusting documents for printing on your PC when you can make use of an intuitive LCD screen with a user-friendly interface? You can make edits on the fly for business card printing, document printing, photo printing, greeting card printing, label printing, borderless printing and square media printing.
Offers thousands of pages of printing per refill and includes free ink
Given that you might be making the transition from a more expensive printer to one that uses less expensive ink, the fact that you can get anywhere from 6,000 to over 8,000 prints from a single bottle of ink may be staggering. Furthermore, you might be frankly surprised to discover that a printer company actually went out of their way to save you money and included a 2-year supply of ink for the average user. The selected models of printer do not only offer truly impressive results in terms of ink efficiency, just buying a printer means that you can enjoy an incredible number of prints for a fraction of the typical cost.
How much you can expect to spend on printer for home use with cheap ink
Depending on your desired features as well as any budgetary considerations, a quality printer for home use with cheap ink can cost anywhere from $330-$400, and sometimes more.
Best printer for home use with cheap ink FAQ
What’s the difference between an ink cartridge and an ink reservoir?
A. Ink cartridges come equipped with built-in printer heads, or the part of the cartridge which applies ink directly onto the page. Ink reservoirs, or tanks use individual color tanks, plus a black ink tank and supply your printer through in an integrated ink system.
Will the ink in the reservoir go dry after a period of time?
A. While your printer’s print heads could still become clogged and dry out, your ink will likely not evaporate unless it is continually left exposed to the air. As such, you should only open your bottles of printer ink when you actually need to refill the unit.
What’s the best printer for home use with cheap ink to buy?
Top printer for home use with cheap ink
What you need to know: A fully-equipped home printer for all your document printing needs.
What you’ll love: This unit features high-capacity ink tanks that offer savings up to 90% with replacement ink bottles as opposed to cartridges, can print up to 6,000 color or 7,500 black pages on a single refill, comes with up to 2 years of ink in the box and uses Claria ET pigment black ink and PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology.
What you should consider: Users have reported issues with cumbersome printer management software, as well as issues with connectivity.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top printer for home use with cheap ink for the money
What you need to know: An affordable printer design for those with heavy printing needs.
What you’ll love: This unit features sharp prints of images at resolutions up to 4800 by 1200 DPI as well as a 2-line LCD screen allowing for easy user interface experience and improved usability, built-in WiFi, access to AirPrint or MOPRIA. It can produce up to 8300 black and white pages in Economy Mode or about 7700 color pages or 6000 black and white pages in Default Mode on a single refill.
What you should consider: Users have reported issues with a lack of support for flash memory devices as well as there being no document feeder.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: A versatile printer that offers excellent options for connectivity.
What you’ll love: This unit features reliable connectivity with dual-band Wi-Fi, fast first page printing and print speeds up to 11ppm, it works with letter, legal, 3- by 5-inch, 4- by 6-inch, 5- by 7-inch, 8- by 10-inch, and No. 10 envelopes and can manage, scan and projects wirelessly with your smartphone or tablet using the HP Smart app.
What you should consider: Users have reported issues with a difficult setup process, as well as poor print quality.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Daniel Martin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.