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Best Home Printers With the Cheapest Ink Cartridges
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Best Printer For Home Use With Cheap Ink
The first question anyone should now ask when buying a new printer is, “which printers have the cheapest ink.”
Nowadays, this is the norm since people caught on that the ink cartridges were costing more than the printers themselves. This wasn’t always the case though. Flashback a few years ago in my prime printing days, when your home printer cost more than the ink. The machine was the pricey part. Now it’s the ongoing operating costs in ink cartridges and paper that outweigh the glory of the home printer.
We’ve all been there, checking out a new cheap printer, bringing it home, bragging to your friends and family about the great deal you got, and then plugging it in, only to have it run out of ink at the most inconvenient time. But when it comes time to buying a replacement, our eyes go wide at the cost. But, that’s not the only surprise. It seems that ink cartridges are running out faster too.
A number of low-cost home printer models end up being cheaper than the ink. It’s not easy trying to spot a high-quality printer that also offers cheap replacement ink cartridges.
We’ve analyzed the best printers with cheap ink so you don’t have to keep scratching your head trying to figure it out. We’ll show you a variety of printers with the cheapest ink that are also durable and equipped with a ton of handy features. Plus, you’ll even discover the home printer with lowest ink cost.
Here are 7 printers with cheap ink that you’ll want to check out to keep your printing costs affordable for years.
The Best Home Printers With The Cheapest Ink
The Canon Pixma TS5120 is one of the best home printers with cheap ink. It won’t cost you an arm and a leg upfront, since it’s also one of the cheapest to purchase. It’s a all-in-one printer, scanner, and copier that is great for everyday use and is able to print high-quality graphics. This printer uses Canon PG-240 and CL-241 ink cartridges, which if you do a little price check on, are very afforadble.
- Quick duplex color printing with Auto 2-Sided printing
- Best printer for home use with cheap ink
- Buttons are easy to operate
- Includes 2 paper trays
- Easily connect to any device
- Quick black and white scanning to PDF
- The duplex color prints are a bit lighter than normal
- Paper tray feels a bit cheap
The Canon SELPHY CP1300 is a simple compact printer. In fact, it is very compact at only 7.1” x 5.4” x 2.5”, which means you can place it anywhere around the home and easily bring it on the road. It has a ton of features and is one of the best printers with cheap ink, especially if you want to print a quick high-quality photo from your mobile device.
- Very compact
- Impressive print quality
- Low cost per print compared to other similar printers
- Connect via Wi-Fi, USB, memory card2
- Water-resistant photos
- Multiple photo layout options
- Not as portable as pocket sized printers
- For true portability, you need to buy the optional battery
- No touchscreen
- Mini-USB Type-B cable isn’t included
HP is no stranger to the printer industry. In fact, they own about 20% of the market. The HP ENVY 5055 is one of their top printers with cheap ink. It is also HP Instant Ink & Amazon Dash replenish ready, making it easier to reorder your cheap refill inks. It’s a versatile printer with a touchscreen display, and offers print duplexing. Overall, it’s well-rounded, high-quality machine with a number of handy home printing features.
- Low running costs
- Navigate printer with touchscreen
- Great print quality
- Easily manage printing with HP app
- Options for automatic ink replenishment
- Touchscreen can be a bit finicky
- Print times can be a bit slow
The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is the most compact and cheapest of Epson’s all-in-one bulk-ink printers. It offers quality printing and a low cost per page, making it one of the best printers with the cheapest ink. It’s great for simple home offices that need a reliable, low-cost printer. Endorsed by the man himself Shaquille O’Neal, he says “just fill & chill.”
- Very low ink costs
- No cartridge necessary
- Ink bottles fill printer easily
- Voice command printing
- Great print quality
- Wi-Fi Direct mobile connectivity
- No auto duplexing
- Low paper capacity
- Not a lot of features
- Slow printing speeds
- USB cable not included
The Brother MFC-J491DW Inkjet Printer is a solid all-in-one wireless printer, able to print, copy, scan, and fax. It’s compact enough to fit in any home office, and offers high-quality prints. It’s great if you work from home or run a home-based business and want an efficient, low-cost printer.
- Great wireless printing compatibility
- Easy faxing
- Easy scanning to cloud services
- Adjustable 100 page capacity tray
- Printing speeds are a bit slow
- No duplex copying
- Cartridge installation is a bit difficult
The HP OfficeJet Pro is HP’s upgraded Pro 6968. It’s a compact, low-cost printer that prints fast. While being 14% smaller than the previous version, it prints high-quality pages at a rapid speed of 20 pages per minute. It also includes all the basics including scanning, copying, built-in faxing, and an automatic document feeder, making it great for high-volume printing in a home office.
- Very fast printing (20 pages per minute)
- Easy to use touchscreen
- Large sheet capacity (225 pages)
- Good Wi-Fi connection
- Construction feel a bit cheap
- A bit difficult to set up
- Must use output extension tray or pages will fall
The HP OfficeJet 5255 Wireless All-In-One Printer is a great low-cost printer that is able to print rich, colorful pages. It’s great for either the individual or the home-based business owner. It’s a durable all-in-one that offers printing, copying, faxing, and scanning with several simple ways to connect.
- 2” touchscreen is easy to use
- Efficient 35-sheet document feeder
- Easy to set up
- Prints slow
- Some software issues
- Pages can slide out when printing
How to Choose the Right Home Printer: Recommendations
When you’re trying to find the right home printer, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. A bad printer can be a nightmare if you misread one of the specifications, features, or compatible paper sizes. We’ve all been there. We pick up our brand new printer, plug it in, and scratch our heads wondering why it’s not working. Or why the color is off. Or how to connect it to our computers.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when looking for the best printer for home use with cheap ink, including some tips on how to save on the cost of ink.
How much will my printer cost?
After much time researching the right printer, analyzing the various brands, models, as well as the bells and whistles attached, you’ve realized that the price of your printer really isn’t the cost of your printer.
When scoping out the printer market, you can find a printer for under $100, or you can find high-quality printers for $200-$300. However, the main thing you need to remember is that the purchase price of your printer is only the initial cost.
What you really need to consider is the costs associated with keeping your printer running well and meeting your needs. These ongoing costs include paper, but the main price tag you need to look for is the ongoing cost of toner cartridges or ink cartridges.
You should think of your printer’s purchase price like an activation fee. Ink cartridges essentially act as subscription fees.
How much does toner and ink really cost?
Before looking at the costs associated with toner and ink, you should first understand how they work. Inkjet printers operate by applying liquid ink directly onto the paper while pressure is applied to make sure the ink sticks to the paper. It’s quite similar to when you write with a pen. Ink cartridges usually hold one reservoir of ink if you have a black cartridge, or a variety of reservoirs if you have a color cartridge.
Toner, on the other hand, is simply a blend of powdered polymer and carbon that the printer melts and binds to the paper.
Inkjet printers generally cost the least the buy upfront, but they can be the most costly in the long run. The initial savings hide much higher costs that are required to operate from ongoing paper and ink replacements. Ink cartridges can cost anywhere from $12 to $60 per cartridge depending on the size and brand you buy. They can generally print about 100 to 500 pages.
You should be cautious when purchasing ink cartridges for your home printer. Here’s a quick example for you:
We’ll compare 2 ink cartridges from HP: the HP #63 and the HP #63XL.
2 cartridges of HP #63 can print roughly 380 pages. It costs about $41 for 2 cartridges.
1 cartridge of HP #63XL can print roughly 480 pages. It costs about $40 for 1 cartridge.
HP #63 costs 10.78 cents per page
HP #63XL costs 8.33 cents per page
You may be thinking, well, that’s not much of a difference. But, in the long run, if you’re going through 2000 pages per year, that’s $215.60 for the #63 while only $166.60 for the #63XL.
In a year, that’s a difference of $49, or $245 over 5 years.
One tip for buying ink cartridges is to buy them online rather than in-store. You can save up to 50% (and sometimes more) depending on the brand you buy. Considering printer costs are in the cartridges, this can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year.
Laser toner cartridges have a much bigger gap in price. A personal laser printer’s small cartridge can cost as low as $10. On the other hand, if you have a networked laser printer, the cartridges can cost up to $300. You’re probably thinking that’s an insane price for a cartridge. However, these cartridges have a much bigger yield than lower end cartridges. You can potentially print anywhere from 2,500 to 30,000 pages on a single toner cartridge.
Do you need specialty paper for your laser or inkjet printer?
Like most things in life, the higher the quality, the more you’ll have to pay. The same is true for home printer paper. If you need the most vibrant graphics, perfectly crisp text, with no smudging, creasing, or bending, you will need to make sure you get the right paper.
Specialty paper, especially when coated, can give you the clearest graphics, and smoothest text, but it can cost you anywhere from 10 cents per page to $2 per page, which is much more expensive than typical copy paper. The same goes if you’re needing photo paper. The higher quality you need the finished product to be, the more the paper will cost you.
Did you forget the cable?
There is nothing worse than buying any type of technology, whether a new TV, stereo system, or phone, only to realize you don’t have everything you need to start using it. You need to be cautious to check that the home printer you’re about to buy it includes everything you think it does.
For example, one of the most frustrating (yet common) experiences you could have is buying your new printer, unboxing it, and suddenly realizing that you aren’t able to hook it up to your laptop or desktop computer. Oddly enough, the majority of printer manufacturers don’t include printer cables when you purchase a home printer. Remember to double-check everything that’s included before you buy your printer and budget in the cost of the cable (around $20) before you swipe your credit card.
Picking up a home printer with the lowest ink cost is no easy task. The true cost of a printer is shadowed behind the low purchase price of the printer. When trying to find the printer with the cheapest ink, you can rest easy knowing this top 7 list will provide you a ton of options for an affordable printer that won’t sacrifice on quality.