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Using printers that use less ink


Is it possible to save with printers that use less ink without sacrificing quality?


Anyone who has needed to use printers at any point in their life is likely familiar with the big drawback. As speedy and effective as these machines have become as they’ve evolved over time, the ink cartridges they require can be a huge cost factor that represents an ongoing drain on your finances. This is likely by design, given that printers are typically a one time cost while ink purchases tend to be needed for as long as the printer remains in use.

In spite of this, identifying printers that use less ink is one potential means for avoiding these continuous costs. Nothing is guaranteed, however, as the viability of these options will ultimately depend on the specifics of what you’re looking to use it for. No two people’s needs will be exactly the same, and as such, the ideal printer will change from one person to the next.


Beware of cheaper printers with costlier cartridges


As stated earlier, much of the price related to printers isn’t seen upfront. Ink purchases after the fact can represent a staggering percentage of the total cost. Some people, seeking out a bargain, target cheap printers in the hopes of spending less. This tends to backfire, as many of the cheap printers on the market require expensive ink cartridges. In the long run, printers like these will actually cost you much more than options out there with larger initial price points.



With the right steps and precautions – to be elaborated on below – you can avoid some of this extra cost. However, the best method for avoiding costly printer pitfalls down the line is to consider the combined costs of the printer and the ink you’ll need for it when making a purchase decision.


Identifying the right printer for your needs

There are a number of options out there, and zeroing in on the practical choice for you begins with considering their qualities and functions. Many of the printers on the market nowadays come with “all in one” functionality included, meaning users can scan, make copies, print, and send faxes from a single machine. Many current generation printers are also wireless-enabled, however, beyond these similarities there are still differences to consider as you look over your printing options:

Laser printers – These machines are a popular office accompaniment, with the monochrome versions ranking among the most commonplace. Monochrome printers only produce black and white documents, and make sense for a commercial space that doesn’t need to print in color. Laser units use toner cartridges, which can be a source of long-term savings. Toner costs more upfront, but compared to inkjet cartridges they last much longer.


Inkjet printers – Inkjets are good, compact choices for people with more diverse printing needs, as they’re capable of handling documents as well as photographs and pictures. Most of them can be found in all-in-one configurations, and they tend to come with wireless features. However, inkjet cartridges can run out much faster – especially if you print with color a lot.


When comparing printer options, be wary of machines that require only two ink cartridges, black and multi-color. The issue with these is the fact that you’ll need to replace the entire cartridge if just one color runs out. This wastes ink, as well as money that would have been saved if you opted for a printer with different cartridges for different colors.



What are some printer ink saving tips?

Making a more informed purchase decision when first getting your printer is a viable way to save on ink. It’s definitely not the only way, though – there are also some tips that can help you cut down on ink consumption without sacrificing the factors that matter to you. The effectiveness of these guidelines will depend on the type of printer you have:

  • Given the choice, give preference to high-yield over conventional ink cartridges. They cost a fraction more, but can produce twice as many printed pages.
  • When you are first notified by the printer that an ink cartridge is depleted and needs to be replaced, try taking it out and shaking it. Often, cartridges will show up as empty when they still have quite a bit of ink left inside. Shaking it and putting it back into the printer could get another week or even more out of the cartridge.
  • When printing, try doing so in “draft mode,” as this will reduce the resolution and use less ink
  • Do research on third-party ink suppliers and choose one that has been proven to provide quality products

If you’re interested in learning more about printers that use less ink, or you need assistance with a printer you already own, get the help you need in real time. The Experts on JustAnswer are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, wherever you have a working internet connection.

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