4 April 2022

Ink tank vs cartridge printers: what's the best value for money?

Member comments

Get access to comment

John S.
10 Apr 2022
refillable ink cartridges

My first printer was an HP 500 in the 1980s. It had 1 black cartridge which was easily refillable by using a hyperdermic needle and syringe. The cartridge could be refilled 4-5 times making printing very cheap. The next printer was an HP 520 and it had a similar refillable cartridge. The next model had cartridges that were not refillable by the needle and syringe method. The profit is in the cartridges.

B A S.
09 Apr 2022
The cartridges I buy 5 for $27 (two black)

replace the Epson ones, are new, have a chip installed and delivered free. They are longer lasting than Epson ones and are trouble free. What more could you want?

Peter H.
09 Apr 2022
Go with laser printing

I bought a low cost ($120) Brother wifi Laser black and white printer and it is cheap as chips to run. We don't really have the need to print colour. We buy our replacement toner cartridges from trademe. They are not genuine but do the job nicely. We print a fair bit and use about 1 .5 cartridges a year and pay about $30 each.

Joanna S.
09 Apr 2022
Dye vs Pigment?

The Epson Eco-tank printouts I've seen in shops could be smudged with a wet finger, I suspect the ink was a dye because pigment ink might cause clogging issues. It would be interesting to know if this is still the case.
I use a Brother printer with a 6000 page black ink cartridge (4,500 for colours). The ink is three times more expensive than Eco-tank ink but is only two to three cents per page and being a pigment it is resistant to water and to fading, factors I need.

Wow! the number of cross-site tracking cookies I have to allow to comment in this site is appalling. Fails on standard Firefox settings.

Mark S.
09 Apr 2022
Just don't buy a printer?

For the limited amount of printing I do, I was increasingly frustrated by how much ink disappeared during the cleaning phase. My solution has been to outsource my printing, either to the local print shop or, for my uni work, the communal printers available to students. The latter is a few cents per page, the print shop somewhat more. But for my amount of printing, this is my solution. No maintenance issues, and no eventually obsolete piece of kit to dispose of.

09 Apr 2022
I'll never go back to cartridges

Had a Epson ecotank since they 1st came out, 100% happy with the results and VERY cheap printing costs.

Love Life
09 Apr 2022
Can they explain this?

Next time you talk to the printer companies, can you also ask them why cartridges are so expensive? $30 - $50 for a little bit of plastic and a few drops of ink really is daylight robbery.

Debbie B.
09 Apr 2022
Cost of Cartridges

I suspect there are two factors keeping up the price of cartridges:
* Manufacturers know that a lot of customers will only consider buying branded cartridges. It is a self-imposed captive market. (Commerce Commission has said manufacturers need evidence to turn down warranty claims. It can't just be because the customer used third party cartridges.)
* They have to pay for the printers somehow. I can't see them making any money out of a $50 printer, even though they are not required to cover the damage their manufacturing or disposal inflicts on the environment.