View Full Version : OT- Does anyone make an inkjet printer than lasts more than 6 months ?

Milacron of PM
07-26-2006, 10:16 PM
My last two only lasted about that long before screwing up....Epson with dried up inkjets so bad nothing would unclog them and now HP Deskjet 5440 which misfeeds so bad as to be unusable. I might try cleaning the rollers but they are nearly impossible to get to and the misfeeding is so horrible I can't imagine the problem being due to just that. No scraps of paper stuck anywhere...just a POS I guess.

How long is the warranty on these things...6 months ?

07-26-2006, 10:28 PM
6 months? Are they supposed to last that long? :D

I'm sitting next to a Lexmark POS model 7100 "all in one" that was free with our last computer. The $^#&$^ thing has a driver which is programmed to send a "usage" report, via the internet, to some data gathering site. It's nice to know that it keeps in touch with its "mother". In less than 6 months, the thing has developed an internal rat-a-tat-tat sound when it is operating. Scans show it so it must be a feed belt (beaded drive "rope")

Best part of the deal was the very sturdy cardboard box it came in. The box has been used numerous times in moving stuff.

On various HP inkjets, I've had good luck with medium cotton (think old sheet) pulled over my fingertip and wet with a blend of water / 99% isopropyl. Stick your fingers up into the drive and rub all the rubber wheels and the feed "foot". As long as you get to the right points AND rotate and repeat the action until the circumference has been done. This treatment lasts for months even with retriever fluff and ex-cockatiel powdery "dust".


07-26-2006, 10:43 PM
Better question,does anyone make a printer where the cost of two cartridges doesn't exceed the cost of a new printer?

They make paper shredders,do they also make printer shredders?

Mike Burdick
07-26-2006, 10:45 PM
6 months? Are they supposed to last that long?... :D
That's sure the truth!!!

Milacron of PM
07-26-2006, 10:49 PM
The HP feeds fine on thick glossy photo stock, but standard thickness paper, forget it...screws up every time. Maybe I can just find some cheap heavier stock paper....

07-26-2006, 10:52 PM
If you are not photo driven, an inkjet makes very little sense compared to an inexpensive laser printer. Cost per page typically in the 1.5-2.2cents range including paper and they just sit there for years waiting to make the next print. Few inkjets can keep up with a cheap laser printer. In a pinch they will do an adequate gray scale photo, with a little tweaking by a photo massaging program the contrast ratio will be right as well. It is a rare inkjet that costs less than 5-6 cents per page and some are in the 8-10cents range (black with a dab of color). Print photos and the cartridges go up in smoke.

07-26-2006, 10:55 PM
My son entered college this past fall. I equipped him with an HP laserjet and it was one of my wiser moves. One toner, even the "token" toners that come with the printer, last a good long time. If he needs color prints, he can find some babe down the hall :)

07-26-2006, 10:56 PM
I like a canon inkjet printer and a refill kit.

We have had good luck with them.

07-26-2006, 11:14 PM
I second Canon Inkjets. I wear one out about every 2 years. $120.00 AUD to replace. I also use aftermarket refills. Callidad brand. $15.00 for a double pack Black and $22.00 for a double pack Colour.


07-26-2006, 11:22 PM
I've had pretty good luck with Canon inkjets, but now use a laser printer. Seemed as how I was always having to refill one of the cartridges. My brother has had less luck and has been through several inkjets (all Canons). A few months ago the printhead clogged and he found that a replacement printhead cost as much as a new printer. He found a Canon on sale at a great price and bought it, only to get it home and find that - the printhead was defective. Called Canon and they agreed to send him a replacement print head. He then went back and bought a second printer (this one worked). Now he has a complete printer with printhead and cartridges as a spare that cost less than a set of cartridges. The printers are cheap - the cartridges are EXPENSIVE.


07-26-2006, 11:25 PM

How much & what you print.
I have a Epson 7600 24" that has been in daily use for 3+ years (pre press photo proofs and posters) printed thousands of feet of paper with out problems. But $$$.

If you need near photo quality but smaller size (8.5") and run some paper, look at a xerox phaser solid ink printer. Blazing fast compaired to ink jet, decent quality. I have 2 that each run close to 30,000 sheets of coated stock (gloss) a month.
decent prices out there, no maintence hassels like color lasers (been there :( )


07-26-2006, 11:35 PM
I have an Epson 1270 large format printer that I have been using for about 5 years. Still works. You can't let an Epson sit. It needs to be used regularly. The print heads are in the printer not the cartridge so if they dry up it is a serious problem.

I also have two HP 1210 3 in 1 machines. One is at my office and I use it every day to print handouts and invoices. It has been running for over two years. One $30 black ink cartridge lasts me for about one year.

You need to use decent paper. Don't buy the cheapest you can find or that is what you will get. I won't go into the details of paper but a simple way to determine quality is to look at the brightness spec. You want paper rated 92 or better. In general the higher the brightness the better the paper.

If all you are printing is info for shop use or file make sure you set the printer to "draft" quality. It will triple cartridge life at least.

J Tiers
07-26-2006, 11:37 PM
If you don't use the inkjet very often, keep the cartridge in a tupperware type container, with that little strip of plastci that came on it stuck back in place.

Get a laser? The ones that refuse to work after 6 months or so because the 80% full toner cartridge is "expired"?

You make me laugh.............. :rolleyes:

07-27-2006, 12:04 AM
Removing the cartridge is the worst thing to do with an Epson printer. That guarantees the print head will dry up in days. Using it is the only way to prevent clogging.

As for laser printers, nearly all of them come with a "starter" toner cartridge that usually contains much less ink than the regular replacement product.

The printer business is unlike most of the rest of the computer industry. No money is made on the sale of printers. They are often sold at or below cost. All the profit is in the supplies. If printer ink were in champagne bottles it would sell for over $1000 per bottle. It cost less than a dollar to make that bottle of ink and a bit more to package it. Even the cost of a new print head such as in an HP cartridge is no more than a couple of dollars at most.

It's an incredibly lucrative business for the printer manufacturers. I know what the true costs are because when I worked with Xerox I repaired every possible type of reprographic equipment including inkjet, color laser, wax transfer and thermal. We used supplies during maintenance that were costed in our parts budget at company cost, not retail cost. Markups of 1000% were the norm for retail price.

07-27-2006, 12:10 AM
I have a wide format HP deskjet that has been rocking along for about five years. Never had a problem with it. The drawback is the price of ink, but I am getting six to nine months of use out of them, and there is a lot of printing done here.

I have a cheaper HP for work, and it isn't near as good as my home unit. It jams up, smears ink every now and then, and goes through ink like a 747 does JP4.

I've not had very good luck with Canon printers. I also haven't had very good luck with Lexmark printers. We had used them at work, and both were a POS.
These may have been the particular models that we had, but this was the experience.

Anymore, this stuff is built to wear out so they can sell more of them to us. And if it doesn't break, then they rape us on the ink!

J Tiers
07-27-2006, 12:20 AM
Removing the cartridge is the worst thing to do with an Epson printer. That guarantees the print head will dry up in days. Using it is the only way to prevent clogging.

Mebbe with epson...... With the "bubblejet" and HP it is the ONLY way to prevent drying out. I've had them dry and become useless in one day in winter.

As for laser printers, nearly all of them come with a "starter" toner cartridge that usually contains much less ink than the regular replacement product.

We are NOT referring to that, we are referring to new boughten cartridges, that "decide" they are "bad" and that you "shoudn't be" using them and so are prevented from using them after a certain amount of time.

There have been lawsuits, etc, and it is all quite well known.... the excuse is that "most of the time" humidity will have messd up the toner in that tiome, and it is to "prevent worse problems" that they refuse to work......

Funny how the time to "programmed uselessness" has nothing to do with the humidity, but only how long its been since it was installed.....

07-27-2006, 02:20 AM
So what older ink jet printers were the "good ones"?


07-27-2006, 03:10 AM
Basically, none of them. Sealing the print head while parked so it doesn't dry out has always been the problem. You have two diametrically opposed requirements in an inkjet printer. You want the highest printing speed you can manage. That is limited in large part by how fast the ink dries. It must dry fast enough so that the next page doesn't smear the previous page. On the other hand, you want the slowest drying ink you can get away with so the print heads don't clog.

One of the advances in the technology has been in the development of inks that dry through a polymerization process and have much less tendency to clog. Also, advances have been made in the print heads and the sealing methods. In general, older printers are more susceptible to drying out than new ones.

There is much more to it than this but I would have to write a book to explain it all. This is the area in which I am expert as it was my day job for over two decades. I had the best training in the industry and because of my location I was trained on nearly every type of product that Xerox made while I worked for them. I know about every possible method of making marks on paper and the advantages and drawbacks of each method.

Ink jet is cheap to build and expensive to operate, in large part because of the price structure of supplies. This also applies to a lesser degree to laser printers (many of which don't use lasers at all, but instead use linear arrays of leds). Laser printers are much better if the printer will sit unused for periods of time but for either type the consumables deteriorate with time, used or not. Both types are sensitive to environmental conditions including temperature, humidity and altitude. Laser printers use the xerographic process to make images and are very sensitive to humidity, both too high or too low.

A good rule of thumb for printers of any type is that if the environment is uncomfortable for you then the same applies to the printer. You don't work as well if too hot, cold, dry or damp and neither do printers.

Paper is another area that has a big impact on printer performance. There are many types and brands of paper available and they are not all the same. Two pieces of paper of different brands may look similar to the eye but can vary dramatically in performance.

Some of the variables are fiber type, the fiber length, the filler used, the brightners used, the pulping process used, the recycled content and type of fiber used from that, the sharpening schedule of the cutter knives at the fine paper mill when the sheets are cut, the type of wrapper used for the reams of paper, the storage conditions of the paper before and after you buy it, the part of the roll that the paper was taken from (inside curly or outside flat), the size and type of the wire and web used in the production of the paper, the orientation of the fiber in the sheet and the tightness of the specification demanded by the customer of the paper mill.

There are many measurements that are used to characterize the properties of a sheet of paper including the acidity, the amount of free filler on the surface, the beam strength of a sheet, the friction characteristics of the wire and the web sides of the sheet, the thickness and density, sheet to sheet variation of size, slit vs sheared sheet and others.

My training included a complete and detailed tour of a fine paper mill with every step of the process explained. I also have spent a great deal of time over the years in pulp mills that make everything from brown kraft pulp stock to the finest photographic pulp.

The paper you use will make more difference to the reliability of the paper feed system than anything else. If your printer is jamming intermittently the first thing to suspect is the paper. Try a different brand and don't just buy the cheapest you can find unless you like clearing paper jams.

07-27-2006, 04:13 AM
All well and good, but the question was what is the best to buy, and I take that to be a question that asks for a compromise, price, speed of print, longevity of the printer, price of consumables, and quality of print.

I must admit, I am partial to Canon. I have always bought HPs, before. Bought the last 2 Canons, won't buy any other. Refillable, is one point. Cheap cartridges is the second, replace the one that is low, NOT throw away the whole thing because yellow is low. AND, each color is about the same as the lowest cost tri-color cart divided by 3. ie, 40 bucks for a tri-color cart, 12 bucks each color.

The print head is a seperate part, can be replaced, but WHY? They go about 100 bucks with carts. They ARE just as consumable as the ink is.

I can't get over the guys here. A 50 buck endmill breaks, cost of doing business.

30 bucks of inserts disintegrate, ho-hum, to be expected, 10 buck drill, the same, to be expected, sh*t happens.

Printer paper, I gotta disagree with Evan, I have never seen any difference in the 2 buck and 8 buck a ream paper.

As to my lasers, I put any paper through them, and they eat them all up, print well, curl paper, that is the way they work, heat one side, so curly prints can be expected. Mine is Okis, so mebbe Evan would say I got garbage as to laser printers. BFD!!!

Have 3 litre bottles of toner, pop a plug, fill the cart, go back to printing.

50 bucks for a Dell-Lexmark hybrid is where you shoud get pissesd. Change the cap a little so you can't buy Lexmark to fit them is criminal.

Ah, well, buy what you want, you wil anyway.


Your Old Dog
07-27-2006, 07:09 AM
I use Epson for the Dura-Brite inks which are waterproof. I used to leave it turned on and then found out that the print head gets cleaned everytime you turn it OFF. They seem to last a little longer for me if I turn it off after each use.

I too have found a huge differance in paper quality. I started using $8-10 dollar reems over the $2 stuff when it was pointed out to me that you get all most no chaff in the printer while using the good stuff. When using the cheap stuff the inside of my printer looked like it had snowed in there. I use the good stuff for another reason, I don't use enough paper per year for it to matter.

I was disgusted when I took apart an Epson C82 printer and found most of it was filled with blotter to wick away the expensive ink I had paid for. This particular printer has a history of having one of the vacuum lines fall off causing the head cleaner not to work!! Theres tons of info on this printer if you google it.

Bruce Griffing
07-27-2006, 08:34 AM
The Epson print heads can be cleaned with Windex. The Windex that works is the one with ammonia. To do this, remove the ink tanks and clean the ink inlets with a Q-tip wet with Windex. It takes 4 or 5 Q-tips per inlet. When done, be sure all cotten fibers are removed before replacing cartridges. This uses much less ink than the Epson cleaning program and is pretty easy to do.

That said, the Canon printers work well and are cheap to maintain. The ink cartridges are easy to refill - though some of the new ones are becoming more difficult as they are "chipped" like the Epson ones.

J Tiers
07-27-2006, 09:00 AM
I must admit, I am partial to Canon. I have always bought HPs, before. Bought the last 2 Canons, won't buy any other. Refillable, is one point. Cheap cartridges is the second, replace the one that is low, NOT throw away the whole thing because yellow is low. AND, each color is about the same as the lowest cost tri-color cart divided by 3. ie, 40 bucks for a tri-color cart, 12 bucks each color.

And what alternate universe is THAT in?

The single color (black) cartridges for my one and only Canon cost $36 each.

They must be kept carefully in a humid environment or they dry in a day. Of course the PAPER can NOT be in that humid environment or it won't feed.....

Al Messer
07-27-2006, 09:36 AM
I have a HP Deskjet 656 and the two replacement cartridges now cost more than the entire printer cost me at Wal Mart, so I removed the color cartridge when it ran out and now just print in B & W. I don't do photos so that part doesn't matter.

07-27-2006, 09:37 AM
I have an older Compaq all in one,it's carts cost $38 for black and $46 for color.When it was new I gave $190 for it,the newer replacement is $98 and suddenly I can't find a refill kit that works.

What Evan says about paper is true for me anyway,"
Printer paper" is all it will eat,not Fax ,type writer,or photo paper.

07-27-2006, 09:51 AM
Some inkjet basics. HP has the print head on the cartridge, Epson on the printer.
Inkjets should be used regulary, once a week.

If your ink dried out in 1 day in winter, you had cold dry air, keep humidity up where the inkjet is. I dont believe it dried up, it just wouldnt flow onto the paper.

Dont use refill kits, these things are engineered for the ink they originally came with, this will screw up an epson.

4th, you get what you pay for. If you want something cheap that will last very long and used infrequently, you want an HP laser jet.

If you are printing high quality photos, then get a high end professional inkjet that uses 8 seperate cartridges. Epson 2400, even better the 7800. Ofcourse 8 new ink cartridges for the 7800 will cost around 800$, better have paying customers, or go with the 2400. I think HP is catching up to Epson in the high end photography market, as most pros use Epsons, HP wants to take back some of that market share.
As for me, I use an HP laser Jet, and have friends print out my photos with their epsons. hehe.

07-27-2006, 10:42 AM
If you are printing high quality photographic images the Epsons have an unbeatable advantage. The print head technology in an Epson is different than all other brands (patented piezo ink squirters) and give better control over droplet size. They also have patented inks that give archival quality better than any othe paper marking process including photographic. Their archival quality inks are age rated for minimum 100 years under display conditions and 200 years in storage. This rivals or exceeds even the best platinum prints and is only exceeded by methods like daguerrotype.

Because of the special print head that Epson uses it is too expensive to incorporate in the print cartridge and so is built into the printer.

As for differences in paper, they do exist. Some paper feed technologies are better than others and handle the variations better than others.

Shopping based on brand name of the printer is no assurance of quality or particular suitability for a purpose with some exceptions such as the above mentioned differences with Epson.

Printer manufacturers make and sell printers under there own brands as well as sell the print engines ans/or complete printers to each other which are then sold under another brand. At one time Epsons largest selling printer model manufactured by them did not sell under the Epson brand while the largest selling Epson branded printer was not manufactured by them.

It is extremely common for printers to be rebranded. The Xerox 4510 laser printer was made by Samsung for instance. Some HP laser printers use print engines made by Canon and so on.

Because of this and because of the enormous number of variables that are not under the control of the printer manufacturer it isn't possible to make a recommendation that will hold true for all users. The environment alone will make a bigger difference than printer make in many cases as will the type of usage.

Using third party toners and refill inks will generally result in poorer performance and printer life. Some third party supplies are much better than others and some are total crap. There are out and out scams in this business including false branding and counterfeit supplies are common. Underhanded and even illegal sales techniques abound in the business and are one of the main reasons that printer manufacturers have made it so difficult to refill or reuse print cartridges. This was a constant source of problems for Xerox and was one of the biggest problems I faced on a daily basis with my customers. It was very common to find a customer with bottles of ink branded as XEROX TONER FOR XXXX which was useless black powder sold by fly-by-night scammers that used underhanded sales methods.

07-27-2006, 12:09 PM
It seems most consumer printers are made as loss leaders. You know - they want you to buy the printer so they can make their money on selling you the ink. If you're not in it for a comercial venture, or printing museum quality prints, buy a mid grade printer on sale; run a couple of refills through it, then throw the whole thing away and buy another. it will come with some ink. Better yet, buy two on sale and put one in the closet for when the first one fails. But don't toss that used cartridge until you wring the last drop of ink out of it.

Gas is $3.00 a gallon. Ink is 30 bucks for less than an ounce.

I use HP printers A 7xx in one office and a 9xx in the other office. They use the same black cartridge but different color packs. So if you need a new printer think about what cartridges you have in the drawer. Or maybe you could get a bidding war going on E-xxx for that vintage (i.e., classic) cartridge.

07-27-2006, 01:12 PM
OT- Does anyone make an inkjet printer than lasts more than 6 months ?

Not by design.


07-27-2006, 01:12 PM
We have a $100 HP printer, scanner, copier which has been amazing. I bought it because a cartridge for the old cannon copy machine I had cost $75 the last time I bought one, and this thing was only $25 more and it is great so far, have had it for 1 1/2 years, we don't use it much though. Have an old HP Desdjet 722c that we usaully use unless we need the features of the PSC. And honestly we really don't use that much either, but that is at least 8 years old now.

07-27-2006, 01:23 PM
I like Epson for the reasons Evan states (well, those that I knew about ;) ). But I consider them disposable and don't worry about it. My son uses it mercilessly for College, my daughter for High School, my wife for whatever, and myself for work. The latest I paid something like $40 at Fry's Electronics as a refirb. It has the separate ink wells so I don't have to replace everything when blue runs dry. But it still costs about as much to replace all the ink (maybe even a bit more for the large capacity) as I paid for the printer. WHEN it takes a crap, I will just go buy another current model (or close enough) $40-$50 refirb complete with full size ink cartridges and toss this one, but it's been going strong for over a year now and some half dozen (at least) cartridges of both Epson "name brand" and "cheap-o brand" with no problems...

07-27-2006, 01:56 PM
If your not interested in color pics and use a printer mostly for text, get an old HP laserjet 4 or 5. they go pretty cheap on ebay. I've been using a HP 5 for the past year and never changed the toner yet. Went thru a ton of paper, thanks to the boys and school work.


07-27-2006, 01:58 PM
HP 2410xi here, maybe prints five pages on the average everyday for more than 2 years now.

I use refill cartridges from an outfit called Island Inkjet at the mall. They either fill mine or exchange depending on their inventory.

A word on praise for HP in this case. I bought the machine basically unused, but no software, paperwork, etc, just the bare printer. A call to HP's tech line got me going. The outstanding thing is the tech stayed on the line with me for over three hours figuring out why I couldn't get the machine to run. Turned out I needed Windows SP2. He waited while I downloaded and installed it.

07-27-2006, 02:30 PM
On the other hand, I refuse to do repairs on HP printers in my shop. Since HP and Compaq merged the service policies have changed. They have an online parts system that allows you to easily and clearly identify replacement parts.

Not long after the merger a few years ago I needed a new print head ribbon cable for an expensive wide format HP Deskjet 1000 printer. I went to the HP Parts Surfer website as usual and found the part. When I clicked on the part image to get the part number it told me "not available". Ok, "what's up with that?" I thought to myself. It turns out the website designer wasn't all that smart as the file name of the part image was the part number.

I called the HP parts order line and asked to order the part. I was asked if I was an authorized HP repair center. I am not and said so. I was then told that the part was only available to authorized repair centers, thank you and goodbye.

I am in the business, among other things, of repairing computers and accessories. I have a retail storefront, a business licence and provincial and federal tax numbers.

After being refused I did a quick lookup of the Canadian Competition Act to confirm what I already knew. It is illegal to refuse to sell parts to anyone in a business that has a legitimate requirement for those parts if you sell those parts to anybody else in a similar business.

HP does sell those parts to the Kamloops Computer Centre south of here who are in the same business as I am. I called HP back and informed them that they must sell me the part under law. After going up the food chain for about half an hour I finally reached somebody in the legal department that decided that I could buy the part after all. No ****, sherlock.

Anyway, since that episode I refuse to work on HP printers. One of these days HP is going to get slapped down by the Competition Comissioner which is the equivalent of the FTC in the states.

07-27-2006, 02:35 PM
I use an HP 5L lazer in the shop. About 10 years old now. Had to buy a part off the internet to fix a paper feeding problem a couple of years ago. It's a common thing with this model.

I have never gotten an ink jet to survive the shop environment more than 2 years. 3 to 4 years on computers. If there are chemicals in the air the age factor doubles at the least.
Good thing they are cheap. I gave up grumbling about it. I just treat them as throwaways and pull the hard drives and ram and go get whatever is on sale or closeout.

Office machines are in a cleaner envrironment will go a lot longer but I never kept track on those.

For super deals on computers, printers and monitors:
If you live in a university town watch the papers and www.craigslist.org especially around graduation time. The students may not want to drag this stuff home when they leave and they literally give the stuff away.
I just bought a 1 year old pristine 20" monitor for $20.00. Last year a computer for $50.00. Be prepared for a language barrier (other than money) as most of these great deals seem to come from graduate students from other lands.

07-27-2006, 02:49 PM
Oh yeah, one more good deal. :)
I have not had to purchase printer paper in the last 7 years.
My Office Depot will trade a ream of their recycled paper for an empty ink cartridge.
1 per visit per customer, so I usually drag the wife along in order to get 2 at a time. The paper works in both styles of printers.
Nice letterhead paper you have to buy of course.
So, don't can those irritating high priced cartridges. Get paid (more or less) to recycle them!

Dick Plasencia
07-27-2006, 04:45 PM
This may be a very late comment but I'd like to share my experience with Epson ink jet printers. I'm on #3 warranty replacement and so far so good. The previous printers were the C-66 model which worked fine for almost a year and the first developed a defective red nozzle. Not clogged mind you, it just flat out quit working. That was replaced on warranty by a second C-66 which worked fine for about 3 months and the yellow and red crapped out. Cleaning restored some function but it was still marginal. Epson told me to keep it and sent me a replacement C-68. This one works great. Makes nice photographs and prints like a dream. It has been in service nearly a year and printed several reams of paper already. I refill my cartridges using ink from Atlantic Supply. Their ink is the Epson Dura Brite and sells for 50% more than the other ink suppliers. My cost to refill a cartridge is about 20 cents. It takes me a grand total of 15 to 20 minutes to refill all four cartridges in the printer. The only mess is a sheet of newspaper to catch the stray drops and a couple of paper towels. I do have a chip resetter and that works fine.
Epson has resolved a class action suit about their short filling the cartriges and other issues related to "abusive" pricing. The lawyers have sent me 3 vouchers to claim $25 each in cash or $50 in goods from the Epson online store.
I like my C68 in spite of being bottom line equipment. It does well and in the final analysis is cheap enough to be classed as disposable. However this one seems to have corrected the problems found in the previous printers.

07-27-2006, 06:24 PM
It seems that most of the HP "professional" series inkjet printers are decent.

07-27-2006, 08:34 PM
What I will say has mostly been said ... but

Inkjets and Bubblejets are not cheap to print, It is pay buy installment - buying the ink and/or heads is the true cost of printing.
Buy a laser if you nearly always print in B&W its way way cheaper in the medium to long run.
If you do print photos and color stump up for good paper its worth it.
If you have an inkjet print at least once a week, or turn off and on once a day - and it will chew a little ink while doing that.

Refills can work despite what the manufacturer may say, BUT there are different types of printing mechanisms and some inks will not work on some types and not others, so be carefull and when you find one that works stick with it when you can. Some inks will work on all types, but then the refill usually costs more. Note that even a few of the "exchange a cartridge" people get it wrong.

Also for color, the printer is designed for a particular shade of dye, and for a particular effect of the dyes being overlayed, often refills will alter the printed colors- sometimes really badly. Generally, particularly if fussy, get refills of the black if you wish, but brand name manufacturer new for the color.

If you can stand the inconvienince and you print color seldom or have a laser and use the inkjet only ocassionally. Get an inkjet where the jet and the cartridge are one, yes the cartridge is expensive and usually all colors are in the same cartridge so when you run out of blue there maybe gallons of red left. Some have the option of BW only cartridges, you can run a BW for day to day work, and keep the color in a plastic ziplock bag.

With the head and ink together cartridge type, you can remove the cartridge and place in a airtight bag after every use to prevent (well slow down) the drying. A slightly wet (damp) lint free rag inside the bag helps.

Doing this where the head is on the printer and only ink is in the cartridge is a waste of time. The head is where the drying occurs, keeping the ink tank in the printer will actually help prevent the head drying out.

07-27-2006, 09:35 PM
Just an observation, many of us repeated what others said, I guess we are all too lazy to read every post, including myself.

07-27-2006, 10:00 PM
My solution to the printer problem was a $15 IBM-Lexmark b & w laser from a flea market. My first printer was a Canon, picked because the ink tanks could be replaced individually and I guessed I would be using more black than color ink, so it seemed to be the most economical choice at the time. Worked ok, with an occasional minor head clog, for about a year and then I decided to try one of those "fill-your-own-cartridge" kits. That ink did such a good job of permanently clogging the works that I finally had to junk the whole printer. Up to then I had been able to clear minor clogs by soaking the head in a solution of ammonia, water and detergent and rinsing in alcohol. A new head from Canon was almost as much as a new inkjet, and since back then I might go for 3 months or longer without printing anything, I decided a good used laser was a better buy. The IBM is a 1995 model and is still working fine, at least for text which is 99% of what I print anyhow.


Your Old Dog
07-28-2006, 07:48 AM
If ever there was a good excuse to purchase "extended warranty" it's printers. My last printers box is stored in the garage with the paperwork inside of it and the date of expiration markered on the outside of the box so I know when to throw it away. Don't know how many extended warranties I've purchased that I've forgotten about.

07-28-2006, 11:21 AM
Getting back to the original question, my answer is yes. I've had my HP Deskjet 1220C for three or four years and it works great. I keep track of the dates we change out the cartridges and for ordinary home office use they last for about a year. Granted, office use would be a whole different ball game.

Our climate is bone-dry, so I exercise the printer, regularly, to keep the print nozzles from drying and clogging. So far, we've not had any failures.

Our favorite printer was an early HP laser printer, IIP, or something like that. But, eventually an interlock photocell, somehwere, insisted that a door was open, somewhere, so it refused to work, any more. By this time it was so old it was impractical to get it serviced.

I've eavesdropped on photographic forums (fora) and the printer topic never seems to get settled. Many people love their Epsons and an equal number seems to hate them because of print-head clogging. Most people seem to like their HPs and nobody ever seems to dislike their Canons.

If you can get along without color, get a laser printer.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


07-28-2006, 01:28 PM
I have an old HP 697C that I have used since about 1998 and she is still working like a champ. When I came out to Arkansas to build my shop (the first stage in my retirement move) all I had was my laptop. I went to WalMart and bought an HP 8xx and the joker didn't last a month. When it was working it was fine but one day it went "snap" and the print head went limp. The cartridges cost 50% more than the whole printer and it was about 90% plastic. Won't do that again. I dragged one of my old Panasonic dot matrix printers out of storage and charged on. Most of what I print is e-mail or an Auto Sketch drawing so I don't really need color. The dot matrix is not really precise but you are not supposed to "scale the print" anyway. The ribbons for those are available at Staples.com.

Jim (KB4IVH)

07-29-2006, 06:25 AM
As to the 30 plus Canon Black cart, that has to be a BC 20, an antique, that is what I need in my 2 all-in-one machines. WalMart, about 32 bucks.

Fortunately, I know how to refill, else I would have scrapped these both, years ago. First, a 2500, was a 600 buck printer/scanner/copier/fax.

The color carts fit into a print head, each, the color and the BW are like 3 1/2 drops ink per each, and about 14 bucks per color cart. I refill them, too, or, same, would pitch it. BUT, it is an adequate Fax machine.

Have been using canons with BE or BC 3 and 6 carts, just bought my one daughter, for her birthday, a 4200 which takes a BC or BE8. Has LEDs built in to tell you when you are low on ink. Great, except they cut the rear bottom corner off to put in contacts for the LedS. means my 50 or so replacements don't fit her machine, though my inks do work with her carts.

The trouble with printheads built into the printer is that if they die, the printer is dead, basically.

Canon uses a printhead that is cradled into the carriage. Should it clog, dry up, pull it, either use a printhead cleaner or, as mentioned, a dilute ammonia solution. Even use a refill kit's suction atachment to draw ink through it. Just a little rubber funnel hat you put on the hypo and draw the plunger up instead of pushing it in.

OR, you soak it and use the same funnel shaped attachment and force water/cleaner, through the nozzles.

Worst comes to worst, depending on the model, you might buy a complete print cradle with new carts for under 50 bucks. Myself, I would buy the cheapsest model with a good print spec, at 100 or less, if my deader was over a year old.

Would NEVER buy a Lexmark, including a Dell, they have been proven to be the HIGHEST cost in ink of any other printer.

Epsons, many people swear by, especially the longevity of their photos. Evan made mention of the 100 and 200 years. I really think that is BS. 6 months trial, and they say it will last 200 years. OH, YES!!! ACCELERATED trials.

Bull****. Kinda like MTBF on a ball bearing. Less, actually BBs are run in a controlled environment for the life of the BB. Perfectly lubed, temp controlled, etc, fail tomorow, the replacement lasts 12 years, 6 years MTBF.



Could go on and on, GOTTA go to bed.

08-06-2006, 01:23 AM
Well, I'm in the same wagon. I've owned a dozen inkjet printers now and 6months is about par. Of course they only cost about $20 so its not that painful to get a new one. I don't know, if this Cannon craps out like my previous Hp or the Epson, or the...I may just get my old 10 year old b&w laser printer back out of the attic and use it. But it weighs like 80 # and takes up an awful lot of room. My "office" is about as tiny as my workshop which is why I keep using inkjets, other than maybe once a year I will print a beautiful color picture..

08-06-2006, 02:48 AM
Epsons, many people swear by, especially the longevity of their photos. Evan made mention of the 100 and 200 years. I really think that is BS. 6 months trial, and they say it will last 200 years. OH, YES!!! ACCELERATED trials.

Not BS. I have extensive training in marking technology. The Epson archival inks use pigments that are well proven to be light fast. The life trials aren't a test of the pigment fastness but of the compatibility of the ink with the papers and the life of the paper plus ink combination. Under most display conditions the paper will begin to fail before the pigment does. The question of light fastness only applies to the color inks as the black inks use carbon black. Carbon black has an infinite lifetime under display conditions. The most difficult ink color to produce is magenta and it has taken a long time to find a stable magenta pigment that can be used in an inkjet printer. Note that the stability of pigment inks is far greater than the stability of the dye based inks that are usually used in color inkjet printers as well as photography.

Green and blue shade are produced with phtalocyanine based pigments which are a very stable ring structure. Magenta and yellow are often organic azo compounds which are much less stable which is why posters in the sun fade to blue after a time.

Xerox pioneered the development of stable magenta inks using lithol rubine pigment for the first color copier, the Xerox 6500, which I worked on in the 70s. The technology is now well known and the challenge for Epson was to find a way to make the pigment particles small enough to squirt through an inkjet nozzle reliably.

08-06-2006, 04:45 PM
I think partially due to the seemingly impressive 'laser quality' print, many folks have abandoned the tried and true dot matrix printers in favor of ink jet. I have a nice color photo printer but I do not waste it for day-to-day text printing. My work horse is an old Panasonic KX P2624 wide format 24 pin dot matrix with an endless ribbon cartridge, easy to reink and no mess. This quiet printer at ~38lb is packed with sound attenuation fibre, and can feed from the top, back or bottom. It also can feed single sheet for letterhead or special forms, but for our purposes, we set it on 'Draft', and, use tractor feed laser cut fan-fold box paper 'cause it is cheap, maintenance free, easy to load and no jams. Also it will do multi-part forms. When the ribbon is finally beat to a frazzle, replacements are ~$6.25.

Having personally crossed the threshhold into the age of antiquity, I'm not ready to sacrifice a fully functional, working, dependable machine for a fickle disposable printer soooo dependent on expensive consumables.