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November 25, 2020, 02:38:17 AM

Author Topic: Inkjet printers  (Read 786 times)

Offline GfK

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Inkjet printers
« on: July 16, 2020, 04:09:51 PM »
Anybody recommend an inkjet printer that's cheap and *isn't* an Epson one?

I have an Epson XP950 (A3) inkjet printer.  I hate it and I'll tell you why.  I should also point out that I'm about 30 minutes away from having to do the school run when the story starts.

The 11yo has got gifts for 3 of her teachers cos she finishes primary next week.  Consequently, wrapping paper has been bought, but I said "don't bother buying tags, I'll make 'em.  Won't take me five minutes"!  Famous last f**king words, because the printer had other ideas.  ::)

So I switch the printer on, PC goes "ooh, new hardware!  Lemme just install that for you".  I haven't used this printer in ages, maybe it's forgotten?  But either way, it does whatever it's doing and the printer is ready to go.  Said printer is across the room, doing the "grindy spinny noise thing" it always does when it hasn't been on for a while.  I fully expected this but no matter as I'm not ready to print yet anyway.

So I design my gift tags, stick some glossy A4 in the manual feeder, and attempt a print.  It's all going reasonably OK at this point.

"Ohhh no you don't, young man!", says the printer.  "I'm going to do my spinny thing again", and promptly sucks my paper in, then spits it out the front.  It makes further grinding/clunking noises for a full seven bloody minutes, before complaining that my yellow ink is low, then printing my document anyway - onto normal bloody 80gsm A4 in the automatic feeder using "glossy paper/photo quality" ink settings.  :(

Knowing the yellow ink was low, I hit Cancel, so it only printed half the page.  Went into printer options, specified "Manual Feeder", and attempted to print again.

"Oh, you're back so soon?" goes the printer.  "We'll see about that.  CHANGE MY YELLOW INK, DAMN YOU!".

I have now NOT got time for this shit.  I hurriedly change the ink cartridge and close the printer up.

"Wait just there!  Did you remember to put the cap on the old cartridge".

No.  No I didn't.  I chucked it in the bin, which is where you're f*cking going if this charade keeps up much longer.

"Hang on a second!  THIS ISN'T A GENUINE EPSON CARTRIDGE.  DID YOU KNOW THAT NON-OEM INKS ARE..."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, just bloody get on with it.  I press "OK".

"Fine, have it your way.  Don't say you weren't warned", says the printer.  "Oh, because you swapped the ink I need to do my spinny grindy thing again".

Seriously??  >:D

By this point, knowing it's going to be about seven minutes (and I've got about five left before I have to leave), I am now standing over the printer, shouting abuse at it and looking at the clock.  I know that if I put the paper into the manual feeder BEFORE it asks me to, it will just spit it out again, because that's the sort of dumb shit this thing does.  Eventually it starts printing, and I'm off to school like Lewis Hamilton.

I'm not keen to repeat this chuffing pantomime any more.  Do all inkjet printers do this?  I know WHY it does it, I've just never known any printer take so bloody long over it.  Any recommendations?
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Offline Derron

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2020, 06:34:27 PM »
I am using an Brother (MFC J220) for many many years now ... ink cardridges cost <1 euro per color (10 black, 5 of each color -- for 10 eur or so). I print only from time to time - so I prefer to replace a color or black once a year and done - still am using the cardritges I ordered when my AMD Llano was shiny new (so ... almost 10 years ago?).


Do you power off your printer? Mine is always in "stand by". Every 14 days or so it starts to clean itself automatically - takes 30 seconds or so. When replacing a cartridge it does a 5 second clean ... except I did not close the cartridge cover ("close bla bla please") or I tried to cheat by reinserting a "not really empty" cartridge. Sometimes shaking it a bit (so ink is every in the plastics thingy) helps. But as said - costs are so low I do not bother to take out a new one and inserting it.


Only issue I have is that the linux scanner driver (provided by brother) has a slightly different offset (3 mm on one side), else it was a fine investment when I bought it for 65 euro many many years ago (as said).


bye
Ron

Offline Qube

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2020, 08:03:30 PM »
I ditched my Epson printer a few years ago for that exact same reason and one other...

If you didn't use the printer for quite a while you could guarantee that one of the print heads would seize up and you'd have to go through the rigamarole of head cleaning which as you know is clunk clunk grind grind for ages. Then you get an ink low message, replace xyz colours and go through the same procedure again. I got really fed up with knowing the printer would be clogged up if I didn't use it regularly and wasting ink.

So I took great pride with throwing it really hard into the skip and bought a cheap and cheerful Canon MG4250 ( scanner / printer ) and I've had zero bother since. If I don't print for a month then it doesn't clog up \o/. Sure it does it's clunk and grind motions but not to the extent that Epson does.

I'd never buy an Epson again as their genuine inks are crazy expensive and often get wasted on it's incessant need for cleaning itself.
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Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2020, 08:58:52 PM »
Yeah  I use a Canon Wireless Printer/Scanner too.
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Offline GfK

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2020, 01:09:24 PM »
Had a look at the MG4250 and it looked decent at first glance.  Then I spotted that it seems to run a black cartridge plus a tri-colour?  I didn't even realise anybody still made those, given that all three colours never, EVER run out at the exact same time.  So it would seem totally senseless to throw out the entire cartridge because one of the colours has ran out when the other two haven't.  Or am I over-thinking this?

I know you might say "just refill it yourself - it's cheaper", but from personal experience, all I've got from trying that in the past is a massive headache and magenta hands.
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Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2020, 01:35:29 PM »
When I used to print photographs at home I owned a printer that had 8 individual colour cartridges at £10 a cartridge (£80 a time) and they all ran out at very similar times, so I guess it depends on what you use the printer for.

Now I mainly just print out my code which uses the black cartridge, and online booked e-tickets in colour for holidays/concerts.  The cartridges last for some time and they warn you weeks in advance that you have a low amount of ink in your cartridges.  I have a spare set so ignore the warnings until the printer outputs nothing on the page.

Yes you're over thinking this, and yes never try to refill your cartridges with knock off inks, you could wreck your printer just to save a couple of quid.
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Offline dawlane

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2020, 01:55:21 PM »
Epson printers require a fair bit of maintenance. You need to print a test page at least once every four days to stop the print heads from clogging and never leave the thing turned on when not in use.
Unclogging print heads can be a pain in the backside. If you don't see a clean print pattern after the third test, you have to use something like Bullet Magic head cleaning kit and good quality paper towels. Or where possible, remove the print head to soak for a day in a cleaning solution. You also need to clean the head landing pad to stop the heads from picking you debris.

Had to service my Espon L555 after not using it for over two months. It now prints like new.

There are plenty of videos on how to clean Epson print heads and recommendations for for cleaning fluids.

If you have a Brother printer, you may end up finding that the latest Windows 10 updated to stop it from working. A fix was released a few weeks ago for this issue.

Offline Henri

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2020, 03:17:08 PM »
I used to have printer issues on low end printers regardless of the brand. They just don't seem to last and the ink cartridges are expensive.

So I thought if I invest more on the initial printer, it would benefit me in the long run and I have to say that it did.

The one that I bought was Epson Workforce Pro WF-4630 inkjet printer which is targeted for small office and after several years of using it I haven't have any quality issues at all. Also due to much larger cartridges the printing costs per paper stays low.

Anyways, this was my personal experience.

-Henri
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Offline Qube

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2020, 03:24:18 PM »
Had a look at the MG4250 and it looked decent at first glance.  Then I spotted that it seems to run a black cartridge plus a tri-colour?  I didn't even realise anybody still made those, given that all three colours never, EVER run out at the exact same time.  So it would seem totally senseless to throw out the entire cartridge because one of the colours has ran out when the other two haven't.  Or am I over-thinking this?
I’ve had the printer for a few years and most of the time all the coloured inks pretty much run out together or definitely due to go next. For the price is the best cheap printer I’ve had and just keeps going. Could be lucky though as this is the only one I’ve had. I had a cheap cannon before this but it wasn’t wireless so gave that away and grabbed the current one.
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Offline GfK

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2020, 07:34:21 PM »
I’ve had the printer for a few years and most of the time all the coloured inks pretty much run out together or definitely due to go next. For the price is the best cheap printer I’ve had and just keeps going. Could be lucky though as this is the only one I’ve had. I had a cheap cannon before this but it wasn’t wireless so gave that away and grabbed the current one.
Thing is tho, if you're replacing the entire tri-color cartridge every time, you're effectively resyncing the three colours every time and starting with them all full again.  The 6-color system on my XP950 has inks at varying levels from almost full to almost empty as I'm only replacing the colour that's run out.

If you were able to add up the amount of 3-colour ink you've actually wasted by replacing the whole cartridge, I'd bet it adds up to a hell of a lot.
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Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2020, 08:05:59 PM »
But it depends on how large the individual ink cartridge colour is.  If you have large cartridges then chances are you can replace on an individual colour more efficiently.

Small cartridges tend to run out more quickly at near the same time(so not much saved) because the ratio for difference is smaller...But larger cartridges cost a lot more, so when they go you'll need to take a big hit, so a big cash outlay in one go.
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Offline cpsmith0191

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2020, 09:33:39 PM »
I've ended up with a couple of cannon mp280 into which I've inserted refillable tanks (from Aus), no feed problems and quite long lasting cartridges. I used to purchase HP printers but as they got older they all developed paper feed problems.
I tried a couple of types of epsom but the least said the better.
If I were investing in a new ink jet and had the money, I would look at the ones with refillable tanks.
As for problems with some refills reporting low ink or not compatible, there is usually some printer keypress to override this, a quick look on the internet will provide details.
Have fun cps.

Offline GfK

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2020, 12:22:42 PM »
Thanks for the recommendations.

After some general sniffing about I've gone for a Canon PIXMA G2501.  Not the latest model but from the tech specs, seems to do everything I want to do and pretty cheap to run.  The general thing with printers in the past has been "cheap printer but the ink costs a bomb".  This one cost me £152 including shipping, and a full set of inks (plus an extra 135ml bottle of black ink as I expect that to go down quicker than the colours, as per).


It has internal refillable ink tanks (rather than replaceable cartridges) which were super-easy to fill without the ink going all over the chuffing place.  Genuine Canon ink seems to go for under a tenner a bottle (x4) and claims up to 7,000 pages from a full set of inks.  It was costing me more than that for the XP950 and barely got 300 pages from a full set.

The only thing I don't like (which I didn't realise or think about at the time) is that it has no internal paper tray.  It's an old-skool "standy-uppy-at-the-back" type of affair.  But it's fine.

Print quality seems very good, though not the fastest I've ever seen, nor is it the quietest (nearly jumped off my fecking chair when it first sprang into life when I switched it on).  Probably won't be so bad next time cos I'll be expecting it.  ;D
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Offline CodingKnight

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2020, 11:20:21 AM »
Aren't laser printers better options in this age?

Offline dawlane

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Re: Inkjet printers
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2020, 07:56:11 PM »
Aren't laser printers better options in this age?
They would be if not for the fact that consumables can be a bit on the pricey side. And it's always best to use vendor genuine replacements as there is some real sh*t out there that can really ruin a printer and cost you more than what you paid for the knock-off parts. In the long run for the average user, it's best to use ink/bubble jet printers. If you buy Epson, then make sure that you buy a print head cleaning kit, or make sure that you print a test page off at least once a week and cover the printer up when not in use to protect it from dust.

If anyone is thinking of going into professional photography using digital media, then you really have to do your homework on print head technologies.

 

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