Advice Wanted Printer purchase advice

I’ve been getting enough interest in prints that I’m considering a printer for 8 x 10 and smaller instead of ordering from a print place. Not really enough sales of larger prints to make anything bigger worthwhile at this point.

I’m more concerned with economic operation than purchase price, so have been looking at tank style printers. I don’t need top drawer, but want something presentable.

Do the 5-color printers do ok, or should I be looking at 6-color minimum? Any specific model recommendations? Am I off track with regard to tank style?
 
I'd offer advice @Brownie, but at the moment I haven't really used the printer we have now much at all. I have printed some of my photo's but it's been quite a while ago, like three printers(?) or so. I do know that I felt like I'd really come of age when I was able to print out a photo that I considered equal to or better than what I'd had to pay for before. That was using an old HP All-in-One which could copy, fax and print. I think it was a 5-color. We have a Canon Pixma TR-8500 I think now. My wife uses it for her scrap booking. She says it's OK but is upset that it doesn't have the sizing software like our old one used to have. She prints small photos of her quilts and has them all in a binder with names and descriptions of the quilts.
 
This is a fairly typical result from a quick Internet search: Ink tank printers are more economical than traditional inkjet printers. This is because ink tank printers can print more with a single refill. Usually, an ink tank printer offers up to 5000 to 6000 copies in a single refill, which compared to ink cartridges' average of 400 pages is lot more.

I wonder if tank style printers are any less prone to blocked nozzles than inkjets? My last two inkjet printers drove me mad by being constantly blocked when needed, and it seems to me that with more colours there's more jets to get blocked. My inkjet printers used to squirt more ink when cleaning themselves than they applied to the page, and that was with proper (expensive) ink cartridges made by Canon rather than third party equivalents. I think part of the problem was that I only use a printer occasionally, and inkjet nozzles dry out between uses.

Anyway, I eventually switched to a colour laser printer, which suits me a lot better for documents. Anything photographic gets done in the High Street, where they have a machine worth ££££.

-R
 
Yeah, I've been sending things out for printing to Nations Photo for years and they do a really nice job. The issue I'm running into is when a customer wants an 8 x 10 and there's nothing else to bundle with the order. So, they end up paying way too much for the image due to shipping, or waiting, or they just skip it. And if they aren't local, there's a second shipping fee from me to them. None of those are good for a reputation. If I could do the 8 x 10 and smaller here it'd make prices more reasonable a delivery faster.

I wonder too about clogged nozzles. I know some are worse than others, I rarely had nozzles clog on my Epson printers, but HP seem to clog and dry out regularly.
 
I would suggest that for 8 x 10 and smaller, one of the current all-in-one printers would suffice.
I've been using a cheap Canon version for a few years now and would say that the output, even from the single basic colour and B&W cartridges , outperform my previous photo-quality one with separate colour cartridges.
However, I would stick to OEM cartridges, as I was recently persuaded to go for the sales outlet's "own brand" ink cartridges, which, despite a guarantee that they were the same if not better quality and price, was tosh, as they weren't and I got my money back and have switched back to OEM.

And while talking guarantees, my brother-in-law bought an Epson all-in-one with separate tanks, which I helped him set up yesterday.
The sales pitch was for him to take out a guarantee with his company, stating that the jets do get blocked and that they'd service it a couple of times and if it gets blocked again they'd supply a new replacement. Whether that was all sales talk to get him to sign up will have to be seen, but it's worth thinking about.
 
I would suggest that for 8 x 10 and smaller, one of the current all-in-one printers would suffice.
I've been using a cheap Canon version for a few years now and would say that the output, even from the single basic colour and B&W cartridges , outperform my previous photo-quality one with separate colour cartridges.
However, I would stick to OEM cartridges, as I was recently persuaded to go for the sales outlet's "own brand" ink cartridges, which, despite a guarantee that they were the same if not better quality and price, was tosh, as they weren't and I got my money back and have switched back to OEM.

And while talking guarantees, my brother-in-law bought an Epson all-in-one with separate tanks, which I helped him set up yesterday.
The sales pitch was for him to take out a guarantee with his company, stating that the jets do get blocked and that they'd service it a couple of times and if it gets blocked again they'd supply a new replacement. Whether that was all sales talk to get him to sign up will have to be seen, but it's worth thinking about.

Which model? I wouldn't be opposed to whatever works as long as it doesn't cost multiple dollars to print an 8 x 10.

That second paragraph is rather unnerving! :eek:
 
I remember that Keith Cooper of Northlight Images gave a positive review on the Epson Ecotank ET-8500/8550, which are A4/A3+ respectively. 6-ink machines that don't actually carry that much price differential between them, so I'd go for the bigger one.

But they're not cheap, so maybe even the 8500 is a bit rich here? Then again, if you want good and cheap, be prepared to buy twice.

There are a number of niceties to the more expensive printers, along sheer print quality. For example my Pixma PRO-200 automatically straightens the paper, so I've only had a couple of prints come out wonky out of hundreds, and all of those times have been due to my own cockups, either incorrect loading of paper or touching the sheet at the wrong time. Then there are things like ICC profiles that you don't get for the cheaper printers and so on.
 
I don't need 'good' and cheap, I need 'acceptable' and cheap. If it can print standard sizes up to 8 x 10 that looks good I'd be happy.

I am concerned about ink drying out due to lack of use on the tank printer.
 
Sadly my - limited - experience with printers says that they're either cheap to buy or "cheap" to run. Ink costs are considerably lower with tank printers. But whether the inks drying out in the tanks is a problem or not is a point I hadn't even thought about.
 
Which model? I wouldn't be opposed to whatever works as long as it doesn't cost multiple dollars to print an 8 x 10.

That second paragraph is rather unnerving! :eek:
I've had a quick oogle and the Canon TR4750i seems a reasonable offering.
They're going for around £70 here in the UK, so what's that.......85 US dollars?
Personally I've never had jets block, and you could always do the occasional photocopy to keep things moving.
 
So far my wife hasn't complained about the ink drying out with our present printer. She's done a lot of printing as we've gone thru at least 3 sets of cartridges since we bought it. She's happy with it and like I said, she's used it 98% of the time. She also prints out quilt pattern pieces too so it's in use a lot for B&W prints too. Thankfully there's a BIG black ink cartridge in it, along with the smaller one, for that kind of printing.
 
I have had the Epson ET-4850 (eco tank) for about 10 months now, prior to that I had an Epson all in one with the cartridges. The cartridge Epson would dry out if we didn’t use it much. The current printer has not had that issue so far. We don’t print a lot. We do some photo printing, mainly photo greeting cards on glossy photo paper. I think one of the Epson eco tank printers might fill your need. I have always been pleased with Epson image print quality over the years. I bought mine for a decent price through B&H but Costco sells them with a bonus bottle of black ink. If you are not satisfied, Costco has their great return policy.
 
I have a Canon selphy CP1300, which is acceptable, and relatively small and affordable. But don't expect lab-quality prints. They're fine for what they are, but nothing more.

I also habe an Epson XP-8500, which does actually pass muster compared to lab prints. Not quite as high a resolution as labs, but mostly indistinguishable at normal viewing distance. There's also an ecotank version, and an A3 version, if you pay more.

I've been debating that option myself. But truth be told, I can buy quite the amount of ink for the price of one of those fancy printers. I don't think it's worth it for my moderate print volume.
 
I've had a quick oogle and the Canon TR4750i seems a reasonable offering.
They're going for around £70 here in the UK, so what's that.......85 US dollars?
Personally I've never had jets block, and you could always do the occasional photocopy to keep things moving.
Was wondering which model you have, specifically, as a recommendation.
 
Just out of curiosity, what kind of volumes are you looking at printing per annum? An A4 print does gobble up quite a lot of ink, so a slightly more expensive "megatank" or "ecotank" might become more economical faster than you might at first think.

Just as a reference, in the two years I've had my Pro-200 I've used up over 40 cartridges and that's more money than I've spent on the printer itself. Then there's paper, which isn't free either. With that printer ink costs for a sheet of A4 are around 1-1,5€ and paper on top of that. Canson Platine is around 2€/sheet of A4. Cheaper printers with smaller cartridges would mean even more ink costs, whereas a Pro-1000 with bigger ink cartridges would eventually be cheaper to run. In theory, of course. Your mileage will vary.
 
One thing that put me off a "cheap" epson printer I had a few years ago was that there was an ink collection pad. This eventually became full and was not able to be replaced. The printer just stopped working. It was not user replacable and taking to a service center to get replaced would have been more than the printer was worth (assuming it can be done). Ijust had to throw away a printer that was working except for this issue. I have since ensured that any printer that I buy I can replace this item. I beleive almost every inkjet printer has this. But not all are user replaceable.
 
I started following someone on Twitter (the historian Guy Walters) when he posted a video of himself blasting a printer with a shotgun in a field. I think he had been experiencing the type of problems described earlier. The video was quite widely circulated, I think it struck a chord with people.

I recognised a kindred spirit and I've been following him online ever since.

https://x.com/guywalters/status/1360342188962549768?s=20

-R
 
I’m more concerned with economic operation than purchase price, so have been looking at tank style printers. I don’t need top drawer, but want something presentable.

I am concerned about ink drying out due to lack of use on the tank printer.

I have an Epson printer, and clogged-up nozzles were a consistent problem with the OEM pigment-based inks. I then tried a set of dye-based inks (non-OEM), and found that they didn't clog up during periods of non-use. I can see no difference in print quality, and they are inexpensive, by comparison.

However, the disadvantage (IME) is that prints made with dye-based ink fade in daylight after a few months. So..... depending upon your requirements, dye-based inks might worth considering.
 
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