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Trying to print something

Trying to print something

Mar 26, 2021

If I had a dollar for every time a customer rang me that was frustrated with their printer not doing what it was told I would be much better off. We've all been there and know how frustrating it is when the printer won't respond, won't print because one colour has ran out or it starts printing 72 pages instead of the 3 you wanted.

Best Printer, EcoTanks and Printer Statistics

Best Printer, EcoTanks and Printer Statistics

Mar 26, 2021

The pursuit of the perfect printer to fit everybody's needs is never ending. Everybody is searching for a printer that is cheap to buy, cheap to run, reliable, no paper jams, will print, scan and copy. To add to this they also want the printer to have Wi-Fi, Duplex, high speed printing, to be a compact size and to work seamlessly with generic cartridges. Unfortunately there is no one printer that fits all of these criteria so as with any device there is always some kind of compromise to be made.

Understanding the Switch Microchip

Understanding the Switch Microchip

Sep 17, 2020

As printer manufacturers strive to stop the spread of non genuine cartridges their tactics are becoming more and more unscrupulous. What happens is the printer companies release a whole new series of printers and along with them they release cartridges for them with very high tech micro chips on them which are extremely hard to crack. As with any technology there is always someone out there with the know how to crack these chips.

Types of Printers

Types of Printers

Jun 06, 2020

There are several different types of printers, but the most common types that are used in homes and businesses are inkjet and laser printers. There are also a couple of less common printers, such as thermal printers and dot matrix printers, which we'll talk about later. So let's first take a look at inkjet printers. Inkjet printers are the most common type of printers that are used in homes. They are affordable, they produce photo quality results and they are more than adequate to suit the needs of a typical home user.

How Printer Ink Works

How Printer Ink Works

Jun 03, 2020

I've got a question that's deceptively complex. How does printer ink work? You probably haven't thought much about it, but this stuff is a common part of many of our lives. It's everywhere. First, ink and toner are two different things, despite the fact that lots of us use the words interchangeably. Ink is a liquid substance that you apply to a surface like paper. Toner on the other hand, is a solid polymer. It's sort of like very tiny plastic dust particle substance, and it relies on the physics of electrostatic attraction, pressure and heat.

The honest answer is that there is no reason for the ridiculous price of printer ink. Genuine or OEM cartridges are formulated using a much more involved process which results in ink that is more UV resistant. Also OEM ink is oil based and generic ink is water based. This however certainly does not justify the outrageous cost of the genuine printer ink.

Most people know by now that the printer manufacturers do not make their money by selling the printers and that their aim is to recoup the money plus a heap more in the after sales of the inks. The genuine or OEM cartridges are certainly packaged nicer and in most cases the actual cartridges look flasher however that certainly doesn't justify the highly inflated price.

A high percentage of the OEM cartridges contain as little as 5ml of ink per colour. This in real terms works out to be a cost of around $10,000 AUD per litre, can you believe that? Generic or third party ink on the other hand usually works out at around $200-$300 AUD per litre. Quite a price difference. So I guess the answer is that there is no reason for the high price and it's expensive simply because people keep buying the genuine printer ink instead of the much cheaper and almost the same quality 3rd party inks.

This is a very common question and one that is often asked. Any printer which utilizes individual printer cartridges for each colour are always cheaper to run than those which use only the two. Although the printers which use only two inks are much cheaper to buy initially, long term they will cost you considerably more in printer ink costs.

Before purchasing a printer it is always clever to investigate the cost of the printer cartridges as this is where the big expense can occur. All printers will work on generic cartridges and it is a myth to say that they won't. Unless you are planning on doing very high end photographic prints then using anything other than generic printer ink is pure madness.

In general Brother and Canon have some of the cheapest printer inks of them all ( generic ) however this is on a printer to printer basis and once again you should do your homework before actually buying a specific printer. Brother Mono-laser printers also are incredibly cheap to run when using non genuine cartridges, they are also extremely reliable and long lasting.

In some cases sadly this is a cheaper alternative, can you believe that? Often you will see some of the HP and Canon printers on special for as little as $15 - $20. These printers are selling for well below their cost price and we all know why. Yes you guessed it, the money will be more than recouped once they have sold even the very first set of printer inks.

These tactics have been going on for as long as I can remember and people are still getting sucked in by these bargain printers and not investigating printer ink prices before making the purchase. I personally know people who have purchased up to a dozen of these printers when on special and have simply dumped each one after the ink ran out. So I guess the answer to this question in some cases is YES.

When looking for printer ink it is best to start with your actual printer model and then check for the relevant cartridges. You can do a search on Google or else go to a reputable print consumables site and search by your printer model. Be warned however as many cartridges have similar model numbers and you must make sure that your actual printer is listed as compatible with the cartridges you are purchasing.

Often printers have more than one option for cartridges as some are standard yield and some are XL or even XXL which indicates they are high yield or in other words they contain more ink. Usually XL or XXL cartridges are better value as they often are not much more expensive than the standard cartridges and usually they contain at least double the amount of ink. This is mainly so with generic inks, genuine or OEM cartridges are often considerably more expensive in XL or XXL.

The answer to this is most definitely NO. The cartridges which come with your printer are known as "starter cartridges" and although they are physically the same size they contain a very small amount of ink or toner. Obviously the printer manufacturers are out to make money so the quicker the initial inks run out the better.

As previously stated printer manufacturers make their profits from the ink NOT from the sale of the printer. Typically a starter set of cartridges that come with an inkjet printer will print maybe 100 or so pages, with laser printers they are a bit more generous and often they are capable of printing up to 500 pages or more with the starter cartridges.

The following printers have the longest lasting ink cartridges and are also perhaps the cheapest printers to run if you are willing to use generic cartridges. In my opinion these printers are the winners by far:

  1. Brother MFC-J6530DW
  2. Brother MFC-J5330DW
  3. Brother MFC-J5730DW
  4. Brother MFC-J6730DW
  5. Brother MFC-J6930DW

Note: There are many other printers which also have similar page yields however the cartridges are more expensive and also many of them are not as reliable as the above printers. All of the above are inkjet printers, many of the laser printers are even cheaper to run than the above printers. 

This is a very common question and there are several answers as to why this happens. The process which uses the most ink is when you clean the printhead nozzles. When a nozzle clean is performed, especially a deep clean then the printer goes into it's highest print resolution and it engages a part of the printer known as the purge pump.

The purge pump is vacuum sealed against the bottom of the printhead and it's job is to pull as much ink as it can through the printhead to try and flush out any partially dried ink which is in or on the surface of the printhead. This ink is then pumped out into a sponge waste-pad which is located under the printhead carriage. During the deep nozzle clean process a huge amount of ink is used and it is not uncommon for a full set of ink cartridges to become completely emptied after 4 or so deep cleans.

Some printers actually monitor the ink levels very accurately such as Canon and Brother printers however Epson printers utilize a microchip on each cartridge which does not measure the actual ink levels but runs on a page count system. So what happens with Epson printers is that they will print the allocated number of pages which is predetermined by the microchip and once the page count is reached it will read empty. This is why many people become annoyed when their Epson cartridges are deemed as empty because often they have considerable amounts of ink left in them.

If you asked me this question 15 years ago my answer probably would have been NO. Nowadays however I have no hesitation in recommending the use of compatible cartridges as the quality is very close to the brand name cartridges. In saying this there is still a heap of low grade generic printer cartridges on the market so it is always recommended that you check the company's reviews before making a purchase.

Often people assume that using an aftermarket printer cartridge could in some way damage or even destroy their printer. Let me put this myth to rest as I have been in the industry for 15 years and as long as you use a quality compatible cartridge then there is no chance at all that your printer could be harmed. As with any product you purchase make sure that it comes with a proper guarantee and that the company you buy from is reputable. Do your homework first and it could save you a heap of headaches in the long run.