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Affordable Printers With Cheapest Ink Cartridges

Affordable Printers With Cheapest Ink Cartridges

Updated September 28, 2018

Most people are now aware that it’s not just the price tag of the printer you should be looking at when shopping for a cost-efficient printer

After printing for a year, you’ll find that the total cost of printer cartridges you bought has surpassed the price of your printer. In most cases, it doesn’t take long until you’ve spent $100 on ink for a printer you only paid $50 for. Printer manufacturers are notorious for selling their printers cheap because they expect to make their money back in ink and toner sales.

So if it’s not just the printer price…

What makes a printer cost-efficient?

The short answer: your printer’s cost per page. But first, let’s touch on the other things that can also affect the running cost of your printer. We elaborate on cost per page as we go along.

#1 – Printer Price. Earlier we said that the price of a printer is not the only factor to consider when printer shopping. It may not be the only consideration but it’s certainly still something to factor in. Printer cost generally goes up the more features a printer has. If you’re a home user, chances are you won’t need the high speed, high capacity performance of a business printer. If you print in high volume, spending a bit more on a printer that can accommodate your workload makes more sense. 

Bottom line for item #1, if the printer has features you don’t need, skip it. Focus on a machine that provides the capabilities you need, regardless of upfront printer price. Once you’ve shortlisted a list of printers based on functionality, then you can go to the next item which is ink efficiency.

#2 – Ink Efficiency (Cost per page). Your printer’s cost per page is the most important factor to consider when determining the true cost of your printer and how ink efficient it is. Different ink cartridges are designed to print a certain amount of pages before it needs to be replaced. The number of pages a cartridge can print is called its page yield. To get the cost per page, simply divide the cost of the cartridge with its page yield. Here’s an example: to get the cost per page of a Canon PGI-270XL, we take it’s price ($28.99) and divide it by 500 pages, which is the page yield of a Canon PGI-270XL. Your cost per page will be $0.057 or 5.7 cents per page. Ideally, the smaller your cost per page, the more ink efficient your printer is. The more ink efficient it is, the more cost efficient your printer is.

Inkjet vs Laser Printer: When it comes to better cost per page (a.k.a. cost efficiency), laser printers win over inkjet printers easily. Laser toner cartridges have much higher page yields compared to ink cartridges. Even if toner cartridges cost more, the cost per page of a laser toner is still much lower than an ink cartridge’s. That’s why in spite of laser printers being initially more expensive, they are still generally more cost-efficient printers compared to inkjet printers in the long run. But for the purpose of this article, we focus only on ink efficient inkjet printers. We discuss most efficient laser printers in a later article.

Printer price and cost per page are the two most important factors when shopping for a printer. However, there are a few more things worth considering as these can also dramatically affect your total printer operating costs.

#3 – Cartridge Sizes. Ink cartridges usually come in standard and high yield (XL) sizes. The main difference is that high yield cartridges can print usually about twice the number of pages than that of a standard cartridge so they’re slightly more expensive. When you print regularly, buying an ink cartridge that produces several hundred more pages between replacements can save you considerable money, even if the higher-yield cartridge costs a few dollars more. Popular high-yield XL cartridges are the perfect example of this dynamic—you pay a bit more per cartridge, but end up getting a lot more print for your penny. When choosing a new printer, selecting a printer that pairs with an efficient cartridge can save you bundles over time. Some printers even have XXL cartridges that print even more pages. Knowing which printers offer this option can come in handy if you need to accommodate high print volumes.

#4 – Compatibles. Most original brand cartridges are not cheap. Today, there are other options available through several retailers. Third-party consumables in the form of compatible and remanufactured ink cartridges offer customers a way to cut their print costs by as much as 50-percent or more. Remanufactured cartridges use recycled component pieces, each individually inspected and refilled using the same quality controls as brand name manufacturers. Compatible cartridges are built from scratch to adhere to these same standards, but for a whole lot less. When you’re shopping for a new printer, double check to make sure that you can find cheap compatibles to fit your model from a reputable retailer.  

#5 – Monthly load. Each and every printer comes with a rating for how many pages it can reasonably print per month. This pages-per-month estimate is of particular importance for businesses selecting a workload printer, but it also comes in handy for students and families as well. Sure, you’re probably not printing six-thousand pages per month (though it may seem like it sometimes!) However, you very likely are producing several hundred pages, maybe up to a thousand. Going over your monthly print load overtaxes the mechanics in your printer, and can cause it to break down quicker, which means costly repairs and premature replacement. Monthly load is also a great, low-key metric you can use to suss out how rugged your unit is over time.


Searching for a printer that’s cheap AND ink efficient (with a low cost per page) proved to be quite the challenge. If anything, it only proved that most cheap printers usually have a higher cost per page (aka expensive ink that need to be replaced often). Fortunately, we’ve found some printers, most of them below $100, that have a cost per page of 4 cents and lower. Without further ado, here are some affordable printers that use ink efficiently.

*We indicate the prices of compatible ink cartridges by LD Products to illustrate how much you can save.

Brother® MFC-J480DW Inkjet All-in-One Printer

This printer has been around since 2015 but is still a popular choice among consumers because of its low printer price tag and low cost per page (1.18 cents!). Comes with print, copy, scan, and fax capabilities. Prints up to 8.5″ x 14″. Has an automatic document feeder and duplex printing. Uses 4 ink cartridges. You can get this compact all-in-one Brother MFC-J480dw inkjet printer for just $69.99 at Staples. It has all the features you need for home or home office use. WiFi capabilities are included too!

Cartridge used: Brother LC203 cartridge series

How many pages can you print with each cartridge?

  • A black cartridge (LC203BK) prints 550 pages;
  • A magenta (LC203M), cyan (LC203C), and yellow (LC203Y) print 550 pages each cartridge.
Monthly Duty Cycle Up to 2,500 pages
Print Speed Up to 12 ppm (black), 6 ppm (color)
Connectivity Wireless (802.11 b/g/n), Wi-Fi Direct®, Hi-speed USB 2.0
Paper Size A4, Letter, Legal, Executive, A5, A6, 4″x6″ Photo, 5″x8″ Indexcard, 5″x7″ Photo C5 Envelope, Com-10, DL Envelope, Monarch
Warranty 1-Year Limited Warranty
Cartridge Name LC203BK (black), LC203C (cyan), LC203M (magenta), LC203Y (yellow) – high yield cartridges
Page Yield 550 pages
Price Comparison of Brother LC203BK vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $24.49
Original Canon Cost Per Page 4.4 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $6.49 -Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.18 cents per page
Price Comparison of Brother LC203C vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $10.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page 1.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $6.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.18 cents per page
Price Comparison of Brother LC203M vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $10.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page 1.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $6.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.18 cents per page
Price Comparison of Brother LC203Y vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $10.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page 1.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $6.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.18 cents per page

Canon® PIXMA® MG5720 Wireless Inkjet Printer

A top pick for printers in 2017 by PC Mag, the PIXMA MG5720 is a no frills, no nonsense budget printer perfect for home use. Perfect for documents as well as printing borderless beautiful photos. Excellent print resolution of up to 4800 x 1200 color dpi. It features all-in-one printer scanner technology and high quality output at a speed unmatched by other budget printers. Prints in as fast as 12.6 images per minute for black and 9 color images per minute. Print 4″ x 6″ photos in around 41 seconds. It uses both pigment-based ink for text and dye-based ink to print colored images. (Learn more about pigment vs dye based ink) The PIXMA MG5720 uses 5 ink cartridges. If you want to save even more, check out affordable alternatives to OEM Canon PGI-270 cartridges as these compatible options can sometimes save you up to 80%.

Rated 4 out of 5 stars by PC Mag  you can get this printer for $99.99 at the Canon website.

Cartridges Used: Canon CLI-271 and PGI-270 cartridges. Available in larger sizes, CLI-271XL and PGI-270XL.

How many can you print with each cartridge?

  • A standard CLI-271 black cartridge can print 376 pages. A larger CLI-271XL prints up to 810 pages.
  • A standard PGI-270 prints 300 pages and a larger PGI-270XL can print up to 500 pages.
Print Speed Up to 12.6 ppm (pages per minute) for black; 9 images per minute f0r color
Connectivity Hi-Speed USB 2.0, PictBridge (Wireless LAN), AirPrint
Paper Size 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, Letter, Legal, U.S. #10 Envelopes
Warranty Limited warranty offered by Canon
Cartridge Name PGI-270 Pigment Black XL (high yield)
Page Yield 500 Pages
Cartridge Name CLI-271 XL Black, CLI-271 XL Cyan, CLI-271 XL Magenta, CLI-271 XL Yellow (high yield)
Page Yield 500 Pages (each cartridge)
Price Comparison of Original Canon PGI-270 XL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $24.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page 4.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $6.99 – Learn more about Canon PGI-270XL compatibles!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.3 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon CLI-271 XL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $19.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page 3.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $6.99 – Learn more about Canon CLI-271XL compatibles!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.8 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon CLI-271 XL Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $19.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page 3.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $6.99 – Learn more about Canon CLI-271XL compatibles!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.8 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon CLI-271 XL Magenta vs Cartridges
Original Canon Price $19.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page 3.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $6.99 – Learn more about CLI-271XL compatibles!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.8 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon CLI-271 XL Yellow vs Cartridges
Original Canon Price $19.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page 3.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $6.99 – Learn more about CLI-271XL compatibles!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.8 cents per page

A slightly upgraded version of this printer is the Canon PIXMA MG6821 Wireless All-in-One printer which also uses the same cartridges so you still get the same ink efficiency as the MG5720. You can get the Canon MG6821 from Amazon for as low as $47.76 each. Other colors are priced differently.

HP OfficeJet Pro 6968 Wireless All-in-One

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6968 is a wireless multifunction inkjet printer with print, copy, scan, and fax capabilities perfect for mobile printing. Delivers documents in as fast as 18 pages per minute for black and up to 10 pages per minute for color. Has duplex printing and an automatic document feeder. Suitable for both home and office use.

This printer is priced at $89.99 in Amazon and has a slim cost per page of 4.4 cents. It’s no wonder consumers love this printer. And it gets even better! This printer uses HP 902 ink cartridges which print at least 300 pages with a standard HP 902 and 825 pages if you get the 902XL cartridge. but you can save even more when you switch to compatible HP 902 cartridges. Our compatible HP 902s have been flying off the shelves since they came out. The original HP 902XL cartridge (which is just like a bigger HP 902) is priced at $48.99 at the time of this article but you can get an HP 902XL compatible ink cartridge for only $16.99–that’s 65% less! Scroll down to see more stats.

Cartridges Used: HP 902 and HP 902XL

How many pages can you print with each cartridge?

  • An HP 902 cartridge prints up to 300 pages.
  • The bigger HP 902XL prints 825 pages.
Monthly Duty Cycle 20,000 pages
Print Speed 30 ppm (black), 26 ppm (color)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0, WiFi
Paper Size A4, A5, A6, B5(JIS), 6 x 8 in,

Executive Index card 3.5 x 5 in, Index card 4 x 6 in, Index card 5 x 8 in, Index card A4, Index Card Letter 3.5 x 5 in,

4 x 6 in, 5 x 7 in, 13 x 18 cm, 8 x 10 in, 10 x 15 cm, L, Photo 2L, 8.5 x 13 in, Legal, Letter,

Statement Envelope #10, Envelope C5, Envelope C6, Envelope DL; Envelope Monarch, Card Envelope 4.4 x 6 in

Warranty Limited warranty offered by HP
Cartridge Name HP 902XL High Yield Black Ink
Page Yield 825 Pages
Cartridge Name HP 902XL High Yield Cyan / Magenta / Yellow
Page Yield 825 Pages each color cartridge
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $36.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 4.4 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $16.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page  2 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $19.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 2.4 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price  $9.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page  1.2 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $19.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 2.4 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price  $9.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page  1.2 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $19.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 2.4 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price  $9.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page  1.2 cents per page

HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 All-in-One Printer

Far and above the most efficient inkjet below $150 is the OfficeJet Pro 8710. One of fastest color inkjet printers according to the Guinness Book of World Records.  Like the the OfficeJet 6968, the HP 8710 is another all-in-one inkjet printer that uses ink efficient cartridges. A full-featured printer that has a 50% lower cost per page than laser printers, according to HP. Has wireless printing, duplex printing, as well as printing, scanning, copying, and faxing capabilities.

This model uses four different HP 952 pigment-based ink cartridges: black, cyan, magenta and yellow. HP offers the cartridges in a standard yield and high yield size.  High yield, or XL cartridges are a better buy for customers that print frequently.  Original HP brand high yield 952XL black cartridges are sold for $34.99 a piece and each individual color cartridge is sold for $31.99.  To keep costs down, consider buying LD brand HP 952 compatible replacement cartridges, just $17.99 for the XL black cartridge and $18.99 for each color!  Amazon sells this printer for $109.99

Cartridges Used: HP 952 and HP 952XL (high yield cartridge)

How many pages can you print with each cartridge?

  • A standard HP 952 can print up to 1,000 pages;
  • A larger high yield HP 952XL can print 2,000 pages.
Monthly Duty Cycle 25,000 Pages
Print Speed Up to 22 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty Limited warranty offered by HP
Cartridge Name HP 952XL High Yield Black Ink
Page Yield 2,000 Pages
Cartridge Name HP 952XL High Yield Cyan / Magenta / Yellow
Page Yield 1,600 Pages each color cartridge
Price Comparison of Original HP 952XL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $34.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 1.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $14.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .75 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 952XL Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $31.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 1.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $13.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .87 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 952XL Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $31.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 1.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $13.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .87 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 952XL Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $31.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 1.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $13.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .87 cents per page

Once you’ve found the ink cartridge that best suits your budget, you can then choose from the range of printers that use that cartridge.

Remember, shopping for the most economical printer does not begin and end with just a cheap printer price tag. Printer manufacturers sell cheap printers expecting to get their investment back through printer ink sales, so knowing the cost of a printer’s ink cartridges and how often they’ll need replacing is an equally important detail as the price of a printer.

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55 Comments

  • HP printers are definitely some of the most popular everyday printers. But their own ink is so expensive. I think it pays off to buy the generic ink because the quality is just as good. http://www.compandsave.com/Articles.asp?ID=201
    It’s like buying name-brand vs store-brand cereal–same ingredients but one is a whole lot cheaper!

    • HP has highjacked my printer. I bought refills and my printer stop functioning because the printer knew it wa refills. I went and bought new hp cartridges but my printer does not want to recognize them anymore. I phone hp and was told that it can be fixed for $149. What a ripoff I checked and there are hundreds of customers that have lunched lawsuits against hp

    • Yes I have an HP as well and same issues, high ink prices, head issue, and faulty wi-fi. NO more HP for me, arrogant company. Screw em, I will vote with my feet and green.

    • I agree, BUT HP evil eyes watch your ink. Then after a few ” updates”- your generic ink will no longer work. Then you pop in original HP- then it works…then you try and give it the slip….nope….EVIL eyes!

    • EPSON printers do the same thing! I have been using generic brand ink just fine, until the printer did a update and now it won’t! This should be illegal! It’s like taking your car into the shop for an update and now you can only use their brand of gas! Total BS

    • I was buying generic ink for my Epson XP-430 until I was prompted for a software update for Epson for my printer. I dowloaded and installed and now my printer/scanner wont work with mu almost full generic cartridges I have been using for sometime now. I have used several sets of generic since Ive had it and no problems. the update now requires me to use only Epson brand. I
      feel jipped and lied to. Talked to Epson HQ and they basically said too bad. Im going to buy new printer, this time not Epson.

    • I am having the same problem with HP. Cartridges worked until HP deleted the ink in the cartridges. Every time I call for help I get
      more problems. All the scammers want to fix everything is money.

  • HP Envy 4500 printer O own fights back against other brands ink. Says it will take it then gives loads of error messages and incompatable ink messages even after changing the settings. They don’t want you using other inks!!!

    • THANK ALL OF YOU FOR POSTING THIS! iI will go with another brand for that reason.

  • I’ve bought my last HP. Had 6700 with minimal use and now out of the blue it has “ink system failure” that has nothing to do with the cartridges. I’ll vote with my feet.

    • I have the same exact problem. So fed up with HP.

    • Exact same problem. And you can’t easily clean the printheads—though I was reading online that it is possible to tear the thing apart and manually clean them. I am SO fed up with HP. The last 3 printers–I end up buying a new one about every 2 years or more–has failed because of something not well built or cheaper to buy a whole new printer than to pay for a service call. JUST JUNK!

      I need a reliable, well built printer, that will still print in black even though I ran out of magenta ink! A printer that offers the user no easy way to clean the printheads. HP models previously had a lever on the side of the printhead that could easily let you remove and clean them. HP done away with that in this later model—job security I guess.

      I have heard numerous people complain about their HP not working again if they try a generic brand cartridge and HP cartridges are outrageous. I am beginning to think it might be easier to go back to pen and paper to keep my books. Life was much less frustrating! GOODBYE HP. Never again will I buy your printers!

  • I’m tired of the HP messages saying I’m using counterfeit ink, when I’m using alternative ink. Don’t buy HP.

  • My HP is suddenly not working at all due to same message but the kicker is I just replaced it the same hp 61 cartridge I always have and it will not accept its own ink!!! Such a waste of money out the cost of new cartridges and now need a new printer too!

    • Same issue here with HP. Used alternative ink for a while and had issues. Mostly, the printer worked, though. Now I went back to original cartridges (I was in a hurry and CostCo sometimes takes a while to refill) and the printer stopped working on me. Unbelievable, just spent $100+ on ink. Will no longer buy HP and wait for a class action suit. Did not phone HP, will just buy another brand!

  • I’ll never purchase another HP Printer…EVER. I have two of them, and even though I purchased new branded ink from Costco, I still get error messages. Haven’t been able to print on either printer in a year. So glad Costco took they HP printer crap cartridges back. Will never, ever purchase another HP anything.

  • I bought a HP Office Jet Pro 6835 couple yrs ago.
    I’m a snow bird and used this printer 4-5 months per year. When gone, I always unplugged everything and cover all electronic items with sheets. This yr left Jan 3,came back(July) 4 days ago. Yesterday needed to print, put paper in, plugged in, turned on, and at once error on screen, Problem with Print Head.
    Wouldn’t clean, ink cartridges low but OK. Read HP website said this model had print head issues, of course mine was out of warranty. Forums showed many, many had this problem. No more HP for me.

    • Had a very similar experience with my HP 6830 (2 and 1/2 years old) except that I did switch off the printer for 1 week only. I tried to print when I came back and “There is a problem with the Print Head”. Cartridges are 80% full. None of the solution provided by HP worked.

    • i agree. No more HP for me. Same problem. Continually get problem with print head. Cheaper to purchase another printer.

  • Do not buy HP printers. More costly in the long-run due to pricey ink cartridges. Not so durable. Although I use authentic HP ink all the time, mine started to print with slashed words and smudges of ink on bottom of page.

  • I bought an HP Envy 7640 all-in one printer. After a few cartridges I tried generic ink, it complained and moaned. After a while I bought an HP brand ink. It worked for that one cartridge. As soon as that ran out, I got another HP Brand Ink but the printer will no longer work. I will never buy HP again. They want to get every penny out of you and give you no solutions to the problems their printers cause. I think I will get a Brothers or Cannon

    • This, exactly this. I am looking for a new printer right now because HP put a little sim chip on the end of their ink cartridges to tell the printer if its HP ink or not. I’ve gotten around it by heating up the chip and super gluing it onto the alternate ink cartridge but I’m over it. No more HP for me ever again.

  • Will the Brother MFC-J480DW printer that is listed as first choice on this website accept the LD cartridges?

  • Suggestions for AirPrint all in one printer for home which will accept compatible cartridges.

    • Hi Ed,

      All of the printers listed in this article are “all-in-ones” with print, copy and scan features. And, they all work with AirPrint and our compatible cartridges! Hope this helps!

  • I’ve used old models of HP Printers before and they’ve been ok with me since I’m a Tech savvy guy and can fix some printer issues. The hard part is finding parts that you can replace on your own and getting to the inside of the printer to replace it. Newer models like the ones mentioned are harder to fix on ones own due to the way the are built. My Epson Workforce 600 that I had for over 5 years has finally breakdown. AT first I thought it just the ink but turns out it was a scanner belt/timing belt issue. The part that I needed can be special ordered but the only issue is getting to the inside of the scanner bed or other parts of the printer has been difficult so I didn’t bother trying to order that part. After reading these comments, I might try Brother or Cannon to see if their printers are easier to take a part and fix, not just the ink issues.

    • Hi, maybe you can help me….I have an older printer and the ink issues have been on and off with me but what I am having an issue with now is the thing keeps saying that there is a paper jam and there is not one. It all sights up and is ready etc but the paper will not feed no matter if a lot or a little? It sounds like it is taking the paper but is not and nothing is in the way? Your thoughts please?

      PS to others: All the issues about the cartridges I have also experienced…went to using Costco ink, but now even that doesn’t always work. It has to be ink that is HP compatible and that is hard to find on sale. To me all ink is expensive. BUT when one needs their printer, they need their printer!!

  • friends… perhaps an update to a couple of the printers listed here and their ability to use generic inks as well as other issues… i have both a Brother MFC J650DW and a Canon MG 5720 (listed here)… the Brother was able to use the LC ink cartridges just fine, however Brother has an automatic cleaning schedule and if you don’t use both color and black regularly the machine will still keep to it’s schedule resulting in cartridges going dry.. not a terrible thing if you keep checking ink levels, but if a printer head runs dry Brother is one of the few companies that printer heads are not replaceable on.. my Brother is now a black print machine only…. so i got the Canon printer next… i had thought it would take generic ink however the LC inks listed in this article were tried repeatedly and i was told each and every time that the machine would only accept genuine Canon cartridges.. i have tried several work arounds listed on the web, without success… now i have a Canon printer that i have to buy those genuine cartridges at full price for…. ….. so don’t count on what you see here on the web… your particular machine or usage may well not be as you had thought when you bought it..

  • My HP 8725 is 1 year old, Goes through ink like a hog. Signed up for HP Ink program, now all of a sudden ink lasts a crazy long time.
    ALSO, just popped up a printhead missing, error. Cleaned it and reinserted and still error. %#[email protected]! HP wants to drain my wallet in every possible way. It has to be a corporate strategy, no other printer has same issue/s…
    I’m buying something else today, that won’t be HP, and never looking back…

  • Just wondering…of the printers listed, do they show error codes with the use of alternative ink? We have a Canon MG3220 which we use remanufactured cartridges in, and it always shows error codes. They can be bypassed, but always a nuisance. I’m ready to purchase a new printer to be able to more affordably keep ink stocked.

  • I’m having the same ink cartridge problem as some of the other people. Won’t accept Costco re-fill and now won’t accept a new HPXL cartridge. Reading all these other reports lets me know it’s HP’s fault and not something I did! No more HP for me either..

  • So that’s what’s wrong with my printer, what a bunch of corporate bastards HP are. i tried to save a bit of money and didn’t buy HP brand ink cartridges and now my printer will do nothing but act as a scanner. The HP brand is off my list.

    • I am also an unhappy HP customer. I am tired of being stung for HP printer ink and the company’s tricks to make the ‘compatible’ cartridges of other manufacturers unusable. I am going to ditch both my HP 1510 and HP 5570.

  • I own a Canon® PIXMA® MG5720 Wireless Inkjet Printer and it is the best printer I have. it works just fine and the best part about it is that it is wireless and it is very affordable. I think if anyone is planning on buying a printer than they should go for this. btw, great post thanks for the list of all the affordable printers.

    • Does your Canon Pixma use up inks really fast? even the double yield blank printer black (not color black)?
      I have a fairly new Canon Pixma TS 6120, which I loved @ first (it’s so cool!), yet discovered that it goes thru brand new ink cartridges like crazy…like incredibly unbelievably fast. So now I’m racking up new ink costs which have superseded the price of the machine. So, was online, here, looking f/ a superior alternative printer that is more cost effective & yet still not too pricey, fairly inexpensive, if such a combination can be found. Don’t want to hav to invest hundreds or 5 hundred. This cost only $48 on sale. Cannon even sent me a whole new set of inks f/ free when their customer service thought the inks that came w/ it were full cartridges, not just temporary starter cartridges to get u started printing…so he had them send me new, as he thought the originals were maybe faulty. Then the store associate told me, no, they just include partially full cartridges to get you started. But even that free set ran out quickly & I’ve had to replace it once or twice already. Now I’m out again, & tired of this cost to replace so often. Was looking f/ a slightly more expensive alternative printer whose inks last a lot longer. Just wondered how long your inks last on the Canon PIXMA MG5720. TY!

  • Which is best folks; a printer that take shte cheaper ink yes…but what about wireless or plug in? I don’t have too much trouble with the wifi but the reason I got it is nill now so is regular verse wireless better for security or??? Thoughts appreciated.

    HP is really good quality BUT they do not liekit when one used the other types of ink at all and it must be HP acceptable to run.
    it costs a minor fortune iof one prints a lot….always seems the darn thing conks out just when I really need to make copies of something important.

    So which printer with low cost ink do you are recomed…looks like I am shopping for a new printer asap….help please and thanks!

    • Hi Ruth,
      It seems you feel the same way about HP as I do. Frankly, I am planning to give both my HP printers the boot and plump for a manufacturer with a cheapish printer, cheap brand ink and an ‘open door’ policy towards other ‘generic’ ink manufacturers. HP is just too expensive to run and restrictive when it comes to using non-HP cartridges.

  • Its cheaper (often) to buy a new printer when the ink runs out. Just check the volume of the cartridges though. Its crazy I know but if it costs more to make the ink than the printer then pay for new printers.

  • There is a setting in the printer toolbox to check or uncheck to use or not hp cartridges. I have a 4520 envy and it works fine after I checked use any refills.

    • I looked for the setting to use generic cartridges… where is that setting… step by step if possible… thx

  • I’ve used HP cartridges with every HP printer that I’ve owned, which over the years, are many, and I’ve seen ink error messages with HP cartridges, too. I don’t think it matters which you use. Some sort of built in obsolescence?

    I give up and buy another one when I cannot fix the error or prob, like now. (Broken piece of unreplaceable hardware.) When they work, the HP printers are solid. But they (HP) are not good guys (see class action lawsuit for HP firmware that prevents use of third-party cartridges). Leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Makes me wonder what else they’re up to.

    So… judging from these remarks, some of you must have wound up buying other printers. Any recommendations? Experience?

  • With very few exceptions, I have always bought HP printers but the high price of HP cartridges and the endless ways that this manufacturer seems to think up of rendering ‘compatible brands’ of cartridge is making me think again. I am planning on junking my otherwise functional HP 1510 and buying whichever brand offers reasonable quality and cheap ink.

    It is a pity that HP will lose a valuable customer but I have lost patience. This only goes to show how a ‘big name’ brand can shoot itself in the foot by ignoring what customers like me want.

  • I am 72 and have no computer background. I need an inexpensive printer that used cheap ink. I print a lot of recipes on Jot paper because of their designs. I print some photos for scrap booking. My printer winds up doing a lot of crafting which uses lots of ink. Can someone recommend an easy to use,cheap to run, low cost printer for me. The simpler to use the better!

  • […] have a printer to make it easy to print assignments or designs. And there are many choices for good printers like HP Deskjet 3630. Small, affordable and smartly […]

  • Great article but since it was mentioned that laser printers are better than inkjet, I was hoping to see some laser printer suggestions. I only saw inkjet suggestions.

  • HP IS THE BIGGEST RIPOFF OF ALL TIME. This cheap printer 2132 was purchased at Walmart for $39.99. The print amount was stated as 400 B&W AND 200 COLOR. I don’t think I got even 20 pages before the ink was done. Went to Walmart, they said they have nothing to do with it as my 30 days had already expired. Ended up desperate to print docs so forced to buy replacement ink for $60 for both. Again, only 20 copies. I absolutely refused to purchase this ink again. What a bunch of thieves. I can’t believe you can put a product as shitty as this on the market and not be in jail for false advertising. SMDH. Everyone is only trying to steal from the consumer. Quality or value doens’t matter thes days. I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND THIS COMPANY HP TO EVEN A DOG.

  • I am having the same problem with a Brother MFC480DW. I purchased this model printer and it was working great – even used the generic ink. Then we had an electrical storm and my printer wouldn’t work. I contacted Brother because the printer was still under warranty and they sent me a rebuilt printer. This one uses ink like crazy. I buy the high yield ink and it doesn’t yield anymore than the low yield. I always get the message that my ink is low or the printer cannot recognize the ink. It also will not use the generic ink. I emailed brother because I keep getting the error messages, and they said the printer just uses a lot of ink. Really!! This printer is a piece of junk and an ink hog. Apparently nobody makes a good economical to use printer anymore. Now I have full cartridges of generic ink which I purchased to use with the first machine and a printer that won’t work because it is constantly needing more ink even when I have only printed 100 pages or less.

  • AVOID ALL IN ONES! AVOID WIRELESS! Printer companies are seriously watching you. Wireless seems convenient, but it is such a headache. My home printer is wireless and I want to chuck it out a window every other time a use it.

    Seriously, my favorite printer of all time is the Officejet 6100 with no software installed. Plug and go USB, ink lasts FOREVER and is cheap. $22 for replacement cartridges, and not combined colors. Old school yellow, cyan, magenta and a TWO big blacks for that price so you only need to replace the color you need at that time. It is not going to print beautiful photos, but it will do labels, legal paper, letter sized… and FAST! I am a teacher, and I print hundreds of papers a month, and I only change the ink once a year. So, if you’re looking for economy, find one of these old gems and print to your heart’s content.

  • HP means hockey puck my all-in-one HP7520 just bit the bygone went and bought $75.00 in inks color were off brand and photo was HP. The photo and one color did not show up as even being in place and after many resets then it will not print tried clean print head and then align print head and still got bad print. Then after many tries I got print head error removed to clean head then when I put it back keep getting no print head or missing print head. I just like so many others am now anti-HP everything. I think I will see about the class action case maybe I can get some of my cost back.

  • I am in the market to purchase a home printer. Would like wifi and faxing features. As mentioned above, I don’t want to pay a lot for ink cartridges. Any suggestions on what printer to buy? I would like to refill my cartridges at Costco to save money. I see that everyone suggests staying away from Hp printers.

  • Good info.But i’m a little confused ( happens a lot ) I know the site is called 4inkjets.
    It says in the article when it comes to cost per page lasers easily beat ink jets .
    The article is more or less about cost per page or value for money , but there are no Laser printers reviewed .
    Am I missing something

  • guess I’m looking for a laser printer that takes generic ink definitely not Hp?Any suggestions
    Thanks

    • Hi Nick! Thanks for pointing out that we don’t mention laser printers. I made some edits to clarify that in the article. On your second comment, there are certainly many laser printers (if not all) that take generic toner. You can’t go wrong with Brother printers so I recommend that brand if you’re thinking about getting a laser printer. Best of luck!

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