These Printers Won’t Cost You a Fortune in Ink

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Woman using a home printer
New Africa /

By now, many people realize that a cheap printer becomes more and more costly as the years roll on.

Many companies sell printers at a low price with the intention of making a lot of money off customers each time they must replace the ink.

As Consumer Reports notes, some ink cartridges are so expensive that over time, the customer pays more for ink than for the printer itself. In fact, CR describes printer ink as “one of the most expensive liquids on the planet.”

Recently, CR looked at the printers currently available on the market and determined which ones cost their owners the least amount of money when it comes to the total cost of the printer plus ink replacement expenses over time.

Based on annual ink or toner cost estimates — and adding that figure to the printer’s original purchase price — CR recommends the following affordable options:

These printers can be less expensive than their initial sticker price might suggest.

For example, the Epson EcoTank ET-2400 retails for around $200. That makes it much more expensive than the HP DeskJet 3755, which costs around $90.

However, the Epson model will cost you about $5 annually in ink. By contrast, the HP model costs $146 a year in ink expenses.

The annual ink costs for the four models that CR recommends are:

  • Brother MFC-J1010DW: $68
  • Epson EcoTank ET-2400: $5
  • Canon imageCLASS MF451dw: $14
  • Canon imageCLASS MF642Cdw: $45

Overall, Consumer Reports says you generally are better off skipping an inkjet printer and purchasing a laser printer instead, particularly if you typically print in black and white. According to CR:

“Though often priced higher to start, those printers use toner instead of ink, and in the long run you’ll probably spend less money on toner than you will on ink. And laser printers tend to outperform inkjets on predicted brand reliability and owner satisfaction ratings that are based on surveys of Consumer Reports members.”

Once you have your printer and the rest of your home office squared away, start looking for one of the “13 High-Paying Jobs You Can Do From Home.”

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