Can Buying an Expensive Printer Save You More Money in Ink or Toner?

Purchasing the printer you want, especially one that fits in your budget, should be simple right? Unfortunately it isn’t. Buying an inkjet printer or a laser printer has more to do with doing your homework on how much it’s going to cost you to run the printer – in terms of buying ink or toner for the printer. You’ll soon find that cartridges can quickly cost a lot more than the printer you bought and if you’re looking for a economical printer you’ll have to consider how much your printer ink or toner costs depending on how much printing you’re planning on doing.

Here are a few factors to consider right off the bat as published in an article titled Ink-onomics: Can You Save Money By Spending More on Your Printer? by PCWorld:

The cheaper the printer, the more expensive its inks. We’ve tracked the prices of 56 inkjet MFPs over the past two years, and the average cost per page for inks destined for a cheap printer (which we define as one costing less than $200) has consistently been higher than that for an expensive printer (one costing $200 or more).

A good example is the comparison between a cheap printer and an expensive printer: The $70 Canon Pixma MG2120 VS a pricier $300 HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-In-One Printer.

How did each printer fair?

The $70 Canon Pixma MG2120: High ink costs averaging at 6.3 cents per page for plain black and white text documents and a whopping 14 cents per page for coloured documents.

The $300 HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One Printer: Economical ink costs averaging at 1.6 cents per page black and white print outs and 7.2 cents for coloured print outs.

For the amount of money invested, over time you can expect to spend a lot less and also avail better quality printouts and get better features with the more expensive HP printer if you print a lot.

However, if you don’t print all that much you might get away with buying a low-cost cheap printer like the Canon Pixma and still save. Here’s why:

For our hypothetical user with light printing needs, the cheap Canon printer makes economic sense, even after three years. The Pixma MG2120 costs so little initially that, despite its pricier inks, its first-year costs of $199 are significantly less than even the purchase price alone of the more-expensive HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus. Three years after the initial purchase, the cheap printer’s higher ink costs have ballooned to a total of $387–roughly 5.5 times the original price of the printer–but its total cost ($457) is still a little less than the expensive printer’s total cost after three years ($478.83).

If you print more frequently however, you are much better off buying the more expensive HP and here’s why:

At a medium volume of 250 pages of simple documents per month (175 plain-black text pages and 75 four-color pages) plus 25 4-by-6-inch color photos each month, the cheaper printer’s ink costs mount quickly. By the end of the first year of use, the total cost of buying the cheaper printer and its costlier inks is $392.50, as against a total cost of $449.03 for the first year of the expensive printer and its cheaper inks. And three years after the initial purchase, the cheap Canon printer’s total cost dwarfs that of the more expensive HP printer: $1037.50 to $747.08.

Analyzing what you will be printing and how much you will be printing is critical to assessing what printer you need to buy.

Irrespective of the printer you buy you can save on ink and toner costs by buying compatible, remanufactured or refilled ink and toner.

Visit an Island Ink-Jet store to start saving today!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/