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Throwing away new printer when toner runs out?


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#1 jonuk76

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 07:56 AM

Ever noticed the ridiculous cost of new toner cartridges on some laser printers?  For example, my Dad is currently eyeing up a high end Lexmark colour printer which comes an 8000 page multi colour toner pack (not the reduced capacity starter kit often provided).  The heavily reduced cost of the printer with included toners - about £200.  The cost of a set of replacement 8000 page toners?  Nearly £800.   

 

His idea is to buy the printer, and when it runs out of toner, sling it and buy a new one.  That could mean sell it on eBay, or more likely take it to the dump.

 

From brief searching around, there are no "compatible" toner sellers for this particular printer, so it appears you are stuck with buying the Lexmark originals.

 

Personally, I'm no eco-warrior by a long stretch but it seems appallingly wasteful to me....  What are your thoughts on this?  I've long known that manufacturers are subsidising new printer prices with their over priced toner refills, but this seems to be a particularly egregious example of it.

 

My advice to him FWIW is if you don't need an "enterprise" level high end printer don't buy one. Just make sure replacement toner is available at a reasonable price...


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#2 Just_One_Question

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 08:56 AM

Slightly off-topic

I actually don't really get to this day why anyone, apart from professional publishers, gets a colour printer. I bought a non-colour laser HP printer back in 2005 and it serves us well to this day. The only costs that it incurs are:
- buying white sheets of A4 paper
- making small contributions to the electricity bill
- getting it's toner refilled about once every 1.5 years for ~$25

That's it!

#3 mjd420nova

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:38 AM

I buy a printer for mostly photos and find the all in one units pretty handy.  Yes, they have become "disposable" and toner/ink cartridges are the manufacturers way of recovering some of their investment.  Lexmark has gotten a clue from HP in using copyrighted/trademarked hardware to prevent third party interference with consumable sales.  HP uses chips (page counters) in some cartridges, preventing refilling but there are some work around schemes but ink quality and consistency are not confined to manufacturers specs.  All peripherals are on a separate power block and aren't usually powered up unless in use.



#4 britechguy

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 11:17 AM

jonuk76,

 

         I certainly can't blame people who would go for the new printer over the replacement toner cartridge(s) under those circumstances.  I would, however, encourage them not to chuck the printer they're disposing of in the trash but to instead donate it to something like Goodwill or other thrift shop or, in the case of Goodwill here in the USA, take it to them and tell them it doesn't function and should be put into their computer equipment recycling program.

 

         I have never purchased a color laser printer but have had a number of color inkjet printers over the decades.  Other than one that was given to me that was an HP I have always exclusively purchased Canon printers (though now that I've done my homework it seems Epson could work, too) because at the time they were the only inkjet manufacturer that had many models in their stable that used separate ink tanks for each color and some with separate black tanks - one for pigmented black ink for documents and another for dye-based black for photographs.  There were even some that had grey and green ink tanks.  At the outset none of these had the blasted chips and all worked with permanent print heads that were a part of the printer, not the tank.  As the years have gone by they have added chips to the ink tanks, but third party sellers have kept up by selling refillable tanks that have auto-reset chips that go back to what the printer thinks is "full" if you remove them and keep them out for a short period of time.

 

           I have saved a fortune by using refillable tanks and buying the ink supply bottles more commonly used with continuous feed systems that can refill a set of ink tanks for years on end.

 

           It is ridiculous to me that a single full set of ink tanks most often costs more than the printer with all its original tanks (whether introductory size or regular) cost to purchase in the first place.  Sometimes only two ink tanks cost more than the full setup did.

 

           When you start getting into printers with a black cartridge and a tri-color cartridge the cost skyrockets on the color side at least because in almost every instance one of the colors will run out significantly ahead of the other two - and which that is depends on what you've been printing (but I find that either cyan or magenta almost invariably run out well before yellow ever does).

 

            If I could not use refillable tanks I'd probably be doing the recycle and buy another route.


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     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

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#5 jonuk76

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 01:14 PM

Yes I suppose passing it on to a charity or something like that is better than dumping it.  Thanks for the idea. I'll still look into alternatives though, as my opinion is with his use (easily less than a ream of paper a month) buying a huge printer meant for printing thousands of pages a month just seems over the top..

 

Yes with inkjet's there's even mods like continuous ink systems that can make them incredibly cheap to run. Epson, Canon and some HP inkjets seem to have these kits available.

 

Nickos, I suspect that Dot Matrix printers are now very much niche items, for specific users (e.g. those wanting to print invoices on continuous paper) and so the price has gone up to match.  It used to be the case that they were cheaper than inkjet's but clearly not now.

 

 

Slightly off-topic

I actually don't really get to this day why anyone, apart from professional publishers, gets a colour printer. I bought a non-colour laser HP printer back in 2005 and it serves us well to this day. The only costs that it incurs are:
- buying white sheets of A4 paper
- making small contributions to the electricity bill
- getting it's toner refilled about once every 1.5 years for ~$25

That's it!

 

Depends on what kind of user you are. I think for general purpose home use a colour printer can be nice to have. My dad for example prints lots of factsheets and things with charts on for example, and they can be really difficult to read in monochrome.  I like to print the odd photo out (I've had the same HP Photosmart printer for over 10 years, and it costs me next to nothing to run with compatible "chipped" ink cartridges).  If you're mainly doing letters, then a monochrome laser is ideal.


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#6 Just_One_Question

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 04:21 PM

Yeah, I've been using it mainly for Wikipedia pages and other articles back in the day and also distributing a school newspaper. Nothing all too intensive. :)

#7 britechguy

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 01:02 PM

Most multi-function inkjets where you have separate tanks per ink type and where you can refill them or run a continuous ink system are quite inexpensive to acquire and to run.

 

As can be seen by this entire thread, it's not the acquisition costs for most modern printers (I don't include dot matrix in that category and the remaining market is niche - and thus very high priced) that gets you, it's the ink/toner.

 

If you have a way around buying OEM ink/toner then the price of operation can be reduced quite significantly.  I've got a lifetime (virtually) supply of the ink I need for my Canon MG5522 in all colors for less than the cost of two average tricolor cartridges on the market.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

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#8 Poppyann

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 05:16 AM

My Canon printer only cost of appox £50.00 and a set of colored ink is approx £30.00 ?  Madness..



#9 mjd420nova

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:48 AM

There are still many dot matrix and even older impact printers  in use today.  Most are used for multiple copy  media where there is 5 or 6 pages. 



#10 Poppyann

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:57 AM

I'm very tempted to buy the re-fill ink cartridges, but they say that they can mess up the printer ? 



#11 britechguy

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 11:24 AM

I'm very tempted to buy the re-fill ink cartridges, but they say that they can mess up the printer ? 

 

The only thing I've ever had "mess up the printer" is the pigmented black cartridge with a specific pigmented black ink.  This was solved easily, as the issue seemed to be "pigment buildup" by refilling it with dye-based black once to allow it to thin the pigment buildup and then afterward to mix the two because I knew that particular pigmented black caused an issue.

 

No regular color tank nor the dye-based black has ever worked anything but perfectly with refillable ink tanks.  This stuff is, for all practical intents and purposes, colored water that's drawn through in volumes of picoliters at a time.  No ink manufacturer (at least legitimate ones, and that includes refill products) is using anything but "pure" (probably distilled, but perhaps deionized) water as the base along with its colorants.  This stuff is not rocket science.

 

I've been refilling my Canon printers over a span of decades now and never had one die in a way that suggested that the refilled ink tanks were a factor.  Given the cash cow that inkjet ink is for any of the printer makers I'm quite sure they want the perception to be and to remain "refill ink - bad, OEM ink - good," and not for your benefit.


Edited by britechguy, 12 April 2017 - 11:25 AM.

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

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#12 britechguy

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 11:27 AM

There are still many dot matrix and even older impact printers  in use today.  Most are used for multiple copy  media where there is 5 or 6 pages. 

 

Indeed, but what you describe is the definition of a niche market.   It's all relative to the printer market as a whole, and the market for new dot matrix and impact type printers is minuscule when looked at in context.  That's why they've become so expensive.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#13 jonuk76

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 01:30 PM

Here's an alternative story (my old man)...
 
In the last 10 years he's had a Lexmark (don't recall exact model, but it was about the size of an office copier....), an HP Laserjet CP3505, and most recently a Samsung CLP-775ND.  I can't recall what happened to the Lexmark but there was some problem with it and it was replaced at about 2-3 years old with the HP.  The HP went along for a few years, had a few problems which I ended up fixing (I had to force flash the firmware at one stage as it was locked up completely), the input trays had broken, and he decided to replace it with the Samsung when the fuser unit finally packed in.
 
The Samsung (now still on it's first set of genuine toner after the starter toner used up) has been mechanically good, but has recently developed a problem with colour prints.  They look terrible - blotchy, inconsistent, just generally unacceptable.  Black is still OK.  The printer is still under warranty, but Samsung support have told him "you'll have to buy new toner" as they suspect it's degraded through low usage.  The colours are still a little over half full.  A new set of colour toners is about the price of the printer so... he's thinking about replacing it again.
 
In that time I've had one inkjet which cost me about £50, and while I probably don't print quite as much as him, has cost me peanuts to run, particularly since I started using non-genuine ink cartridges about five years ago.  It still works perfectly.

Edited by Al1000, 14 April 2017 - 04:30 AM.
removed reference to banned member

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#14 mjd420nova

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 09:53 AM

Over the generations of machines, from the impact to dot matrix to inkjet and laser, the units have become smaller, less expensive but less dependable.  When HP first introduced the laserjet, using a laser to draw on a photo drum, pick up toner, transfer to the page and fuse in place.  Loads of things to go wrong but when running right and kept clean, would easily go 10,000 pages on one toner cartridge.  Rebuilt cartridges were just refilled and the photo drums were not checked or replaced, resulting in a large percentage of failed units after rebuild.  Other methods like using LED strips to draw on the drum and separate the photo drum and toner dispenser.  HP made the most failure prone and consumable item in one unit.  HP also started the inkjet with a black only on their special paper for a portable printer to go with their HP 110 laptop.  Many methods exist to get colored ink unto a page, squirting from a printhead, either with ink contained within the printhead or supplied from a bladder by tubes and HP's method of energizing a circuit to "boil" a bit of ink in the printhead and eject it unto the page again puts the failure prone items in the consumable parts.  So many methods of impact that are the most reliable  and vary from whole character sets or dots of different sizes on a flying belt to rotating balls and cylinders moving on a carriage across the page.  Dot matrix is becoming more advanced, some boasting as many as 24 pins in the printhead and page speeds up to 30 a minute.  Most have added lubrication to printhead fingers to keep  them cool or use extra oils in their inks to lubricate the printhead, even adding extra speeds to ribbon mechanisms to keep the jams to a minimum.  Color printers were preceded by the color plotters, some using felt pens, others roller ball pens, but the results were of photo quality media.  Cleanliness is the best way to get the most from any printer.



#15 Wildabeast

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 06:51 AM

Just this week, I purchased a new Brother Color Laser Printer. I had an HP, but it did not want to play with Windows 10. (I hate windows 10) I rarely use color, that's why I went with laser. I had a few ink jets, the ink kept drying up because I didn't use it very often. I gave the old HP Laser to Goodwill, I tried to make it work with win10, went out to the HP website, found no help. So I started to write to them, as soon as I put in the model # I got a huge page telling me they no longer support that printer. It's only a few years old... So now I'm trying Brother, the toner will cost about $70 each, but like I said, I rarely use it. So the expense won't be as bad..

If you do a lot of color printing, use an inkjet. There are a lot of good ones out there.


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