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Is there any rational way to compare inkjet cartridges?


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#1 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 09:31 PM

We have an Epson Workforce 845 printer. I need to reorder ink cartridges soon. Is there any place where I can compare the capacities of the 126 vs 127 cartridges in units of ounces or milliliters?

 

The Epson website only says that the 127 gives "50% more prints" than the 126, but it also costs 58% more ($29.99 vs $18.99).

 

https://epson.com/i/C11CB92201

 

I found a couple of websites that provide cartridge capacities in "pages", whatever that means. Here are a couple:

 

http://www.optimuminks.com/epson-126-vs-127xl-ink-cartridge-differences/

 

http://126-and-127.blogspot.com/

 

Using these page counts, the 127s capacity is between 28% (for black) and 58% (for color) than the 126s.

 

This website claims that Epson cartridges hold 8-10 ml of ink, but doesn't differentiate between 126 and 127. It further claims that comparibke cartridges hold 15ml (50% more) and refillable ones hold 20ml (double).
 

http://blog.atlanticinkjet.com/choose-by-brand/epson-cartridges/how-much-ink-your-epson-ink-cartridges-hold-on-average.html

 

I wonder why printer manufacturers fail to disclose the capacities of their cartridges in standard units. Would that make it too easy to compare prices?

 

Sometime ago, I had a different inkjet printer (can't recall model). One time I bought replacement cartridges from a third party. Not only did they not work, but they damaged the printer. So I have been using cartridges from the printer manufacturer ever since. Up to now, I have purchased replacement cartridges from Amazon. Their prices seem at least as good as anywhere else, their delivery is usually quicker, and the generally stand behind their sales.

 

So I have 2 questions:

 

1. Does anyone know what the capacities are of the 126 and 127 cartridges? Apparently, the black cartridges are different from the color cartridges. On my 845, they are the exact same size, although there is extra space to the left of the black cartridge, so there may be a higher capacity version.

 

2. Is there a reputable third party cartridge manufacturer offering higher capacities, lower prices, and no problems? One website recommended House of Inks, which sounded like a tattoo parlor.

 

https://www.houseofinks.com/

 

Consumer Reports did a quasi-review, but failed to evaluate any specific sellers due to a "fractured market". I have found CR to be way more cautious and fixated on peripheral details than I am.

 

https://www.consumerreports.org/printers/third-party-printer-ink-cartridges-pros-cons/

 

Top Ten Reviews did a recent review. I have found their reviews to be spotty.

 

http://www.toptenreviews.com/services/multimedia/best-discount-ink-cartridges-stores/

 


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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 11:54 AM

Normally ink/toner cartridges are rated on a number of  pages.  Here's a PC Mag Article that you might find interesting. - "The issue isn't how much ink you get, but how many pages you can print."

 

I believe a printed page is counted using 5% coverage.



#3 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 02:22 PM

Normally ink/toner cartridges are rated on a number of  pages.  Here's a PC Mag Article that you might find interesting. - "The issue isn't how much ink you get, but how many pages you can print."
 
I believe a printed page is counted using 5% coverage.

Yes, I know that the ratings are almost always in pages. But there are several problems with ratings in pages. For one thing, it's not clear how that is calculated. Is it always 5%? And what does that mean with a color printer, where the colors are mixed in variable proportions depending on the actual color to be printed. And there is no good way to test that the vendor are being accurate or even honest.

 

A milliliter is a milliliter. If the "Extra" high capacity cartridges have double the milliliters at 50% higher cost, then they are a good deal. But if they only have 50% more milliliters at double the cost, they are not.

 

Page ratings are imprecise, subjective, and unreliable.


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#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:30 PM

 

Page ratings are imprecise, subjective, and unreliable

 

I couldn't agree more !

 

I do think you are being hard on the alternative suppliers. I have been using an alternative supplier for about the last fifteen years with both Epson and Canon printers, mainly Canon, and never had a printer damaged by one of these cartridges. In that time I have had two cartridges which failed to 'flow' and I just wrote that off to the cost of doing business. Unhappily it is no good me giving you a link to my supplier as they are in the UK and you aren't. I have just had a quick look at their web-site and Canon cartridges have contents listed by millilitres as do some Epsons but not all. I didn't see a listing for your 845 but that may be because it isn't marketed under that number in the UK.

 

I would give alternative suppliers another try.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#5 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 08:04 PM

The purchase of ink cartridges has always been 'catch-as-catch-can'.

 

The ways different suppliers rate their cartridges never seems to correlate with one another, I've found. And I've been purchasing refills for over 30 years.

 

As with Chris, I too have a good supplier here in the UK.....which is of no use to you. Two things I will say. If, like me, you prefer Epsons (and I've been using them for decades), you need to know that Epsons always tend to err on the excessively blue side with their colour 'mixing'. Therefore, you invariably find that your red cartridge will run out first, shortly followed by your yellow!

 

The other thing I would recommend looking into if you do a lot of printed pages is the Epson 'Eco-Tank' system, where you don't replace cartridges at all. Instead, you refill large, externally-mounted ink tanks from 1 litre refill bottles. The machines cost that bit more in the first place, but the savings, in real terms, can be quite noticeable.

 

Good suppliers are out there; you've just got to persevere until you find 'em. And then stick with 'em!

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 08 February 2018 - 08:09 PM.

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#6 britechguy

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 08:22 PM

My observation is that Canon (and Epson, I believe, but I could be mistaken) both market printers where the print head is part of the printer, not of the ink cartridge, and getting this style can result in very significant savings if you go with aftermarket ink tanks and even greater savings if you go with self-refillable tanks.

 

I've been using Canon printers that employ this arrangement for years and always buy a set of refillable ink tanks with automatic reset chips (so the printer believes the tank is full if you remove the tank to fill it then reinsert it) as my first purchase after the printer.  I have quart sized bottles of all three color inks plus dye-based black along with a 2-quart bottle of pigmented black.  This is probably enough ink to last me most of the rest of my natural lifetime and the entire quantity cost less than a single set of OEM ink tanks.

 

I have never had any problem with these tanks with the exception of the pigmented black.  It appears that the amount of pigment in the ink I bought is higher than in the OEM ink and it caused clogging in the print head, which was easily cleared.  Once this happened I started doing a 50/50 mix of the pigmented black I have and the dye-based black in that tank and it's working flawlessly since.


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#7 mjd420nova

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:07 PM

I've spent some time with Canon. Lexmark and HP cartridges, by wieghing each new cartridge and then weighing again when the unit says they are low and again when they exhibit no ink.  The ink in most is only around two to three grams, even the XL cartridges don't have a representative amount of ink to account for double the price.  It takes an accurate scale to measure those tenths of a gram but it brought me to the point of refilling them myself for just pennies instead of $20 to $30 for each new cartridge.  Printer ink, the most expensive liquid in the world.



#8 britechguy

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:19 PM

With the advent of "chipped" ink tanks it is often impossible to refill OEM tanks as one once could unless you buy a chip resetter, and those don't always work.

 

That being said, I have yet to find a chipped tank where there is not an aftermarket equivalent refillable tank with an automatic reset chip (ARC) on it and where the fill port is already present and with a silicone stopper that matches the intended ink color.


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#9 mjd420nova

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 10:36 AM

HP makes a pretty good cartridge that lends towards easy refilling.  For those clients that have the newer units with the chip reset, I usually just swap out another pair, that is, two pairs besides the ones in the unit.  Saving new cartridges for photos and cards until they need refill.  Weighing each cartridge, both new and those that display the low sign, can give you an idea of how long between swap outs to avoid the display coming up.






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