Author Topic: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)  (Read 5622 times)

yolfer

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Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« on: February 26, 2013, 04:49:50 PM »
Between schoolwork and the wife's home business, I'm getting increasingly guilty printing stuff out at my office. We'd like to get a small printer, but I've heard that ink is like liquid gold in terms of price.

How do Mustachians do it? Inkjet? Laser? Does it make a difference?

I figure I could get a free printer on CL and then deal with the cost of ink. Or buy a new printer that's carefully chosen to minimize the ongoing ink costs. Are there substantial cost differences in ink pricing?

Thanks!

Daley

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 05:32:57 PM »
Yolfer!

Have an answer: Laserjet. Brother. Anything that takes TN-420 and TN-450 toner cartridges, and TN-420 drum assemblies. Now's the time of year to purchase as the older models go on clearance. Newegg has the HL-2240D on sale currently for $80, but equal or marginally better deals might be had in March.

There's no such thing as an inkjet printer that isn't a ripoff. Most people mostly only need to print in monochrome anyway, and AdoramaPix or FedEx Office closes the gap on the remaining color print needs. As for my reasoning for that particular subset of printers? Toner's cheap, the toner cartridges are easy to refill on your own, as is swapping out fuser rollers with or without the accompanying cartridge, it's lean on toner use without looking it on toner saver, and it's easy to override the low-toner cut-off for printing. Also has reasonably decent support across all major operating systems and has a short warm-up time. Given the price, it's not catastrophic if it fails, either.... well, outside of the e-waste issue, anyway. Brother designed them to be a consumer cash-cow where they recoup money on the consumables end, but the design of the equipment's sufficiently sturdy and well designed enough to make this a good DIY maintenance unit for the money. If you buy new toner cartridges, spring for the genuine Brother parts as they'll fit better and leak less. Stick with the same toner refill brands, too, unless you empty out the cartridge entirely with the older stuff as toner mixing usually leads to streaky prints. Excellent choice for light printing that's frequent enough to demand a home printer but not enough to buy a high-end quality unit with a massive duty cycle.

There's used laser printers, too... most of them will be ancient HP Laserjet models which suck a lot of electricity running and are getting harder to find parts for, but can serve well if you find one. There's just not much available on the used laser printer market as most people like to waste money on color inkjet and the people who know about the cost savings of laser usually run the machine until it dies. The most important thing to look for with a laser printer is to ensure that the fuser assembly isn't integrated into the toner cartridge... that's where you really get soaked with the consumer models as you're replacing a part that should be good for about 25k prints after around 5k worth of toner.


Anyway, I haven't forgotten about you, man... though I do feel like a yutz for not writing you back sooner. I should make an effort to remedy that.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 05:37:18 PM by I.P. Daley »

destron

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 07:03:42 PM »
I have a ~6 year old black and white Samsung Laserjet printer. Works beautifully. I bought it for $80. At the time, I also bought a second toner cartridge for $25 with a 50% off coupon. I am still on the first cartridge. Given I don't print very often (a few pages a month), that thing has really lasted.

sulaco

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 07:17:18 PM »
Yet another recommendation for a laser printer. I had a $40 Samsung for 6 years that would have continued to last, had I not upgraded to a Canon with a scanner in the fall. I sold the Samsung for $30.

Generic toner is cheap, and at least for home use, I've never had an issue with it.

Every time I look at ink jets - mostly for photo printing - it's always cheaper to just have Costco do it.

Daley

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 07:53:31 PM »
*sighs* Oh Samsung... I remember when you were my favorite go-to recommendation for laser printing for those very reasons above before you went over to the dark side. Now you sell overpriced toner cartridges with the fuser assembly integrated and chip your cartridges to prevent refill. Your build quality is tighter for the money than Brother, but you abuse your end users like an HP inkjet customer.

GoStumpy

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 08:36:04 PM »
LASER LASER LASER LASER LASER LASER.

I can't say enough how much I LOVE my Laserjet... Probably went through a half dozen inkjets in the past 10-15 years, and dozens upon dozens of inkjet cartidges that were always either dried or empty when I wanted them.  USELESS!

My little Samsung cost me $60 new, and the toner cartridges cost $60 each... but I don't care because it works every. single. time. I need it, and the toner cartridges last for 3000+ pages, which will take me YEARS to burn through!

Tyler

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 10:30:53 PM »
I like to take photos and frame them around the house, but don't want to pay for professional prints.  So I like my inkjet.  It's true that the ink can get expensive, though.

After a lot of research, I recently purchased an HP 8600 (after my old Epson died) and recommend it.  Just get the entry-level Pro version, not the Plus or Premium.  I found it for 25% off.

It's built for small office use so it's fast and well-built, and the cost-per-print is very low for an inkjet (comparable to a laserjet for B&W if you fiddle with the settings). I also like that the ink cartridges are available in XL sizes, which further reduces cost per print.  Picture quality is quite good, IMO.

For replacement ink cartridges, be sure to browse Craigslist.  When people switch printers they often offload unused ink for cheap.




Daley

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 07:32:49 AM »
I like to take photos and frame them around the house, but don't want to pay for professional prints.  So I like my inkjet.  It's true that the ink can get expensive, though.

After a lot of research, I recently purchased an HP 8600 (after my old Epson died) and recommend it.  Just get the entry-level Pro version, not the Plus or Premium.  I found it for 25% off.

It's built for small office use so it's fast and well-built, and the cost-per-print is very low for an inkjet (comparable to a laserjet for B&W if you fiddle with the settings). I also like that the ink cartridges are available in XL sizes, which further reduces cost per print.  Picture quality is quite good, IMO.

For replacement ink cartridges, be sure to browse Craigslist.  When people switch printers they often offload unused ink for cheap.

Mind if I ask you what your average cost is per 4x6 print, paper included? You talk a lot about cost-per-print and the price of your printer, but you don't give any solid numbers. Knowing what I do about printers and the suggested print costs per page for the model you're talking about, I'm getting a ballpark cost of roughly 20-25 per 4x6 photo at the barebones minimum, cheapest photo paper included, based purely hypothetically off of HP's often wildly inaccurate marketing materials, so I have my doubts about how solid those numbers are with real-world use. Granted, that doesn't factor the sorts of ink discounts you say you're getting off Craigslist, but I'd love to read some solid numbers here. Also, mind if I ask what you actually paid for the machine?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 07:34:46 AM by I.P. Daley »

Tyler

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2013, 08:19:21 AM »
I paid $100 new ($150 sale price with an additional $50 store discount).

It's true that advertised print costs are generally over-optimistic.  Here's a good summary of CPP tests for various printers (warning: PDF).  http://tinyurl.com/a7yt8x4

There may be cheaper options still, but I'm pretty happy with the HP so far for my needs. 

Re: Craigslist, I still buy new ink sometimes but always keep a lookout.  For my last printer, a guy in my area sold a box of 10 ink cartridges for each color (50 total) - enough to last me longer than the life of a printer - for $100 total.




Daley

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2013, 08:29:19 AM »
You still haven't posted numbers on your average cost per 4x6 print on all consumables... the PDF you linked just demonstrated cost of ink alone, which was even higher than I'd calculated by about 8 per page.

Edit: Going by QualityLogic's numbers alone, with photo paper (assuming you're not getting the gold-pressed-latinum HP branded variety), I'm figuring the cost per print alone in consumables is more accurately reflected at about 30-35 a print on average, including yourself, then?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 08:37:14 AM by I.P. Daley »

Tyler

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2013, 09:06:29 AM »
Peace.

It's a new printer, and I haven't made it through a full round of ink yet so the third-party numbers are the best I have right now.  I'll happily provide more info once I have personal data to go on. 

FWIW, I'm not trying to prove that inkjets are superior in cost to laser.  I simply wanted to recommend a decent one (relative to other options) for those who like to print photos at home.  Nothing more.






Daley

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 09:22:00 AM »
It's cool, man.

Actually, 35 a print with inkjet's almost approaching a reasonable price point if you ignore HP's inkjet build quality these days... that's why I was actually trying to press you for numbers. I still don't think it's a great investment when you factor additional hardware costs compared to the quality of dye-sub prints through Costco/Sam's/Walmart/Target/etc. for their prices as I consider modern dye-sublimation to be of higher durability and quality over inkjet for photos (magenta dye durability is always problematic with inkjet, and lighter blues tend to have a noticeable color shift towards cyan/green/purple without at least seven color process), but both are still inferior to classic chemical photo development which is what AdoramaPix does, but they run about 30 to 54 (if you order at least ten) after shipping per photo... though the print quality is awesome for the money if you've got good, high res digital masters.

They're encouraging numbers, but I still stand by my original statement. :)

iamsoners

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2013, 10:03:06 AM »
I'm starting to believe these are the most mustachian things around. I mean, you can print a car, a gun or new organs.  Surely you can print a new bike, tools and an all protein breakfast out too...

Jack

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2013, 10:44:29 AM »
I have a Lexmark Pro901, which is inkjet but prints black-and-white for 5 cents per page. It was the most economical thing I could find with a network port, automatic duplex printing and a reasonable up-front cost when I bought it a few years ago.

yolfer

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Re: Mustachian Printer? (is that an oxymoron?)
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2013, 11:46:18 AM »
I'm starting to believe these are the most mustachian things around. I mean, you can print a car, a gun or new organs.  Surely you can print a new bike, tools and an all protein breakfast out too...

LOL, soners wins but thanks to everyone else for trying :)

Honestly, thank you to everyone for the suggestions.

I.P., no problem, I've fallen off the wagon too in terms of the weekly study emails. I'll try to do better!