Printing Advice of Laser printers and more

Here’s some retro advice that Mark reminded me about. It’s been tempting to get a cheap inkjet like the OfficeJet from Costco. But most of the time it doesn’t make sense.

First the cost of consumables is outrageous. It’s a razor blade business. You can try to use off brand or refilled ink cartridges but YMMV a lot.

Also if you don’t print regularly the head gets clogged and then you spend an hour cleaning it. (Hint, try the unclog utilities first but I often find the ink evaporated too and you need to spend $100 on net cartridges).

Instead think about splitting and getting two printers. Buy a laser printer as your core. Those things only do black and white but are way faster and cheaper too. The laser stuff lasts forever.

If you have kids print a lot the low end HP LaserJets are bulletproof. We have a cheaper Brother HL-L2395 DW and it’s been great. It $99 and consumables are cheap.

You could get a color version for $300 but how many times do you really want to print a colored flyer 🙂 but not really for amazing prints.

if you print alot the MFC-L2750DW XL which is faster and still black and white.

For printing photos. Albright that’s increasingly rare unless you are printing a lot, online printing is probably long term cheaper. The quality is incredible. And you can get large didn’t. I’ve used Nations for simple 4×6 and Adorama pix for pro quality books. But the quality of Costco is actually remarkable and good for fast turnaround.

But, if you really need color and print a lot of photos you go to a higher end inkjet that uses tanks make sense like the Canon Pro or Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000.


  1. jonsmirl
    Jul 6th, 2019 9:57 am

    A better solution is to get a color laser ($200-500). Then print your photos at a service. The service printed photos will last much longer than the home printed ones. I have sworn off inkjets – way too expensive for the ink.

    I’ve had my HP Laserjet M276nw for about five years with zero issues. It needs new ink cartridges about once ever two years; they print 1000s of sheets.

    1. Rich TongRich Tong
      Rich Tong
      Jul 6th, 2019 2:22 pm

      Great point Jon. I updated the post to reflect your comments. Moved up the use online for printing photos.

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