Best Printer with Cheap Ink

Updated: Jan 22, 2024 11:14 PM
best printer with cheap ink featured image that shows the top three best printer models

What are the features that make for a top performing printer with cheap ink? As you might assume from this category’s title, the key feature here lies in the printer’s compatibility with budget ink cartridges. The best home printer with cheap ink offers either cheap ink from the same manufacturer or compatibility with third-party cartridges.

The printer’s ability to produce high-quality text and photo printings is a very close second. Even though you’re using budget ink cartridges, you should still expect vibrant colors and solid blacks from your printer. Finally, these printers often still provide advanced features like wireless connectivity and multi-functionality. Keep reading to learn more about the best printers with cheap ink you can buy today.

Top Printers with Cheap Ink

 #1  Epson EcoTank ET-2760 Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: The convenient display will allow you to easily set up print jobs without worrying about a complicated selection system. This model also features high-capacity ink tanks and features like auto-duplex printing.

  • High-capacity ink tanks
  • Auto-duplex printing
  • Convenient color display
  • Somewhat lacking build quality

This is a fantastic option with features that keep cartridges out of landfills if you care about the environment. It’s a cartridge-free model with a ton of ink, so you don’t have to worry about refills for a long time. The integrated ink tanks are high-capacity for even more convenience. Unfortunately, this is an incredibly lightweight printer due to the materials used in its manufacturing. Because of this, it’s not as durable as some might want it to be.

You’ll also enjoy that this printer offers a high-resolution flatbed scanner, so you can quickly get things uploaded to a digital format. Beyond this, it provides auto-duplex printing. There is a convenient color display where you can set up your print jobs without relying on a complicated system. The user interface is incredibly friendly, even to those who have never used a printer before.

 #2  HP Envy Pro 6452 Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: Several fantastic features, such as the straightforward setup process, make this an option for anybody. It also has great technology, like an auto document feeder and self-healing dual-band Wi-Fi.

  • Auto document feeder
  • Extremely easy set-up
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth can be finicky

If you’re looking for a secure connection, you’ll love the self-healing dual-band Wi-Fi that this system uses. This will keep your printer from dropping the job before it finishes printing. Beyond this, there is a 36-page auto document feeder. That will keep your printer going since it can automatically take new paper, removing most manual processes. However, the Bluetooth connections on this model can be a little finicky. This means you’ll likely have to perform troubleshooting measures at one point or another.

The brand’s app makes set-up far more straightforward than models that don’t have access to an app. You’ll love that it also provides mobile printing options, so you can send jobs to this model right from your smartphone. This system also offers secure mobile faxing through the brand’s app, free for 24 months. The smart UI buttons are contextual, so they’ll only light up when you need them. It also boasts an 80-sheet input tray.

 #3  Pantum P3302DW Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: This highly portable design is small enough to fit almost anywhere. You’ll even be able to travel with it, if necessary. It uses high-speed USB 2.0 as well as Wi-Fi to connect. It has a separate drum and toner, too.

  • Highly portable design
  • High-speed USB 2.0
  • Separate drum and toner
  • Doesn’t print in color

This black and white printer offers several features that you’ll need, such as auto duplex printing. It’ll print multiple documents with laser technology, which provides sharp detail even for small text. This printer is also relatively compact and easily stored anywhere in your home office. It’s 13.9 x 13.1 x 9.1 inches in size. Unfortunately, this printer is not an excellent option for those who like to print in color. It will only produce black-and-white imagery or documents.

You’ll enjoy an easy one-step installation through a wireless connection. This means that this model is perfect even for beginners who have previously set up a printer. From there, you can choose between a high-speed USB 2.0 connection or Wi-Fi. This puts the decision entirely in your hands and gives complete flexibility for loading up print jobs. There is a separate drum and toner, with the drum unit lifetime lasting around 12,000 pages.

 #4  HP 5660 Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll enjoy the easy user interface offered by this model. It has a small screen to help you set up your print job. Beyond this, it can use glossy photo paper to deliver gorgeous imagery.

  • Easy user interface
  • Glossy photo paper
  • Multiple connection options
  • Not great at printing documents

The easy-to-see touchscreen display will give you precise control over your most important print jobs. Even a total beginner will operate this printer because the user interface is so simple. There are separate “home” and “back” buttons to aid in more efficient navigation. Keep in mind that this printer is meant to be used for photography. While it’s great at preserving your most precious memories, it won’t be great for printing out memos or documents.

Beyond that, this sleek model will blend into any aesthetic effortlessly. You shouldn’t have a problem with storing it out in the open. Since it’s also a compact printer model, you’ll be able to easily store it away in a cabinet if you need to. This model will connect to several devices, including smartphones and personal computers. It can print with glossy photo paper, making sure all treasured memories print perfectly.

 #5  Canon PIXMA G5020 Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll be able to print easily from your iPhone when you choose this model. Beyond this, there are also fully integrated ink tanks to make refills that much easier. You’ll also receive two bonus bottles of ink to make it a budget-friendly option.

  • Bonus bottles of ink
  • Fully integrated ink tanks
  • Print from your smartphone
  • Nozzle sometimes clogs

This is a cost-effective option that is super easy to set up. It boasts an innovative MegaTank Ink system that will keep you going for a long time to come. This system can deliver up to 6,000 x 3 sharp, black text pages. Or, it can provide 7,700 vivid color pages. Unfortunately, the nozzle can sometimes get clogged with ink. This means you’ll have to manually flush it to get your printer working again, which might be a dealbreaker.

You’ll have the option of printing documents or doing borderless imagery. The continuous ink supply will make every print just as good as the last, providing a top-quality experience. There is also an auto document feeder that ensures your printer doesn’t run out of fodder halfway through the job it’s doing. The AirPrint printing system effortlessly allows you to print images and documents straight from your iOS device.

 #6  Brother Inkjet MFCJ6945DW Printer


WHY WE LIKE IT: An internal ink storage tank holds a high-capacity volume. This makes it a convenient, easy-to-use option with fewer fill-ups. You’ll also enjoy versatile paper handling as well as an intelligent page gauge.

  • Versatile paper handling
  • Internal ink storage tank
  • Intelligent page gauge
  • Might be too clunky

You’ll love how convenient replacing the ink in this model is. More importantly, you’ll love how often you have to do so. Because the cartridges are high-capacity, you won’t have to worry about replacements for a while. Keep in mind that this is not a compact option, and it might be too clunky for some consumers. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, you might want to look elsewhere.

This is an excellent option with a high longevity and staying power if you need reliable performance for every print job. The Intelligent Page Gauge technology allows you to stop worrying about ink optimization on your print jobs. This model will monitor ink and estimate the number of remaining prints you have based on your habits. It’ll eliminate any fear you may have about running out of ink when you have an essential print job happening.

Beginner’s Guide to Printers with Cheap Ink

What Are Printers with Cheap Ink?

Have you ever purchased a printer only to cringe at the price of new ink cartridges? Even if you buy a budget printer, you come to find that the ink just takes the price higher. That’s because printer ink isn’t cheap, and you won’t find the cheapest ink with many high-end printers. Printers (especially inkjet printers) are infamous for expensive ink and toner costs, which makes print costs soar. And, if you’re unsure how printer ink works, you may waste more than necessary with each printing job.

So, how do you know which printer has the cheapest ink? The sole purpose of printers with cheap ink is to mitigate this problem and make long-term printer maintenance much more affordable for you. However, if you own one of the impressive photographer printers, using cheap ink won’t work well as it needs professional photo inks.

A wide range of printer features and functionalities are available today, depending on the model you purchase. Generally speaking, though, these printers have the same features and functionalities as other types of printers. Yet, it begs the question, what is the best printer with the cheapest ink cartridges? We plan to answer that in this guide.

Printers with Cheap Ink vs. Traditional Printers

Besides the difference in ink costs, a home printer with the cheapest ink offers the same form and function as traditional printers. Again, the wide range of printer features and functionalities can vary depending on the printer model you purchase, but you should come to expect a nearly identical user experience. A high-performing printer for teachers can work well with cheap ink. If you want our recommendation, then check out our HP OfficeJet 3830 review.

How Printers with Cheap Ink Work

All in all, the best printer with low-cost ink are on the same level as most other types of printers. Depending on the exact printer you buy, you may get various advanced features and settings, but the core function of the printer remains the same: it’s generally the cheapest ink printer you can buy.

Unless you’re using a printer for heat transfers to create T-shirts and whatnot, then the ink won’t last. Instead, you might have to buy a separate printer with the longest-lasting ink cartridges, so you won’t waste so much ink.

An inkjet printer (AKA Canon printer or Epson printer) is one of the most common types of printer. Inkjet printers also tend to be the type with the most expensive ink cartridges. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fully answer what printer has the cheapest ink, as inkjets use lots of ink. These devices work by placing extremely small ink droplets from the cartridge directly onto a piece of paper to create the image or text. Fortunately, there are plenty of inkjet printers with cheap ink to mitigate the higher costs.

Laser printers with cheap ink use a combination of laser light and powdered toner to make your prints instead of liquid ink. The laser inside the printer shines onto a metal cylinder called a drum, which then attracts the toner in the same pattern as your print. Then, the drum rolls on the paper to transfer the toner directly onto the paper.

Other types of printers are available on the market today, such as printers for Chromebooks. However, inkjet printers and laser printers are the two most common home printers with the lowest ink cost, provided you’re not using heavy color printing. But, as long as you compare printer prices before you buy, you’ll find a good one with low-cost ink.

Do You Really Need a Printer with Cheap Ink?

If you’re planning on using your printer on a regular basis, especially for color printing, then cheap ink printers are absolutely essential. The cost savings on color ink alone is well worth the initial investment of purchasing a new printer.

There’s a valid concern about quality when trying to find out which printer has the cheapest ink cartridges. If you’re worried about lower print quality or lower overall product quality on printers with cheap ink, then you can rest assured that this normally isn’t a problem. The only difference lies solely in the cost of compatible ink cartridges.

Is a Printer with Cheap Ink Worth Buying?

  • More Affordable Ink Costs: Obviously, the biggest pro to purchasing one of these printers is the amount of money you’ll save just through cheaper ink cartridge purchases. If you’re looking to stop shelling out tons of cash for a great printer with cheap ink, then these printers are for you.
  • Fully Functional: Devices that are focused solely on saving you money often make concessions in functionality. Fortunately, the best printer for home use with cheap ink still gives you full printing functionality, depending on the model you purchase. The best options can print, scan, and fax with ease.
  • Still Includes Advanced Functionality: Most modern printers with cheap ink offer the option to purchase a model with advanced functionality like wireless printing, duplex printing, higher paper capacity, and media slots. If these are important features for you, you won’t miss out because you purchased a printer with cheap ink.

Why a Printer with Cheap Ink May Not Be For You

  • You Like Original Equipment and Accessories: Many printers in this category can offer cheap ink because they use remanufactured or recycled ink cartridges. They also tend to work with compatible ink cartridges from third-party sources. If you prefer to use only manufacturer equipment made specifically for your printer, then purchasing a printer with cheap ink might not be the best choice for you.
  • You Don’t Need to Print at Home: In some cases, even a printer with cheap compatible ink cartridges isn’t worth the cost of printing at home. If you never print from home, then the cost savings from cheap ink cartridges will never catch up with the initial investment of purchasing a new printer.

How Long Will a Printer with Cheap Ink Last?

According to surveys conducted by InfoTrends, a leading consulting firm in the printing industry, your printer with cheap ink should last you around three to four years. Of course, as with any other electronic device, how you treat and use your printer can greatly affect its overall lifespan.

If you are constantly printing, you can expect this average lifespan to decrease. On the opposite end of the spectrum, fewer prints can extend your printer’s overall lifespan.

You should also consider the environment in which your printer is stored. Dust and other debris can get lodged inside your printer and decrease lifespan, so keeping your workspace clean is important.

How to Choose the Best Printer with Cheap Ink

When choosing the best printer with low-cost ink, it all boils down to some key considerations. It’s always helpful to take some time to think about your personal printing habits and needs before making a purchasing decision. You should also take some time to figure out the extra features and functionalities you want in your new printer.

Printer with Cheap Ink Key Factors to Consider

Ask yourself some of these questions to determine which printer with cheap ink is going to be the best fit for you.

1. What type of printer do you want?

The most common types of printers available in today’s market are inkjet printers and laser printers. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two:

  • Inkjet printers are what most people think about when they consider printers with ink cartridges. These printers use a dye or pigment-based ink housed in a cartridge to print images and text. They tend to offer high-quality results, especially when it comes to graphics and images. The best color printer with cheap ink is typically an inkjet photo printer.
  • Laser printers are larger than inkjet printers and use toner instead of ink to print images and text. A monochrome Laser printer tends to offer the best quality for text printing. These printers are also best for high print volume because of their increased speed, lower cost of ink, and higher overall capacity.
  • Continuous Ink Printers are typically used in a business setting. While the initial cost of ink may be high, it can refill automatically due to the continuous ink system before it needs a full refill.

Consider your own printing needs to determine which of these types of printers works best for you. An inkjet printer is probably best for you if you only print occasionally and need a printer for images or graphics. A laser printer is probably best for you if you print in high volume.

2. Do you need or want to print in color?

While all printers offer black and white printing, not all options offer color printing. Consider the types of things you want to print, and then determine if you need color printing functionality. Don’t forget that color printing is often more expensive in the long run, so if you’re looking for the best cheap printer with cheap ink, a color option might not be the best for you. If you want to print in color on various types of craft paper, we advise that you also consider the best printer for crafters.

3. What kind of advanced functionality do you want in your printer?

Every printer available on the market today offers the same base functionality of printing images and text onto paper. However, there are a variety of advanced features and functionalities that you can get if you spend a little more.

  • All-in-One Functionality: The best all-in-one printer for home use with cheap ink doesn’t just print. It can also scan and fax documents as well. An all-in-one printer is an excellent choice if you’re using your printer for your business.
  • Wireless Connectivity: The best wireless printer with cheap ink allows you to connect wirelessly to your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. This way, you can print documents directly from a wireless printer without the need for physical connectivity options like USB cables or SD cards. Make sure your wireless printer is compatible with your laptop, like if you own a MacBook Air and need the best printer for Mac.
  • High-capacity Paper Trays: How much printing are you going to do on a regular basis? If you’re planning on high printing volume, then you’ll definitely want to consider an option with a high-capacity paper tray, or multiple paper trays. This way, you’ll never run out of paper in the middle of your print.
  • Additional Features: The best printers for home use with cheap ink come in all shapes and sizes. The advanced features and functionalities you get can vary widely across different printer manufacturers. As you’re doing your research, you may find printers with media card slots, easier user interfaces, duplex printing, an automatic document feeder, and more.

4. How much room do you have in your home office for your printer?

Printers with cheap ink come in all shapes and sizes, meaning you’ll likely need to do some planning before purchasing. Look at your office space and where you plan to place your new printer. Depending on your space, you may only be able to fit a mini-sized printer, or you might be able to fit a large model.

Measure your space and write down those measurements. Then, as you look at different printer options, reference those measurements to ensure you’re buying something that will fit.

5. How technologically savvy are you?

In general, printers are fairly simple devices. However, there are plenty of printers available today that take advanced functionality to the next level. Consider how well you work with electronics and factor that into your buying decision.

If you just need something simple to print out the occasional picture or Microsoft Word document, try to find a printer with minimal setup needs and simple wireless connectivity. Those simpler models dedicated to printing standard white documents will probably wind up being an affordable printer up front, and you’ll save more in the long run with affordable ink cartridges. If you feel confident in your technical prowess and need a more advanced printer, then you’re more likely to be able to figure out the more complicated options out there. They may not have that affordable price like a simpler printer type, but the more affordable options may not be able to get certain tasks done efficiently, like double-sided printing office documents in bulk.

Best Printer with Cheap Ink Questions (FAQ)

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