EcoTank Vs Cartridges

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Updated November 15, 2022

If you are new to the world of printing, you may look to compare EcoTank vs cartridges. After all, many of the best printers use one of these cartridge types. So what are the differences between EcoTank cartridges and regular cartridges, which type is correct for the best all-in-one printers, and what are the pros and cons? Keep reading to find out.


  • Epson EcoTank ink tank printers include refillable ink cartridges, whereas standard printers include replaceable and expensive ink cartridges.
  • The initial cost of entry is higher with EcoTank printers, but the reduction in ink cost leads to savings over time. Both create decent print quality.
  • EcoTank printers can dry out when not used, ruining a good batch of ink and lowering the ink level.

Differences Between EcoTank Cartridges and Cartridges

The main difference here is that you can refill EcoTank cartridges in a variety of ways, which makes them involved with some of the finest printers for office use. Regular cartridges, however, must be disposed of when they are dry, even if you have found a top-tier ink-efficient printer. Of course, some EcoTank models require proprietary ink to drive the cost up if you are comparing printer ink compatibility.

Insider Tip

No matter which type you choose, be sure to clean and maintain your printer regularly to ensure a good lifespan.

As for sustainability, you never throw away EcoTank cartridges, making them a great choice for integration into high-end inkjet printers for home use. Loose ink also tends to be cheaper than standard cartridges if you compare a printer’s drum and toner. In any event, here are more differences between the two so you can conduct that Canon Pixma G6020 vs G4210 review.

Initial Cost

Printers with EcoTank cartridges, or any refillable ink cartridge, tend to necessitate a pricier initial purchase than a standard inkjet printer with replaceable cartridges. The intention is that you will begin to save money once you stop having to replace cartridges and instead rely on third-party ink. These savings will happen, but only if you regularly use the printer. If you are an occasional user, the entrance cost might be prohibitive.

However, there are tips for learning how to keep printer ink from drying out. We have a guide perfect for this.


Both types have compatibility concerns. Inkjet printers with replaceable cartridges often require the exact cartridge as made by the original manufacturer. This allows them to raise the prices on these carts, as they have no real competition. EcoTank printers may not integrate with the ink you are thinking of purchasing, as they can only use certain types of ink from certain companies. For a look at a printer with such an ink tank, read our Epson EcoTank review.

Drying Out

If you barely use your printer, go for a standard cartridge-based model. This type is made for occasional use. EcoTank printers are made for regular use, so if you don’t use them, you run the risk of drying out the ink. This cancels out any savings you may experience by going with a refillable tank.

STAT: High printer ink prices have always been a source of frustration for consumers. Ink tank printers were introduced a few years ago to address this pain point, and the Epson EcoTank printer line is one of the most popular ink tank options around. (source)

Cartridges Vs EcoTank FAQs

How to save money on your next printer?

Choose an Epson EcoTank or another ink tank printer if you make a lot of prints and are spending tons on ink cartridges. Epson Ecotank printers cost more upfront, but ink bottles are less expensive than cartridges.

How to tell if a high-priced tank printer will save you money?

Ink tank printers cost more upfront, but they will save money over time due to the nature of ink tank printers compared to replacement ink cartridges. If you are on the fence regarding an Epson EcoTank, think about how much you print and how much you would be spending on ink cartridges.

How much do you print color versus black and white?

If you print in color often, you will want to save money on ink, choosing an ink tank printer with refillable ink tanks over ink cartridges. The Epson EcoTank fits the bill here, though make sure you choose a color ink tank printer.
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