How Long Should Printers Last

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

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Updated November 22, 2022

Even high-rated printers do not last forever, especially if you’ve been maintaining the printer. Eventually, it will fail, and you will need to purchase a replacement unit. So, if you are going to buy a new printer (especially a good printer for Cricut), try to get a printer with strong security.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Printers typically last anywhere from three to five years, depending on the model.
  • To improve the life of your printer, perform regular maintenance tasks and clean the unit often.
  • If your printer is slower than normal or making low-quality prints, it may be time to shop for a replacement device.

How Long Do Printers Last?

If you’re already fully aware of what is a printer, then this guide can help you learn more about them. The average lifespan of a printer is around three to five years, though this metric will vary depending on the make and model of your printer and various external factors. For instance, the best portable photo printer will last four to five years with regular maintenance.

Insider Tip

The average lifespan of a printer is around three to five years

Increase Your Printer’s Lifespan

If you want to increase the lifespan of your printer, we recommend performing regular maintenance tasks and cleaning the device when necessary. You should also be sure to buy the proper paper to use with the printer and the right ink cartridges. Additionally, the more you use a printer, the faster it will begin to break down. In other words, a printer for home use should last longer than an office printer in a highly trafficked environment. Remember, the ink cartridge can last up to 24 to 36 months when it is in its original packaging.

Plus, keep in mind the type of printer you’re using, like one of the best sublimation printers. These printer types can generally last 10 years, although if not properly maintained, they will break sooner. Although, if you know what is an LED printer, you’ll find these last just as long.

Signs You Need a New Printer

Despite your best maintenance efforts, your printer could begin to show signs of age. Even if you have a printer with the longest-lasting ink cartridges, all printers eventually break down. And when they do, you’ll be asking yourself what to do with an old broken printer. Here are some things to look out for when considering if you need to purchase a new printer or not.

Insider Tip

If you want to increase the lifespan of your printer, we recommend performing regular maintenance tasks and cleaning the device when necessary.

Bad Prints

If you have started to notice that your printer has started making poorer-than-average prints, then it may be time to consider a replacement unit. Over time, the print head and related components can degrade, resulting in low-quality reproductions. As a note, be sure that you have recently replaced the ink cartridge before checking on the unit’s overall print quality. A printer needing an ink cartridge replacement will also make low-quality prints, which could lead to confusion. However, bad prints can be solved by purchasing a high-yield ink cartridge that can print up to 220 pages or lower your printer’s resolution settings.

Slow Print Speed

As printers begin to experience general wear and tear, the overall print speed can be drastically reduced. If you are used to a specific page per minute (PPM), and the printer can’t keep up with your demands, it may be time to consider buying a new printer. A simple way to test the speed of your printer is to print out some documents in draft mode, as this mode does not use too much ink. If the printer is still slower-than-normal, even in draft mode, you should begin to say your goodbyes.

Going Through Ink Cartridges Quickly

If you find yourself having to replace the printer’s ink cartridges more often than normal, the printer may be on its way to malfunctioning. Perform a cost-benefit analysis in this case, as regularly buying new ink cartridges may be more expensive than buying a new printer.

Home printers do tend to burn out faster than commercial printers. If you’re curious about this, read our resource guide on what is a plotter printer.

Warning

As a note, be sure that you have recently replaced the ink cartridge before checking on the unit’s overall print quality.

F.A.Q.

Why do inkjet printers still exist?

Though less efficient than most other types of printers, inkjet printers are cheap to manufacture and operate with enough efficiency to please most traditional consumers.


How long should I keep my printer?

Hold on to your printer for as long as you want, ensuring it is still working. You may want to consider a replacement when it becomes slower than normal or when it starts making low-grade prints.


How is a printer’s lifetime determined?

Many factors go into determining a printer’s assumed lifespan. The manufacturer itself typically issues this average lifespan.



STAT: Your ink cartridges should last 8 months in the printer or until you print the estimated yield of these cartridges which is a little below 150 pages. (source)

Lawrence Bonk Profile image