Which Printer Has the Cheapest Ink? Find the Best Value for Your Prints


which printer has the cheapest ink

If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

When it comes to printing, ink can be a costly expense. That’s why finding a printer with affordable ink is essential for anyone who frequently prints. With so many printer options available, it can be overwhelming to know which one offers the best value. In this article, we will explore which printers have the cheapest ink, helping you find the most cost-effective option for your printing needs. Let’s get started!

Which printer is the cheapest to run?

The Epson EcoTank ET-2760 is the cheapest printer to run with affordable refillable ink bottles. It costs, on average, 1 cent per color ISO page compared to ink cartridges, which cost about 20 cents. It also includes up to two years of ink. Meanwhile, any of the printers from the list that follows are strong contenders. Business owners, be sure to check them out!

Which printers are most economical on ink?

Inkjet printers are the most economical on ink, using less ink per page than other types. However, printer model, usage pattern, and ink cartridge type can affect consumption and cost. Consider upfront printer costs and ongoing ink costs when making a purchase decision.

Best Cheap Ink Printers for Business Use

Running a successful business requires keeping expenses low without sacrificing quality. One effective way to cut costs is by choosing printers with cheap ink. Whether you work in a standard office or are learning how to start a sticker business, here are 10 of the best ones for business use:

1. Canon PIXMA G6020

The Canon PIXMA G6020 MegaTank All-In-One Inkjet Printer comes with a full set of ink bottles, which includes two extra black bottles, providing ink savings of over $1,100. The printer uses Canon MegaTank Ink Bottles, which offer over 30 times the amount of ink versus standard cartridges. The PIXMA G6020 can print up to 7,700 color pages or 6,000 black text pages per bottle set.

Pros:

  • Exceptional ink value with considerable up-front savings
  • Produces excellent print quality, particularly for photos
  • Includes a duplexer for double-sided printing and copying
  • Dual paper trays hold 350 sheets total: 250 in the main cassette, 100 in rear

Cons:

  • There’s no automatic document feeder
  • The two-sided printing feature is slow

2. Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5880

The EcoTank Pro ET-5880 is a wireless all-in-one printer that utilizes supersized ink tanks as opposed to cartridges, resulting in low-cost printing and zero cartridge waste. It has PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology for high-quality output and a 500-sheet paper capacity. The printer features a 4.3″ color touchscreen and hands-free voice-activated printing. It has SmartWay certification for environmentally friendly operation.

Pros:

  • High-quality print output with sharp and clear text and graphics
  • EcoTanks provide an extended ink supply, reducing the need for replacement ink
  • Three paper sources (2 trays and 1 rear feed)
  • Auto 2-sided printing for convenience

Cons:

  • Steep purchase price
  • Users report it going offline on its own

3. Epson EcoTank ET-4850

The Epson EcoTank ET-4850 all-in-one printer offers fast color printing, copying, scanning, and faxing. It has a 2.4″ color touchscreen and a 250-sheet paper tray for borderless 4″ x 6″ photos. It features Ethernet and wireless connectivity, voice-activated printing, and the Epson Smart Panel App for easy printing from smart devices. With its cartridge-free ink system, you can print over 7,000 black text pages or about 6,000 color pages. The printer produces extremely sharp text and impressive color photos and graphics on virtually any paper type.

Pros:

  • It prints, copies, scans, and faxes
  • Can be connected via Wi-Fi, USB, or Ethernet
  • Able to print from mobile devices and scan to them as well
  • Really simple setup

Cons:

  • Not the most expensive purchase price, but still pretty high
  • Can be difficult to see small fonts

Which Printer Has the Cheapest Ink

4. Brother MFC-J4335DW

The Brother MFC-J4335DW provides up to 1-year of ink in-box, has front-loading ink cartridges, a mobile app for easy printing, and can produce up to 20 black text pages per minute and 19 color pages per minute. It is also ENERGY STAR certified and has a 2-year limited warranty.

Pros:

  • A great purchase price at under $150
  • One of the best ADFs of printers in the sub-$200 all-in-one category
  • Beautifully prints highly detailed images and produces crisp, precise documents
  • Fast printing speed

Cons:

  • Auto document feeder (ADF) duplex scanning is not supported
  • Not great for photos, which come out grainy

5. Epson EcoTank ET-2760

The EcoTank ET-2760 printer uses easy-to-fill ink tanks for cartridge-free printing. It offers low-cost replacement ink bottles that can save up to 90% and up to 2 years of ink. With each replacement set, users can print up to 7,500 pages in black or 6,000 in color, which is equal to about 80 individual cartridges. The printer also features automatic two-sided printing, scanning, copying, and a 1.44-inch color display.

Pros:

  • Incredible ink savings
  • High-quality prints with good color
  • Light and compact, making it easy to carry or transport
  • Compatible with SD memory cards

Cons:

  • Printing speed is painfully slow
  • Guides can be a pain to adjust

Which Printer Has the Cheapest Ink

6. HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e

The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e is a high-performance all-in-one printer suitable for small businesses and for use as home office printers. It comes with advanced features such as fast color printing, dual-band Wi-Fi, automatic 2-sided printing and scanning, and security essentials such as basic encryption and password protection. The printer can be activated with HP+ for 6 months of free ink delivery and access to smart features such as mobile printing and enhanced cloud-based security.

Pros:

  • Exceptional printing speed across the board
  • Produces high-quality documents in both black and color
  • Priced affordably
  • 35-sheet auto-duplexing ADF

Cons:

  • Designed to work with original HP-compatible ink cartridges only
  • The scanner isn’t great at picking up fine details

7. Pantum P3302DW

The Pantum P3302DW printer offers fast, high-definition printing up to 33ppm, supports various media sizes and weights, and has a sleek off-white color and compact size. Its metal frame structure ensures long-term use, and it can be easily installed wirelessly with multiple connection options, including mobile devices. It comes with a separate drum and toner, and its starter cartridge can print up to 1500 pages while the drum unit has a lifetime of 12000 pages.

Pros:

  • A high print speed at a low price point
  • Capable of both wired and wireless connections
  • Good text-quality printing
  • Feeds thicker card stock well

Cons:

  • Mobile printing setup instructions are poor
  • Not compatible with Chrome

8. HP Neverstop Laser MFP 1202w

The HP Neverstop 1202w All-in-One laser printer offers black-and-white printing at 21 pages per minute. It also scans, copies, and has wireless printing capabilities. It includes up to 5,000 pages of toner, with the option to purchase a separate kit for over 2,000 pages worth of Original HP Toner. The printer is also ENERGY STAR 3.0 certified.

Pros:

  • Affordable purchase price
  • Budget-friendly ongoing costs
  • Print quality is very good
  • The toner refill kit is easy to use and mess-free

Cons:

  • No automatic double-sided printing
  • Doesn’t print in color

9. Canon MAXIFY MB2720

The Canon MAXIFY MB2720 is designed for the small business owner who needs to print, copy, scan, and fax. It offers high-speed printing of up to 24 images per minute (ipm) for black-and-white and 15.5 ipm for color. It also features a large 500-sheet paper capacity and a 20,000-page duty cycle. The MAXIFY ink tanks deliver a high page yield from one set of ink and are resistant to smudging, highlighting, and fading.

Pros:

  • Fast print speeds and high page yield.
  • Dual Resistant High-Density ink is smudge-proof and highlighter resistant.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and support for AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.
  • Relatively low cost per print.

Cons:

    • Bulkier than some other models, requiring more space.
    • The initial cost is higher than some competitors.

10. Brother INKvestment Tank MFC-J995DW

The Brother INKvestment Tank MFC-J995DW is an all-in-one inkjet printer with a unique INKvestment Tank system that delivers uninterrupted printing, exceptional features, super convenience, and low-cost printing. It comes with up to one year of ink in the box. This printer offers printing, copying, scanning, and faxing capabilities, along with a 2.7-inch touchscreen for easy navigation.

Pros:

  • Up to a year of ink included with purchase.
  • Versatile all-in-one functionality (print, copy, scan, fax).
  • Wireless connectivity and easy to use touchscreen.
  • Automatic two-sided printing.

Cons:

    • Slower printing speeds compared to some other models.
    • Not the best choice for high-volume printing environments due to smaller paper trays.
Printer ModelKey FeaturesProsCons
Canon PIXMA G6020Canon MegaTank Ink Bottles, high print volume, excellent photo qualityExceptional ink value, duplex printing, dual paper traysNo automatic document feeder, slow two-sided printing
Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5880Supersized ink tanks, PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology, hands-free voice-activated printingHigh-quality print output, three paper sources, auto 2-sided printingSteep purchase price, reported offline issues
Epson EcoTank ET-4850Cartridge-free ink system, fast color printing, Ethernet and wireless connectivityPrints, copies, scans, faxes, multiple connection optionsRelatively high purchase price, visibility issues with small fonts
Brother MFC-J4335DWFront-loading ink cartridges, mobile app, fast printing speed, 2-year limited warrantyAffordable purchase price, excellent ADF, high-quality printsNo ADF duplex scanning, grainy photo prints
Epson EcoTank ET-2760Cartridge-free printing, low-cost replacement ink bottles, automatic two-sided printingIncredible ink savings, good color prints, compact and lightweightSlow printing speed, finicky guides for adjustments
HP OfficeJet Pro 9015eFast color printing, dual-band Wi-Fi, HP+ activation for smart features, 35-sheet auto-duplexing ADFExceptional printing speed, high-quality documents, affordable priceLimited to original HP ink cartridges, scanner lacks fine detail pickup
Pantum P3302DWFast HD printing, metal frame structure, multiple connection options, separate drum and tonerHigh print speed at a low price, supports wired and wireless connectionsPoor mobile printing setup instructions, not compatible with Chrome
HP Neverstop Laser MFP 1202wBlack-and-white laser printing, wireless printing capabilities, includes up to 5,000 pages of tonerAffordable purchase price, budget-friendly ongoing costs, good print qualityNo automatic double-sided printing, doesn't print in color
Canon MAXIFY MB2720High-speed printing, 500-sheet capacity, 20,000-page duty cycleFast print speeds, high page yield, smudge-proof ink, Wi-Fi connectivity, low cost per printBulkier design, higher initial cost
Brother INKvestment Tank MFC-J995DWINKvestment Tank system, up to 1 year of ink in-box, all-in-one functionality, 2.7-inch touchscreenYear of ink included, all-in-one functionality, wireless connectivity, easy to use, auto duplexingSlower printing speeds, not ideal for high-volume environments due to smaller paper trays

Which Printer Has the Cheapest Ink

Additional things to look for when looking for a printer with cheap ink

  • Cost-Per-Page Analysis: Before purchasing a printer, calculate the cost-per-page for both black and color printing. This calculation takes into account the price of ink cartridges and their estimated yield. Choose a printer that offers a lower cost-per-page to ensure ongoing savings.
  • Third-Party Ink Cartridges: Some printers accept third-party or compatible ink cartridges, which are often cheaper than original branded cartridges. Consider printers that are compatible with third-party ink to reduce ink costs.
  • Subscription Ink Services: Many printer manufacturers offer subscription-based ink services, such as HP Instant Ink or Epson EcoTank ReadyPrint. These programs provide a set number of pages per month for a fixed fee, eliminating the need to purchase ink cartridges separately.
  • Duplex Printing: Printers with automatic duplex printing (double-sided printing) can save on paper costs and reduce ink usage. Duplex printing is an eco-friendly option that helps cut down on overall printing expenses.
  • Ink-Saving Software Features: Look for printers that come with built-in software features designed to save ink. Some printers offer “economy mode” or “draft mode,” which uses less ink for everyday printing tasks.

Also, look for:

  • Print Management Software: Consider using print management software to monitor and control print jobs in your business. Such software can help track ink usage and optimize printing practices to minimize waste.
  • Buy in Bulk: If your business requires heavy printing, consider buying ink cartridges in bulk. Purchasing in larger quantities can often lead to significant cost savings.
  • Energy Efficiency: While not directly related to ink costs, opting for energy-efficient printers can reduce overall operational expenses. Energy Star certified printers are designed to consume less power, leading to cost savings in the long run.
  • Recycling Programs: Check if the printer manufacturer offers ink cartridge recycling programs. By participating in these programs, you can save money on future purchases and contribute to environmental sustainability.
  • Research User Reviews: Before finalizing a printer purchase, read user reviews to gain insights into the actual ink usage and overall cost-effectiveness of the printer. Real-world experiences from other users can help you make an informed decision.

By considering these supplementary factors, you can narrow down your options and find the best printer with affordable ink that meets your business needs and budget requirements.

Which Printer Has the Cheapest Ink

How to Choose the Best Printer with the Cheapest Ink

Choosing the right printer is key to ensuring you get the most bang for your buck in terms of ink costs. When selecting the best printer with cheap ink, consider these factors:

Printer Type

Inkjet models are generally the most economical choices, as they are equipped with separate cartridges for each color and use a different printing method than laser types.

Ink Refill Kits

When selecting a printer, check if there are refill ink kits available for it as this can help reduce your total cost of ownership significantly.

Cartridge Price and Yield

Make sure you understand what kind of cartridge prices and page yield you’re expecting from your chosen printer model to get an accurate picture of long-term costs.

Print Quality and Speed

Look out for the print speed and quality specs when making your decision, as some printers may have lower costs up front but slow print times or poor output quality that ends up eating away at any potential savings.

Maintenance and Support Costs

If possible, also consider potential maintenance and support costs associated with the printer model you choose to make sure there won’t be any hidden expenses on top of the initial cost of purchase and refills.

What is the best printer that uses less ink?

When looking for a printer that uses less ink, any of the ones on our list will do. It’s important to choose an ink-efficient model that’s right for your printing demands and specific business needs.

Which is cheaper overall, laser printers or inkjet printers?

Laser printers are typically cheaper than inkjet printers in both purchase price and running costs. As laser toners have more pages per cartridge, it reduces the frequency of buying ink and associated costs.

Does Epson or HP have cheaper ink?

Even with HP Instant Ink being so affordable, Epson is the clear winner when it comes to saving money with the cheapest ink cartridges, costing an average of only about 6.9 cents per page, which is hard to beat.

Where is the best place to buy cheap ink cartridges?

The cheapest places to buy printer ink online include online retailers such as the ones mentioned in this article. They offer competitive prices, good quality products, and fast shipping on cheap office supplies.

Qualify for discounts, special offers and more with a Business Prime account from Amazon. You can create a FREE account to get started today.

Image: Envato Elements


More in: ,

Kevin Ocasio Kevin Ocasio is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 2 years. He holds certifications in SEO, digital marketing, and content marketing. Kevin is also certified in Information Technology Technical Support Fundamentals.