To begin with, I will admit that I intentionally purchased the cheapest of all printers, the $20 HP D1415, whose (tiny-reservoired) included ink cartridge retails for $18. ie: I bought a $2 printer. This is because my previous near-$100 printer had died (taking >$40 in ink cartridges with it), and I wanted to take the time to shop for a printer with a better value proposition than average. The Canon printer, which had died, was selected because it’s replacement black ink (separate from color, of course) was $5 to $7 each – the cheapest of inks I could find at the time. This ~$2 printer had been selected because it was cheap, and the included ink should have lasted until I could complete research on what printer I actually wanted. Based on previous printing habits, it would have.
Alas, I recently started printing my own labeling for my audiobook packaging, which uses a lot of ink. Poof, need replacement ink. Went to the local Cartridge World and bought some cheap ink, will go back to talk to them about cartridges, probably. Ink is just one problem, though. Half-way through a two-sided print out (ie: one side is printed, the other side hasn’t started) the $2 printer suddenly started having paper jams. Sometimes that paper actually jammed, sometimes the printer simply seemed to be imagining that it was jammed. Doesn’t seem to like the heavy-weight paper for the Jewelbox inserts. Bleh. That is a very frustrating and time-consuming and wasteful fight. It does not make me happy.
So, I’m looking for a printer with:
- Good value $$/ink
- Ability to correctly handle heavyweight paper
- As small of margins as possible, esp. on legal-size paper. (Like, .08″ if possible)
I had also been looking at the Epson R-Series printers, for printing directly onto CDs, but apparently Epson printers have terrible value/ink, even with the “high capacity” cartridges. So, I’m not 100% sold on that. Any suggestions/advice would be welcomed.