Ideas for decent, cheap printer?

I’ve currently got a Brother laser printer (non-color) which I’m fairly happy with but this year I’ll be teaching Kindergarten so I think I’m going to need something that will be able to print in color. I would be mostly printing on regular paper, not on photostock so I’m not looking for the best thing out there, just something that is reliable and doesn’t go through ink like crazy. Any suggestions?

I’ve totally sworn off ink printers, they get worse every year. I would recommend a brother color laser.

is there even such a thing as a decent cheap printer these days? My experience with low cost ink jets is that every one is junk.

I have three epson ecotanks. The cost is inflated because they are all-in-ones $999 for the big ET8700 and ET4750 is ~$500. They have a cheaper model, ET2760 that’s $300 but I don’t own that.

Anyway they are ok. The ink is cheap. Even the original ink is let’s see $90 for a year which is not bad. I just checked my amazon and I was buying 4 laser cartridges a year for a total cost of $320/year on the laser brother (black and white. Don’t ask me about color lasers, both times I bought them it’s way too expensive to replace drums)

The bad of the epson is the ink quality is barely adequate

Hmm this was my concern. I was hoping that printer technology had finally improved after 15 years. Color laser printers sound expensive but I’ll look at them. I was surprised by the cost of the eco tanks. They were like $500 CDN.

Check the price of the drums, that is one expensive consumable. Make sure the drums can be individually changed for each color, I remember models that made you change all 3 color drums at once

Check 123ink.ca for a Canadian site to see what they have for models and refills

Colour laser is more reliable, faster, gives better results and the ink doesn’t dry up / clog up. You can leave them for three months and not print a single thing, and when you come back it works perfectly. Try that with an ink jet printer, which are devices designed to look cost-effective but are really just designed to make you buy overpriced, shitty ink carts as often as possible. But that’s just our experience with the damn things.

I also have a Brother b&w laser printer, which I’ve been very happy with. At this point, I’d go with anything other than another inkjet, up to and including going to art school and learning how to paint 3D bar graphs and pie charts in oil on canvas.

For my needs, the occasional trip to a commercial printer when I really need color is workable. The local library also has a color printer for public use.

In your position, my first question would be “does the school have a color printer?” (If no, then “I’m sure the kids will be fine with greyscale and maybe a little glitter. It’ll teach them to use their imaginations, like that time the Christmas tree stayed out in the garage.”)

I have an old Dell color laser printer that is huge but has been a tank. I think I bought it in 2004-2005 timeframe with part of a bonus from work and a Dell discount I got. I’ve put 3 black and white toners in and replaced all three of the color toners one time each. I don’t print often, but they have a LONG lifetime. Being so old, the resolution is poor, and the driver now has to be the Dell Open Print Driver, which isn’t as cool as the old driver about telling me when one of the toners is low. That last part is easily solved if I’m at home by just going to the web page for the printer, which shows the toner levels. I’m pretty thrifty about setting black and white print if I don’t need color on the pages. That increases the lifetime of your color toner quite a bit.

I’ve loved having color laser printing since I got it. No more ink issues or high costs, no nearly consumer replacement quality as a printer, etc. I’ve wanted a new one for a while but since I print less and less each year, it’s not really a thing at the top of my list.

If you get a color printer, make sure you get one based on your needs. Color laser printing isn’t as pretty or colorful as some of the ink based image printers out there. But it’s generally fast and cheaper for printing in the long run. Most of the review sites should break down a cost-per-page for both black and white as well as color printing. Let that be your guide.

Buy something that looks like it’s oriented toward business. Like, can print 11x17 or something. Business facing printers aren’t quite as rake-you-over-the-coals.

I got a Canon color ImageClass laser printer in 2019 and I’ve been super-happy with it. Supplies are reasonable (and black and color cartridges are separate). The initial cartridges it comes with are small (lasted about a year and a half for me), as is typical, but the $87 large-capacity black refill I got is good for 2,200 pages, so it’ll likely last me the rest of my life at the rate I print. I’m still on the original color carts.

Print quality is great, and Wi-Fi printing from my phone and computers is really nice compared to having to share a printer over Windows networking.

This is also now my position. Not needing to print anything for months, then being able to reliably print in a hurry is the killer feature worth buying a laser for.

I wish I had this now, it’s one of the things I want to upgrade for: printing from tablets/phones.

We got a Samsung Wireless B&W Laser printer after years of inkjet. and I’d never go back either. Print from your PC wirelessly as well as your phone and iPad and just about anything else. Fast, great quality, and goes a long time without needing to replace the ink.

But have printer prices gone up a crazy amount? We paid a very low price for our printer on Amazon back when we bought it which was admittedly a long time ago (still prints like new) but when I just went to Amazon to look at the color equivalent then just looked at laser printers in general their prices seem to be a LOT higher. I assume this is due to the whole world-wide shortage on just about everything.

BTW for anyone just looking to add their existing printer to wireless, you can use Readdle Printer Pro or OPrint, Printopia, HandyPrint or your brand-specific printer mfr may have an app like my old ass Lexmark does to allow my B&W Lexmark laser to print wirelessly.

I have a Samsung b&w laser multifucntion that has served well for years.

Although Samsung sold their printer business to HP four years ago, so you can’t find Samsung printers anymore.

Any thoughts about this Brother color laser printer? Seems reasonable at $369 CDN and i like the fact that it’s not ginormous like a lot of these color laser printers seem to be.

I got a slightly bigger model (the MFC-L3770CDW) about a year ago to replace an HP inkjet that was shit, and we use it a ton because we’ve been doing all our schooling from home. It’s a total workhorse, it reminds me more of printers that I’ve used in an office rather than a home printer. The prints look great, and I haven’t ran through the initial cartridges yet. I’ll happily pay the premium for toner over dealing with inkjet ever again.

Actually, I think over the life of the printer the toner actually ends up cheaper, so I more mean the initial shock of the cost for a single cartridge.

Any thoughts about the Canon Megatanks?

This is cheaper than a laser printer (which I want but the models I want are totally sold out everywhere) and the price of the refills actually seem pretty cheap (especially if you go the no-name ink route).
As a JK/SK teacher I would definitely not be leaving the printer idle for months at a time so I don’t think I need to worry about clotting/drying up too much. Also another advantage of an inkjet would be the ability to print the occasional photos which I don’t think you can do with a laser printer, can you?