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Home » Printers » Best Printers for Home Use With Cheap Ink in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Printers for Home Use With Cheap Ink in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Printing costs are usually overlooked when customers shop for a new printer. In the long run, printing costs should matter more to you than the printer’s upfront price. 

To help you save some cash, we’ve gathered all the best printers for home use with cheap ink on this list.

Our Top Picks

Paper Capacity
Epson Expression ET-3700
4800 x 1200 DPI
150 Sheets
Canon PIXMA TS8120
4800 x 1200 DPI
200 Sheets
Epson Expression ET-2650
5760 x 1440 DPI
100 Sheets
Brother HL-L2350DW
2400 x 600 DPI
250 Sheets
Brother MFC-J985DW
6000 x 1200 DPI
100 Sheets
Epson Expression ET-2750
5760 x 1440 DPI
100 Sheets

The 6 Best Printers for Home Use With Cheap Ink 2020

Without any further ado, here are the best printers with cheap ink that you can get today.

1. Epson Expression ET-3700 

Printer with cheap ink

The Epson Expression ET-3700 is a versatile all-in-one printer printing, copying, and scanning functionalities.

It features Epson’s cartridge-free EcoTank technology that enables the printer to use large ink reservoirs instead of cartridges. This means that you get a lot more ink as well as affordable refills.

Out of the box, the Epson Expression ET-3700 comes with enough ink to let you print up to 14,000 black prints and 11,200 color prints. With moderate usage, this should last you up to two years.

As for print resolution, the Epson Expression ET-3700 prints at 4800 x 1200 DPI in both monochrome and color.

The printer is capable of printing at speeds of 15 ppm in black and 8 ppm in color with support for automatic duplex printing.

Moreover, the sizeable input tray accommodates up to 250 sheets at a time and can even handle long documents up to 8.5 x 47.2 inches.

The 8.5 x 11.7-inch flatbed can scan at an optical resolution of 1200 DPI.

If you need to check or change any settings, you can easily do that via the 2.4-inch color LCD panel.

Moreover, you can connect to the Epson Expression ET-3700 through USB 2.0, Ethernet, or WiFi.

It also supports several printing protocols,  allowing you to print directly from mobile devices.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Great print quality
  • Low running costs
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Various connectivity options

What We Don’t Like:

  • Lacks an automatic document feeder
  • Doesn’t support USB or SD card

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for one of the most affordable home printers in terms of ink, you can never go wrong with the Epson Expression ET-3700. However, its features can be less than what rivals have to offer.

2. Canon PIXMA TS8120

Most economical printer for home use

Printing, scanning, and copying are all possible with the Canon PIXMA TS8120 all-in-one printer.

Canon generally has high yielding cartridges, in addition to automatic duplexing, which reduces paper costs up to 50%.

As for printing, the Canon PIXMA TS8120 prints at a resolution of 4800 x 1200 DPI for images and documents.

It produces accurate colors, smooth gradations, and minimal grain thanks to its 6-color ink system.

It’s also quite fast as it can print 15 ipm in black and 10 ipm in color.

Moreover, it has two paper feeding trays, one in the front and one in the back. Both of which support media up to 8.5 x 14 inches in size.

The Canon PIXMA TS8120 can print 4 x 6-inch photos in only 17 seconds, as well as paper sizes of 4 x 6 inches, 5 x 5 square, 5 x 7 inches, 8 x 10 inches, letter, and legal-sized paper.

Furthermore, the 8.5 x 11.7 inches flatbed makes scanning and copying possible at a resolution of 2400 x 4800 DPI.

On top of that, the Canon PIXMA TS8120 has various connectivity options, including built-in WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE.

This allows you to print directly from mobile devices and make use of features such as the Canon PRINT app, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria Device Printing, PictBridge, and more.

You can control and view the printer’s settings through a 4.3-inch touchscreen LCD panel.

When it’s set up, it measures 14.7 x 12.8 x 5.5 inches and weighs 14.2 pounds.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Superb text quality
  • Excellent photo and graphics quality
  • Available SD card slot
  • Compact design

What We Don’t Like:

  • Doesn’t have an automatic document feeder
  • Lacks wired Ethernet connection

Final Verdict

The Canon PIXMA TS8120 allows you to do large-volume printing with very affordable ink costs. That’s next to the fact that it has excellent print quality and fast performance.

3. Epson Expression ET-2650

printer with cheapest ink

Combining cost-efficiency, versatility, and reliability, the Epson Expression ET-2650 has got your back when it comes to printing, copying, and scanning.

With a speed that reaches 10 ppm in black and 4.5 ppm in color at a maximum resolution of 5760 x 1440 DPI, its printing capabilities are quite stellar.

It can be controlled through a 1.9-inch LCD screen.

Ink won’t cost you a fortune. The printer’s running costs are quite low.

Connectivity options include USB 2.0 and WiFi. You can also directly print through it with WiFi direct, Epson iPrint App, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria Print Service, and many more.

When it’s up and running, it measures 17.5 x 12 x 6.7 inches and weighs 11.02 pounds.

What We Don’t Like:

  • High-quality prints
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Lower running costs than most rivals
  • Supports WiFi direct

What We Don’t Like:

  • Doesn’t have an automatic document feeder
  • Lacks 2-sided printing
  • Doesn’t support borderless printing

Final Verdict

Even though it’s not the most feature-packed printer out there, the Epson Expression ET-2650 is still a tremendous cost-efficient printer thanks to its cheap ink replenishment costs.

4. Brother HL-L2350DW 

Brother HL-L2350DW

Printing at a speed of 32 ppm and a resolution of 2400 x 600 DPI, the Brother HL-L2350DW has very affordable running costs in terms of the ink you’ll need per month and the cost of printing texts or photos.

The Brother HL-L2350DW minimizes your running costs in many ways.

First of all, it has automatic duplexing (2-sided printing), which reduces the cost of paper to half.

On top of that, it has a toner saver mode and uses Brother’s genuine high yielding toner and produces a large number of pages per cartridge.

Its 250-sheet paper tray can handle various media types and sizes, including A4, A5, Legal, and Letter A-sized paper.

Moreover, it can handle paper as heavy as 230 g/m2 –enough to handle thick cardstock.

When it comes to connectivity options, the Brother HL-L2350DW offers you wireless connection through WiFi to a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

This allows you to get access to several printing protocols, including Google Cloud Print, WiFi Direct, Apple AirPrint, and Brother iPrint & Scan.

Moreover, you can set up a wired connection through the USB 2.0 port.

Finally, the Brother HL-L2350DW’s footprint is 7.9 x 14 x 16.9 inches, and it weighs just 15.9 pounds.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Satisfactory print quality
  • Swift performance for an entry-level printer
  • Minimal running costs
  • Small footprint

What We Don’t Like:

  • Lacks Ethernet connection

Final Verdict

If what you’re looking for is an entry-level printer that’s fast and reliable for home use with cheap ink costs, the Brother HL-L2350DW is a perfect candidate.

5. Brother MFC-J985DW

a printer for home use with cheap ink

One notable feature of the Brother MFC-J985DW is its INKvestment high-yield ink cartridges that minimize printing costs –especially that of texts.

Besides being a cheap ink printer for home printing, it’s also quite fast with print speeds that reach 12 ppm in black and 10 ppm in color.

It prints at a resolution of 6000 x 1200 DPI –which isn’t the best but satisfactory for text documents.

On top of that, it does duplex printing and borderless prints of sizes up to 8.5 x 11 inches. It can also handle regular prints at a maximum paper size of 8.5 x 14 inches.

You can scan and copy with the Brother MFC-J985DW with either the 8.5 x 11.7-inch flatbed or the 20-sheet ADF.

Moreover, the input paper tray can handle up to 100 sheets at a time, and its print settings can be handled via the 2.7-inch color touchscreen.

Finally, the Brother MFC-J985DW has many connectivity options, including WiFi, NFC, USB 2.0, and Ethernet connections.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Affordable price
  • High-capacity ink cartridges minimize the running costs
  • Great connectivity choices
  • Can print and scan to and from thumb drives and memory cards

What We Don’t Like:

  • Limited sheet capacity
  • Not the best print resolution

Final Verdict

Although the Brother MFC-J985DW doesn’t have the highest print resolution, with the cheapest ink costs for text-printing, it’s an ideal choice if you’re going to be printing lots of text.

6. Epson Expression ET-2750

Cheapest Printer for Ink Costs

This brilliant all-in-one printer isn’t only recommended for its versatility but also its incredible affordability in terms of running costs.

This can be attributed to the EcoTank system that utilizes vast ink reservoirs instead of depending on cartridges. Consequently, it holds more ink and minimizes the cost of replacement.

Initially, the Epson Expression ET-2750 comes with enough ink to print an incredible number reaching 6,500 black prints and 5,200 color ones.

Moreover, the 4-color ink set can produce prints of a sharp and vivid 5760 x 1440 DPI resolution.

On top of that, its performance is smooth and quick. It operates at a speed of 10.5 ppm in black and 5 ppm in color.

The Epson Expression ET-2750’s 100-sheet input tray can work with media ranging from a size of 3.5 x 5 inches up to 8.5 x 47 inches.

Its 8.5 x 11.7-inch flatbed enables the user to scan and copy at 1200 DPI optical resolution.

Connectivity options include USB 2.0 and WiFi.

The Epson Expression ET-2750’s size is only 11.6 x 14.8 x 23.5 inches, and its weight is as light as 12.1 pounds.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Significant ink supply out of the box
  • Very cheap replacement ink
  • Comes with an SD card reader
  • WiFi Direct connectivity

What We Don’t Like:

  • The relatively high up-front price
  • Subpar paper capacity
  • Doesn’t have Ethernet connection or an automatic document feeder

Final Verdict

The Epson Expression ET-2750 has the cheapest ink cost per month on the list. It’s affordable to print either text or photos on this high-quality printer.

How To Pick a Printer with Cheap Ink

Know What You Need From Your Printer Before You Buy One

It’s essential that you know the kind of work your printer is going to do for you to pick the right one.

You’ll probably be faced with choosing between an inkjet printer or a laser one.

Inkjet printers are a good choice if you want to print documents and color photographs of quality. They’re also compact and versatile, as most of them feature copying and scanning capabilities.

On the other hand, you should go for laser printers if you’re going to be printing monochrome text documents for the most part.

This is because monochrome laser printers are a lot more affordable, have faster print speeds, and a lower cost per page.

Focus On The Running Costs And Not The Up-Front Price

You can be tempted to buy a cheaper printer to save up some money, but then you’ll quickly find that the real cost of a printer isn’t its upfront price but rather its running costs.

This includes paper and ink. The former is a little easier to get a grasp one, whereas the latter can be a little tricky.

You should look for a printer that’s ink efficient if you want to keep your running costs low.

Research Your Ink Options Before You Make a Purchase

For example, HP printers have an optional “Instant Ink” program, which automatically sends the user cartridges once the ink runs low in the ones you have.  Moreover, it gives you a specific number of pages for a fixed monthly fee. 

On the other hand, Canon and Epson have “Ink Tank” models, which you can fill from small bottles of inks to significantly reduce the cost per page.

Some Brother printers come with multiple cartridges to spare you the need to buy refills for a considerable period.

Sometimes, buying a more expensive printer for a more affordable line of cartridges is the more economical choice. If you can refill your cartridges, you can cut down a lot of expenses.

You should also look for the ink plans that various companies offer.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Makes a Printer Cost Efficient?

The keyword is the cost per page.

If it’s not specified by the manufacturer, here’s how you can calculate it:

  • Search for the ink cartridge your printer uses.
  • Find out its page yield. The higher this number is, the better as it means you’ll print more paper before your ink runs out.
  • Divide the price of the ink cartridge by its page yield. The number you get is your printer’s cost per page.

Read more: How To Calculate a Printer’s Per Page Cost and Why Is It Important?

Is It Cheaper To Print at Home?

The simplest way to put this answer is that home printing is cheaper if you use your printer to its full potential.

In essence, the less you use your printer, the more expensive the running costs would be.

So, unless you’re going to do high-volume printing or you want to print on specific paper types, you should stick to a printing service.

Final Words

Even though all the printers mentioned above are the best printers for home use with cheap ink, some shine in certain areas brighter than the others.

That’s why if you’re looking for a budget-friendly printer, the Epson Expression ET-3700 is an excellent choice as it prints both texts and photos at minimal costs.

If you’re looking for high-quality prints besides the affordability, the Epson Expression ET-2650 and the Epson Expression ET-2750 are both equally great choices. The Brother MFC-J985DW’s quality can compete with theirs as well.

On the other hand, if you know you’re going to be doing large-volume printing, you should go for the Brother HL-L2350DW as it has the largest monthly duty cycle and the fastest printing speed.

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