Gnomie Ross Cassell writes:

Hello, Chris.

I am responding to your recent writeups concerning ink cartridges.

Most of what you posted was from others, so I am not taking issue with what you actually said as far as your own words.

I work in retail where I sell printers and their ink, and I will admit that the manufacturers derive most of their profits from the ink and other consumables, while in some cases virtually giving the machines themselves away at bargain basement prices.

In one of writeups, you quoted someone saying that the cartridges with the built in printheads were best.

Issue one: The printer manufacturers are moving away from this type of cartridge ever so slowly but steadily. Even Lexmark is doing it and it’s the worst one when it comes to pricing. The latest line of Lexmarks are now using tanks and more and more HP models are coming out with the tank system. Ink prices are more reasonable here, but as pointed out, the printheads are pricey.

Issue Two: Tricolor cartridges with integrated printheads will still run out of one color before the other two, so this equals waste. The individual ink tank system does mitigate this issue.

Issue Three: Ink refilling is not always successful, especially on the cartridges with integrated printheads. It all depends on how empty the consumer has run it down and how long afterward they wait to refill it. I certainly would not advise refilling cartridges while still inside the manufacturer’s warranty, lest one risks voiding said warranty. If one wants to save money on ink, go for the remanufactured variety.

People seeking refills or remanufactured should hold no expectation that the ink they get will have the same quality as that which comes with the OEM cartridges or tanks.

I always use draft mode to stretch my ink and I use a monochrome laser to do basic utility printing and only use the inkjet when I need color.