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jjstewart

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I am JJStewart, new to PrinterKnowledge. I have worked with computers in all capacities since 1972 until 1999, but here I am just an end-user, just like everyone else.

My need to get really involved with printers is that for several years I have been in the addictive recovery ministry, working in classes and correspondence with addicts and inmates. I print booklets with my class material, courses, letters, and other materials for mailing. Nearly everything is on both sides of paper, mainly because a lot of what I do is through the mail.

About 1-1/2 years ago I tried Canon, at the recommendation of my pastor. That was the best move I ever made. Its paper handling is nearly perfect and the automatic duplex system is the greatest time-saver I've ever had with a printer. And it also works nearly perfectly. And Canon is more refiller-friendly than some of the others. I'm just using the low-end MG3222, which replaces an MG3122, which developed a waste ink error at ten months and they replaced it. But I couldn't wait, so I had to buy a new one ($59) to get me by, and I'm just using the new one. I have had Lexmark, Kodak, and Epson printers, with work experience with HP. I would like to stay with Canon now.

The printer page count is about 14,000 pages a year. I do refills to keep the cost down. It is nearly all in black ink, though I have to keep up the color for occasional use. I've been buying 1 liter of Unikit Durafirm Black 2101 and 60 ml Unikit color (3).

The problem I'm looking to PrinterKnowledge for is the dried-up OEM cartridges caused by me not seeing that ink has run out until it has printed 2-3 pages of blank sheets. That apparently causes jets to dry up and clog and I can't unclog them with either my InkTec cartridge ink sucker or by printer cleaning functions. I've also tried soaking in cleaner. Those things usually work, but when they don't, I have to buy a new OEM cartridge. Yes, I save a lot doing refills, but having to buy a new OEM cartridge 1/2 times a month is unacceptable.

And then, the ultimate fix is to move up to something better, and that is why I am here. One option is to move to another Canon or to CIS. It's got to have Canon's automatic duplex. My thinking is that since the main reason for the better models is for color printing, which I don't need, then it might be a wasted trip up for me because of my primary use of black. How about models with separate printheads? Will that be the same problem with drying out, only more expensive to fix? Am I right, that CIS would not be a good move for primarily black printing? Also, are there any CIS units with Canon''s automatic duplex?

And let me add that I am greatly impressed with the friendly, helpful tone of the site moderator and posters. I hope I can also contribute something to the site.
 

stratman

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Welcome to the forum, JJ. Keep doing the good work! I think you will find the forum to be informative and enjoyable and will fit in nicely with the rest of us printer coconuts.

First thing that struck me is that you have a large printing cycle with high demand for non-color, black text printing. Have you considered a laser printer? Less fiddling with refills than an inkjet and improved ink fastness (waterproofing). The TOC - total cost of ownership - may be less and there is no fear of burning up your print head due to lack of ink.

Concerning using inkjets...

Canon printers require liquid ink to cool the print head nozzles as they print. Lack of ink can cause nozzle burnout and early failure of the print head. Printing a nozzle check (and posting on the forum) is helpful in diagnosing and then suggesting treatments for recovery. Your frequent and high number of pages printed is one of the best ways of preventing clogs from forming from too little printing, which leads to drying of ink and potential nozzle/ink channel clogs in the print head and/or thickening of ink inside the cartridge. The former causes clogs and the later may cause ink starvation. One way of preventing these drying out issues from too little printing is to print something that uses all cartridge colors once a week. A nozzle check may suffice for this purpose. If your frequent printing includes all ink cartridge colors then you need not do the weekly nozzle check print.

So, what can you do to prevent printing without ink? Well, you could sit at the printer and watch it. Probably not what you want to do. The best thing, if you refill, is to purchase a printer that allows for resetting of the chip on the cartridge so that it behaves as a new cartridge. When the cartridge goes to empty you will reset the chip, refill, then reinsert back into the print head. When the ink level is low a warning will occur and when empty will stop printing to prevent nozzle burnout from lack of ink -- just like a new cartridge behaves.

However, the printer you currently have is NOT amenable to chip resetting. But, your cartridges do have a built in print head instead of a standalone print head that individual color and pigment black cartridges insert into. The benefit of your cartridge is decreased cost of replacing a bad cartridge/built in print head versus the higher cost of a standalone print head. You will need to decide which cartridge + print head setup you want. The Canon portion of the forum is primarily about standalone print head use with single color cartridges that have chips on them that can be reset to "new" in order to maintain ink level monitoring. It is this ink level monitoring that will prevent print head burnout from printing without ink to cool the nozzles.

Again, one way to bypass this issue is to purchase a laser printer. You will need to refill with toner or purchase a new (possibly third party) toner cartridge. Also, you will eventually need to replace the drum, though some laser printers have combination drum+toner units. Total cost of ownership should be examined for costs for these items just as you would with an inkjet printer.

Finally, and to the point, forum member @The Hat posted a nice list of printers that have cartridges with chips that can (and cannot) be reset: http://www.printerknowledge.com/threads/the-best-canon-printers-the-poor-canon-printers-for-refilling.7282/

You've already experienced the joys and savings of refilling. Consider either a laser printer or an inkjet printer with resettable chips on the cartridge. Then, don't forget to print something once a week that uses all the cartridge colors, such as a nozzle check if your current printing does not already do just that.

Take a look at one of the forum's favorite refiller supplier sites for those of us in North America called Precision Colors -- http://www.precisioncolors.com/index.html. You will see various inks, chip resetters, tools to refill AND their costs! Just click on "Canon" on the home page and then look at the various printer models for each number of tanks (cartridges) used for those printers and then look at the "Chip Reset" tab to see if a chip resetter is available. While Precision Colors sells refill inks and supplies for your cartridges, there is no chip resetter available. This may help you decide what printer fits your needs (Black Pigment ink being something you would want for your printing needs).
 
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jjstewart

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Stratman, that is one of the most useful, complete replies I have ever received in a forum. Thank you so much. I'll reply in a way that you can correct me if I have overlooked something or am thinking about it wrongly.

Let me start with my conclusion to date, meaning I'm open. I learned that I can't afford to let cartridges run dry. I have been able to get over ten refills when I did a good job of refilling early. So, with your discussion of chips, I'm going to try to imitate a chip and try to predict when it will run out, then refill it. I will err on the side of refilling too early and overfilling, but that's only a problem with the 3-color color cartridge, because the colors go over into the other color's well, or at least it seems to. But with black only, it just comes out the top, which is no big deal. That calculated page count will be the time to stop. As you suggested, I'll use the frequent nozzle checks for the colors. The nozzle check utility has a page counter in it. I know a page counter isn't exactly what I need, but I'll try it and see if I can come up with a plan that works.

The reason I chose not to go with a laser is primarily cost. The math comes out to over $600 a year, well over the $300 at my present cartridge-replacement rate that I'm paying now. Also, the black isn't as good on lasers. I owned a laser in the past (lightning got it). With ideas I got from you, I think I can substantially reduce my present annual cost. I'm now using about 14 cartridges; I think I can do better with what I learned here.

I worked the numbers on the link to The Hat's printer list. They are about double of what I am spending now. It's mainly because I'm doing black only, basically. A lot of the printers on the list are no longer current or didn't have the new automatic duplex. I don't want to go back to manual duplex.

And I assume you agree that CIS is not a good option. It appears to be clumsy and from my last check, I couldn't find a match for a printer with automatic duplex.

So that's why I think I have to stay where I'm at, but use frequent nozzle checks instead of looking for it to start running out. At the next burp in my system I might upgrade to a faster printer (1.5 times), but that's not enough difference to do it now.

Again, thanks so much. This is really a good site for printer people.
 

turbguy

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Regardless of you opinion of laser printers, they will have the lowest "per click" cost, for text, when compared to an inkjet (as long as you use a decent laser printer). Also, the text quality should equal or exceed that of an inkjet, while being waterproof to boot.

That said, my primary text printer is an Epson Atrisan 800 with a dye-ink CISS and a duplexer accessory. It seems to work fine, but the black is not as good as a laser...
 

stratman

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You are very welcome.

I would think a laser printer would be less expensive in the long run and have better print. Also, using standalone inkjet cartridges, each a different color, in a standalone print head with good quality aftermarket inkjet inks (costing me ~$1 - $1.5 per refill) allows for significant cost savings, fewer refills and job stops due to their increased ink capacity. The added bonus of resettable chipped cartridges would also protect you from print head burnout.

You are correct about Canon's and CIS units - usually a problem waiting to happen. Epsons are better for CIS operation.

Best of luck with whatever you choose! Let us know what happens. :thumbsup
 

The Hat

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Hi JJ
The printer you’re using to produce you current booklets is not a great one to use but saying that it is working for you but can let you down fairly easy, a safer bet would be to have a spare back up.

Try to find a printer that will take the 220/221 or 225/226 cartridges because they are the ones that are easily refilled, and can do duplex also, the best place to try would be Craig’s List as near to you as you can, then if you find one it will mean less travelling.

Now in the mean time you can continue to use your current printer but if you’re not using colour in you booklets then fill both cartridges the same way (Topping up regular) with just black ink it won’t matter at all and you can also overfill them both.

Because you’re using Duplex all of the time then the printer will print from both cartridges despite you not having any colour in your printouts and by using just one ink you can save that bit extra.

As said before by @stratman and @turbguy, mono Laser printers are far cheaper to run than any inkjet printer could ever be and much more reliable too, but far more expensive to purchase especially with a built in duplexer.

No matter which method you choose to use to print with it’s going to cost something, so the most important part is to enjoy what you do and hang the expense but always be on the lookout for a cheaper alternative and be ready to grab it when it comes along.

Happy Printing.. :D
 

stratman

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Concerning laser printers... The following is an example and not a recommendation as I do not know the printer durability or function.

Samsung makes some inexpensive and popular laser printers. Oftentimes there are sales where you can find a duplex model for ~$50-60. A quick scan of the internets found on sale for $70 a duplex laser printer from Samsung with what looks like a good monthly duty cycle and pages per minute speed: http://www.frys.com/product/7614757?source=googleps&gclid=CNnpxoXTtb0CFc9AMgoddx4AoQ. Note the free shipping.

Consumables (toner) range from $70 for 3000 page count OEM cartridge to $50 aftermarket to $20 for a toner refill kit: http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=mlt-d115l&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=34602339888&hvpos=1t2&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11149593091909760123&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_2vxtm92ph1_e.

While an HP laser printer may have more up front cost to purchase the printer, you may end up saving more on consumables due to the mass ownership of the units and numerous aftermarket consumable merchants vying for sales. The only way to know is do the research on costs as well as paying attention to people's comments on their experiences with the printer such as at Amazon and Newegg. Here is a link to Staples to read customer comments: http://www.staples.com/Samsung-SL-M2820DW-Mono-Laser-Printer/product_181129. Also, if you have local stores that have printers for sale, go and check the print quality for yourself.
 

jjstewart

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Thank you all for the very good suggestions. Let me discuss them. I’ll try to cover all the bases, but I’m sure I’m going to miss one. Less just start with the money.

My estimated annual cost for my present situation not counting the cost of the printer, modified as described in my last post (which is: calculating the refill point of my present cartridge rather than looking for it to go empty) would be: 6 Canon PG-240XL cartridges (6 X $17) + 1 liter ink @ $50 = $152. Worst case (which is: double the frequency that I would have to buy OEM cartridges) would be to change the (6 X $17) to (12 X $17) = $254.

Laser printer: I would just love to go to a laser printer. The argument is that the TCO with a laser is less than with a cartridge inkjet printer. I looked very seriously at the Canon LBP6200d for an ERP of $169 (which I won’t count in my calculations) and a cartridge cost (126 Black) of $87 with a yield of about 2100 pages/cartridge, so my annual cost of toner cartridges would be 14,000/2100perCartridge = 6.67 cartridges per year X $87 (cartridge cost) = $580 or so. Compare that to the previous paragraph : $152 to $254. The laser comes out at $428 or $326 more.

But since we are talking OEM cartridges for the laser, if we did the same (just used OEM cartridges) for my inkjet, we would be comparing the $580 laser cost to (14000/300 yield=46.67 cartridges/year, or $793; then the laser would have a lower TCO. But that’s why I refill, so I don't have to pay $791. And that’s why I feel I should try to make the refill method work.

The Samsung laser Stratman pointed me to is interesting. For $69 it has a 3000 page toner cartridge, also for $69. (Talk about funny money…) You could almost afford to buy a new printer if the imaging unit failed. For a year, it is 4.67 OEM cartridges @ $69 = $323, compared to my paragraph #2 result of $152-$254. I looked at the link he pointed me to for aftermarket cartridges at Amazon.com, but the model number and the cartridge number didn’t match. Is the SL-M2820DW supposed to be the same as the M2825DW in the link? Or did I get something wrong?

Enough about costs. About resetters on The Hat’s list: I looked these printers up on Canon’s website and found one that shows Resetter Yes that might work, the Pixma MG 5520, which is the current version of the Pixma MG 5220 on the list. Precisioncolors.com says there is no resetter for this generation of cartridges. So, I’m right back where I started. I don’t like the idea of going to an old version, though the older Pixma MG 5220 did have Auto Duplex.

So, since my calculation at paragraph #2 is still the best deal, I’ll test it for a while. If there are factors that outweigh the apparently cost advantage of that method, then I’d like to go with the Samsung laser that Stratman pointed me to. Maybe I’ll find the aftermarket cartridges for it; that would probably change my numbers and make the Samsung the best deal all around.

Thanks for all your help.
 

turbguy

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To make the laser competitive with refilled inkjets, you MUST refill the laser's toner cart...then it's not even close...
 

jjstewart

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All right, Turbguy, if I use the Samsung lead of Stratman, I can get 3000 pages of toner plus chip (what do I need that for?) for a year at $130 instead of $152 and up. In the meantime I'm going to try The Hat's idea of using black in in the color cartridge I basically aren't using. That will be interesting. But right now it looks like the Samsung laser is where I need to go. Thanks, everybody.
 
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