Pigment vs Dye inks in Canon megatank printer

phl1365

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About to get a new G7020 printer which comes with ink, but I'll be wanting to purchase some replacement ink to keep on-hand. Since Canon's G-series are basically consumer-grade printers with built-in CISS, I figured this was the appropriate section to post this question.

While the OEM ink price is somewhat reasonable, I'm still tempted to use 3rd party ink to save 50-70% on ink costs. Most of the printing will be general purpose color documents for my schoolteacher wife, so print quality is not a huge issue. We've been using generic cartridges in Epson/Canon printers for 15+ years.

The G7020 uses pigment black and dye-based colors. I've been told that it is an absolute no-no to mix pigment and dye inks together, so I think I'd like to stick with pigment black regardless of whether I purchase OEM or 3rd-party ink.

I've only found one seller on ebay/amazon that offers a pigment black version of the GI-20 OEM black ink. My concern is that the product description might be inaccurate. Many of the other listings are ambiguous. Even going to the "manufacturer's website", it's not clear what the formulation is. Since many of these 3rd party bottles are made in China, there's a good possibility that the "pigment" inks are actually dye-based.

Would there be any risk of print head damage if I were to inadvertently refill with dye-based black? Is there a list of reliable ink vendors that are recommended by this community?

Thanks in advance.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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I'm not aware of such ink supplier/manufacturer listings; you have several options - you stick with the Canon OEM black and use another supplier for the CMY dye inks if you want to go cheap, or you look for inks which are offered for the non-CISS 5 color Canon printers which use a pigment and a dye black. You use the pigment black and refill it into the bottle for the black ink for your printer, but that's all at your own risk - you are buying a rather expensive printer - loss of warranty - potential clogs - trying to go cheaper than the already budget level priced OEM inks, you may try to calculate a break even point at which you have realized that many savings that you could pay for the printer at the end since you could loose warranty - you would need quite some printing volume to reach that level - in years from now.
 

PeterBJ

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Don't substitute the OEM bottled inks. Canon might have used some chemical tricks that will cause the ink to form a gel and clog the nozzles if it is mixed with other inks, cleaning fluids or even water. You can't even avoid mixing inks if you use 3rd party ink for the first fill of the printer. The printheads are modified sponge/printhead cartridges that come prefilled with ink.

See this and this for an example of the yellow dye ink causing problems when mixed with non-OEM ink, and this and this when the bottled pigment ink is mixed with remnants of ink and or a cleaning fluid.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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I did a fading test of the G-series inks of a G1500 some time ago and used up those inks - those inks are not Chromalife inks - in a secret mix of inks - lots of leftovers from previous tests + these G-series inks - and the Epson L310 is still printing without ink gelling etc - this worked out for me but may not in other cases so a word of caution is advised. I did not test other inks in the G1500 than the OEM inks
 

stratman

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@Ink stained Fingers

Do you think the Epson tank printers are better performers than the Canon tank printers?

Could you please summarize your findings of these tank printers, the pluses and minuses of either side?
 

phl1365

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I'm not aware of such ink supplier/manufacturer listings; you have several options - you stick with the Canon OEM black and use another supplier for the CMY dye inks if you want to go cheap, or you look for inks which are offered for the non-CISS 5 color Canon printers which use a pigment and a dye black. You use the pigment black and refill it into the bottle for the black ink for your printer, but that's all at your own risk - you are buying a rather expensive printer - loss of warranty - potential clogs - trying to go cheaper than the already budget level priced OEM inks, you may try to calculate a break even point at which you have realized that many savings that you could pay for the printer at the end since you could loose warranty - you would need quite some printing volume to reach that level - in years from now.
Thanks. I will stick with the OEM black (since I get 3 bottles with the printer anyway, lol). I found a vendor that sells the 3-color combo pack without the black, so I may try that depending on how much of a yield I get from the OEM colors.
I actually do quite a bit of printing, or actually my wife does. Probably around 12-15K pages per year between printouts and copies, based on the history printout from my previous printer.
 

phl1365

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Don't substitute the OEM bottled inks. Canon might have used some chemical tricks that will cause the ink to form a gel and clog the nozzles if it is mixed with other inks, cleaning fluids or even water. You can't even avoid mixing inks if you use 3rd party ink for the first fill of the printer. The printheads are modified sponge/printhead cartridges that come prefilled with ink.

See this and this for an example of the yellow dye ink causing problems when mixed with non-OEM ink, and this and this when the bottled pigment ink is mixed with remnants of ink and or a cleaning fluid.
Thanks. I will check those links out. Wouldn't this be a problem with any 3rd-party cartridge/ciss, though?
 

Ink stained Fingers

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Do you think the Epson tank printers are better performers than the Canon tank printers?
There are many more Epson tank printers with wide model variations than there are Canon Megatank printers - from very low end printers like the L100 where it all started almost 10 years ago now up to the first 24" printer SC T3100x or high performance models like the ET16650, A4 and A3 photo printers L805 or L1800 and many more. There is a corresponding base model for most of them with cartridges or ink bags to which Epson has added the CISS system.
So the Tank printers will perform as good as the base models since they use the same mechanics - head etc.
Epson printheads are less prone to failures like the dreaded B200 error or similar but there is more to the performance of a printer than the printhead itself. I'm an Epson user and don't have much current experience at all with Canon tank printers so I need to leave that judgement Epson vs. Canon to other users.

Could you please summarize your findings of these tank printers, the pluses and minuses of either side?
There is a significant gain in convenience - the refill process is easy, there are much less cleaning cycles - all those triggered by cartridge changes are gone. I'm printing a lot - I cannot judge whether a printer clogs earlier or later with dye or pigment inks, and this would not be specific to a tank printer. And there is a significant pricing benefit with the bottled inks vs. inks in cartridges . Bottled inks are available as dye and pigment inks.
The main minuses are on the Epson side that they do not configure more of their printer models as a tank printer - like the P400, P600, P800, P900 etc printers - this for business reasons to sell ink cartridges.
 

stratman

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