Inkjet Printer Buying Guide

by MyCartridges Staff

Inkjet printers can generally be divided into two groups; ones that use a 2 cartridge ink system, and ones that use a 4+ cartridge system. Let's find out about both and which type is best:

2 Cartridge System
1 x Black + 1 Combined Colour Cartridge

Single Colour Cartridge

Inside a single unit "Color" cartridge you have 3 seperate chambers, one each of cyan, magenta & yellow.

4 Cartridge System
1 x Black + 3 Seperate Colours

Seperate Colour Cartridges

The 3 colours required to mix any colour in this printer are soldseparately. Only change what you use = less wastage and more ink.

Why it matters

To continue printing blue in the 2 cartridge printer, you must change the colour cartridge, WASTING the Magenta & Yellow chambers of ink. In the 4 ink machine you can just individually change the blue (cyan) cartridge and continue on without throwing away the other perfectly good colours.Most people have a dominant colour in the documents the print, we know this because users of 4 ink machines rarely find the levels of ink in all four separate cartridges go down evenly.This is an extreme example to demonstrate what happens when printing a run of one predominant colour text or images

So why do manufactures still make 2-cartridge machines?

1) They're cheaper to make - They do not have a printhead inside (the expensive bit!)

The printheads for these machines are sold as part of the cartridge, which makes the cartridges very expensive.

2) They can take a small loss on the printer and (attempt) to lock you in to the ongoing purchase of high priced consumables.

This formula adds up to a cartridges that cost more to replace than the printer!

With think changing the printhead every time you change a cartridge is as bonkers as buying a new fuel tank every time you need to fill up your car. For this reason we are strong advocates of the multiple separate cartridge printers.

Pay a bit more upfront for the printer (usually only $30 or so) and enjoy a machine with cheaper running costs!

In the market for a new printer?

EVEN if you are not, it's often cheaper to ditch a 2 ink printer and buy a new 4 ink printer than it would be to buy a couple of sets of genuine cartridges for a 2 ink machine so it should pay for itself very quickly!


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