Printer help


I think THE question I am asked most is about printers - "What should I use?"

If you follow my method below I guarantee it will help you get the best for you and it will probably save you a lot of money!

I've used many over the years and obviously ink is a major issue for me with the millions of pages I've printed over the years. In the early years of PD we did not have a huge office printer, so I have a lot of experience in finding the best printer and getting the best print at a good price - and there are HUGE differences in the quality of printers and what they cost you in the end, you must research! Here's what you need to do if you are looking for a new one. This might take you maybe an hour to do but if you follow these instructions you will get the right printer for you and most importantly IT COULD SAVE YOU A LOT OF MONEY.
(Now these days a lot of manufacturers are giving you the endless ink solution - that's fine, but you should still do this process anyway! Those printers will still have a data sheet and you should be able to see what's going in the tanks and what the yield for the tank is and compare it like for like with other similar systems! )
  1. On a piece of paper/on your computer/device create a list with 10 columns across and create the following headings (this is important) - Inkjet/Laser, Brand, Model No, Price, Cost of Ink, No of 5* reviews, Yield, Duty Cycle, the website URL it was listed.
  2. Look on Amazon and online at the ones that seem most popular (look at how many 5*reviews they have, this is a good indicator but not the main thing as not everyone prints a lot at home).
  3. Do a shortlist of 5 - 6 that seem to be the most popular and fill them in on the sheet - you might need to do more, it's well worth doing as it could save you a lot of money! Add the different brands and model numbers and the average price of that model (list the website where you saw it too so you dont forget!).
  4. This is the KEY thing you now need to do....Online, go to Google and type in " PRINTER MODEL/SPECIFICATION DATA SHEET". For example, if on your list you have a HP2010 Inkjet XYZabc type in: HP2010 Inkjet XYZabc Specification Data sheet.
This should take you to the manufacturers website and the spec sheet for that printer. It's often a PDF you might need to download and it will have all the instructions and troubleshooting for that printer probably - it just looks like a load of stuff you don't need and there will be a lot of information.
You are looking for this:  CARTRIDGES AND YIELDS/ INK YIELD
This is the most important thing you're looking for - YIELD is how much ink you should get out of a cartridge!
They might not list it as yield, it might look something like this (this is from an Epson):
Ink Type DURABrite Pro pigment ink (smudge, fade and water resistant) Ink Palette Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black Ink Cartridge Configuration Four individual ink cartridges Replacement Ink Cartridges2 748 Standard-capacity Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow (Yield, ISO pages – Black: 2500, Color: 1500) 748XL High-capacity Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow (Yield, ISO pages – Black: 5000, Color: 4000) 748XXL Extra High-capacity Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow (Yield, ISO pages – Black: 10,000, Color: 7000)
THE YIELD HERE is 2500 black only pages and 1500 color pages. YOU GET A DIFFERENT YIELD FOR PRINTING BLACK OR COLOUR. Go by the LOWEST yield.
This yield will be based on about 25% coverage of a sheet on NORMAL quality - they're not thinking about you printing a whole sheet of graphics or photos on Best quality here, so the reality is that your yield is much lower than it says, but this is a benchmark to compare each model against each other! You don't want to buy a printer with the lowest yield - it will cost you a fortune!
DUTY CYCLE this is the expected life of the printer and how many pages it will print! 
The cheaper the printer the faster it dies! 1000 sheets sounds a lot but it's only 4 reams of printer paper and it's terrible!
(I once paid £40 on a cheap Epson colour printer, didnt look at this and it literally let me print 30 full colour paper sheets off and then told me it had reached the end of it's life and broke, it was an absolute pile of poop, I was livid!)
It will also tell you in this spec information the maximum paper weight that printer can take too - another big question for most crafters!
Another important thing to look for is also the SPEED or PPM - pages per minute - there's nothing more annoying than a printer that prints one page per minute! You will also find this information here too. If it says 2 pages per minute sit doing nothing for 1 minute and you'll soon see if that's fast or not and if it will annoy you!
If the printer is REALLY slow, I would walk away from it, it is usually an indicator that it's a really poor printer if it's very slow. It might be £10 cheaper than another but is it worth it if you want to throw it out the window in anger because you can't get a piece of paper out fast enough!
Once you've filled in your table with the information for each printer you can then compare and make your decision properly - and hopefully you'll never buy another rubbish printer again!
I know this seems like a lot of hard work but it's not - it's just about knowing where to find the information you need. After all you wouldnt buy a car without asking how many MPG it will do etc - it's just the same thing and without doing this you're just buying on a whim!
I hope this helps you make a good decision on a printer you will love that serves you well.
Nikky x