What to Look For When Buying a Home Printer

07-08-2014 by

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We’re not printing as much as we used to. With the rising costs of printer ink and toner cartridges, environmental concerns and the easy sharing on Facebook, having a photographic record of your holiday that you can hold in your hands doesn’t seem all that important anymore.

When it comes to buying a home printer, you have to ask yourself if you really need one at all. It’s convenient to be able to print at home, but what about printing at a copy shop?

If you do decide that you need a printer at home, we’ve put together a guide on what to keep in mind and what to look for.

Photo printing

When it comes to photo printing, printing at home can become a bit complicated. Ink cartridges are notoriously fickle and love to be used. If you’re not going to printing something at least 3 times a week, your cartridges will dry up and become useless.

If you’re an infrequent photo printer then investing in an inkjet photo printer might not be the best option. Many photo printing stores offer direct from digital printing at a fraction of the cost of new printer ink and printer maintenance.

But what if you print out a lot of photos? Maybe you’re a keen amateur or a work from home professional photographer. Getting your own photo printer might be the best idea, as it is more convenient that popping down to the photo printing store.

Canon ink and photo printers, like the PIXMA range, provide sharp, clear photos and text, while HP ink cartridges for Photosmart printers are best suited for professional looking photos.

Document printing

If you’re going to be printing out a lot of documents, like the kid’s projects, invoices or shopping lists, getting a laser printer might be best. Toner cartridges offer higher page yields than ink cartridges and don’t dry out when not in use, making them better for the infrequent printer.

Brother toner offers good colour mixing and decent page yields and the smaller single function colour printers are relatively inexpensive to buy and maintain. HP toner cartridges and multi-function printers are also a good bet if you want to have a scanner and copier as well.

Samsung toner cartridges and printers are great for wireless printing, especially those that are NFC enabled. These printers offer one touch printing from your connected Samsung device.

Printer cartridges

When it comes to buying printer cartridges, which is best? You could stick to the printer manufacturer’s original cartridges, but they can be pretty pricey. What about compatible or remanufactured cartridges? Don’t let the horror stories fool you. Good quality compatible toner and ink is always a good option if you want to save money on your print costs.

If you are looking to buy remanufactured or compatible cartridges, it’s always best to do your homework first. Have a look at reviews on the site and check to see if the cartridges come with a guarantee. Inksaver’s printer cartridges, for example, come with a one year guarantee.

Having a look at your printing habits and what type of printer will work best for you will save on frustration down the line.

Nic Venter

About the author

Nic Venter+

 is the founder and director of He started the business in 2009 with the idea to sell ink and toner cartridges online and to provide you with a quality product, value for money and convenience. He regularly blogs on about printing and technology. Part of his philosophy is having fun and making sure that he and his team think everything ink, so you don't have to.

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