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The 6 Best Printers With Cheap Ink - Winter 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Printers With Cheap Ink
112 Printers Tested
  • Store-bought printers; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
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Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

Whether you've started to run low or you're now completely out of ink, you can be in for a nasty surprise when it comes time to replace your cartridges or bottles. Some ink bundles can cost up to your printer's original price, making refills costly. Printers themselves can also have a low page yield, so you're stuck constantly replacing your ink cartridges if you want to keep printing, which can quickly add up over time. Additionally, finding a printer with cheap ink isn't only about the cost of new cartridges, but how cost-efficient their cartridges are over time.

We've tested over 110 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best home printers you can buy. You can also check out our recommendations for the best home printers, the best photo printers, and the best all-in-one printers.


  1. Best Family Printer With Cheap Ink: Brother MFC-J4335DW

    7.2
    Family
    7.8
    Small/Home Office
    8.3
    Student
    8.3
    Black & White
    6.6
    Photo
    Type All in One
    Technology Inkjet
    Wireless Yes
    Color Yes
    SuperTank
    No

    The best all-in-one printer for home use with cheap ink that we've tested is the Brother MFC-J4335DW. This color inkjet uses Brother's INKvestment Tank, which uses a combination of ink tanks and cartridges to yield an excellent number of pages. Its cost-per-print is outstandingly cheap, so it's a very efficient printer given the cost of new cartridges.

    It has a flatbed scanner with a high scan resolution and an automatic document feeder, which makes it well-suited for digitizing family photos or important documents. It prints very quickly and should produce a full essay or report in under a minute, which means you won't have to sit waiting. The connectivity options include Apple AirPrint, Mopria Print Service, and Wi-Fi Direct, so you can easily print from many different devices.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't support third-party cartridges, but there are XL cartridges that provide higher page yields and a better cost-per-print. Also, it uses three separate color cartridges, so you only need to replace the colors that run out. The photos it prints look only okay, so you're better off getting a dedicated photo printer if you do a lot of photo printing. That said, this is a well-rounded family printer, and it's the best home printer with cheap ink that we've tested.

    See our review

  2. More Affordable Ink Alternative: Epson EcoTank ET-3760

    Type All in One
    Technology Inkjet
    Wireless Yes
    Color Yes
    SuperTank
    Yes

    If you want to tighten your budget even further, check out the Epson EcoTank ET-3760. Although it doesn't feel as well-built, and it prints slower than the Brother MFC-J4335DW, it has significantly higher page yields and a cheaper cost-per-print. Its supertank ink system has ink tanks that you refill using ink bottles, which are much cheaper to purchase, so you'll save money in the long run. Also, it can produce a wider range of colors, gradients look smoother, and photos come out with higher quality. However, its color accuracy is much worse, so colors in photos won't look as true to like. Unfortunately, it lacks built-in fax capabilities, and its scanner lid has hinges that can only raise high enough to fit a thin book or magazine.

    If you're looking for a family printer that feels better built and has faster printing speeds, go with the Brother. However, if you're looking for a printer with high page yields and a low cost-per-print for constant, long print jobs, get the Epson.

    See our review

  3. Best Home Office Printer With Cheap Ink: Epson EcoTank ET-4760

    7.2
    Family
    7.9
    Small/Home Office
    8.5
    Student
    8.2
    Black & White
    6.9
    Photo
    Type All in One
    Technology Inkjet
    Wireless Yes
    Color Yes
    SuperTank
    Yes

    The best printer with cheap ink for offices we've tested is the Epson EcoTank ET-4760. This all-in-one inkjet model uses a supertank system with four refillable ink tanks that yield an incredible number of pages before needing to be refilled. Thanks to its high page yields, it has an outstanding cost-per-print, among the lowest we've tested.

    Since it's an all-in-one unit, it comes with office features like a high-resolution flatbed scanner for digitizing receipts or documents and an automatic document feeder to quickly scan multi-page reports or contracts. It can also fax, should you need it. It produces the first page of a text document quickly, and subsequent pages come out fairly fast; however, photos and color documents can take significantly longer. You can connect the printer to a larger office network with an Ethernet cable, or wirelessly with Wi-Fi, Apple AirPrint, and Mopria Print Service.

    Unfortunately, though it has an automatic document feeder, it doesn't perform duplex scanning, so digitizing double-sided may get tedious as you'll have to manually turn over pages during the scan job. Also, it doesn't support printing with a Bluetooth connection, and it doesn't have ports for printing directly off of a USB key or SD card. With that said, it's an excellent option if you're looking for a home office printer with cheap ink to keep you within budget.

    See our review

  4. Best Black And White Printer With Cheap Ink: Epson EcoTank ET-2760

    7.4
    Family
    6.3
    Small/Home Office
    8.9
    Student
    7.4
    Black & White
    6.7
    Photo
    Type All in One
    Technology Inkjet
    Wireless Yes
    Color Yes
    SuperTank
    Yes

    The best black and white printer for home use with cheap ink that we've tested is the Epson EcoTank ET-2760. This compact, all-in-one unit can also print in color if needed. Thanks to its supertank system, its page yield for black-only documents is exceptionally high, and its cost-per-print is incredibly low.

    Even if you only intend to use this printer for black and white printing, you have its high-resolution flatbed scanner to easily digitize notes, documents, or photos and capture all their fine details. This printer also has an SD slot to print directly off an SD card, and it connects wirelessly to devices using Apple AirPrint, Mopria Print Service, or a Wi-Fi connection. You can use the Epson iPrint companion app to print, scan, copy, and perform maintenance tasks right from your device.

    Unfortunately, it lacks an automatic document feeder, so scanning long documents can be time-consuming, as you'll have to load each page manually onto the flatbed. Also, its printing speeds are decent, but it may take a while for very long print jobs to come out. With that said, it's a good option if you're looking for a printer with cheap ink to keep costs low.

    See our review

  5. Best Casual Photo Printer With Cheap Ink: Canon PIXMA G7020

    8.1
    Family
    7.3
    Small/Home Office
    8.6
    Student
    7.4
    Black & White
    7.6
    Casual Photo
    Type All in One
    Technology Inkjet
    Wireless Yes
    Color Yes
    SuperTank
    Yes

    The best all-in-one printer with cheap ink for photos that we've tested is the Canon PIXMA G7020. This supertank inkjet model yields an incredibly high number of pages. Its cost-per-print is remarkably low, with a typical 4" x 6" photo costing no more than two cents in ink. Exceptionally, it comes with three black ink bottles included alongside the color ink bottles, which should last a very long time even if you print a lot.

    It prints very good-looking photos with good detail, although they're a bit oversaturated. If you need to digitize photos, its flatbed scanner has a good scan resolution and color depth, letting you capture even the smallest details. There's a great array of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi Direct, Apple AirPrint, Mopria Print Service, letting you print from a wide variety of devices.

    Unfortunately, the accuracy of colors is mediocre, so photos likely won't look true to life. If you need to print documents, it prints slowly, so you'll be waiting for a while for prints to finish. Also, there's no space to plug in external storage like an SD card, so transferring photos from a camera will take extra steps. Overall, it's still good for casual photos and won't cost you too much in ink.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Printer With Cheap Ink: Brother MFC-J1205W

    7.2
    Family
    5.8
    Small/Home Office
    8.2
    Student
    7.0
    Black & White
    6.9
    Photo
    Type All in One
    Technology Inkjet
    Wireless Yes
    Color Yes
    SuperTank
    No

    If you're on a budget, the best printer for home use with cheap ink we've tested is the Brother MFC-J1205W. It uses Brother's proprietary INKvestment Tank, a hybrid cartridge–tank system, and yields a great number of both black and color pages at a remarkably cheap cost-per-print. There's also a flatbed scanner with hinges that slightly lift when you need to scan slightly thicker media like magazines.

    For a budget-priced printer, it feels very well-built, with easy access to potential paper jams via a door in the rear. You can also push the output tray all the way in to make the printer more compact. Printed photos look decent, and the accuracy of colors is acceptable for casual use. The connectivity options are satisfactory, including Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service, and you can use the refreshed Brother Mobile Connect app to print, scan, copy, and perform maintenance tasks.

    Unfortunately, printing documents is slow, there's no automatic duplex printing, and the lack of Bluetooth might be inconvenient for some. There's also no screen, but there are many function buttons and status lights to help make operation easier. All in all, it's a good printer if you're on a budget and want something that won't break the bank.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Brother MFC-J995DW: The Brother MFC-J995DW is an excellent printer for families, with fantastic page yields at an outstandingly low cost-per-print. It prints significantly better-looking photos than the Brother MFC-J4335DW. However, it's difficult to find in stock at a reasonable price. See our review
  • Epson Expression Premium ET-7750 EcoTank: The Epson Expression Premium ET-7750 EcoTank is a great family printer with a lower cost-per-print and a significantly higher page yield than the Brother MFC-J995DW. It lacks a sheetfed scanner, and the Brother printer costs less upfront. See our review
  • Canon MAXIFY GX7020: The Canon MAXIFY GX7020 is a superb supertank inkjet printer for small or home offices. It has better color page yields, better scanning features, and prints faster, but its cost-per-print is still roughly double the Epson EcoTank ET-4760. See our review
  • Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850: The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 is an outstanding supertank inkjet printer for small or home offices. It has better scanning features and prints significantly faster. However, its cost-per-print is double for black text documents and triple that of color documents compared to the Epson EcoTank ET-4760. See our review
  • Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser: The Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser is an excellent small or home office printer, but its toner cost is significantly higher than the Epson EcoTank ET-4760's ink cartridges. It has a lower page yield and a higher cost-per-print, but its sheetfed scanner can perform double-sided scans. See our review
  • Epson Expression ET-2750: The Epson Expression ET-2750 has an outstanding cost-per-print that's almost as low as the Epson EcoTank ET-4760. It lacks a sheetfed scanner, a fax feature, and its printing speed is significantly slower. See our review
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e: The HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e costs less than the Epson EcoTank ET-4760 and has a superior scanner, but its cost-per-print isn't as low, and its cartridges cost more expensive for a smaller page yield than the ET-4760's ink bottles. See our review
  • Canon PIXMA TR8620: The Canon PIXMA TR8620 is a great printer for casual photos that produces much better-looking photos with more accurate colors than the Canon PIXMA G7020. However, its page yields and cost-per-print are significantly worse. See our review
  • Canon PIXMA TS6320: The Canon PIXMA TS6320 has better photo quality and color accuracy than the Canon PIXMA G7020, but it has a lower page yield, and its cost-per-print isn't as low since it uses ink cartridges instead of a supertank like the G7020. See our review
  • Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank: The Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank is a very good budget printer for families, with superior page yields, a cheaper cost-per-print, and better scanning features than the Brother MFC-J1205W. However, it's hard to find in stock at a reasonable price. See our review
  • Canon PIXMA MG3620: The Canon PIXMA MG3620 is a satisfactory printer you can get on a budget. It prints faster, supports automatic duplex printing, and produces better photos than the Brother MFC-J1205W, but its cost-per-print isn't nearly as cheap. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 20, 2022: Removed the Canon TR8520 from Notable Mentions due to lack of availability; updated text for clarity; no changes to picks.

  2. Nov 23, 2021: Verified availability and accuracy of picks, and rewrote text for clarity.

  3. Sep 24, 2021: Replaced the Brother MFC-J995DW with the Brother MFC-J4335DW for 'Best Family', and moved the J995DW to Notable Mentions. Added the Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank to Notable Mentions. Verified availability of picks.

  4. Aug 26, 2021: Made the Brother MFC-J1205W 'Best Budget Printer With Cheap Ink', and moved the Canon PIXMA MG3620 to Notable Mentions. Added the Epson EcoTank ET-2760 as 'Best Black And White Printer With Cheap Ink'. Added the Canon MAXIFY GX7020, the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850, and the Canon PIXMA TR8620 to Notable Mentions. Verified availability of picks.

  5. Jun 29, 2021: Verified accuracy and availability of picks, and updated text for clarity.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best printers with cheap ink for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our printer reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no printer is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.

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