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The 5 Best Printers With Cheap Ink - Summer 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Printers With Cheap Ink

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. Generally, the most cost-effective printers are a bit more expensive, but dishing out the extra money is often worth it thanks to the much larger page yields.

We've tested over 125 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best printers for home use with cheap ink you can buy, all depending on your needs. 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 Printer With Cheap Ink

    Overall, the best printer with cheap ink 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 around 2000 black pages and 800 color pages. If you only print a few pages a week, you won't have to buy cartridges too often. It's especially nice since the cartridges are on the more expensive side, but you can get a lot of pages out of them, so it's still really cost-effective.

    It can get expensive if you print a lot during the week. If you're willing to pay more upfront on the printer in exchange for a much lower ink cost, we recommend the Epson EcoTank ET-2850. Instead of cartridges, it has ink tanks that you refill with ink bottles. The bottles are much cheaper than most cartridges and last much longer. Unfortunately, these models tend to clog up fast if you don't print often, so just make sure to print at least a few pages a week.

    See our review

  2. Best Budget Printer With Cheap Ink

    If our first pick is a bit too expensive for you, look at the Brother MFC-J1205W. It uses the same hybrid tank–cartridge system as the Brother MFC-J4335DW, meaning you can print lots of pages before you're out of ink with this one. Like most Brother printers, the cartridges are a bit expensive compared to the cartridges of other budget printers. That said, it's still the more cost-effective option since you can get a lot more pages out of the cartridges; this means you won't have to go out and spend money on replacements too often anyway.

    Of course, as an inexpensive option, there are a few downfalls. It can't automatically print double-sided, so you'll have to hang around to flip over the stack of papers to print the second side. Also, there's no display screen (just buttons and status lights), but you can use the mobile app to do everything you need. Overall, if you're on a budget and want something that won't break the bank, this one is one of the best home printers with cheap ink that we've tested.

    See our review

  3. Best Photo Printer With Cheap Ink

    If you want a model with good photo quality, we recommend the Canon PIXMA G7020. While its retail cost is a bit on the pricey side, it's well worth it if you can spend more upfront to save money later. It has four refillable tanks and comes with three black bottles instead of just one, so you don't have to worry about black ink for a long time after the initial buy. This model is a lot better than the others on this list for photos. Its images are more detailed, and there's much less graininess and banding. While some colors are a little off from what they're supposed to be, your pictures will still look nice and natural.

    Unfortunately, it has a tiny, two-line display screen, similar to most scientific calculators. If the message or menu title is long, you have to wait for it to scroll, which is annoying when other models have much larger, touchscreen displays. That said, you can use the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app to print, scan, check ink levels, and start printhead cleanings, so you don't necessarily need to deal with the small screen for much.

    See our review

  4. Best Home Office Printer With Cheap Toner

    If you're looking for the best all-in-one printer with cheap ink for your home office, we recommend the HP Neverstop Laser MFP 1202w. This model differs from the other picks above since it's a laser printer instead of an inkjet printer. Laser printers are a great choice if you don't print often since you won't have to worry about clogged printheads or dried-up ink. This model doesn't use cartridges; it uses toner bottles that you use to refill a tank within the drum unit, similar to how supertank printers work. You can print nearly 9000 pages before it runs out of toner—one of the highest yields we've tested!—which keeps printing very cost-efficient. The toner bottle cost is inexpensive for a laser printer, but you'll need to buy two for a full-tank refill.

    Unfortunately, it can't print double-sided automatically, so you have to flip over your sheets manually when prompted every time. It might get annoying if you print double-sided often. Also, this model is a bit expensive, but it might be worth the trade-off for an incredibly high page yield. If you want something cheaper, look at the HP LaserJet MFP M234sdwe. Of course, it doesn't print nearly as many pages, but it's a cheaper model that offers what the Neverstop lacks: auto-duplexing and an automatic document feeder.

    See our review

  5. Best Standalone Printer With Cheap Toner

    If you don't need to scan anything for your work, you can save money with a print-only model. The HP LaserJet M209dwe is a simple laser model that's a good option if you don't need color or a scanner. Like the HP Neverstop Laser MFP 1202w, it uses toner, so you don't need to worry about printheads that clog up or ink that dries out. You can get thousands of pages out before the cartridges start running empty, so you don't need to worry about buying replacements often. The high page yield paired with its relatively cheap cartridge price (compared to other laser models) causes a low cost per page, meaning you save money in the long run.

    The biggest issue with this model is its printing speed. It's slow compared to other laser printers, which are usually known to be fast, so it'll take a few minutes to get out a long document. That said, it's still a great little printer if you have simple monochrome printing needs, don't print frequently, and don't need a scanner.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Epson EcoTank ET-3850: The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is a good alternative to the Brother MFC-J4335DW if you want a higher page yield. It's similar to the Epson EcoTank ET-2850. However, it's a bit more expensive. It has an automatic document feeder, which is great if you scan multi-page documents often, and it yields thousands of pages with one set of ink bottles. 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 prints nicer photos than the Brother MFC-J1205W, but its cost-per-print isn't nearly as cheap. 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 since it uses traditional cartridges. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jun 10, 2022: Restructured the article to make it easier to read. Replaced the HP LaserJet MFP M234sdwe with the HP Neverstop Laser MFP 1202w since it has a much higher page yield.

  2. Apr 12, 2022: Changed the scope of the article to include printers with cheap toner. Replaced the Epson EcoTank ET-4760 with the HP LaserJet MFP M234sdwe for 'Best Home Office Printer With Cheap Toner' and the Epson EcoTank ET-2760 with the HP LaserJet M209dwe for 'Best Black and White Printer With Cheap Toner.' Also updated the Notable Mentions to remove irrelevant and unavailable picks.

  3. Mar 24, 2022: Replaced the Epson EcoTank ET-3760 with the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 for 'More Affordable Ink Alternative' since the ET-3760 is discontinued. Removed a few models from Notable Mentions since they're discontinued and hard to find in stock.

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

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

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best printers with cheap toner or ink. 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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