People often ask me about repairing printers and what new printer to choose. While I don’t repair printers (most inexpensive home printers either can’t be repaired or wouldn’t be worth the cost) I do have some opinions about what new printers my clients should buy.
Although I have my opinions, blindly being loyal to one brand is never a good idea. All printer companies (like most companies that produces a product) will have a variety of products with different features and different levels of quality. Companies like HP offer some very good printers but for the lower price point I feel they lack quality.
After trying different printers myself and seeing what works for my clients I’ve developed a certain affection for Brother brand printers. Brother does’t have as wide a variety of printers to choose from when compared to some other brands and I think this helps them focus on making sure each product meets a minimum level of quality.
One thing I like to do when researching any printer is find prices on ink. Comparing page yields and price could be enough to change your mind.
Almost all printers come with ink but they are not full! Printers have “regular” and “high-yield” cartridges, the ones that come with your new printer are “starter” cartridges and have only a fraction of a what a regular cartridge would contain.
Depending on your printing habits ordering ink online is the clear choice. Most printer manufacturers make high-yield cartridges available depending on the model and sometimes those high-yield cartridges are available in multi-packs for additional savings. Just keep in mind that ink cartridges can go bad once they are installed and it’s important to use your printer (with all colors) at a regular interval, each printer is different but bi-weekly should be safe enough.
When buying cartridges online never order anything that says “replacement cartridge” or “compatible”. Using third party or re-filled cartridges can reduce the life of your printer and in some cases even do damage.
Like I said earlier, each manufacturer produces a spectrum of products and so does Brother. If you want some additional assurance your printer will be around a while (especially under heavy use) I would encourage you to look at the “Professional Series” of Brother printers. An an example the “MFC-J6520DW” on Amazon.