Printer. Where to find the cheapest one?. Personal experiences welcome.

Basically looking for a super affordable printer, but if you know of one that's cheap but quality(as opposed to cheap and junky) - feel free to list and share any experiences please. Thanks


  • No specific recommendations, but I would suggest you consider the volume of printing and the cost of ink / toner over, say, five years.

    If you are doing a reasonable amount of printing, especially in colour, often the upfront cost of the printer is not a significant factor.

    Most printers will include usage information based on a standard 5% coverage (or something) so they should all be reasonably easy to compare.


  • I strongly recommend against buying a Brother. They are cheap but I've never had a pleasant experience with one, and I've tried a few. They last a while then crap out with weird error messages, are poorly designed and produce average quality prints. Wouldn't surprise me if they have been fully engaged in planned obsolescence for the past 20 years.

    If you can, buy a laser. Most laser printers will last longer, cost less over their lifetime and have much better quality black prints than anything inkjet. The only exception is if you intend to print photos, but who does that nowadays anyway? If you need to print photos, go to WS or similar.

    As Alan said, check the cost over time and the availability of toner. Remember that the first cartridges you buy will not last long, maybe only 100-200 pages (they never give you full cartridges in a new printer).

    Also remember that aftermarket toner can save you lots, but quality can be hit and miss. Aftermarket inks (sometimes) bleed more, and coloured inks and toners can be off-colour. But if quality isn't important they can save big $$$.

    • I would offer a counteropinion on Brother here. I have owned two Brother laser printers (recently upgraded to an all-in-one, replacing a Brother colour laser of 3+ years and Canon colour ink/scanner/copier) and they are the best printers I have ever owned in terms of reliability and ease of use. My parents also have a Brother (mono laser) and theirs has worked without a hitch also for 5+ years. I don't have much to comment on print quality, seems fine to me - I'm not printing art to hang on the wall or anything, just documents.

      Second the comment on buying laser over inkjet.

      • I second Brother laser printers as well. Myself and few family members own all-in-one laser printers and all works fine and happy with it. Specially, printing documents from iphone is a breeze.

  • +1

    If you only want to print Black and White documents, I highly recommend the Brother HL-1210W..
    I picked it up for $40 about 5 years ago, and I have only had to replace the toner twice. I see on PriceSpy its has been as cheap as $31.

    • I second this, although I don't believe it was that cheap since I didn't buy it. Although there are problems for me with the print quality, currently there are some small imperfections of dots or dashes that get printed. I cleaned one of the rollers which fixed the issue but it has come back. I don't print a lot so I will deal with it when I change toner, which will be soon.

  • I have never owned a Brother printer, so all my experience is with clients over the last twenty years or so.

    Ten / fifteen years ago Brother were cheap crap for sure.

    More recently I have noticed that their quality has improved substantially though - I would consider purchasing a Brother printer myself now.

    Bit like Dell - twenty years ago I would never ever have recommended a client purchase a Dell Server. Ten years ago, I bought one myself and it is still running today (albeit with nothing important on it as long out of warranty).


    • Ok hmm. Yes I'm reading mixed opinions on this brand. Lol. But thank you for your input.

  • OP, what do you want out of a printer… Just print? Black and white? Wireless? Multifunction? Photos?

    • Just print. Black and white will be fine. No photos. Not sure about wireless?. Multifunction would be nice, but not necessary

  • +2

    I went with
    Was about $100 at the time.

    I only wanted to print black and white, lots of printing and still using the same toner that it arrived with.
    Wireless is handy.

    • My brother went with this one too, paid $79 for it. So I have been waiting for a similar price but no luck.

      • +1

        It's quite basic, but perfect for printing out the odd thing.
        Prices are ridiculous at the moment.. I wouldn't buy it for what it is now

  • I would recommend avoiding any printer that has some kind of verification for the consumable. any kind of barcode on the cartridges or "protection" from non-genuine consumables that doesn't allow you to use it with a non-genuine. I think only hp does this but I'm not too sure. I believe it is unethical and not socially responsible. It creates a lot of unnecessary waste, adding to the already large problem of cheap printers and expensive ink.

  • Having worked in the industry, the refillable inktank printers are the future of the industry. I am still running on my first set of inks 2 years later. If you can find one with a removable waste cartridge theres no reason it won't last 10 years.

    • Is this one of the 'inktank' printers you are referring to?

      Apparently, this one is good for photos and has an inktank - so I'm about to press fire.

      • That one sounds like the opposite of what you want, "This internal ink tank means you can keep printing high-quality output for longer - without the need for messy and unreliable refill bottles."

  • +1

    Sorry do not know much about brother, Canon and Epsom were the major players with the Tech. Value for money I believe the Epson was the best.

  • Got a HP laserjet it doesn't care it you use non genuine toner. Works fine software is decent.

  • My 2cents

    Cheap printers = high replacement ink costs.

    I was looking for one in the 2020 lockdown and ended up getting a Canon TR7660. Not the cheapest at around $200, but it does scanning as well as having a document feeder to scan multiple at a time.

    I can get non-genuine cartridges that work a treat and cost a fraction of the price.

    I was also expecting the ink to dry up as I don't use it that often, but it works flawlessly every time.
    Wifi is great (I'm always a person to cable things in, but I can't in this instance) and can print direct from my phone for those times I don't want to start my whole PC up to print one page.

    Overall, very happy with it. Does all the functions I need, works great and no issues over the last year (maybe used 10 times over the last year for printing)

Login or Join to leave a comment