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Old Nov 8, 2006, 9:40 AM   #1
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This isn't a "what's the best" thread, but rather which manufacture has the least amount of issues when refilling using bulk ink.

I am aware of the major issues concerning changable print heads with HP vs none on Canon and the famous 'chip' on the Canon tanks. Other that that, with the newer printers and the manufactures never ending quest to 'screw' the customer into refilling their cartridges/tanks, please post on the pros and cons of each.

I print 8-10k pages a year (at least in the past few years). 80% are pages off web sites. Photo printing, while important, is not at the top of the list.

BTW, I don't want two printers (laser & inkjet). Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 2:35 PM   #2
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Oh boy... Well first off you've asked the equivalent of "Which car should I buy, a Ford or a Toyota"

Granted we could probably answer but without knowing what sort of car you had in mind we'd be guessing all over the shop..

But you've given a rough spec that seems to fit a general office printer doing reasonably duty so I'd suggest a comparison between the: HP K550 and the Canon IP4200


HP K550..
I'm by no means an expert on these as I've only recently bought two to play with and get to understand it's pro's and cons but it does have (with the additional duplexer and add-on paper tray) a very healthy paper store of 600 pages and it's already pretty much a CIS system built into a printer.

On the down side it's a noisy thing and there are various reports of the paper feed causing problems when it comes to things like manual duplexing (ie: double sided printing).. If you plan on doing double sided printing I would avoid this printer. If you do single sided though it's still in the running.

Consumables include 2 printheads (black and yellow on one + cyan and magenta on the other) which set you back around £30 each but they are supposedly rated for about a years usage in your example. In addition the cartridges are a higher volume compared to the Canons so less changing.

On the down side again there's word that cartridges will expire regardless of usage after X months (I think it's something like 18 months but please confirm yourself) so avoid stockpiling cartridges and/or printheads.

For more info on this printer you'd need to cast around but with network and even wireless versions available it could be ok.. although be warned there are alleged to be problems with the networking software too... Again cast around.



Canon iP4200
Aside from the fact that Canon are a bunch of thieving gits IMHO I have to say this is a good printer.. It already has an autoduplexer built in and the paper trays (there's two of them) will take around 120-150 sheets each.

The printhead is a single unit and you can get spares on ebay for a whole lot less than from Canon.. Cartridges are the main sticking point with their chips.. Personally I get around them by creating a homebrew CIS (Continuous Ink Supply) that utilises the OEM cartridges and avoids the potential for burning out a printhead.. but that's not for the faint hearted and requires a steep learning curve for the amateur.

In terms of quality I'd say they're equal but in terms of reliability for things like booklet printing, double sided, etc... I'd say the iP4200 surpasses the K550..




If I had to choose as someone who just wanted the thing to work, especially given your workload, I would have to say that I'd probably go with a K550 but if I had some spare cash left over I would grab an iP4200 for things like booklets and duplex work and learn a little about refilling via nifty-stuff forums..

The only reason I suggest this is because I suspect you do not want to be p**sing around with inks and trying to refill when you're trying to get stuff printed.


Hope that gives some help and like I said this is based on 6 months or thereabouts with the iP4200 and a week with the K550 (although I've listened to others who have had it for a while)
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 5:09 PM   #3
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I would say Canon without a doubt but the new models have a memory chip.

Now you can disable this chip and use refill ink but eventually it seems the chip begins to act up and you need to buy new Canon carts and begin this process agian. The memory chip was probably not meant to last forever or has a end date programed into it by Canon.

So figure if you buy the Canon iP4300 for below $100 that eventually after 12 to 18 months of heavy use you will either need to buy new Canon carts or simply buy yet another Canon printer.

This is pretty cost effective though since these printers sell below $100 and they just keep improving.


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Old Nov 8, 2006, 9:46 PM   #4
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Regarding the 'heated' print heads and letting the ink 'run out'. How much a problem is this?

With my HP, I print until I see a color 'acting up' and then stop and re-fil on the spot.
Is this a problem with Canon??
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 12:34 AM   #5
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I've run mine out once or twice and refilled them right away and had no problems. It's generally best to keep ink in the carts to keep the sponges from drying out.


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Old Nov 11, 2006, 5:35 PM   #6
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I just received a used Canon i560 without any ink tanks.
I don't know the history of the printer, but it appears the print head has not been without the tanks for very long.

Should I just install the tanks and hope for the best or try cleaning the nozzels with compressed air or soak them in hot water first??
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 8:45 PM   #7
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Try putting the carts in and hope for the best. Run a few nozzles checks to see that all the ink is flowing.

If it appears that the ink is not flowing and that the printhead is clogged then using isopropyl alcohol might do the trick.

Remove the cart and drip the alcohol into the hole where the ink is suppose to flow, the ink will need time to work it's way through the printhead and you will need to run some cleaning:






I'd be real careful about compressed air and don't really recommend hot water as you could damage the printhead.
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Old Nov 12, 2006, 8:46 AM   #8
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I have been doing alot of reading on cleaning and refilling these Canon tanks and cleaning the printhead.
Anywhere from hot water to isopropyl alcohol to duluted ammonia and Windex. Kinda hard to figure out who to believe.

Some say soak the whole printhead in the above choices, other say more or less what you posted.

One poster (elsewhere) mentioned the issue of the adhesives that are used in the assembly of the head and the possibility of stronger liquids might soften these parts.

BTW, your post with that dialog box to the right doesn't fit on the collumn width of the forum.
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Old Nov 12, 2006, 12:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
BTW, your post with that dialog box to the right doesn't fit on the collumn width of the forum.
I'm going to assume you have a monitor that can't do 1280 x 1024 or 1600 x 1200 or 1920 x 1200. :lol:
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Old Nov 12, 2006, 1:33 PM   #10
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Wrong assumption. I'm at 1280x1024.
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