In our search for the best Printer to Refill 2016, we have shortlisted five printers for consideration. We used the following criteria to determine our final choices. How easy are the cartridges to Refill? How much ink do the cartridges hold, and how often do they have to be refilled? How reliable is the printer? How good is the printing quality for text, graphics, and photographs? What is the initial purchase price of the printer?
For the purposes of these articles, we have focused on printers costing less than £130. We have found that printers selling for less than £60 use cartridges with built-on print heads, meaning replacement cartridges are more expensive.
One of the cheapest printers available is the Canon Pixma MG2450. Unfortunately replacement PG-545BK and CL-546C cartridges cost a similar price to the original printer, so refilling them makes terrific sense! The Black Cartridge has a thick piece of plastic on the top which you have to bypass before you can perform the refill. The colour Cartridge is much easier to refill however, and injecting ink into the sponge is a doddle. The MG2450 is not wireless, and does not offer application support, but it does have a scanner. Print quality is more than acceptable, if not brilliant. So if you are a low volume user with a small budget of £30, then the MG2450 could be the best option for you? Use the Eco-Fill Ink Refill Kit to refill the PG545BK and CL546C cartridges!
Increasing our initial purchase budget to £80 opens up many more possibilities, particularly if you purchase an end of line model. The Canon Pixma MG5650 uses five PGI550 / CLI551 ink cartridges that slot into the fixed print head. The ink tanks hold between 25ml to 13ml, and cheap replacement compatible, and reusable Refillable 550/551 Cartridges with ARC microchips are both available.
The Pixma MG5750 replaces the MG5650, but uses PGI570BK and CLI571C ink tanks. Sadly Refillable Cartridges are not available yet, and compatible 570/571 Cartridge prices are still a little high. But hopefully in the near future the replacement model will become a viable refilling proposition in 2017.
The recently reduced Brother DCP-J4120DW printer can be used with the large Refillable LC223 Rhinofill replacement ink cartridges, each holding 80ml of ink. Using this continuous ink system without the tubes appears to mirror the Epson EcoTank printers. However, there is the added complication of the door sensor that requires a plastic hook to trick the printer into thinking the front door is closed. Initial installation can be tricky for some, so this system is only recommended for DIYer types. Fortunately there are also normal size LC223 Refillable Cartridges that allow the front door to be closed. These hold around 20ml of ink and are recommended for normal users.
The Brother DCP-J4120DW offers all modern day features excluding a fax facility. Plus the added bonus of the A3 single page rear paper feed, propelling this printer into added territory. The print quality is good, but trails behind Canon print heads for photographic quality prints. However, most owners will be satisfied with the overall output quality.
We have three printers costing £120 which offer better build quality, or in the case of the Epson Expression Photo XP-760, better photographic quality. This Epson Photo printer not only prints brilliant photographs, but it features a high quality scanner, direct WiFi, and full application support. There are some inventive features like the large touchscreen display and the automatic paper tray. Unfortunately, these fancy touches can hinder and delay normal printer operations, particularly with the slightly poor build quality. However, we think this machine offers a budget entry to producing high quality photographic prints, and the latest printer functions.
Finally we come to our winner, the Canon Pixma MX725 Printer. As soon as you pick up the box you notice the weight of construction. Canon have included some heavy components, making a robust machine capable of producing some reliable service.
The MX725 has a larger footprint due to boosting a 250 sheet paper tray, and automatic document feeding for the scanner. The fixed Canon print head goes towards guaranteeing high resolution printing quality. Most of the expected features are included, along with a fax facility. The MX725 uses PGI-550BK black, and CLI-551 BK/C/M/Y compatible, or Refillable 550/551 ink tanks. So refilling is both cheap and easy. Making this package an overall winner, particularly now that the initial purchase price has been slashed from £180 to £120!
Best Lower Budget Printer to Refill: Canon Pixma MG2450.
Best Budget Printer to refill: Canon Pixma MG5650.
Best Sub £100 Printer to Refill: Brother DCP-J4120DW.
Best Printer to Refill 2016: Canon Pixma MX725.
Best Photographic Printer to Refill: Epson Expression Photo XP-760.
It is your responsibility to check product details before making any purchases as a result of reading this information. We recommend you gather information from a variety of sources.
All brand names and trade marks are property of their respective owners and are used for descriptive purposes only. The above are not OEM products.