Printer Guides posted by

Best Ink Tank Printers of 2023

Best Ink Tank Printers of 2023

Get to know some of the top-rated refillable ink tank printers from Epson, Canon, Brother and HP.

For years, consumers have griped about the high price of printer cartridges — specifically inkjet cartridges. To address this consumer pain point, companies like Epson, Brother, HP, and Canon have introduced printers that make use of ink tanks which hold much more ink than standard ink cartridges.  Ink tank printers have slowly grown to become one of the most cost-effective printing solutions available today, capable of printing thousands of pages at a savings of up to 80% compared to standard inkjet printers.

Just like shopping for any printer, there are certain considerations you need to know about when shopping for an ink tank printer. We’ve rounded up the best ink tank printers for homes and offices alike in this guide, plus we will explain exactly how ink tanks work and cover all of the most common ink tank FAQs too.  To learn more about ink tanks, read on.

Click the links below to jump right to the best ink tank printers of 2023:

Best Ink Tank Printers at a Glance

Epson EcoTank Printers

Canon Megatank Printers

Brother Inkvestment Printers

HP Smart Tank Printers

How Ink Tanks Work

Ink tank printers have quickly become another affordable printing option, combining low operating costs with the same multi-function printer features you expect from the average inkjet machine. Instead of relying on printer cartridges to produce a print, ink tank printers use a refillable tank system and ink bottles to handle printing duties. Similar to filling up your gas tank, when your printer’s ink levels are running low, you need to fill the tank with the appropriate amount of ink from the bottle.

The printer’s continuous ink system delivers the ink via an airtight tube to the printhead. Ink bottles are a far more economical printing solution than many original brand printer cartridges due to their high ink capacity, offering thousands of prints at an incredibly low cost per page. 

The First Tank Printers

Epson’s EcoTank series was first to market back in 2015. Canon brought us the Megatank in 2017, Brother entered the game with an ink tank version of their popular Inkvestment printer line and HP first introduced the HP Smart Tank series in December 2019.

With this article, we compare a couple of popular models from each brand so you can determine which ink tank printer is right for you.

Who Should Use Ink Tank Printers?

Ink tank printers are ideal for those who print a lot on a daily basis. If you’re the type of user who only prints once a week, this might not be for you. But if you’re frustrated with having to replace ink cartridges weekly, ink tanks are the way to go.  As ink tank printers have grown in popularity, printer manufacturers have created an ink tank printer for almost every printing need you could think of.  There are inexpensive ink tank printers like the Epson EcoTank ET-2800 and Brother MFC-J995DW that are designed primarily for home users.  Pricier professional models built for small business, like the  Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5150 and Canon MAXIFY MegaTank GX6020.  And even ink tanks made specifically  for photo printing like the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 and Canon PIXMA MegaTank G620.

How to Save on Ink Refills

Inkjet printers, ink tank or not, use a lot of ink. Just when you think it’ll be awhile before you have to refill a color, the empty light flashes. To cut down costs on ink refills, check out aftermarket alternatives. They provide the same print results at a lower price. Here’s a table that shows the price comparison of the two.

Cartridge SeriesPrice*Cost Per Page
Original Epson T664 Black$12.99 (Staples 06/27/22)$0.003 cents
Aftermarket Epson T664 Black$5.99 (LD Products 08/22/23)$0.001 cents

The disparity is glaringly obvious when you look at the cost per page of each cartridge. The cost per page is the more efficient way to measure how cost-effective an ink cartridge is.

The lower the CPP (cost per page), the better.

How to get the Cost per Page

Calculating the cost per page (CPP) differs for black and color ink bottles.

For the black ink bottles, simply take the price of the bottle and divide by the expected page yield.

black bottle cost per page = price per bottle / page yield

For color ink bottles, divide the price per ink bottle by the number of pages you can and multiply it by the number of color cartridges used by your printer.

color bottles cost per page = (price per bottle / page yield ) x 3 (most ink tank printers use cyan, magenta, and yellow)

To get the total CPP, simply add the CPP of the black to the CPP of the color ink bottles.

You can learn more about this calculation here.

Since aftermarket cartridges are typically cheaper in price, the CPP will almost always be lower.

We compare the cost per page of original brand ink with aftermarket alternatives on a table under each recommended ink tank printer below.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: Are ink tank printers worth it?

A: Ink tank printers may cost more upfront than regular inkjet printers but they eventually pay off if you print a lot regularly. Ink tank printers come with larger ink reservoirs than regular cartridges so you refill ink cartridges much less, thus saving money on replacements.

Q: Are ink tank printers good for home use?

A: Yes, but only if you print regularly. Remember that ink tank printers still use ink which dry up when left unused and result in bothersome clogging problems. If you print once a week or less, we recommend you get a color laser printer instead.

Q: What is the difference between inkjet and ink tank printers?

A: Ink tank printers are inkjet printers; ink tank printers and regular inkjet printers both use the same technology that puts ink on paper. The only difference between an inkjet and ink tank printer is that:

  • inkjet printers get ink from standalone cartridges, while –
  • ink tank printers have larger ink reservoirs that supply ink into the cartridges through a tube. Ink reservoirs hold more volume of ink than standalone cartridges so they usually last longer and are a cheaper option for those who print frequently.

Q: Which is better: ink tank printer or laser printer?

A: On the topic of choosing between an ink tank printer vs a laser printer, it really depends on what you’ll be printing.

Laser printers are great for documents and medium-quality color prints. Inkjet or ink tank printers provide better color depth and variance in comparison to laser printers.

Print Quality: if you’ll be printing more documents, web files like recipes and articles–then a laser printer is still better. But if you’ll be printing photos or need to print impressively colored presentation materials, an ink tank would be better.

Print Economy: Laser printers and ink tank printers both have low operation costs. The only downside to ink tank printers is that if you don’t use the printer regularly, all that ink in the reservoir, cartridge, and tubes can dry up and cause clogging problems–just like any inkjet printer. Laser printers are better for those who don’t print as often.

Q: Does ink dry in ink tank printers?

A: Yes, just like how ink dries up in cartridges that are not used for extended periods of time, so can ink dry up in an ink tank printer. Ink tank printers are inherently still inkjet printers so it inherits the same problems.

If you run into ink clog problems, you can run the automatic printhead cleaning feature on your inktank printer or you can clean the printhead manually by following the steps in this article.

Another problem with inktank printers is that the ink in the cartridges seem to evaporate when left unused for a long time. This was the case when I left my MFC-J995DW printer unused for about one year. There was quite a bit of ink left last time it printed but when checked a year later, the cartridges had nearly anything in it. That’s another thing to consider if you’re thinking of owning an ink tank printer. 

Q: Why is my inktank printer not printing?

A: If your inktank printer sounds like it’s printing but prints nothing out onto paper, it may be that your printhead needs to be cleaned. To fix this, run the automatic printhead cleaning function of your printer. You can find this on your printer’s display. You might need to print a few times to clear out whatever’s clogging your printer’s printhead nozzles.

Also make sure that none of your ink tanks are running empty. If that still results in subpar print quality, try adjusting your print quality from Normal to High Quality. You can also try printing on the Glossy Paper setting (under Paper options) to see if that improves the print results.

Cons of Ink Tank Printers

Since ink tank printers are still at its core an inkjet printer, they are just as susceptible to the pitfalls of the technology, particularly when the nozzles or printhead get clogged up with dried ink. To keep your inkjet printer in shape, run the cleaning cycle once in awhile (though perhaps not too often as this is said to be a big waste of ink), or print a page to prevent ink from drying up and getting stuck in the nozzles — just as you would with a regular inkjet printer.

For ink tank printers, it is advisable that you use up the bottled ink within 6 months after opening. Since you’re dealing with a larger volume of ink, the possibility of ink coagulation is higher than with ink cartridges so it’s not good if you leave that amount of ink untouched for long periods of time.

A specific problem you might run into with ink tank printers are bubbles getting stuck in the tubing. When an ink bubble gets stuck in the tub, it can prevent the ink from flowing making printing impossible.

How to Get Rid of an Air Bubble

A hack to get rid of air bubbles in the tube is to use a syringe. Here are the steps:

Scenario. Let’s say you have an air bubble in the tube connecting the yellow ink tank to the yellow cartridge that’s connected to the printhead.

  1. First, you take out the cartridges from the printhead. This might mean the entire container which holds all cartridges, but yes you take the whole thing out.
  2. Remove the cap of the yellow ink tank.
  3. Fit the tip of the syringe snugly into the nozzle of the yellow cartridge.
  4. Pull the plunger of the syringe up so that the air is sucked out from the yellow tube.
  5. Continue pulling up the plunger until all air bubbles are gone from the tube. You’ll usually see the ink travel from the tank to the tube to the cartridge and some of it into the syringe.
  6. When some of the ink gets inside the syringe, you can be sure the bubbles are gone.

You can return some of the excess ink back by emptying the syringe into the ink tank.

Epson® EcoTank® Printers

Now on its third generation, the Ecotank series has come a long way since it was first introduced in 2015. The latest iteration of the series features six brand new printer models and a newly developed auto-stop ink bottle system that immediately stops filling when the tank reaches capacity. Older versions of the EcoTank series had the tank system attached to the side of printer.

Epson took a page from the Canon Megatank playbook and built the tank into the front of the machine with these newer models, making for a more compact, user-friendly design. Other worthy additions to the series include improved print speeds, larger paper capacities, and borderless photo printing. Their greatest selling point are of course the ink bottles, each printer includes enough ink to print thousands of color pages for pennies on the dollar.

Epson® EcoTank ET-2800 All-in-One – Buy on Amazon*

Wireless and cloud printing services make it easy to print from your smartphone and a 100-sheet paper capacity accommodates pages up to 8.5”x14” in size.  Black text prints fast, clocking in at 10 ppm and color print speeds are decent at 5 ppm.  The printer is available in black and white and includes a 2.4″ color touchscreen display for easy navigation.

The printer uses four Epson 522 series ink bottles that are available in black, cyan, magenta and yellow.  The black ink bottle holds enough ink to print 4,500 pages and the color bottles print up to 7,500 pages each.

You can save money when you use third-party Epson 522 ink refills from LD Products. Find the price comparison below.

Price Comparison of Original Epson 522 Black vs LD Compatible

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
EpsonLD Brand
Cost per page.31 cents.17 cents

Each cyan, magenta, or yellow Epson 522 prints 6,000 pages each. See the price comparison for each original Epson 522 color bottle and a compatible Epson 522 color refill bottle. The price and cost per page indicated are for each color cartridge.

Price Comparison of Original Epson 522 C/M/Y vs LD Compatible

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
EpsonLD Brand
Cost per page1.0 cent.56 cents

Epson WorkForce EcoTank ET-3750

At a slightly higher price point, the Workforce EcoTank ET-3750 offers many of the same functions as the ET-2720, mixed with a few nice-to-have upgrades like a 2.4” color LCD and 150-sheet paper tray.  Print speeds are upgraded too, with the black text coming in at 15 ppm and color prints offering 8 ppm.  Automatic dual-sided printing is another convenient plus; letting you easily print on both sides of the page in just one click.

Buy on Amazon

The Epson 502 black prints up to 5,000 pages.

Ink Savings

Price comparison of Original Epson 502 Black and LD Compatible Epson 502

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
EpsonLD Brand
Cost per page.26 cents.12 cents

Each cyan, magenta, or yellow Epson 502 prints 6,000 pages each. See the price comparison for each original Epson 502 color bottle and a compatible Epson 502 color refill bottle. The price and cost per page indicated are for each color cartridge.

Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 C/M/Y and LD Compatible Epson 502

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
EpsonLD Brand
Cost per page.95 cents.51 cents

Epson Expression Premium ET-7750 Wide Format All-in-One

The Epson Expression Premium ET-7750 is one of the more expensive printers on our list, but its quick print speeds and five-color ink system make it a smart choice for quality photo printing.  Featuring speeds of 13 ppm for text and 8 ppm for color prints, this machine is one of the fastest ink tanks available. 

The printer accommodates 11″ x 17″ wide format pages via a rear paper feed. A built-in USB /memory card slots lets you upload pictures directly to the printer and a dedicated photo tray allows for easy photo printing. 

A pigment-based black ink bottle and four dye-based color ink bottles, including photo black, can handle a range of printing needs. 

The Epson 512 black ink bottle prints 8,000 pages and four color bottles print 5,000 pages apiece.

Ink Savings

Price Comparison of Original Epson 512 Black vs LD Compatible Ink Bottles

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
EpsonLD Brand
Cost per page.25 cents.07 cents

Price Comparison of Each Original Epson 512 Color vs LD Compatible

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
EpsonLD Brand
Cost per page.25 cents.035 cents

Price Comparison of Original Epson 512 Photo Black vs LD Compatible

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
EpsonLD Brand
Cost per page.25 cents.035 cents

Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500 – Buy on Amazon

Ink tank printer fans have been requesting an EcoTank photo printer for years and in 2021, Epson finally delivered.  The EcoTank Photo ET-8500 was built specifically for creatives and even uses a new imaging system that was made for photo printing.  You’ll get lab quality photos in seconds with it’s 6 ink bottles, including a pigment black for text documents and 5 dye-based colors in photo-black, cyan, magenta, yellow and gray.  Copying, scanning and auto 2-sided printing come standard and the printer supports a wide range of media, including photo paper, presentation paper, art paper, cardstock and CD/DVDs. A built-in USB /memory card slots lets you upload pictures directly to the printer and a dedicated 20-sheet photo tray allows for easy photo printing.  It also includes 100-sheet front tray and a 50-sheet rear tray for other media types.

The Epson 552 black ink bottle prints 6,700 pages, the photo black prints 7,300 pages, the gray ink bottle prints up to 46,600 pages and the cyan, magenta and yellow bottles print up to 6,200 pages each.

Ink Savings

Price Comparison of Original Epson 552 Black vs LD Compatible Ink Bottles

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
EpsonLD Brand
Cost per page.29 cents.19 cents

Price Comparison of Each Original Epson 552 Color vs LD Compatible

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
EpsonLD Brand
Cost per page~1.70 cents~1.23 cents

Canon® Megatank Printers

The Megatank series is Canon’s answer to the Ecotank and touts many of the same cost-saving features.  A refillable ink tank system is built into the front of the printer, providing incredibly low operating costs by way of four color ink bottles.   A window in front of the tank offers a convenient visual on your ink levels and best of all, the ink won’t dry out once it’s installed inside the tank. 

Canon sells seven different printer models for this series.   Canon designed their ink bottles so the refill process is relatively spill proof.  Ink only comes out if you squeeze the bottle; if you accidentally tip it over, there is no mess!

Canon PIXMA G1220 Megatank

Canon’s G1220 is a single-function, print-only machine and the most basic model in the Megatank line.  Print speeds of up to 9 ppm for text and 5 ppm for color are a bit slow for everyday printing needs, but despite that, the printer still cranks out great looking prints and photos. 

Unfortunately, you cannot print wirelessly with this machine, which is a missed opportunity and a bit surprising considering Wi-fi is pretty much a given with most printers these days.  However, if you are okay printing directly via USB cable (like all printers did just a few years ago!) this printer is a solid investment.  It’s important to note that the printer does not come with a USB cable, so you will need to pick one up if you don’t have one already from a previous printer.  We have an affordable option on here.

The G1220 uses four GI-21 ink bottles, with the black bottle printing up to 6,000 pages and each color bottle printing up to 7,700 pages.  It is also cheaper than the least expensive EcoTank, making it a great value for an entry-level ink tank machine. Since it is a new printer, LD-brand ink bottles are not available just yet, but we will update this article the moment that they are!

Below is a comparison of Canon ink price vs LD brand compatible ink.

Price Comparison of Canon GI-21 Black vs LD Compatibles

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
CanonLD Brand
Price$17.99Coming Soon
Cost per page.29 cents

Price Comparison of Each Color Canon GI-21 vs LD Compatibles

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
CanonLD Brand
Price$13.99Coming Soon
Cost per page.79 cents

Canon PIXMA G4210 Megatank

This ink tank produces superior photo prints!

The G4210 is the Megatank with all the extra bells and whistles and is recommended for those looking to get a printer that prints great photos.  Print, scan, copy, fax and wireless capabilities are all included and the perfect multifunction machine for the home office.

Buy on Amazon

A 20-page automatic document feeder makes it easy to scan multiple documents with the push of a button.  Print speeds are on par with the G1200, coming in at 8.8 ppm for black and 5 ppm for color prints. Additionally, the printer is compatible with Airprint®, Google Cloud Print® and Canon Print app, allowing for a variety of instant printing options from any device.

The Canon G4210 uses GI-290 ink bottles to refill ink. You can get lower prices on ink refills with LD Products. Below, we compare the cost per page of OEM Canon refill bottles with LD’s compatible Canon ink bottles.

For the purposes of computing cost per page, A GI-290 black can print up to 6,000 pages and each color (C/M/Y) ink refill bottle can print up to 7,000 pages.

Ink Savings

Price Comparison of Canon GI-290 Black vs LD Compatibles

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
CanonLD Brand
Cost per page.29 cents.18 cents

Price Comparison of Each Color Canon GI-290 vs LD Compatibles

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
CanonLD Brand
Cost per page.68 cents.60 cents

Canon MAXIFY GX6020 Megatank

Buy on Amazon

Canon’s MAXIFY printer line is built for busy offices and the MAXIFY GX6020 MegaTank is their first ever business ready ink tank printer.  Ideal for workspaces of up to 20 people, it features fast print speeds of up to 24 ppm for black / 15.5 ppm for color and ultra-low running costs, with color prints averaging at less than 2 cents a page.  Although the GX6020 itself is expensive, the total cost of operation is cheaper than most inkjet printers and some entry-level color laser printers, so if your office needs cheap color prints, definitely consider this printer.  It also includes print / copy / scan functions, a 50-sheet automatic document feeder and a 350-sheet paper tray. 

Four pigment-based GI-26 ink bottles deliver a great value, with the black ink bottle printing up to 6,000 pages and the color ink bottles printing up to 14,000 pages each.

Ink Savings

Price Comparison of Canon GI-26 Black vs LD Compatibles

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
CanonLD Brand
Cost per page.46 cents.19 cents

Price Comparison of Each Color Canon GI-26 vs LD Compatibles

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
CanonLD Brand
Cost per page1.1 cents.44 cents

Brother® Inkvestment Printers

Brother’s Inkvestment printer line appeared a few years ago and has been widely accepted by consumers thanks to low operating costs and all-in-one printing capabilities.  The Brother Inkvestment Ink Tank printer model is their latest addition to the series, combining the cost-saving features of an ink tank machine with the familiar functionality and cartridge handling of an everyday inkjet printer.  Rather than fill the tank with an ink bottle, the Brother Inkvestment Ink Tank uses cartridges to transfer ink to the tank. 

Some consumers have understandably been apprehensive about the idea of filling up their printer with an ink bottle, and with the Inkvestment they no longer have to be.  Installing an ink tank cartridge is just like installing a regular Brother cartridge and clicks directly into the ink tank system.  Cartridges are clear so you can easily monitor ink levels and a page gauge monitor on the front of the printer automatically tracks those levels by estimating your remaining page use.

Brother® MFC-J995DW Inkvestment

Brother announced the InkVestment Ink Tank series a couple years ago and they now sell a few printers under this name.  The MFC-J995DW is a worthwhile addition to the expanding printer line, offering the usual print, copy, fax and scan options, all accessible via an easy to use 2.7” color touchscreen.

Although the page yield of the Brother LC3033 cartridges used by the J995DW printer model is slightly lower compared to some of the other ink tank printers we mentioned, the printer has other advantages going for it, like automatic two-sided printing and near field technology capabilities.

The Brother LC3033 ink tank cartridges are super economical, but the LC3035 even more so! A ultra-high yield LC3035 black cartridge prints approximately 6,000 pages and each ultra high yield Brother LC3035 color cartridge prints 5,000 pages. 

Both LC3033 and LC3035 are compatible for use with the Brother MFC-J995DW.

We use the ultra high yield page yields when computing the CPP (cost per page) of OEM Epsons vs LD compatible cartridges.

Price Comparison of Original Brother LC3035 Black vs Compatible LD LC3035 Ink

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
BrotherLD Brand
Cost per page.93 cents.44 cents

Price Comparison of Original Brother LC3035 Color vs Compatible LD Cartridges

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
BrotherLD Brand
Cost per page4.5 cents2.0 cents


HP Smart Tank Printers

HP finally jumped on the ink tank bandwagon in December 2019 with the release of their HP Smart Tank series and recently  upgraded the series in Fall 2021.  The printers aren’t much different function-wise to the Epson EcoTank or Canon MegaTank.  They also use high volume ink bottles with super low operating costs but the upfront cost of the printer is more expensive, so unless you prefer HP, you may be able to save a little more money going with an Epson or Canon.

HP Smart Tank 7001 – Buy on Amazon

Our favorite printer is the HP Smart Tank 7001, which offers print / copy / scan  functions and convenient auto two-sided printing.  It uses an HP 32XL black bottle that prints up to 6,000 pages and 3 HP 31 color ink bottle that print 8,000 pages a piece. Despite the inexpensive ink there are a couple drawbacks like a small display screen and average print speeds.  At just 15 ppm in black and a meager 9 ppm in color, big print jobs can be time consuming.  Regardless, users that are laser focused on long lasting ink should be able to overlook these points and find satisfaction in the ink savings.

Ink Savings

Price Comparison of HP 32XL Black vs LD Compatibles

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
HPLD Brand
Cost per page.28 cents.11 cents

Price Comparison of Each Color HP 31 vs LD Compatibles

Cartridge BrandEpsonLD Brand
HPLD Brand
Cost per page.78 cents.33 cents


We hope you found our quick compilation of ink tanks from different brands. If you have any questions or need any help selecting the right ink tank for your printing needs, simply leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you!


*Savings based on price comparison between remanufactured/compatible cartridge prices on and OEM cartridge and printer prices from the listed retailers: Amazon, Staples, Brother, Canon, HP and Epson.  All products are reviewed independently. As an Amazon associate, LD Products earns from qualifying purchases through links on this page.  All prices effective as of August 22, 2023.  OEM names are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not affiliated with, and do not endorse LD Products.

Cartridge Series
Thank you for reading this post! This article is written by a team of ink experts at LD Products - a Long Beach, California-based company that specializes in compatible ink and toner.  With over 20 years of printing expertise, we’re committed to helping you save money on printer ink without sacrificing quality.  If you found this content helpful, we’d be grateful if you supported us by visiting for all of your ink and toner needs.  We appreciate your support!


  • How long will it be for LD compatible cartridges to replace original LC3033?

    • Hi Gerard,

      Unfortunately we do not have an estimated date just yet for an LD compatible version of the LC3033 since it still such a new printer. Keep an eye on this article, I will update it once they are available.

  • Why is the Brother® MFC-J995DW in this test? With it’s price/per/page it’s way more expensive than the Epson ans Canon. Seems like Brother wants to step in, butt still wants to rip us off?

    • I have an older MFC-J5620DW. It’s really a great printer except the cartridges are small and every time I would put in ink, the printer wouldn’t print correctly until it went through one or two cleaning cycles which used up half the ink! The last time I did this it literally used all the just-opened ink cartridges in one cleaning cycle. $80 worth of ink out the window, or wherever Brother hides it when the printer does the cleaning thing.

      I’m looking at this model but something tells me Brother is up to no good here.

    • hello

      does canon pixma 4210 do auto duplex printing?

    • A downside to Canon’s megatank is sometimes it doesn’t come with seemingly basic printer features. In the case of the Canon PIXMA 4210, unfortunately it only does single sided printing.

  • Do these three printers have scanners built in?

    • All of these printers have a scanner except for the Canon PIXMA G1200.

  • Awesome write up. Good stuff. I think I’m going to grab the Brothers. More band for my buck. Hopefully you guys will offer a very affordable ink soon… But seeing how I print maybe a 1000 pages a year… It will be a few years. Lol… Again… Good write up… Kudos.

    • Hi Myke,

      Glad you found our guide helpful! Affordable compatible cartridges just became available on, you can find them here:

    • Be careful.. as mentioned by another writer, Brother consistently has issues using up ink to self clean heads and my prior issue included that if one cartridge was out, you can’t print b&w until filled and head cleaning occurs. If be interested to know if anyone else experienced this issue recently

  • Never mind anything else, freedom from empty-cartridge anxiety is IT.

  • I have been looking for a tank system printer that has the ability to print on CDs. Anyone know where I can find such one?

    • Epson ET-7700 and Epson ET-7750 both print on CD/DVD.

  • Thank you!!! I’ve been trying to figure out which one to purchase, and I think I’m going to go with the Brothers. It is economical, within my per year, maybe about 1500, and has auto duplexing. My kids print a LOT of school stuff and 2 sided is the way to go. Great write up! 🙂


  • which of the three lines produces the higher-quality text print?

  • What is the best of the three for photo printing (just for personal use, but would like good quality)? I am looking for a photo grade ink tank printer which sheet fed scanning (copier) features and both network and wireless. Any suggestions would be appreciated. IF there are other models not in this review, that would be great too!

  • I’d like to know if anyone has been able to test the photo quality (text quality would be nice too) of these printers in a side-by-side comparison using the same photo. I am looking for the best refillable ink tank system that prints the best photos. This article has the best up-to-date, current info in comparing refillable ink printers. I still don’t have my answer as the quality of output is on the top of my list in requirements.

    • I would also like to know the photo quality of the refillable ink tank. I have been use to 6 ink cartridges. I don’t do a lot of photo printing but I do Christmas cards & birthday cards. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • I Own the Epson ecotank ET-2750 & ET-3750 they are amazing I print all my photos on the 2750 and my documents on the 3750 and will get thousands of pages at least 3000 to 5000 and you canbuy all 4 inks at Sams now for $55 even less on eBay. That’s why I wondered why you claimed with ink bottles of $13 for 5 Thousand pages is 1.2 cents when it’s really more like .2 cents even with paper cost of 5000 sheets for $28 at Sams paper is .56 of a cent then paper and ink is still less than a penny per page . I just love this the biggest grip with printer were the cartridges and ink cost and not anymore now no more going to the photo lab I just print at home and never worry about ink cost.

  • I purchased the Epson ET 3750. Loved my older Epson. But th is one is a huge disappointment. It only holds one size paper at a time so you have to stop & reload every time you switch from a document to a photo. It refuses to pick up the 4×6 photo paper giving me a message that it is out of paper. It’s not. It even has an error message that if this window appears repeatedly you might need to have the machine serviced. It’s brand new! When we did finally get it to take the 4×6 paper (once!) the print quality is so poor it looks like a poorly scanned reprint. Color is off. Focus is blurry. Did I get a defective printer or is this typical?

  • I bought Epson L565 printer in 2017. It does everything well except that it is extremely slow when it comes to making copies and scanning.

    • Which ones have the best scanners?

  • I have epson L4160. and I don’t know which ink could fit with it?
    can you help

    • For that ink tank, refill with Epson 001 ink bottles: black (T03Y100), cyan (T03Y200), magenta (T03Y300), yellow (T03Y400).

  • Is the Brother model compatible with an Apple I-pad for wireless printing?

    • Yes, the Brother printer is compatible with AirPrint on your iPad.

  • Can any of these tank printers handle envelopes?

    • Yes, most of them do.

  • My printer broke, I’m trying to decide wish way to go cannon or brothers. I hve read that the tank ink is better an more economical but so many choices. The kids like to print phots an school stuff we print stuff for our business. An fax .
    Please help me choice ty

  • I have an Epson XP-830. It’s been the most reliable printer I’ve owned. I used Epson LD compatible cartridges to manage the high cost of printing. For about a year, I was able to use LD replacement ink.Thinking it’d be more convenient and cost effective to stock up on LD ink, I bought a bunch. Shortly thereafter I got a message from Epson that I had a firmware update. Not knowing the update’s effect, I installed it. To my chagrin, the update required that I use ONLY Epson ink. The LD ink cartridges I had in stock up on were no longer useable. Could Canon, Epson and Brothers pull the same trick and require their respective printers to use only their brand of ink?

    • Yes those brands can pull the same trick but there’s a way to bypass this. Simply disable your printer firmware updates, its set to “automatic” by default. Turning this off should enable you uninterrupted use of aftermarket cartridges. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act protects your right to use aftermarket products in your machine without penalty by the original manufacturer. Manufacturers cannot force you to buy their cartridges. You have a right to choose what you put in your printer.

  • the review is nice but is missing the next bottle neck in inkjet tank printer ownership: build/ durability.
    how many pages will that printer print before it stops feeding papers, jams papers or other print quality issues appear.
    those kind of repairs usually will finish the printer life for ordinary consumer.
    this is what true review should supply since all other technical specs I can go to amazon and find myself.

    • Thank you for the feedback! It is greatly appreciated. I have updated the article to cover the points you mentioned. If there are more things you’d like us to include, just leave us a comment!

  • which printer is for wide format and has fast print speed for bussiness

  • Has anybody tried freezing the ink bottles in order to increase its longevity? Would the ink separate from the diluent? Would vigorous shaking reconstitute it?

  • Hello, I see that the Epson EcoTank ET 7750 is 2 years old. Should I wait for an update to this model or go ahead with the purchase? And I am hesitating with the Epson EcoTank ET 16500… any thoughts ? Thanks in advance !

    • Hi Nic, it depends on what your printing habits are. If you are interested in an Ecotank that can do wide format prints, the ET-7750 is the less expensive option and uses five ink bottles, including a photo black ink bottle for photographs. The ET-16500 came out in 2016 and only uses four ink bottles (black, cyan, magenta and yellow). I am not sure if Epson is planning on releasing an updated wide-format any time soon. They recently updated a handful of Ecotanks back in August but none of them were wide-format. These printer models were the EcoTank ET-2760, ET-3710, ET-3760, and ET-4760, and they are targeted more towards home and small business users.

    • Hello Eric and thank you for your reply !
      We are an event company so we often need to print menus and posters (so mostly graphics, not photos) for our events and spend too much doing so at print shops. So my 2 criteria are wide format + tank printer. I like the A3+ possibility that the ET-16500 offers but I get the feeling that the print quality of the ET-7750 is better so I can live with A3. Concerning Print quality, could you tell me whether Micro Piezzo or Precisioncore is the better technology ?
      In any case the frustrating issue is the age of these wide format (A3) + tank options. I’d hate for brand new versions to come out in the next few months, but I have asked Epson, and they had no information concerning updates that they could communicate. I know my problem here is nothing new ! In any case if you have any other recommendations, please let me know and thanks again !

    • Hi Nic,

      Glad to help! The Precisioncore technology is going to offer a better print quality. MicroPiezo is Epson’s proprietary printhead technology that they use in all of their inkjet printers. Precisioncore is an advanced version of MicroPiezo for home and small business users that print in high volumes and want fast print speeds. You can read about both on Epson’s website here:

  • In the article, it says that the canon g4210 prints superior photos. This has me leaning towards it, well was looking into the G6020. Would you recommend one of these printers, over the other options, for good quality picture printing? In the comment section, it seems that ppl are leaning towards Epsons. I have had Epsons in the past and they all seem to get ink clogs and need quite a bit of print head cleaning.

    • I would lean more towards a Canon printer over an Epson for the same reason you mentioned. Based on overall reviews, Epson printheads seem to be more of a pain compared to Canon’s; I rarely hear anyone complaining about Canon printheads.

  • I just purchased an Epson. Leaving HP forever. I was very angry with the sabotage cost of cartridges. I am hoping the Ecotank will be a quality product.
    Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless Color All-in-One Supertank Printer with Scanner and Copier
    We will see… I just found your article.
    I am interested in any recurring problems or hidden costs from repairs. Many things are simply not listed in these kinds of reviews. The last HP cost me $10 per page… as the previous HP wouldn’t print yellow anymore. The new one “developed” the same problem. I just returned it and complained, but that will do no good. Hopefully the Epson will do me well. JW

  • I’m looking for the Epson® WorkForce EcoTank ET-3750 but cannot find it anywhere in Australia. It appears to be 2 years old already – is this printer obsolete and replaced by the ET-4700 printer? Thanks

    • Hi Melanie,

      The printers mentioned in this article are North American region printers (they only work in the US and Canada). You won’t find the ET-3750 in Australia but you can find a list of current Ecotanks on the Epson Australia website here: Hope this helps!

  • How much of a problem is there with ecotank printers’ print heads drying out as with regular inkjet printers? I’ve been using a brilliant old Brother MFC9560CDW laser for nine years, but the cost of toner cartridges is high, and I’m thinking of an Epson or Brother ecotank for all-round colour and b&w printing in a small office. Advice?

    • You do need to regularly run a cleaning on ink tank printers in order to prime the ink for printing, just like a regular inkjet printer. So although they don’t dry out in the same way that an ink cartridge would, they do need regular maintenance to remain usable, which does use up some ink. How many pages does your office print every month?

  • Which of the Inktank printers have multiple paper trays? I have the epson et7750 and love the ability to hold 4 paper sizes in one machine and am looking for similar – open to different makes and models! It is hard to find this information when looking online. Also which can print on a high GSM paper such as 300GSM? Thank you.

  • Is there a solvent that can be placed in an ink tank that can maybe help with the issue of ink drying /clogging the printheads? are the printheads replaceable? or is that even “a thing” anymore? The cartridges on some of the inkjet printers replaced the heads when the cartridges were replaced.

  • Your Ink-tank guide is very helpful. Thank You.
    The reason for my interest in ink tank printers is because of concern over the high price of ink cartridges. These manufacturers typically sell printers at a “loss” and then catch you with the high price of the cartridges.
    My other concern is, if you only print 50-100 pages per month, the ink in the tanks (nozzle) will dry out.
    Thanks for your help!

  • Canon is now back ordered on all the newer models and no hope of getting any more in, like this whole year. Pretty sad. I spent hours/days researching and shopping around and once I placed my order–BAM! out of stock and no ship date in the foreseeable future. Days wasted with no printer. I guess it is back to HP and spending zillions on new cartridges, after getting stuck with a broken HP loaded with $180 of ink.

    • I saw one at a local office depot last week. Have you tried calling around?

  • Epson printers have an “End of Service Life” message that makes the units virtually unusable with sending them back to the factory. Do you know if Brother or Canon have the same function. Do either offer replacement sponges?

    • Hi Robert, unfortunately we do not know if Canon or Brother have that same “End of Life” message if you return a printer to their factory. We recommend reaching out to Brother at 877-BROTHER or Canon at 1-800-652-2666 to see what their policy is. Sorry about that!

  • I’m looking for a all in one home printer. We do basic coping for documents and lots of photos. Would an ink tank be a good choice or is there something else you could recommend.

    • Hi Carla, an ink tank is a great choice. Like we mentioned in this article they can print for thousands of pages so you’ll be able to print a lot of photos before you need to replace the ink bottles. If you were to buy an inkjet printer you would need to replace the cartridges frequently because they don’t have as much ink as ink tanks do and replacement costs will likely be more expensive. Your other option, a laser printer, isn’t great at printing photos, so that wouldn’t be a good fit. The Epson Ecotank ET-2760 is a slightly newer version of the ET-2700 we mention here and it is able copy and scan too. Hope this helps!

  • Hi Eric, wondering if you have an updated opinion on these 3 models: PIXMA G7020 Wireless MegaTank All-In-One Printer, Epson EcoTank 3760, and HP Officejet Pro 9015 or 9020. My needs are good wireless connectivity, ability to print/copy/scan (fax not important) and duplex printing (duplex scanning a bonus but not required). If I have a couple weeks where I only print 1x a week or less, is the ink tank a bad choice? I’m worried about clogging/coagulated ink in the tank if it takes that long to go through it….What would your thoughts be? I have gone round in circles trying to decide!

    • Hi Lisa,

      What type of printing are you doing? If you need color prints, I would go with the Epson EcoTank 3760. It has print /copy/scan functionality and an automatic duplexer…I don’t think it offers duplex scanning though. If there are only a handful of times where you print less than 1x a week, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about clogging. If you print just text, I would recommend going with a laser printer, then you’ll never have to worry about clogs or ink drying out.

  • Hello,

    Can I use my Canon G3411 for eco-solvent printing?
    The ink supply is inkjet I believe and you cannot use it as eco-solvent ink..
    Please help and advise

  • […] tank printers: Another good option for photo and image printing, these use high-capacity ink tanks that continuously supply ink a little at a time to prevent drying out, making them a […]

  • […] tank printers: Another good option for photo and image printing, these use high-capacity ink tanks that continuously supply ink a little at a time to prevent drying out, making them a […]

  • I have the Epson 2720 and it drives me crazy telling me I am using the wrong paper. I use basic white.
    Is Epson paper a good bargain. I have not been able to find just plain paper Epson paper.

    • Hi Aileen,

      I believe Epson just sells specialty paper for photos or art prints. Any brand of standard copy paper should work with your printer. Have you tried changing the paper settings on the printer? That could be an easy fix.

  • I didn’t see where we can extend the life of our cartridges black and color???
    Also if I don’t print with color do I need to have one in my HP envy 4520. I have been buying the from you and putting them in because someone said I had to have one and they show they are used up just like the black ones and I have printed in color. Please advise me. Thank you.

    • You can extend the life of cartridges by adjusting your printer settings. We wrote an article about that here:

      The reason you need to have color ink even if you mostly use black is because your printer will not print if any of the cartridges are empty. Your printer primes all cartridges every time it prints regardless if it prints in monochrome or in color. If you keep printing with an empty cartridge, your printhead might overheat and cause irreversible damages to your printer. One solution if you’d like to avoid spending on color cartridges since you mostly print in black and white is to get an affordable laser printer. You save much more money in the long run with a laser printer if you print mostly in monochrome.

  • It seems to me that a tank type printer that didn’t hold a large amount of ink or could function well with a low volume of ink in the tanks would be useful to those of us who don’t print all that often. I’ve had a Canon Pixma tank type for 2.5yrs that has worked well until recently but is now plagued with ink clogging issues and will have to be replaced. I never had to add ink in all that time with all the tanks now just a little less than 1/2 full. Smaller tanks and a better waste ink collection system (a removeable waste bottle instead of an absorption pad) would go a long way in filling the gap between a cartridge system and a tank system for those who don’t use their printers that often. Is there anything like that available now?

  • I’m looking for an ink tank printer that has a Legal size 8 1/2″ x 14″ scan bed. Any suggestions

    • The Brother MFC-J6545DW INKvestmentTank and Epson ET-16500 EcoTank Wireless Wide Format printer both have a legal-sized scanning bed.

  • it was written in paragraph 2 the nk tank inks don’t dry out over time. but then in FAQ’s it said that ink tanks will dry out over time. Which is it?

    • Nice catch! Thanks for pointing that out, Liam. We’ll make edits to clarify. Ink tanks still dry out over time. I have a Brother ink tank and when left unused I notice the prints are pretty faded. So just like with a regular inkjet printer, you need to use it frequently otherwise run the printhead cleaning function before use if it’s been dormant for awhile.

  • You should investigate and discuss how Canon handles waste ink. My Canon Pixma threw a 5B00 error which means the waste ink absorption pad is full before I used half the ink in the tanks. Canon doesn’t sell replacement pads their recommendation is to buy a new printer instead of a $5.00 sponge. Very frustrating and disappointing.

  • I own a Epson ET-2720 actually i have purchased 2 in the last 2 years. i have had the same problem with both, they made it about a year exactly and just give me trouble loading paper, paper jams and error code 001 whatever that is i’m done with epson. I have tried cleaning rollers and all pieces associated with loading paper no luck. each one had a print count of about 2,000 b&w and 1500 color, so thats about all you can expect to get from them.

  • I have a Canon MG6320 printer; now 7 yrs old.
    Has a B200 error which I’ve been unable to repair.
    Noticed in all I’ve read above that a laser printer might be a solution. What price range for a laser printer for printing occasionally in home use? Any model referrals?
    Thank you,

  • I was really looking hard at the cannon models until I saw that they have a very low quality (pixel) scan feature compared to other brands.

  • I came here because I wasn’t sure printer was the best choice for my parents. This is very helpful. I got a Canon PIXMA G3260 a month ago. I’ve scanned, copied and printed. I love it! It’s the best personal printer I’ve used. And the price was reasonable considering how much ink it came with. I had to call customer service to set up wifi on my ancient computer but they set me up. The best part is the photo prints were beautiful! Lots of oohs and aahs from my family. Full disclosure, I have a Canon camera and I plan to print lots of photos. No more cartridges!

    • Glad we could help, Bria!

  • Yes those brands can pull the same trick but there’s a way to bypass this. Simply disable your printer firmware updates, its set to “automatic” by default. Turning this off should enable you uninterrupted use of aftermarket cartridges.
    ……………………………………………….I read above on this site a minute ago and would like to know if this only applies to a new printer, before you use it, or any printer? I am a user and reseller of printers and ink cartridges and lots of people try the compatibles and say
    they don’t work (I use them in my Canons all the time with very little trouble) and thought that it would be a good trick to not even use the start up cartridges on a new printer, but maybe that wouldn’t work.? I hope you get my drift.
    Thanks, Campbell B

  • Does anyone have any experience of using card (up to 300gsm) in any of these printers without them jamming?

  • Very good article, however HP released an Ink tank printer in the late 1990s, it was expensive and it had it’s problems, but it started then, and not 2019.

  • I have an Epson Eco-Tank 2500. I really like the printer which is used every day with cheap inks. However every 12 months or so I get the “waste tank full” warning and the printer refuses to print any more. I take out the waste tank (not made particularly easy by Espon) and clean out the old ink BUT I then have to buy software off the internet to reset the page counter for the printer to work again. I’m really surprised that Epson don’t provide a counter reset with their software for free… are they really expecting me to buy a new printer each time? Does anyone know of an ink tank printer that doesn’t suffer from having to reset the page counter with potentially dodgy software bought off the internet? For example, is there a printer with easily accessible waste ink tank will allow me to continue to use the printer once the waste ink tank has been emptied? Would appreciate any help. Was a little surprised the article didn’t mention this problem.

  • When will we have a inkjet type printer where the ink does not evaporate?? It’s 2022 not 2002!!

  • I purchased a Eco trank Epson at Costco: took it home and then took it back a few days later the firmware and software suck


  • Thanks for the great article! The most comprehensive, and honest that I’ve read online.

  • It seems to me that when you have to buy drums for laser printers it takes away the saving per copy of them over injets. are there inktank printers that use only black ink ?

    • Hi Russell,

      Yes, there are ink tank printers that only use black ink, the Epson EcoTank ET-M1170 is a good low cost option.

Leave a Reply to Mary Villa Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search the Blog

LD Products: We’re the Ink & Toner Experts!